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Puppy biting!

September 2nd, 2009

The new puppy really has been a joy but one of the issues we are working with now, as most puppy owners will, is biting.

Biting…This is a tough one. As I have young children I need to get this issue resolved quickly. As with anything consistency is the key. There are a few techniques that I find to work pretty well.

When puppy is biting my hand I push my fingers depp into her mouth. She of course finds it unpleasant (but no painful) and she backs off the hand and I give lots of praise.

Puppys learn what pressure is too hard from their litter mates when the sibling they are biting yelp. It also works with humans, when she bites make a high pitched “yelp” and that will help teach the puppy that biting is not a game and is painful.

Another technique that works is when the puppy starts getting excited and biting turn and walk away or just put your back to her. She will learn that biting means “no fun” very quickly.

You can also try grabbing the muzzle and holding the mouth together use a command “no bite” or “out” or whatever command you choose and will be consistent with.

A combination of all of these techniques may be necessary but just remember to stay consistent.

The puppy came trained!

August 26th, 2009

Im not sure how much help this journey with the new puppy will be to others starting with their own new puppy because my new puppy seems to already be trained. Everything has been so easy…too easy. What about the big messes, the whining in the crate, chewing, biting…

I know I constantly preach finding a good breeder and the right breed for you and man is our little lab puppy (we called her Kayla) a testimony of that. She really has been better than I could have imagined.

We brought her home and introduced her to her new family and her new home. Her tail was wagging the entire time. I loved it, no nervousness just happy all the time.

I started the crate training immediately. I showed her the crate and let her go inside and around it. Using praise and treats the entire time. After taking her potty I put her inside and shut the door. I kept her close by us so she could still feel like she was part of the action. She never made a fuss. If she would have than the best thing to do is ignore her. Make sure you are taking her out enough to “go potty” but dont go to her while she is making any noise. She will soon learn that making noise means attention and/or getting out of the crate.

She was great at relieving herself as soon as we hit the grass. I praised her like crazy everytime she did. She is so stinking cute! While outside I have her on a leash which she hasnt seemed to mind but is not too interested on walking yet. I have been luring her with toys and treats and she is making improvements.

We already started the come, stay, and sit commands. She is showing good signs of understanding what is expected. We are also using the crate and place commands when she goes into her crate and when I want her in her place, which is a dog bed next to my recliner.

This really is fun stuff. My family is loving her to death and she is returning the favor. I will post again soon with progress.

The new puppy is on her way! Now what?

August 20th, 2009

Well, the time has finally come. After MUCH time, research, and thought we finally found our puppy. What a roller coaster ride! We went back and forth with so many breeds. We looked at so many litters. We finally found a beautiful light yellow (almost white) labrador retriever. If you would have told me 6 months ago that we would be getting a lab puppy I would have said no way. Its funny to think of the journey from 6 months ago to now that brought us to this perfect puppy. We are so excited!

I have a large family, there is me (of course) my wonderful wife and 5 fantastic children. The family dynamic is changing all the time and a breed that might have been good for us 10 yrs ago may not necessarily be the best breed for us today. I think thats one of the main factors that pushed me to the labrador retriever.

Mine was not a unique choice. The labrador retriever has been the number one breed registered with AKC for more than 10 years. There is a reason its such a popular choice. A well bred labrador retriever will be extremely intelligent, very adaptable, great with children (old and young), and on and on.

There are other breeds that fit this description but the for personal taste and opinion the lab is what we decided on. It may just be that the puppy that melted our hearts happened to be a lab but I would like to think I had something to do with the decision.

I say shes on her way because shes coming from a breeder out of state that is driving her here this Saturday. It has been difficult to not jump in the car and go pick her up myself but we have kept ourselves busy getting ready for her.

Its been a while since we have had a puppy so Im trying to mentally go through all the things to expect and make sure we have a plan when we bring her home. We are going through the house trying to use our “puppy eyes” to make it safe for her and safe for everything we dont want puppy teeth marks in. We have the crate, coller, leash, bed, we picked out what puppy food we want to feed her, we have shampoos and brushes, cleaners for accidents we hope not to have.

It really has been fun getting ready for this new member of our family. Saturday can’t come soon enough. I plan on a semi weekly, if not weekly blog with whats going on with the new pup. What issues we may be having and how we are resolving them. What is working well and what is not going as well as we would like. I hope that it will be helpful to others going through the same experience. This is the most critical 2 to 3 months of the puppies life to help mold her into the perfect family member. I am so excited to get started! I hope you enjoy the journey with me.