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CONGRATULATIONS on your newest family member! There are a few things to remember about the care of your new puppy. Your puppy will need to continue to have vaccine boosters every 3 weeks until 4 months of age. Your veterinary technician will go over all of the available vaccines with you while you are here for your visit. You can also visit our "Wellness Vists" page to look at all of your options. The entire vaccine series must be completed before your pup is considered to be immune. In the meantime your dog can still get sick with these diseases until 2 weeks after the final injection of the series. We will also continue to discuss potty training and other behavior issues at your recheck appointments.
Spaying/neutering is also something you need to think about when you get a new puppy. Spaying/neutering can take place starting at 4 months of age. We typically can combine this surgery procedure with the last round of the vaccine series. Research shows that spaying reduces your dog's risk of mammary tumors by up to 97%. Pyometra (infected uterus) is completely eliminated. Prostate cancer, testiclar cancer, and benign, enlarged prostate are virtually eliminated in male dogs. Other endocrine, allergic and immune-mediated problems are lessened without the hormonal stimulation of intact dogs. Male dogs are also less aggressive and less prone to roam and, therefore, to be victims of trauma such as being hit by a car.
We recommend monthly preventatives to treat for the most common parasites seen in veterinary medicine. Fleas, ticks, heartworm, and intestinal parasites can all be easily controlled with safe effective products. These products include things like Frontline Gold, Nexgard, Bravecto, Heartgard Plus, Interceptor Plus, Sentinel, Trifexis, and Scalibor collars. Ask for details about these preventatives and we can help you to decide what the best option for your pet may be.
Just as in potty training a human child, patience, perseverance and consistency are necessary in house training a puppy. The basic theory of house training is to promote the opportunity for the pet to relieve her/himself in the proper location and to prevent the possibility of the pet to soil the house. A dog is able to hold its urine and bowel movements for eight to twelve hours; whether or not he/she can learn to is up to you!
Basics of Crate Training
It is important to understand that the crate is not a cage or jail. A crate is your puppy's own place to seek refuge and peace-a place to hide toys, take naps and to get away from it all during times of activity or stress in the household. Puppies like to sleep in small, close places. That's why they curl up under the bed or chair. A create allows you to use this instinct as a training tool. Begin by choosing a crate type and size to suit your dog.
The crate should be large enough for the puppy to standup, stretch, turn around and lie down comfortably, with a little growing room. If the crate is too large, the pup can relieve herself in a far corner and still have a clean bed. Remember, one of the purposes behind using a crate is to use her instinct to keep her bed clean.
Introducing the Crate:
Introduce the pup to the crate by tossing a treat inside while the pup is watching. Say, "(Name), crate!" in a positive, upbeat way and urge the puppy inside. Let the pup grab the treat and come back out. Repeat this a couple of times. Later, place the puppy's dinner inside the crate. Let her eat with the door open, coming and going as she pleases. When the puppy is comfortable going in and out, toss a treat inside the crate, close the door, wait a couple of minutes, then open the door. Gradually increase the time until the puppy is comfortable with the door being closed. A puppy can be crated for up to four hours if you are leaving the house. Be sure to remove the collar and tags, which can get caught. If your puppy throws a temper tantrum when you close the door, do no let her out until she is quiet. If you let her out when she is whining, you will teach her that whining works! Instead, tell her "No. Quiet." in commanding tone of voice. During the day, place the crate near people, such as the kitchen or family room. Let your pup see and hear the normal sights and sounds of the household.
No food for two hours before and no water for one hour before bedtime. Take the puppy outside for a potty trip last thing before placing him/her in the crate. Show no attention to the puppy once it is placed in the crate, otherwise he/she will learn how to seek "negative attention." For the first few nights, you may want to place the crate in a different room where you can close the door. You will need to set your alarm to let the puppy out at least once during the night. Once the puppy has learned to stay quiet, many people prefer to move the crate to the bedroom. Later, after the puppy is completely trained, many people will leave the door of the crate open and use this as the permanent bed for the dog. Most puppies will make it through the night without accidents if they are confined, but, get them out immediately upon waking. The fact that the puppy can go 8 hours at night does not mean it is ready to go eight hours during the day.
As your dog matures, she can be given more freedom. If she does make a mistake, return to using the crate. The dog must prove her/his reliability by not having accidents in the house and by not getting into trouble. Too much freedom too soon will result in problems. Your dog will still use the crate on its own, even when fully grown. For example, he/she may retreat there when the family is busy and he/she needs to sleep. He/she may use it as a place to keep their toys. The crate will come in handy when you travel or when your pup needs to be boarded. And teaching the pup to ride in the crate in the car may save his/her life one day.
Dogs, like people need training to learn how to behave appropriately. More importantly, training your dog can save its life. Chewing on your shoe because your dog is bored is one thing, but chewing on an electrical cord can end his/her life. More dogs are euthanized every year due to behavior problems than due to any other health problem. So, if dogs are to reach their full potential as healthy, loving, lifelong companions, they, and we as owners, need a little help.
Puppy hood is the best time to start your dog down the right path. Puppy training classes are ideal, but at least follow these tips at home:
Preventing Behavior Problems
Appoint Yourself Leader of the Pack. Today's behavior training is based on using the dog's natural desire to be member in good standing of your pack. If a dog senses that the pack has no leader, he/she will follow nature's law and try to fill that position his/herself. In the dog world, leadership goes to whoever claims and holds it. So be sure to declare yourself "The Leader” and your dog will be more than happy to go along with the idea. For example:
Enrolling your pet into puppy classes is a great way to help with training and socialization. Below are some of the local behaviorist/Trainers we recommend.
To find a dog trainer near you: Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers