WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU DO NOT TAKE YOUR PUPPY TO ANY PET STORE OR DOG PARK UNTIL THEY HAVE COMPLETED THEIR SHOTS.
OPR is a strong supporter of Ceasr Millan Training. The link below will take you to his training web site which includes:
Puppy Tips - Behavorial Issues - Behavorial Rehabilitation
and much more:
Cesar Millan Dog Psychology Center
Housetraining Tips for Your New Puppy
Establishing good habits early on in housetraining your puppy is critical. If you allow your puppy to eliminate every where and any where he wants in your home, you will end up with an adult dog who will always have a tendency to want to eliminate in your home. You will have to live with it forever, or go through some time-consuming, tedious retraining later on. A dog is either housetrained or not. There is no such thing as weekly 'accidents.' A truly housetrained dog will NEVER eliminate in your house unless forced to do so or because of illness or excessively long confinement. Don't expect your puppy to be reliably housetrained until it is at least 6 months old.
Puppy Housetraining Do's
-Provide constant access to the toilet area. If you are home, take your puppy there every 45 minutes or less.
If you are not home or cannot tend to the puppy, then you must make sure he cannot make a mistake. It's actually not really a mistake because he doesn't know any better. With young puppies, when the urge comes, they go - it usually doesn't matter where they are or what they are doing. If we didn't put diapers on human babies, they too would soil our carpets and floors. Confine your puppy to a dog-proofed area and line the entire floor with papers. If the weather is nice, the area safe, etc, you can confine the pup to a small pen outside. Don't leave your pup out in the sun, wind, heat or cold. Be sure to provide shelter and water in the confinement area. It's ideal if the pen is set up on dirt, grass, gravel or concrete. The idea is that no matter where the puppy eliminates while confined, it is on something that resembles his toilet area. Your goal is to never allow your puppy to eliminate on carpet, tile, hardwood, or anything that resembles the flooring in your home. Once a habit is established, it is difficult to break, therefore, do not let your pup form bad habits in the first place.
-Praise and reward your puppy each and every time possible for eliminating in his toilet area.
-Feed your puppy at regular times. What goes in on schedule will come out on schedule.
-Use a crate to help your puppy develop self control. Confine him for gradually increasing periods of time when you are home to monitor him.
-Be patient. It can take until the dog is 6 months old for him to be housetrained.
Puppy Housetraining Don'ts
-Do not reprimand your puppy for mistakes. Reprimand has no place in housetraining.
-Do not leave food and water out all day and night for your puppy to eat and drink at whim. Use some common sense here. Obviously if the weather is hot, it is appropriate to give the pup access to water, but if this is the case, then you need to be more alert to the possibility of the pup needing to urinate more frequently.
-Do not allow your pup to eliminate anywhere other than his toilet area.
-Do not give your puppy free unattended run of your house.
Dog and Puppy Biting, Mouthing, Teething
Biting and mouthing is common in young puppies and dogs especially in play and while teething. It's up to you to teach your puppy or dog what is acceptable and what is not.
Biting dogs are generally loving, sweet, adorable, affectionate and wonderful 99% of the time. Only 1% of the time does something specific happen that makes the dog bite. This article will discuss the causes of biting and what you can do to prevent your dog from biting.
First of all, dogs must learn to inhibit their bite before they are 4 months old. Normally, they would learn this from their mother, their littermates and other members of the pack. But, because we take them away from this environment before this learning is completed, we must take over the training.
Socialization Prevents Biting
By allowing your puppy to socialize with other puppies and socialized dogs they can pick up where they left off. Puppies need to roll, tumble and play with each other. When they play, they bite each other everywhere and anywhere. This is where they learn to inhibit their biting. This is where they learn to control themselves. If they are too rough or rambunctious, they will find out because of how the other dogs and puppies react and interact with them. This is something that happens naturally and it is something we cannot accomplish. It can only be learned from trial and error. There is nothing you can say or do to educate them in this realm. They must learn from their own experience.
Another major advantage of dog to dog socialization besides the fact that it will help your dog to grow up not being fearful of other dogs is that they can vent their energy in an acceptable manner. Puppies that have other puppies to play with do not need to treat you like littermates. So the amount of play biting on you and your family should dramatically decrease. Puppies that do not play with other puppies are generally much more hyperactive and destructive in the home as well.
Lack of Socialization Causes Biting
A major cause of biting is lack of socialization. Lack of socialization often results in fearful or aggressive behavior. The two major reactions a dog has to something it is afraid of are to avoid it or to act aggressive in an attempt to make it go away. This is the most common cause of children being bitten. Dogs that are not socialized with children often end up biting them. The optimum time to socialize is before the dog reaches 4 months. With large breed dogs, 4 months may be too late, simply because at this age the puppy may already be too large for most mothers of young children to feel comfortable around. For most owners, the larger the dog is, the more difficult it is to control, especially around children. If there is anything you do not want your dog to be afraid of or aggressive towards, you must begin to socialize your puppy with them before it is 4 months old.
Trust and Respect Inhibits Biting
There are many other reasons your dog will bite and you will have to take an active role in teaching them. However, before you can teach your dog anything, there are two prerequisites that are essential. They are trust and respect. If your dog doesn't trust you, there is no reason why he should respect you. If your dog does not respect you, your relationship will be like two 5 year olds bossing each other around. If your dog does not trust and respect you, then when you attempt to teach your dog something, he will regard you as if he were thinking, "Who do you think you are to tell me what to do?"
Use of Reprimands and Biting
Never hit, kick or slap your dog. This is the quickest way to erode the dog's trust in you. Yes, he will still love you. Even abused dogs love their owners. A unique characteristic of dogs is their unconditional love. You don't have to do anything to acquire your dog's love. But you must do a lot to gain your dog's trust and respect. Another area where we destroy our dog's trust in us is when we scold or punish them for housesoiling mistakes and accidents. When housetraining your puppy, there is never an appropriate time to punish or reprimand. If you catch your dog in the act, just head for the towels and cleaner. You have no right to scold him, because if he is going in the wrong place, it is your fault, not his. If you find an accident after the fact, just clean it up.
Summary Tips on Biting
Just a few tips:
1. Reprimand alone will never stop biting.
2. If no respect exists, the biting will get worse. If you act like a littermate, the dog will treat you as one.
3. If trust is not there, the dog may eventually bite out of fear or lack or confidence.
4. Inconsistency sabotages training. If you let the dog bite some of the time, then biting will never be completely eliminated.
5. Don't forget follow up. The dog must understand that it is the biting that you don't like, not the dog itself. Make up afterwards, but on your terms, not the dog's.
Most owners wait until a bite just "happens to occur" before trying to deal with it and are therefore totally unprepared when it happens - and do all the wrong things, thus making the problem worse. If your dog already has a biting problem you might want to order the book "Help! My Dog Has an Attitude."
Whining, Howling, Barking Puppy
Your puppy is howling, whining or barking for a reason. If the problem is not resolved immediately, whining can become an ingrained habit that is intensely irritating and annoying. Many dogs use whining, howling, and barking as a means of vocal blackmail in order to control their owners.
Puppy Whining Do's
-When confined to a crate or small room or pen, always give your puppy the benefit of the doubt. When she begins whining, immediately take her to her toilet area.
-Teach your dog to accept isolation and privacy. Accustom your puppy to being left by herself, even if you are home. This will prevent separation anxiety and all the problems that accompany it.
-Make sure your puppy is comfortable. Is your puppy hungry, thirsty, too hot, too cold, uncomfortable, sick, or has lost her toy under the furniture?
-When you know that all your puppy's physical needs are met and you have taken the time to accustom her to isolation, then teach her that whining is unacceptable.
Puppy Whining Don'ts
-Do not give in and reward your puppy for whining.
-Ignore to the best of your ability
-Do not let your dog feel abandoned.
-Do not let your dog soil her crate.
Providing your puppy or dog with an indoor kennel crate can satisfy many dogs' need for a den-like enclosure. Besides being an effective housebreaking tool (because it takes advantage of the dog's natural reluctance to soil its sleeping place), it can also help to reduce separation anxiety, to prevent destructive behavior (such as chewing furniture), to keep a puppy away from potentially dangerous household items (i.e., poisons, electrical wires, etc.), and to serve as a mobile indoor dog house which can be moved from room to room whenever necessary.
A kennel crate also serves as a travel cabin for you dog when travelling by car or plane. Additionally, most hotels which accept dogs on their premises require them to be crated while in the room to prevent damage to hotel furniture and rugs.
Most dogs which have been introduced to the kennel crate while still young grow up to prefer their crate to rest in or "hang-out" in. Therefore a crate (or any other area of confinement) should NEVER be used for the purpose of punishment.
We recommend that you provide a kennel crate throughout your dog's lifetime. Some crates allow for the removal of the door once it is no longer necessary for the purpose of training. The crate can be placed under a table, or a table top can be put on top of it to make it both unobtrusive and useful.
Preparing the Crate
Vari-Kennel type: Take the crate apart, removing the screws, the top and the door. Allow your pup to go in and out of the bottom half of the crate before attaching the top half. This stage can require anywhere from several hours to a few days. This step can be omitted in the case of a young puppy who accepts crating right away.
Wire Mesh type:Tie the crate door back so that it stays open without moving or shutting closed. If the crate comes with a floor pan, place a piece of cardboard or a towel between the floor (or crate bottom) and the floor pan in order to keep it from rattling.
Furnishing Your Puppy's Crate
Toys and Treats: Place your puppy's favorite toys and dog treats at the far end opposite the door opening. These toys may include the "Tuffy", "Billy", "Kong", "Nylabone" or a ball. Toys and bails should always be inedible and large enough to prevent their being swallowed. Any fragmented toys should be removed to prevent choking and internal obstruction. You may also place a sterilized marrow bone filled with cheese or dog treats in the crate.
Water: A small hamster-type water dispenser with ice water should be attached to the crate if your puppy is to be confined for more than two hours in the crate.
Bedding: Place a towel or blanket inside the crate to create a soft, comfortable bed for the puppy. If the puppy chews the towel, remove it to prevent the pup from swallowing or choking on the pieces. Although most puppies prefer lying on soft bedding, some may prefer to rest on a hard, flat surface, and may push the towel to one end of the crate to avoid it. If the puppy urinates on the towel, remove bedding until the pup no longer eliminates in the crate.
Location of Crate
Whenever possible, place the crate near or next to you when you are home. This will encourage the pup to go inside it without his feeling lonely or isolated when you go out. A central room in the apartment (i.e.: living room or kitchen) or a large hallway near the entrance is a good place to crate your puppy.
Introducing the Crate to Your Puppy
In order that your puppy associate his/her kennel crate with comfort, security and enjoyment, please follow these guidelines:
1. Occasionally throughout the day, drop small pieces of kibble or dog biscuits in the crate. While investigating his new crate, the pup will discover edible treasures, thereby reinforcing his positive associations with the crate. You may also feed him in the crate to create the same effect. If the dog hesitates, it often works to feed him in front of the crate, then right inside the doorway and then, finally, in the back of the crate.
* NOTE: Except for overnight, neither puppies nor dogs should be crated for more than 5 hours at a time. (6 hours maximum!)
The Crate As Punishment
NEVER use the crate as a form of punishment or reprimand for your puppy or dog. This simply causes the dog to fear and resent the crate. If correctly introduced to his crate, your puppy should be happy to go into his crate at any time. You may however use the crate as a brief time-out for your puppy as a way of discouraging nipping or excessive rowdiness.
* NOTE: Sufficient daily exercise is important for healthy puppies and dogs. Regular daily walks should be offered as soon as a puppy is fully immunized. Backyard exercize is not enough!
Children And The Crate
Do not allow children to play in your dog's crate or to handle your dog while he/she is in the crate. The crate is your dog's private sanctuary. His/her rights to privacy should always be respected.
Barking In The Crate
In most cases a pup who cries incessantly in his crate has either been crated too soon (without taking the proper steps as outlined above) or is suffering from separation anxiety and is anxious about being left alone. Some pups may simply under exercised. Others may not have enough attention paid them. Some breeds of dog may be particularly vocal (e.g., Miniature Pinchers, Mini Schnauzers, and other frisky terrier types). These dogs may need the "Alternate Method of Confining Your Dog", along with increasing the amount of exercise and play your dog receives daily.
When Not To Use A Crate
Do not crate your puppy or dog if:
- he-s/he is too young to have sufficient bladder or sphincter control.
- he-s/he has diarrhea. Diarrhea can be caused by: worms, illness, intestinal upsets such as colitis, too much and/or the wrong kinds of food, quick changes in the dogs diet, or stress, fear or anxiety.
- he-s/he is vomiting.
- you must leave him/her crated for more than the Crating Duration Guidelines suggest.
- he-s/he has not eliminated shortly before being placed inside the crate.
(See Housetraining Guidelines for exceptions.)
- the temperature is excessively high.
- he-s/he has not had sufficient exercise, companionship and socialization.
Buying a Crate
Where to buy a crate: Crates can be purchased through most pet supply outlets, through pet mail order catalogs and through most professional breeders.
The Cost of A Crate
Crates can cost between $35 and $150 depending on the size and the type of crate and the source.
The Cost of Not Buying a Crate
The cost of not using a crate:
- your shoes
- table legs;
- chairs and sofas;
- throw rugs and carpet, and
- electric, telephone and computer wires.
The real cost, however, is your dog's safety and your peace of mind.
Crate time guide:
9-10 Weeks Approx. 30-60 minutes
11-14 Weeks Approx. 1-3 hours
15-16 Weeks Approx. 3-4 hours
17 + Weeks Approx. 4+ (6 hours maximum)
Alternative Method Of Confining Your Puppy
There are alternative methods to crating very young puppies and puppies who must be left alone in the house for lengths of time exceeding the recommended maximum duration of confinement (see Crating Duration Guidelines).
We suggest the following:
Use a small to medium-sized room space such as a kitchen, large bathroom or hallway with non- porous floor. Set up the crate on one end, the food and water a few feet away, and some newspaper (approx. 2'x3' to 3'x3') using a 3 to 4 layer thickness, several feet away. Confine your puppy to this room or area using a 3 ft. high, safety-approved child's gate rather than shutting off the opening by a solid door. Your pup will feel less isolated if it can see out beyond its immediate place of confinement. Puppy proof the area by removing any dangerous objects or substances.
By Robin Kovary, with Barbara Giella