New Breed Page!

  • Did you know that the Bull Terrier breed was originally pure white?
  • The Bull Terrier was really supposed to be a fighting dog, but people were in for a disappointment.  He turned out to be better at killing rats!
  • People describe this terrier as a “three-year-old in a dog suit.”

Learn more about the Bull Terrier on the new breed page!

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Kitty’s Golfie Ball

For some odd reason, Kitty, the cat, loves to play with a golf ball.  She runs around the house, chasing it as she swats it with her paws.  I mean, that is so weird!  Who would want to play with a cold, slippery golf ball when there are stuffed animals, rubber balls, and tug ropes?

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First, she must stare and stare at the golfie ball.

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Now, she must pounce and keep that ball nearby.

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Aaaah!  The ball is trying to escape!

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Chew that golfie ball!!

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Hey, where’d it go?

Learning Tricks

Today, my human and I headed outside to review my tricks.  Here are a few tricks I did that my human managed to get pictures of:

Sit, which I am very good at.

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Touch the tea bag.  My human throws it and I go touch it.  I haven’t quite figured out why.

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Lay down, which I tend to confuse with “take a bow.”

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Far away stay.  I’m getting better at sitting while my human goes back a little.

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Jump up.  My favorite!!

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Yum!  Those treats were tasty!

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Puppy Training

Happy National Puppy Day!  To celebrate, Doggy Times will put out three posts on puppy tips, house-training, and puppy training.

What do you think of when someone says “puppy”?  A fluffy face?  Sweet puppy breath?  Perhaps you’ve had a puppy before and you immediately think, “Work!”  Yes, those sweet little furballs are a true workout!  Nipping, chewing, peeing, jumping, and barking are some of their favorite activities.  For most, though, the inconveniences and troubles of puppy raising are worth it a hundred times over.  I mean, really, look at that adorable face!puppy training newborn

Having a puppy is a whole lot easier if you take the time to train your puppy.  Pups with basic manners are more fun to live with, too.  If you train him, you will have more time to simply enjoy his short puppyhood.

Yes, I’m Listening…a Little

puppy training schnauzerYour puppy has a super short attention span.  He probably won’t want to train for 10-15 minutes like an adult dog, even if you have delicious treats.  Don’t force him to do long training sessions.  He will get bored and not cooperate, and you will wonder why you ended up with such a dumb pup.  Your puppy is very intelligent, but he has so much energy that he doesn’t like to focus and stay still.  5 minutes is good for some puppies, but others will need even less time.

Having a short training session doesn’t mean that training should be fast and furious.  Let your puppy take his time when he learns.  If you rush him, he will get confused and not like training with you.  Keep it fun!

Collar and Leash

Uh…you don’t have to teach your dog to wear a collar and leash, right?  Actually, you do. Some puppies will accept wearing a collar and leash more than others, but they still need to learn.  The minute your puppy gets home, you should put his collar on.  He might fuss a little, so distract him with a toy or treat.  Leashes, however, are a totally different thing.  Most puppies can’t stand having that tempting string-thing dangling by them.  Attack!!  If you introduce the leash positively, though, your pup will be happy to oblige.  Here’s how to do it:

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Introduce your puppy to the leash slowly

Attach your leash to your dog’s collar inside the house, but don’t pick it up yet.  Let your puppy drag it around for a few seconds, with you distracting him with treats.  Do this for however many days you think necessary, only don’t rush it.  Next, pick up the leash while inside.  Your puppy probably isn’t going to be happy about this!  To help him, show your puppy that you have a simply delicious treat in your hand.  Lead your puppy a few steps before giving it to him.  Continue this for a few days.  Now you can test it outside.  Still have a few treats in your pocket to lead your puppy.  However, he’ll probably be so thrilled at being outside without a fence that he won’t need it!  By the way, now’s a good time to discourage pulling.  Don’t let your puppy tug, because when he’s older, it won’t be so cute!

The Basic Commands

puppy labIf you don’t enroll your puppy in a puppy obedience class (a very good idea, by the way), you need to teach him some manners at home.  Start with sit.  It’s very simple and good for your puppy’s short attention span.  Next, work on the most important life skill, come.  This is such a vital command that I can’t stress it’s importance enough!  Once your smart pup has mastered these you can move onto some other fun ones like lay down, high five, drop it, and take a bow.

Always, always keep training super duper fun for your puppy.  Read the Tricks page to get a better idea of how to teach him and what supplies you’ll need.

Have fun with your puppy, and remember to keep training paw-sitive!

Puppy Raising Tips

puppy day white dogHappy National Puppy Day!  To celebrate, Doggy Times will put out three posts on puppy tips, house-training, and puppy training.

So, you are now officially the owner of a cute little puppy.  Are you happy?  Good!  However, to keep that happy feeling alive through these sometimes challenging months, you need to start puppy raising on the right foot – and, of course, paw.  Here are a few tips to help you out!

Take Me With You!

puppy day leashYour puppy is like a sponge, soaking up all of his experiences, good and bad.  This means that if he has a bad scare from a vacuum, he may continue to be frightened of it even as an adult dog.  If you don’t get your furry friend out in the world so he can experience new people, animals, smells, and places, he might grow up to be fearful or – even worse – aggressive of what he’s unfamiliar with.  Don’t start getting panicky, though!  It’s not that hard to help your pup adjust to the human world.  You simply need to expose your puppy to any situation he may encounter as an adult.  Here’s a short example list of people, animals, and places he should be exposed to before he hits 16 weeks:

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Expose your puppy to many people, animals, and places before he turns 16 weeks

People with hats, umbrellas, shopping carts, canes, people in wheelchairs, screaming children, older people, babies (with supervision, of course), people in overcoats, people running, jogging, biking, skateboarding, etc.

Animals: large dogs, small dogs, cats, chickens, cows, sheep, horses, hamsters, etc.

Places: outdoor restaurants (check to make sure they allow dogs first), stores, homes other than yours, parks, places with big bodies of water, places with cars, etc.

Touch Me!

If you get your puppy used to being handled while he’s young, his adult life will be so much easier.  Here are a few things you can do with your puppy to help him get used to being touched: tickle his toes, rub his belly, touch his tail, open his mouth and touch his teeth, hold his feet for a few seconds, lift the flaps of his ears, stroke his snout, etc.

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Some puppies are very upset when you try to touch them on certain places.  If this is the case, you will have to proceed very slowly.  Have a special treat between your fingers and let your dog lick it.  While he is busy enjoying it, casually and gently touch the place.  Don’t do it so much that your puppy begins to wiggle or struggle uncomfortably.  If you do this about every day, your puppy will soon accept your touching that spot because he associates it with something good.

Play Gently!

You probably already know this, but here’s another reminder: never play rough with your puppy.  If you encourage* growling, snapping, jumping, or clawing during your play sessions, your puppy will continue acting that way for the rest of his life – even if he weighs 130 pounds.  And having a small Dachshund isn’t an excuse for this either.  He will end up biting an innocent child or even adult who starts to play with him.

puppy day tugTug-of-war with a rope toy is a fun game that many dogs enjoy.  However, it probably isn’t the best game to play with a puppy.  While you see tug as just a fun game, at the other end of the rope, your puppy sees it as a test of strength.  That means that, when he wins, he will think that he is better than you.  You are accidentally letting him challenge your role as pack leader!  If you choose to play tug with your pup, make sure you win as many times as he does.  However, it is a very good idea to let tug-of-war wait until your puppy is old enough to understand that it’s just a game and you’re still boss.

*Encourage doesn’t just mean saying, “Good dog, Rover!”   If you ooh and aah, laugh, or even let a smile sneak up on you, your puppy will think you are saying, “Good dog, Rover!  Snap, growl, jump!”  When your puppy starts acting up during play sessions, the game must stop immediately.

Enjoy this special time with your puppy, and please take the time to raise him right.puppy day bloodhound pup

House-training Your Puppy

 

puppy raising boxerHappy National Puppy Day!  To celebrate, Doggy Times will put out three posts on puppy tips, house-training, and trick training.

There have been hundreds of books written on house-training puppies.  Within these books are different methods of teaching a puppy where to go potty.  Don’t get overwhelmed!  House-training your puppy isn’t as difficult as it may seem.  It just takes time, patience, and encouraging words from you.

Set the Clock

puppy raising clockFrom the minute you bring that little bundle of love home, set a timer on your clock or phone that will ring about every 15-30 minutes.  If your puppy has an accident before the timer rings, you aren’t taking him out often enough.  Set the timer for less time.

Get a Cage

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A crate helps your puppy not make messes at night or while you’re gone

It might seem cruel to lock your dog in a cage, but to him, it’s his own little cave, his special room where he can retreat from noise and have a nap.  Also, it means you can leave him alone in the house in his cage without having to worry about him chewing your shoes, peeing on the carpet, or attacking the leather couch.  With house-training, having a crate means that you can be reassured that your dog won’t go pee during the night or when you’re gone (as long as it is not for a long period of time; puppies do not have good bladder control).  Dogs don’t like to mess up their sleeping area, so this makes having a crate really handy.

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Make sure that the cage you purchase will fit your dog as an adult

Remember, when you purchase a crate for your pup, get one that will fit his size when he’s a grown dog too.  Once you’re used to the luxury of a crate, you won’t want to go without!  Sometimes, if his cage is too big, though, he will pee in one corner and sleep in the other.  It might be a good idea to purchase a crate with a movable panel to make it smaller or larger.  Another option is simply putting a cardboard box with something heavy in it inside the cage to half the size.

Section Off the House

Your puppy will have less places to go potty in the house if you block his way to certain rooms. puppy raising house Bedroom, closet, and bathroom doors will need to remain closed from now on.  Also, if you have a hallway, a baby gate restricting your dog’s access to it would be a good idea.  You could also put up a small gate separating your kitchen from the living room.  This way, your puppy won’t sneak off while you’re cooking or watching TV to go potty in another room.  These gates will also help keep clothes and toys away from your puppy’s sharp teeth!

Keep Calm!

Whatever you do, don’t yell at your dog when he goes potty in the house, and please don’t hit him!  He is a baby and doesn’t know any better.  If you shout at your pup, swat him, or stick his nose in his mess you will ruin that beautiful bond that was just created.  Your puppy will think that you’re someone to be avoided and will try to hide his messes under chairs, on rugs, or in dark corners.  Don’t make house-training more difficult than it has to be!

puppy raising malteseYour dog has just had an accident in the house.  Take a deep breath!  Now, quickly clean up his mess with smell-removing cleanser (this way, he won’t smell his old mess and go again on that spot).  Don’t punish your puppy.  Set your timer for less time and look into your puppy’s licorice eyes, full of love for you.  You’re not irritated at that little pupsie-wupsie anymore, are you?

Potty Outside (Please!)

puppy raising grassWhen you take your pup outside to relieve himself, he probably won’t be interested.  He’ll sniff around, bark, and try to play with you.  Don’t punish him for this.  Your puppy has no idea what you really want, so disciplining him would be unfair.  Instead, enjoy some outdoor time with your new dog.  Take him on a short walk or run around the yard with him.  Hopefully, he will go potty once when he’s outside with you (if he doesn’t, take him inside and go back out again in a few minutes).  When he does go, praise him and give him a small treat.  Remember, there’s no such thing as too much praise for a puppy who has gone potty!

But He WON’T Go Potty Outside!

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This cute little Mastiff will soon be too large to carry outside

Remember to remain calm!  Now, when your dog has another accident in the house, soak up some of it with a newspaper.  Lay that icky paper in the yard where you want him to go potty.  This way, he will smell it and want to go there again.  Also, if your puppy is continuing to go potty in the house, you aren’t taking him out enough.

If your dog is going to be a large breed, don’t carry him outside if you think he’s about to go in the house.  Soon, he will be too large to just scoop up!  Hook a finger under his collar and gently show him outside while he is a puppy, encouraging him to follow you.  When your puppy has that growth spurt, he will already know to follow you outside.

Know the Signs

puppy raising sniffingCan you tell when your puppy needs to relieve himself?  Circling and sniffing are the main indicators.  Also, if your pup scratches, whines, or barks at the door, he obviously needs to go out!

puppy raising cuteYes, house-training is a lot of work, but look at that little baby looking up at you, ready to play.  In the long run, the cleaning, nighttime potty breaks, spoiled carpeting and rugs will be worth it.  You’ll end up with that beautiful dog of your dreams!  You can choose to make house-training fun for your little pup or you can spoil the beautiful relationship that has begun.  It’s up to you!

Puppy raising is full of trails and errors, but you’ll pull through better than ever with time, patience, and lots of paw-sitive reinforcement!

 

Happy Easter!

easter colored eggsEaster is a wonderful holiday.  Spring has sprung, and everything outside has turned to a lush green.  For many humans, Easter is a rush-rush time, filled with many activities.  After going to church, it’s time to see the family, eat a big dinner, and have some Easter candy.  It’s a very busy day, and it’s important to make sure your dog is not forgotten in all of the holiday bustle.  You dog doesn’t understand that it’s a holiday and may get scared and confused.

easter flowersSome people have parties on Easter, and your dog can be part of that, too.  If family is coming over to your house or you are bringing your dog to another house, make sure you follow these simple safety rules to keep your dog safe:

  • Put all purses and bags up on a counter, out of reach from your dog.
  • If any presents are unwrapped, throw away all trash.
  • Don’t give your dog any candy.  It could hurt him.
  • If your dog is stressed out from all of the hustle and bustle, let him nap in a quiet room with a few toys to keep him company.
  • Leash your dog when the company is at the door.  This way, your dog won’t bounce up and down on them.
  • Always make sure your dog is not underfoot; it’s no fun to be stepped on.  Ouch!

 

easter grassMany people, as an Easter tradition, will have an Easter egg hunt.  Plastic eggs filled with candy will be hidden outside or in the house for the excited children to find.  This is great, but just make sure your dog doesn’t find an Easter egg for himself and break into it.  Candy can make dogs very sick so it is best for us to stay away from it.

Keep all chocolate away from your dog.  Chocolate is poison to dogs.  Please place all Easter goodies up high and out of reach of your furry companion.  If your dog tangles with any chocolate, call your veterinarian right away.  If your dog eats too much chocolate (especially dark chocolate), it could kill him.

As an Easter treat, you could bake your dog some homemade doggy biscuits.  Your dog will love you for it!  You could even put some dog biscuits into baggies and tie them up with pretty ribbon to give away to all of your dog’s friends.

Have a tail-wagging Easter!easter lab