Karen Bransgrove's Puppy Tips
NOW YOU HAVE A
Now that you have your lovely little puppy home with you,
please remember that you are his/her new family and you must
have the patience, and find the time, to train this puppy to
behave in a manner that you will be happy with.
Always keep in mind, that this IS a DOG, and although you may
wish to treat it as a baby, it has doggie instincts and will
never be human. (Sometimes this is the very thing that we come
to love most about our dogs! <g>)
This puppy does not speak or understand your language,
so you will have to be very clever and inventive to find ways
of making sure that your puppy understands what you want of it.
To do this, you will need to be consistent, persistent and, above
Always treat your dog with kindness, and make sure that any punishments
you may use, are not harmful or cruel. You will find, that it is easier to
train a dog by rewarding good behavior (with treats, petting, praise or play)than punishing for wrong behavior. NEVER hit your dog. You can show displeasure by using your voice! Your dog needs to associate your hands, with all things good. <sm>
At this stage, your puppy will want to chew on all sorts of things,
and will eliminate whenever, and wherever he/she may be, when the need
arises. It`s up to you to make sure that the puppy is in an appropriate placewhen this happens. Your puppy's natural instinct is NOT to soil its bed. So make sure that you have provided a place where it is OK for your puppy to toilet, when you can`t be there to take him/her outside for this purpose. Provide your puppy with a sleeping area that is dry and comfortable (many of us have found that a crate is the best option for this) and a secure area that the pup can move around in without causing
any harm to itself or your belongings.
You should always have fresh water available for your pup,
in the secure area, and outside.
If you will be leaving the pup alone for any length of time, you should put some sheets of newspaper in one corner of that secure area (furthest away from its sleeping area) so that your pup can use the paper to toilet if necessary. I use an 8-sided Puppy Pen for my pups and put their crate inside this area. Others choose a kitchen, bathroom or laundry for their puppy`s secure area. (No carpet!!) Whatever you choose, make sure that there are no electrical wires that your pup might chew on and nothing the pup can get stuck behind, such as a washing machine. (It`s not a bad idea to get down on your hands and knees and crawl around the intended area, to see what might be tempting to a pup, down on that level.)<g>
Don`t forget, that to your pup, that antique chair, is just another piece of wood to chew!! The curtains are great to chew and swing on, and cushions can be "killed" without fear of retaliation! What fun!....for a pup.
Here is a wonderful tip for all of us, when it comes to puppies doing the
wrong thing.... Take a few sheets of newspaper, and roll them up tight to form a roll. Secure with rubber bands or string. Keep it handy at all times, and if your pup has just wet on your beautiful new carpet, destroyed the kids homework, stolen your husband's socks, deposited a very wet and smelly poop behind the curtains, etc. etc. etc.
Take that newspaper, and.........HIT YOURSELF OVER THE HEAD THREE TIMES!!!!! While saying "I FORGOT TO WATCH THE PUPPY!!! .................
I FORGOT TO WATCH THE PUPPY!!! ..............I FORGOT TO WATCH THE
If you have allowed your puppy the OPPORTUNITY to do any of the above
things, then YOU are the one who has done the wrong thing!!!!
The puppy is being a puppy and will continue to do those things, until you teach it not to.
To teach the puppy what it must NOT do, you have to BE THERE when the
behavior is happening, and say "NO!" immediately. Five seconds after the
puppy has finished the behavior, is too late!!!!
This is why you need to leave the puppy in a safe area when you are unable to supervise its every move. Even when you are home, don`t let the puppy have the run of the house, unless you are right there beside it (every minute - watching) and ready to say "NO!" to inappropriate behavior. If given the run of your house without supervision, your puppy will almost certainly eliminate in areas that YOU would find unsuitable, and it will probably find some of your cherished possessions to use as a chew toy. The best thing to do, is to leave your puppy in its safe area, and take it out to toilet at regular intervals.
After a toileting expedition is a good time to have a playtime with your
pup and to let it explore a little - but, stay with it!!! The time will soon come, when your puppy is able to go much longer before needing to relieve itself, and then you may decide that it needn`t be designated to it`s pen any more. But do be aware, that young dogs will chew on anything left within their reach.
Crime & Punishment
Now that you have your lovely little puppy home with you,
please remember that YOU are his/her new family and must
have the patience, and find the time, to train this puppy
to behave in a manner that you will be happy with.
Always keep in mind that this IS a dog, and although you
may wish to treat it as a baby, it has doggie instincts
and will never be human. (Sometimes this is the very
thing we love most about our dogs.) <sm>
This puppy does not understand your language, so you will
have to be very clever and inventive to find ways of making
sure that your puppy understands what you want of it. To
do this, you will need to be consistent, persistent and patient.
Always treat your dog with kindness, and make sure that any
punishments you may use, are not harmful or cruel. You
will find, that it is easier to train a dog by rewarding
good behavior (with treats, petting or play) than punishing
for wrong behavior. Never HIT your dog. You can show
displeasure by using your voice!
At this stage, your puppy will want to chew on all sorts of
things and will eliminate whenever (and wherever) the need
Your puppy`s natural instinct is NOT to soil its bed. So
make sure that you have provided a place where it is OK for
your puppy to toilet, when you can`t be there to take him
outside to toilet.
Provide your puppy with a sleeping area that is dry and comfortable,
(many of us have found that a crate is the best option for this),
and a secure area that the pup can move around in without causing any
harm to itself or your belongings. You should always have fresh water
available for your pup, in the secure area, and outside. If you will be leaving the pup alone for any length of time, you should put some sheets of newspaper in one corner of that secure area (furthest away from the sleeping area) so that your pup can use the paper to toilet if necessary.
I use an 8-sided Puppy Pen for my pups and put their crate inside this area. Others choose a kitchen, bathroom or laundry for their puppy`s secure area. (no carpet!) <g>
Whatever you choose, make sure that there are no electrical wires that your pup might chew on, and nothing the pup can get stuck behind, such as washing machines, etc. (It`s not a bad idea to get down on your hands and knees <g> and crawl around the intended area, to see what might be tempting to a pup, down on that level.) Don`t forget, that to your pup, that antique chair, is just another piece of wood to chew!! The curtains are great to chew and swing on, and cushions can be "killed" without fear of retaliation! <BG> What fun!!...for a pup. Gwen has a wonderful "tip" for all of us when it comes to puppies doing the wrong thing. Here it is......
Take a few sheets of newspaper, and roll them up tight to form a roll.
Secure with rubber bands. Keep it handy at all times, and if your pup has
just wet on your beautiful new carpet, destroyed the kids homework, stolen your husbands socks, deposited a very wet and smelly poop behind the curtains, etc. etc. etc.
Take that newspaper, and..........HIT YOURSELF OVER THE HEAD THREE TIMES!!!!!
While saying "I FORGOT TO WATCH THE PUPPY!! I FORGOT TO WATCH THE PUPPY!!!
I FORGOT TO WATCH THE PUPPY!!!
If you have given your puppy the OPPORTUNITY to do any of the above things, then YOU are the one who has done the wrong thing!!!! The puppy is being a puppy and will continue to do those things, until you teach it not to. To teach the puppy what it must not do, you have to BE THERE when the behavior is happening, and say "NO!" immediately. Five seconds after the puppy has finished the behavior, is too late!!
This is why you need to leave the puppy in a safe area when you are unable to supervise its every move. Even when you are home, don`t let the puppy have the run of the house unless you are right there beside it (every minute - watching) and ready to say "NO!" to inappropriate behavior. If given the run of the house without supervision, your puppy will almost certainly eliminate in areas that YOU would find unsuitable. <BG> The best thing to do, is to leave your puppy in its safe area, and take it out to toilet at regular intervals. After a toileting expedition is a good time to have a playtime with your pup and to let it explore a little - but, stay with it!
We`ll be giving you some advice on toilet training, but if you have any
questions in the meantime, feel free to ask.
Is your Dog Unwell?
A dogs normal temperature is approx. 38.3 degrees Celsius (give or take 0.5C)
or 101.3 degrees Fahrenheit (give or take 1.0F). A dogs temp rises and falls a little every day - usually a little higher in the evening than the early morning. The temp can rise a little after exercise, when the dog is excited and in hot weather. The temp can fall in colder weather and of course, during sleep. Young dogs experience greater ranges of body temps than older dogs. For example a young dog with an infection may run a high fever of 40-50.5C or 104-105F while an old dog with the same infection may have little or no temp.
Under normal conditions, (that is, no hot weather) a temp of over 39.5C or 103F generally indicates some sort of inflammation in the body - perhaps due to bacterial or viral infection. I have often found that my dogs will "shiver" when feeling unwell. When this happens in cold weather, I cover them with a blanket, and if they still shiver, I know it`s not because they`re cold. Then I start to look at other behaviors, before heading for the vet. I have actually never owned a thermometer!! When my kids were little, I knew mothers who were running to the docs with their kids because they were forever taking their temps and going into a panic. A higher than normal temp does not necessarily mean a child (or a dog) is ill enough to need the doc/vet. I think a mother (even a NEW mother) has a fair idea when her baby is really unwell - this applies to fur babies too, I think. (Just my personal opinion here <sm> - I could be wrong!)
Dogs vomit every now and then, for what seems to be "no good reason", but if a dog was vomiting several times a day, and it continued into a second day, I would be off to the vet, quick-smart! I`m sure the other mentors have all had the experience where you take your dog to the vet, saying "He`s just not right. I can`t figure out what`s wrong, but he`s just not himself ". Nine times out of ten, that dog will have a temp and although the vet may not find anything specific either, that temp tells you that SOMETHING is not as it should be. I think a big part of knowing when your dog is unwell, is getting to KNOW your dog. Then when s/he starts acting in a way that`s unusual to THAT dog, it`s time to start OBSERVING. Is the dog vomiting outside, inside? Is the dog eating as usual? Is the dog drinking more, less? Are the dogs motions looking the same? Do the dogs eyes look dull? You`ve probably all heard the term "hang-dog-look" (or is that Australian only?) - it describes the look of a sick and sorry dog - shoulders drooping, tail down, no energy.... sad looking.
As you can see, there are lots of clues, once you know what to look for. There`s no need to rush your dog off to the vet when just one of these things are evident - you need to build up a picture of how many things are "just not right", and once you get two or three, then you can maybe phone the vet and describe the symptoms if you are still unsure. Most good vets will advise you from that point, and perhaps ask you some
pertinent questions to determine whether you should bring your dog to
him/her. That`s why you need to KNOW your dog. Then you`ll know what`s normal behavior for him/her and what`s not!
Hope this is a help to our new "parents". <sm>
Children & Puppies
I`ve found that schnauzers that are brought up with children are wonderful
with the them, as long as they haven't been treated roughly by the children. A mini
schnauzer puppy is a "little" puppy, and can easily be hurt by young children. It`s only defense
would be to bite, and I`m sure no-one would be happy with that scenario. Never leave
alone with your puppy - it`s a bit like leaving two toddlers alone in a room,
one wielding a pair of scissors! Risky. The basic rule, is not to allow a child to do
anything to your puppy that you would not allow it to do, to a younger sibling. This includes
teasing, pinching, chasing around the house, harassing, kicking, screaming in its
ears, jumping on top of the puppy or otherwise hurting it. YOU must protect your puppy from
this sort of attention, and you would be unable to do this unless you are there to
It`s not such a good idea to allow children to play chasey with your pup. If the
children are chasing the pup, it can upset your training him to "come" because the pup is
learning to "evade capture". If the pup is chasing the children, it can turn on that
"prey instinct" in the pup, and children can get nipped.
Better games for children to play with
the puppy, are "fetch the ball" - roll the ball along the ground and as you throw say
"fetch". If the pup chases the ball and takes it in his mouth, say "yessss!" and call the pup
to you excitedly. If all goes well and the pup arrives in front of you with the ball
in its mouth, say "give" and gently but firmly remove the ball from the pups mouth. (Don`t
tug) Then REWARD. Hide-and-seek is another great game for children to play
with a puppy. They can go and hide, and then call the puppy - when the puppy finds them,
Remember REWARD, doesn`t just mean food. It can be a game with that "special"
toy or just lots of petting. (In fact, I would warn against children giving food to
a pup in an excitable situation - too easy for little fingers to be nipped)
Bones, Dogs and People - alert!
You (and the other human members of your family) need to be able to take food away from your dogs. This is something I ask the members of my Puppy Classes to "test" fairly soon after they acquire their pup. First I ask them to make sure that they can take the food bowl away from their pup, while it`s eating.
If there`s any sort of problem, such as the dog becoming very still, as you reach for the bowl, or any growling, you need to make a concerted effort to deal with this problem. I think of it as a safety issue, as much as a way of emphasizing your position in the pack. A top dog can ALWAYS take food away from any other dog in the pack - if it couldn`t, it wouldn`t stay top dog for long.
If you think you may have a problem taking a bowl of food away, cut up some pieces of cheese, or something a bit special, and put it on the bench. Give the bowl of food to the dog containing about one-third of their meal. When
the dog is almost finished this, pick up the bowl, and put another third of the meal in it, with a piece of cheese on top. Give this to the dog. (Try to be fairly quick) When the dog is nearly finished this amount, take the bowl again, and put the last third of the meal in it, and another piece of cheese on top. Give the bowl to the dog. Make sure that youíre taking the bowl while thereís still some food left in it -for this test, thereís no point in taking it when itís empty.) The dog soon learns that you taking the bowl of food
doesnít mean that he wonít get it back. Therefore he doesnít have to protect it from you. He learns that not only does he get MORE food put in the bowl, but that he may get a special morsel as well! Good stuff! Once youíre quite satisfied that thereís no problem with taking the bowl of food from your dog, you might only do this "once in a blue moon", just to check.
Then you need to be able to take a bone from your dog. For some reason, dogs can often be OK with you taking their food bowl away but will try to stop you taking their bone. I believe that this needs to be dealt with, because if you ever have someone else try to take your dogs bone, (perhaps a visiting child), and they get bitten, all sorts of trouble can result. Maybe, even, legal action
against you, or someone demanding that your dog be "put down" because itís dangerous.
There are two ways of dealing with this. One is to offer your dog a treat, while itís chewing on a bone. Reach for the bone as your dog reaches for the treat, and take the bone away. Wait a
moment, (maybe ask the dog to sit) and then return the bone. If the dog is leaping
the bone, say, "leave it" and donít return the bone, until the dog is sitting quietly. I should warn you here, that even with a treat, some dogs would
still try to bite you when you reach for that bone. THIS CANNOT BE ALLOWED!! Be
ready for this. You should have some idea of how serious your dog will be, in protecting itís bone. If you think the dog may attempt to bite you, make sure youíre wearing gloves and long sleeves to protect yourself. Even the sweetest pup can hurt you if it decides not to let you have this bone - they may not mean to hurt you, but they donít want you to take that bone! Keep your strongest hand free, to grab the dog, and reach for the bone with
your weaker hand. Be in such a position that you can grab the dog by the scruff of the neck with your strong hand if it should attempt to bite you. That sudden stillness, a low growl or bearing of the teeth, will alert you that you need to be careful. You must not show fear - you need to have that
you!!" attitude if your dog threatens you. If the dog "goes at you" when you
reach for the bone, grab him/her by the scruff of the neck, and with your sternest tone,
say "NO!!" and hold the dog still, while you pick up the bone. You donít need to shake the
dog, but you may want to push him/her to the ground if you feel itís necessary. Hold the
until it calms down, but if it goes for you again, do the same thing. Weíre
not trying to hurt our dogs here, but to mimic what their mothers do when they
have "overstepped the mark". A mother dog usually only does this if the pup has committed a SERIOUS misdemeanor!
Your dog must never be allowed to think that they may bite you - never!
This is probably the worst "crime" that your dog can commit, and there have
been times when dogs have paid for this crime with their lives. This is why we need to
make sure that OUR dogs know NOT to do this. If you keep this in mind, Iím sure youíll
be able to deal with any problem. If you canít maintain your "top dog" position in relation to taking your dogs bone, the alternative
may be to never give your dog a bone. That would be a shame. :o(
Itís a lot better to deal with this one while your dog is still young, and
not as strong as an adult dog. Also, theyíre not so "scary" when theyíre little,
even when theyíre trying to be! Iíll be very interested to hear if anyone has a problem
with this one.
Crate Training your puppy
A crate is one of the best purchases you can make - for you and for your dog.
If you "crate train" your puppy correctly, it will become his place of comfort,
safety, warmth and security.
Puppies and dogs too, sleep for many hours of the day, and it`s good for them
to have an area where they won`t be disturbed or accidentally stepped on. The crate will
also be useful to keep your pup in, when you are busy and can`t watch him. Put him in
his crate with a chew toy and he won`t get into mischief while you`re not watching.
If you have children, and the puppy needs a rest, putting him in the crate
and letting the children know that he is not to be disturbed, will save your puppy from
getting "cranky" from the over stimulation that children can sometimes provide.
If at any time, your dog needs to stay at the vets for any length of time, he
will probably be put in a pen of some kind. If your dog is used to a crate, this will be
less of a trauma.
When you travel with your puppy, it`s very convenient to take the pen with
you so that the puppy can be confined in a safe area, whether indoors or out. Make sure that the crate you select is large enough for your dog (when fully
grown) to turn around, stand up or lie down comfortably. A portable or "fold down"
crate may be more convenient if you wish to travel with your dog, taking the
crate with you.
Put some nice soft bedding in the crate and allow your puppy to "investigate" it.
Before putting your puppy in the crate, decide on a "command" that you will always use when
you want your puppy to go into the crate. Maybe "into bed" or just "crate". You
decide, but always use the same command. When your puppy has had a chance to sniff the crate,
place him in the crate, giving your "command". Close the door, praise the puppy, and
give him a treat. Then let him out. Try luring your pup into the crate with a treat and
when he is in, close the door, praise, and treat. Let him out. (If he doesn`t follow the
treat into the crate,
place the puppy in the crate again) Repeat until you have the puppy going
into the crate with almost no help from you. Practice this several times a day until your
puppy has the idea, and then you can start working on leaving him in there.
your puppy in the crate, with the door closed for 5 minutes, before letting him out. Then,
some hours later, try 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, and so on. Each time you return to
let your pup out
of the crate, tell him what a good pup he`s been, before you open the door
and let him out. Remember never to use the crate for punishment - it`s meant to be a good
place for your dog to go.<sm> I like to have my puppy crate in a "secure" area with the door open most of
the time. I
make sure that there is water available and some newspapers on the floor, in
case the pup needs to toilet when I`m not there.
A pups natural instinct is NOT to soil
its bed (crate) so it would be very upsetting if your pup is closed in its crate too long,
and has no choice but to soil its bedding. I personally, think that a 3-hour stint with the
door closed and no access to toileting facilities, is enough. I have read that, over a 24 hour
period, puppies have to eliminate 2 to 3 times more, than an adult dog. They can often last
through the night, as long as they`re sleeping. If something wakes them though, they will
need to eliminate! So if you have people getting up during the night, and the puppy
wakes, he`ll need to "go".<BG> Even an adult dog should never be left in the closed crate for more than 8
hours and apart from being in the crate overnight, I personally, don`t like the idea of a dog
being crated for lengthy periods of every day unless they`re having plenty of exercise
before and after crating.I much prefer them to have a "secure" area for long
periods of confinement. (This is just MY opinion).
This might be a good time to address "separation anxiety". If you are a
person who is able to be at home with your dog all day, do make sure that you make a point of
getting your dog used to being alone. There will ALWAYS come a time, when your dog must be alone, so it`s much better to deal with this while you have control over the
situation. If you think your pup gets extremely upset when left alone, start out by leaving
it for 5 minutes. Then 10 minutes, etc. building up to 3 or 4 hours. If your pup makes
a fuss, DO NOT go back to him until the time you have decided on, has passed. If you go
back as soon as the puppy cries, he will cry every time to get you back. (They`re not
silly) <BG> You need to be strong. If you know your puppy is "safe" and can`t come to
harm - stay
away. When you go back to your puppy, just ignore him for a few moments, and
do something else - don`t look at the puppy. Then, greet your pup quietly. (Give
your pup the message, that it`s no "big deal" that you left it alone. After all,
you`ve come back.)
Good luck - let us know how it goes!
Examining your Puppy
You need to be able to touch your
puppy all over its body. This will
prepare the pup for vet visits, and also ensure that you can examine
every part of your pup to check for fleas, wounds, ticks, rashes, tumors
- anything that needs treatment. If you only ever pat your dog on the head and back, you can be missing vital signs of injury or illness.
There are also some nasty grass seeds that can get between your pups
toes, into its ears or eyes, up its nose, etc. etc. These seeds can
pierce the dogs skin, and cause nasty (and costly) problems. If your
dog will not be still while you search for these seeds, it can be almost
impossible to detect them before the damage is done.
To get your puppy used to handling, start by gently rolling the pup onto
its back. (This is a submissive position for the pup to be in, and you
are in the dominant position - some puppies don`t like that. This is a
good time to show them who`s BOSS!) Hold the puppy in position, while you run your hand over its body. Check the armpits, the tummy, the "private areas", its tail. Look inside the pups ears (smell them), check its eyes and put your fingers inside its mouth to check the teeth.
(You`ll need to keep an eye on the pups teeth, because you need to make
sure that its "baby teeth" have fallen out before those second teeth are
If your puppy struggles when you put it on its back, make sure you don`t
let it up, while it is struggling!!! Only let the puppy up, when it is
STILL! If you don`t get the chance to fully examine the puppy the first time, that`s OK. But if you let the puppy up when it struggles, it will know that this is all it needs to do, to make you stop what you`re doing. Then, who`s Boss??
There`s no need to treat your puppy roughly if it struggles - that might
make it struggle more! Just keep your hands firmly but not tightly in
place, until the pup is still. Then let it up.
It is very important to be able to examine your dog completely.
Imagine if your puppy had one of those deadly ticks in its armpit and
you didn`t know it was there - your dog won`t TELL you that the tick is
there - YOU have to be vigilant, because you are responsible for your
Once your pup is used to being handled, it can be part of your daily
routine to just run your hands and eyes over your dog when you`re both
relaxing in the evening. This becomes my dogs favorite part of
their day. <sm>
Let`s know how you go with this one, Group!
If you have a puppy who is biting and nipping, you`ll need to teach it that this is not allowed. The first thing to watch, is that your hand movements are not quick and vigorous - that will cause the puppy to "go after" your hands to grab at them. Try to keep your hand movements slow and minimal. If your puppy bites or nips you while you`re having a game with it, say "ouch!" and stop playing for a moment, putting your hands out of the way by folding your arms. When the puppy stops, say "Good dog" and resume the game, but if the puppy bites again, say "OUCH!!" and walk away, leaving the pup alone. Don`t come back to the puppy for at least five minutes.
When puppies in a litter are playing, and one puppy bites another enough to hurt it, the hurt puppy "yelps" and of course, stops playing. This is how puppies learn to inhibit the strength of their bite - they learn that if they hurt another puppy, they lose a playmate!
Now that you are your puppy`s new "pack", it`s up to you to teach it to
inhibit it`s bite. Once the puppy starts to nip less and is inhibiting the bite, you can introduce the command "no biting". Eventually, you will need to give your pup the message that it must never bite you, evenly gently.
If a puppy is nipping at your heels while you`re walking, you can get a
squirt bottle (not spray) filled with water, and say "No!" and immediately squirt the pup every time it grabs at you. You will get the best results, if you can make the puppy believe that this "wet stuff" came out of nowhere!! We don`t really want the puppy to know that you are the one who is doing the squirting. <sm> You want the puppy to think "When I nip, I get WET!!" Yuk! They soon learn not to nip, if they don`t like getting wet. <g>
If you have a biter and a nipper, just remember that this is a fairly
natural behavior for excited puppies - because you don`t like this
behavior, you have to teach the puppy, not to do it. There`s no need to yell or hit at the puppy - just make sure that it`s not a worthwhile behavior from the puppy`s point of view.
If you have young children, this problem can be harder to eliminate, because children do tend to have quicker movements. Their natural reaction to a nip from the puppy, is to quickly pull their hands away. That makes the puppy go after their hands, so you have a vicious circle. Children can also "stir" a puppy up to total excitement - it`s more likely to nip when in this sort of mood. So, before you can train your puppy under these circumstances, you need to train the children first!! <BG> Tricky! Good luck with this one.
Toilet training your puppy
When I`m toilet training a young puppy I make sure that I take them out to "potty" when they`ve woken from sleep, just after they`ve eaten, after a playtime, and at regular intervals throughout the day.
I take them on lead, to the place I want them to use. I have a treat or two in my pocket, and I repeat over and over, "quick-quick! quick-quick!". When the puppy does its duty, I say "Yessss!!" and reward and pet them. Maybe have a play if time permits. By having the pup on lead, it doesn`t have the opportunity to be distracted by other things and start wandering about. It also makes it easier for you to find the "deposits" when you want to clean up. <g> The reason I say "quick-quick" is so that later on, you can get your dog to potty before car trips or before you go out and leave the pup, by using this cue. (This is how they train Guide Dogs for the Blind, here in Victoria)
One of the most common mistakes new puppy owners make, is not taking their pups outside IMMEDIATELY they get up in the morning, and IMMEDIATELY they get home after a long time away. At these times, not only will your pup be very excited, but it will probably need to go to the toilet. If you choose these times, to "have a little play and a cuddle", the puppy will most certainly have an "accident" before you get it outside. If you get up in the morning, open and close doors, flush the toilet, have a shower, and THEN go to your pup, you will probably find that they have already made a puddle. That`s because, when they wake, they need to toilet!
And if you make enough noise to wake the pup, but don`t take it outside
immediately, it will HAVE to toilet inside! After many litters of puppies, who are inside, I reckon I have this down to a fine art. <BG> Before I go to bed at night, I put out my dressing gown and slippers. As soon as I wake in the morning, (or during the night) I quickly (and quietly) put on the gown and slippers and go to my puppies. They are usually asleep until I open the door to their room, and so I can
take them outside before any accidents happen.
How long does it take to toilet train a pup? It depends on how diligent the owner is. If you`re away for most of the day and your pup has to use the newspapers, it will take longer than if you are able to be with the pup all day. The pup left to use newspaper will eventually mature enough so that it doesn`t need to eliminate quite so often. As long as the owner takes this pup outside before leaving it, and as soon as they come home again, it will be "housetrained".
The pup who is put outside to toilet more often during the day, will learn quickly that outside is the place to toilet, and will begin to let its owner know when it wants to go out. Once your pup learns that outside is the place to "go", it will begin to give you some sort of sign that it wants to go out. I`ve had dogs who would paw at the door, ones that would give a little sharp bark while sitting at the door, and a couple who would just sit at the door and wait..silently.
If you have a pup who sits quietly at the door, you have to be very aware of where they are at all times. My dogs are usually with me or in their beds when inside, so if they`re not in those two places, they`re probably at the door - waiting. I COULD teach them to use their "speak" to let me know when they want to go outside - if I really want that behavior, it`s entirely UP TO ME to teach my dog - it doesn`t always "just happen!" You need to be aware of where your pup is, and what it`s doing. Is it giving signals that you`re not seeing?
Never punish your pup for pottying in the wrong place - if it`s already
done, the pup has forgotten about it. If you should catch the pup "in the act", you can clap your hands and say "No!" in the hopes that they might stop midstream. You could then quickly pick them up and take them to the RIGHT place and praise when finished. Don`t forget - they`re dogs. They will toilet anywhere - unless you teach them otherwise. So it`s up to you to teach the behavior you want - this will apply to all areas of your training. Happy toilet training. <g>
Until your puppy has had its final vaccinations, it`s best not to take them out into the big wide world. This is where a good Puppy Kinder or Puppy Pre-school are a great benefit. It gets the puppies socializing with less risk of contracting infectious diseases. Puppies in these classes usually have the opportunity of playing off lead, which is the very best way for them to learn how to interact with other puppies - this might be the first time that they have seen puppies other than their own breed.
Once your puppy is fully vaccinated, you will be able to take it out walking and to outdoor classes, but it will probably need to be on lead when around other dogs. This will be quite a different experience from being allowed to play off-lead with other pups. You will need to teach your puppy that when it`s on lead, its attention should be on you, and it may only "greet" other dogs, if you allow it. If your puppy sees another dog, and begins to pull you towards that dog - stand your ground! We`re dealing with mini schnauzers here, so you will ALL
be bigger and stronger than your dogs - DO NOT allow them to pull you to
where they want to go! You must be the one who is in control and you need to make sure that your dog understands this.
I would strongly suggest, that if you want to allow your dog to "greet"
another dog who is not known to you, that you first ask the handler of the other dog "Is it OK if our dogs say hello to one another?" The other handler may say, "I`m sorry, but this Jack Russell of mine, really
HATES little grey dogs, since one bit him on the tail. I don`t think you
should bring your dog any closer in case I can`t hold him back!". <g>
Think what might have happened if you hadn`t asked first. Your puppy may
have been bitten by a nervous/aggressive little white dog, and forever have a phobia about little white dogs. (I may have exaggerated a little here, but I`m sure you`ll all get my point! <BG>) For reasons such as this, do not allow your dog to approach a tethered dog, or a dog whose owner doesn`t realize that you`re approaching. I would also suggest, that if you see two people allowing their dogs to greet one another, do not allow your dog to join in. The more dogs on lead in a small group, the more likely it is that leads can be tangled, and dogs or people may be harmed if anyone panics.
It`s always safer for everyone for dogs to greet one another, one-on-one, when on lead. When you are about to allow your dog to greet another dog on lead, (having first checked with the other owner) use a happy voice and say something like "say hello to the nice puppy". Try to make sure that the lead is loose! If you keep your dog on a tight lead, you are sending a signal that there may be something here to worry about.
Puppies usually get along very nicely when off-lead at Puppy Pre-school, so you need to try and give them that same feeling, by keeping the lead as loose as possible - your pup should then feel confident that it can move freely. Let the dogs greet one another, but if they appear ready to start a game or one of the dogs is looking nervous, call your dog to you and put an end to the greeting. Praise your puppy as it comes to you.
Don`t allow your dog to play with other dogs when it is on lead - if you
want them to play, find a safe place and let them off their leads.
When dogs are on lead, and another dog approaches, they can sometimes feel vulnerable. After all, if the approaching dog should try to play roughly or intimidate, they cannot escape. A frightened dog may bite to protect itself from an imagined threat. If your dog appears nervous at the approach of another dog and wants to move away, allow it enough lead to do so.
Never force your dog to greet another dog if it is afraid. You could ask the owner of the other dog to either call his dog away, or have it sit quietly nearby. Meanwhile, don`t "baby" your frightened dog by saying things like "never mind darling, mummy`s here" or picking it up.
Be careful not to say "good dog" to try and make your dog feel better. Both of these reactions will re-enforce your dogs fearful behavior. (We`re assuming here, that your dog is NOT in danger from the other dog)
By "babying" your dog, you`re giving the message that it`s right to be
afraid - otherwise why would you be comforting? When you say "good dog" to fearful behavior, you`re saying "Yes, that`s the behavior I want from you". After all, don`t you always say "good dog" whenever your dog does something good? When your dog is fearful of something that won`t harm it, the best thing to do, is to use a high/fun voice. It doesn`t really matter what you`re saying, as long as you sound happy and confident. Your dog should then realize, that if you`re not worried about anything, everything must be OK.
It`s really nice when your dog can greet other dogs confidently, but it is always up to you, to make sure that your dog will be safe during these encounters. Mostly, it`s just a matter of using your common sense and being aware of how the dogs are behaving towards one another. When you do everything you can to make these doggy meetings a pleasant experience for your pup, you`re "doing your bit" to ensure that you raise a happy and confident dog. Does anyone have any questions/comments/personal experience on this
subject?. If so, let`s "hear" from you.<sm>
Your puppy will start teething at about 4 months of age.
You`ll often find these little teeth, laying about the house! <sm>
Sometimes, you`ll notice your puppy munching on something, and you`ll hear that it`s something hard! Check for a stray tooth! This could be a nice time to think about maybe making a lovely "dog-tooth
necklace"????? LOL You won`t have this chance again! <g>
It`s important to watch your puppy's mouth as the new teeth begin to come through. (This is why you need to be able to "examine" your puppy freely - hope you`ve been practicing this) When the second (or permanent) teeth start to erupt, the baby teeth are sometimes retained.
This can occasionally prevent the permanent teeth from being in the proper position, and can result in "wry" bites, with one tooth or more, forward or backward of the correct position.
If your puppy's baby teeth are still firmly in position, when the permanent tooth is almost completely through, it may be necessary for your vet to remove the baby teeth. Before you dash off to the vet though, try giving your pup a good bone to chew on 2 or 3 times a week. Sometimes this is all it takes to shift those stubborn baby teeth, and it`s a lot easier on your pocket! <g> When giving bones, make sure they are never cooked bones. A good rib bone, or a marrow bone (with most of the marrow removed - don`t want loose motions!) are the best. Don`t leave your pup unsupervised with a bone however, just in case a piece may get caught between the teeth, or lodged across the roof of the mouth.
Your puppy will have 28 baby teeth, and 42 permanent teeth! No wonder they like to chew so much! LOL
A puppy's permanent teeth start to appear at 4 or 5 months of age, starting
with the teeth at the front of the mouth. Teething takes about two months. The temporary baby teeth should be displaced by the permanent teeth, but in
some cases this doesn`t happen. If the temporary teeth are retained it stops the permanent teeth from coming through in the correct position. Also, if they have both sets of teeth, food can be trapped between the teeth and can cause gum infection and inflammation. So if this occurs, it may be best to have your vet remove the temporary teeth.
I had to have 11 temporary teeth removed from one of my puppies, because they just would not come out, even though the permanent teeth were emerging.
You should inspect growing pups teeth, weekly, and you can do this while
you`re examining your puppy. (see previous post re this) Your pups incisor teeth (the small ones at the front of the mouth) should erupt between 2-5 months. The Canine teeth (the big pointy ones in the front) should erupt between 5-6 months. The Molars (the crushing teeth towards the back) should emerge at 4-7 months.
Your pup will have 28 temporary teeth, and then 42 permanent teeth.
Start counting! <BG>
Nail clipping made easy
Puppies should not be bathed until they are at least two months of age
and you need to be careful that they don`t get chilled.
Have lots of nice large towels to wrap puppy in after the bath. I like to get them used to a hairdryer right from the start. Have it on a low heat and blow setting, and talk to the puppy in a "soft/fun" voice if you think it may be a little afraid.
Always be firm but gentle, when introducing your puppy to something new - baths and drying with hairdryers are definitely on this list!
When washing their faces, do one side at a time so that the puppy can always have one eye open to see what`s happening. Make sure that you keep shampoo
out of eyes! I use a hose with spray attachment which I can attach to the taps over the big "person bath" and I stand the pup on a rubber mat so that they don`t slip. I can direct the spray to the exact place I want the water to go, so it doesn`t go in their ears or eyes.
When using the spray attachment, I can soap, lather and spray clear, as I go.
Make sure that you use a proper Puppy Shampoo. You can use a pure soap or baby soap but my first preference would be Puppy Shampoo. Whatever you use, make sure that it is THOROUGHLY rinsed out, so that the pups skin is not irritated. Make sure that you keep puppy warm after its bath. This is a good time to trim nails, because they are softer just after a bath. Taking a little bit of nail every week or two, is much better than leaving it for a month or so, and needing to take more off. Many of our schnauzers have black nails, so it`s hard to see where the "quick" is located.
If you let the nails grow too long, the dogs foot cannot be placed properly, because the
nails hit the ground before the pad of the foot. If you`ve let the nails get too long, you can`t just clip off half the nail, because they will most certainly bleed. (and it will hurt the dog!) As the nail gets longer, the quick comes further down the nail too. So, to keep the nails in good order, a little bit, often, is the best way to go. If your pup goes into a panic when it`s nail trimming time, you`ll need to overcome the pups fear. I`ve had pups like that, and this is what I do....... I gently roll the puppy over onto its back, and tickle its tummy, I also kiss and blow on its feet as part of the game, so that the puppy gets used to its feet being touched . While the puppy is asleep beside me while I watch TV or read a book, I gently hold its paw and put my fingers between the toes in a slow and relaxed way.
When it comes to nail clipping time, I have some treats ready. I gently put
my fingers between the pups toes until I "get a bead on" one nail.
Then I clip, and treat, and LAUGH!! "Isn`t this fun!!" Then I wait a minute until the pup is relaxed again, and do another nail. (You don`t have to do
ALL the nails at one time - start with one foot a day, so that it doesn`t become
a battle) You may find, however, that your puppy behaves better if you trim his nails when he`s on the table for other grooming. Some pups don`t mind having their nails clipped, but others can scream even when you`re "between" nails. So, a little bit of patience when they`re young, can make a difficult job, easier. You may even find that it`s easier for you, and your puppy, if you file the
nails instead of clipping them. .... Experiment.... See what works best for your pup....and you. <sm>.
Good luck with this one. Happy grooming!
All of the puppy information listed above
was written by Karen Bransgrove of Victoria. Australia. She is one
of our Hoflin Mini Schnauzer List moderators and also the moderator for the Mini
Schnauzer Puppy group on Yahoo which is located at
puppy training theories and
very focused on breeding healthy puppies with good temperaments so I make sure
that they are socialized with other dogs, our cat and plenty of people. They
hear the vacuum cleaner, the dishwasher, radio and TV and, in general, get used
to all the sounds of a "home". They are always handled gently but firmly,
and get used to having their nails trimmed and being groomed. By the time
they go to their new homes, they are usually very close to being toilet trained,
and will come quickly and enthusiastically when called.
I have been an Obedience Instructor now, for quite a few years at a
large Dog Club, but for the past six years I have specialized in the
training of Puppies. At our Obedience Club, we have a four-week
Puppy Preschool for puppies who have had only one vaccination
(this is always held in a "safe" environment). And then,
when the pups are fully vaccinated, they can come into our Puppy Classes
which are held at the Club grounds. These classes are held over
eight weeks; and by then the puppies are about six months old, and ready
for more "formal" Obedience. We have found that these pups who
are beginning their training and socializing at an early age, are much
more settled and ready to learn when it's time for them to begin their
"formal" training. We use positive re-enforcement methods and
put great emphasis on praising the puppies for what they get right,
rather than chastising them for what they do wrong.
I have only been a member of the Hoflin Miniature Schnauzer List for
about eight months, and I am greatly honored to have been asked to be a
part of the Puppy Groups. I see this as an
"extension" of the work I do as a Puppy Obedience Instructor.
I look forward to sharing the experience I've gained in raising
puppies with lots of new puppy owners.
Please contact me directly if you are the proud new owner of a new puppy
and wish to be included in the "New Puppy" email groups. email@example.com