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Psychological Damage

June 19th, 2009

One of the points I always try to drive home to people getting a new puppy is how important it is to keep self control and not lose your temper to the point that you hit your dog. We have all seen the dogs that are scared of everything, some to the point of submissive urinatation. That result could have come from one short fused owner that got upset over a chewed up valuable or an accident on the new carpet. One moment that you allowed yourself to hit your dog may cause a lifetime of cowering fear and submissive urination.

I understand that we are human. We have tempers and most of the time if we could have taken a second and not just reacted we would have handled the situation much better. It is the same with kids. The difference is that when we make a mistake with our kids, they are intelligent enough to know that we do make mistakes but still love them. Dogs arent so easy to forget that blow up and every time your hand goes up quickly they are going to remember getting wacked and cower or run away.

None of us want to make mistakes. None of us want to ruin our dogs. My advise is to try to plan ahead for every problem that you might run into and plan on how you will react. “If Fido has an accident on the carpet I will firmly correct with a loud NO and take him out to where he should go to relieve himself. If he finishes in the right area I will praise like crazy.” Try to think up anything that might happen and then plan your reaction. Its always easier to make the right choice when a situation arises if you have already decided how you will react.

It wont be easy but I promise you that it will be worth it. You and your dog will obviously have a much better relationship and be much happier.

Golden Retriever Puppy Update

May 20th, 2009

I wrote a post (here) a couple weeks ago about my brother picking out a new puppy for his family. Well I am so pleased with how well it has turned out. I believe in the principles that I have taught when it comes to picking out a puppy but it is always very rewarding to see the results.

I am always so excited to hear how things have been going and try to get over and visit as often as I can. Things have been going so great. The puppy has fit in so beautifully to her new home. The most fulfilling part has been seeing the relationship between the puppy and my brothers wife. She was not what we call “a dog person”. She had many unpleasant experiences with dogs growing up and never thought she would have one. As her kids grew older and some expressed their desire to have a dog she finally gave in.

My brother has always been a dog lover and has always had big dogs. With the eight kids (thats right, eight children) finding a breed that would be able to fit in with everyone and be hardy enough to take the sufficating attention small ones love to give.

There are not a large number of breeds that would have fit in to this household, but having all the background and doing our homework we came up with the perfect fit. She is proving it every day and I am excited for my next update.

Remember that the commitment to a new puppy is huge. You are talking about the next 10 to 15 years. Do your homework, dont make the choice based off the cute wrinkly face. Think it through, match up the breeds the meet your requirements and than go find some reputable breeders. Go visit lots of dogs and lots of puppies. Of course it is difficult to walk away but you will eventually find the one that is perfect for you and your situation.

Good Luck!

Some tips for your new pup

May 13th, 2009

Its hard not to want to give your cute puppy whatever he wants and do whatever he wants to do but it is so critical that we use this time wisely. Puppies grow up so fast and what they learn as puppies (good or bad) will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Consistency and diligence is the key. Dont let the dog get away with anything. Every time you let let your guard down you will have to start all over again. Don’t wait to teach them manners. Start right away with the basic commands, “sit”, “stay”, “come”, “down”, “out”, “leave it” and of course “potty”! Your puppy is smart enough to learn these commands as early as 8 weeks of age.

Your puppy needs to be socialized as much as possible. Once he has had his puppy shots make sure to take him with you whenever you can. Home Depot and Petsmart are great places to go. Let people touch your puppy and if there are other dogs go make an introduction. The more socialized your puppy is the more confidence he will have which makes for a happier, smarter, easier to train dog.

Make sure you are feeding your puppy a good dog food. Do your research, some breeds seem to respond better to one dog food over another. If you purchased from a reputable breeder they will probably have some good advice as to what to feed them.

Coming back to consistency, make sure you feed your puppy at the same time every day. Try to keep a routine that you follow as close as you can. This will help with many behavioral probems and will be very helpful with potty training.

Don’t forget to have fun!