My first dog would not poop anywhere in the house than on newspaper. Wow, I thought this is great. Put down some newspaper and problem solved. Then I got my second dog. Maybe she read the paper. That would explain her reluctance to soil any part of it. No sirree. Anywhere in the house but on that newspaper.
The most success I’ve had with training puppies is in the summer. This has nothing to do with the puppy’s intelligence, and everything to do with my preference for going out in the yard in the summer instead of the winter. So, consider the time of year when you decide to get a puppy.
What I have learned is that, although the puppy might want to please you, he won’t be able to control his bladder until he is at least four months old. So, expect accidents even once you think the puppy has finally GOT IT.
If you have recently gotten a puppy, here are some ideas I wish I had thought of with my second dog.
When we first get our cute little puppy, we are highly tolerant. After all, we want him to feel welcomed into our home. Big mistake. Start training as soon as you get your puppy. If you let the puppy pee in the house, he will get the idea that you are okay with that behavior.
Choose a spot in your yard where you want the puppy to eliminate and bring him there each time. I’ll admit I’ve never thought of doing this but it would save the grass for sure.
Bring him out on a leash. This will show him that this is not fun time—no playing—this is toilet time.
You might want to put a bell on your door hanging from a rope. Ring it each time you take the puppy out – better yet get the dog to ring the bell when you are going out. Give the dog a treat if he rings the bell then eliminates. If he rings the bell and doesn’t eliminate…no praising, no treat. You don’t want him ringing that bell whenever the dog wants to take you out.
Have one word for “the business”. It doesn’t have to be sophisticated, unless you want to impress your neighbors. “Do your ca-ca” is fine.
Reward the puppy when he does his business.
Bring him out first thing when he wakes up and 20 minutes after he eats.
Play time should be done only after “the business”.
Clean up after your dog right away. This will prevent him and other dogs from eating poop. See my article on that distasteful (pardon the pun) topic.
If your dog poops in the house, take the poop and place it in his designated ca-ca spot in the yard. (That’s another task that is way easier in the summer.)
So, how will you know when your puppy gets the urge? If you see him doing circles or semi circles, it’s time to take him outside.
During your Christmas shopping did you grab a little something for your faithful companion. As PetSmart is so found of advertising “This is the spoiling season”. I’ll admit that I have put something under the tree for my dogs – but usually it’s Kolbassa or something really smelly that I know they will actually unwrap. (It only comes out on Christmas morning as I wouldn’t like to see the tree destroyed due to them searching for that tantalizing odor under the tree.) However, if your puppy deserves more that a tasty, spicy piece of processed meat, one of these collars might be just what you’re looking for. I’ll stick to the washable fabric harness…
This breed is one of the oldest in the world, probably close to 8,000 years. It originated in the Yukatia Region of Russia where it provided transportation by pulling sleds. Yakutes were the first to use dogs for pulling sleds. In the 1800s, this breed was used for mail delivery. The breed still has the instinct for sledding and learns this skill very quickly despite being a bit stubborn about learning other tricks. The dog does well with positive training with treats.
During the 1900s the breed almost vanished but for the will of a few enthusiastic breeders. The advent of the internet has meant that people in other countries have taken an interest and its popularity is increasing.
This dog does not take well to strangers but once it gets to know someone, it will be extremely friendly and will be devoted and affectionate. It makes a strong bond with children in the household, mainly because it likes attention and exercise and playing. It does not do well left in an apartment alone all day.
The breed has a double coat and needs a weekly brushing. It comes in a variety of colors including white, black and white, brown and white and tri-color.
This little fella is looking for his Christmas gift in the wrong place. I found this cute photo on the National Shetland Sheepdog Rescue– which is kind of odd because I’m pretty sure this is one end of a Corgi. Maybe the other end is a Shetland Sheepdog. We’ll never know. In any case he or she is having one whale of a time.
Occasionally, while I am out for a walk, I will hear someone yelling for their dog (and sometimes for their child). Or I will come across a “Dog Lost” poster stapled to a telephone pole. Sometimes there is a reward offered. I feel my heart break for the person who has lost their pet. When there are children involved, it is even sadder.
This article will address prevention as well as action to be taken if your dog is lost.
Let’s begin at the beginning.
PICKING YOUR DOGS NAME
The first thing you want to think about when you get a dog is how his name sounds to him and to other people. You don’t want to be out on the street yelling “Porkface, Porkface where are you?” As for me, I am glad my little dog named Mr. Bean has never got away on me. It would be dreadfully embarrassing to be on the street or in a park yelling for Mr. Bean.
On the other hand, although you don’t want to saddle your dog with an awful name, you might want something original that your dog will instantly realize is his name.
ENSURE PEOPLE RECOGNIZE YOUR DOG
Walk your dog around your neighborhood often so people get to recognize that he is your dog. That way if he gets away and someone captures him, they will know where to bring him. Or, if they see him running loose, they can alert you. Even better, you might want to get him a tag with your phone number on it.
KEEP YOUR DOG INSIDE DURING NOISY OCCASSIONS
Dogs are most likely to run away if they are scared. Thunder and fireworks are particularly upsetting for some dogs. Keep an eye on your dog during loud events or in boisterous crowds as dogs have been known to get off their leash and start running without direction because they are afraid of loud noises. A dog can even be set off by a vehicle backfiring.
Even a leashed dog can slip out of your hand and be frightened by the leash snapping up and down behind him on the ground. Keep alert and keep a good grip.
IF YOUR DOG WON’T BE MATED, NEUTER HIM (OR HER)
Another reason for them to go on the loose is love. When a bitch goes in heat, every unneutered male dog within 1000 acres will know.
My father was appalled by the idea of neutering his male dog. He was an old-fashioned man, and he claimed it was an unnatural act. Besides, Dad was convinced that he had escaped-proofed the yard. The dog managed to get out anyway, and after an intensive week-long search, dad finally located him in a railway yard hiding behind an abandoned piece of farm equipment. The dog was with his one true love. (And all this time, Dad thought the dog loved him.) The dog was dirty and scrawny and had lost so much weight that my father hardly recognized him. His best friend would not come to him no matter how much my dad begged him. He growled when my father approached him. When he was finally able to rescue his dog, my father promptly had the dog neutered.
And how many puppies did that stray give birth to? Did she even survive the ordeal? The minute Dad’s dog was removed from the scene, another male dog took his place and he too became protective, vicious and dangerous.
When a dog wants out of a yard, he will dig his way out, climb his way out, or jump his way out. When I was a child, we had a dog who was a Houdini at getting himself out of his collar.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR DOG GOES MISSING
So, someone spotted your dog running around on the loose, looking determined but confused and they called the dog catcher. Now what?
You are probably in a panic. The kids are crying because their dog is gone. Your mate is in no mood to be empathetic.
First you need to calm down. If you make a plan and look in control everyone in the household will have much more confidence in you. Immediately call all the shelters in your area and let them know that if they see him, he is not a stray, he has a home and a loving family.
You should be prepared with a good description that includes the height and weight of your dog and any distinctive markings.
If your dog has a tattoo, know what it is. (Most often a number and some letters.)
Does your dog have an implanted microchip?
Next, visit the shelters in person. If you can’t go to the shelters, see if they will take an email from you or if they have a Facebook page where you can post a Lost Dog ad. Include a picture.
In fact, make sure you have a clear picture of your dog and take it with you everywhere — make copies.
Post, post, post. On the internet, on telephone poles, in the newspaper, on the supermarket memo board.
Be prepared emotionally to take calls about dogs that look nothing like yours. Even if your dog is a pure poodle, people will call you about everything from a collie to a beagle. This will be very hard on your kids so be prepared to shield them from disappointment that may repeat itself. Also, some people like to see others suffer and they may cruelly suggest that you dog has been picked up for use in experiments at a lab or it has been taken down by a wolf. Yes, dogs of value are sometimes stolen off porches to be resold (check the want ads) and dogs in the country are occasionally picked off by coyotes, but I don’t think that these are common occurrences. I think it is much more likely that the dog is scared and hiding.
The next thing you will need to do is start a search yourself. Look for places where your dog might hide like old sheds and abandoned cars. The dog may not want to come out if it has been alone a while and become fearful. Bring favourite treats. (Ham is a great one. I don’t know a dog that dislikes it.)
SPRING YOUR DOG FROM JAIL
If your dog ends up at a shelter, they won’t just hand him to you. Bring evidence that he is yours like a picture, the record of his adoption (which will include details like breed and tattoo or microchip). You will likely have to take out your wallet to pay for things like a fine or boarding so be prepared.
Finally, here are a few websites that have some excellent ideas.
Fall is on the way and the cold weather is coming. So, every time there’s sun and warmth, I take the opportunity to gather the last of the season and walk around my neighborhood. Last week as I passed a car parked in a driveway, and a dog came running out from behind the car and lunged at me. Luckily, he was tied up. But it reminded me of the time my husband was walking our Sheltie, and a woman opened the front door of her house, and out jumped a big black dog who immediately dashed down the stairs to the sidewalk and attacked my dog. The woman had intended to tie the dog but had lost her grip. She was apologetic and my dog left with just the lost of his fur, but we became alert after that.
And what did the owner of that dog who scared the daylights out of me have to say about his dog lunging out at me. He yelled at him not to do that. Mmm….I doubt the dog will listen. I now walk on the other side of the street. That is the easiest way to avoid a dog with a bad attitude. However, here are some other possible solutions.
Loud horn such as those used at hockey and baseball games. (Air Horn – available at Uline)
Citronella spray – available at Pet Stores like Pet Smart.
Pick up your dog – but if at all possible don’t keep the dog in your arms as you may be attacked also. Toss your dog out of site or in a safe place like over in someone’s fenced yard or even in a dumpster. (Please only do this if you have the time as the attacking dog will likely jump on you to get to your dog.)
Carry a walking stick and use it.
Better yet, carry dog food with you and toss it to the dog to distract it.
Yell at the attacking dog at the top of your lungs. I did this once and half the neighborhood came out to see what the heck was going on…and the dog stopped in his track. My dog didn’t even look at me. You’d think he heard me yell like that every day!
I wouldn’t be afraid of walking by this sleepy head.
The above photo is courtesy of Lauren Kay at Unsplash.