I recently became the proud owner of a new puppy named Cameo. Or should I say, Cameo became the proud owner of me?
She is almost 4 months old and I’ve just started reading a number of books on how you should train a new puppy and what to do in certain situations. What I’ve learned so far is that after 1 month practically everything I have done is wrong.
So as I learn I thought it would be a great idea to help any other new puppy owners learn as well.
The first thing is you must have is a puppy crate. I was smart enough to get two of these. I have one for the house and one for the car.
The second important thing is to use the crate. Oops! I found the dog cries when I put her in the crate. I hate that, so putting her in there became a nuisance for me. Who wants to hear that loud whining until 3 a.m.? I certainly can’t sleep with that. Since my dog weighed 3 lbs and 5 oz when I got her, there was no way she could sleep on the bed and still be alive in the morning.
Well, I found that after the first few nights, she stopped crying in the crate. Of course, I leave the crate on the bed, but now I can sleep. I also have found that I can use the crate when she misbehaves. For my dog, misbehaving means using me as her chew toy. She cries at first in the crate or “cage” which I have come to call it, but eventually if I ignore her, she will stop. Once she stops, I let her out and she is much calmer. Usually she is very loving and calm as if apologizing for her bad behavior.
The second most important thing is getting your dog chew toys. I have about 5 from a previous dog and 5 new ones. My dog loves all of them, but I am still her favorite chew toy. At least usually I am. Sometimes, it is my slippers that are her favorite.
What I do is tap her on the nose when she bites me and say, “no bitey”. It works for a few moments and she is afraid of my hand, but what I have been told is to buy her a chew toy that food can fit into. I did check some out but they were $9.99 and up in price. If you want to spend the money, then I say go for it.
What I have found that does work is to spend 20 minutes with the dog and a chew toy. Not allowing the dog to chew on anything but the toy. It usually tires the dog out enough that she doesn’t have the energy to chew on me any longer. If that does not work, into the cage she goes. I sometimes will give her a small rawhide chew toy and she does seem to spend a while with that.
When it came to housetraining my dog, I immediately went out and bought a piddle pad. My dog looked at it and bit it all to shreds. She knew it was for her and thought it was a toy. She decided the bathroom was the spot for her to do her business as she never minded entering to watch me do my business.
Eventually I did get her to pee on the pad as I was forced to close off any room that had a rug. Puppies want to pee on something absorbent in order to hide what they did. I no longer have bathroom rugs, but the pads do get used. My dog will only piddle on a pad once. Then I need to change it or she will do her business near the pad but not on it.
Now that I have her peeing on the pad, I want her to do it outside on the grass. I think it might have been a good idea to get her to do it outside from the start. I bring her out first thing in the morning, although I must do my business before letting her out of the cage as she cannot wait. When you know she has to go and bring her outside, she will eventually go. But she does not like it. If it is raining, or the grass is wet, she climbs up my legs as if she were drowning.
I recently read that rubbing soil or grass on the piddle pad will encourage the dog to go outside since their sense of smell is so strong. The dog should also be kept in a confined area, (mine has free rein of 1/3 of the house) until properly potty trained. Also, your dog should be taken out for a few minutes every hour until she gets the idea. It is also wise to stand in one spot and let her walk around in a circle so she does not have too many smells. Also, give her treats upon peeing. My dog is so cute; she gets treats just by looking at me. I guess that’s a no-no.
The next thing I learned was to hand feed your dog as a reward or to feed the dog using a toy that food falls out of. I had immediately bought her several dog bowls and left out as much food as she could eat. Bad idea. Dogs should eat only twice a day and it needs to be a challenge, at least for a while. What I learned is wild dogs spend all day searching for food. Civilized dogs, at least I think mine is, are always looking for food as well. Therefore, until they realize you are the supplier of their food, they need to keep looking for a way to get food. A toy called a “Kong” is what I am told is best.
The last thing I am learning about is Separation Anxiety. I have read the dog should be allowed in only certain areas whether you are home or not. My dog is not allowed in room with rugs, but if I am in any other room that is where she is. I also take the dog in the car with me when I go out.
When I leave Cameo in the car, I can hear here screaming from a mile a way. I must be in site or she screams as if she is being tortured. The best thing to do is leave toys or some food in the crate or a room when leaving. If your dog is distracted by something else, by the time she realizes you are gone, she will be at ease with it. You may need to purposely leave your dog alone in order for them to realize the sky will not fall if you are not there with them.
You can leave them in a room. Such as a bathroom, with a bed area or their crate if they like it, water, some food, and a toy. Chances are good that in time your dog, will not mind being alone and stop whining when you are not in sight.There are many good books out there to teach you some dog training techniques, but these few ideas I have learned from my experience will help put you on the right track.