Chihuahua Information !
Chihuahua Information !
Color Chart of the Chihuahua!
S 007 BLACK
A 045 BLUE & WHITE
S 018 BLACK & TAN
A 356 BLUE BRINDLED FAWN
S 044 BLUE & TAN
A 036 BLUE FAWN
S 071 CHOCOLATE
A 271 CHOCOLATE & WHITE
S 072 CHOCOLATE & TAN
A 359 CHOCOLATE BLUE
S 076 CREAM
A 355 CHOCOLATE BRINDLED FAWN
S 082 FAWN
A 358 CHOCOLATE SABLED FAWN
S 086 FAWN & WHITE
A 077 CREAM & WHITE
S 140 RED
A 357 FAWN BRINDLED BLACK
A 014 BLACK & RED
A 091 GOLD
A 016 BLACK & SILVER
A 092 GOLD & WHITE
A 019 BLACK & WHITE
A 146 RED & WHITE
A 354 BLACK SABLED FAWN
A 176 SILVER
A 353 BLACK SABLED SILVER
A 182 SILVER & WHITE
A 037 BLUE
A 199 WHITE
(S=STANDARD COLOR, A=ALTERNATE COLOR)
S 073 BLACK BRINDLING
A 005 BLACK MASK, WHITE MARKINGS
S 004 BLACK MASK
A 006 BLUE MASK
S 072 BLACK SABLING
A 044 CREAM MARKINGS
S 071 SPOTTED ON WHITE
A 008 FAWN MARKINGS
S 014 WHITE MARKINGS
A 023 RED MARKINGS
(S=STANDARD MARKINGS, A=ALTERNATE MARKINGS)
Chihuahuas make great pets. They are compact little dogs
making them very portable. They
don't eat much, but it is inportant to feed them a high protien
diet do to their size, they can burn
up precious calories fast. Chihuahuas are very easy to train.
You can even train them to use a litter
box. Our whole family has enjoyed our precious gems. We
take them along wherever we go: to the
kids' soccer games, on hikes, swimming in our pool and
camping. They love romping and playing outdoors. However,
they can get sufficient exercise in an apartment.
That is why so many people
enjoy our chihuahuas.
They are lovable, cuddly and enjoy sitting in your lap.
The long-haired chihuahua comes in a variety of colors,
with or without patches and splashes of other colors giving
them character. Chihuahuas love blankets, they just love to
snuggle down under the blankets and sleep with you. They
also love to lie in a streak of sunlight for a nap. Some
chihuahuas look as though they "shiver" or tremble. This
is a common trait and nothing to cause concern, sometimes
they are cold and sometimes they're are nervous. If your
chihuahua shivers, wrap him in a warm blanket on your lap.
Usually this is caused by their fear and nervousness around
strangers. It is best to expose your puppy to new people
and "public"situations as early as possible. Keep them
safe, but let them "get to know" strangers.
Take them to public parks and have company while your
pup is young. Some chihuahuas "cough" or "snort" when
excited or have been playing vigorously. It is nothing to be
concerned about, but you can calmly stroke their throat to
relax their throat muscles. Be sure to use a harness and
leash when walking your chihuahua, rather than a collar
and leash. The collar pulling on the chihuahua's neck
will just aggravate this tendency to "cough".
(There are so many breeder's out there unwilling to
help you after the sale of a puppy. I am willing to help
anyone who has any questions. We are all here with
one common goal at heart, to have and own the
happiest and healthiest loved one we possibably
can! If you have any questions or comments about
your chihuahua puppy, I will be more than happy to help!)
Please email me at : (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Your New Puppy
A checklist of what
you will need
for your new pet!
Puppy Food, of a good quality. Your puppy will stay on this
food up until 18 months of age (depending on the breed).
Do not feed him adult food before his time. This is why!
THE PROTEIN ISSUE
Specifically, this subject must address the relationship
between high protein levels, development of kidney disease
and certain bony abnormalities, such as hip dysplasia.
It is the kidneys' job to deal with the breakdown products
of protein. Obviously, the higher the protein intake, the greater
the level of waste product. However, the healthy kidney does
a super job of dealing with all that comes its way. After all,
we can donate a kidney and not suffer any ill effects.
Moreover, it is very important to recognize the "reality" of protein
consumption. For instance, much can be made of the nutritive
significance of a 22% protein product versus a 27% protein product,
and these are the extremes in normally available adult dog foods.
What however is the reality? Using 125 grams in a cup, if the average
twenty kilogram dog ate 3 cups of food per day, he would take in 375
grams of food total. On the 22% protein product, he would therefore
consume 82.5 grams of protein, and on the 27% product, he would
consume 101.25 grams of protein. The difference being only 18.75
grams. There are 454 grams in a pound (lb), so we are talking about
a forkful of protein, one small piece of steak from the table; hardly
a serious concern to the healthy kidney.
Consequently, the only real concern to the owner of an average
healthy animal should be the quality and value of the protein they
are buying, not the small variation in percentage. After all, our first
concern when purchasing a steak is not size. We buy a blade steak
or a sirloin or a porterhouse, and size is an afterthought. It is the
kidneys' job to deal with the breakdown products of protein. Obviously,
the higher the protein intake, the greater the level of waste product.
However, the healthy kidney does a super job of dealing with all that
comes its way. After all, we can donate a kidney and not suffer any ill effects.
Similar considerations to protein apply here as to kidney disease
, but an understanding of caloric density and mineral content of
food is also important.
Whether diet can be directly linked to problems such as hip dysplasia
is still uncertain. Certainly, rapidly growing heavier individuals tend
to be more at risk. However, cats develop hip dysplasia. It makes sense
that carrying excess weight on underdeveloped joints might predispose
to injury and alteration in formation, especially in active individuals.
However, feeding a puppy an Adult Dog Food in an attempt to reduce
caloric intake, is simply not the answer. Puppy foods are generally
of a higher caloric density than comparable adult foods. Consequently,
puppies left to their own satiation levels will eat more adult food.
Now what have we done? Three cups of the 28% puppy food would
contain 105 grams of protein. Four cups of the 24% adult dog food
would contain 120g of protein. This is the reverse of what we wanted.
If we now feed three cups of adult food, we reduce protein intake, but
also potentially affect proper vitamin and mineral intake of the growing
puppy, because of the inherent alteration in balance in adult products.
The obvious answer is to feed a quality puppy food properly. Maintain
proper development and weight by appropriate volume feeding. A puppy
should always have a nice waist and not be fat. This provides the bes
t of both worlds providing optimum nutrition to the genetically rapidly
growing individual, and guarding against abnormalities caused by
Dog Bowls for food and water, ceramic or stainless steel are preferable.
They can be easily cleaned or sterilized. Plastic dishes have been known
to pinken a dogs nose.
Treats, biscuits or small treat rewards are great for when your puppy
has done something good, especially when training. Try to stay away
from semi-moist treats. Most are loaded with food coloring and chemical
Grooming Tools, a brush is a must. Slickers are great for medium to
long coated dogs. The curved pins remove dead, loose fur so there
is no matting or tangling. Rubber brushes or gloves are for the short
haired breeds. They will remove the loose fur and disperse the natura
l oils from the coat. Nailclippers, toothbrush or fingerbrush and ear
cleaner should also be purchased. The sooner you start using them,
the easier it will be on the pet. There is nothing worse than having to
check one of these areas if your pet is unruly.
Shampoo, a mild puppy shampoo. Most are tearless and very gentle
on the skin. Do not use human shampoos. They can irritate the skin.
Do not bath your puppy too often. It will cuase the coat to dry out.
Toys, made from rubber, fleece, latex, vinyl or rope. Remember, they
are toys, and you should keep an eye on your puppy, just in case
a squeaker comes out. Kong Toys, "the standard" for dog toy performance
and durability, are great. They can stuffed with treats.
Collar and Leash, inexpensive to start. Your puppy's neck will
grow quite quickly. If you use a choke chain, don't get it too large.
Be prepared to purchase a few. Leashes come in an assortment
of lengths. A training lead (6' leash) can be used for walking and
basic training when your puppy reaches 4 months of age. Retractable
leads, such as Flexi's are super. It gives him a chance to investigate
the world, but safely, on leash! Stay away from traffic handles and
leads (12" - 24"). They are meant for the well behaved dogs.
Crate, your puppy's special place. It is not meant to be used for
punishment! It is a place where he can go and rest, get away from
it all. Housebreaking is that much easier with a crate. No pet likes
to sleep where he does his business.
Stain and Odor Remover, a must! Make sure that the product
neutralizes the odor, not just masks it. If it doesn't, your pup will
return to the area time and again.
Pet Bed, not a necessity! Puppies like to chew. An old blanket or
pillow will do just fine until he has passed this stage.
Breed Specific Book.
Flea Program, start out right. Fleas are the number one cause of
internal parasites. Just because you don't see a flea, doesn't mean
they are not there. Eggs can lay in suspension for months before
hatching. Protect your pet. Put a flea collar on or use a once-a-month
flea control program, now available at most pet shops.
And what your puppy will need from you!
A puppy is like a child. Be firm! No means No, not maybe.
Don't punish him if you don't catch him in the act. He will
not know what he has done.
Don't make him run up and down stairs or jump. His bones
are still developing.
When he has done something to please you, praise him, make
a fuss, reward him with a treat.
Put him outside after he eats, drinks or plays. Young puppies
have no control of their bladder. They just piddle!
Don't let him run with adult dogs.
Socialize your puppy with people and other animals.
Don't take your puppy outside, especially in heavily trafficked
areas if he has not been vaccinated. Vaccinations need 7 to
10 days to take effect.
Do not feed adult dog food to a puppy.
Be patient with your new family member. You didn't learn everything
overnight, either will he. He will learn by repetition and experience.
Love & Understanding
Above all, give him love and understanding! Be firm! Do this and he
will bring you happiness and pleasure through all of his life.
IAMS DOG FOOD!
WE Feed IAMS DOG / PUPPY FOOD!!!
Puppy Nutrition for Small-Breeds
The most rapid growth occurs in these first months of your
puppy’s life. The immune system is developing. Bones are
growing. Muscles are getting stronger. This rate of growth
requires just the right mix of nutrients. To make sure your
puppy is getting optimal nutrition to protect and maintain health
and well-being, here are some key points to keep in mind.
More Energy, More Protein
Research shows that puppies need twice as much energy
as adult dogs. Dramatic growth at this stage means your puppy
requires an energy-rich, nutrient-dense, complete and balanced
diet. Puppies also require more protein than adult dogs. High-quality,
animal-based protein will help your puppy create new body tissue.
One Size Does Not Fit All
Not all puppies have the same nutritional needs. Small-breed puppies
have higher metabolism rates per pound and reach their mature adult
weight faster than larger-breed puppies. And small-breed puppies need
higher levels of protein, fat, calcium and phosphorus to support growth
and development of bones, muscles and other tissues. So giving your
puppy a food specially formulated for his breed size is the easiest way
to make sure he’s getting the right balance of nutrients for his growth rate.
Small-breed puppies have another special feature: small mouths and
stomachs. Make sure your puppy’s food has small kibble for easy
chewing. A nutrient-dense formula will help make sure he’s getting a
complete and balanced diet even though his stomach can only accommodate
what seems like a small volume of food.
Aside from energy and protein, there are other important nutrients
and ingredients vital to your puppy’s diet: vitamin-rich fish oils to
support overall health essential vitamins and minerals to help support
the immune system and help your puppy stay healthy during this
critical stage of growth animal-based protein sources to help nourish
growing muscles, vital organs and skin and coat a fiber source that
will help keep your puppy’s sensitive digestive system healthy, so more
nutrition stays in your puppy ideal levels of calcium and phosphorus to
help your puppy develop strong teeth and bones
These are important building blocks of nutrition. Look for them
when you choose dry or canned dog food and when you select treats.
Bringing Your Puppy Home
1.The Supplies You Need
2. Making a Home Safe
3. Fencing Options
4. Choosing a Name
5. The First Days at Home
6. Children and Pets
7. Meeting Resident Pets
8. Picking Up a Puppy
Supplies You Will Need
Before you bring your puppy home, be sure you have the following supplies:
Premium pet food to get your new puppy off to a good start.
Stainless steel, non-tip food and water bowls.
Identification tags with your puppy's name, your name,
phone number and your veterinarian's name
and phone number. A collar and a leather or
nylon 6-foot leash that's 1/2 - 3/4 inches wide
(consider using a "breakaway" collar with plastic clips
that will unsnap in case your puppy gets hung up on something).
A home and travel crate that's airline approved and will
accommodate your puppy's adult size.
This crate will serve as your puppy's new "den" at home,
when traveling or riding to the veterinarian's office.
His scent in the crate will provide comfort and a sense
of security during these stressful times.
Stain remover for accidental soilings.
Brushes and combs suited to your puppy's coat; ask your veterinarian
or breeder about an appropriate brush or comb for your dog.
Dog shampoo, toothbrush and paste.
High-quality, safe chew toys to ease teething.
Flea, tick and parasite controls.
Making A Home Safe
To make your home safe for your new puppy,
eliminate potential hazards
around the house and pay attention to the following items:
Keep breakable objects out of reach.
Deny access to electrical cords
by hiding or covering them;
make outlets safe with plastic outlet plugs.
Safely store household chemicals.
Keep the following house and garden
plants out of reach:
poinsettias, azaleas, rhododendrons,
dumb cane, Japanese yew,
oleander and English ivy among others.
In the garage, be sure engine lubricants
and other poisonous chemicals
(especially antifreeze) are safely stored.
If you own a pool or hot tub, check the cover
or the surrounding fence
to be sure they're in good condition.
If you provide your puppy with an outdoor kennel,
place it in an area that provides sun and shelter in the pen;
be sure the kennel is large enough to comfortably
accommodate your puppy's adult size.
Keeping your puppy safe in your yard requires good fencing.
There are several options to choose from, and the one you should pick
will depend on your puppy's personality, your property and your budget.
Here are some of the options you should consider:
Privacy fences have no openings and provide excellent containment;
six-foot-tall panels cost about $4 to $6 per foot.
Inexpensive chain link works well and is durable;
6-foot-tall, 50-foot rolls cost about $60 each.
These electronic systems cannot be seen, jumped over or dug under.
Wire is buried, configured and connected to a transmitter.
(The cost runs anywhere from $99 to $1,500.)
The dog wears a special collar that emits warning tones and
issues a mild shock as he nears the buried wire.
A covered kennel run, especially one with a concrete floor,
will keep your puppy from digging, climbing or jumping out.
Ask your veterinarian or breeder to recommend an appropriate size.
(Expect to spend more than $100 for a small, high-quality kennel.)
Choosing A Name
Though you may already have a name
for your new puppy, here are some tips:
1. Names should be short. A two syllable name
is preferable because it's brief but
won't be confused with one-syllable commands
such as "No" or "Sit."
2. Be consistent. All family members should
use the same name—
don't use confusing nicknames or variations.
3. Reward your puppy's attention/name
recognition with lots of praise and play.
The First Days At Home
The ideal time to bring home a new puppy is when the house is quiet.
Discourage friends from stopping by and don't allow overnight guests.
First establish a daily routine and follow these steps:
Step 1: Before bringing him in the house, take him to the area in your yard that
will serve as his "bathroom" and spend a few minutes there.
If he goes, praise him. If not, proceed into the house but be sure to take him
to this spot each time he needs to use the bathroom.
Step 2: Take him to the room that accommodates your crate—
this restricted area will serve as his new "den" for several days.
Put bedding and chew toys in the crate, leave the door open and line the
area outside of the crate with newspaper, in case of an accident.
Let him investigate the crate and the room. If he chews or urinates on his bedding,
permanently remove it from the crate.
Step 3: Observe and interact with your puppy while he's acclimating to his new den.
This will help forge a sense of pack and establish you as the pack leader.
Special Puppy Concerns
Don't treat a puppy as young as 6 to 12-weeks old like an adult dog.
Treat him the same way you would your own infant:
with patience, constant supervision and a gentle touch.
The way you interact with your puppy at this age is critical
to his socialization.
Use these tips:
1. Don't bring home a puppy while you're on vacation so you can
spend a lot of time with him. Instead, acclimate him to your normal, daily routine.
2. Supervise your puppy at all times and interact with him regularly.
3. Be alert for signs (sniffing and circling) that he has to go to the bathroom,
then take him outside immediately.
4. A young puppy has no bladder control and will need to urinate
immediately after eating, drinking, sleeping or playing.
At night, he will need to relieve himself at least every three hours.
5. Don't punish an accident. Never push his nose in the waste or scold him.
He won't understand, and may learn to go to the bathroom when you're out of sight.
6. Praise your puppy every time he goes to the bathroom outside.
7. Feed your puppy a formula designed for puppies.
Like a baby, he needs nutritious, highly digestible food.
Children And Pets
Ideally, your kids should help you choose your new puppy. When you bring him home,
don't let them play with him constantly. Puppies in particular need a lot of rest
just like a growing child. Limit puppy-children play sessions
to 15-30 minute periods 2-3 times a day.
Young children may be tempted to shout at a puppy if they think he's doing something wrong.
Be sure they understand that puppies and dogs can be easily upset and startled by loud noises.
No teasing. Keeping a toy just out of reach will reinforce bad habits
such as jumping up and excessive barking.
Wagging tails and play biting can be too rough for some young children.
Supervise interaction and separate them if the play is too rough.
Teach kids to care for a dog by showing them how to feed and groom him.
Meeting Resident Pets
Keep resident pets separated from your new puppy for a few days.
After your new puppy is used to his new den area, put an expandable
pet gate in the doorway or put your puppy in his crate.
Give your resident pet access to the area. Let pets smell and touch each other
through the crate or pet gate. Do this several times over the next few days.
After that, give the resident pet access to the den area with your new puppy out of his crate.
Supervise their meeting and go back to through-the-gate/crate meetings if trouble arises.
Picking Up A Puppy
Just like a baby, a puppy's body is fragile. Avoid picking up your puppy
unless absolutely necessary. If you must, be careful and use these steps:
Step 1: Place one hand under your puppy's rump, and place your other hand under his chest.
Step 2: Lift with both arms.With a small adult dog, use the puppy technique.
For larger dogs, wrap both arms around his legs, draw him to your chest and lift.
Stages of Development
Getting Along With Other Dogs
Getting Along With Other Pets
Getting Along With People
Dealing With New Experiences
Like children, puppies need a variety of positive experiences
in order to become confident, well adjusted adults.
As part of their upbringing, puppies should learn to get along
with other dogs, children, and other people, and to accept
the many strange sights, sounds, and experiences
that are part of everyday life.
Stages Of Development
Puppies pass through several developmental phases.
Initial "dog socialization" begins in the litter.
At seven to eight weeks, puppies start to become more independent
and ready to explore their environment.
This is a very good age to bring your new puppy home.
Around eight to ten weeks, your puppy will probably enter a fear period.
During this period, you will notice that your puppy sticks close to you
and is easily frightened.
Avoid loud noises or surprises during this period,
and keep new experiences very non-threatening.
Once the fear period passes, at around ten weeks of age,
your puppy will enter the juvenile phase.
He will be more inquisitive and more wide ranging in his explorations.
This is a very good time to introduce new experiences!
The juvenile period will last until your puppy becomes a young adult.
Watch your puppy carefully, though; some pups go through a second
fear period around their fourth or fifth month.
When socializing your puppy, you must keep his health needs in mind.
Until your dog's vaccinations are complete, he is at risk of catching Parvo,
a widespread and deadly disease.
You should be extremely careful not to put your puppy down in public places
until his shots are complete.
Consult your veterinarian for advice about what else may pose a health risk for your puppy.
Getting Along With Other Dogs
Dogs have a language of their own. Using body posture, facial expressions,
and vocalization, they communicate fear, anger, aggression,
submission, playfulness, and more.
A puppy who grows up among other dogs will learn canine language
and be able to communicate effectively.
A puppy raised in isolation may misinterpret cues from other dogs,
or inadvertently send signals that may anger another animal.
Also, like children, puppies need to learn appropriate social behavior.
When puppies play, an overly enthusiastic nip results in a yelp from another puppy.
Persistent jumping on "mom" may result in a growl or snap of rebuke.
In these ways, puppies learn the limits of play behavior.
A good way to give your puppy these important learning experiences is through
"puppy socialization classes."
Look under Dog Trainers in your phone book, or ask your local dog club
or veterinarian for recommendations.
You may also be able to get together with other new dog owners
to form a puppy play group.
During socialization, puppies should be allowed free play time.
Puppies should be supervised to make sure puppy play doesn't become
overly aggressive, especially if there's a big size difference among the dogs.
Puppy socialization with other dogs begins in the litter,
and should continue (if possible) throughout the puppy and juvenile growth stages.
A well socialized puppy will probably mature into a dog who can be trusted
to meet and play with other dogs.
Note that socialization is even more important for dog-aggressive or dominant breeds.
However, if you find your puppy becoming overly aggressive or overly afraid
during play sessions, you should seek help from a professional dog trainer
to make sure the behavior is corrected before it becomes a problem.
Getting Along With Other Pets
For many dogs, interaction with other types of pets can be much more of a problem
than dealing with other dogs. This is especially true with small animals that run away
(behavior which can trigger "prey instincts" in the dog).
It's best to not take a chance on allowing dogs of any breed to play with small animals
such as hamsters or rabbits.
Although many dogs have learned to get along with such pets, is it really worth the risk?
Cats and larger pets are usually less at risk.
If you have these pets in your home, the puppy should be introduced to them at an early age.
Supervise the animals when they are together, and use praise or treats to reward your puppy
for good behavior.
(Don't forget to make the experience pleasant for the other pet as well.)
Dogs of many breeds, when raised with cats or other pets, learn to accept them.
However, for some breeds with strong hunting instincts, there may always be a risk.
It's safest to choose your dog breed carefully
if you know you will have other animals in the house.
Getting Along With New People
Since dogs must live in a human world, it's important for them to deal well with people.
Early, positive exposure to lots of strangers, with praise or rewards for good behavior,
will help your puppy grow up to become a well-behaved dog.
Invite friends to your home to meet and play with your puppy.
Ask adults to crouch down and avoid sudden movements when meeting your puppy...
from the pup's point of view, a human is HUGE.
If you don't have young children of your own, invite friends' or neighbors' children.
(Be sure to instruct children in how to handle the puppy, and always supervise play!)
Puppies who are not raised around children can develop aggressive behavior
toward children when they grow older.
Small children, who tend to run around and make high-pitched squealing noises,
can trigger prey instincts in dogs who are not used to them.
Some breeds don't do well with children because of the strong prey instinct;
other breeds are very good with children.
If you have small children in your home, this is a very important factor to consider
when choosing a dog.
As soon as your puppy's shots are complete,
begin taking him to public places such as parks,
where he can meet lots of friendly people.
Also, make a point of introducing your dog to people of different ages
and races, people in uniforms, and so on; dogs may become very wary when confronted
with people who seem "unusual" in any way.
It's important to remember that you are teaching your puppy to be comfortable with people,
and to behave himself around them.
Behavior that seems cute in a puppy, such as nipping and jumping,
is no longer cute when the dog is an eighty pound adult!
Whatever you don't want your dog to do as an adult,
he should not be allowed to do as a puppy.
Teach the puppy the behavior you want,
and discourage the behavior you don't want.
Gently but firmly correct unwanted behavior right from the start,
and you'll have a well-behaved adult dog.
Your well-socialized dog can still be a good watchdog.
Your dog is smart enough to distinguish between
people who you welcome into your home,
and people who should not be there.
Dealing With New Experiences
Everyday experiences can be very frightening for your new puppy.
A pan dropped in the kitchen, a vacuum cleaner,
or a ride in the car can become traumatic events that the dog will
try to avoid forever after.
To prevent this, introduce your dog to as many new experiences as you can think of.
Use rewards and encouragement to make the experiences positive,
so your dog doesn't develop fears.
(Remember to keep new experiences very non-threatening,
and avoid startling the puppy, during the fear period around eight to ten weeks.)
For example, to accustom your puppy to a vacuum cleaner,
first allow him to explore and sniff it without turning it on.
Praise him or reward him as he explores.
Then, when your puppy is a comfortable distance away,
you may start up your vacuum cleaner, stand near it, and call your puppy.
If he approaches, encourage him and praise him, or give him a reward.
Gradually encourage the puppy to come closer to the vacuum.
Repeat this experience several times, with lots of praise and rewards,
and your puppy will soon have no fear of the vacuum.
To get your puppy used to riding in a car,
first get in the car with him and play with him, or give him a reward.
On the next "outing," drive a few yards while someone holds your puppy and praises him.
Work up to drives of a few minutes; keep them short so your puppy won't get sick.
Afterwards, play with your puppy so he associates the car ride with a pleasant experience.
Other experiences to work on with your puppy include getting into his crate or kennel,
walking on a leash, walking on different surfaces
(such as tile, carpet, gravel, sand, grass, and snow),
climbing steps, and hearing the doorbell and telephone ring.
You can use the same approach to accustom your puppy to experiences that might
otherwise be ordeals for both of you!
Try the reward approach when brushing your puppy, giving him a bath, and clipping his nails.
You should also teach your puppy to let you handle his paws, his ears, his tail,
and even open his mouth without a struggle.
(Remember, start with very short sessions and use praise, play, or rewards to keep the experience fun.)
This basic groundwork with your puppy will make life much easier when your vet needs to examine him!
Keep new experiences upbeat and positive, and your dog will soon be a confident and happy companion.
The Dog 10 Commandments:
1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from
you will be painful for me Remember that BEFORE you get me.
2. Give me time to understand what you want from me.
3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial to my well-being.
4. Don't be angry with me for long, & don't lock me up as
punishment. You have your work, entertainment & friends.
I have only YOU.
5. Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don't understand your
words, I understand your voice.
6. Be aware that however you treat me, I'll never forget.
7. Please don't hit me. I can't hit back, but I can bite & scratch
and I really don't want to do that.
8. Before you scold me for being uncooperative, obstinate,
or lazy, ask yourself if something might be
bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting
the right foods or I've been out in the sun too long
or my heartis getting old and weak.
9. Take care of me when I get old. You too will grow old one day.
10. Go with me on difficult journeys. NEVER say,
"I can't bear to watch, or let it happen in my absence."
Everything is easier for me if YOU are there.
Remember, I LOVE YOU!!
Sadly, not all people professing to be reputable and
responsible breeders are. A good breeder will all but
interrogate you. You should also have the chance to
question the breeder. If you are not sure or uneasy
withan answer, do not hesitate to ask for an explanation.
If at any time you get an uneasy feeling or just are not
satisfied, look elsewhere. A few things to ask about are:
What is the asking price of the puppies? Some breeders
will ask the same for pet quality and show potential
puppies. Compare prices with other breeders of the
same breed and if the price is considerably higher or
lower do not hesitate to ask why. Do not hesitate to
ask why if there is a big difference in pet and show
pups. Unless there is a visible disqualification or the
puppy visibly will not be showing potential, the younge
r the pup the harder it is to determine show quality.
A person who really knows the breed can have a good
idea what pups have show POTENTIAL and what may
not. Much happens while the puppy grows and that eight
week show prospect may not be show potential at 9
months! And avoid ANY breeder who charges different
for males or females or who charges extra if you want
a pedigree or registration. It is not that expensive to
register a litter so the potential owners can individually
register puppies. (Many kennel clubs like the AKC
require all litters to be registered by the breeder.
Then papers are sent out that are given to buyers of
puppies so the owner can register them in their name).
What temperament testing and socialization has been done?
Granted, young puppies should not leave the property
due to a growing immune system; however, the breeder
should expose the puppies to as many things as possible
like vacuum cleaners, children, house sounds, etc.
The older the puppy, the more experiences it should
have. Has the breeder temperament tested and what
method was used? A good breeder will help match the
right personality to you. If you are a quiet family and
the breeder pushes a dominant pup on you, leave.
On the other hand, if you like the look of one puppy
and the breeder, after interviewing you, decides it is
not the right match, respect that.
What goals does the breeder have with the breeding
program and how does the breeder go about to achieve
this? If the breeder breeds just to produce more dogs,
for pets only or anything that does not go towards the
bettering of the breeder's lines and the breed as a whole,
go elsewhere. And if the breeder breeds for working
ability first, you could end up with a handful! Look for
one who breeds for companionship as well as type
and working ability – unless you are looking exclusively
for a working dog.
What type of contract does the breeder have for pet
or show puppies (it should include a spay/neuter
agreement and health guarantee)? Do not get pressured
into becoming contracted to show or breed your dog – even
if you do plan to show and possibly get into breeding
someday. Everything should be spelled out in the contract.
And be wary of a breeder sells you a young puppy that is
"definitely show quality." So much happens during growth
and development – the younger the puppy; the harder it is
to tell show quality. A breeder who really knows the breed
can tell if a young pup has POTENTIAL but should not be
guaranteeing the dog will be a show dog.
What does the breeder feed the puppies? You want
to try and keep the puppies on the same brand of food.
If the breeder uses something you do not, gradually
wean the puppy to your preferred brand. If the puppies
have no boosters prior to leaving the dam, look elsewhere.
What inoculations have been given? Eight-week-old
puppies should have had their first set of inoculations
and you should be given documentation of this.
If not, go elsewhere.
Training your puppy!
The first thing you should do when you get a new puppy is
to cuddle him and make friends. The second thing is to train
him to "go potty" outdoors. This is not very difficult, but you
have to be consistent. This means that someone has to be training
the pup all day long until he knows what to do.
Your puppy is a baby, so you have to help him learn. Don't punish
him when he has an accident. He won’t understand. Instead, when
he does it right, tell him "Good doggie" and maybe give him a treat.
Your puppy wants to do what is right and will try.
Puppies are used to being in a litter with their mother and their
brothers and sisters. They don't like to be alone. When you want
him to go outside, make sure you stay with him. If you just put
him out by himself, he will probably get really scared. He will cry and
try to come back in with you instead of going.
What to Do
Take your puppy outside a lot. This should be:
Every time he wakes up
When he gets done eating
After he has a drink
After he's been playing
If he looks like he is sniffing for a place to go
Little pups aren't used to holding it yet, so just make
sure you take him out often.
Take him to the same place every time so he will learn that this
is where he should do his business. You can say "Go potty" or
something like it. Say it in a happy voice, then when he goes,
give him lots of praise. You can even give him a small treat
as soon as he goes.
If he doesn't go, don't let him play. Instead, bring him inside,
and keep him near you so you can watch him. If he looks like
he is sniffing around to go, take him back outside. Or take
him back outside in about 15 minutes.
If you have to be away for a while, make sure your pup is
confined to his crate or to a room with a gate. Put some
newspaper down in case he can't hold it long enough. He
doesn't like to go near where he sleeps, so make sure he
has plenty of room.
Remember, your puppy is a baby. Human babies wear
diapers for one or two years, but your pup can be trained
in a few weeks, and that's pretty good. Be nice to your pet,
help him to know when he is doing it right by praising him
and giving him treats. And never, ever punish
him when he has an accident.
How to Crate Train A Puppy (Housebreaking)
Most new pet owners misunderstand the purpose of a dog crate.
It is not a "cage" used for punishment of the poor puppy. A
crate is a wonderful tool if used correctly. It is, in fact, the
fastest and easiest way to potty train a puppy. The puppy
should consider the crate his safe haven...."den". Once you
understand this fact, you will be able to use the puppy's den
to your advantage to develop an appropriate potty training strategy.
You will need to think like a dog for this to work. A dog
never selects a busy area for his "den". He will usually
select a dark corner off by himself where he feels secure,
safe and protected. He will select a spot under a table,
between furniture, or under a chair where he is able to
see approaching people or other animals. The dog reverts
back to his natural instinct of being a wolf no matter how
domesticated we think he is. Therefore, use this concept
to your advantage.
The dog will not make his den dirty. If a dog is properly
trained to love his den, he will have the instinct to keep
it clean. This is the main reason why a crate works in potty
training your dog. A dog feels comfortable and safe in his
crate and above all he wishes to have a clean environment.
A puppy follows a set pattern for the time to go potty.
When he plays hard, after he eats, after he wakes up from
a nap, or after it has been a while since he last went potty
-- take the puppy outside to take care of his business. A
puppy can not hold it a long time so you need to be trained
to anticipate when he has to go potty. The better trained
you become, the better trained your puppy will be.
The following schedule should help to train the
puppy's owner along with the puppy:
Morning: Puppy wakes up in his crate, you wake right up.
Both you and the puppy go immediately outside. The
puppy goes potty, you praise the puppy. Puppy comes
back into the house for breakfast. After breakfast you
both go back outside for the puppy to go potty. Puppy
goes and you praise the puppy.
The puppy now can play for a while safely in the house,
then back outside, potty, praise, return into the house,
naptime in the crate.
Afternoon: Puppy wakes up from his nap, time
to go outside. Puppy goes, you praise, back into
the house for lunch. Puppy eats lunch, goes outside
with you and goes potty, you praise, back into the house
for playtime. Puppy plays hard. Time for you to take the
puppy outside to go otty, puppy goes, you praise. Back
into the house and puppy's afternoon naptime.
Evening: Puppy wakes up from his nap, you both go
outside, puppy goes, you praise, back in the house for
playtime. Time to go back outside, puppy goes, you praise,
back in the house. Time for puppy's dinner, puppy eats,
puppy goes outside with you and goes potty, you praise,
back into the house and more playtime. Follow the routine?
Bedtime: You both go outside, puppy goes, you praise,
back into the house. Time for bed. Puppy goes into the crate.
the puppy may need to get up in the night. Follow the same
routine as during the day. You take the puppy outside, he goes,
you praise, back into the house and return to the crate for
the rest of the night, hopefully. Depending on the age of the
puppy, he may need to go more than once or twice during the
night. This improves with age. Remember in the middle of the
night when you have to get up from your warm bed, why you
love your puppy. Please be patient. Aren't you glad that the
puppy is waking you up to go potty?
If you work, don't expect the puppy to hold it for 10 to 12 hours
while you are at work. Make arrangements to go home at lunch,
or have a neighbor or friend come over and let the puppy out to
go potty, praise and play routine is still followed. As the puppy
gets older and can hold it longer, the crate is not as necessary.
Just make sure if you allow your dog freedom that he is still
confined in a safe place. Watch out for electrical cords and unsafe
chew items. Get on the floor and crawl around to see what is at
your dog's level. Where can he get into trouble? Make it safe.
The proper crate training of your puppy shapes the puppy's
behavior in a positive method using his animal instincts. This
is much better than accidents on your floor. Remember above
all else to be patient and consistent with your training. Love
your puppy and give him lots of praise when he does it correctly.
One thing all dogs have in common is they are born with a
natural desire to please their owners. An interspecies language
barrier unfortunately, makes it very hard to get the point across.
Your training lets you and your dog overcome this barrier, by
establishing a means of communication. Training shows your
dog how to earn exactly what it craves, your approval. This will
brighten your relationship with your dog.
Before starting to actively train your dog, take a little time learning
a touch of the dog's language. Body language is an extremely
important communication tool between dogs. This will help you
gain the ability to understand, even "connect" with your dog.
Here's an example: Dogs will often show they want to romp by
making a "play bow". Your dog will stretch out his forelegs before
him and direct his rear end straight up in the air.
Dogs instantly understand what this posture means, whether
it is performed by another dog or you. Try imitating the play bow
in front of the dog when it seems to be in the mood for fun.
Chances are you will be rewarded with an exuberant and
Another form of canine body language worth understanding
are signs of submission and aggression. A submissive dog
will often crouch down when you approach them, tuck the tail
between their legs or roll over and expose the belly. They may
even urinate on the floor. this is a dog who doesn't want to
assert itself. This dog may need a lot of reassurance. Training
may help this type of dog to "find itself". An aggressive dog may
show aggressiveness by raising the hair on the back,
showing teeth, low growling, holding its tail high and
putting the ears forward. Usually you can catch a glimpse
of the mood the dog is in by the ugly look in its eyes.
In fact most dogs do not like to maintain eye contact with a
human or more a dominant dog for long; they will shift the gaze
sideways before looking back again. Animals in the wild will
interpret this direct staring as a challenge.
Another thing to remember is that your puppy begins to learn
naturally, from the moment you take it in your home, even if you
don't know it. Dogs a creatures of habit. They soon establish
routines and expectations based on what patterns are set by
you. Surely you've seen many a dog surge into action by the
sight or sound of a leash being picked up or the one who whines
when its owner picks up the car keys.
These are all good example of the power of consistency.
Training is really, consistently doing the same thing, in the same
circumstances, over and over.
A dog that has been well-trained, knows what it can and can't do..
This can only be achieved by consistent reinforcement. A dog
will soon learn acceptable behavior if it is praised for doing right
and corrected when it does wrong. What sort of praise might be
considered adequate? Most dogs need no more than a simple
"good dog" spoken in a supportive warm voice. While others may
appreciate a pat on head or neck. Occasionally, a dog will need to
be offered some sort of food reward. Start with vocal praise. Your
dog will let you know if it gets the message.
Corrections should always be nonviolent and mild. The best
tool to use is your own voice. Teach yourself to say "NO" in
a firm and loud tone. It doesn't have to be deafening, just try
to leave out the panic, anger, and plain annoyance, as these
will only baffle and disturb the dog. Many owners have made
a basic, mistake of prolonging their displeasure with a dog that
violated the training or seems slow to learn. This is destructive.
You must understand that dogs forget an event after just a
few minutes. they only know from your reactions that you are
unhappy with them. All of which teaches your dog nothing
more than you are not so easy to get along with. You have to
catch them in the act, doing something wrong, or else forget
about it. Never hold a grudge, it is destructive.
Praise, Praise when right. Correct when wrong. For an example
let's look at a common problem and how you might cope with it.
The chewing problem of a puppy. All puppies have a desire to
chew on something, starting quite young. this can be a real
predicament when the puppy seems to prefer chewing on the
furniture or people. The most obvious way to handle this problem
is to keep the puppy separated from things it should not chew,
whenever you cannot provide supervision. For instance, the puppy
may need to be crated or confined to a safe room like the kitchen.
Whenever the puppy is within your sight and it takes something
unacceptable in its mouth, immediately correct it with a firm "NO".
The correction has been adequate if i releases the object from it jaws.
As soon as the puppy has shown comprehensions, turn
right around and praise on the spot "Good Dog"1 Thus the
puppy learns that it will also receive praise for doing something
Never strike the dog, not even with rolled up newspapers!
Don't threaten the dog either. This is almost worse than striking it.
These are some of the things that often is the cause of hand-shy
dogs that cringe at the sight of a raised hand. A dog that expects
a beating every time a hand is raised has good reason to try to
escape to a safer ground. I'll never know why people always seem
to associate dog training with rolled-up newspapers, unless it is
because it is the handiest thing within reach in most households.
However I hope you will resist the temptation to use this "tool".
If you think that the sound of the paper hitting the dog will frighten
the dog into submission, think about this. First, training does not occur
by scarring a dog into making it do what you want or not do what
you find objectionable. Second, deliberately teaching a dog to be
frightened of loud noises is unwise. What will you do when there's
a thunderstorm, or a display of fireworks, for instance? A third
reason for discouraging you from using new-papers as a training
aid is the likelihood of you needing to make a correction one day
and finding that you don't have one. Remember the consistency
I talked about? The power of correction lies in its immediate
administration, not following a lapse of even a few seconds as you
wonder around the house looking for your
A dog is never punished: it is corrected. This may seem like a fine
point to you, but in such fine points lie the difference between
good training and bad training. For example, let's take training
your dog not to jump on people. The plan: Each time the dog
jumps up, say "No". and at the same time raise your knee in
front of you to disrupt the dog's balance. the next thing the dog
knows, it's back on all fours. You say, "Good dog". The lesson is over.
Never discipline or correct a dog after you have called it to you.
A dogs mind make direct, short term connections. If you correct
the dog right after it comes to you , it will connect the correction
with the act of coming to you (most recent thing it did before the
roof fell in) and not with what happened prior to that. After a few
times of this and the dog will not come at all when called. therefore
if the dog has done something that it needs corrected for, get up
and go over to it for the correction or forget about until you
have the opportunity to do it right.
There are 5 basic obedience commands your dog needs
to learn. Heel, Sit, Stay, Down, Come, and Housebreaking.
But you need to accomplish several small "training" asks first.
Of course this includes Housebreaking, the first and most
important lesson a dog learns before it is an acceptable
part of the family.
You should also teach the new puppy its name and how to walk
on a leash during the first few weeks together. Dogs do not
naturally accept the restraint of a leash., so you'll need to steadily
and slowly get them used to the leash.
Litter Trainning your puppy
Animal behaviorists have long known that litter boxes can benefit dogs.
If you live with a dog, you may sometimes nurse a little resentment
for your cat-owning friends, whose entire bathroom-related duties
are limited to scooping one or two litter boxes each day. Unlike them,
you must brave blizzards, tornadoes, lightning and hail, or worse -
an early awakening on your day off to walk your dog on her favorite
patch of grass.
Although we naturally assume dogs should be trained to relieve
themselves outdoors, there are several circumstances in which
a doggy litter pan can be both convenient and humane.
So can your dog learn to use an indoor litter box? Maybe so, one
dog-sized litterpan has even made it to the pet marketplace so
someone believes it is possible.
The Advantages of Litter Training
Animal behaviorists have long known that litter boxes —
or simply newspapers — can be employed with some benefit
in some dogs. In our pet culture, however, we automatically assume
that puppies must learn to eliminate outdoors. Until they do,
we provide newspapers or some other indoor substrate for their
convenience and for ease of cleaning. But why do we put so
much effort into encouraging them to graduate to an outdoor
location? After all, dogs can be trained to use a bathroom location
as we do. Think about it.
Also, if your dog has trouble walking distances because
of osteoarthritis and old age, or if she suffers from a medical
problem, such as diabetes mellitus, which causes increased
urination, a litter pan is certainly a humane alternative to
having your dog walk long distances or wait uncomfortably
for an escort. A litter box also can provide relief for any dog
whose human companion works long hours.
Teaching Your Dog to Use a Litter Pan
How might your classically house-trained dog learn to use
an indoor litter pan? First, consider the surface on which
your dog most often urinates or defecates outdoors. If she’s
partial to grass or asphalt, a similar surface would be best.
Clay-based litter may be a reasonable substitute for asphalt
or gravel but you may literally have to provide an indoor
grassy surface — at least initially — for your yard-oriented dog.
As with puppies, consider the times your dog’s most likely to
urinate or defecate; when first waking in the morning; when
you come home from work; perhaps soon after eating.
If your dog happens to eliminate in the house but in an inappropriate
spot (while you’re home), clap your hands to interrupt her
and take her quickly to the desired location immediately.
Of course, any elimination in the pan or on the newspaper should
be enthusiastically praised and otherwise rewarded the instant it
happens. It also may be helpful to reward even mild interest and
sniffing in the vicinity of the “toilet.”
Learning is Not Guaranteed
Which dogs will learn to use a doggy litter box most successfully?
Although some adult dogs can certainly be retrained, it’s easiest to
teach this habit to a youngster.
Adults will learn most quickly if they occasionally have “accidents”
to begin with because these accidents can be reoriented to a
different location; such opportunities often arise in elderly dogs.
If, however, your adult dog has been reliably housetrained, it may
be difficult to convince her once again to eliminate indoors - in
which case you might want to keep your raincoat and galoshes handy.
Guide to Training Your Dog
It is possible to change your disobedient dog into
a well-mannered member of the family.
Is your dog unruly and obnoxious? Doesn’t listen to
a word you say? Or, have you just adopted an adult
dog that seems to have either forgotten previous training
or missed out on training all together? Don’t worry, you
can change your disobedient dog into a well-mannered
member of the family. Puppies are not the only ones who
thrive on direction and guidance. Here are some articles to
help you train your dog.
12 Rules for Training Dogs.
Training should be an enjoyable experience for you
and your dog. This article will teach you the fundamentals
of dog training, including when to schedule training sessions
(before meals, not after); and how long they should last
(5 to 10 minutes).
Obedience training philosophies. All dogs should be taught
basic obedience, for their safety and the safety of others.
Obedience training includes simple commands such as
come, sit and stay. These are just a few of the commands
that a good obedience training class can teach you and your
dog. By learning how to communicate with one another,
you also help nurture the human-animal relationship.
Training your puppy. Even the youngest new puppy can
learn to "sit," "lie down," "stay" and "come" when asked.
But looking at your innocent new puppy, it’s hard to imagine
that training would be necessary at all. Of course, it always is.
The new wave of pet animal training focuses on positive or
reward based training only; the idea is to train the dog to perform
certain desired behavior rather than to punish unwanted behavior.
Clicks made by small plastic clickers (“frogs”) are probably the
best and most consistent way of marking the successful
accomplishment of a behavior.
How to house-train your adult dog. It should be pretty
obvious why you need to house-train your dog, and if it isn't, well,
we can’t make that dinner party next week after all. Some dogs
learn more quickly than others, but you can shorten the learning
curve by keeping track of your dog’s toilet habits.
Does he go in the house only when you’re not around? Perhaps
he might suffer from separation anxiety or even a medical problem.
How to house-train your puppy.
By using a puppy crate or confined area, and plenty of rewards
for outdoor urination and defecation, you can successfully train
your puppy to “go” outdoors.
Love the leash
. All dogs – whether they trot along Manhattan’s Upper East Side
or run free in the countryside – should know how to walk on a leash.
Forget about fancy “heeling”; we’re talking about the dog and the
person walking without a major struggle.
What would you do if your dog’s leash was suddenly torn off
and you had to maneuver him back to your car through a busy
playground? That’s when your dog’s knowledge of the command ``heel’’
could save the day.
The “sit” exercise is probably the most practical skill you can teach
your dog. Whether you’re waiting at the curb of a crowded street or
competing in an obedience trial, you’ll thank yourself for taking the
time to master this exercise.
Down is not just another command; it is the command annotating
your leadership of your dog. If your dog has been taught the meaning
of the word “down” but just won’t do it, then you have a serious discipline
problem on your hands.
Coming to you when called is one of the more important skills your
dog can learn. Although we strive never to put our dogs in unsafe
situations, the “come” command can avert a car-dog collision, a deer
chase or other hazards.
When taught correctly, the “stay” is a hallmark of a well-mannered,
contented and safe dog. But “stay” is often misunderstood and
therefore misused, leading to an endless cycle of corrections
and frustration for both your dog and you.
Opinions vary considerably about the value, and even the
humanity, of providing a crate for your dog. For most dogs
, the crate quickly becomes a safe haven and, used properly
, is a wonderful training tool.
Once he has learned the basic commands, don’t stop there.
Despite the old wives tale, you can teach an old dog new tricks.
12 General Rules for training your chihuahua
Rules you should know about
1. Training should be an enjoyable experience for you
and your dog. If you are not in the right mood for training,
don’t even start. Keep training sessions short, on the order
of 5 to 10 minutes to maintain your dog’s motivation.
If your dog doesn’t respond appropriately to a command
after several attempts, don’t reward him. Resume a few
seconds later with a simpler command. Return to the more
complex task later.
Always end the session on a positive note, asking your dog
to respond to a command you know he will obey. Then
reward him and issue a finish command such as “free” or “release.”
This way both of you end the session on a high note and with a feeling
of accomplishment. Avoid commonly used words such as
“okay” as a finish command.
2. Every dog should be familiar with the basic obedience
commands including come, heel, sit, down and stay. Teaching
your dog to sit-stay and down-stay off leash is also a valuable
lesson. Additional commands that are useful include: leave
it, give it, stop it, enough or cease.
Keep in mind that a dog’s motivation to respond to a command
decreases as the complexity of the task increases.
Complexity includes not only the degree of sophistication
of the task, but also requires understanding the dog’s
motivation to respond. From a dog’s perspective the
question is, which is more rewarding, chasing the squirrel
or returning to the owner? Understanding this will increase
your patience and chances for success.
3. Training should not involve any negative or punishment-based
components. There should be no yelling, no hitting, no
chain jerking, no hanging and absolutely no electric shock.
Each session should be upbeat and positive with rewards
for jobs well done.
Remember that the opposite of reward is not punishment;
it is no reward. If you ignore unacceptable responses, your
dog will not be rewarded for his lack of responsiveness.
Most dogs want to please their owners or, at the very least,
obtain highly valued resources (food, attention and toys).
4. Ensure that your dog’s motivation for reward is highest
during a training session. If food is the reward, train before
a meal, not after. If praise, petting and other aspects of your
attention are to be used as a reward, schedule the training
session at a time when your dog hungers for your attention
(for example, right after you have returned from work).
For complex tasks, such as the off leash down-stay, your
dog will be more motivated to comply if he has received
moderate exercise before the training session. Asking a
dog that is bursting with energy to remain in a prolonged
reclining position is asking for failure during the early stages
5. Make sure the reward you use in training is the most
powerful one for your dog. Food-motivated dogs work
well for food, but the treats used should be favorite foods
such as small pieces of cheese or freeze-dried liver. You
want the dog to be strongly motivated to obey commands
to receive the treat.
Food treats, if used, should be small – no bigger than the
size of your little fingernail. The texture of the treat should
be such that it does not require chewing and should not crumble.
Large crumbly treats, like Milk Bones®, take too long to eat
causing the dog to lose attention.
If praise is used as a reward, deliver it in high singsong tones,
which are most pleasing for the dog. Also, enthusiasm in your
voice will be much appreciated. If petting is to be used as a
reward, it should be in a way that the dog enjoys, like stroking
the dog’s hair on the side of his face in the same direction that
it grows, or scratching him on the chest. Note: Petting on top
of the head is not appreciated by some dogs.
6. Timing of the reward is important. After a correct response,
reward your dog within 1/2 second of the command to ensure
that your dog makes the connection between his behavior
and the reward.
7. Use short commands such as SIT, DOWN, LEAVE IT,
QUIET, OUT and OFF. Say the word once. Do not repeat
the command. Dogs will hold the thought in mind for about
2 minutes. Shorter words are better than longer words and
words that end in a consonant are better than those that
end in a vowel because you can “spit” them out.
The only command that should have 3 sounds associated
with it is COME. In this case, you first have to attract the dog’s
attention by saying his name, ROVER, then COME
(the actual command word) GOOD BOY, even before
the dog comes so he knows he is not in trouble. Make
sure your tone is crisp and cheerful.
8. Put your dog on a leash and attract his attention so he
looks directly at you and you at him (“Watch-me”). Then
issue an action word, SIT. A poorly trained dog might slowly
get into the sitting position at which time you reward him
IMMEDIATELY with praise, GOOD BOY, ROVER,
(remember the high tones and heartfelt deliverance) and
at the same time you immediately produce the reward.
An untrained dog will have to be assisted into the sitting
position by moving a food treat over and above his head
so that he has to sit to reach it. Success is greeted with warm
praise and the food treat. In some cases, placement
techniques (tension on collar, downward push on the rump)
may have to be used.
9. Once you have the dog performing the desired response
greater than 85 percent of the time in a quiet undisturbed
environment you can move onto the next stage. Start to shape
the behavior more toward the ideal response. You can start
this by rewarding for a progressively faster SIT, that is rewarding
the dog for sitting in 3 seconds, later in 2 seconds, and
ultimately in 1 second or immediately.
Decide before you give the command what you are going
to reward. You can also start to reward longer and more definite
SITS so the dog has to do more than just touch his rear end
on the ground. Withhold the food treat until the dog is sitting
properly and then gradually introduce a time delay until the
reward is given.
10. Gradually increase the length of time the dog must remain
in a SIT-STAY until he can remain relaxed in this position for 1
minute while the owner is at a distance of 5 feet. Continue to
increase the time and distance the dog is asked to remain in a
SIT-STAY after the dog has been successful at the previous
level for 5 to 10 trials.
For very long SITS, the reward should be given intermittently
throughout the SIT, at least during training. The owner should
teach a key phrase such as EASY or STEADY to teach the dog
to associate relaxation with the exercise. It also is helpful to have
a release command, such as FREE or RELEASE,
which tells the dog when he has been obeying for
the desired period of time.
11. Vary the commands during an individual training
session; keep the training sessions short and frequent.
Dogs will learn much more from regular short sessions
than from longer, less frequent ones. Once the dog has
learned several useful commands on the continuous
reward schedule (i.e. the dog is rewarded for each
successful performance of the behavior), the schedule
should be changed to intermittent reward.
Initially, the dog may be rewarded 2 times out of 3, then
every other third time and so on until rewards are only
supplied occasionally. This is the way to wean a dog off
food treats and is the cure for a dog that “will only work
for food.” Remember, however, it always helps to praise
the dog immediately if he has performed a command
whether or not any other reward is forthcoming.
12. Once training has been accomplished in a quiet area
you can gradually begin to work in environments with more
distractions, continuing the training in the yard, on leash,
progressively lengthening the leash between you and the
dog and finally dropping it so the dog is now obeying off
lead. It may even be helpful to continue this training in
relatively busy environments so that you can maintain
control in difficult situations.
Making Pups Comfortable With the Crate
First, make sure you don’t isolate your dog when he’s in his crate.
Buy two crates, and put one in your bedroom – so the puppy can
sleep beside you at night – and the other in a busier part of the
house. Line the cage with a soft blanket and add some small
treats, then show the puppy how to get in.
Once your puppy has figured out how to go in and out of his crate
and has satisfied his curiosity about it, use a cue word – such as
"kennel" as he moves toward the crate and hand him a treat as
soon as he enters. Repeat this several times at random intervals
until he goes in when he’s told to. At this point, you can shut the
door for short periods, without making a big deal about it. In fact,
it’s best to ignore your pup altogether while opening or shutting
Once your puppy is willing to rest in the crate, start confining
him for varying periods of time, and at different times of the day,
while you’re at home. The more random and persistent you
are, the less the dog will worry when you do have to leave
the house. With this kind of routine, the puppy will learn to
rest while crated, and that's exactly the way you want him
to feel – at home, relaxed and comfortable in his own little den.
Learning to Love the Lockup
Occasionally you may want your pup to be in the crate but
he may want to stay out. Don’t try to fool him by calling him
to you and then forcing him into the crate. Instead, use a
command like: “Go to your crate,” and lure him in with a
little food. Hand over the treat as soon as the pup settles
down inside; praise him and keep feeding him while he’s
inside. The minute he ventures out, turn off the food
supply – and the charm.
Put a few pieces of kibble in the crate so the pup will
develop the habit of going into the crate by himself, earning
more praise and even more treats. Sooner or later, he’ll
learn that he gets lots of attention, affection and goodies
inside the crate – and very little in the way of treats
outside the crate.
The Crate and House-training
To confine an untrained dog for a long time is courting
disaster. If the dog is forced to soil its sleeping area, the
crate will no longer inhibit elimination and it won’t be any
help when you’re trying to house train your pet.
Basically, house-training a dog is solving a spatial problem:
You want to teach the dog to eliminate only in one place – outdoors
. During the training period, it’s up to you to set limits.
For example, if you don’t allow the animal free access to the
living room and bedrooms, he can’t make
a mess on the carpets.
Because most puppies can’t control their urine and
feces for extended periods, the most important part
of any house-training program is setting up and sticking
to a schedule that your puppy can maintain. Feed your
dog at consistent times of the day and watch his natural
schedule: Puppies usually need to eliminate shortly after
waking up, eating, and playing; young puppies may need
to urinate every four hours.
When your pup eliminates in the designated area, praise
and reward him immediately and play with him. People
usually reward their dogs for urinating outside when they
bring them back indoors. This is a mistake because it rewards
the dog for coming inside, not for eliminating outside.
Instead, keep a few treats in your pocket and hand them
out on the spot.
If your dog repeatedly messes his crate, take him to the
vet so you can rule out medical problems, such as intestinal
parasites and urinary-tract diseases.
If you need to be away from home for a few hours, hire a
dog walker to take the puppy out or give your puppy a larger
enclosure to provide an elimination area away from his resting
area. Leave newspaper or training pads down in one area
when you are gone - but pick them up once when you’re home.
Punishment after the fact doesn’t work. If an “accident” happens,
clean it up with a good enzymatic cleaner and blame yourself:
You’re the one who wasn’t supervising the pup at the time the
“accident” happened. If you do catch your dog in the act of
eliminating indoors, take him outside right away.
The Importance of Training Your
Dog to be Obedient
Obedience training can be critical in
nurturing the human-animal relationship.
Though obedience training provides your dog with the
skills to be a good canine citizen, have you balked at
the idea of formal obedience training for your dog?
Perhaps you feel that your pet is your precious companion
and an important member of your family — your friend, rather
than an animal to dominate or control. These sentiments,
while true, sometimes inhibit well-meaning owners from
pursuing training for their furry companions.
However, obedience training can, in fact, be critical in
nurturing the human-animal relationship. Its basic
elements — sit, down, stay, come and heel — help
shape a good canine citizen. In a practical sense,
obedience-trained dogs have an easier life than their
untrained peers. If they resist jumping up on strangers,
sit or lie quietly when asked and walk politely on lead,
they’re bound to spend more time with their owners going
to picnics, ballparks and canoe rides, and less time at home alone.
Dogs taught to lie down at the arrival of visitors after barking
their warnings or greetings are more likely to be included in the
dinner party and less likely to be isolated in the garage.
Obedience training is basically an education in good manners.
Rather than empty rituals, think of the exercises as tools
to apply in the real world.
Training Can Be Positive and Fun
When training is positive and fun, both you and your
dog can enjoy the process as well as the results. To teach
your dog anything new, the task must offer some kind of
reward when completed. It’s unrealistic to imagine that
your dog will perform a task simply because it pleases you.
Even petting may not be important enough, especially for an
excited dog that would much rather cavort through the park
than be petted on the head by you, his momentary obstacle.
In order to convince your dog that these exercises are fun,
consider what he’ll work hardest for. For most dogs, the most
compelling reward is a small piece of food, such as
breakfast cereal or freeze-dried liver.
If you’re inexperienced with training, consider enrolling
your dog in a formal class (puppies can join “kindergartens”
or pre-novice classes). An interesting evolution in thinking
often occurs when people join training classes. Though they
may have signed up for just one class —typically eight
weeks of training — they enjoy the experience so much
that they often re-enroll for the next level and then the next.
In fact, it’s not uncommon for puppy owners and their
charges to continue their joint learning for years — even
entering local matches or competitions — because it
becomes fun for both owner and dog.
Most basic obedience classes — typically at the “novice”
or “pre-novice” level — include the basic exercises: “sit,”
“down,” “stay," “come” (or “recall”) and “heel.” Each plays
an important part in the day-to-day vocabulary between
people and dogs. An experienced instructor can help guide
you with issues such as timing of rewards when your dog
listens and the best way to respond when he doesn’t listen.
Even your facial expression or body posture can affect your
dog’s performance—subtle influences that you may not be
able to detect without the help of a trainer.
In some classes, time is also devoted to exercises and
behaviors unrelated to obedience competition, such as
jumping up, dropping objects on command and controlled
walking (without a formal “heel”). There may be socialization
aspects and short lectures on relevant topics in addition to
the training. Obedience classes often have their own culture
that’s shared with other people who love their dogs
as much as you do.
Applying What You’ve Both Learned
Remember to use and practice exercises after they’ve
been learned. Your dog may be staying beautifully while
in class, but may act deaf in other environments. So,
help him practice — in your home, the back yard, near
playgrounds and crowded shopping plazas. Apply the
skills you and he have worked so hard to master, so your
dog can join you and be the companion you always knew
he could be. After all, obedience exercises
are meant to be a dance for two.
How to Teach Your Dog to "Stay"
"Stay" is a hallmark of a well-mannered,
contented and safe dog.
When taught correctly, the “stay” is a hallmark
of a well-mannered, contented and safe dog.
You’re walking quickly down the street with an
impatient dog at the other end of a leash, on your
way to the dog park when you encounter an old
acquaintance. Your dog, having none of this delay,
expresses her disapproval by winding the leash
around both sets of legs. “Sit!” you command
and, of course, having been exquisitely trained,
she immediately complies but just as quickly pops
up to resume her squirming. What’s missing
from this scenario?
Once your dog has mastered “sit” or “down,”
an important next step is the “stay” exercise.
The “stay” command assumes that your dog
will maintain her position (whether sitting, lying
down or even standing) until you release her.
Without this skill, all you’re technically asking when
you say “sit” is that your dog poke the ground with her
hindquarters and spring right back up to the chase.
Teaching her to wait, essentially freezing in position,
until you indicate otherwise, is clearly a more
practical extension of the position exercises.
But “stay” is often misunderstood and therefore
misused, leading to an endless cycle of corrections
and frustration for both your dog and you.
A Misunderstood Exercise
The primary reason this simple command is
misused is your attention fades and your dog
quickly learns that she can move about unnoticed,
thus breaking the stay. Another equally important
reason is that we sometimes demand more from
our dogs than they can do. For example, a dog that
reliably stays in place while you’re nearby may not
understand that you expect her to stay while you run
upstairs; limit-testing pets will quickly learn that the
“stay” can be broken when no one’s present
to enforce it. The result of all this ambiguity is a
jumpy dog and an edgy owner who vacillates over
commands. A byproduct of such inconsistent training
is the dog that learns to associate training wit
h tension, rather than relaxation.
Starting from Scratch
No matter your dog’s level of understanding, if you
feel she hasn’t mastered the “stay,” start once again
from scratch. Tell your dog to sit or lie down and,
assuming these position exercises have been mastered,
delay her reward first by just one second and then, eventually,
for longer periods. Face to face, you can respond to her
immediately. If she looks away or starts to move her body,
cluck your tongue or say a sharp “Uh-uh,” followed by a brief
delay and then the reward.
Once your dog is successful at waiting for the treat,
begin to take a single step to one side (and back),
followed by a reward. If your dog moves, you’ve probably
asked her to do too much, too soon; back up in your
training to a very short stay.
Practicing this way, you can “test” her with provocative
actions, such as: running in place, sitting on the floor,
walking around her in circles or clapping your hands.
As long as each step is followed by a reward and your
distances (or provocations) are increased only gradually,
your dog should enjoy and comply with the command.
There’s no need to confront her with difficult challenges
(such as leaving the room) before she’s ready.
When you’re ready to release her, issue a cheerful
command, such as "Bingo" or "Free," and shower her
with well-deserved praise and play and that last
food tidbit, if it’s still in your hand.
How to Teach Your Dog to "Sit"
Use a small piece of food to entice your dog to sit.
The “sit” exercise is probably the most practical
skill you can teach your dog. Whether you’re waiting
at the curb of a crowded street or competing in an
obedience trial, you’ll thank yourself (and your dog)
for taking the time to master this exercise.
Teaching a dog to “sit” also provides a kind of obedience
gateway to all the other basic exercises, including:
“sit-stay,” “down,” “down-stay,” “come” and “heel.”
Training should be fun and relatively easy: Use a food
lure and positive reinforcement. Short, training sessions
will help your dog learn quickly – even young puppies
will be eager to work if the reward is enticing enough.
Using a Food Lure
Find a quiet indoor environment with few distractions.
Start by using a small piece of food to lure your dog’s
nose to point upward (toward the treat) and move the
treat backwards over his head so that he naturally
lowers his haunches to a sitting position. Don’t hold the
treat too high or he may jump up for it.
Be prepared: As soon as he sits, give him the treat food.
Repeat the exercise, adding the word “sit,” so the dog
can learn quickly what you expect of him; rather than
forcing his body into position, allow him to discover
what is required on his own. (Note: If your dog jumps
at the food, you’re probably holding it up too high).
Once this exercise is learned, take it on the road.
After your dog has mastered the skill in the quietness
of your yard, try him in other places like on the sidewalk
or in the garage. When your dog has mastered this,
upgrade your efforts to a busy, distracting place, like a
park, supermarket entrance or a crowded sidewalk. As
your dog proves he has learned the meaning of the
word “sit,” taper off his rewards so that he only gets
a treat every third or fourth time he sits. The goal of any
reinforcement program should be to graduate to
supplying rewards intermittently and on a variable schedule.
By rewarding your dog unpredictably — but always
continuing to offer rewards at times — you can best
maintain his interest in the exercise.
The key to successful training is patience and a
positive attitude. Scolding and physical force will
only turn your dog off to the fun of these exercises.
Try to keep your sessions short, approximately five
to 10 minutes once or twice daily. Work with him only
at times when he seems enthusiastic and attentive and
end each session on a positive note. The more
successful he feels, the more rewarding
your efforts will be.
How to Teach Your Dog to "Come"
Learning the “come” command can provide
your dog with more freedom, simply because you
know you can call her back — in the park, on hiking
trails, or anywhere.
Coming to you when called is one of the more
important skills your dog can learn. Although we
strive never to put our dogs in unsafe situations,
the “come” (or “recall”) command can avert a car-dog
collision, a deer chase or other hazards. On a more
mundane but practical level, the “come” command
presents your dog with opportunities for freedom
precisely because you know you can call her
back — in the park, on hiking trails, or anywhere.
To train your dog, you have to convince her that you’re
more attractive than even temporary freedom. Training
sessions should be short and rewards should always
be given. But teaching a dog to come reliably is more
difficult than it sounds; most dogs learn quickly that they
can run faster than you can - and that it’s much more
fun to escape than to walk placidly by your side.
Ideally, your dog shouldn’t be given freedom until
she has proven her dependability at coming when
called. Until then, you might limit her off-lead (leash)
experiences only to places where you won’t find it
necessary to call her back, such as a fenced backyard.
Enclosed areas are also ideal for training because
there’s no risk of escape (or injury) if your dog doesn’t
return when you call her.
Live Free or Eat
How can you convince your dog that coming to
you is better than running free? Two concepts to
keep in mind are restraint (to avoid teaching your
dog about the rewards of absolute freedom) and
positive reinforcement (to teach your dog that
coming back when she’s called earns rewards).
Restraint can take the form of a long, lightweight
check-type lead — check leads up to 50 feet long are
available commercially — or just a simple six-foot lead.
You need some tool for “capturing” your dog should she
choose to be a fugitive from authority .
Positive reinforcements — or rewards — are crucial in
any kind of training. For the average dog, food is an ideal
reinforcer. Offer an immediate reward – a few pieces of
sweetened breakfast cereal or freeze-dried liver bits – every
time your dog returns on command at first. When you feel
she’s more reliable about coming to you, wean her back
to a reward intermittently, every second or third time, and
taper off from there. However, there should always be some
form of reward or praise at the end of the recall rainbow.
One Step at a Time
Starting in a non-distracting environment — such as your
living room or the backyard —get your dog’s attention
and then back away a short distance. Kneeling on the
ground, hold your arms away from your sides and cheerfully
shout, “Suzie, COME!” It may also help to run backward
a few feet. Remember to keep your voice high and light;
no dog is interested in coming to a stern-voiced, glum
owner. If this doesn’t work, try “Suzie, come, good girl,”
praising her even before she comes so that she knows
she’s not in trouble.
Reward her for coming and start over, increasing your
distance slightly. Keep these sessions short and
don’t expect too much for the first few days. If your
dog seems to be losing interest, stop the session
after an easy success. As a general rule of dog training,
sessions should always be short
(approximately five to 10 minutes)
and they should always end on a positive note.
Gradually increase your distance and, eventually,
environmental distractions. When you feel your
dog is doing well, try her out in
the park or another new place.
Don’t remove your dog’s lead unless you know
she’ll return to you; if you’re uncertain, walk up to
her rather than calling her to you. Any opportunity
to misbehave will quickly
teach her that freedom’s more fun.
One critical rule of training is that you never
scold your dog after she comes to you. This is
important even if she has just chewed your
custom-made, cowboy boots; once she approaches,
you must only praise and reward her.
(It's permissible and encouraged, however,
to grit your teeth and count slowly to 100 to
calm your nerves.)
When your dog is familiar with what’s expected,
try calling “come” while she’s busy sniffing
or playing — again, a clothesline or other long lead,
can provide a gentle reminder and eliminate the
chances that she’ll reward herself for ignoring you.
How to Teach Your Dog to Heel
The ``heel’’ command doesn’t permit your
dog to stop and sniff things.
The “heel” command is a formal obedience
exercise in which a dog walks precisely by a
handler’s knee, matching her pace and immediately
sitting when the handler halts. Your four-legged friend
should know this valuable obedience
exercise—for your sake and his.
As a pet owner whose dog is a companion first
and obedience trial champion second (if at all),
you may not be interested in the formal choreography
of the “heel” exercise, either on or off lead (leash).
However, though this particular command may
have less day-to-day utility than “sit,” its usefulness
may surprise you.
A Safety Tool
When navigating crowded streets, for example,
you may wish your dog would walk politely beside
you without pulling on his lead. Or, there may come
a day when your dog’s leash is torn or lost and you
have to maneuver him back to your car through a
busy playground. Whatever the reason, “heel” may
prove to be an important part of your dog’s obedience
vocabulary, once he’s old enough to practice some
serious self-control. While the formal “heel” command
may have to wait until your puppy’s a little older, even very
young puppies can be taught
to walk on lead without pulling.
A necessary first step, of course, is that your dog can
walk on a leash without pulling. Unlike this practical skill
, however, “heel” doesn’t permit your dog to sniff fire
hydrants or otherwise stray from the very small window
beside your left knee. In practical terms, you may
decide that brief breaks—such as for urination—are no
problem, as long as your dog
walks beside you when asked.
Training with a Food Lure
The basis of positive “heeling” —as with other
—is finding an enticing reward—such as food—
and using it as a lure. Holding your dog’s leash in
your right hand, while taking up its slack in your left,
start with your dog on your left and tell him to “Sit!”
While holding a food tidbit in your left hand, bring it
to his nose and say, “Spot, HEEL!” in a bright voice.
Next, walk briskly for about ten paces, keeping the food
slightly elevated at your side. When you stop
(not too abruptly!), lift the treat slightly or pull up on
the lead so that your dog sits. Now you can reward him.
Training can be greatly facilitated
(though not for obedience competition, in which
a buckle or training collar must be used)
with the use of a head collar or head halter.
If you think obedience competition may be in your
dog’s future, consider enrollment in an obedience
—provided they use positive training methods—
for this particular exercise. If competition isn’t
in the stars for your loveable companion, even
casual training should include at least an introduction
to this useful exercis
How to Teach Your Puppy to Walk on a Leash
Reward your pup when he walks on the leash without pulling.
All dogs – whether they trot along Manhattan’s
Upper East Side or run free in the countryside –
should know how to walk on a leash.
Forget about fancy “heeling,” where the dog’s
shoulder aligns perfectly with the dog-walker’s
knee. We’re talking here about a simple partnership
in which the dog and the person on the other end
of the leash can get out together in the fresh
air without a major struggle.
There are several ways to train a puppy to walk
without pulling, but the common denominator, as in
all training exercises, is simple: Appropriate behavior
is rewarded while inappropriate behavior isn’t.
In this case, walking without tugging is appropriate
and pulling on lead isn’t.
The reward for walking properly is praise and the
walk itself. So what about the negative aspect?
How do you withhold a walk?
The answer is to stop in your tracks whenever your
puppy pulls and don’t start again until the leash slackens.
Then, praise the pup and walk on. Then again,
you can show your dog who’s the boss by walking in the
opposite direction whenever he pulls. If he persists
in pulling, you should tell him ``no,’’ but don’t make a fuss.
It’s far better to praise him loudly and show affection
when he lets the leash loosen up.
Most young puppies resist collars and leads by rolling,
scratching and collapsing.
But don’t give up. Don’t pick your pup up
and carry him, and don’t let him just stroll
along beside you without the leash. If you do,
you’ll soon have an uncontrollable dog.
Buy a flat, lightweight nylon or leather buckle-style collar
and a four or six-foot lead of the same material
(chain leashes are generally a bad idea because of their weight).
Put the collar without the leash on the puppy, praising
and rewarding him for any sign of acceptance and
ignoring his efforts to wriggle out of it. Next, attach the
lead and allow the puppy to drag it along, watching
carefully to discourage him if he starts to chew it.
With patience and some well-timed rewards, your pet
may surprise you by how quickly he accepts his
Finally, pick up your end of the lead and allow your
dog to explore. After this introduction, however, even
the youngest puppy’s impulses should be controlled
to match your expectations.
Training collars can help teach an older puppy or adult
dog more easily than a buckle collar alone. Probably
the most efficient and humane passive training device
is the head collar or head halter, with which even veteran
people-yankers can quickly learn to walk nicely.
In contrast, the “choke” collar is intended to constrict
around the dog’s neck when tightened. Choke-type
collars are frequently misused and work on the punishment
principle. As the dog pulls, the handler is supposed
to deliver a small “jerk” of the lead and then immediately
release or loosen the lead. This way, you “correct”
(or, more accurately, punish)
the dog quickly and decisively.
Many people assume a dog will teach himself by choking
as he pulls. Countless animals have simply learned to live
with this choking device as they tug along, coughing
and irritated, but never learning to slow down.
The humanity of using choke collars has recently come
They should never be used on puppies, toy breeds,
such as chihuahuas, or dogs with
tracheal or other neck problems.
A little knowledge and a lot of patience and positive
training go a lot further when training a pup to walk
on lead and is a lot better for your relationship with the pup.
Loving the Leash
Grabbing a Hold of Safety
The ideal leash is a five- or six-foot model that’s
sturdy and easy on the hands.
Keeping your dog attached to a leash when you’re
outdoors together, whether it’s on a city street or a nature
trail, is probably the smartest move you can make.
The leash is a very simple device; however, it’s the
most valuable tool you can possess. The ideal leash is
a five- or six-foot leather lead that’s sturdy and easy on
the hands, but it can be as plain as a piece of clothesline
or as elaborate as the retractable type. Whichever style
you prefer, here are some of the best reasons to use it
It’s the Law
Workers at any emergency veterinary clinic can provide
countless tales of heartbreak resulting from an owner’s
inability to keep control of his or her pet. More and more
communities and recreation sites have taken the decision
about leashing out of your hands. Besides licensing
and poop-scooping laws, local governments wisely
want to protect individuals and property and avoid
lawsuits by requiring that dogs be leashed.
Emergency veterinarians have heard it so often from
the owners of so-called “hit-by-car” victims that it’s
almost a mantra: “He’s never done that before.”
In other words, their dog had never before decided
to dart into the street to chase a neighborhood cat
or squirrel or to pursue some elusive smell. In too
many instances, the pet never gets a second chance.
Even if you believe your dog is smart and well
behaved, and you feel that he’s wary of automobiles,
consider the driver’s point of view. Among other things
drivers simply might not see your dog coming out from
behind a parked car or from around a corner, or they
may be going too quickly to stop.
Dangers Abound in the City
For animals, it’s a precarious world out there.
Even a few slurps from a puddle of spilled antifreeze
(a fairly common occurrence )
can have fatal consequences.
But that’s not all your dog can get into; improperly
applied rat poison, pesticides, rotten food, discarded
chicken bones, half-eaten chocolate bars, even
infested stools from other dogs are all a danger to your
curious pet. A leash can limit
access to these harmful substances.
Like it or not, you have a responsibility as a
citizen and as a decent person to clean up after
your pet – whether or not local law requires it.
If your dog is cavorting 50 yards away from you,
on a beach, on the trail or on a playground, you may
not be able to monitor his “bathroom behavior”
appropriately . Just because a place is tranquil when
you and your dog are there doesn’t mean others
won’t eventually be along to enjoy it too. Use a long
leash in such public situations and
keep a handle on affairs.
Not everyone likes dogs. A lot of people
— many children for example —
are deeply frightened of them. While you may know
your dog is the sweetest pet and would never harm
anyone, strangers don’t always understand. Even your
verbal assurances as your pet happily gallops to
greet someone may do nothing
to put their fears to rest.
Dangers Abound in the Country
It’s difficult to restrict your pet from roaming
freely when you’re hiking in the woods or in a
rural area. If you cannot resist the temptation,
at least train your pet to respond immediately
to your command for “come” or “down.” Be aware
that wildlife, such as rabid raccoons or bats, not to
mention the quills of the porcupine,
can pose a threat —
as can dangerous cliffs,
stagnant pools of water.
If you’re on a trail, or on certain beaches, remember
that a horse and rider might be just around the corner.
The combination of an uncontrolled barking dog, a
spooked horse and an inexperienced horseman is a
formula for tragedy — not to mention litigation. But,
if you keep your dog on a leash on the trail, you won’t
have this, or hopefully any other, problem. And he’ll
never get lost in the woods. Unless, of course, you’re
the one who forgot the path back home.
The Best Leash for Your Dog
Leashes and leads keep dogs and humans safe.
When you’re out and about with your dog, to have him
attached to you by means of a leash is important for
his dog’s safety as well as for the safety of others.
Even if your dog is well trained and normally well
behaved, he may still occasionally become
distracted by outdoor goings on, forget his training,
and wind up a dangerous situation.
In such a situation, a leash can give you that
guarantee of control so crucial to the prevention
of tragedy. Besides, most communities require
dogs to be leashed unless you’re in a controlled
environment, such as an off-leash park.
But which leash is best? It depends on your dog.
Leashes range from a few dollars to the
jewel-encrusted monstrosities reserved for
people like Donald Trump. You don’t have to
spend a lot of money on a leash, but you certainly
should look carefully for the right kind.
Leashes are made of chain, nylon, or leather. Some trainers
recommend nylon because of its elasticity, and supposed
comfort for the dog and for the owner. Also, some believe
that dogs may be less likely to chew nylon, as opposed to
leather. By the way, if you expect to walk your dog at night,
you may want to buy a nylon lead made of reflective material,
to keep you and your dog visible in traffic. Leather leashes
have their protagonists, too. Leather softens with use and,
when flexible with age, is kind to hands and easy to grip, yet
it remains strong. Many professional trainers recommend
leather over nylon, which can sometimes chafe
or cut into the skin.
If your dog is not well behaved or is young and
rambunctious, the leash should be shorter, so he is
closer to you and under more of your control. In
such a situation, a two-handled leash may be the
one for you. A two-handled leash has one loop at
the end and one nearer the clasp attaching the leash
to the collar or harness. This eliminates the need
to wrap the leash painfully around your hand.
Standard walking leashes.
You can get the standard leash, with just one handle.
They come in different lengths – usually 4 feet,
6 feet, and 8 feet.
Used by veterinarians and kennel operators,
kennel leashes give even greater control over
dogs to move them short distances. They are
used to move dogs without a collar from the house
to the car, or from pen to pen.
A much shorter leash than the others helps teach
dogs to heel. For larger dogs, a 1-foot leash is optimal.
Two-foot leashes are designed for medium-sized
and smaller dogs.
Leashes for city life.
Some products are specifically designed for the city.
“The Ultimate City Leash,”
designed by the manufacturer Raven’s Watch,
allows owners to tether their dog to a post or parking
meter without detaching the snap from the collar.
However, animals should never be left unsupervised –
it takes only a second for someone to steal a dog.
The leash has other city advantages: the hand loop adjusts
from a 14-inch to a 26-inch loop. It can also be worn around
the waist when carrying parcels or rollerblading.
The leash portion adjusts from 3 feet to 6 feet to keep
your dog where you want him.
These leashes have become popular in recent years.
They allow a pet to walk farther from his or her owner while
still under some control. The line can be shortened or
lengthened at the owner's will. But there are dangers to this.
A dog that is not under control can attack a person, cat,
another dog, or run into the path of a car before the owner
can "reel" him in.
There is one leash to beware of: the show leash.
These leashes are designed for the show ring at dog
competitions. They are thin, attractive devices that are
designed to help guide a well-behaved dog to the ring
without messing up his or her hair. They should never
be used as a walking or training leash because they are unsafe.
Dog Collars 101
At least once a month, and more often for
growing puppies, do a quick "collar check."
Training collars, safety collars, fashion collars.
Choke chains. Pinch collars. Reflective collars.
Personalized and embellished. Leather or nylon.
Breed-specific. Anti-flea or anti-bark. Electronic.
With the vast number of collars available,
what’s the right one for your dog?
Start With the Basics
Every dog, from puppyhood on, needs a sturdy
collar to carry his identification. For everyday wear,
choose a buckled or snap-together collar with clearly
visible ID, either on secure, sturdy metal tags, or on
the collar itself. Some collars can be custom imprinted
or embroidered with your phone number and even your
dog's name. Don't attach the ID tags to the same link
you use for his lead.
Keep your dog's ID up-to-date. If you move or change
your phone number, obtain new tags without delay.
If you're traveling or relocating, consider getting a
special set of tags with the phone number of a trusted
friend or relative. Many dogs are picked up as "strays"
because they weren't wearing collars, or their collars
didn't carry any identifying tags. Remember: Identification
is your dog's ticket home.
Periodic Collar Check
At least once a month, and more often for growing puppies,
do a quick "collar check." Give the collar a hard look. Is it
getting frayed, chewed or worn? A worn collar can break
when you least expect it – in traffic, in unfamiliar surroundings,
or when you most need to control your dog. If the collar needs
replacing, do it right away. Don't take a chance on your dog
getting lost or picked up as a "stray," escaping into danger
or even being killed.
Check the fit. How many fingers can you slip between your
dog's collar and his neck? If you have an average,
medium-sized dog, go for a two-finger fit. If your dog is
very large, three may be better. If your dog is very small
(under 20 pounds), leave only one finger's width. Make
sure the tags are securely attached and that the information
on them is up-to-date and clearly readable.
It's a good idea to provide a backup form of identification,
too. "Microchipping" is becoming increasingly popular.
Your veterinarian injects a tiny electronic chip, about the
size of a grain of rice, under your dog's skin, usually just
behind his shoulder blades. The chip carries permanent
identification information, readable with a special scanner
. Recent standardization efforts have made microchipping
a more practical and popular option for permanent backup
ID. But even if microchipped, your dog still needs to wear
a sturdy collar with visible ID.
The Everyday Collar
With so many styles and materials available, choosing
just the right collar for your dog can seem daunting.
Keep it simple. The weight and width of your dog's collar s
hould be proportional to his size. For length, measure
your dog's neck a few inches down from his head, then
add an inch (for very small dogs) or 2 inches for medium
and large dogs. For short-coated dogs, a broad, flat leather
or woven nylon collar with a sturdy metal buckle works well.
If your dog has a lush ruff and long hair, a "rolled" style may
work better. Insure that the buckle and other parts of the
collar won't tug on or catch your dog's hair.
"Snap-together" collars are convenient, attractive and
neater looking than buckled collars, and work well for
many dogs. But if your dog is very large or strong, or
has a tendency to lunge when excited, a sturdy buckled
collar is a safer choice.
Leather or nylon? Both can last for years. However, many
dogs are dedicated leather-chewers. If your dog spends
a lot of time around other canines, check the collar
frequently for signs of chewing damage and replace
right away if necessary.
Nylon web collars are not only sturdy and inexpensive,
they come in an astonishing array of fashionable colors
and patterns. Get a collar to match your dog's eyes.
There are breed-specific collars, reflective collars for
night runs, holiday- and seasonal-themed collars, matching
leash-and-collar ensembles and collars embellished with
everything from semi-precious stones to good-luck charms.
The most commonly used training collar, called a "slip"
or "choke" collar, consists of a length of leather or nylon
with rings on each end.
Choke collars are somewhat controversial. The concept
is to “correct” the dog, but some see a choke collar as
punishment, and many trainers are moving toward a
purely “reward-based” method of training. They are not
to be used as everyday collars. The moving ring can be
snagged on the tooth of another dog in play, causing the
dog to pull away from danger. As the collar tightens, the
dog may panic – a potentially dangerous situation both for
the dog and for anyone who tries to approach to free him.
In addition, choke collars should never be used on toy
dogs or dogs under 20 pounds,
warns Darlene Arden, author of
"The Irrepressible Toy Dog,"
and recognized authority on the care
of toy dogs. "Not only is it unnecessary
but these little ones are often prone to collapsing
trachea. Putting pressure on that area can precipitate
Instead, consider a body harness instead of a collar.
When you pull back on the leash, the harness tightens
around the dog's chest, controlling him without putting
pressure on his neck or back. Of course, your dog
should also wear his everyday ID
collar along with his harness.
Other Training Collars
"Head halters" are useful in controlling and training
large or hard-to-manage dogs. When you pull on the
leash, attached to a ring under the dog's jaw, you place
pressure on his muzzle and neck, thus
attention, head and body in the
direction you want him to go.
Electric "shock collars" are also quite controversial.
useful in specialized training environments
(such as field
training of gun dogs by experienced
should never be used by inexperienced or
owners as a substitute for proper training,
socialization. Using such a training collar
improperly can do
more harm than good.
One recent development in training aids is the
"spray collar." Many owners have found these devices,
which emit a harmless but annoying spritz
of a citronella-scented l
iquid under the dog's jaw, quite effective in
barking and other undesirable behaviors. The
by interrupting the unwanted behavior and
changing the dog's
focus, rather than by inflicting pain
or a shock.
What About Leads?
A sturdy, six-foot leather, nylon web or chain lead securely
fastened to a metal ring on the collar is a practical and
versatile choice for everyday use. For special situations
such as training, maneuvering through crowds or long
country rambles, consider a lead with a reel that you can
set to any maximum length, from less than a foot to several
dozen feet. Before setting out with your dog on lead, always
tug firmly on the connection between the lead and the
collar to insure that it's secure.
It's Up to You
The right collar and lead can keep your dog safe and
secure in any situation, insure his return home should
he become lost, and even enhance his natural good
looks. But no collar or lead, however sturdy, well-designed
or high-tech, is a substitute for training, discipline and
proper socialization. Every dog should instantly and
reliably obey these five basic voice commands: Wait,
Down, Come, Leave it, and Give. Whatever style of
collar and lead you choose, it's up to you to train and
socialize your dog so that he'll be welcome wherever
you take him.
Running and Jogging with Your Dog
Be sure to carry enough water for yourself and your dog.
If you’re planning to lurch from your couch to the road in
search of fitness, you may find it easier with a partner. But
finding a jogging partner with the same amount of commitment
as you is pretty tough – too often both the flesh and the spirit are weak.
One partner that won’t let you down on the track is your
faithful dog. He’s usually ready, willing and able to help
you shed that holiday weight you may have packed on,
or to help you maintain the physique you’ve sweated so
However, before you grab your running shoes and
his leash, there are a few things you’ll want to remember:
He may be as out of shape as you, so go easy.
Before starting him out on your exercise program,
have him checked by a veterinarian
(his heart, lungs, joints, etc.).
By the way, if you haven’t been exercising
for some time, you may want to consider
a checkup as well.
Start out slowly and build up endurance.
Warm him up by walking first, followed
by a short jog. Let him cool down with
a walk at the end.
Watch him carefully for any signs of discomfort.
Dogs are eager to please and yours will be thrilled
to be out running with you. Unlike you, they’ll
ignore or even be unaware of pain. If you see
him struggling or tiring, walk.
Mind the weather. Dogs cannot tolerate heat as
efficiently as you can. Consequently, they’re at
greater risk for heat stroke or dehydration during
warm weather. The best time to jog is early in the
morning or the evening, to avoid the hottest time
Bring enough water for yourself and your dog.
You should also be aware of the ground you’re
running on. Your dog doesn’t have the fancy jell-filled
shock absorber system that graces your feet; he’s
running on his own pads. If he’s been cooped up inside
the pads will likely be soft. Give him time to build endurance
by walking for a distance, then some running, followed by
walking. As his pads toughen, you can increase the time
you spend running.
The most common injury is pad wear. If your dog shows
signs of soreness or has trouble getting to his feet, you’ll
want to take him to the veterinarian. One way to decrease
the chance of injury is to use a product called Pad Guard®,
which is a spray applied directly to your dog’s feet. The
spray forms a protective barrier.
His pads, by the way, are part of his perspiration system.
Your dog cools down by panting and sweating through
the pads. If the ground is hot, he won’t be able to cool
down as much
(another reason to run in the morning or evening).
If you see signs of overheating, stop immediately
and cool him down slowly with cool or tepid water
(not cold). Signs of overheating include the following:
Increased heart rate
One last point: keep your dog leashed, for his protection
and the protection of others. Even an obedient dog may
suddenly want to greet another animal or person. In high
traffic areas, this could lead to tragedy. Follow these steps
and you both can run to a healthier lifestyle.
Clipping a Dog's Toenails
Please note, this is only suggestions and you should always follow
veterinary care as well as guidence.
This information is not meant to be a
substitute for veterinary care.
Always follow the instructions provided
by your veterinarian.
Most dogs do not like having their toenails
trimmed. Start trimming
toenails in young animals so that they get
used to the process. Some
dogs will happily sit in your lap or on a table
while you trim their nails but
many require some form of restraint.
place the dog on a table laying on it's belly...
or on it's side it is easier if you have a helper
It is easier to perform this procedure
if you have a helper.
styles of nail trimmers
There are several styles
of nail trimmers, including
a guillotine type and a
scissors type. The guillotine
type is the easiest to use
the dew claw is located on the inner surface
of the paw
The scissors-type is used
to trim a toenail that is so
long that it is curling in a
circle. Long toenails can
grow into the toe-pad.
This most often happens
to dew claws, the claw on
the inner side of the paw.
Dew claws do not touch
the ground so they are not
worn down as
the dog walks.
The dew claw is attached
to the leg by loose skin.
The dew claw can usually
be bent away from the
leg so that you can fit a
guillotine type trimmer
over the the tip of
the dew claw.
the scissors-style cutter is used to trim dew
claws that are growing in a full circle
The scissors-type cutter
is placed at a right angle
to the toenail.
Hold the trimmer in your right
hand if you are right handed.
Close your hand around
the clipper to squeeze the
handle which will move the
use of the guillotine- type
The guillotine type trimmers have stationary ring through which the nail is placed, and a cutting blade that moves up to slice off the nail when the handles of the trimmer are squeezed.
nail color is determined
by the color of
the surrounding skin
Unlike cats, dogs do not have retractile toenails. The color of the nail is determined by the color of the surrounding skin and hair. This dog has black nails on the brown paw and a mixture of white and black nails on the white paw.
Always remember to trim the dew claws that are located on the inner surface of the paw.
nails on the rear feet are
less frequent trimming
than nails on the front feet
The nails on the rear feet are often shorter and require less frequent trimming than those on the front feet.
Always remember to trim the dew claws that are located on the inner surface of the paw unless they were removed as a puppy.
the quick can be seen on
light colored nails
Light colored toenails are easier to cut than dark nails as the blood vessels and nerves that supply the toenail, called the quick, is easier to see.
leave about 2 mm of
nail in front of the quick
Cut the toenail to within approximately
2 millimeters of the quick.
If you cut into the quick, the toenail will bleed and the dog will experience pain.
The tip of the nail is placed in the stationary ring in the trimmer with the clipper perpendicular to the nail (cutting top to bottom). If the trimmer is placed parallel to the nail (cutting from side to side), the nail is crushed and may splinter.
The cutting blade should be facing you, NOT the dog. The screws on the handle of the trimmer should be facing the dog.
If you turn the trimmer around with the screws toward you, the cutting blade is cutting closer to the quick than if the trimmer is held with the cutting blade toward you. You are less likely to cut into the quick if the cutting blade faces you.
The handles of the trimmer can be held pointing toward the floor or ceiling, which ever is more comfortable in your hands.
light colored nails can be
trimmed with one cut
The handles of the trimmer are squeezed to advance the cutting blade through the nail.
Light colored nails can be trimmed with one cut on each nail.
a correctly trimmed light-colored toenail
cut dark colored nails in several
small cuts to reduce the chance of cutting
into the quick
You cannot see the quick on dark colored nails, making them more difficult to trim without cutting into the quick.
Cut dark colored nails in several small cuts to reduce the chance of cutting into the quick.
As you cut off small pieces of the nail, look
at the cut edge of the nail. The light tissue
(1) is the curved bottom part of the nail.
The mottled light and dark tissue (2)
is the top part of the nail.
watch for the quick as you trim the nail
to prevent pain and bleeding
As you cut the nail deeper,
you will see a homogeneous
gray to pink oval (3) starting
to appear at the top of the cut
surface of the nail. Stop cutting
the nail at this point as
additional cutting will cut
into the quick.
The sharper the trimmer,
the cleaner the cut. The
cutting blade on guillotine-style
cutters can be replaced
when it is no longer sharp.
You can file the end of the
nail to smooth the cut surface.
a correctly cut dark-colored nail
A correctly cut dark colored
nail next to an uncut mixed
colored nail. The mixed color
nail is darker close to the
base of the nail preventing
one from seeing the quick.
This nail should be trimmed
in several small cuts.
If the toenail is cut too short,
you can use a styptic pencil
containing silver nitrate to
stop blood flow, although
many animals object to the
styptic pencil as much,
or more, than toenail cutting.
The black end of the stick
is held to the bleeding nail
and gently rotated until
Even without any treatmen
t the nail should stop bleeding
in about 5 minutes or less.
Keeping your dogs teeth healthy
Proper dental care should be a regular
part of your program
for keeping your dog healthy and happy.
Just as you have to look after your own teeth to
prevent plaque and dental disease, you should
have to care for your dog's teeth so they too can
avoid disease and pain. If your dog is dentally fit, it
will be more likely to be happy, lively and eating well.
Teeth are living structures fitted to the jaw bones
by the periodontal ligament.They are divided into
4 categories depending on their function.
INCISORS - Front cutting teeth.
CANINES - Four, strong pointy teeth.
PREMOLARS - Grinding teeth found just in front of the molars.
MOLARS - Back grinding teeth.
It is often overlooked, but pets can suffer
the same kinds of dental problems as
severe pain, infection and tooth loss.
You can help prevent those issues –
and solve those that
do arise – by learning about the basics
of tooth care and working closely with
You may also be able to take advantage
of recent advances in veterinary dentistry,
braces, ultrasonic scaling, root canals and
bonding and brightening.
Most dental problems start small and build
over time for dogs. Beginning at a very
young age, food
particles, bacteria and debris can build up
at the gum line and under the gums to form
unattended, plaque can harden to become
calculus and lead to serious oral conditions,
periodontitis and stomatitis.
Some veterinarians also believe - although
the evidence is not conclusive – that bacteria
with tooth and gum disease can spread to
internal body systems and contribute to
organs like the heart, liver and kidney.
If so, a dental prevention program could
even help extend
a pet’s life.
Periodontal disease is the most common disease
of small animals. It can be very painful, but pets
often suffer in silence - sometime until all of their
teeth have become infected. Relieving that pain
may bring a noticeable brightening to a dog’s
behavior and personality.
Going to the Veterinarian
Dogs should have periodic dental exams.
The frequency depends on the animal’s age.
Puppies. You should have your pets mouth
examined as early as possible and again at every
vaccination appointment up to four months of age.
Another dental exam should be performed
at six months, including an assessment of your pet's
bite. Some do not lose all their baby teeth
when they should, and their permanent teeth can wind
up pushed out of line. If that happens,
you vet may have to pull the stubborn baby teeth.
One to three years. At this age, dental exams
should be done annually, unless you notice
problems or your veterinarian has developed a
custom exam program.
Four to six years. If your pet has perfect teeth
and you brush them daily, annual exams may
suffice. However, many dogs in this age range
require exams every six months.
Seven years and up. Dental examinations
could be performed every six months.
What Your Vet Will Do
A veterinarian will examine your pet’s teeth and gums
in many of the same ways that a dentist
looks at yours. The examination will include a visual
and manual inspection to check for signs
of gum disease, tooth discoloration, loose teeth and
indications of sensitivity or pain. It may also include:
Periodontal probing This involves the use of an
instrument that probes between the tooth and
gum, in effect, to measure the depth of the gum pocket.
Deep gum pockets are signs of periodontal problems.
Anesthesia. Examining and performing dental
procedures on a pet is not simply a matter of
asking the animal to open wide and submit to a
local anesthetic. Dogs may have to be
immobilized. If anesthesia is required,
new injectable anesthetics are available.
short-acting (a few minutes) and relatively safe.
New anesthetic monitors help ensure safety.
X-rays. Some tooth problems can only be fully
diagnosed by subjecting an animal to a full-mouth
X-ray because 70 percent of the tooth structure
is beneath the gum line and thus invisible to the
A examination of your pet’s tongue and other
oral soft tissues to search for abnormalities
such as tumors.
Your veterinarian will clean your pet’s teeth if there
is a build-up of tartar or plaque. This can
be done ultrasonically just as it’s done for humans.
Your vet will probably recommend removing
loose teeth and recommend either removal or a root
canal procedure if there’s tooth decay.
Brushing Your Pet’s Teeth
The first step in promoting oral health is to contact your
veterinarian for a thorough oral examination. At this time,
it may be necessary to have your pet’s teeth cleaned above
and below the gumline. Like people, animals need this professional
attention on a routine basis. This cleaning will require your
pet be put under anesthesia. Recent advancements in anesthetic
techniques and materials have greatly reduced the risks
previously associated with this procedure. However,
if you have any
concerns regarding anesthesia,
please discuss them with your veterinarian.
Yes, you can and should brush your pet’s teeth.
Ideally, you should brush daily, but brushing
at least three times a week will go a long way in
helping prevent dental and related problems.
First, though, a caution: your pet may dislike the
process and resist strenuously. If so, proceed
slowly and with care.
Use a soft toothbrush. A child’s toothbrush for small
dogs is ideal; an adult size should be
used for larger dogs. Rubber finger caps with bristles
are also available at most veterinarian
offices and pet supply stores. Since tooth brushing is
considered the most effective method of removing plaque,
most veterinarians recommend an oral hygiene program,
which includes brushing your pet’s teeth. It is important to use
a toothbrush and toothpaste designed for pets. Pet toothbrushes
are ultra-soft and shaped to fit your pet’s mouth and teeth.
Pet toothpastes have flavors that appeal to pets and need not
Do not use human toothpaste or baking soda.
These products often contain ingredients, which should not be swallowed.
Start slowly by lifting up the lip and running your finger
or a damp washcloth wrapped around
your finger along the gums and teeth. Talk to and praise
your pet to keep him calm while you
are doing this.
Gradually increase the amount of time you work in
the mouth daily. Concentrate on the outside
surface of the teeth. Very little periodontal disease
develops on the inside surface of the teeth
since the tongue keeps this area clean.
Use toothpaste formulated especially for pets,
available at pet supply stores or your veterinarian’s
office. Human toothpaste is usually objectionable
to them. Do not use baking soda: Its high sodium
content can pose a health risk for some animals,
especially those with heart conditions.
The best time to clean your pet’s teeth is after the
evening meal. Your pet will become more
cooperative over time if you establish a routine.
For example: First feed your pet, next clean
the teeth, then play with him. Most dogs adapt to
this routine surprisingly well.
Some pet foods have been developed to enhance
oral care by having an abrasive action that is
designed to scrape tartar from the teeth. There are
also numerous chew products available that
may be helpful. Use common sense and caution
when choosing these products, and ask your
veterinarian for help.
Watching For Danger Signs
You can examine your pet’s mouth yourself
to watch for developing problems. This, too,
should be done with caution. It involves looking
into the back of the mouth where tartar builds
up most and requires pulling your pet’s mouth
toward the ear. You will be looking for:
Tooth discoloration, signs of a stony
yellow or brown substance on the teeth.
Red or inflamed gums, particularly
where the tooth and gum meet.
Loose teeth or any sign that your
dog flinches when a tooth is touched.
Be patient, proceed slowly and gently. Use plenty of
petting and praise. Soon, both you
and your pet will look forward to the
time you spend together during this
important health care procedure.
Grooming your Pet
Grooming your pet involves brushing its coat
and bathing it. While dogs usually like being
brushed, not too many
of them are fond of being bathed. To take care
of the grooming aspect with ease, you need
to have lots of patience
and some tips from us on how
to go about the process!
Brushing your dog's coat is an important
chore that you must undertake every day.
Brushing removes loose hair and detangles
matted hair. You can sprinkle a mildly scented
powder before brushing to keep your
dog smelling sweet.
Be systematic about brushing. Start at the head
and work toward the tail. Use firm, but gentle strokes.
Pulling or ripping through
tangles and mats will hurt your pet
Use long strokes for long-haired pets,
short strokes for pets with short or wiry hair
After brushing, you can use a
comb to remove more of the loose hair
In a hot climate like ours, you will need to bathe
your dog frequently, especially in the summer months.
If you use a mild (preferably herbal) shampoo,
you can safely bathe your
dog every fortnight during summer
without damaging its coat. Herbal dog shampoos
containing extracts of neem
are widely available in pet stores,
these help keep your dog's
coat free of ticks and fleas.
During the monsoon season, you should
not bathe your dog to often
as it takes longer for the coat to dry and
your dog might catch a cold if it
stays damp for hours together.
During winter months, the air is dry which
has a drying effect on your
dogs skin, frequent bathing dries up the
skin further turning the fur rough and even
causing dry itch.
Bathe your dog in a bathroom tub
or a portable pet tub. Outside hoses,
while convenient, aren't a
very good alternative since the water is cold.
Water should be lukewarm
for the shampoo to work best
and for your dog's comfort
Apply an ophthalmic ointment to protect
the eyes, and insert a cotton
ball in the ears to prevent
water from entering the canals
There are many shampoos to choose
from depending on your pet's coat and skin condition.
DO NOT use shampoos made for humans.
They contain harsher detergents,
are not pH balanced
for pets, and could damage hair
or sensitive skin
Thoroughly soak your pet and
apply the shampoo. Again, be
systematic, working from neck to tail,
and massage the shampoo
into the hair and down to the skin
Use a towel saturated with water
and shampoo to wash the face,
being careful not to get shampoo
in the eyes
Rinse completely, paying particular
attention to the groin area,
armpits, and between toes
After the bath, rub your dog vigorously
with a dry, soft towel.
To fluff up the coat and to dry the
coat quickly, use a hair dryer.
Set the dryer at its lowest temperature.
Direct air flow at the undercoat
and work out to the end of the hair
Finish off by giving the coat a
good brushing from head to tail
HOW COULD YOU
A man in Grand Rapids, Michigan incredibly
took out a $7,000 US
full-page ad in the paper to
present the “HOW COULD YOU” by Jim Willis, 2001.
HOW COULD YOU?
When I was a puppy I entertained you with
my antics and made you
laugh.You called me your child, and despite
a number of chewed shoes
and a couple of murdered throw pillows
I became your best friend.
Whenever I was “bad” you’d shake your
finger at me and ask, “How could you?”
But then you’d relent and roll me
over for a belly rub.
My housebreaking took a little longer
than expected because you were
but we worked on that together
I remember those nights of
nuzzling you in bed
and listening to your confidences
and secret dreams
and I believed that life could not
be any more perfect!!!
We went for long walks and runs in the park,
car rides, stops for ice cream
(I only got the cone because
“ice cream is bad for dogs” you said)
and I took long naps in the sun waiting
for you to come home at the end of the day.
Gradually you began spending
more time at work and on your career
and more time searching for a human mate
I waited for you patiently, comforted
you through heartbreaks and disappointments,
never chided you about bad decisions,
and romped with glee at your
homecomings and when you fell in love.
She, now your wife, is not a “dog person”
…still I welcomed her into our home
and tried to show her affection,
and obeyed her.
I was happy because you were happy!!!!
Then the human babies came along
and I shared your excitement.
I was fascinated by their pinkness,
how they smelled, and I wanted to
mother them too.
Only, you and she worried
that I might hurt them
and I spent most of my time banished
to another room, or to a dog crate.
Oh, how I wanted to love them
but I became a prisoner of love.
As they began to grow,
I became their friend.
They clung to my fur and pulled
themselves up on wobbly legs, poked
fingers in my eyes,
investigated my ears, and
gave me kisses on my nose.
I loved everything about them
and their touch – because your touch
was now so infrequent.
I would have defended
them with my life if need be.
I would sneak into their beds
and listen to their worries
and secret dreams,
and together we waited for the sound
of your car in the driveway.
There had been a time, when others
asked you if you had a dog, that you
produced photos of me from your wallet
and told them stories about me.
These past few years, you just answered
“yes” and changed the subject.
I had gone from being “your dog”
to being “just a dog”
and you resented every
expenditure on my behalf
Now, you have a new career opportunity
in another city
and you and they will be moving
to an apartment that does not allow pets.
You’ve made the right decision
for your “family”
but there was a time when I was
your “only family”.
I was excited about the car ride
until we arrived at the animal shelter.
It smelled of dogs and cats,
of fear, of hopelessness.
You filled out the paperwork and said,
“I know you will find a good home for her”.
They shrugged and gave you a pained look.
They understand the realities facing
a middle-aged dog, even one with
You had to pry your son’s fingers
loose from my collar as he screamed,
“No, Daddy! Please don’t let them take my dog!”
and I worried for him,
and what lessons you had just
taught him about friendship and loyalty,
about love and responsibility,
and about respect for all life.
You gave me a good-bye pat on the head,
avoided my eyes,
and politely refused to take my
collar and leash with you.
You had a deadline to meet and
now I have one too.
After you left, the two nice ladies
said you probably knew about your
months ago and had made no attempt
to find me another good home.
They shook their heads
and asked “How Could you?”
They are as attentive to us here
in the shelter as their busy schedules
They feed us, of course,
but I lost my appetite days ago.
At first, whenever anyone passed my pen,
I rushed to the front, hoping
it was you and
you had changed your mind….
that this was all a bad dream.
Or I hoped it would at least be
someone who cared, anyone who might
When I realized that I could not compete
with the frolicking for
attention of happy puppies,
oblivious to their own fate, I retreated
to a far corner and waited.
I heard her footsteps as she came for
me at the end of the day
and I padded along the aisle after
her to a separate room….a blissfully
She placed me on the table
and rubbed my ears
and told me not to worry.
My heart pounded in anticipation
of what was to come but there was also
a sense of relief.
The prisoner of love had run out of days.
As is my nature,
I was more concerned about her.
which she bears,
weighs heavily on her
and I know that the same way
I knew your every mood.
She gently placed a tourniquet
around my foreleg as a tear ran down her
I licked her hand in the same way
I used to comfort you so many years
She expertly slid the
hypodermic needle into my vein.
As I felt the sting and the cool liquid
coursing through my body,
I lay down sleepily, looked into her kind eyes
and murmured, “How could
Perhaps because she understood my dogspeak,
she said I’m so sorry”
She hugged me and hurriedly
explained that it was her job to make sure
I went to a better place,
where I wouldn’t be ignored
or have to fend for myself –
a place of love and light
so very different from this earthly place.
And with my last bit of energy,
I tried to convey to her with a thump
of my tail that my
“How Could You?”
was not directed at her.
It was directed at you!!!
My Beloved Master,
I was thinking of you.
I will think of you and wait for you forever.
May everyone in your life
continue to show you so much loyalty.
Heat stroke is an emergency that requires immediate
recognition and prompt treatment. Dogs do not tolerate
high temperatures as well as humans. They depend upon
rapid breathing to exchange warm air for cool air.
Accordingly when air temperature is close to body temperature
, cooling by rapid breathing is not and efficient process.
Dogs with airway disease also have difficulty with excess heat.
Common situations that predispose to overheating
or heat stroke in dogs are:
1. Being left in a car in hot weather.
2. Being confined on concrete runs;
chained without shade in hot weather.
3. Being of a short-nosed breed,
especially a Bulldog or Pug.
4. Being muzzled while put under a dryer
(this can happen in a grooming parlor).
5. Suffering from airway disease or any
condition that impairs breathing.
Heat stroke begins with rapid, frantic,
noisy breathing. The tongue and mucus
membranes are bright red, the saliva is thick
and tenacious and the dog frequently vomits.
Its rectal temperature is high, sometimes over
106 degrees F. The cause of the problem
usually is evident by the typical appearance
of the dog; it can be confirmed by
taking its temperature.
If the condition is allowed to go unchecked,
the dog becomes unsteady and staggers,
has diarrhea that often is bloody and becomes
progressively weaker. Coma and death ensue.
Treatment: Emergency measures must
begin at once. Mild cases respond to moving
the dog to a cooler surrounding, such as an
air-conditioned building or car. If the dog's
temperature is over 104 degrees F, or if
unsteady on its feet, the dog should be cooled
by immersion in a tub of cold water. If this
is impossible, hose your dog down with a
garden hose. For a temperature over
106 degrees F, or if the dog is near collapse,
give a cold water enema. A more rapid
temperature drop is imperative. Cool to a
rectal temperature of 103 degrees F.
Heat stroke can be associated with
swelling of the throat. This aggravates
the problem. A cortisone injection by
your veterinarian may be required
to treat this.
1. Do not expose dogs with airway
disease or impaired breathing to prolonged heat.
2. Restrict exercise during the heat
of the day in summer.
3. Breed dogs in air-conditioned quarters.
4. Crate a dog only in an open wire cage.
5. Provide shade and cool water
to dogs living in outdoor runs.