Saturday, May 21, 2011

New Puppy (Part 2).

You have welcomed your new puppy home.
 Your new fuzzy family member is a little
 confused, a lot excited, and not one bit
obedient. Of course, that's to be expected.
 Your puppy will be spending a lot of time
doing whatever comes natural, including
going potty, chewing, digging, jumping,
 running, biting, and barking.

How do you help your puppy become
 a well-adjusted member of the family? With
 training, of course. There are many tools
 available today to help you train your puppy.
The following are some of the most common
training tools for puppies.

A well-known favorite in puppy training is
puppy treats. Have treats handy at all times
in order to get your puppy to respond quickly to
commands. Puppies love treats and most
respond very well when they know they'll receive
 one as a reward for doing as you ask. Treats
are good positive reinforcement for puppy
 potty training. Give puppy a treat when the
 right potty spot is used. As with all training,
 keep consistent for this to pay off. You can
 tell a person is training a puppy or dog by
 the pockets full of treats. In other words,
 be prepared to be consistent.

A newer form of training that has caught on is
 the clicker method of training. The clicker is
 typically a mechanical device (although some
people just use vocalization) which emits a
 pleasant, you guessed it, 'click' sound to reinforce
 a puppy's good behavior. People will use this
 training tool for many reasons. For instance,
 if you don't want your puppy to have a lot of
treats, you can train your puppy very effectively
 without them using the clicker method. The
 thing to remember is the 'click' sound must be
 associated with good things, like a pat on the
 head, a hug, a belly scratch, or whatever your
 puppy wants for a job well done.

If you are potty training your new puppy a crate
 is a very useful tool. Dogs are den animals,
 and if you introduce them to a crate early
enough they will consider it their den. Dogs
don't like to mess in their dens, so your puppy
will hold their potty time as long as they possibly
can in order to keep their 'home' clean. They
 will learn to wait for you to let them out to go
potty. This helps with potty training as you can
 reward puppy for going outside when you let
 him out of the crate. Of course, puppy will need
 play and cuddle time, too, so be sure to reward
 puppy after a successful potty trip with time
out of the crate playing with you.

When potty training puppy, there are bound to be
accidents at first. Newspaper or puppy training
 pads can be used to transition puppy from inside
the house to outside. This will keep the inevitable
 mess to one location. This may also be necessary
 if you live in an apartment or other location where
 it's not possible to run outside each time a puppy
needs to go potty. In the middle of a dark winter
 night, you may also consider paper-training
 necessary for a young puppy who hasn't quite
 gotten big enough to hold his potty urge for
 very long.

This is a big deal. Your new puppy needs chew
 toys so you can train him not to chew and bite
 your furniture, your shoes, or YOU! There are
many choices when it comes to chew toys. You
 can buy hard plastic bones for puppy to chew on,
 soft squeaky toys, balls, ropes, and more. It's
 best to try out a variety of toys and see what
 your puppy likes. Make sure to give the toys to
 your puppy quickly when you see him or her
 trying to bite something inappropriate. Distraction
 and expediency is key. Keep the chew toys handy
 and interrupt any bad behavior quickly. Then,
 praise puppy when chewing on the toy you
 presented. Be prepared to have chew bones
devoured quickly. Stock up so you are always
ready when puppy is.

Using a collar and leash is something most dog
 owners will need to do. To walk your dog, you'll
want to start training your puppy by first having
 him or her get used to having a collar and leash
 on. Just having puppy wear them around the
house will help, even before puppy is able to walk
properly with a lead. Then, when you are ready to
 start training puppy to walk alongside you, the
collar and leash won't be foreign.  Be prepared for
 some resistance at first while your puppy tries to
 understand how it all works and what you expect.
 And, don't plan to go very far in the beginning.
 A walk down the driveway may be all your little
 puppy, or you, can handle at first.

Training a new puppy can be a rewarding
 experience, especially if you have the right
 tools for the job. These basic training tools
can help you and your puppy get started on
the right foot - or paw!

Bringing a new puppy home is a fun time for all.
 The kids are thrilled to have such a fun, furry
 friend and the parents are excited to have a
playmate for the family. Then reality hits. Soon,
it becomes clear that puppies and kids don't
always mix.

Don't stress. You can help the kids and the new
 puppy become friends, but first you must learn
 how the pack relates. Yes, there is a 'pack' now
 in your family.

In most cases, one of the parents will become
 the dominant 'leader' of the pack according to
your puppy. You will be seen as the boss and
 puppy will look to you for commands. You will
use this to your advantage during training and
 positioning the pack.

As for the kids, to your puppy they are equals,
 and puppy may feel they have some control over
 their 'equals.' This means the puppy will most
 likely treat them like he or she would other puppies.
  In other words, your puppy will treat the kids in
 the family as siblings. There will be little
 respect, some fighting (biting), some yelling
 (barking), and probably jealousy when it comes to
 attention of the parents.

Most kids will be very excited around puppies.
The puppy will see this as a sign of weakness.
Just like they will see you as the leader of the
pack, they will take this excitement as an indication
 that the kids are beneath them in rank and treat
 them as such. Playful behavior is expected, but
 uncontrolled excited behavior will confuse the
 puppy. This behavior needs to be corrected as
 quickly as possible.

Your puppy needs to learn that they are not in
 charge of the kids. They are at the bottom of
 the chain of command. It could become
 dangerous if this isn't corrected as the dog will
 see the kids as their property and may try to
protect them from other kids or people.

Puppy may also turn on your child if certain
behavior is seen as unacceptable and may try to
 reprimand the child by nipping or biting. Puppy
 needs to learn that your children are NOT siblings
 and that you are in charge of everyone's discipline.
 This is a good time to tell your kids what you
 expect them to do:

  Stand your ground - If your child is old enough,
 teach him or her to stand their ground when it
 comes to the puppy. If the puppy jumps they
must not back up, crouch, or run away. They
 need to stand up tall, turning their back to show
 disapproval as well as protect their body, and
 showing they are actually in control and in charge.

  Never position yourself below or behind
 puppy - Laying on the floor with the puppy
may seem fun, but it sets up the belief within
 the puppy's realm of understanding that they
are 'above' the child. The same situation occurs
 when entering the house. The 'pack' leaders
 and elders always enter the den first. When
it's time to come inside from playing, it's parents,
 then child, then puppy.

  Tame your excitement - Puppy sees
excitement as a sign of weakness. They can
sense a human's emotions and will immediately
react in the way they feel is appropriate. You
 need to train your child to remain calm and in
control. This will make a huge difference in your
 puppies behavior towards the child. That doesn't
mean your child can't play with the puppy. It
 means your child must have a calm voice and
controlled movements to remain in charge.

 Hold back affection - If there is a problem,
your child should not be showing puppy any
 affection until the problem is solved. This is
very important as your child needs to show
authority and dominance. If your child shows
affection too soon, it will again be seen as a
sign of weakness and you'll have to start all
 over again.

This will be a good start, but this complicated
training principle can't be placed solely on the
shoulders of the kids. The parents need to get
involved and show the puppy that the children
are not at the bottom of the pack. The parents
need to watch for this pack behavior and make
sure the puppy knows what's acceptable and
 what's not acceptable.

Understanding, and living, the pack mentality
can be a lot of work. I won't kid you, it is.
Raising a puppy takes work, time, and patience.
 No one can deny the value of this training when
 you have a happy, well-adjusted adult dog that
 respects both you and your kids. This is a dog
to enjoy!

Did you adopt Lassie or the Tasmanian Devil?
While a new puppy is cute and cuddly, things
can go crazy fast! Before you know it, you can
 have a mini-tornado on your hands; a whirling
dervish of chewing and biting and furniture
 stuffing flying and shoes left in tatters.

Puppies love to bite and chew whatever they
can find. It's no wonder, since from birth it's
a major part of their lifestyle and communication.
 A new puppy will play around biting other
 puppies and their parents all day long. It's how
they have fun, it's how they learn what's what,
and it's how they learn their limits. It's not
 surprising, then, that your little puppy wants to
chew on your things, and you, too.

There are a number of things you can do to
encourage your puppy to curb this behavior
 without deterring the puppy's playful nature,
or the need to chew. When your puppy is trying to
 chew or bite on things, just remember this
 training tip – R.E.S.T.

  Replace – Instead of furniture, shoes, and you,
 allow your puppy to chew on toys you've bought
 for such a purpose. There are rawhide bones,
plastic bones, ropes and other toys and treats
made for chewing. Make sure puppy knows
where to find them and that they are always
 available when the urge to chew hits. Just
saying 'no' to chewing doesn't work; puppy
 needs a replacement.

 Energize – Is puppy trying to bite you to
 play? Instead of constantly scolding him, you
 need to energize puppy with some playful
 games. Wrestle around, chase around, or throw
 a ball to fetch. He's got energy and he wants to
 use it. Have fun while playing around with puppy
so he's distracted, happy, and forgets he even
 wanted to bite. The bonus is all that playing
 around burns energy and the little darling may
 even take a nap.

  Settle – Sometimes, when puppies gets
overexcited, they start to nip and bite. You will
know when your playful puppy goes from fun to
 frantic when he or she starts nipping again, and
 perhaps panting. Calm down your puppy by
gently holding and petting rhythmically, keeping
the puppy in one position, preferably down on
his or her side. Don't push your puppy away as
this will only translate into another game, inciting
 the puppy's instinct to play. Lower your voice,
 calm your motions, and wait until your puppy
 settles before you play again.

  Trap – If you let a young puppy have free-run of
 your home, you are apt to find it difficult to
control the chewing. It's a better idea to designate
 an area and gate it off so that you can keep only
 puppy-friendly materials in there. This will
prevent you from going crazy chasing after puppy
 trying to stop the chewing. It will also eliminate
 stress on the puppy, constantly being reprimanded
for chewing when that's all a puppy wants to do.
 Fill your puppy-friendly place with lots of chew
toys so you both can relax.

It's hard for a puppy to give up chewing and biting
 just for you and your sanity. It's up to you to
 teach your puppy that this is not acceptable to do
 on certain things. It may take some time, but your
 puppy will learn what can and cannot be chewed.
 With these four simple tips – Replace, Energize,
 Settle, Trap – you and your puppy will come to
an understanding and enjoy a long, wonderful

It's no secret that puppies love to play! They
 seem to have boundless energy and are on
 the constant lookout for something fun to play
with. Toys are a great way to help you play with
 your puppy, or to distract them while you
 take a little break.

Here are a few types of toys to consider buying
for your puppy to distract, train, and just have

  Stuffed Toys – You'll find many stuffed toys
 that are shaped in all sorts of amusing critters
 and objects. These are great play toys
 especially for puppy because they are soft and
give puppy something to sink those tiny little
 baby teeth into while offering a cuddly factor.
 Be aware of broken seams and stuffing coming

  Squeaky Toys – Some puppies love to get
 a reaction from their toys and squeaky toys are
 perfect for that. If your puppy has a hunting
 lineage, you may notice there will be a 'kill' in
 the making with this sort of toy. Once the toy
 is 'killed' (the squeaker removed) the puppy may
 lose interest in the toy. The constant squeaking
 may be a bit disturbing since puppies don't really
care what you're doing when they're ready to
 play. If puppy is very young, do pay attention
 as the squeaking device may be small enough to
swallow if they should happen to get it out.
 Chew Toys – Buy hard plastic 'bones' and
 real rawhide, or other bones and toys for
puppy to chew on. Be sure to limit the amount of
 time puppy chews on the real rawhide as it is
difficult to digest and you want to avoid letting
them break off and swallow large chunks. A big
supply of good chew toys and bones are a
 necessary investment. Buying bones specially
 made to hold up for a long time will help the
  Balls – Puppies love chasing balls. Your puppy
 will bat a ball around and keep entertained
 without any help from you. However, the real
joy your puppy will have is playing fetch with you.
 Make sure the ball is large enough so it doesn't
 pose a choking hazard. Also, make sure the ball
 is solid enough not to be chewed up easily.
Tennis balls are a favorite choice for many dog
  Ropes – Tugging on a rope and carrying it
around is always fun. You can buy thick, strong
ropes at the pet store just for this purpose.
 Be sure not to get too aggressive with this play.
You are probably quite a big bigger than your
 dog, and certainly your puppy, and you can
tug too hard and hurt your puppy's jaw, neck,
or teeth. Keep the play more about chasing the
puppy while he runs with the rope than about
 tugging it away from him or her.
  Frisbees – Toys that fly far are perfect for
 playing fetch. This is an opportunity for you
 to teach puppy to retrieve and return. Find a
safe, wide open field and your puppy will run off
 a lot of energy. The exercise is great for both of

When choosing the toys you want for your puppy,
be sure to keep some safety and training issues
 in mind. Here are a few:

  Watch for choking hazards - The easiest way to
 avoid buying toys that may present chocking
hazards for puppies is to buy them from a good
 pet store. Pet stores have a big selection of puppy
-safe toys to choose from. If you do get puppy
toys that you're not sure about, check them over
for objects that are sewn or glued on that won't
hold up to your puppy's chewing. Just cut them
 off before giving to your puppy.

  Only keep a few toys out - If you've bought your
 puppy a lot of toys, don't present them all at once.
 One or two toys at a time will excite your puppy;
 any more than that will just be overwhelming
and your puppy may ignore them all. Then,
 as old toys get destroyed or no longer useful,
introduce one new toy at a time.

  Keep toys in a bin nearby - To keep your own
sanity you'll probably want to have a bin or toy
 box for the puppy toys. This is a place where
 puppy can always find them and you can show
 him where they go when finished. That way,
 when puppy wants to play he knows exactly
 where to go to find the toys. You will also be
 able to quickly grab something to distract
 puppy when needed.

Puppy fun time is one of the great joys of being
 a puppy, and a puppy parent. Make sure you
 take the time to get your puppy the best toys
 for the hard work of playing. Be sure you also
 get in all the playtime you can with your puppy.
 Time flies quickly, and your puppy won't be
little for long!

Years ago, obedience school used to be for the
pedigree class of dogs only. Now, with the
popularity of training classes at large pet supply
stores, every dog can have his day.  These
 classes have brought the obedience school
 way of thinking to the forefront for dog owners
at every level.  Here is an overview of what
 obedience, or training, school for your puppy
can mean for you, and your puppy: 

Obedience school is a place that pet owners
 take their puppies to teach them how to
 behave properly. Some schools will enroll
 the puppy and train them, while other schools
 enroll both the puppy and the pet owner
in order to teach both how to properly behave.

If you are interested in obedience school, you're
 going to want to know where you can find a good,
 reputable school to enroll your beloved furry
friend.  Here are a few suggestions:

 Veterinarian's Office – Ask your local vet if he or
 she has any recommendations for obedience
 schools. Your veterinarian is sure to have some
 suggestions on schools as well as what to look
 for in a good school.

  Pet Store – Some pet stores actually offer
 obedience training themselves. Check and see
 if there is one in your area. Many of these schools
 have the 'parents' join in the training right along
with the puppy. These are usually very relaxed
 settings and are typically priced right because
they are a group experience.

  Kennel Clubs – Many cities have local clubs that
 team up to provide obedience training for their
members. Check to see if there are any clubs
 near you that you can join. If you dealt with
a breeder when you got your puppy, they will
have the information for you.

  Groomers – Dog groomers often have their finger
 on the pulse of pet events and service providers
 in the area. If you have a local groomer, ask
 and see if they can recommend any trainers.

Taking your puppy to obedience school will help
 your puppy become adjusted to living life with
humans and following our rules. You, the puppy
 parent, will also learn what to expect from your
 puppy. In obedience school, your puppy could
 learn some or all of the following:

  Potty train
  Follow simple commands
 Come when called
  Respect children and animals
 Walk properly on a leash
 Only chew on toys, not hands or clothes
  Keep within given boundaries

This may sound like a lot to ask of a new puppy.
 It's true, training takes time so don't expect
 miracles right away. The key to any kind of
 training is that word you've heard over and
 over when it comes to training puppies -

Of course you can train your puppy without
 signing up for a class. However, a training
 class will likely save you time and stress by
showing you training tools that may have
 taken you more time to figure out on your
 own, if at all. Training classes get you off on
the right foot with puppy and help eliminate
 the second guessing that goes with training
on your own.

One thing that you can't do at home if you
 have just one puppy is socialize your puppy
 with other dogs and people. Obedience
 training is a great way to do this and get
 your puppy used to being social in a variety of
 situations. This is important so that your puppy
 does not mature to be shy or aggressive around
 other animals or people.

Choosing obedience training may not be crucial to
 your puppy training success. The choice is yours.
The best thing to do is weigh the options and the
costs, then make up your mind. Then, train your
 puppy by whatever path you've chosen. All the
 best in your puppy training adventures!

New Puppy (Part 1).

Puppies need your time, and lots of it. If you're
 constantly rushing to get everything done, you
 may want to seriously reconsider the idea of
 taking  home  a  puppy. A  puppy  is  a  new
 creature to this world. They need your time
and attention to learn how to properly live in
 it. Puppy is going to need your help learning
how to potty train, how to behave properly
around other pets and people, as well as lots of
 your attention for playtime. Do you have that
 time to give a deserving puppy?

Puppies take a lot of work. Are you ready for
 that? Are you prepared to have mop and paper
 towels in hand constantly?  Are you ready to
get up in the middle of the night to tend to your
 puppy's needs, to play even when you don't feel
 like it, to make vet trips, and to make trips to
 the store to buy pet food? Are you ready to
 handle emergency situations with your puppy?
 Are you ready to spend the hours and hours it
 takes to physically care for your puppy;
 training, bathing, brushing, feeding, and
 other care?

This new family member is going to affect
 everyone in the family. That is why it's
 a good idea to make sure everyone in the
 family agrees to accepting this new family
member. This ensures the puppy comes into
 a completely welcoming home and that you
 don't create any unwanted issues and tension
 between family members, and the puppy, too.
Puppies cost money. Even if you can get a puppy
 absolutely free, your puppy is not going to be
 free for long. Or, maybe you're buying a
 purebred pup. Either way, the expenses don't
end when you take the puppy home, they
 just begin. You'll need money for food,
 bowls, toys, treats, bedding, crates, leashes,
 collars, grooming, shots, neutering or
 spaying, licenses, training or obedience
classes, routine medical bills, unexpected
vet bills, and more. Be prepared for this and
 honestly decide if you really can afford that
furry friend.

We've mentioned that it's hard work taking
 care of a puppy. Will you have any support to
 help you when you need a break? Think about
 this before you take puppy home and you'll
 save yourself a ton of stress. Support can
 come in many different forms; the neighbor
 down the road who walks your dog once in
 a while, the family member who's willing to
 dog-sit when you go out of town, the friend
 who can offer puppy potty training advice
 and help.

If you've honestly answered these questions,
 then you'll be in a very good place to make
 a realistic decision about whether you can
adopt a puppy or not.

If the answers show you're not quite ready for
 a puppy, then waiting until the time is right
 is the proper thing to do. You and your
 potential puppy will be much better off. If the
 answers show you are ready, congratulations!
It's an exciting time as you venture into a
 whole new world of pet parenting!

You'll want to catch your puppy in the act when
 possible, so you can teach puppy the right
 way to go potty. Start watching your puppy
 for signs of a 'potty dance.' These signs often
come right after eating or drinking, and very
 often after a good bit of playful activity.
 In other words, after you feed your puppy,
watch for signs of sniffing, circling, and
 squatting.  Also, after you play, observe
puppy for those same kinds of 'looking for
a place to piddle or poop' signs.

New puppies are great fun. They're cute and
cuddly, they're playful and friendly. There are
 few who can resist the charms of an itty bitty
puppy. This new family member is so loveable,
 in fact, that you can almost forget one of the
 biggest challenges you'll face when that cute
 little puppy comes home - potty training.

Puppy potty training, also known as
 housebreaking your puppy, is rarely easy.
In fact, it can be downright frustrating and
upsetting at times. There are ways to make
sure you get through the process successfully.
 Let's start with these tips to get you, and
 puppy, off on the right foot, or paw:

When you catch puppy getting ready, you'll
 need to show him or her where to go potty.
 If possible, the best thing to do is take puppy
 straight outside in order to help train that the
inside of the house is not a potty spot. If that's
 not possible because puppy is too little to wait
 until you can get outside to the potty spot,
 then you will likely need to paper-train puppy
first with a spot in the house. Puppy will be
 able to hold on longer and longer as time
goes by, making it possible to plan an outdoor
 excursion to the potty spot.

If puppy goes potty in the right spot, a reward
 is in order. This can be your praise and
affection or it could be a special treat just for
 potty time. A mixture of treats, praise, and
 playtime works very well for puppies. Because
 puppy wants only to please you and only to
 play with you, your praise and play means
 everything to them and they will do anything
 to get it – including go potty in the right place.

Since you have been vigilant with your puppy,
 learning the 'potty dance' signs and understanding
 the potty habits, you can now set up a schedule
 so you don't have to watch so closely. Typically
 speaking, most puppies will want to go potty
about 30 to 40 minutes after they have eaten,
 or after waking up from a nap, or after they've
 played hard. With this in mind, you are now
 ready to schedule these times for yourself.
Feed puppy at a time when you know you'll
have time in 30 minutes or so to take puppy
for a potty run. Set up your playtime in the
 same fashion and include that 30 to 40 minute
time at the end for potty time.  If you stay
 consistent with your schedule, you can relax
a bit.

And, speaking of consistency, it bears repeating.
 You must keep consistent with puppy. If you
 are not dedicated to the training, expect failure.
 Puppy is a creature of habit.  Therefore, if you
 are providing treats as a reward during potty
training, be prepared with them immediately.
If potty time is 30 minutes after eating, make
sure you get puppy out to the potty spot in
 30 minutes. Remember, if you are not consistent,
 it is your failure, not puppy's failure.

Puppy will have accidents. There will be times
when puppy will happily go outside to the potty
 spot, only to look at you with a puzzled
 expression. Then, just as you return to the house,
puppy will suddenly understand, and go potty
 on the floor. Be prepared for this and don't get
 too stressed by it. You're looking for improvement
 over time. Yes, time. As long as there is a
 forward progression, you have nothing to worry
 about. Patience will be your best friend while
housebreaking your puppy.

When puppy is very little, you can't expect more
 than approximately one hour of sleep for every
month since their birth. So, if you bring home
a three month old puppy, expect to set the alarm
 for every three hours during the night, or wake up
 to a puddle or pile. In order to stretch this time
 out while waiting for growth and nature to take
 its course, it's a good idea to limit food and
drink about three hours before bedtime. Schedule
 your puppy's feedings earlier in the day to help
you, and puppy, get a full night's rest.

Being prepared with this type of information can
 help you get through puppy potty training
 smoothly without too much stress. Remember,
consistency is key.  If you stick with it, your
new puppy will be happily house-trained in
no time.

Dogs are den-dwelling animals. With that being
the case, you can understand why a dog would
find comfort and safety in a crate or small
 kennel. Puppies and dogs enjoy having a
place to themselves where they know nothing
 can get at them, or is expected of them. Let's
 take a look at the following information to
 find out why you would want to consider crate
 training your puppy, and how you would

Crate training is the process of getting a puppy
 comfortable with staying in a crate as a means of
 security and a safe retreat. That's why crate
 training is not cruel, but is quite the opposite,
providing comfort and safety. Crate training
 may also be used to potty train a small puppy.

Some experts say that crate training is the basis
 for all further training. It sets the stage for good
puppy behavior and gives them a level of
confidence they may miss without crate training.
  Another advantage of being crate trained early
 on is it can help reduce anxiety in the event
 puppy needs to be crated, such as at an
overnight stay at your veterinarian’s clinic or

When buying a crate for puppy, you'll want to
 consider their size. The crate needs to be big
 enough for puppy to be comfortable but not
 too big that puppy no longer sees it as a den.
 If you get a crate that is small enough, puppy
 will greatly resist using part of it as a potty
 place, as they see their crate as their den and
want to keep it clean. If you get a crate too
 large, puppy may use one side as their den,
and the other for a potty.

Resist the temptation to save money by buying
 one crate for the life of the puppy. The crate
you use to train your puppy should fit your
 puppy's size. Then, if you choose to have a
 crate for your full-grown dog, buy a new one to
 fit your puppy's adult size later. Some crates
 and kennels take this into consideration and
 offer a divider so you can section off a larger
 crate into a smaller den for your puppy.

There are many types of crates, some designed
 for stationary use and some designed for travel.
 Some crates are designed to be mini-kennels,
 with features like quick breakdown and folding
easily for transporting. You'll find wire crates
 and plastic crates. Decide where you will be
 putting the crate and how you will be using
 it before you choose one.

Once you have a crate that is the proper size,
 you'll need to begin to get your puppy used to
 going in it. Here are a few tips for getting
 puppy to explore and enjoy the new crate:

  Leave the Door Open - Place the crate in a
central location where you spend time and are
 close by. Then tie the door back so it's open
 and your puppy can go in and out. This will
allow puppy to explore without feeling separated
 from you or trapped. Puppy won't understand
 at first that the door opens as well as closes,
 but will after further exploration and training.

Drop in a Few Treats - As puppy explores, the
 little treats you've left inside the crate will delight
 and encourage more exploration. This will allow
puppy to associate happy feelings with the crate
 and become attached to using it quickly.

  Make Crate Comfy - Add some comfortable
 bedding or towels for puppy to lie on. You
 can also put puppy's favorite toys in there.
Give puppy all the comforts of home in the
 little den.

 Short Intervals Only - Once you start closing
 the door, be sure to keep puppy's time in the
 crate short. Younger puppies cannot hold their
 bladder for very long so don't leave them in the
crate too long or your crate training will backfire.
 Over time you can increase the intervals. Try
crating puppy after a potty break for about
15 or 20 minutes. Set a timer and release your
 puppy when the time is up. And don't forget to
praise puppy for the good work.

  Crate Train Only While Home - When you leave
 for a few hours at a time, section off a safe area
 of the house for puppy to stay while you are away.
 Set the crate in the safe area with the door
 propped securely open so puppy can use it as
a resting area within the play area. Closing
 a puppy in a crate while you are gone for
 a long period of time may cause puppy to form
 an aversion to the crate if associated with you
being gone.

  Crate Use For Potty Training - Once puppy is
 familiar with the crate, you can start potty
 training with the crate for short periods of time.
 As soon as you take puppy out of the crate,
go right outside to the potty spot. If puppy
goes potty, make sure you praise, offer treats,
 and play. If puppy doesn't go potty, then back to
the crate for another short interval. Repeat this
 routine several times a day and puppy will soon
understand and get to know his crate and his
 potty spot. Remember to be consistent if you
choose this method.

If you stay the course with crate training you'll
 find the rewards are great. Puppy will love the
comfort of 'home' and become more and more
 capable of controlling the urges to potty
 wherever and whenever. Puppy will also
 appreciate you for being such a determined and
 solid puppy parent when guidance is needed

So you've decided to bring a puppy into your
 family. Congratulations! Now that the
celebration is out of the way... do you really
 know what you are getting into? Are you
 prepared for the lack of sleep, the constant
attention, the misunderstandings, the persistent
 chewing, the messes on the floor, and all
 that goes with having a new little out-of-control
 furry creature in your life?

Don't worry! It's not all bad.

Actually it's all very good, and puppy parenting
can be extremely rewarding. However, it can
 also be mentally and physically draining if
you don't take time for yourself while raising
a puppy. Here are a few tips on how to get
 your breaks and keep your sanity.

Life might seem chaotic right now with your
 puppy going a mile a minute, around and
around in circles, up and over in a whirlwind of
activity. In reality, your puppy really wants and
 needs routine. In many ways, puppies are
 like children.

Children need rules and routine in order to
 feel safe. Puppies need rules and routine for
 the very same reason. Getting puppy on a
routine is going to help you both. Start by
 creating a schedule. Choose feeding times,
potty times, play times, nap times, and bed
time. Then stick to it.

Of course, you may need to adjust the schedules
in order to keep puppy on track, especially with
 potty training. But, as you work this out,
 puppy will quickly learn the schedule and
 you'll be able to relax a bit.

If you have things you don't want destroyed,
 do yourself a favor and save your sanity by
 putting them out of reach. Puppy is too young
 to understand all the things that can and cannot
 be chewed on or played with. And, if you have to
 be constantly vigilant and always yelling 'no!'
 you are not going to remain sane for long, or
 enjoy your puppy.

As a reminder, shoes make wonderful chew toys,
 in the eyes of a puppy. Keep all shoes hidden
behind closet doors. This will remove the
temptation and frustration. Safety issues also
come into play here. Tape up or otherwise
corral electrical cords. Plants can be either a
mess waiting to happen or worse; there are
many poisonous plants to be aware of. To be
 safe, remove them all out of puppy's reach.
Also, put breakables away. In other words,
clear the decks! You have a puppy on board.
There are so many great toys on the market
today for puppies. Look for appropriate
 squeaky toys, chew toys, rawhide bones,
ropes, and more. Use these to distract and
keep puppy busy while you go about your day.

Be sure to keep a bucket of these 'distractions'
handy at all times. Anytime puppy goes after
something to chew on that you would prefer
 puppy leave alone, like your arm or the sofa,
 pull out a distraction. Puppies need to chew
and they need to play, so make a good toy
 available at all times.

Of course there are going to be times when
you just need a break. Maybe you want to
 get away, or maybe you just want to stay
home and take a nice, long, completely
 uninterrupted nap.

Ask for help! Maybe a family member or
friend can help. If this is not an option,
 schedule time to get out and about to local
dog parks or pet clubs where you can meet
 other pet owners. You may be able to make
some mutually beneficial relationships where
you both help each other out with your
energetic puppies.

Puppies might just be the cutest little things
 on earth. With all the power their cuteness
 holds, you may be tempted to forget to take
 care of yourself. Don't do it!  Find ways to
make puppy happy while taking little breaks
so you can be the very best puppy parent you
 can be. Then you'll both be happy, healthy
 and ready to enjoy each other.

You love your puppy and want the best care.
 Of course that includes choosing the top
veterinarian available in your area. However,
 this relationship needs to be more than
professional; it needs to be personal. But how
 do you find a great vet, one that offers top
 medical care but also really cares about you
 and your pet?  Let's take a look:

There are several methods of finding a vet in
 your area.  Here are a few suggestions:

  Ask Pet Owners – If you have friends with a
 puppy, ask them first. One of the best ways to
 find a great veterinarian is word of mouth.
Ask them what vet they go to, and why. Ask
around at the pet supply store. Pet lovers
 love to talk about their pets and their vets.

 Check Media Resources – Look up local vets
 in the phone book, online, or in the local
 newspaper's business section featuring pet
 care. Create a list of vets to interview. If the
 ad or article has testimonials, call them if
you can.

Once you find a few veterinary clinics worth
 checking out, you'll need to go prepared
 with some good questions. Write up a
 list to include the following:

  What are the hours of operation?

  Do you handle emergencies? If not,
 who do I call?

  If my pet needs to stay overnight, how
 is this handled?

  What are the typical pet care costs, including
vaccinations, medication, etc?

 How many veterinarians are on staff?

  If you're not there, who will handle my

  What are the technicians allowed to do?

  Will I be able to get a message to you?

  How many years have you been in business?

  What other services do you provide?
 (laboratory, boarding, grooming, etc)?

  May I tour your facilities?

  Is there any pet insurance available or
 do you have partners to provide this?

  Do you offer micro-chipping?

How many dogs and other pets do you have?

Even after all those questions, a lot of the
 decision is going to come down to your gut
 feeling. Don't dismiss this. It may be the way
the questions are answered; it may be the
attitude; it may be the time the vet is willing to
 take with you. You can often get a great sense
 from your own intuition on whether a place is
 right for your pet and you. Of course, you'll
need to be practical, too, in terms of hours,
 location, the condition of the clinic, etc.

Once you decide on a veterinarian, remember,
there's nothing to say you absolutely have to
 stay with them after you choose to make an
 initial appointment. Things may happen to
 change your mind.

Go to your first appointment and watch what
happens. How does the veterinarian treat your
pet? How does your pet react to the vet? Is
 the staff friendly and caring? Did your puppy
get the attention he or she deserves while
 being examined? Did YOU get the attention
 you deserved, as well. Overall, did you and
your puppy have a positive experience in the
 veterinarian's clinic?

Choosing a veterinarian for your puppy may
 take some time and research, but it's well
 worth the effort. A great vet will get to know
your puppy throughout the years and become
 a trusted adviser. Take the time and you'll be
 glad to know your puppy is getting the best
 care possible in order to grow into a healthy,
happy dog!

Are you really ready to bring a little furry friend
 home? I mean, are you really ready? Sure it
 sounds all wonderful in theory, but before you
 run out and take home the first puppy who
 melts your heart, there are some things you'll
 need to consider carefully. Let's take a look.