Dogs - Puppy & New Dog Care Thu, 12 Sep 2013 19:36:00 GMT Crate Training your Puppy Thu, 12 Sep 2013 19:36:00 GMT <p> Here are some tips for crate training a puppy:</p> <p> 1. Choose a crate that is just big enough for your dog to stand, sit, and turn around comfortably.  If the crate is too big it may encourage them to soil in it, making house training more difficult.</p> <p> 2. Select a good location for the crate.  In your bedroom is good at night, but while you are home during the day, it’s best to have the crate near people. </p> <p> 3. Tie the door open or take the door off at first.  Let the dog notice the crate and examine it if he wishes.  Throw toys or treats in to make the crate more interesting for the dog.  Reward him with positive language when he goes in and pet him while he is in the crate.</p> <p> 4. Begin feeding the dog in the crate.  Once the dog is comfortable going into the crate (this could take from an hour to several weeks to achieve), then begin closing the door for short periods of time while you are  nearby. </p> <p> 5. If the dog whines or barks to get out, don’t let him out and don’t sweet-talk him.  Wait until there is a moment when he isn’t whining, then you can let him out.  If you let him out while he is whining, you are teaching him that whining works with you.</p> <p> 6. Crate training is most effective when it isn’t rushed.  If the dog is uncomfortable at a particular step, back up to the previous step.</p> <p> 7. Once the dog accepts the door closed while you are there, begin leaving the room for short periods of time and gradually lengthening the time you are gone.  Having safe toys in the crate is useful during this step.  When you close the dog in the crate, be sure to remove collars and leads so they cannot choke by getting them caught on the crate.</p> <p> 8. Put the dog in the crate at bedtime with the door latched and let it out first thing in the morning.  If you are house training a young puppy, you will probably be going outside with it in the middle of the night for a while. </p> <p> 9. One final tip - never put the dog in the crate as punishment.  You want the dog to think of the crate as a positive and comfortable place to stay.</p> <p>  </p> Blog:1108b823-b490-4ba6-81a4-058d0f3a9b16Post:2dd06ef6-ebe9-4f65-9771-5c30785a2abf Stress - A Significant Risk for Young Puppies Wed, 24 Jul 2013 19:32:00 GMT <p> Stress can have a significant negative impact on health and development for the young puppy but can often be overlooked.  It is easy to underestimate the negative effects of stress that have already been put into action even before we have purchased that new  puppy. </p> <p> Litter size can be very stressful for some puppies.  A big litter will cause a shy puppy to back away and not be assertive. A small litter may result in a lack of competition and desire for some puppies.  I wonder at times if we wean puppies too young and then later separate them from their siblings too soon as well. </p> <p> The reality of buying and then taking a puppy to a new home may seem to be a blessing for everyone but maybe not. The puppy is now isolated in a new home with no further interaction with siblings. During this transition period, the new puppy has a lot of adjustments to make (new smells, food, water, sounds, surroundings, bed, and temperature).  If the new environment is too stressful, the immune system may not be able to respond in a desirable manner.  The most common problem that I see is some form of gastroenteritis resulting in vomiting and/or diarrhea. These problems can be very serious, especially if the young puppy becomes dehydrated. Another condition involves the respiratory system.  Bacteria or viruses in the environment can cause a sinus infection, runny nose, coughing, poor appetite, and even pneumonia.  </p> <p> To reduce the likelyhood of these problems, we have to address all of the potential causes of stress and come up with a plan to reduce their effects.  1) Use the same food until you can slowly switch to another food. 2) Bring along a small blanket that has the scent of the litter on it.  This will help soothe the puppy when it is alone.  3) Make a recording of the sounds of the litter and play it to help calm the puppy.</p> <p> Try to think of stressful situations that the puppy will encounter and how to help minimize these.  We may not ever be aware of all of the stressors, but it is important to be as aware as possible and realize the harmful effects that can result from stress.</p> Blog:1108b823-b490-4ba6-81a4-058d0f3a9b16Post:a1b0ad2a-f07a-4bed-878b-75754433fda8