The Best Dog Training - The Paws Applause Dog Training - Obedience and Behavioral

Happy Puppy Advice

Healthy and Happy Puppy Tips

(for the sake of keeping things simple I will refer to the pup as a "he", but this applies for girl dogs too)

  1. Know your pup's breed's needs.  Do research on your dog's breed, or breed mix if he is a mutt.  You may not understand why your Border Collie keeps biting everyone's feet, until you realize he's trying to herd your family.  Knowing if a behavior is genetically programmed into the dog helps you understand and resolve any behavioral issues much quicker.
     
  2. Puppies are hard work!  Yes, they're adorable, soft and cuddly but they also like to bite, chew (especially things of which are of value to you), scratch, and get into absolutely everything.  DO bring your patience to your pet.  I have heard more than once "puppies are cute so you don't kill them".  If you're not a particularly patient person a puppy is going to be really hard for you to deal with.  Take some deep breaths and remember your pup is just trying to figure everything out and does NOT understand anything you're saying or doing.  Imagine yourself being dropped into a foreign country and having the people there yelling at you and pointing to things in their language and how confusing it would be to not understand why they're yelling - this is what it is like for your pup.  BE CONSISTENT, if you don't want him to chew on your shoes, do not give him an old sneaker, he has no way of knowing if it's new or not, he just knows it has your smell and he likes that.  The more time you spend training and bonding with your pup, the less time it will take for him to understand what is expected of him.

  3. Cute habits as pups can lead to bad and destructive habits as adults.  Yes, it's funny to watch your pup grab onto the curtain and play tug of war with it out of no where.  Now imagine this with the full-sized version.  If you're not planning on accepting that behavior in your full sized dog for the next 8-16 years, you need to correct that behavior immediately!  To learn about correction techniques and appropriate corrections, please set up a session with me and let me show you.

  4. Your pup is very curious, this means he likes to taste and sniff everything.  Including electrical wires!  Do crate train your pup (see below).  Be sure not to have pest poisons, plant poisons or any other toxic material where he can reach it.  Dogs LOVE antifreeze, it tastes sweet, and it's deadly.  Here are some other items that should never be given to your pup, this list is a guide only, there may be other foods/plants that are toxic to dogs, please check with your vet if your dog is exhibiting abnormal behaviors that could be attributed to some sort of toxicity and always check with your vet if you're unsure if you can give your dog something BEFORE you give it to him:

    Alcohol - we've all been there, you're at a party where some dummy (which may have been you), gives alcohol to a dog.  Alcohol cannot be processed by a dog.  It can cause intoxication, coma and death
    Avocados - both the fruit and the pit are toxic to dogs
    Baby food - some baby food contains onion powder, please see explanation on onions below
    Bones - this is a touchy subject, many people are feeding their dogs raw diets, of which I am not against, however I believe that you're taking a risk on an obstruction or tear caused by the bones.  If you can afford the vet bill (of which may never happen), by all means, feed raw.  If you are going to give your dog bones as a treat, they should be UNCOOKED, cooked bones splinter.  The marrow bones from the grocery store are fine, I prefer those over the "flavored" ones from your pet store.  But do watch your dog the entire time he's chewing the bone, and when the bone breaks or becomes a potential hazard, throw it away.  Be prepared for a primal response you've likely never seen from your dog before when you try to take it from him - of which you'll have to correct, again for tips on proper correction techniques please call me for a session.
    Caffeine - caffeine is a stimulant, it affects your dog's heart rate
    Cat food - cat food is too high in protein and fats
    Chocolate - chocolate contains theobromine, a cardiac stimulant and diuretic, it can also be seen as a scent additive as there is chocolate scented mulch, dogs have been known to eat this mulch and there have been deaths associated with doing so.  If your dog should happen to get into chocolate please call your vet immediately.  A small amount of chocolate may not do him harm (this does NOT mean you should EVER give him any), but chocolate poisoning signs are not immediate.  Symptoms may be seen several hours later with death within 24 hours.  Cocoa powder and baking chocolate are even worse as they have 10 times more theobromine.
    Dough (yeast) - can cause gas expansion to the point of stomach rupture
    Eggs (raw) - contain salmonella, it also contains an enzyme called avidin which decreases vitamin b absorption causing skin and coat problems - the exact opposite of what we've been taught
    Fat trimmings - can cause pancreatitis
    Fish (raw) - no sushi for your pup!  It can result in a thiamine deficiency which can cause loss of appetite, seizures, and even death.
    Grapefruit - can cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression; and potential photosensitvity
    Grapes/Raisins - a small amount of grapes can cause kidney failure.  
    Garlic - small amounts of garlic (you may notice this ingredient in your dog's treats) is tolerated well in dogs, it contains thiosulphate, which in large quantities could kill a dog.
    Liver (large amounts) - can cause vitamin A toxicity which can affect the muscles and bones
    Macadamia Nuts - toxin can affect the nervous system, digestive system and muscular structure
    Medications for Humans - NO NO NO NO!  While it is true that some human meds are not harmful and actually helpful to your dog, YOUR vet should be the one that tells you which kinds you may feed to Fido, not the internet and not your mother's aunt's cousin's great uncle that has raised dogs for years.  There may also be the case where a human medication was once OK to give to dogs and has since been known to cause adverse affects, and dosage varies on weight, so it's always best to check with your vet first even if you've been told it's OK to give to a dog in the past.
    Mushrooms - Toxicity in dogs can be fatal if certain types are eaten.  Do not let your dog play with the mushrooms in the backyard!  Symptoms of toxicity include abdominal pain, drooling, liver damage, kidney damage, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, coma, and death 
    Onions - onions also contain thiosulphate, for some reason they are worse than garlic and can cause liver damage 
    Plants - there are 394 plants that are toxic to dogs, here is a list from the ASPCA: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants?field_toxicity_value%5B%5D=01
    Table Scraps - Are not nutritionally balanced and should never be more than 10% of your dog's diet.  Plus it usually leads to food begging problems so I don't recommend any at all. 

  5. Crate Training - I think crate training is a wonderful thing.  Many people feel bad putting their dogs in a crate, but a dog is by nature a den animal, that's why there are so many dog houses, this is just another form of a house for your dog, with a gate to help him stay out of potentially harmful stuff.  A crate should never be used for punishment purposes, it should always be a "home", a happy place for him to chill out.  As a pup I recommend NOT putting a blanket, towel or anything other than a kong toy in the crate with him, this is not because I don't believe he should be comfy, it's because he might eat the blanket or towel and cause a bowel obstruction.  When he is older and less likely to chew, by all means, please give him a comfy spot.  Please do not put your dog in the crate with his collar on, as he can potentially get stuck on something and choke himself out.  Be aware of a wire crate, I had a dog who decided to try to bite the side of the cage and got his tooth stuck, it did cause damage to the tooth but luckily we did not need to have it removed, I think we felt worse than the dog did.  All dog's bladders vary, typically, your pup should be able to hold his "business" with the equivalent of age to hours - for example - a 2 month old pup should be able to hold it for 2 hours.  Obviously this general rule of thumb should not be applied to a dog's age after 10 months, 10 hours is about your dog's longest clock, although I've had dogs that slept (un-crated) for 12-14 hours and not had issue other than they REALLY had to go when they woke up.  Also, a dog's size varies the amount of time they can hold it, smaller dog = smaller bladder.  Never allow your pup to do his business in his crate, this can be psychologically damaging to him, he will usually not do this unless he's been crated too long, or if he's sick (urinary infection, diarrhea), but it can really make the crate a bad place, and as I stated earlier the crate should be "home".  If you'd like more tips on crate training
    please schedule a session with me and we'll be having your pup thinking its a country club in no time!

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