Read these 21 Your New Dog/Puppy Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Dog tips and hundreds of other topics.
It's always best if you catch your puppy chewing on something that he shouldn't to redirect his behavior by giving him a chew toy instead. However, if you're looking for a product that is safe and effective, get a bitter apple spray. You can find it a most major pet retail locations. Simply spray it on as a deterrent. You puppy won't like the taste and will avoid chewing that location. And the best part is that it won't damage your wood furniture.
If your puppy is teething, make sure that she has plenty of chew toys to offer some relief. Look for chewing toys that can be cooled to sooth the gums. Try a knotted rope that has been dampened in the water and placed in the freezer to alleviate those teething pains. Canvas, nylon, and rubber teethers that can be placed in the freezer are also available. Or try a rubber chew toy that is chilled and stuffed with a treat like peanut butter to do the trick.
To find a collar that correctly fits your dog, take a measurement of her neck. Use a soft tape measure or string that you can place against a ruler. Take that measurement and purchase a collar that is in the neck size range for your dog. To know if you've bought the right size the collar, check if you are able to fit up to two fingers underneath your dog's collar. However, the collar should not be so loose as to slip over your dog's head. Even better? Take your puppy or dog to the pet store with you and try on several until you find one that fits correctly. NEVER use a collar and lead for breeds that are known for collapsing tracheas (such as Chihuahuas) - ALWAYS use halters for these breeds when on lead!
To curb puppy nipping and biting behaviors, there's a few things that you can do. For a younger puppy, it's usually effective to give a yelping noise like a littermate might do. For the older puppy, keep some chew toys handy. If your puppy starts to nip, redirect her biting to the chew toy and she'll eventually figure out what's appropriate to put in her mouth. For the especially vigilant nipping pup, give her a sharp "No!" and then ignore her for a while. She may be biting to get attention and will stop if it ceases to become effective.
It's natural for a puppy to want to chew everything in sight. He's learning about his world by testing things in his mouth and he's also going through teething. To keep your home free from puppy teeth marks, provide your puppy with plenty of chew toys and keep a close eye on his activities. If you catch him chewing on something he shouldn't, immediately correct him with a firm tone of voice. Then redirect him to something that he can chew on, like a squeaky toy or rubber bone.
If you are adding a new puppy to your family and you already have an adult dog, supervised introductions are in order. Make the introduction in as neutral a territory as possible. If the meeting is to take place at your home, try the backyard if it is fenced and secure. Keep your adult dog off leash as leashing her might add to the tension or cause her to be aggressive. If all goes well, bring both your canines inside the house. Keep a close eye on both dogs for the next few weeks. If at any time, tension builds, redirect the behavior of either dog to something else. And profusely reward your adult dog for any good behavior that she shows during the transition period.
So you're ready to pick your new puppy up and take her home in the car. How should you handle this? Well, it's always helpful if you enlist the help of a family member or friend so that one person can drive while the other person can help comfort and keep an eye on your new furry friend. Pack a crate for smaller to mid sized puppies. If your have a larger breed and this is difficult, place her in the backseat and consider harnessing her to the car for safety. Bring a few towels for her to lie down comfortably on and some paper towels and cleaner in case of any accidents.
All dogs, especially puppies, need to chew. It's natural for a puppy to investigate objects with her mouth. It's her way of finding out about the world. In addition, puppies are growing up and will go through teething stages. In order to make sure that you puppy is chewing on items that she is supposed to chew on and not your shoes, rug, or furniture, be sure to supply her with plenty of chew toys. You can select from nylon and rubber or rawhides.
If you're looking to get a dog, you're not just making a purchase, you're making an addition to the family. It is helpful to assess your needs and the needs of your family and lifestyle before you take the plunge. Think about whether you want an active, outdoor dog or an indoor companion. Do you have time for grooming or very little at all? Are you an experienced dog owner or do you need a dog that is easily trainable?
Also look at your living situation. Do you have room for a dog to roam in the backyard or do you have tight living quarters? Next, you're ready to start looking at breeds of dogs. Find out what their temperament is and what type of care they need. Talk to breeders and take a look at the dogs that you're interested in. Attending dog shows, obedience trials, and canine competitive sports is one way of doing this.
The best advanced research will render the best final outcome in your decision!
As you and your puppy get to know each other, do try and create a routine for mealtimes, potty breaks, playtime, and walks. Your puppy will adjust more easily if he knows what to expect and it will be easier to housetrain him as well. No schedule needs to be set in stone, but a typical daily pattern will teach your puppy much more quickly what behaviors are acceptable and what aren't in your household.
All dogs should be outfitted with some form of identification so that you can find him if he ever gets lost. You have a few different options to choose from. The most common form of identification is an ID tag on your dog's collar. You can purchase one at most of the major pet retailers. You should always include the pet's name and your name, address, and contact number. You can also choose to tattoo an identification number on your dog that shows either your social security number or his kennel club registration number. This tattooed number then gets placed on a national registry. An excellent way to ensure that your dog gets identified is to microchip him. A veterinarian can do this procedure and it takes less than a few minutes. Animal shelters will typically scan a dog that gets lost. That way, you can be contacted once your dog is found.
You're about to pick up your new puppy and bring her home. But suddenly you realize you're not sure what to do to help her settle in. Here's a few thoughts to make the transition easier for you and your new dog:
• Keep things mellow during the first few days that your new puppy is home to give her time to adjust.
• Show her where to eliminate upon your arrival and then let her explore her new home after her potty break.
• Work out a routine appropriate to your puppy's age. Meal times, frequent potty breaks, and playtime will let your puppy know what to expect.
• Make sure that she has plenty of chew toys to keep her busy gnawing at the appropriate things.
• Try crating her near you the first few nights so that she is not isolated. Place a stuffed toy or towel near her to remind her of her littermates. The first night may be the most difficult for your new dog.
To get your home ready for a new puppy, you have a bit of preparation to do. Make sure that you have a crate ready as a den and way to housetrain your new puppy. Get a supply of dog food appropriate for her age along with a water dish and food bowl. Have a collar and leash ready to train her and take her on the first walk. Also make sure that you have plenty of chew toys to give those puppy teeth something to gnaw on.
Children tend to have quick movements, high pitched voices, and get places by running, rather than walking. These movements are quite like those of a prey animal in the wild. A dog still retains much of the instincts of his wild ancestors. Many of a dog's play behaviors are based on inherent predatory behaviors. Therefore, they will naturally act excitedly around children, nipping at their heels and trying to knock them down.
Normal play behaviors between your children and your dog are not a problem. However, it's helpful if you do not consistently punish your dog in the presence of your children. If he learns that he's constantly reprimanded around your children, he may start to act defensively. The key is to teach both your dog and your children what behaviors are appropriate when they are around each other.
If your dog behaves aggressively around your children, that is certainly cause for concern. He may have dominance issues and not perceive your children as dominant members of the pack. In that case, seriously consider getting a professional trainer or animal behaviorist to help redirect the behavior in your dog to ensure the safety of your children.
If you work outside the home, it is possible to own a dog, but it does take some proper planning and research.
First consider if dog ownership is something that you can commit several years of your life to. Some breeds can easily live to fifteen years of age. Consider that you'll have to be home on most weekends and evenings to give your dog some company.
Be prepared to spend some time potty training your puppy. This includes overnight jaunts outside and lunch breaks. If you can't be there, then you'll have find a friend or family member who can assist you or pay someone who can take your puppy out.
Still want a dog? Then find a breed that is more suited to a 9 to 5 life. Consider breeds like the French Bulldog or Shih Tzu that have less exercise needs and would be happy spending more time indoors. Consider adopting an older dog from a rescue or shelter, for they are more likely to already be housetrained, less active than a puppy and hae gone through the chewing stage.
If your dog isn't happy spending time at home, you can always consider doggy day care during the day or hiring a dog walker to take her out for walks. It's a big commitment, but if you're willing, the relationship and rewards will be well worth the trouble.
If you are concerned about whether or not your children are safe around your dogs, take some precautions. If your children are too young to follow directions, never leave them unsupervised around your dogs. If your children are older, teach them the correct way to interact with a dog. They should learn never to tease your four-legged pets.
Also make sure that your canines are well trained and behaved. At the first sign of aggression, take them to an experienced trainer to make sure that your dog does not have any dominance issues. If you provide the proper supervision and education for your children and training for your canines, you'll all get along just fine.
There are a number of water dishes available for your dog on the market. You can choose from stainless steel bowls, plastic, ceramic, and elevated bowls. All are available in a variety of sizes and styles. In general, most dishes will do fine to hold water for your canine. However, here are a few considerations.
• Use a stainless steel bowl if your dog is prone to allergies or pimple outbreaks.
• Plastic tends to be more economical and lightweight.
• Ceramic bowls are heavier and may have less of a tendency to tip if you are concerned with a large breed or clumsy drinker.
• An elevated bowl may help a larger breed of dog that has to reach to get his drink or has tendencies to gulp air during meal times.
Kids and canines at play can be great fun. But there are also dangers for a child who plays too rough with a dog or encounters an aggressive one. Here are a few guidelines teach your kids when they are around dogs:
• Never tease a dog by tugging at his ears, tail, or other means.
• Never approach a loose, unfamiliar dog to pet him.
• If you see a dog with his owner, always ask permission to pet the dog from the owner first.
• Never startle a sleeping dog.
• Never try to take away a dog's toy or food.
• Recognize that signs of growling, barking, or raised hackles are all a dog's warning signs, so stay clear!
In general, if your child is too young to follow directions, never leave him unsupervised with any canine.
It's perfectly normal for a puppy to exhibit some nipping and biting behaviors. A puppy's mouth is his way of exploring the world around him. However, as a puppy heads into adolescence, when the behavior is not curbed, it can become a serious problem. Your dog should not exhibit any growling or unwarranted mouthing as he gets older. This can be a sign of dominance issues and requires immediate attention to nip it in the bud before it becomes serious. If your dog becomes aggressive or bites, get a trainer or animal behaviorist to assist you in correcting the problem.
For the first few several days, refrain from adding bedding to your puppy's crate. Any towels or blankets can absorb urine and it will become less of an incentive for your puppy to keep his den clean. However, you might want to consider giving him a stuffed toy to cuddle with. It'll help lessen the loneliness a bit and remind him of his littermates. Once your puppy starts managing to keep his crate free from elimination, then you can add some cozy comforts for him.
If you're adding a second dog to your home, the key is to introduce the two dogs on neutral territory. If you must introduce the two dogs near your home, try an outside fenced area that neither considers its own territory. It may be helpful to get the help of a willing friend or family member. Have your friend handle the new dog on a leash while you handle your first dog on a leash. Allow them to sniff and greet each other. If any tension starts, redirect the behavior towards another activity, like a brisk walk in the other direction. Once the two are comfortable, you can let them off leash to interact and then bring both dogs home.
Keep a close eye on both dogs for the next several weeks and separate them if any aggressiveness occurs. However, let both dogs pick their own pecking order in the home.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|