Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Housebreaking 101

The easiest way to housebreak a puppy is to crate train him. Wild dogs and wolves live in dens. So a crate is not a depressing cage to a dog. A crate makes a dog feel safe and secure - this is my house and nothing is going to hurt me here.  This is how dogs naturally feel about crates. We need to keep it that way so you must never use the crate as a punishment. The first thing you have to do to crate train your dog is properly introduce him to the crate. Take your puppy to the crate with some tasty treats that he will love. Through some treats into the back of the crate. When your puppy goes in close him in. Puppies will whine at first - IGNORE the whining. If you give him any attention you will have taught him that whining gets him what he wants and it will be difficult to break him of it. Once your puppy is nice and quiet praise him. Tell him how happy you are that he is being quiet in his crate.

Got a new puppy? Having trouble with house training? Here is the best way to housebreak your puppy.

Dogs like to be clean and like to live in a clean space. They don't eliminate (pee or poop) in their den. Which is why crate training is essential to housebreaking. Puppies should spend most of their time in the crate. Anytime that they spend out of the crate they need to be closely monitored - this avoids accidents and damage.

Take your new puppy out every hour to eliminate. Puppies can't hold it for very long - approximately 1 hour per month of age. So a two month old puppy can only hold it for 2 hours (don't leave them in the crate for too long or they will eliminate in there). You should only spend about 2-5 minutes waiting on them to go. Give a command for eliminating, we use "go park" but you can use whatever command you like. If he eliminates give lots and lots of praise - "good park" and tell him what a good dog he is, rub him all over, and give him a treat. When you go back inside it's time to play with your puppy. Only empty dogs are allowed to have play time in the house. If your puppy didn't eliminate within 2-5 minutes he goes back in the crate. This will teach your dog that he has to go when you tell him to or he doesn't get to play inside or go for a longer walk.

If you notice your puppy starting to circle, looking for a place to eliminate in the house scoop him up and take him outside. If he starts to go inside - stop him (a shout should do it), scoop him up, and take him outside. When he eliminates outside praise him as usual. Your puppy will soon figure out that he only gets paid when he goes outside. If you follow these rules you should never have an accident in the house but if you do and you don't catch your puppy in the act don't punish him. He won't know what you are upset about. Just clean it up with a good pet odor remover. If you don't your puppy will still be able to smell it and think that it's okay to eliminate there again.

Never paper train your puppy - this sends the wrong message. You are letting your dog eliminate on something in the house don't be surprised when he then thinks it's okay to eliminate in the house when the paper is gone. If you start paper training it's going to be harder to actually housebreak your puppy. A dog is either housebroken or isn't. There is no 90% housebroken. He either gets it or he doesn't, and if he isn't housebroken he just needs more work.

Be Wise... Bewaggle!

About Bewaggle:

Bewaggle is a pet services company located in DeLand, Florida. We offer pet sitting, dog walking, puppy training, basic obedience training, and more. We are bonded and insured, with background checks and references. Be wise... Bewaggle!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Doggy Nosebleeds

So you were visiting with your dog and you notice that he has a nosebleed. Now you're asking yourself what do I do? How serious is it? Does my dog need to go to the vet?

Most of the time when a dog has a nosebleed it's caused by an injury or some kind of trauma. If you don't see an injury other causes include bleeding disorder, infection, foreign objects, or a tumor. So, if you don't see and injury you need to get your dog to the vet as soon as possible. 

Here are some things that you can do to help your dog:
  • Take an ice pack wrapped in a cloth and place it on the dogs nose.
  • Use gauze or a clean cloth to apply pressure on the bleeding nostril.
  • Keep your dog calm. He needs to stay as quiet and still as possible. 
Use a soft calm voice to relax your dog and SLOWLY stroke your dog. Fast strokes will excite your dog. If you are calm and relaxed your dog will calm down and relax. 

If the bleeding doesn't stop or if it seems like your dog is just randomly bleeding from the nose it's time for a trip to the vet - umm I mean now. Bleeding from one nostril is an early indicator of a bleeding disorder or a tumor.

We lost our dog, Bill, to a brain tumor back in February of 2002. He was a yellow lab and he was a great dog. He was very mellow and great with people, kids, other dogs, and cats. Bill was all heart and no brains - his full name was Bill Nog the Science Dog.

We had just moved from Vermont to Germany. It was a very rough move for him as moving always is for dogs. Bill didn't cope well with the trans-Atlantic flight. He pooped in his crate and ended up sliding and rolling in it durring the flight. He was scared of the elevator at the hotel when we first got there. We were living in the hotel for about 2 months. We had 2 rooms with only 3 beds and a couch to accomodate my parents, my older brother, our sick dog, and me. One morning Bill threw up on the floor. Then one day we noticed that he had a nosebleed. Poor Bill had been acting out of sorts since we started moving so we thought it was just the stress from the move. (If your dog is not acting like himself something is wrong). The vet told us he had a brain tumor. We were finally able to move into a house and get our furniture and all of our stuff. I really wanted Bill to be able to curl up in his recliner again. He didn't get to stay with us in our new home for very long but, at least he got some time with us in a house again. 

About Bewaggle:

Bewaggle is a pet services company located in DeLand, Florida. We offer pet sitting, dog walking, puppy training, basic obedience training, and more. We are bonded and insured, with background checks and references. Be wise... Bewaggle!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Oh Dear it's Bath Time!

Contrary to common belief not all dogs like the water and most cats really do hate the water so bath time can be a real challenge. They fight you every step of the way - scratch, claw, and bite you in order to jump out and run. Leaving you frustrated and a trail of water and soap. Your pet needs to be bathed though so here are a few tips to make bath time a little easier for you and less stressful for your pet.

Timing is everything. Pick a time when your dog is worn out or tired. For cats you should pick the time when your cat is most mellow. If they are not wound up then they won't be fighting you as hard.

This is now the time to trim your cat's nails - It's for your own good. For tips on nail trimming you can go to my post The Dreaded Nail Trimming.

Your pet needs to be brushed before a bath. You need to remove loose hair and get out any mats in the fur. After a thorough brushing gather all your tools - rubber mat for the sink/tub, water pitcher (if you don't have a sprayer hose), clean towels, and pet friendly soap.

Fill the tub with 3-4 inches of lukewarm water. Don't bring your pet in until everything is ready. Talk to your pet with a soft calm voice. You want to keep your pet calm and comfortable. Use a hand held spray hose or a pitcher to thoroughly wet your pet. Be sure to avoid the eyes, ears, and nose.

Be sure to use dog/cat shampoo on your pets since human shampoo can dry out their skin. For cats you need to make a shampoo solution of 1 part cat shampoo and 5 parts water to lather into their skin.

Massage in the shampoo from head to tail and rinse thoroughly (repeat if necessary). For the face use a wet wash cloth with plain water. If your pet's face is really dirty use extra diluted soap.

Now you are ready to dry off. Your best bet is to towel dry. If the noise from the hair dryer doesn't upset your pet you can use it on the lowest setting. Keep in mind that if your pet has long hair you may have to brush the coat with a wide-toothed comb to get the tangles out.

Your not done yet. Praise your pet and give lots of love and affection and yummy treats. Whenever you are done grooming you should do this. Your pets will figure out that bath time means attention and cookies and next bath time won't be so difficult.

Be Wise... Bewaggle!

About Bewaggle:

Bewaggle is a pet services company located in DeLand, Florida. We offer pet sitting, dog walking, puppy training, basic obedience training, and more. We are bonded and insured, with background checks and references. Be wise... Bewaggle!