Archive for the ‘House-training’ Category

Dear Santa, I want a PUPPY for Christmas!!

December 10, 2012

Are you adopting a puppy/dog (kitten/cat?) for Christmas?

Well it’s that time of year again. Our wonderful holiday season is in full swing. And Santa is getting requests from great kids everywhere for a puppy for Christmas. So here’s my thoughts from years of training and observation…

Party time!

I believe the biggest argument against bringing a new pet into the house is the amount of energy during the holidays. So let’s look at that first. We basically have three scenarios: 1) Tiny puppy, right now with his litter-mates and mom. 2) Dog at the pound. 3) Dog with a rescue group/in a foster home/etc.

In my mind, #3 is the most likely built for success. The dog is already in a home/loving situation and used to the hustle and bustle/energy of a home.

#2: Any dog that is in a pound of any kind is under stress- period. It is NOT a loving, stress-free environment. I know shelter workers don’t work there to get rich and have a great heart for pets in general and they do the best they can with limited budgets. But if you’ve ever been to the best pound/shelter, the stress of 36 dogs barking is NOT a loving environment.

And we don’t know where that dog was last week. Running in a field or allotment, hungry? Where the neighbors throwing stuff at the dog, yelling at it to go away? Then they’re taken to a pound with a concrete (cold) floor and walls… you get the picture. STRESS.

I always remind people that the dog they see at the pound is NOT the dog they’ll have in three weeks when the dog is more comfortable in their home- Could be better, could be worse. What is the dog’s medical condition? Were they EVER an inside dog and you want to make it one?

So, look carefully at the situation. Will bringing that dog into your house on Christmas morning be a recipe for success? I think not.

#1: A puppy bought from a breeder. So we go take the 8 week(?) old puppy from it’s warm, comfortable place by his mommy and bring him into your home on Christmas with shreeking children, loud video games and 1000 things that wold scare the fur off a well-adjusted dog. Again, not a good situation.

Serious Questions:

WHY are you getting a dog? Will your kids play with the new “toy (dog)” for 20 minutes until they open the X-Box /Wii/game console with the newest game and forget the dog? (Billy for the 10th time, take the dog out!! But mom, I’m almost at the next level!!) Have you had a dog before? Do you REALLY understand what you’re getting into? With the puppy, remember you’re also taking on potty-training (going into winter), chewing on most anything and more. Have you considered the extended costs of pet ownership? Kennel for in the home/toys/food/flea-tic meds/vet visits/bowls/etc. Have you considered shedding and the type of dog best for your family?

No perfect answer:

Please consider waiting until the blast of energy from the holidays is over. THEN bring your new pooch home. Contact a trainer like Perfectly Pawsible Dog Obedience to help that transition and know what to do. Perform research. Take your kids to a home where theirs games and dogs. What DO the pay attention to.

Best advise I can give you is to be conscious about what you’re doing! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Grant Holmes, Master Trainer (Like us @FaceBook/PerfectlyPawsible)

Lexi, the German Shepherd and House-training

May 21, 2009

As you know, Lexi came home with us from the pound last Wednesday, so we’ve had her now just over a week. It’s both frustrating and fascinating to not know ANYTHING about a dog when you adopt. Maybe I should say nothing about their past as we DID know she was female and that it’s pretty obvious that Lexi is 99.5% German Shepherd.

But we don’t know for sure. Two things; One is that we could do a DNA test and know for sure, but everything about Lexi, from her marking to her radar-dish ears tells us all we need to know. And that’s point Two; we really don’t care ‘what’ she is, breed-wise. We fell in love with her loving, quiet personality.

Lexi has really progressed too! I started the blog talking about house-training which can be challenging to say the least! She’s not yet gone in the house. That’s part of that “not knowing”… was she house-trained before? Was she an outside dog only and so only knows to go outside???? Sigh, who knows? I’ll take it! She’s also pretty much going on command at this point too.

So, a little house-training for your pooch, which you can find everywhere on the net!… Take your dog to the same spot in your yard whenever possible. Take your pooch out at any obvious time they may need to go out… when they awake, if you’ve been away for a few hours and they’ve not been outside, a while after they’ve eaten (each dog/diet is unique). Tell your pet, “go potty” or any other phrase you wish to use. Remember, it’s not the word, it’s the consistency of that phrase when they are going. If you don’t like having a “potty mouth”, use a goofy word like, “tractor”. Just realize if anyone ever watches your dog for you, they might not get your special word.

After a few days, your dog will begin to “get” what they’re supposed to do and when. Also REALLY important is to praise your pup whenever they get it right! Don’t Surprise your dog by YELLING, “GOOD DOG! GOOD DOG!!!” the minute she squats or you may give her a fright! Just nice soft words will do!

And finally, remember that your dog is trying to figure out what you want. Yes, some dogs ARE willful- But I tire of hearing trainers always talking about how a certain dog is “fighting” or resisting house-training. Give your dog a break!! It doesn’t speak your language, may not yet know your body language or energy. Give it time to adjust and don’t punish. Your dog will just get confused and possibly just find a better hidden place in your home to have the accident.

Praise and consistency wins every time!!