Special Tips by Martha Norwalk

Raising Puppies:

Raising a puppy is just like rearing a child. When
you follow a few basic principles, the process is fun
and relatively easy.

The principles are confinement, supervision,
scheduling, praise and fair discipline.

A. Confinement: crate, exercise pen, kitchen, or
laundry room with baby-gate if needed. The
smaller the space, the better, as dogs are den
animals, and feel safe and more secure when
confined. One big secret to being successful with
young dogs is to prevent and avoid problem
behavior patterns from developing, while teaching
appropriate behavior. The dog should be in his
confined small area. Confinement helps teach the
dog to control his bladder and bowels and also
prevents the dog from chewing on things he

B. Supervision: When a dog is out of his confined area, someone in the family must be appointed to supervise. This means watching the pup at all times. You may follow your pup around the house, or you can put a light leash on him and umbilical cord him to you (tie leash to belt loop and pup goes where you go). This way you are right there to let the pup know what is right or wrong with any behavior.

C. Scheduling: Consistency is the key here. Put your pup on a schedule. Feed at the same time every day. Take pup outside for potty stops regularly The pup will learn faster this way, as they are creatures of habit.

D. Praise: Whenever your dog/pup is doing something you like (i.e., eliminating in the right place, chewing on the appropriate chewable, sleeping in his bed, or just lying around on the floor being quiet), verbally praise him lavishly in a happy tone of voice, using the word "good," and the word you want him to associate with the particular behavior, (i.e, "good bone," "good bed," "good down," or "good potty," etc.).

E. Fair Discipline: In most cases a stern verbal reprimand is sufficient. Use a deep gutteral tone and the word "no." If your dog/pup is
tuned out, make a loud noise (i.e., slap a table or
wall), to get his attention, then verbally reprimand.
As soon as the dog stops what he is doing, praise
immediately. Drum up the actor or actress inside
of you and emphasize the praise. You want your
dog to feel good about following your order to
stop what he is doing.

Specific Problems

1. House Training

Feed regular meals one to three times a day,
depending on age of dog. Leave food down for
20 minutes, then pick up bowl, and don't give
more food until next scheduled feeding. What
goes in must come out. If you know when it went
in you can predict when it will come out. Most pups
eliminate within an hour after a meal. This makes
it easy to get the pup within an hour after a meal.
This makes it easy to get the pup outside to the
potty area at the appropriate time. Remember to
praise on the spot with "good potty" or "Good
hurry up."

Take the pup out to potty area frequently. Go out the same door to the same spot every time. Bring pup back inside when mission has been accomplished. Gradually extend times between outings. Always take pup out just before and immediately
after confinement. Lavish verbal praise whenever pup eliminates in the right place.
If pup starts to eliminate in an inappropriate spot, make a startling loud noise (pots and pans work well), to interrupt his behavior, and make a negative association, verbally reprimand pup and "shoo" him outside. Take him to a previous elimination, show it to him and praise.

Do not allow pup to watch you clean up accidents and be sure to odor-neutralize the spot (vinegar and club soda work well.)

2. Chewing

Prevent and avoid works best here. Supervise and confine.

Provide good chewables: nylon bones or hard rubber toys that cannot be chewed into pieces.

Praise dog whenever he is chewing on the correct object, i.e., "good bone."

If pup starts to chew on something he shouldn't, tell him "No, leave it," then make a loud sound to interrupt the behavior. Praise him for stopping, ("Good leave it"), then direct him to the appropriate chewable and praise.

3. Digging

Don't allow your pup to watch you dig in the yard or repair holes. Supervise when he is in the yard, so you can reprimand if he begins to dig, i.e., "No, leave it." Make a loud sound, if necessary, and praise him for stopping. Do not leave young dogs unsupervised in yard. Crate or confine dog in house when you are gone.

4. Barking

It is unrealistic to expect dogs never to bark. It is realistic to expect to have verbal control over the barking. When the dog barks inappropriately, make a loud noise to interrupt barking then verbally reprimand with "No, be quiet." While the dog is still quiet, immediately praise with "good quiet."

5. Mouthing or Playful Biting of Hands

Stop it now, or it may become serious biting as pup grows older It is a two step procedure:

Step One: Whenever pup puts his teeth on your hands, gruffly reprimand with a guttural "ouch," fold your arms and turn away from pup. Do this for 24-48 hours. He'll soon get the idea that you do not appreciate this behavior.

Step Two: Condition out the negative behavior. Whenever you are petting the pup and he begins to mouth your hands, reprimand sternly at once with, "No," and take your hands off the puppy. Start to pet the pup again; praise if he does not mouth. Repeat the procedure each time, until there are no more attempts to mouth you. Do not roughhouse or play tug-of-war with your dog until all mouthing has been conditioned out.

6. Fears (loud noises, fireworks, thunder, etc.).

Any unusual sound or object may frighten your dog. If you attempt to calm, sooth, or sympathize, you will be rewarding and encouraging the negative behavior, and it will get worse! Whenever dog shows fear, you must set the appropriate example (monkey see, monkey do), and make a positive association with whatever upset the dog.
Example: Firecrackers go off-dog shows fear. Immediately say in a happy voice something like, "Oh boy, it's the fourth of July." Get silly and give the dog a treat, or play his favorite game. Very soon the pup will associate these noises with positive
action, and will grow into a stable, confident animal.

7. Car Sickness

Car sickness is normal with a lot of pups, as with children. Most will outgrow this if you do not make a big deal of it.

Don't feed dog just before a car ride.

Act happy yourself; don't sympathize.

Take pup on short rides with happy endings. Go to the park or beach, not just to the vet or groomer. Motion sickness pills may be used to prevent car sickness while pup overcomes fear of riding.


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