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Old 02-21-2010, 12:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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All about puppies!

So, after waiting almost a year and a half, the puppy I've been wanting has been born and can come home March 26!

Problem is, I've never owned a puppy. I got the book Puppies for Dummies cause I'm that dorky and it's making me more confused. Combined with all the do's and don'ts the breeder is telling me, this is turning out to be daunting.

I need puppy advice, tips, hints or anything you can think of.

Has anyone paper trained a puppy? Do you use a dog car seat? The amount of puppy paraphernalia rivals that of human babies, it's a little much. What do I need vs. what do I think I need?

What about the whole feeding raw (like raw chicken backs, raw eggs, canned fish) vs. high quality puppy food like Blue Buffalo or Innova, any thoughts?

Do those sprays to discourage chewing on like electrical cords really work?

What type/brand of chew toys are good?

What is your flea strategy?

How did you train your puppy, voice commands, clicker, hand signals, treats etc.?

I feel really stupid, because it's a puppy, but there seems to be so much to it.
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Old 02-21-2010, 01:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Before we bombard you with tips and "advice". What kind of pup are you getting!?

BTW - I am so envious, because I LOVE dogs and don't have one because I live in an upstairs small condo.

My favorite breeds are (1.) golden retrievers and (2.) labrador retreivers.
However some of the best and smartest dogs I've known and lived with were "pound pups."
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Old 02-21-2010, 01:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Congrats!!! What kind of puppy are you getting? That will effect the answers given to some of the questions you have.

I am the owner of a Bullmastiff that is currently 8 months old. (Check the Pets thread in the Photography Forum, there are loads of pics of him posted since August '09.) He has been a BLAST (and a lot of work!) to raise and train. As I was growing up, we always had dogs as pets in our family, so I've had a lot of experience through that. I've owned a lot of various breeds, Pugs, Pekingese, Saint Bernards, Border Collies, Collies, and now a Bullmastiff. I also did a MASSIVE amount of research leading up to getting our current pup, and since we've had him.

I'll tackle the questions you listed first.

Paper training - Unless you have to, or your dog is going to stay very small, I would try other methods. Best case, you have a schedule where you can let your pup outside pretty often the first few weeks. Some puppies get confused with paper/pad training and struggle to realize that when the owners are home they should go outside instead. We have crate trained our pup since the day we brought him home and are extremely glad we did. He now considers his crate "his space", and will often go in there to sleep on his own, and never, ever cries when being put in there. Using this method, he has not had a single accident in the house since he was 12 weeks old.

Car seat - I haven't used one, but part of that is because my pup is already 100lbs at 8 months old, and would've quickly outgrown any car seat out there. After a few car rides, he's gotten used to sitting in the back seat and just relaxing. Soon I'm going to have to upgrade to one of those separator walls for SUVs and put him in the very back end. I give him a blanket and he's always good to go for a car ride.

Puppy Food - We considered a raw food diet, and liked the principles behind it. But we decided against it after consulting with our vet, and after considering the committment of time and work it would take to be consistent with it. We chose Blue Buffalo instead. I HIGHLY recommend it!! Several of my friends have now switched their dogs to it, and all have been glad they did. My breeder, my vet, and all my friends rave about my pup's coat and muscle development, and the breeder and vet said they both feel Blue Buffalo has played a big role in that.

No Chew Sprays - They didn't work for my dog. Instead, we try to always have a handful of toys and bones (real beef ones, not rawhide) around for him to chew on. Along with some training of what is his, and what is not his, he does a good job to sticking with these instead of furniture or cords.

Brands for toys - This may depend on your breed and the disposition of your dog. If he is a big chewer with strong jaws, go with Kong toys appropriate for his size. This is going to take trial and error on your part too to see what your dog actually likes, or will play with. Despite the fact that he's huge and strong, my dog prefers small stuffed animals, and he just sucks on them or tosses them around. He never tears them up, and has very little interest in things that squeek or can be thrown and retrieved. When he chews, he wants a real bone or bully stick (another great option for pups), and when he's ready to play he wants a rope or stuffed animal.

Fleas - Frontline is a good option. Part of this also depends on your breed and how they are groomed.

Training - We used a certified, private trainer that came through recommendation from family/friends. She espouses the use of both positive (treats and praise) and negative (prong collar) reinforcement. Again, I couldn't be happier with the results. Very rarely do we need to apply any pressure to the prong collar, and haven't had to after the first two or three weeks. It's the same principle as a bridle with a horse, slight pressure and direction are all you need once they understand how to respond.



Hopefully some of that helps. I appluad you for taking it seriously, and wish you and the pup good success. I'll add more once I find out what breed you've went with.
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Old 02-21-2010, 01:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Okay, first thing's first. Your breeder should be your primary source of information and you should trust him over any book you might have. Your vet is also a good resource for health concerns, but behavioural/training issues I'd talk to the breeder first.

Raw food is a bad, bad idea. I don't know where this started, but your dog is just as prone to food poisoning as you are. Feed him a good high quality puppy chow instead.

Vehicular options, as Borla noted, are highly dependent on the type of dog you own and the type of car you drive. I'm personally not a big fan of allowing a dog to be loose in the passenger compartment because it can lead to distraction for the driver. If you have a van or SUV, the luggage area is a good option. Do not put your dog in the open bed of a pick up truck. I've heard too many stories of that leading to tragedy.

Crate training is not just a good idea, it's pretty much mandatory. Crating your dog is not cruel -- if the dog has been trained properly, the crate will be regarded as a safe space. Do make sure you get a proper crate for your breed. A dog like Borla's is going to need a bigger crate than, say, a Pomeranian.

We used choke chains and treats for training purposes. The most important part of training is consistency. It takes patience, but it isn't complicated.
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Old 02-21-2010, 02:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My golden learned quickly that peeing was done outside and I had a very easy time training her about "go outside". Even when she'd start to pee, I'd pick her up and take her outside. I never had to use a rolled up paper to spank her bottom. She just seemed to know that inside was off limits.

As for chewing, I always had a few good toys for her to chew and made sure my closet doors were alwys closed and stuff like leather jackets and purses were put away and out of reach. She did love daddy's smelly socks, which is amazing to me...but she only chewed up one pair. She loved daddy's smell - cuz she liked to lick his feet, which was a hoot to see but not something that happened too often. She just learned more from the positive reinforcement than the negative and was a great dog.

What breed did you get??
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Old 02-21-2010, 02:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hunnychile View Post
Before we bombard you with tips and "advice". What kind of pup are you getting!?
I can't believe I forgot that, she's an AKC purebred Australian Terrier. She'll weigh about 10-12lbs fully grown.

This is what she'll look like grown

She'll be about this small when we pick her up.

So what is with crate training? Why is it seen as so important? Is it the only way to potty train? Is there any way to do a modified crate training with say a puppy playpen kind of thing? I've read that they really like their crates but I can't seem to get past that I'm "stuffing" her in a box.

I have actual pictures of her but they are in my email and don't know how to post those.

Yeah Martian, but the breeder is pushing "raw" food, that commercial food is bad for her, raw eggs, canned mackeral/salmon, raw chicken wings/backs, yogurt, canned duck/rabbit/venison, stuff like that. Then the remainder is feed her food from the table, leftover rice, noodles, veggies, meat etc. should be scraped into her bowl.

I know she's a good source of information, I guess she just isn't giving me the information I want to hear!
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Old 02-21-2010, 02:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Just because your breeder feeds a certain diet, doesn't mean you have to. Raw diets are difficult to do properly and require a lot of time investment. It is also more difficult to offer a raw diet complete with required amounts of minerals, vitamins, etc. that aren't added as they are in commercial dog foods. Commercial dog foods are NOT evil, especially the high quality ones - a LOT of research - science, time, testing - goes into these foods. As long as you're choosing a food whose research doesn't take price into account, you are offering your dog a complete diet.

A note on bones, if you intend to buy them for your dog to chew: DO NOT GET COOKED BONES. My boyfriend is a veterinarian who has seen a lot of broken teeth/damaged mouths thanks to cooked bones. If you are going to buy bones, make sure they are "raw" so they aren't as hard and won't shatter in your dog's mouth.

Re: crate training - it's not really potty training, but rather teaching your dog that they have their own little cave to retire to. It is not to be used as a punishment, but rather as a safe and calm spot for your dog to go to when they need sleep or a break/alone time. If they see it as their own place, you get the added bonus of them not wanting to soil it, so they'll hold their bodily functions until they're in a place where it's okay to go. Potty training in general is about 1) teaching your pup where it's okay to go, 2) allowing them enough potty breaks (especially early on) that they don't mess up, and 3) teaching them to go (or at least show you that they're TRYING to go) on command, so if you're in a strange place you can still produce a potty break without having to take your dog out FOREVER until they decide it's okay to go on their own.

Good luck with your adorable new addition!
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Old 02-21-2010, 02:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Eep.

Never give your dog table scraps. Bad call.

Your breeder sucks. Sorry. In this case, I'm going to go ahead and say ignore her. I know I'm contradicting myself in saying that, but there you are. AKC/CKC registered breeders are often knowledgeable, specifically regarding their breeds, but sometimes you get a bad one. This is why references are also important, but it's a bit past that point now.

Crate training is important for a number of reasons. One is that it's a good way to keep the dog out of trouble; since you probably can't be home 24/7, if you can crate her when you're away and she won't be getting into anything she shouldn't. This is for your convenience and sanity, and also for her safety -- as willravel's recent thread highlights, discretion is not always a dog's strong suit.

Apart from that, it's very important that your dog have a 'safe haven' to go to when she's uncomfortable or nervous. A crate is the best option for this, since it's a nice enclosed space, it's cozy and it is indisputably hers.

I promise you your dog will not mind the crate. In fact, it's probable that she'll love it. The only exception to this is when dogs experience trauma associated with their crate, which usually requires the intervention of a good professional trainer to overcome.

Raw food is not a good idea. Just don't do it. For your pet it's not necessary; it doesn't provide any significant benefits and the risks are high (extreme illness, death). Just get a good commercial chow. I've seen dozens if not hundreds of dogs raised on it and fed it for life. They've lived long, healthy and happy lives with no ill effects whatsoever.

(My 'cred', as it were, is that my step father is an active breeder of bulldogs and bullmastiffs; I grew up in a kennel environment and participated in the care and training of a great many of the pups who passed through).
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Old 02-21-2010, 02:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halanna View Post

So what is with crate training? Why is it seen as so important? Is it the only way to potty train? Is there any way to do a modified crate training with say a puppy playpen kind of thing? I've read that they really like their crates but I can't seem to get past that I'm "stuffing" her in a box.
Dogs are cave/den animals by nature. They feel safe, secure, and at home in a proper crate. Having a dog without a crate is like raising a kid without them having a bedroom.

I'm not advocating keeping them in there 18 hours a day by any means, but having that space for them is key. It is NOT for punishment, ever. It is where they go when it is time to sleep, or time to be quiet. If they are properly crate trained, they will grow to love their crate. I have found that my Bullmastiff will go get in his crate on his own after his last potty break in the evening. Sometimes we leave him loose in our bedroom (where his crate is) at night, and invariably he ends up going in there and sleeping in his crate anyway, even with the door open.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Halanna View Post
Yeah Martian, but the breeder is pushing "raw" food, that commercial food is bad for her, raw eggs, canned mackeral/salmon, raw chicken wings/backs, yogurt, canned duck/rabbit/venison, stuff like that. Then the remainder is feed her food from the table, leftover rice, noodles, veggies, meat etc. should be scraped into her bowl.
Many commercial foods are bad, or at least not that good. Look for something whose first ingredient isn't grain or rice or some other filler. That is exactly why I've went with Blue Buffalo.
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Old 02-21-2010, 03:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Food, as expected, is insanely important.

Ask your vet for some recommendations. When we got our Lab, she was a few years old and was fed Dog Chow or Kibbles & Bits or something along that line. Her hair was wiry and she even had a thinning spot on her back. We switched her food immediately to something of better quality, and within a few weeks her hair softened up and her thin spot eventually grew out.

The problem with commercial foods is they don't often have science and research to back up their formulas. We feed our dog and cats brands that we know we can trust based on good research. And cheaper food often means cheaper ingredients or cost-saving blends (fillers).

That said, I would never feed my dog or cats a regular diet of raw food and table scraps. (Cooked table scraps are a rare treat only.) Nor would I feed them a cheap national brand picked up at the grocery store.

Oh, and crate training, ftw. Seriously.
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Old 02-21-2010, 04:15 PM   #11 (permalink)
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House training usually involves using a crate/pen and taking the puppy out every hour, on the hour, to use the restroom. If they void outside, lots of praise. If they void inside, do not scold, just take the puppy out to finish and praise if s/he voids outside.

Raw diets are almost always best, but difficult to maintain. You also need to make sure you are getting near-exact ratios of the different nutrients needed. The high quality foods, Blue Buff and Eagle Pac, are excellent, and are an easy way to insure good nutrition without having to devote so much time to it. It's also easier as the hard kibbles keep the dog's teeth cleaner; on a raw diet you'll have to start brushing early and often.

Do a search for Leerburg kennels on google. The guy's a prolific writer and sells a lot of videos on dog training. I'm in the process of training a German Shepherd to be a Search and Rescue pup using clicker training; however, instead of a clicker I'm using a high-pitch vocal command, but with the same techniques. It's extremely effective. If you want to research it look up clicker or marker training.

Remember, for the first few months especially, avoid punishment and just reward and bond with your dog. This will go a long way towards easier training in the future. Once the dog is older, punishment becomes necessary, but learn how to do it properly.

Good luck!
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Old 02-21-2010, 04:16 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Another thing to keep in mind as a benefit with crate training:
If you have any long road trips in your puppy's future (to shows, visit relatives, etc), the crate will be a safe way for your friend to travel.
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Old 02-21-2010, 05:27 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I'm another big advocate of crate training, especially for housebreaking. Dogs will try to never go to the bathroom in their den, so as long as she's in there, she'll develop more control over that. However, you can't expect a dog to go 8 hours without going outside until they're around six months old. I believe the axiom for determining how long a puppy can "hold it" (in hours) is their age in months plus 1. So - and this is very important - you will have to take the puppy out of the crate every couple hours so she can do her thing. Yes - that means you'll have a week or two of interrupted sleep, so if you need to sleep peacefully through the night, now is not the time to get a puppy! Also, if no one will be home during the day, it's not a good time to get a puppy. When you see or hear her start to get agitated, or crying, you've got to be available to take her outside. Set her down and wait till she goes, then praise her (I always used the stupid baby-talk voice and say "Good girl go potty outside!!); make a big production of it, and then give her a treat. It doesn't have to be an unhealthy treat - just a piece of her normal dog food will suffice. She'll catch on fairly quickly. Most dogs can be housebroken within a few days; but don't get discouraged if it takes a couple of weeks. And there will be accidents - it's part of having a puppy, so go buy a Resolve spray bottle and some more paper towels - you'll need them!

As far as food - I also agree that Blue Buffalo is a decent brand. Presently I use Canidae All Life Stages (our dogs are both 2-yr olds). Just look at the first several ingredients and make sure they're healthy (Corn or wheat or animal by-products should not be among them). And whatever you do, don't buy into your vet's recommendation to feed her Science Diet. And your vet will recommend it - they all get huge markups to sell that crap.

And patience, patience, patience . . . . . always remember she's a puppy and is still learning what pleases you (and that's their goal in life - to please you). But she'll also test you to see what the limits are. Dogs are pack animals and are used to a social order, so always be the pack leader. If you're not, she will - dogs have to know who's in charge.

And finally, just try as hard as you can to love her back half as much as she loves you, and you'll both be fine.

EDIT LATER: I would highly recommend a book on training - most humans have no idea how a dog's brain works. One I'd recommend is Good Owners, Great Dogs, by Brian Kilcommons. Look
here here


One more thing - especially since she's a terrier, she'll be a bundle of energy. Plan on devoting an hour a day to getting her enough exercise !! That means a few walks per day plus throwing a ball a couple times a day. Don't forget the old saying - "if a dog is overweight, its owner needs more exercise."

As far as toys go, I'd recommend sticking to Kong or Nylabone brands - but then again, I've got a couple of big dogs that will chew anything else to pieces within minutes. I doubt you'll have that problem with a 10-lb dog. But the above two are pretty bulletproof. And if you give her enough toys to play with, she'll be less likely to use your slippers as toys.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:38 PM   #14 (permalink)
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One more thing - especially since she's a terrier, she'll be a bundle of energy. Plan on devoting an hour a day to getting her enough exercise !! That means a few walks per day plus throwing a ball a couple times a day. Don't forget the old saying - "if a dog is overweight, its owner needs more exercise."

As far as toys go, I'd recommend sticking to Kong or Nylabone brands - but then again, I've got a couple of big dogs that will chew anything else to pieces within minutes. I doubt you'll have that problem with a 10-lb dog. But the above two are pretty bulletproof. And if you give her enough toys to play with, she'll be less likely to use your slippers as toys.
That raises another good point that I think I forgot to mention.

If she's chewing random stuff, it's usually a sign that she's bored. You've got a high energy dog on your hands there -- a ball and an hour or so in the yard each day is probably a very good idea.
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Old 02-21-2010, 11:23 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Second the nylabone and kong toys. You don't want to leave your pup with toys that can be broken into pieces and digested; this includes tug toys, which usually aren't designed to stand up to chewing.

All toy use should be supervised to make sure nothing is ingested. Nylabone and kong, though, can be left in the crate while you're gone. Make sure to the pup something to chew on, or the time in-crate can become stressful.
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Old 02-22-2010, 09:56 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
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That raises another good point that I think I forgot to mention.

If she's chewing random stuff, it's usually a sign that she's bored. You've got a high energy dog on your hands there -- a ball and an hour or so in the yard each day is probably a very good idea.
Definitely. And you can probably throw out my earlier suggestion of stuffed animals, at least when unsupervised. Most terrier breeds will destroy stuffed animals, especially if they have squeekers in them. You can still let them have them if you want, just make sure you keep an eye on them so they don't swallow bits and pieces if/when they do get them apart.
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Old 02-22-2010, 10:12 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I'm agreeing with martian on this (the devil just got a shiver), your breeder is an idiot, and that should cause a huge red flag to go up. Sounds like a money breeder and not a breed breeder.

Crate training isn't cruel, it's a safety thing as well as a territory thing. If you don't crate train, you'll reap the trouble later. Dogs (and especially puppies) will always take a mile if you give an inch. There's too much in your house for a pup to get into that can be deadly and/or dangerous for them. Keep them in the crate to keep them safe, but also to show them where their private safety place (territory) is. It speeds up the house breaking because animals don't like to shit where they sleep or eat. Especially in such small confines.

Energy.. yeah.. you need to devote at least (very least) one hour of exercise EVERY day for your pup. Boredom and high energy will NEVER mix. Kongs and Nylabones will help with the chewing, but the more exercise the dog gets, the happier the dog will be and the fewer problems (probably) you'll have.
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Old 02-22-2010, 11:21 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Another vote for crate training. Our dog will be 14 this summer. Every evening when he's tired, he'll go to his crate and sleep. During the day, he'll nap in his favorite spots but at night he knows where his bed is at. When he was younger we used to close the door on the crate at night, but after a while that wasn't needed. When things get hectic around here (guests, etc.) he'll sometimes retreat to his crate, its in a quiet spot of the house. Its his home within our home.

You might want to take an obedience course. Its just as much for the pet owner as the pet. During the course, you establish that you are the dominant one in the relationship. Its very critical to do this otherwise you won't be able to control your dog.

Never tried a raw diet. One issue with that might be if you ever board your dog. That diet might be difficult for the staff to follow. We always provide the same food/treats when we board him when we're out of town. Boarding is stressful enough without a diet change on top of it. And if you do board, have your vet give your pup a shot to prevent kennel cough before hand.

And exercise you pooch daily. Take a walk - on the leash, of course. And not one of those retractable leashes, either. Get a good lead and keep your dog under control during the walk.
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:36 PM   #19 (permalink)
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You might want to take an obedience course. Its just as much for the pet owner as the pet. During the course, you establish that you are the dominant one in the relationship. Its very critical to do this otherwise you won't be able to control your dog.
I second this. A good training class is more about training the human than the dog. A good trainer will help you learn to be consistent and communicate so your dog can understand.

I also highly recommend socializing your pup once he's gotten his first batches of shots and is able to be around other dogs. We have exposed our pup to a huge amount of people, animals, and situations, and I think he is far better for it. He is able to handle almost any situation calmly, and gets along great with other dogs and new people. The last thing you want is a yappy, nervous, and/or unhappy dog every time you take him into a new environment, or around new people or animals.
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Old 02-22-2010, 01:00 PM   #20 (permalink)
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^ Two very good points ^

Socialize your dog, but not before she's had her shots. Ask your vet at what point it's okay to have her around other dogs. Dog owners are no more responsible than the general population, so many of the dogs she comes in contact with will not be immunized. I would not expose her to a dog park until she's had the full regimen of shots.
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Old 02-22-2010, 01:44 PM   #21 (permalink)
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So many things to reply to, I'm not going to quote anyone, I'll just blab on and hopefully it will match up sort of.

We've already decided againt the "raw" food and table scrap food as a diet. I was just making sure I wasn't making a mistake. We did choose Blue Buffalo and Innova foods, I figure every bag or so I can rotate those two so she doesn't get too bored. But every once in a while I can give her a little piece of cooked chicken or steak for a treat, that won't hurt right?

Yeah, I'm not crazy about the diet the breeder is advocating, but she's really passionate about her bloodline, and her dogs, for whatever reason she's decided this is the only diet good for a dog and is pushing it. That and she has a thing about over vaccination, if I don't follow her vaccination schedule, it voids the health warranty. She's a registered breeder, she's listed on their website as having puppies available The Australian Terrier Club of America

I have a huge organic vegetable garden and being in Florida it grows around 10 months out of the year. I'm out there almost every day, so her getting outside and getting exercise won't be a problem. They just built a new dog park, half is for under 25lbs, the other half is for over 25lbs a couple of miles from the house, so we can go there too.

I'm home all day, so she won't be left alone, not for the first couple of months anyway. I figured I'd have to get up during the night to take her to her "potty space", hopefully that won't last long! So, if she's in the crate should I wake her up if it's time to go?

Thank you for the book suggestion on training, I ordered it. Hopefully it will give me some insight.

I was reading about Frontline for fleas. Do you use anything else? What about flea collars, baths, stuff like that, useless? She will be outside a lot, and we already have an indoor pest control guy, but he only comes once every 3 months. Maybe once a month would be better? I don't want her picking them up outside and bringing them in.

Nylabones, I did come across that in something I was reading, wondering if they were good, now I know.

Thanks for all the advice and tips, I appreciate it and so does she, we've already named her Bailey.
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:06 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Frontline Plus is good for flea and tick protection. Search online for the best price, because it's expensive. Stay away from the Hartz stuff and collars sold in grocery stores.
Also, definitely get her on Heartgard as soon as your vet recommends starting treatment. Heartworm is a terrible disease, yet totally preventable. Again, shop around for the best price - it's not as expensive as Frontline, but it's not cheap, either. And it's once a month - forever. If you discontinue it for any length of time, your vet will require a heartworm test ($$) before issuing another prescription, because giving Heartgard to a dog with heartworm will kill it.

No - don't wake her up if she's sleeping. She'll wake up soon enough! Besides - the object is to get her to let you know when she needs to go out.
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:12 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halanna View Post
We did choose Blue Buffalo and Innova foods, I figure every bag or so I can rotate those two so she doesn't get too bored. But every once in a while I can give her a little piece of cooked chicken or steak for a treat, that won't hurt right?


I'm home all day, so she won't be left alone, not for the first couple of months anyway. I figured I'd have to get up during the night to take her to her "potty space", hopefully that won't last long! So, if she's in the crate should I wake her up if it's time to go?
Be careful switching up foods. That can really mess with a dogs digestive system. If you are dead set on it, either mix the two, or be sure to gradually make the change (i.e. 3/4 one food, 1/4 the other for a week, then 1/2 and 1/2 for a week, then 1/4 and 3/4 for a week). Don't just make a complete switch overnight. Occasional meat treats aren't the end of the world, but if you want your dog to avoid begging, don't do it at times you eat, or off of your plate.



Good to hear about you being home! To me that makes crate training so much easier. What we did for the first couple of weeks is to put him in his crate for 20-40 minutes, take him out and go straight outside to go the bathroom, then let him play or whatever for an hour or 90 mins. Then we'd go back outside to go the bathroom then put him in his crate for 20-40 minutes and do it all over again. It solved two things, he became potty trained very quickly, and he grew accustomed to being in his crate.
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:34 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Yeah, I was under the impression that animals don't like a whole lot of variety in their diet.

And by "like" I mean that they'll either snub it... or they may eat it but puke/crap it out later with unhappy results.

I don't have a dog, but my cat gets pissed whenever his brand of food isn't in the bowl.
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:53 PM   #25 (permalink)
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There are some higher end brands that are identical except for the protein source. In those cases, you can vary the menu somewhat by rotating buying bags of chicken, then lamb, then salmon, etc. I'm not sure you can do that with Blue Buffalo, however - they seem to have different grains, too.

It's always a good idea to gradually switch dogs over to a different food by varying the mixture over the course of a few days, if not a week. Actually, it won't bother the dog much, but it'll make your life miserable picking up after it (you'll need a large spoon as opposed to latex gloves, if you get my drift!)
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Old 02-23-2010, 12:36 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Changing foods too much can be a bad idea. However, you picked a good brand to go with. An old girlfriend of mine was a sales rep for Blue Buff, and from looking it over in detail the stuff is great.

Crate training is ESSENTIAL. It's not cruel. It's only cruel if you leave them in there all of the time because you just don't feel like dealing with the pup. It's also not cruel to keep your pup on a leash tied to you early on. That way the pup learns early on who's in charge, and gets to spend a ton of time with you.

They're like kids in the sense that they'll whine and bicker, but ultimately be happier for discipline. The "dogs are like kids" reference ends there.

Boiled/baked (unseasoned) chicken is fine, and is actually great for treats when you're training. Stay away from the jerky-like treats; they gave my dog a nasty urinary tract infection. The vet asked me that specifically when I brought her in, and I realized that I just started the jerky treats a few days before symptoms began. Go figure.

Warning: RAISINS AND GRAPES ARE POISONOUS TO DOGS. UPON INGESTION, IMMEDIATELY CALL AN ANIMAL HOSPITAL. RENAL FAILURE CAN OCCUR. I spent last week pumping charcoal solution down my dog's throat to save her when she got into a half-pound of Sun Maids. Don't make that mistake.
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:20 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Good point on the raisins and grapes. Also, onions and (to a lesser degree) garlic are toxic to dogs. And - I think everyone knows this by now - never give a dog chocolate.
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:51 AM   #28 (permalink)
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I actually like Revolution for controlling fleas & ticks better than Frontline Plus. It's like an all in one pill.

Revolution: Flea Control Medicine For Cats & Dogs - 1800PetMeds

there's the product page if you want to take a look at it.

And yes, socialization and obedience are pretty much mandatory. Small dogs have a tendency to bite more than bigger dogs, so you'll want to snuff that before it even begins to happen. Don't allow the dog to play bite with you or anyone else.. it can bite it's food and toys, but not humans.

And I'm going to agree with everyone who said not to switch up the diet so much. It can reek havoc on a dog's digestive system.
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Old 02-23-2010, 05:52 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Chicken may be ok but chicken bones are dangerous. Watch out for that.
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Old 02-23-2010, 06:04 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guccilvr View Post
I actually like Revolution for controlling fleas & ticks better than Frontline Plus. It's like an all in one pill.

Revolution: Flea Control Medicine For Cats & Dogs - 1800PetMeds

there's the product page if you want to take a look at it.
Revolution is a topical, not a pill. It comes in a little tube, and the cap has a lancet built in. Push the cap down to puncture the tip, then apply directly to the skin on the back of the neck.

It's rather dear, but also very effective.

And I'll say it again. One high quality puppy chow, switching to an adult formula on the timeline provided by your vet. Since your dog is smaller and doesn't have so much growing to do, you can probably switch over to the adult formula much sooner.

Your pets don't need or want variety in their diet. Stick to the same food unless something forces you to switch, and if you have to switch do it gradually.

There's nothing wrong with giving your dog a boneless chicken breast (or other meat), but it's not really necessary. Most dogs prefer attention over any kind of food treat.
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Old 02-23-2010, 06:41 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Revolution is a topical, not a pill. It comes in a little tube, and the cap has a lancet built in. Push the cap down to puncture the tip, then apply directly to the skin on the back of the neck.

It's rather dear, but also very effective.
Yes, I know it's a topical I was using the pill analogy because it seemed easier to explain it like that in my head.


guess I could have used shot instead of pill.. eh whatever.. I like that better than Frontline

As far as food goes, I've been using Eukanuba for years.. wouldn't dream of switching unless it was to Royal Canin. Food can be pricey, but, you get what you pay for when it comes to food. Cheaper the product, the more crap that's in there. (generally speaking of course)
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Old 02-23-2010, 06:54 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Since there's been a lot of talk about chicken, I'll add this:

One trait all puppies have is; for no apparent reason, they'll throw up every once in a while. Don't let it freak you out. It happens.

But, if it happens frequently, or if it's accompanied by diarrhea, the best thing you can do to help get their digestive system back on track is give them chicken and rice (no spices).
There. That just saved you a $75 vet visit.

Oh - and one more thing concerning treats that I forgot to add earlier: The cheapest treat you can give your dog is ice cubes. And they love the hell out of them.
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:03 AM   #33 (permalink)
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puppies!!!!

you don't train them,they train you.


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Old 02-24-2010, 06:22 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Since there's been a lot of talk about chicken, I'll add this:

One trait all puppies have is; for no apparent reason, they'll throw up every once in a while. Don't let it freak you out. It happens.

But, if it happens frequently, or if it's accompanied by diarrhea, the best thing you can do to help get their digestive system back on track is give them chicken and rice (no spices).
That works for dogs of all ages. If your dog has a digestive problem, chicken breast and rice for a day or two until they are better.
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:25 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Did these nine pups come out of one mother?

What kind of dog did this, please?
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:27 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Look like Labrador Retrievers
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:30 AM   #37 (permalink)
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yup........all from one mom,and they're all in-bre......uh......i mean pure-bred golden labs.

mine is the one with the black neck piece.........

she'll be 3 this may
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:37 AM   #38 (permalink)
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so they're West Virginian pups..

got'cha
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:09 AM   #39 (permalink)
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we like to say here in BC......they're from Sooke on Vancouver island.
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:10 AM   #40 (permalink)
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The only really important advice I can give you is on the food. We buy Royal Canin dog food for Edwin. He used to eat the Purina type dog food but his fur was really wiry like a horse and he matted terribly. Then we switched him to Royal Canin (which is far more expensive) and his fur turned silky smooth in 2 weeks and he doesn't mat nearly as bad. Make sure to spend the extra money on quality food for the pup.
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