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Fun Dog Quotes – December 19, 2012

Fun thoughts to share about your doggy for the holidays!

“He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours; faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.” – Anonymous

“Lots of people talk to animals…. not very many listen though, and that’s the problem” – Benjamin Hoff

“If you want the best seat in the house…Move the dog…” – Anonymous

“If you think dogs can’t count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two.” – Phil Pastoret

“Dogs are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole.” – Roger Caras

“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man.” -Mark Twain

“My dog is worried about the economy because his dog food is up to $3 a can. That’s almost $21 in dog-money.” – Joe Weinstein

“If your dog is fat, you aren’t getting enough exercise.” – Unknown

“Anybody who doesn’t know what soap tastes like never washed a dog.” – Franklin Jones

“The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.” -Andy Rooney

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” – Josh Billings

“There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.” -Ben Williams

“The reason a dog has so many friends it that he wags his tail instead of his tongue.” – Anonymous

“Properly trained, a man can be dog’s best friend.” ~Corey Ford

“In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely try to train him to be semi human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog.” ~Edward Hoagland

“When a dog wants to hang out the “Do Not Disturb” sign, as all of us do now and then, he is regarded as a traitor to his species.” ~Ramona C. Albert

“Listen to your dog when he is whispering instead of waiting until he is shouting at you.” ~Robyn Hood (TTouch Instructor)

“Dogs aren’t into big agendas. They just want to know where & when it’s safe to pee.”
– Jean Donaldson

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Teaching Your Puppy How to Be Alone – December 12, 2012

Teaching your puppy to be comfortable and confident when being left alone is as important as housetraining. Many owners do not realize the importance of this, so here are some tips.

Before leaving your puppy for long periods, you should teach him how to amuse himself appropriately when left alone, such as by chewing stuffed chewtoys, and learning how to enjoy his own company without becoming anxious or stressed. A dog is a highly social animal and therefore requires adequate preparation for spending some of his time in social isolation and solitary confinement.

To teach your puppy how to settle down calmly and quietly when you are absent, start by teaching him to settle down with a chewtoy at times when you are present. Right from the outset, make frequent quiet moments part of the puppy’s daily routine. Following the confinement schedule will help your puppy train himself to settle down. Additionally, encourage your puppy to settle down beside you for longer and longer periods. For example, when you’re watching television have your pup lie down on leash or in his crate, but release him for short play-training breaks during the commercials. For a young puppy, you can’t have too many rules.

When playing with your pup, have him settle down for frequent short interludes every one or two minutes. Initially have the pup lie still for a few seconds before letting him play again. After a minute, interrupt the play session once more with a three-second settle-down. Then try for four seconds, then five, eight, ten, and so on. Although being yo-yoed between the commands “Settle down” and “Let’s play” is difficult at first, the puppy soon learns to settle down quickly and happily. Your puppy will learn that being asked to settle down is not the end of the world, nor is it necessarily the end of the play session, but instead that “Settle down” signals a short timeout and reward break before he is allowed to resume playing. If you teach your puppy to be calm and controlled when told, you will have years of fun and excitement ahead. Once your puppy has learned to settle down and shush on cue, there is so much more your dog can enjoy with you. Until you have trained your puppy to enjoy spending much of his day at home alone, you might recruit a puppy sitter who has time to spend with him.

Separation Anxiety
Maintaining your puppy’s confinement schedule when you are at home prepares your puppy to be calm when you are gone. Allowing a young puppy unrestricted access to you when you are at home quickly encourages him to become overly dependent, and overdependence is the most common reason why dogs become anxious when left at home alone. Try your best to teach your puppy to enjoy his own company, to develop self-confidence, and to stand on his own four paws.

Once your puppy is confident and relaxed on his own, he may enjoy all of his time with you when you are at home. When leaving your puppy for hourly sessions in his short term confinement area (dog crate), make a point to check how he fares when left in another room. For example, periodically confine your puppy to his crate in the dining room while you prepare food in the kitchen, then keep the pup in his crate in the kitchen while the family eats dinner in the dining room.

Most importantly, when you are at home, make certain to familiarize your puppy with his long-term confinement area (puppy playroom). Confining your pup when you’re home enables you to monitor his behavior during confinement and check in on him at irregular intervals, quietly rewarding him for being quiet. Thus your pup will not necessarily associate his confinement area with your absence, but rather he will learn to look forward to time spent in his playroom with his special toys.

Give your puppy plenty of toys whenever leaving him on his own. Ideal chewtoys are indestructible and hollow (such as Kong products), as they may be conveniently stuffed with kibble and occasional treats which periodically fall out and reward the pup for chewing his toy. If your puppy is gainfully occupied with his chewtoy, he will fret less over your absence. Additionally, leave a radio playing. The sound will provide white noise to mask outside disturbances. The sound of a radio is also reassuring, since it is normally associated with your presence.

When Leaving Home
Make sure to stuff a number of chewtoys with kibble and treats. Make sure to stuff a piece of freeze-dried liver into the tiny hole of each Kong, or deep into the marrow cavity of each bone. Place the tastily stuffed chewtoys in your puppy’s long-term confinement area and shut the door . . . with your puppy on the outside! When your puppy begs you to open the door, let him in and shut the door, turn on the radio or television, and leave quietly. Your puppy’s chewing will be regularly reinforced by each piece of kibble which falls out of the chewtoy. Your puppy will continue to chew in an attempt to extract the freeze-dried liver. Eventually your puppy will fall asleep..

Home Alone
Dogs are quite happy to sleep all day and all night. They have two activity peaks, at dawn and dusk. Thus, most chewing and barking activity is likely to occur right after you leave your pup in the morning and just before you return in the evening. Leaving your puppy with freshly stuffed chewtoys and offering the unextracted treats when you return prompts your puppy to seek out his chewtoys at times of peak activity.

Jekyll-and-Hyde Behavior
Smothering your puppy with attention and affection when you are home primes the pup to really miss you when you are gone. A Jekyll-and-Hyde environment (lots of attention when you are there, and none when you are gone) quickly creates a Jekyll-and- Hyde puppy which is completely confident when you are there, but falls apart and panics when you are gone. If you allow your puppy to become dependent upon your presence, he will be anxious in your absence. When stressed, dogs are more likely to indulge in bad habits, such as housesoiling, chewing, digging, and barking. During your puppy’s first few weeks at home, frequent confinement with stuffed chewtoys is essential for your pup to develop confidence and independence. Once your puppy is quite happy busying himself with his chewtoys whenever left alone, you may safely allow your now wellbehaved and confident pup to enjoy as much time with you as he likes, without the fear that he will become anxious in your absence.

Wonderful Weekends and Worrisome Weekdays
Whereas weekend attention and affection is wonderful, it primes your new puppy to miss the family on Monday morning when the parents go to work and the children leave for school. By all means, play with and train your puppy lots during the weekend, but also have lots of quiet moments to prepare your puppy for lonely weekdays.

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Socializing Your New Puppy – December 5, 2012

This time of year it is especially important to focus on socializing your new puppy. ‘Winter’ puppies tend to get less exposure to their world due to the holidays, weather and early darkness. Remember that socialization includes not just people and other dogs but places, noises, different kinds of people, and new objects. Your puppy may become fearful of new things if he has not been extensively socialized at an early age.

Here are some helpful guidelines:

The Puppy’s Rule of Twelve

Make sure all experiences are safe and positive for the puppy. Each encounter should include treats and lots of praise. Slow down and add distance if your puppy is scared.

By the time the puppy is 12 weeks old, it should have:
(or start right away if puppy is over 12 weeks)

Experienced 12 different surfaces: wood, woodchips, carpet, tile, cement, linoleum, grass, wet grass, dirt, mud, puddles, deep pea gravel, grates uneven surfaces, on a table, on a chair, etc.
Played with 12 different objects: fuzzy toys, big and small balls, hard toys, funny sounding toys, wooden items, paper or cardboard items, milk jugs, metal items, car keys, etc.
Experienced 12 different locations: front yard, other people’s homes, school yard, lake, pond, river, boat, basement, elevator, car, moving car, garage, laundry room, kennel, veterinarian hospital (just visit), grooming salon(just visit), etc.
Met and played with 12 new people (outside of family): children, adults, men, elderly, people in wheelchairs, walkers, people with canes, crutches, hats, sunglasses, beards, etc.
Exposed to 12 different noises (ALWAYS keep positive and watch puppy’s comfort level- we don’t want puppy scared): garage door opening, doorbell, children playing, babies screaming, big trucks, motorcycles, skateboards, washing machine, shopping carts rolling, power boat, clapping, loud singing, pan dropping, horses, vacuum, lawnmowers, etc.
Exposed to 12 fast moving objects (don’t allow to chase): skateboards, roller-skates, bicycles, motorcycles, cars, people running, cats running, scooters, vacuums, children running, soccer, squirrels, cats, etc.
Experienced 12 different challenges: climb on, in, off and around a box, go through a cardboard tunnel, climb up and down steps, climb over obstacles, play hide & seek, go in and out a doorway with a step up or down, exposed to an electric sliding door, umbrella, balloons, walk on a wobbly table, jump over a broom, climb over a log, bathtub, etc.
Handled by owner and family 12 times a week: hold under arm like football, hold to chest, hold on floor near owner, hold in between owners legs, hold head, look in ears, mouth, in between toes, hold and take temperature, hold like baby, trim toe nails, hold in lap, etc.
Eaten from 12 different shaped containers: wobbly bowl, metal, cardboard box, paper, coffee cup, china, pie plate, plastic, frying pan, Kong, Treatball, Bustercube, spoon fed, paper bag, etc.
Eaten in 12 different locations: back yard, front yard, crate, kitchen, basement, laundry room, bathroom, friend’s house, car, school yard, bathtub, up high, under umbrella, etc.
Played with 12 different puppies(or safe adult dogs)as much as possible.
Left alone safely, away from family and other aminals (5-45 minutes) 12 times a week
Experienced a leash and collar 12 different times in 12 different locations.

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