Leslie & John Honeyman Troy, OH 45373
www.honeysminidachs.com Cell: (937 524-1207)
Honeyman’s Puppy Information Booklet
New Owner: Bringing your new Puppy Home:
The supplies you need:
- Premium pet food to get your new puppy off to a good start. (Kirkland Signature Super Premium Chicken & Rice and Vegetable Formula or the Kirkland Domain Chicken & Pea Puppy) (mixed with a homemade chicken and rice puree) fed hard, and also soaked. After the first bag of the normal puppy food they are on…..the babies do switch well to “Diamondl Naturals All Life Stages Chicken amd Rice). It is made by the same company that makes the Kirkland and is very similar and also high quality. We take the soft soaked food and put it in the blender with warm water and blend it into a mush. The puppy food mush can be mixed together with the chicken and rice puree .We boil chicken, put the meat in the blender. Then cook long grain brown or white rice (not minute rice – long cook rice) in fresh water. Do not use the broth as it is too rich. Make yourself some noodles in the broth. Put the cooked rice in the blender with the chicken, blend it up into a puree adding warm water. We then mix the chicken & rice puree in the puppy mush. You can also freeze the chicken & rice puree in small freezer bowls and thaw out as needed. You can take the chicken broth and put it is the refrigerator over night. Once it is cold and all the fat has settled to the top and solidified, separate the fat from the pure broth, throw away the fat, then you can use the broth in small amounts in the babies food. Our Babies we raise out here have a bowl of hard kibble, a bowl of the puppy mush mix and a bowl of water at all times. Puppy will wean himself off the soaked when he can eat enough hard to meet his nutritional needs. You want your baby to stay fata and sassy during puppy hood so that when he hits that “SLINKY STRETCH” when he gets his length all at once he looks well balanced, not like a starvation dog from Ethiopia. If you practice “free feeding ”through 1st year” puppy will graze & not over eat.
- Stainless steel, non-tip food and water bowls. (Won’t absorb odors or bacteria) 20 oz. bolt on coop cup bowls work well in 24X24” small animal exercise pen that we suggest raising your baby in instead of a crate.
- Identification tags with your puppy’s name, your name, phone number. A collar and a nylon 6 – foot leash that’s ½ inches wide (consider using a “breakaway” collar with plastic clips that will unsnap in case you puppy gets hung up on something). For a comfortable collar fit, allow two fingers of space between the collar and your dog’s neck; consider using an adjustable collar for puppies. Also a size adjustable mesh harness as Dachshunds should never be walked with leash attached to the collar. Only use a harness for walks, this protects the small bones down the longneck & back and helps distribute the weight evenly when the Dachshund tugs forward.
- A home and travel crate that will accommodate your puppy’s adult size. We suggest a large size (Walmart Pet Taxi). 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. Also a small animal “Frisco Small Animal X-pen 24X24 ($39.99 at www.chewy.com)”. No puppy should be expected to crate train before 6 months of age as they need time for their bladders and little brains to grow. This way puppy hood is happy and not filled with “No-No’s” all the time. Use scrap linoleum under the play pen to protect your floor from accidents in the play pen. Also use “Nature’s Miracle House Breaking potty Training Spray” (Amazon or PetSmart) to mark every potty pad as this draws the baby to the potty pad. We also use the spray in our puppy litter boxes to mark the unscented news-paper pellet kitty litter that we use. At Petco the unscented SoPhresh newspaper pellet litter, at PetSmart the unscented ExquisiCat Newspaper pellet kitty litter. Meijer also carries their own name brand that is unscented. All with no additives but baking soda or zeolite which is safe for your baby.
- Stain remover for accidental soiling’s.
- A brush suitable to your puppy’s coat. Soft bristle for dachshunds.
- Tearless puppy-shampoo, toothbrush and paste (canine).
- High-quality safe chew toys to ease teething. (Nylabone puppy), Bully sticks, NO ROPE TOYS! Human Infant Baby toys from “Walmart” are great puppy toys. The stuffed cloth rattles, the cloth rattle balls for human babies, the human baby crinkle toys, the hanging stroller toys that rattle and crinkle. They are very durable, washable and safe. My babies play with them all the time.
- Flea, tick and parasite controls for summer. We prefer “Advantage Plus ll after 16 weeks of age”. Before then a bath in “Dawn” will kill any fleas they may pick up. “Mycodex” for Puppys spray sprayed on a rag and just wiped on the baby also helps if you have older dogs coming in and out of the house.
- Nail Clippers
- Treats. (Low Calorie Preferred s you must watch you Dachshund’s weight) Homemade Chicken & rice balls with cooked carrots & green beans (fresh or frozen-never canned) are great low calorie treats. Organic Rice Flour & smooth Peanut Butter to hold them together. You can also add a little banana, or pumpkin, butter nut squash ect. For different flavors. You want them thickened to the consistency of the old fashion sugar cookie balls like snicker doodles. Roll them in balls, freeze them in empty ice cube trays. Once frozen put them in freezer bags. Then just bring out a few a days to thaw and sue as homemade treats. Make these with the Chicken & Rice Puree that I described above. No store purchased treats for puppies as my babies are raised on a grain free diet and many store bought treats have grains in the ingredients. Also, even though they say made in the United States, many of these companies ship in the ingredients from China where they is “No Regulations”! So these China ingredient treats can kill your baby, and the treats with wheat, soy or corn may cause stomach upset, severe diarrhea leading to dehydration and an emergency vet visit or other allergic reactions.
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 that are poisonous to pets.
- 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. Many family pets have lost their lives by drowning.
- If you provide your puppy with an outdoor kennel for outdoor play time, 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.
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:
- As soon as you arrive home, place your puppy in his play pen that has been set up in advance with his potty pad and litter box. Be patient as the puppy will probably be stressed out from the trip and separation from mom and siblings. If he goes, praise him.
- Take him to the room that accommodates your playpen with his crate in it. This restricted area will serve as his new “den” for several days. Put bedding and chew toys in the crate, leave the door open Or off) and put a puppy potty pad & litter box in the play pen. Let him investigate his new play pen area and the room. If he urinates on his bedding, remove it from the crate and put fresh in.
- 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 – 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 you puppy at this age is critical to his socialization.
1a. 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.
- Supervise your puppy at all times and interact with him regularly.
- Be alert for signs (sniffing and circling) that he has to go to the bathroom, then take him to his potty pad immediately.
- 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.
- 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.
- Praise your puppy every time he goes to the bathroom at the appropriate area.
- Feed your puppy a formula puppy food designed for puppies. Like a baby, he needs nutritious, highly digestible food.
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 play pen. Give your resident pet access to the area. Let pets smell and touch each other through the play pen 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 play pen. Supervise their meeting and go back to through-the-gate/play pen meeting if trouble arises. As your new puppy is much smaller you need to protect him from getting hurt.
Crate Training: (Should not be attempted until puppy is 5 – 6 months of age and able to hold his urine or poo). Training a puppy to be comfortable in a crate is a popular way to provide safe confinement during housetraining. The majority of puppies will rapidly accept crate confinement when you make the introduction fun. Since it is important to associate favorable thing with the area where your puppy is confined, it is a good idea to play with him there, or simply spend some time reading or watching television nearby as he relaxes with a favorite chew toy. If he is only in the area when you leave, it becomes a social isolation area that he eventually may resist entering.
A good time to start crate training is at dinnertime. Feed your puppy his dinner, one piece at a time, by tossing pieces of kibble into the crate for him to chase and eat. This way, you can make a game out of training.
When you pick up his toys, store them in the crate so he will enter on his own to play. You may even want to occasionally hide a homemade treat in the crate as a nice surprise, after your puppy is use to hard foods.
You should not use the crate for periods that exceed the length of time the puppy can actually control the urge to urinate or defecate. If you are gone for long periods each day, you will need to provide a larger confinement area. You may want to consider using as exercise pen or small room.
Provide an area large enough so that if your puppy has to eliminate when you are gone, he can do it is a space that is separate from his sleeping area. A 4 – 4 square foot area is adequate for most puppies. Make sure you have a potty training pad available close to his crate so he can find it and get to it when he wakes up.
Children and Pets: Ideally, your children 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 the 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. I have found that as puppies get older, if they are play biting to rough; yelp real high pitched (as a sibling puppy would) and state no bite. The puppies respond to the yelp just as they would with a sibling and will learn just how hard they can play bite without hurting you.
- Teach children to care for a dog by showing them how to feed and groom him. Also with Dachshund puppies you need to teach young children to sit on the floor when playing or holding the puppy. Dachshund puppies are very energetic, fear nothing and wiggle a lot. A small child could accidentally drop the puppy, or let the puppy fall of a couch or chair hurting the puppy badly. Or in worse case, killing the puppy. This is a very important lesson for little children to learn.
After the initial vet check within the first 3 days of purchase, your puppy will need to see a vet 3 to 4 times in this first few months in order to receive his/her vaccinations, rabies vaccine, worming medicine and heart worm preventive. He/she was vaccinated and wormed at 7 weeks and will be ready for the second, third and fourth series of vaccination at 10 – 13 – 16 weeks. After his/her first 6 months, he/she will only need vaccinations once a year. He/she should have heart worm preventive monthly as directed by your vet, especially during mosquito season. (Mosquitoes are what infect the dog with heartworms). We supply a copy of the vet receipts and shot records for the vaccines to all to all new parents. We also worm the pups each time with the same practice. It is also a wonderful way for us to get to see our babies again and visit with our new friends and answer all questions and concerns they might have about their new puppy.
Spaying and Neutering:
Spaying or neutering your new puppy is the right thing to do if you’re not planning on breeding. For most pet owners, the expense, time and expertise involved in breeding dogs responsibly is beyond their reach. Here are some advantages to having your puppy spayed or neutered:
- For females, there is no mess to deal with during their 21-day heat cycles, which occur every six months—the heat cycle begins in females sometime after six months of age.
- Spaying a female before her first heat cycle will reduce the chance of mammary tumors or uterine diseases.
- Neutered males tend to be less aggressive than unaltered males.
- With a neutered male, the urge to mark territory may lessen.
- A neutered male is less likely to want to roam in search of potential mates.
When to spay or neuter: Dogs should be spayed or neutered by the time they are six months old. Both operations are performed under anesthesia and may require an overnight stay at the veterinarian’s office. Recovery time is quick, with most dogs resuming normal activity in a few days. Spaying (for females) consists of an ovario-hysterectomy. Neutering involves the removal of the testicles.
When you bring your puppy to the veterinarian’s office for his first thorough examination, have the doctor explain the operation in detail and set up a time to have the procedure done.
Your new puppy needs to be fed 4 – 5 times a day, (gradually weaned down to 2 times after he is 5 – 6 months of age. He/she is on Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Puppy “Chicken & Pea) (COSTCO Warehouse) (soaked with warm water in the refrigerator over night and then mixed with warm water, a little plain yogurt, and unsweetened apple sauce. About 2 tablespoons each of soaked dry and canned puppy, 1 teaspoon of apple sauce and ½ teaspoon if yogurt. At around 4 months of age when you see that your puppy is starting to chew his/her food instead inhaling it, he/she can be weaned off of soaked food and onto dry little by little. Start the process by adding a little dry into the mixture at a time and gradually increasing the dry and decreasing the wet food. We sactually believe in free feeding (food at all times). If you change brands of puppy, gradually mix our food with your new food to get him/her adjusted to his/her new food. At this time he/she eats ½ cup – 1 cup per day. He/she may need more during his/her growth spurts this first year.
- Schedule your puppy’s dinner times so that you will be available to work on the potty training shortly after the meal.
- Avoid giving your puppy a large meal just prior to confining him or he may have to eliminate when you are not around to take him potty. Schedule feedings on a consistent schedule.
- The last feeding of the day should be completed several hours before is confined for the night. By controlling the feeding schedules, exercise sessions, confinement periods, and trips to the elimination area, your puppy will quickly develop a reliable schedule for eliminating.
People food is very dangerous for dogs. It is best to stick with dog food and occasional treats. Dachshunds tend to get fat as they get over a year old. This is not healthy for him/her, so try to feed him/her accordingly. Decrease his/her food if her/she looks heavy and increase it if he/she looks thin.
A constant supply of fresh water is very important for your dog.
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.
Feeding Your Puppy: from the time your puppy’s weaned until 6 months of age, you should feed your puppy 4-5 meals a day based on the guidelines of the food label. After 6 months of age, your puppy should be fed twice a day on a regular schedule. Always have fresh water available. I believe that they should be free fed with food at all times. That way they never grow hungry and over eat. As adults they will graze and stay trim and fit.
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.
Choosing Foods: 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.
The Switch to Adult Food: A small-breed puppy reaches adult weight by 9-12 months—faster than large breeds that aren’t fully mature until 24 months of age. You can probably begin feeding adult dog food at 10 months. Your dog may not welcome the change at first, but don’t worry. You can help ease the transition by gradually introducing the adult food. Try mixing 25% of the new food with 75% of his puppy food then gradually change the proportions over the next three weeks – 5 weeks until he’s eating 100% adult food.
Five sections of a dog food label reveal what is in the food you’re buying. Here’s what you need to know to understand the information on a dog food label.
The name of the food: The name can tell you how much of an ingredient is in the food. Dog food names that have the animal protein source in the title, such as beef formula, indicate that at least 25 percent of the diet is indeed the named ingredient. Names that contain the word with (such as with chunky chicken) or flavor (such as turkey flavor) can contain as little as 3 percent of that ingredient.
The ingredient panel: This section on the label lists all the ingredients that make up the product. The ingredients must be listed in descending order according to weight before cooking. The first ingredient in dry food should be a source of high-quality animal-based protein—chicken or lamb for example. Dogs thrive on animal proteins, but may not do as well on vegetable proteins such as soybean meal. Manufacturers who use large amounts of vegetable proteins may be saving money at the expense of a dog’s overall well being. Other ingredients to avoid are artificial colors
The guaranteed analysis: Near the ingredient panel should be a chart of percentages called the “guaranteed analysis.” These figures reveal the basic nutrient make-up of the dog food’s formula, including protein content. The minimum percentages of protein and fat and the maximum percentages of fiber and moisture (water) should be listed.
Nutritional adequacy statement: If the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) statement says “animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures,” the food was actually fed to dogs at that same life stage and found to be adequate. If the AAFCO statement refers to “meeting nutrient profiles,” the dog food may not have been tested with dogs. Instead, the food was analyzed in a laboratory and the results were compared to recognize industry standards.
The manufacturer’s name and address: This information must be on the label by law. A toll-free number may also be listed. Manufacturers, such as Science Diet, Wellness Core, Blue Buffalo, etc who list a phone number, generally have a high-quality product and welcome consumer calls and questions.
Beware of products that read packed for or distributed by. These foods aren’t made by the store whose name may be on the front label, but are from a manufacturer whose quality and consistency controls may not be monitored
What Premium Foods Provide:
High-quality, complete and balanced premium dog foods are the best you can buy. They are specifically designed to provide your dog with a food that has:
1. High-quality ingredients
2. High total diet digestibility
3. Balanced, optimal levels of protein, fat, fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, which make costly nutritional supplements unnecessary
4. A nutrient-dense formulation appropriate for a particular life stage
5. Consistent, high-quality ingredient recipes that do not change with manufacturing costs
6. Calibrated fatty-acid ratios to help maintain healthy skin and coat
7. Great palatability—taste—based on feeding trials
8. Product guarantees
Plus, with formulas from The Kirkland Company, you can be sure each variety has been specifically designed to enhance the overall health and well- being of your dog.
The benefits of premium foods: When you feed your dog a premium food, you’ll see these important indicators of good health:
1. Exceptional muscle tone
2. A shiny, luxurious coat
3. Healthy skin, teeth and bones
4. Clear, bright eyes
5. Small, firm stools
A happy, healthy attitude.
Your puppy will enjoy being brushed with a soft brush as he/she gets older. He/she may need an occasional bath when he/she begins to “smell like a dog”. He/she will also need their toenails clipped every 2 – 3 weeks. The vet can show you how to do this or we can. It is not hard, and it is good to keep your puppy used to the process. We just use large scissor toenail clippers or the scissor type kitty clippers. You also need to keep your puppy use to having his/her ears cleaned. Dog breeds with floppy ears tend to have dirtier ears and are prone to Ear infections if not kept clean. Our Puppies are used to this already as we start with them at 3 weeks of age. If you have any questions about this process, you are more than welcome to bring your puppy back and we will show you how to clean his/her ears the safe way. You also want to start your new puppy early on being used to having his teeth cleaned.
Regular Brushing: Using a soft brush will work just fine for your smooth shorthaired dachshund. For the longhaired dachshund you will need a slicker brush which is good for removing mate, loose hair and debris. With your longhaired dachshund, pay close attention to the under arm areas and under the ears as they can tend to tangle into mats. For tough tangles, gently comb or brush small sections at a time, giving yourself and your dog a break every few minute. Be careful not to tug or tear the hair.
Bath time: Bath time is much easier after a thorough brushing. Place our puppy/dog in a tub or a basin with a nonskid surface. Hold your dog’s collar firmly, and then slowly pour several pitchers of lukewarm water over his entire body, being careful to leave the head dry.
Soap your dog’s body with a puppy/dog tearless shampoo, then massage the soap into a lather, talking to you dog and praising him as you work. When his body is lathered, move to his head, being careful to keep shampoo out of his eyes, ears and mouth. Rinse and dry your dog’s head, then rinse his body. When the water runs clear, rinse one more time. Thoroughly dry your dog with towels. If our dog has healthy skin (no dry skin flaking or skin allergies) you can dry him further with a hair dryer set on low or warm temperature.
Dachshunds’ only need bathed approximately once a month unless he gets extremely dirty or smelly. If bathing in the winter make sure to turn up the heat in your house so your dachshund doesn’t get chilled.
Will keep your doggie dancing and help prevent unnecessary pain and infection later on. Most dogs don’t like to have their feet handled, so go slowly-one paw at a time-and make foot handling a part of playtime. Your new puppy started getting his nails clipped at age 3 – weeks of age, and we continued nipping the ends every week so he/she is used to having his feet played with. If you keep up the clippings and foot play you should never have a problem with it.
With your longhaired dachshund puppy it is important to remove of hair from between the toes and pads of his feet. If ignored, the mats can become hard as rock. Using scissors, very carefully trim the hair between the pads and toes so it is level with the dog’s foot.
Regular exercise on a hard surface may keep a dog’s nails worn down. However, most domestic dogs will need to have their nail clipped every few weeks. I have my puppies dew claws removed, but on dogs that haven’t they need clipped regularly. If left to grow, they may curl inward into the skin and cause a painful infection.
I use finger nail clippers on my puppies, graduating up to toe nail clippers and then to the scissor style clippers which puts less pressure on the nail and is more comfortable for the dog. Make sure the blades are sharp.
Trim only the “hook” end of the nail. Clipping a nail to short can be painful and may cause bleeding. Frequent trimming of a small amount of nail always is better that waiting until the nail is to long. Never trim into the quick – the live portion of the nail.
Ear care generally is the easiest grooming task. Unless your dog has ear problems or spends time hunting or swimming, ear cleaning need to be done only every few weeks – at bath time is best.
Clean the outermost area of your dog’s ears with a cotton ball or cotton swab dampened with water or baby oil. To clean further inside the ears and soften and remove wax, use an ear-cleaning solution you get from your vet.
Warm the bottle of solution between your palms, then squirt the prescribed amount into your dog’s ear canal. Gently massage the base of his ear. Remove any dirt or wax with a dry cotton ball or swab.
Your puppy is used to the potty training pads as we started them at three weeks. I purchase mine at Wal-Mart as the price is the most reasonable around. I purchased my potty pad frames at Super Pets. The frames secure the potty pads down and they make a less tempting play toy. At this point, he/she is mature enough to learn about potty training; however, he/she will not be dependable yet.
Timing is Important:
If you make sure to take him/her to the pad immediately after he/she wakes up – after naps – shortly after he/she eats – after playing or training – after being left alone – immediately before being put to bed, he/she will catch on quickly. Make sure there is a potty pad available in the near vicinity of the puppy at all times and praise his/her when they use it.
After he/she has had his/her 3rd puppy shot, I then start slowly moving the pad closer to the outside door every couple of days. Eventually it will be right in front of the door, then right outside and then gradually out into the yard in the area in a designated area appropriate for elimination. I find that this process works very well at potty training them to the outside. As adults they will also still use the pad when you have an all day outing planned and don’t wish to crate them the whole time. We use a dog crate to keep them in when we are not holding them or playing with them. This provides them with a sense of security as well as helping them catch on to potty training a lot faster. They don’t like to soil their “bedroom”. They will gain more bladder control as they reach 10 – 12 weeks old and will become more dependable at 4 – 5 months of age
Eliminating On Command: To avoid spending a lot of time waiting for your puppy to get the job done, you may want to teach him to eliminate on command. Each time he is in the act of eliminating, simply repeat a unique command, such as “go potty”, in an upbeat tone of voice. After a few weeks of training, you will notice that when you say the command your puppy will begin pre-elimination sniffing, circling and then eliminate shortly often you give the command. Be sure to praise him for his accomplishments and you can even give little treats along with the praise to instill this reaction.
Expect Some Mistakes: Left on his own, the untrained puppy is very likely to make a mistake. Close supervision is a very important part of training. Do not consider your puppy housetrained until he has gone at least four consecutive weeks without eliminating around the house. For older dogs, this period should be even longer.
- Your puppy should be constantly within eyesight.
- Baby gates can be helpful to control movement throughout the house, aid supervision, and keep the puppy close to his potty pad so he can find it.
- Keep them in a crate or confined in a small play area when unsupervised.
- Don’t rely of harsh punishment to correct mistakes. This approach usually does not work, and may actually delay training.
- An appropriate correction consists of simply providing a moderate, startling distraction. You should only do this when you see your dog in the act of eliminating in the wrong place.
- A sharp noise, such as a loud “No” or a quick stomp on the floor, is all that is usually needed to stop the behavior. Just do no be too loud or your pet may learn to avoid eliminating in front of you, even outdoors.
- Never rub your puppy or dogs’ nose in a mess. There is absolutely no way this will help in training and may actually make him afraid of you.
- Patience, Patience, Patience!
Nervous Wetting: If your puppy squats and urinates when he greets you, he may have a problem called submissive urination. Dogs and puppies that urinate during greeting are very sensitive and should never be scolded when they do this, since punishment inevitably makes the problem worse.
Most young puppies will grow out of this behavior if you are calm, quiet, and avoid reaching toward the head during greetings. Another helpful approach is to calmly ask your dog to sit for a very tasty treat each time someone greets him.
A lot of success for potty training depends on you. You will need to learn to get him/her to the pad (or outside when older) often and before he/she has an accident. For that occasional but expected accident, Windex and vinegar mixed together in a spray bottle are very effective. There are also pet products for stain/odor removal at Wal-Mart and super Pets that work well. When you have a spot to clean up, first blot up as much liquid as possible or remove the feces. Then spray your carpet cleaning solution of the soiled area, (saturate the area not just the surface), and then rub it with a clean towel/rag. Rooms in the home where your dog or another has had frequent mistakes should be closed off for several months. He should only be allowed to enter when accompanied by a family member. It is best to keep the baby off carpeted area’s until he grows into and learns control.
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 or outside on the ground until his shots are complete at 16 – 17 weeks of age. 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 that 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 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.
CHEWING: PUPPIES AND DOGS:
Chewing is a very normal behavior for puppies and dogs. They use their mouths for grasping food, gaining information about the environment, relieving boredom, and reducing tension.
Chewing appears to be great fun. However, chewing could become a major problem when valued objects are damaged.
Why Do Dogs Chew? When you couple strong jaws with the curiosity and high energy of an exploring puppy, the result is an incredible chewing machine! The speed at which puppies can wreak havoc in a house, and the extent of damage they can do, can really take you by surprise. There are a variety of reasons why a puppy might chew.
Some Reasons why puppies and dogs’ chew:
- Noises behind a wall, such as a high-pitched heater motor or the scurrying footsteps of a mouse, might trigger investigative chewing.
- A delay in feeding time may send a hungry dog off chewing into cabinets as he searches for food.
- Food spilled on a piece of furniture can cause a puppy to tear into it with his teeth in hopes of finding something tasty to eat.
Dogs make good pets because they have a very social nature and plenty of energy to share in activities with us. In return, we need to provide enough exercise, mental stimulation, and social interaction to avoid destructive behavior.
Understanding Your Puppies World: Puppies usually pass time or break the boredom by using their mouths, which may result in destructive behavior. Household destruction occurs because puppies are simply entertaining themselves.
Sometimes we unwittingly contribute to a puppy’s problem by improper training. Puppies are unable to determine the difference between old shoes and new shoes, or between stuffed toys and the corner of a stuffed couch.
Likewise, tug-of-war games can set the puppy up to fail. A puppy or dog entertained by tearing a towel is tempted to attack curtains fluttering in a breeze.
What About a Second Pet? It is usually not the best course of action to get a second pet to help correct a chewing problem. In some cases, a second pet may serve to distract the destructive pet away from chewing. But it is just as likely that the problems could double, especially if the second pet is another puppy.
A Little Guidance: The first step in correcting a chewing problem is to guide your puppy’s chewing toward acceptable chew toys.
- Choose a variety of good quality, safe products. When your puppy shows you what he likes, buy several more of the same type.
- Hollow rubber toys work well since biscuits can be wedged inside for your puppy to pry out. This gives him a job to do and helps keep his focus away from your possessions.
- Another way of keeping your puppy focused on putting his mouth on the toys is to teach him to play fetch.
- Never take proper chewing for granted. Take an active roll in rewarding desirable chewing with lots of encouragement and praise.
- Give your pet plenty of praise every time he chews on his toys. Occasionally give a small reward, such as Iams® Puppy Formula Biscuits for Puppies, to strongly reinforce the behavior.
Protecting Your Investments: Until you can trust your puppy, he must be under constant supervision or confined to a safe area. During times when he is with you, he might sneak off by himself to chew. Consider using a leash to keep him within eyesight. A crate, dog run, or safe room will keep him out of trouble when he cannot be watched.
As your puppy is allowed more freedom, he can be taught to avoid forbidden objects if you make them taste bad. Choose an effective, commercial, bitter- or hot-tasting spray to safeguard objects. If he has the habit of chewing specific items, such as clothing, make sure that all clothing is out of reach except one or two items that are sprayed with a bad-tasting spray.
Every day, move the items to new positions around the house. In four or five days change the type of item. This teaches the dog to leave your clothing alone because he associates them with a bad taste.
“Booby traps” are successful since they punish your puppy during the act and do not require your presence. A stack of empty beverage cans, set up to fall over when something moves can be effective in safeguarding certain objects. Motion-activated alarms are often effective in teaching a puppy to stay off furniture or out of plants.
What Not to Do:
- Corrections and reprimands are rarely effective by themselves.
- Under no circumstances should your puppy be spanked, slapped, kicked, or physically punished in any way. There is a risk he will become hand shy or a fear-biter. Instead, offer a verbal reprimand followed by encouragement to chew on a proper chew toy.
- To be most effective, the reprimand must be given during or immediately after the misbehavior, and every time it occurs.
- Reprimands can backfire by either teaching the dog to be sneaky about chewing, or by teaching him not to chew anything, even toys, in your presence.
This information was provided by Wayne Hunthausen, DVM, Director of Animal Behavior Consultations in the Kansas City metropolitan area.
Puppies – Teaching Good Manners:
“A dog should be a pleasure to all and a nuisance to none,” says well-known dog trainer Barbara Woodhouse. Teach your puppy the following commands in addition to basic obedience, and he will be much easier to live with. Practice these commands a few times a day in very short play-training sessions.
Give: To avoid unwanted aggression and guarding behavior later in life, train your dog to give you his prized possessions and even his food. The best way is to offer an exchange. Say “Give” and offer your dog a treat for his toy. The food offering will inspire most dogs to release the toy without struggle. Praise him heartily. Then give the toy back to him. Make it a fun game that he wins most of the time.
Get it / Leave it (Don’t Touch): Dogs who know the command “Leave it” will let things alone when asked. To make learning fun, play a game with your pup. Start the exercise with the dog sitting in front of you on a leash. With a handful of treats, offer him one at a time, saying, “Get it!” After two or three “Get its”, offer him a treat, as usual, but this time say, “Leave it!” Of course he is going to go for it anyway because he doesn’t know any better. When the puppy tries to grab the treat, give him a tiny bop on the nose with the same hand that offered him the treat, and repeat, “Leave it”. As soon as the dog leaves the treat alone, praise him, saying, “Good Leave it!”, then say, “OK. Get it!” and give it to him. Repeat the sequence four or five times in a row, saying “Get it” much more often than you say “Leave it.” The puppy will think this is great fun and will probably catch on very quickly, learning to leave the treat alone when you say “Leave it”.
Don’t Pull: Your cute little puppy may grow up to be a hundred pound powerhouse dragging you down the street if you don’t train him not to pull on the leash. To prevent physical damage to the dog, avoid excessive jerking on a puppy’s neck until he is at least four months old. Meanwhile, use a retractable leash, such as a Flexi-Leash(TM), so the pup can have some freedom, but meets resistance when he pulls. If he lunges, simply turn around and walk the other way.
Many trainers are now using Halti(TM) Head Collars to train puppies not to pull. The Halti(TM) fits around the dog’s head and attaches to the leash. With the Halti(TM), the owner diverts the dog’s head gently to the side if the dog tries to pull forward. Dogs don’t like to lunge in a direction they cannot see. The experience is unpleasant for the dog, but humane, involving no pain.
Off: No matter what they say, most people do not like it when a dog jumps all over them. Jumping up can even be dangerous when a dog jumps on a small child. The simplest and safest way to teach a puppy not to jump up is to back up when you see the pup coming and say “Off!” Reward and praise the puppy once all its feet are on the ground. You can also tell the dog to “Sit” so he learns something positive to do when greeting strangers. When the puppy is older, more severe measures can be used if necessary.
One warning: If you allow your dog to jump all over you, he may have trouble understanding why you don’t allow him to jump all over everyone else. Try to be consistent!
In Your Kennel: A dog’s kennel should be his safe place, his den, his refuge. Your dog can learn to go willingly into his kennel on command. Tantalize your puppy with a treat or toy, then put it into the kennel and say “Kennel” or “Go to bed”, or “In your Kennel” (choose one and be consistent). The dog will probably go inside. At first, don’t close the door. Just praise the dog for going in. When he’s used to going in, start closing the door, at first just for a few seconds. Give the puppy a little treat through the bars when he’s inside with the door closed. Extend the time he spends inside the kennel gradually. Never let him out when he’s crying as that only rewards crying. When you let the puppy out, don’t make a big deal out of it. You don’t want coming out to seem better than going in!
Speak / Quiet: When a person yells at his dog for barking, the dog thinks the human is barking too, joining the fun. “Quiet” is a difficult concept for dogs. The most successful strategy we’ve found is to train the dog to bark on command before training the dog what “Quiet” means.
Show the dog a treat, make a hand signal and say “Speak”. You may have to bark a bit at your dog before he gets the idea, but eventually he will probably give you a bark or two. Praise and reward immediately and with great fervor. Try again until your puppy understands this entertaining game.
Once the dog knows how to bark on command, get him barking and then suddenly say “Quiet” and place your fingers to your lips. This strange action will probably stun your dog into silence. Reward and praise excitedly! Repeat several times a day for a few weeks until your dog knows it dependably. Later, when you yell “Quiet”, the dog will know what you are talking about.
Summary: A dog with good manners is a pleasure to live with and to be around. Training your dog to behave in a socially acceptable way is fun. Your family and guests will thank you, and you will be proud of your pet. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a dog who stops barking when you ask him to, who doesn’t jump up on people, who doesn’t pull you down the street and who will give you even his most prized possessions without a grumble? It’s all up to you…
Puppies: Basic Obedience:
A puppy can learn a great deal, even as early as 7 weeks of age, if learning is fun and presented in the form of gentle play. Motivational methods work best for the tender young puppy soul. Reward desired behaviors by offering toys, food and praise so the puppy wants to obey. Whenever possible, try to arrange the situation so he can’t make a mistake. Never use physical punishment on a young puppy as you may damage him both mentally and physically.
Most puppies, like young children, enjoy learning, but have short attention spans. The following exercises can be done several times a day. They take just a few minutes, but will make a tremendous difference in your puppy’s attitude. To establish a positive rapport with your puppy and prevent many future problems, start training a few days after your puppy settles in.
We can only offer very brief explanations here, and trainers have many variations on these concepts. If you run into problems, consult a professional trainer. A puppy can start more formal obedience training at about four to six months of age.
Sit: Move a toy or piece of food (the motivator) from a position in front of the puppy to a point up over his head and say “Sit”. The pup will probably raise his head to follow the motivator and in the process, lower his rear end to the floor. You may gently help the pup at first by tucking his bottom under with your free hand. When he sits, praise the pup exuberantly and give him the toy or treat as a reward.
Down: Show the puppy a tantalizing piece of food or a toy to get his attention. Say “Down” and slowly lower the toy to the floor. If needed, help him down with very slight pressure on his shoulders. (Don’t put pressure on his back, or you can hurt him.) Give him the toy when he lies down, even if just for a second. Reward profusely. Later you can extend the length of time he must stay down before you give him the toy.
Stand: Starting with the puppy in the Down position, say “Stand” and raise a treat or toy forward and upward in front of the puppy. Gently help position him with your other hand if needed. Have him hold the stand position for a second or two, then release, reward and praise him exuberantly.
Wait: Have the puppy sit. Say “Wait” and back away from the puppy, one or two steps. Praise the puppy for staying. After just a second or two, reward, praise, and release. Always reward the puppy when he’s still waiting, not after he gets up, so he associates the reward with waiting and not the release. If the puppy gets up too soon, simply repeat the exercise. Gradually increase the time he waits.
Strut (Heel): Get your puppy’s attention with a delectable treat at about his head level on your left-hand side. Say “Strut” or “Heel” or “Let’s go” (choose one and be consistent) and walk briskly forward. Let the puppy munch a bit as you walk. Go only a few steps at first, then extend the range. Release the pup and praise him. As the puppy progresses, lift the food a little higher, but do not reward the pup for jumping.
Come: This game takes two people, and is a great way to get your puppy excited about coming to you. Person 1 holds the puppy back while Person 2 tantalizes him by waving a treat or toy in his face, just out of reach. Then Person 2 runs away, calling “Rover, Come!” in an excited tone of voice. Person 1 releases the pup, who comes running wildly after Person 2! Person 2 rewards the dog with lots of praise and gives Rover the toy or treat she was waving.
When teaching a young pup to come to you, call him several times throughout the day around the house and yard, even if you don’t want him to come for any particular reason. Each time he comes, praise and reward him. (You can keep some of his regular dry dog kibble in your pocket and give him one whenever he comes if you don’t want to overload him with fancy fattening treats.) The puppy will think coming to you is terrific!
If you don’t have an assistant handy, try this game. Have the puppy on a loose long line or flexi-lead. Show him a treat or toy. Call his name and then say “Come!” in an energized tone of voice. If he comes to you, reward with a toy or a bit of food and excited praise. If he doesn’t come right away, tug gently on the leash and move backwards, away from the puppy. If you run towards him, he may think you are playing a chase game and run away from you!
As your puppy gets a little older and more independent, the long line or flexi-lead will guarantee that he will always come when you call. This is especially useful outside or at parks where he may find many new and interesting distractions. Always reward him for coming. Never scold or punish the dog when he comes to you. (If you must punish the dog for some bad behavior, just go get him.) Don’t use the “Come” command outdoors unless your puppy is on a leash, so you can be sure he will obey. Soon he will realize that he must come every time you call and that coming is fun!
Conclusion: Training your puppy is enjoyable and worthwhile. You will develop a rewarding bond with your puppy and an activity you can do together even after the dog is grown. An untrained dog can be a pest, a problem and a even a danger. A well-trained dog is a good friend and an asset to his family and community.
Is your backyard a safe haven or a health hazard? Lawn chemicals, fences and mowers all spell danger for dogs.
Your backyard, with its colorful burst of flowers, chirping birds and sunny disposition, may seem like a perfect springtime retreat. But it can be a big, bad world to your pet. Everything from lawn chemicals to the fence around your private sanctuary can be dangerous to your dog.
So what’s a pet owner to do? Obviously, keeping your dog cooped up inside isn’t the answer. But taking a few precautions will let you both enjoy the great outdoors safely.
“Owning a dog is like having a 3-year-old,” says Dr. Patricia Talcott, a veterinary toxicologist at the University of Washington College of Veterinarian Medicine. “You don’t throw out Tylenol® because of children. You store it safely. It’s the same with a dog in your yard.”
Danger Ahead: Whether your yard is the envy or the laughingstock of the neighborhood, it has hidden dangers. For example:
Chemicals. If used properly, most chemicals pose little risk. An exception is 2,4-D. The diethylamine salt in this weed killer can cause serious health problems in dogs. (Agent Orange used in Vietnam contained 50 percent 2, 4-D.) Rodent and insect repellents also are problematic, usually because people forget they’ve applied them.
- Plants. The list of plants toxic to dogs includes yew, rhododendron and tulip and daffodil bulbs. Check with a nursery if you’re wondering about your plants. If you do indeed have the plants above, remove them or prevent access to them. Some of the little Mushroom toad stool plants are deadly and toxic to a small puppy and could cause a quick death.
- Equipment. Moving objects are enticing to dogs, which is why lawn mowers, weed trimmers, chain saws and similar equipment are off limits. Keep dogs away from hot barbecue grills, too. (They love those meaty smells!)
- Fences. Although they provide a barrier to the outside world, collars can get hooked in sharp-edged chain-link fences, and wooden fences can give splinters. A break-away collar would be the answer here. Unless fences are tall, some dogs can jump over them.
Play It Safe: Creating a safe haven isn’t as hard as you might think. View your yard through your dog’s eyes. Is he a digger? Add pavers at the base of your fence. Does he like to chew? A chew toy will keep him from plants.
Like Talcott, Michael Kaufmann, Director of Educational Programs for the American Humane Association in Washington, D.C., says to act like a parent. “You wouldn’t just lock your toddler in the yard and run to the store,” he says. “The best way to avoid trouble is to not leave your dog unsupervised in the yard.”
All Dog Owners Must Be Aware Of Their Responsibilities To Their Neighbors:
All dog owners must be aware of their responsibilities to their neighbors, both those who live in the area immediately around their residence and their neighbors in the broader sense of the community as a whole. Dogs, for all the pleasure they are, can be a nuisance to your neighbors if not trained. Remember, excessive barking can be annoying. And, always keep your dog on a leash or inside a fenced yard when exercising. Remember to pick up after your dog. Forestall problems for yourself and your dog and all dog lovers by being a good neighbor.
One way to make your dog a good neighbor is through obedience training. A poorly behaved dog is a problem for everyone. Nothing is more frustrating than attempting to corral a dog that will not “come” when you call. A well-trained dog is not only a pleasure to own, he is a goodwill ambassador for the entire canine community. A well-behaved dog is the result of the dog’s owner being willing to work with the dog regularly in a systematic manner. Obedience classes are available in most communities. Time spent training your dog is time well spent.
Pets and Weather:
Keeping Your Pet Safe in All Weather
No Place Like Home: No matter what the weather, the best way to ensure comfort and safety of your pet is to keep it where you are comfortable and safe – in your house. Consider offering your pet unlimited access to your house during weather extremes such as the hot, humid days of summer or the icy, cold days of winter.
As pets spend more time indoors, other issues may arise.
Many pets who aren’t used to being indoors may not know the rules and demonstrate normal, but destructive, behaviors such as chewing and clawing. Therefore, make sure you keep house plants and valuables out of reach.
Pets with access to the outdoors during warm weather may also bring in unwanted guests – fleas. And a change in seasons usually brings with it a change in coat. Regular brushing can reduce the amount of pet hair on your rugs and furniture.
Summer: Summer heat puts extra stress on your pet’s body. Because of this, it’s best to keep your pet inside where there is access to shade, water and cool air whether from open windows or air conditioning.
If your pet is outside all day, make sure he has a shady area, preferably on grass since pavement tends to heat up in warm weather. Check at different times to make sure the area is shaded all day.
You may need to provide extra water in summer. Try larger water containers, or special devices that attach to an easy to reach faucet for unlimited access.
Most veterinarians don’t recommend shaving dogs or cats, since the hair helps them insulate against heat. Heavy-coated breeds of dogs and cats are especially prone to heat illnesses, especially in hot, humid climates. Many heavy-coated dogs appreciate a wading pool to loll in on extra hot days.
Other animals with an increased risk of overheating include senior pets, puppies and kittens, working pets, and flat-faced breeds (Pugs, Bulldogs, Pekes, Persians).
If your dog or cat is used to running errands with you in your car, leave it home during hot summer days. Even with the windows cracked, your car can reach 130 degrees inside in less than 30 minutes. Don’t risk giving your pet heat stroke!
The best way to treat overheating is prevention. However, if you notice that your pet has abnormally rapid breathing, tremors, muscle weakness, vomiting, or fainting, your pet may have heat exhaustion.
Wet your pet with cool – not cold – water, place in an area with a breeze, and transport your pet to the veterinarian immediately.
Winter: Cold weather also brings special care requirements for your pets.
Again, the ideal place for your pets in cold weather is indoors where they have shelter from cold temperatures, drifting snow, and ice. Outdoor pets require shelter with insulation, fresh food and water that doesn’t freeze. Consider an electric bowl heater to keep water from freezing outdoors.
If you take your pet outside in snowy or icy weather, be sure to check its paws for cuts or ice balls. After walking on pavement treated with salt or chemical snow removers, wipe your pet’s paws with a damp cloth.
Cover chilled pets with blankets and allow them to regain normal body temperature gradually.
Warm water baths – not hot baths – are another good way to gradually warm a chilled pet. Don’t use electric blankets or heating pads as they can burn your pet’s skin.
If your pet is severely chilled or unresponsive, take him to your veterinarian immediately.
Other Winter Concerns: Antifreeze (containing ethylene glycol) poses a special danger to pets in winter. Both dogs and cats are attracted by the sweet taste, and mere teaspoonfuls can cause kidney damage or death.
If you keep cars and pets in your garage, be sure your radiator does not leak. If you suspect your pet has ingested antifreeze, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Treatment within two to four hours can save some pets.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is another potential problem for pets kept in the garage with vehicles during winter months. Never start your car and let it warm up in the garage unless you remove your pet during this time.
So, you want to learn about Dachshunds. Who could blame you? They’re such characters, and so comically cute to look at, both in their unique physical proportions, and also in their spirited antics. This FAQ attempts to give you the background and characteristics of this breed, so you can decide if a Dachshund is the right breed for you.
Dachshunds were originally bred to be hunting dogs that could burrow down under ground to catch a varmint. They still love to hunt, but they also love to cuddle. They are not a very high-strung dog, but have a more even disposition. They are very good at barking when they notice a strange sound or new visitor. You can either encourage or discourage this behavior depending on what you want. I find that a spray bottle or squirt gun works very well with the command “No Bark” with dachshunds that display a bit too much exuberance.
You will be amazed at how small of a hole they can get through if you have a fenced-in area, so be aware before you think he/she is safely fenced in. If you don’t have a fence, a long tether strap works well. Since Dachshunds are hunting dogs, he/she can quickly take off on an exploration if you are not watching him/her closely. And don’t be fooled by those little short legs, because once they got their mind on something, you would swear you are chasing a Grey hound. It is very important to teach your new puppy some basic obedience such as heel, sit stay, down and come. These commands may very well save your new puppies life. I have trained and shown Imported German Shepherds for years, and can help train you to train your new puppy if you are interested. There is also some very good obedience clubs out there such as “Gem City” in Dayton.
Your puppy will enjoy going on walks (as he/she get older), playing catch, and playing tug-of-war with as sock or stuffed animal. He/she will also enjoy burrowing under your covers at bedtime (after he/she is house broke!) or into a towel, rug, or small fuzzy blanket in his/her crate. Each one of our dachshunds have a soft fuzzy human infant receiving blanket of their own that I bought them before I brought each of them home. Our dachshunds also love to pull down our throw blankets we keep on the backs of our couch and chairs, rolling and burrowing in them until they are hidden underneath. They love to have a chew toy, too. We’ve used old socks, fuzzy squeaky doggy toys, and even human infant stuffed rattle teething rings. Most of all, your new puppy will love you! Enjoy him/her and treat him/her like a new family member and friend and you’ll have a wonderful companion for life. Call us or come and visit us anytime if you have any concerns or question about your new puppy.
Development of the Dachshund:
The current Dachshunds (also known as Teckels, Dachels, or Dachsels) originated in Germany. In fact, the name Dachshund is German for “badger dog,” indicating why these dogs were originally bred – to hunt badgers. German foresters, in the 18th and 19th centuries, mixed a variety of breeds together, aiming for a fearless, elongated dog that could dig the earth from a badger burrow, and fight to the death with the vicious badgers who were unlucky enough to inhabit that burrow. Dachshunds have also been used to hunt foxes, and believe it or not, wild boar. Even dachshunds that are abundantly pampered with modern day amenities still maintain this innate hunting instinct. It would not be uncommon to witness a normally friendly pet dachshund suddenly leap off the living room sofa from a sound sleep in the donut position (a favorite position of dachshunds), and, without any hesitation, fiercely attack and capture an unwitting prey ’ such as a common household bug. So, it’s no wild boar. Thankfully.
The first Dachshunds were brought into the United States in 1887, where they grew in popularity over the next few decades. By 1914, they were among the 10 most popular entries in the Westminster Kennel Club Show. During World War I, there was much disdain over anything considered German and unfortunately the dachshund was a victim of much hostility. In fact, they were sometimes the victims of stonings, and dachshund owners were often called traitors. As a result, the number of dachshunds in the United States and Britain dwindled. After the war, a few U.S. breeders slowly rebuilt the gene pool by importing German stock, and the breed began to increase in popularity again. The advent of World War II did not yield the same effects as World War I, because by then American breeders were well established and dachshunds were very popular.
THERE ARE THREE COAT VARIETIES: smooth, longhair, and wirehaired.
Smooth Dachshund: The standard smooth Dachshund is the most popular in the United States. The coat is short, smooth, and shining, with a hair color of red, cream, black and tan, black and cream, chocolate and tan, blue and tan, and Isabella (fawn) and tan. Beyond colors, there are also a number of patterns found in dachshunds. These patterns are dapple, double dapple, brindle, sable, and piebald. Please read “What Color or Pattern is that Dachshund?” for more information on colors and patterns.
Longhair Dachshund: There are two theories regarding how the standard longhair dachshund came about. One theory is that smooth Dachshunds would occasionally produce puppies which had slightly longer hair than their parents would. By selectively breeding these animals, breeders eventually produced a dog, which consistently produced longhair offspring, and the longhair dachshund was born. Another theory is that the standard longhair dachshund was developed by breeding smooth dachshunds with various land and water spaniels. In either case, the result was a beautiful animal, with a coat comparable to that of an Irish Setter and a temperament like a spaniel. In general, longhair Dachshunds tend to be more docile than the other two coats, though, like everything in life, there are always exceptions to this rule. The hair colors are the same as the smooth dachshund.
Wirehaired Dachshund: Wirehaired dachshunds were developed by breeding smooth Dachshunds with various hard-coated terriers and wire-haired pinschers. They look very smart, with their beards and bushy eyebrows. The coat is wiry, short, thick, and rough. Like their smooth cousins, the wirehaired dachshunds tend to be mischievous. Any of the colors above are allowable, but the most popular colors in the United States are wild boar, black and tan, and various shades of red.
Physical Characteristics and Temperament:
Dachshunds are recognized by their long bodies and short legs. Their design is the epitome of form following function. They are low to the ground, which allows them to enter and maneuver through tunnels. Their senses are all well developed. They are very brave, somewhat stubborn, and have an independent tendency, especially when hunting.
Dachshunds like to enter into the spirit of everything you do, which isn’t always the greatest help, especially when you are doing something like tying your shoes. They are playful dogs, but they insist on you following their rules of play, which may or may not coincide, with the rules commonly used by their other canine cousins. For example, although they often like to chase balls, they don’t necessarily see the need to bring them back to you. This is an example of a Dachshund rule of play, and is probably related to their curious, but independent nature.
Anyone who meets a Dachshund has no doubt about whose dog it is. They are often one-person dogs, meaning they bond very closely with their master. A Dachshund’s master is never alone – they have a long, low shadow following them everywhere around the house. This is not to suggest that Dachshunds dislike other humans – quite the contrary, especially if they are well socialized at an early age. But they definitely know which human is theirs.
It is extremely important to keep a Dachshund from getting fat, not only for the usual reasons of general good health, but also because their long back is susceptible to slipped or ruptured (herniated) disks through the additional strain placed on their spinal cord. This can result in partial or full paralysis, but is often treatable through a variety of methods. Fortunately, a full recovery is likely if the problem is dealt with promptly (as soon as there’s any evidence at all that the dog is having neck or back pain). In addition, to reduce the chance of disc problems, it is important to make sure a dachshund does not do things that put additional stress on his back, like jumping off furniture or running down stairs. This is not to suggest that you can completely avoid such things all the time (after all, dogs will be dogs), but you can take steps to minimize how often they occur. For example, if you allow your dachshund access to the sofa or bed, it would be a good idea to get a ramp and teach him to use it when he is young; using a ramp to get on and off furniture, rather than jumping, reduces the shock on their discs that jumping can cause. Also, you should be careful, when holding a dachshund, to keep his back horizontal. Holding him like a football, with his rear quarters tucked under your arm, and your hands supporting his chest usually keeps the back in the horizontal position, thus reducing stress on the back. Don’t interpret this to mean that dachshunds are fragile dogs – they’re not (after all, they were bred for hunting). It’s just that an ounce of prevention goes a long way. And if you accidentally hold one the wrong way, it’s not like he will immediately develop back problems, either. But you might as well take reasonable precautions.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Are dachshunds easy to housebreak?
Housebreaking can be difficult with dachshunds. While most dachshunds do eventually get the hang of it, it is not totally uncommon to hear things like “she’s 95% reliable.” Most likely it is their independent nature that makes them a little difficult to housebreak. It’s not that they don’t know any better, or that they maliciously want to be disobedient; it’s just that they don’t always see the necessity of relieving themselves outside (especially in bad weather), and they are willing to accept the consequences. Unless you’re a real ogre, the minute you see one look up at you with his inquisitive, adoring expression, capped off with his brown, almond shaped, soulful eyes, you’ll understand why they often get away with things. Patience goes a long way with housebreaking a dachshund. We start our puppies out at about three weeks old with the “puppy potty training pads”. By the time they are ready to go to their new homes they are doing very good with finding the potty pads. I don’t let my puppies go outside on the ground until they have had at least 3 puppy vaccinations. After that I start moving the puppy pad closer and closer to the door every couple of days. Then right outside the door and gradually out into the yard. This has worked the best for us in potty training. And it also comes in useful when you have a full day away from home planned and do not want to keep them crated the whole time. All of my older dogs still use the potty pads in those instances.
Are they trainable?
Dachshunds are very intelligent dogs. They learn fast, but mostly when it suits their purposes. This is where their stubbornness shows itself most clearly, making some a bit of a challenge to train. Although they absolutely can learn, they definitely have their own agenda, which may or may not coincide with yours. With proper motivation (treats!) they can be trained. They are also very clever in ways you’d never expect. It is not impossible to show a Dachshund in the obedience ring, but it’s definitely not the most common dog for this purpose. Like housebreaking, consistence and patience goes a long way.
How are they with children?
Dachshunds can be very good with children, provided they are socialized properly when they are puppies. It is a good idea to let your dachshund meet as many people as possible at an early age, including adults, teenagers, and children. Good experiences with people at an early age will make your dachshund a very good canine citizen, who gets along with almost everybody. Still, no matter how good any animal is with children, you should never leave them unsupervised. All of our dachshunds get along very well with children and adults of all ages. It’s very important to teach your children how to hold, and play with the new puppy without being to rough and hurting it. This protects the puppy from unwanted injuries and expensive vet bills. And also insures that as the puppy grows, it will love and respect its child playmate.
Do they bark a lot? What do they sound like?
Once they find their voice, they have barks that sound like they come from much bigger dogs, making them good watch dogs – not guard dogs (which will actually attack) but watch dogs, which only make a lot of noise. You can teach your new family member what the words “No Bark” means when they get a little to “barky”.
Do they have any funny habits?
One peculiar thing they do is to roll around in smelly things when they encounter them. Rolling on earthworms or dead bugs, for example, is a popular dachshund pastime. This is due to their hunting instinct. While doing this, they are trying to “lose their scent” so that their prey cannot smell them. Another carry-over from their hunting instincts is their love of digging, and if left unsupervised, they can often be found digging for grubs in your lawn. Although this trait is usually seen outdoors, it also follows them into the house, where they like to tunnel through blankets until they get it “just right.”
Are they clean dogs?
They are little-medium shedders, relatively clean, and they have little or no doggy odor. They don’t need to be bathed often (less than once a month, unless, of course, they’ve gotten into something, which they’re known to do).
How much exercise do they need?
They require a modest amount of exercise. Two walks of moderate distance (each about 1/2 mile) a day should be pretty good. More if you’re so inclined. They’re a long-lived breed that can live up to 16 years or more with proper care. Because they are such social creatures, they don’t do well as outdoor dogs – they need to be with their humans.
What activities can I do with my Dachshund?
Even though they were originally bred to go to ground to hunt badgers, Dachshunds have evolved to become a very versatile breed, and there are many types of activities you can do with them, that will be fun for you and your dog. Besides being wonderful family pets, you can show them in conformation, do obedience work with them, enter them in field trials (tracking rabbits) or earth dog trials (where they enter tunnels to track rats), use them as pet therapy dogs (where you bring them to hospitals and nursing homes, provided they are properly evaluated for behavior and temperament). Many people have also done agility (think of it as an obstacle course for dogs) with their dachshunds. If you choose to do agility, please be especially careful with the jumps, so as not to injure your dachshund’s back. I do not agree with doing agility with a Miniature Dachshund.
Should I spay or neuter my dachshund?
The only reason not to spay or neuter your dachshund is if you are going to show her in conformation, and intend to breed her if she does well in the show ring. Otherwise, there are numerous health benefits to spaying or neutering your dachshund, including significantly reducing the risk of certain cancers and other life-threatening ailments later in life, as well as eliminating the chance of an unplanned pregnancy. Spaying or neutering does not alter your dog’s personality, nor does it cause them to gain weight; overeating does that! Many breeders will insist on a spay/neuter agreement when they sell a puppy or dog, and will only allow a limited AKC registration (a puppy with a parent who has a limited AKC registration cannot be registered with the AKC). I do not give any registration with my Babies as I have caught untrustworthy purchasers taking the limited registration papers, ordering the Parent’s Pedigree’s from AKC and then going to another registry, and registering my Babies with “Full Breeding Rights” and breeding them. Without Unlimited AKC Papers, at least they won’t have my linage behind them. Many Reputable Breeders are doing this now. It is unfortunate that we as a society cannot trust the word of other people.
So now that you have decided to share your life with the wonderful dachshund breed, enjoy your new puppy and give it all the love in your heart. The love will be returned 10 times over.