Four basic commands of obedience
Dog Training Situations/Scenarios
Dog Training Equipment/Dog collars and leashes
Dog Training Resources
New Puppy Training - The first two days
Other Dog Care Areas
Dental hygiene for your dog
The basic commands of obedience:
Sit, stay, come and use of the word "no" are the four
commands that are most critical as the foundation to
good dog training and control to prevent the out of
After picking up a new puppy or dog, you have to avoid
some important mistakes that could send the wrong
signals to your new dog.
No doubt, you've already begun bonding with your new
dog, and now you want to begin a training strategy,
setting objectives for each individual training session.
You want to go into a training session knowing what you
want to accomplish. It is important to remember that
your new dog (and most every dog out there) is very keen
to pick up on your visual and verbal cues. If you are
unsure about what you want to accomplish, your dog will
pick up on your uncertainty and take advantage of that
perceived weakness. Showing confidence and having a
commanding voice (with conviction in your voice) is a
sure way to show who is in charge and that your dog
should be taking your instruction very seriously.
Regaring required time to spend in each session, many
people think that longer sessions translate into better
retention... that is quite simply not true!
Most training sessions should be only 2-5 minutes, and
no longer than 15 minutes. You want to set a very
specific goal for each training session and, when you do
achieve that particular goal, you want to end the
session. Importantly, you want to always end each
session on a positive note; you want to reward the dog
by playing with him with a ball or a toy that he likes.
SITUATION: OUT OF CONTROL DOG; NEEDS SOME BASIC
Whining, doesn't sit or stay, doesn't walk well on a
leash, jumps onto people and furiture, chews on wood and
furniture. Totally untrained dog, 3 years old. Name:
Solution: Begin by training two out of four basic skills
- to sit, and to stay.
Before the session, realize that you cannot train the
dog to sit in just one session; it may take several
sessions over 4-5 days. So, we're going to have goals
set to train just pieces of the behavior for each
Start every training session with your dog in a collar
with his leash attached.
TRAINING THE DOG TO SIT: First Session
Bring Champ up, and take your right hand and place it
over his back side, to push it down as you say "sit",
and then say "stay." After saying the word, "stay" you
place your open and flat hand in front of the dog's face
as you are saying the word "stay." Hold the leash with
your left hand as you keep your right hand free to use
guiding movements (e.g., such as pushing the hind
quarters down for sitting, or to place in front of the
dog's face as you say "stay").
If the animal makes a mistake, or continually gets up,
we don't yank on the dog or yell at it, we just remain
calm and repeat the commands. You can do this while you
are stroking the sides of his face, and reinforcing
correct behavior by saying "very good - good dog," or
"perfect," or "good boy..."
If the dog tries to lie down onto his stomach, hold the
leash tight enough that he cannot reach the floor and
bring his head back up to sitting position.
At this point, early in your first session, stay close
to the dog, and do not move back and away from your dog,
as this may tempt him to come to you, and lose focus on
the main objective to stay sitting.
After each good behavior (i.e., where your dog is doing
what you say - staying seated and staying put), reward
him for that good bahavior by saying "good boy" and
petting his face and neck. Many owners make the mistake
of calling the dog over to them before rewarding them,
which will confuse the purpose for that reward. Stick to
the goal! One thing at a time and the dog will get a
clear message of what he is doing right and what the
reward is for.
As you move farther away (in a subsequent session) you
will always walk over to him, and then reward him for
staying, thereby eliminating any confusion about what is
the correct behaviour and the purpose for the reward
(i.e., stating "good boy" and petting him).
You will notice that, after several times doing this,
your dog becomes conditioned to this routine, and will
begin to pay closer attention to your movement and words
as he stares up at you for his next command!
The training process is a long process that requires
strategy and patience on behalf of the dog owner...
Remember that, of all domestic animals out there, your
dog's main motivation is to be your pal and to really
make you happy. Dog training embraces that motivation
and uses it to condition the dog to associate good
behavior with making you, his owner, happy over time.
This again involves patience over time, and repeated,
consistent actions and visual and verbal cues on your
part to reinforce (and reward) this good behavior.
Once you can get your dog to sit when you are in close
proximity, you then want to let go of the leash and move
about 10 feet away and then get the dog to sit. Once
this is accomplished, repeat this command 4-5 times,
always remembering to return back to the dog, where the
dog has sat for you, before rewarding him. This will
reinforce that he is being rewarded for that specific
action, and that alone (e.g., versus him then coming to
you, and you rewarding him, which may confuse the reason
for the reward - sitting or coming to you?).
Next session outline...
SITUATION: TRAINING SESSION: TRAINING YOUR DOG THE COME
Prerquisite: Your dog understands well and follows the
sit and stay commands, and will stay put when you move
away from the dog while holding the leash (i.e., only
about 3 feet away) to begin the training of the come
Training your dog to come to you is usually an easy
behavior because most dogs naturally want to come to
Always start with a starting position that the dog will
know is that point, where he sits and stays, and then
move only about 3 feet away from him, reinforcing the
stay command to make sure he stays put.
Once you move to the destination point, you can then get
his attention by calling his name, "Champ? Champ?"
"Come". and also give a slight tug to the leash. And the
dog should break out of his sitting position and then
come to you. Once he comes to your position, then you
should kneel down and reward the dog for doing well and
coming to you... "Good dog, champ." "Good boy..." And
pet the dog vigorously as he likes it and will recognize
that he is being rewarded for doing something right.
After he does this correctly 2-3 times, we then start to
move farther away, adding 1-2 feet of distance each
time, continuing to hold the leash and giving a slight
tug, as you are using the "come" command.
Now, the goal is to have the dog come to you, without
having to tug on the leash; just by using the verbal
If you do have difficulty getting your dog to come to
you, you may need to use something that is a little bit
more obvious reinforcement, using a food reward or a
treat, or possibly even a ball or toy.
You may also be required to use the reward system to
simply scratch or pet the dog to keep him to stay, prior
to using the "come" command and then
separately rewarding him for that correct behavior.
SITUATION: TRAINING SESSION: TRAINING YOUR DOG TO
UNDERSTAND AND RESPECT THE WORD "NO"
One of the biggest reasons for a breakdown in behavior
during any attempt to train your dog, is that many
owners do not properly train the meaning of the word
"no" to their dog. Therefore, they do not clearly
understand and respect the word "no" so that it
translates into "that is not the right behavior!" when
"no!" is uttered. "No" does not have to be screamed or
used sharply. It can be said very softly and should
still have the same impact Tand be recognized as
incorrect or bad behavior by your dog.
The way to teach your dog, or reintroduce your dog, the
word "no" is to take something that the dog wants go to,
so that you can introduce the "no" command, to keep him
from going to that desired item.
In this example, we have placed some potato chips spread
out, onto a low patio table.
Here, at first, you allow the dog to go to the food.
While the dog is eating, I'm going to say "no" and I'm
also going to correct the dog at the same time, by
tugging at the leash and bring him right back to you.
So, you allow the dog to reach the food, and begin
eating. "No" is called out, the leash is tugged and you
bring the dog back to you, and then reward the dog while
After doing this several times, you then do not allow
the dog to completely reach the food, and still call out
"no", tug at the leash to bring him back to you, and
then reward the dog for this good behavior. Repeat 4-5
times. Note: Depending on both the size of your dog (and
its stubborness), you may have to tug a little harder in
the beginning to redirect the dog's intentions. The goal
is, over time, to have to tug very lightly, as not a
redirection, but a simple signal to the dog.
After you have completed this over several times (and
possibly a few sessions), you will actually drop the
leash as the dog walks toward the food, and not have to
use it to tug at all. When you say "no" at this point,
the dog should look back to you, and then should come
back to you, and then you can give him a reward for this
This is a longer process that requires your patience.
Your strategy is to gradually make these changes in slow
intervals. Repeat the steps many times to the point
where the dog does not stray from the desired behavior.
Once good behavior is achieved consistently, you can
move on to the next step (e.g., where you drop the
leash) and then reinforce that level of good behavior.
Once you have effectively trained the meaning of the
word "no" into your dog, he will immediately understand
and respect its meaning; and it will become the most
important foundation to the success of subsequent, more
complex training commands.
With the effective use of all four basic obedience
commands (i.e., sit, stay, come and no), there is no
limit to what your dog can achieve and be trained to
Examples of the highest level of advanced training are
exhibited during agility training expos. Agility
training [see picture] tests your dog's agility level
and specifically requires dogs to navigate through
obstacle courses that include jumps, tunnels, and other
obstacles that test both your dog's agility as well as
discipline to complete each course. Dog's are judged
based on performances that are smooth and flowing
throughout the obstacle course.
Agility Training For Your Dog
With agility competitions, each dog is ranked in order
of their size. The larger the dog, the longer the course
they have to navigate and the faster they have to do it.
The dog is required to run through a series of jumps,
tunnels, contact walks and weave polls. Each obstacle is
designed to exhibit their individual strengths and
The agility course and its obstacles - broken down.
The open tunnel. A closed tunnel of wire and material
that makes a circular tunnel that is a favorite among
agility dog performers. It is easy to run through and
complete in a quick, flowing motion.
The closed tunnel. A closed tunnel starts with a rigid,
cylindrical entrance, but is then attached to a
collapsed chute of material that, once the dog runs
through it, it allows the dog to get through it and to
the other end, which is also open to allow for an
effective exit. The challenge to the competing dog is
that, by being made up of collapsed material, the dog
does not see that the exit is available after entering
the closed tunnel opening. For some dogs, this is
intimidating to have to go into an opening that is dark,
and then have to push their way through to get to their
owner at the other end.
Jumps require dogs to have both physical agility and
coordination, but they also require that the dog makes
quick decisions. For example, with a hanging tire, a dog
must decide that the proper opening is through the tire
and not around it.
Contact obstacles test a dog's control, discipline and
decision. Each contact obstacle is painted to be
color-coded with a yellow area on each end. The dog is
required to touch, or contact, each yellow zone. This
requirement is both for the dog to exhibit control and
discipline, as well as to ensure the dog's safety (e.g.,
especially during fast-paced, timed competition), as
they would otherwise try to jump over obstacles, rather
than walk through them completely in a controlled
Another contact obstacle is the dog walk. It is usually
a narrow collection of boards that the dog must walk up,
and then walk over a horizontal section, and then walk
down (i.e., also touching the yellow zones at each end).
Small dogs find this obstacles easier for obvious
reasons. Their legs are closer together to accommodate
the more narrow planks, and their center of gravity is
lower to help them navigate the dog walk more quickly.
Larger dogs must consciously keep their legs closer
together and usually will take longer to complete the
dog walk obstacle.
The see saw is also a contact obstacle with yellow zones
at each end. It's the one obstacle in the dog agility
course that actually moves under the dogs feet, which is
definitely a new sensation to most dogs, and can be
unnerving to the dog. Additionally, they must come up
the plank to its pivot point, and wait. Once it pivots
downward to the other side and hits the ground, the dog
must then move down the plank to complete the see saw
Ask any agility trainer, and they will tell you that
weave polls are the ultimate challenge in agility
competition. For the same reason, the weave polls are
known to be the biggest crowd pleaser on the agility
course. Weave polls teach dogs to move with speed and
precision. The closest thing to it that you may know is
the slalom event in and out of poles in skiing. For
training and practice, they may consist of 3-6 poles,
and may use training guide wires that direct the dog in
and out of each pole on the correct side.
However, during a competition, this obstacle is made up
of 12 weave poles that the dog must successfully
navigate by alternating entry through, beginning on the
right of the first pole,then the left of the second
pole, and so on, in and out of all the poles until
completed. The weave poles are by far the most difficult
obstacle for the dog to learn and master. It may take
the dog up to a year to understand and efficiently
navigate the weave polls so that he can compete in and
complete the obstacle course.
As with all dog training, perfection cannot be mastered
overnight. Patience is the key to teaching your dog the
agility training course obstacles. But patience is
rewarded! Once your dog has mastered the obstacles in
succession for the first time, you will be sharing the
pride of that success with your dog and will remember it
as if it were your own son or daughter accomplishing
something on which you worked so hard together,
patiently improved upon, and finally saw success in that
progression. One other benefit of agility training is
that it requires dog owners and their dogs to spend
great time together, reinforcing the bond you share
Dental hygiene for your dog
Dental care is very important for your dog. Just as with
humans, dental disease is one of the most common
diseases seen for dogs. Bad breath is also a by-product
of poor dental care for your dog.
One of the simplest things that can be done to eliminate
bad breath for your dog is to minimize plaque and tartar
buildup. The most abrasive the dog's diet, such as
feeding him strictly dry dog food, will minimize the
buildup of plaque and tartar which is the leading cause
of bad breath in pets.
Chew toys are also specifically made to help with some
dental problems. These do work and do slow down buildup,
but nothing works as well as the pet owner's brushing
their dog's teeth.
The best technique is getting the bristles of a dog
toothbrush under the gumline and between the teeth.
There are dog toothbrushes and toothpaste. For different
sized dogs' mouths, there are different sized brushes.
Should human toothpaste be used? No. The dogs aren't as
receptive to the foaming action caused by the brushing,
or the mint flavor of most human toothpastes. Plus, the
dog toothpastes are formulated to be swallowed by your
pet, where most human toothpastes are meant to be spit
out, and are not really meant to be swallowed.
Teaching your dog to sit up.
What you want to do is start out with small treats for
the dog. First, starting with your dog in the sitting
position, what you want to do is hold the treat over the
dog's head, and the dog reaches up for it. As the dog
reaches up for it, you say "sit up," and you hold the
dog up with your free hand, just for a second or two,
saying "stay," (and reward the dog for sitting up -
"good boy") and then say "come down," and you bring the
If your dog is contantly pulling, trying to get away
from you, and chasing after things, you can take control
by teaching your dog to "heel."
There are many different leashes and collars [see our
dog equipment section], but you must find the one that
fits and works best for your dog. Once you have the
right collar and leash combination, you can then begin
working on teaching your dog to "heel" while walking
To begin with, extension leashes generally should not be
used when training a dog. You need to have control of
your dog and keep him in close proximity during
training, so a "lever leash" is recommended for
effective training. Also, it is very important that the
dog be taught consistently, so either one person should
train the dog, or all persons who walk the dog should
follow the same commands and methods.
Start with your dog placed on your left side, and not in
front of you. With your fingers under the dogs collar,
with a little slack in the collar, you want the dog to
stay put. So, you indicate "stay" and then reward him
for staying. Not too hard, but important as a starting
Once you have your dog in position, you want to teach
the dog that moving forward only a small step (6-12
inches and then stop) and stating "heel" is a condition
that the dog should become accustomed to, and you will
likely have to hold the leash tightly to guide him in
Again, very casually and softly, you say the word,
"heel" and then take the next step. Reward the dog by
petting it, and then repeat through the next step, about
6-12 inches at a time. This also teaches the dog cues on
slowing down and stopping by your side.
If the dog is very distracted by cars going by, or other
people or pets, wait for the dog to look at you before
giving the command to "heel" and then taking the step.
Sessions should be 2-5 minutes and no longer than 10
minutes per session; 2-3 sessions per day. When you are
finished with each session, spend some time playing with
your dog as a message of reward for that session.
Remember that you are starting with baby steps, moving
forward only 6 or 8 to 12 inches at a time. Once this is
accomplished, move on to 1-2 feet and then 3-4 feet.
Over time, you will find that you can walk without
stopping, while keeping your dog in check with the
reminder command (i.e., tightly holding the leash) to
him of "heel." Remember, you never yank back on the
dog's leash. Always apply slow, constant pressure on the
leash, but don't yank back on it.
Let's review the simple steps to teaching your dog to
- keep your dog by your side (not letting the dog get in
front of you)
- start out with very small steps forward (6 or 8 to 12
inches at a time)
- as you are taking the step, gently pull the dog's
leash forward and call out "heel"
- over time, gradually increase the distance and amount
of steps you take
- repition is key; repeat this procedure until your dog
is accustomed to walking by your side
- use a normal, casual voice when using the "heel"
command; you do not need to yell at the dog
- never yank back on your dog's leash; simply use a
constant, gentle pull on his leash
Dogs that grab onto their leashes.
A problem that many dog owners have with their dogs
while on leashes is that their dog will constantly reach
back and grab the leash with their mouth. This is
usually seen more in puppies as they like to play and
like the tactile feel of items in their mouth. This is a
very bad habit that, unless stopped, will become a
lifelong condition that will interfere with the proper
use of walking your dog on a leash.
To address this problem, and correct it, you want to
teach your dog the word "out." You do this by having
your dog sit and stay, kneeling down, and taking the
leash out of your dog's mouth by literally prying it
out, with one hand pulling up on the dog's mouth, while
the other pulls down. As you take the leash out of his
mouth, you then say the word "out." Don't make the
mistake of trying to pull the leash out of the dog's
mouth, because it then can get misunderstood by your dog
as a game of tug-of-war, where the dog wins if it pulls
away from you. Always pry the dog's mouth open, and then
take the leash out, while saying the word "out." Then
reward the dog.
Selecting the right collar and leash for your dog.
When you are considering the appropriate style and
design of your dog's collar and leash combination, you
must first consider your dog's size and temperment.
When correcting a larger dog, such as a Rotweiler or
Great Dane, you need a collar that has some substance
and lasting strength and durability, such as a wider
leather collar. Also, consider the material of the
collar. Although nylon collars can be made in various
colors and are lightweight, they can be more restrictive
on the dog than more substantial, wider and more rigid
materials like leather. When pulled, nylon collars can
actually cut into the folds and skin of the dog. If your
dog may require stronger pulls to counter his size and
weight, you should probably stick with more rigid
materials such as
Leashes are similar to collars in that their substance
should be matched to the size and weight of the dog, and
the pull that you think will be required to correct your
dog during training.
Retractable leashes should only be used after a dog is
trained; it is not a good choice for use during dog
Many dog owners get concerned during leash training that
their dogs are pulling so hard against the leash and
collar that they start to cough and choke as they pull.
They worry that the dog may cause damage to its neck or
throat when this occurs. It is rare that a dog will
cause injury to itself just by applying its own weight
against its collar. Also, it is important to realize
that, during leash training, you should always apply
steady, slow pressure back on the leash, and never yank
the dog by the leash.
Flea collars are now becoming considered "old school"
for effectively preventing flea problems for our pets.
If used, they should never be attached to leashes as
they are not made for this purpose. Today's
veterinarians are now using new technology, through
advanced medicines, which attack the problem
systemically rather than topically.
Choke collars or choke chains are tools for training
only and should be taken off after each training
session. If left unattended with a choke chain attached,
your dog can actually get caught on an object and cause
choking or even strangulation death. Always remove the
choke collar after each training session.
Use of a harness.
A harness fits snugly over the dog's nose and mouth.
Using a harness is a great training method because, when
pulled, it applies pressure over the dog's nose and
mouth, and not pulling against his collar and neck area.
In the beginning, you have to give your dog a chance to
get used to wearing it, as he is not used to anything
over his nose and mouth. Over the course of a week's
time, simply use the harness while walking your dog.
Once comfortable with the harness, you can then use it
for further training.
Dogs that chase
Two of the most common situations where dogs chase after
things are running out the door, and where the dog is on
the leash but runs to chase after something, pulling you
The challenge is to expose your dog to several types of
stimuli that cause them to chase, and to desensitize
them to those stimuli; getting him used to those
Usually, distance to the stimulation determines the
sererity of your dog's desire to chase after that thing.
Using an example of someone walking by your house (i.e.,
a stranger to your dog), get your dog to sit and stay
way back from the sidewalk in front of your house, so
that the stranger can walk by without your dog pulling
to give chase. Once this is done, reward your dog with
petting and reinforcement.
The next step is to move your dog about 7-10 feet closer
to the sidewalk and have him sit and stay at that point.
Again, have the stranger walk in front of your house on
the sidewalk. If this works again, without barking or
chase, reward your dog again, and move closer, another
At this point, the stranger crosses in front, and the
dog then gives chase, pulling on the leash. You can then
get the dog to sit and stay and then reward him.
Running out the door...
This is known as boundary training - training your dog
where he can and cannot go. For his safety and for your
To do this training properly, you need a long leash,
about 20-30 feet, that you can get at your local pet
store, or through this link that we have found is a good
Using the door's threshold as a natural starting point,
kneel down there, and then allow the dog to go out as
far as he wants to, but then at the stop point, call out
the dog's name for it to return. Gradually repeat this
process, while reducing the amount of leash that you
allow the dog to take out. This may take several
sessions over several days and possibly week's but you
should be able to get to the point that calling out the
dog's name causes him to stop and look back at you,
before crossing over the threshold and, therefore,
successfully establishing your home's front door
threshold as a boundary they should not cross. They are
reminded by this simply by casually calling out their
name (i.e., not yelling their name, but in a calm
talking volume voice).
Why do dogs chase?
Chasing is the natural instinct that all dogs have as a
predatory response from past times when wild dogs would
chase down prey as a food source. So sudden movement
away, or balls thrown, or other animals can cause a
natural response for your dog to give chase.
Certain breeds of dogs - the hunting dog breeds - may be
more prone to chase than other breeds.
Puppy training - the first two days
Getting a new puppy is very similar to bringing home a
new baby. Your new puppy becomes a new presense in your
home that cannot be ignored. A new puppy is a very big
responsibility and requires much of your attention
during its first few months.
The first 48 hours after bring your new puppy home can
be crucial to determining your future training success
by planting the roots for him to grow from.
The type of breed that you choose can have a very
significant impact on the personality of your new puppy
and, later, your full-grown dog and companion. Once you
have decided on the breed you are seeking, you can find
a litter that is for sale.
Once you have found the litter, you may want to consider
hiring what is called a "puppy tester," who will
objectively evaluate a puppy by examining all the
puppies in the litter and determine the best puppy for
you to choose for your particular needs.
A puppy tester is a consultant who will have had no
previous encounters with the puppies in the litter you
are considering. He or she will evaluate puppies based
on individual and shared characteristics, as well as
each puppy's ability to interact with the other puppies
in the litter and their interaction with humans around
Several considerations include the puppy's abilities to
- good interest in people
- good social skills for his age
- likes toys, likes to play
- good interest in his environment
- not overwhelmed or excessively shy
Just like bring home a baby and making sure your home is
child-proofed, you also need to ensure that you have
"puppy-proofed" your home from hazards. Similar areas
are areas for concern when thinking about your new
puppy. Pools must be enclosed and protected from entry.
Also, you need to look around your house and think about
what puppies would want to chew on. One of the most
common items used today with electronics are power cords
and surge protectors. These should be brought up off the
floor and secured to a table or desk.
Furniture should be watched carefully as it cannot
easily be covered. You may also want to take any shoes
up off the floor and store them in closets or up on
Just as with children, you want to take any poisons,
solvents or cleaning fluids up off the floor and out of
lower cabinets so that the puppy cannot mistakenly get
into these items and cause harm to itself.
When bringing the puppy home, it is important that you
have a pet container that is padded at the bottom for
both comfort and safety, in case of a sudden stop or an
accident. Additionally, given a puppy does not have the
discipline or training to stay out of your way while
driving, this container will also keep them from running
over to you or down by your feet while driving.
Once you have arrived home, the first thing that you do
is to acclimate the new puppy to both the front and back
yards, as well as taking him through all the rooms of
the house to show the puppy around and try to make him
feel more comfortable with his surroundings.
You will want to let him cruise around and simply watch
him to supervise his behavior.
The crate container that you used to bring your new
puppy home will also be used inside the house as part of
the puppy's training and paper training to housebreak
the puppy. It is important that you do not get a
container that is more than twice as tall as the dog, or
much wider than the dog is long. This is because dogs
will not tend to relieve themselves where they sleep,
and it will facilitate the process of paper training
and, later, housebreaking your new puppy.
To get the puppy used to staying in the crate, you want
to first place him gently into the crate, close the door
and pause. After just about 10 seconds, you want to open
the door and take the puppy out again. That way, the
puppy won't feel that the crate is a prison and he won't
feel abandoned by you. Repeat this process, for about 30
seconds, and then a minute, and so on. You want to do
this until the dog is comfortable without whining or
barking for 15 minutes at a time.
When it comes to a dog relieving himself (urination or
defecation), it is important to note the difference
between coming home to find that this has happened, and
actually catching your puppy in the act of relieving
If you find that the accident has already happened,
there is nothing you can do to teach the dog not to do
that again. It's history and there's nothing to do about
it. However, if you catch your puppy in the act of
relieving himself, then there is something you can do to
intercede to interrupt that bad behavior.
The first thing you can do is to say "No!" in a very
loud voice. When you really startle the puppy, you are
telling him that this is a negative thing and it has a
lot of significance. Then take the puppy by the collar
and walk him outside to allow him to continue relieving
In addition to housebreaking and other training for your
new puppy, it is important to go over an introduction
and checklist with your family's veterinarian and to
give your new puppy a full physical examination. While
your breeder or shelter may have already ensured proper
immunizations for your puppy, you will still want to
have your vet check out the puppy and confirm that all
of his recommended shots have been given. It is
important that you make sure that the vet is ready to
see you when you arrive. A puppy without proper
vaccinations should not be in the waiting area with
other dogs that may be
A good veterinarian will ask about the puppy's eating
habits and make sure that he is eating at least two to
three times a day. He'll then proceed with a full
physical exam to check for any congentital problems.
This will include listening to the heart, checking its
eyes and ears, and a dental examination, to look for any
underbite or overbite that could lead to future
problems. He will also examine your puppy's hips to
determine if he sees any hip displaysia, which may be a
common problem among certain breeds. His weight will be
checked to make sure that he is in the right percentile
for his age, and his stool will be checked to make sure
there are no parasites or worms are present. This stool
check will also be performed one month later.
A mistake that most children (and adults alike) make is
to hold a new puppy too much.
When you do hold a new puppy, you want to take your
right hand underneath his chest and your left hand
around his hind quarters, to be able to hold him against
your body, facing out, so that both of you can be
Dealing with puppies that are teething, or who like to
chew just about anything...
The simplest way to prevent puppies from chewing on
items is to remove those items from the puppy's reach,
by putting them away from them. The biggest risk is to
allow your puppy to chew on any items long enough that
it becomes a conditioned behavior. Once this happens, it
becomes a habit for your puppy that is very hard to
As a great replacement, you can keep dog toys and
rawhide chew toys in a basket or plastic container in
one corner of the room, and always in the same place.
To intercede and interrupt a chewing behavior, you want
to come up behind the dog, and grip the collar and say
"No" as you are pulling him back from the item he is
chewing (if needed, use your free hand to take the item
away from the dog). When pulling the dog away, you want
to have a replacement chew toy ready to show the dog
what is acceptable to chew on. Once the dog takes that
to chew on, you want to reward him by petting him and
saying "good dog.