Puppy Care: Puppy Dilemma?
- Saturday, 10 March 2012
Hi friends, woof!
We're sitting here on this chair squished with Domo on mummy's lap and me snuggled behind mummy but it's all good, we're comfy (well, at least we are). As promised, we're going to be answering some of your puppy dilemma problems today. Sure, puppies look all cute, small and innocent during their early days but that's when we give the most trouble.
As mummy recalls, she used to say I would look all angelic sleeping but she would dread the moment I wake up because I would be causing havoc. It's true, I was a very destructive puppy. When mummy wanted to cuddle me, I would always be trying to escape so I can chew her furniture (and toes). Domo is a bit more sensible and he's very into cuddles. He always wanted to be held and he doesn't have a biting problem but he is taking longer to be potty trained. Mummy says I was quicker. See? There is no such thing as a perfect dog. We're dogs! We don't think like humans so lots of patience, encouragement and love is needed.
POTTY TRAINING PROBLEM
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to balance out your time between work and your puppy - it still seems hopeless. You can spend an hour guarding/waiting for your puppy to 'go' at the correct place but then you can take a 1 minute toilet break and come back to see he/she has already peed ...in the wrong place too. It can be very frustrating. What's worse is that sometimes, puppies (cough Domo!) can get excited seeing you again and they end up prancing all over their pee/poo in excitement. *Facepalm*
Shouting at them won't do much either because they won't know what you are shouting for. They'll just think "Hmm, why is mummy getting all red faced?" All you can do is clean up the mess and try to be more focused next time. Mummy shares her potty training technique from the previous post which you can check out. She sections off a small area of a room and places the puppy bed and training pad inside (with food/water accessible). The most effective technique sounds too simple but it's to give them lots of your time. That's why when people bring home a new puppy, it's recommended they take some time off work. I know this can be very tricky/demanding and not everybody can do this but it's the most effective method so get your friends/family to come in to help too.
Mummy stopped filming/editing/working because she realised trying to balance the time wasn't working out. Instead, she focused completely on Domo. Of course, she would do some shifts and then daddy would take over and look after Domo. It's not hard at all. You just need somebody else to come in and look after them. It is also valuable bonding time too. Mummy enters the 'puppy area' and sits next to Domo. Sometimes, she brings her laptop with her so she can watch some TV to kill boredom. This allows Domo to pee at the right area 99% of the time and with this, mummy is able to praise Domo and give him doggy treats so he knows peeing in the doggy pad is good behaviour.
Mummy sitting with Domo in his sectioned area of the room. She put walls around Domo by using boxes. As time progresses, more boxes will be added to increase the floor space. Look at Domo sleeping ^_^.
To keep occupied, mummy went on a documentary marathon on her laptop. She just put the laptop on one of the boxes whilst enjoying a cup of tea. She watched 4 documentaries that day!!!
Mummy did this for 3-4 days straight and it has helped so much. Domo's progress has improved dramatically and his doggy area is now bigger and more floor space is exposed and he still pees only on this training pad. Remember? Dogs are all about routine and they will eventually catch on. When Domo comes out to play, mummy keeps her eye on him. He is not allowed to roam freely without her supervision. It's best to let your puppy run around in a small room with the training pad inside (soaked in a bit of the pup's pee so he/she would know to pee there again). It will take a few more months for Domo to be properly trained. Keep giving your puppy time and love and he/she will get there =) If you are training your pup to go outside, it's the same. Give them lots of time and frequent visits outside. Don't forget to praise your dog lots too!
Ok, Domo doesn't have a chewing problem (yet, we'll see) but I did as a puppy.
NOM NOM NOM! Chewing feels so gooooooood!
There are lots of reasons why puppies chew:
- Playfighting/Exploring. We don't have fingers so we explore with our mouth. At the beginning, you'll think it's cute but trust me, you'll be sorry letting your pup chew your fingers. Mummy was once all "Aww, sooo cute. Look at Chubbi! She's nibbling me with her tiny little GEEEZ MY FINGER!!! @*&#(@^&^@! GET THIS DOG OFF ME!!!!!!!". First things first, don't let your dog chew your fingers so don't be waving your fingers and twiddling in their faces. You are just asking for it. Secondly, when we do bite/nibble- let us know that is this bad behaviour. You can hold our snout and say 'NO' in a firm voice. Sometimes, mummy flicks our nose which also really bugs us. Keep repeating this action. I remember mummy used to turn away away from me and give me the silent treatment by ignoring me =( It really upsets us puppies. These are all actions that you can do. Another effective method is to make a high pitched squeaky yelp (like the type of yelp a puppy would make). This lets them know they hurt you. Remember, puppies are constantly learning.
- Teething Period. We chew and nibble to relieve the itching and discomfort. I used to chew on mummy's slippers (was very annoying for her because she would be trying to walk with me attached to her slippers), table legs, ANYTHING I can get my teeth on really. Some people spray vinegar or chilli to combat the chewing (didn't work for me =D). The most effective trick that worked for mummy was to just hold out a chew toy in front of whatever I was chewing on (table edge, table leg, slipper, her hand) so I would chew the toy instead. This redirects the chewing onto the toy instead. Make sure you supply your puppy with chew toys to play with. The good news about the teething period is that it should phase out eventually, however- you must not let the chewing become a habit.
- Boredom. Sometimes, puppies AND dogs get bored and so they chew. Don't blame them for being bored, blame yourself for not spending enough time with your pup. Stimulate your dog by playing with them to get rid of the built up energy. Whether it's walking them, fetch or tug-o-war - tire them out. Remember earlier we talked about chew toys? Mummy has a special chew toy that allows her to put treats inside. I would then spend an hour trying to get it out. It's lots of fun and I get a reward at the end of it too.
- Sign of dominance. Now it's very important that you show dominance over your dog. You should be the Alpha. Not him/her so be firm and consistent. Letting you dog rule over you can lead to bad behaviour (biting, being one of them).
Puppy sized me chewing my ball
I now love my mini milk flavoured Bones. Good for my teeth and they smell good. Edible too!
Ok for this problem, Domo and I both have this problem. I am a pomeranian, born to be yappy and Domo is clingy. Let's start with the whining first.
Puppies whine a lot. That's because they just want to be loved. They are constantly looking for attention. They don't understand why they can't come with you to different places. It's good to give your puppy attention but make sure their whining doesn't become a habit. This can actually lead to 'Separation Anxiety' which can be a huge problem. Dogs with separation anxiety can get very stressed when they are apart from their owners. They develop bad biting, eating and barking behaviour. To prevent this from happening- don't give in to your puppy's yelping. This takes lots of patience but it will be worth it. Your pup is going to whine and yelp a lot (like Domo did) and sometimes, it can be very hard to resist. You will have sleepless nights and feel like screaming but don't give up. Here's the trick, it's when they stop whining- THEN you give them attention. This lets them know that yelping is useless. Praise them when they stop yelping to show them that being quiet = good. Now Domo doesn't whine/cry as much. Thank goodness.
We just want your attention! =D
Dogs bark for various reasons. It could be to alert their owners and it could also be out of boredom. Every time mummy's neighbours leave their apartments, I bark like crazy because that is foreign noise to me so I try to scare the "enemies" away. Dogs are territorial animals so they bark to protect their home/owners. Plus, we have very sensitive hearing so the slightest noise can make us bark. So it's important that you teach your dog the 'NO' command. It's one the most important commands to teach your dog because it lets them know whatever they are doing something 'bad'. Distract your dog from barking by either calling out for them or playing with them. Chew toys (with snacks inside) are very effective. Mummy tells me to shut up by holding on to my snout and telling me off.
That's all folks!
Little update on Domo now. He got his 3rd vaccine today so he's quite tired today. But good news is vet says he's very healthy =) He will be able to go on walkies very soon!! He's almost 4 months old now and getting bigger by the day. I know what people mean by having to groom their poodles monthly now. He is getting so fluffy. Can barely see his eyes. But yeah, we're getting on great. When mummy tries to teach him tricks like 'PAW", I always come in start giving the 'PAW' hence stealing his treats. Now he always smacks me away when I'm near. He's getting smarter!
Which is Domo and which is the teddy bear?
Hope this post was helpful. These are just the tricks and techniques that mummy learnt that worked well for us. If you got more puppy training tips yourself, don't forget to share them by commenting below. Mummy also wants to tell you guys that you are praising her too much as a 'perfect owner'. There's no such thing as a perfect owner either. Obviously you guys aren't around when she decides to moons us (or when she lures us to sniff her butt and then releasing farts on us).
Yawn! It's time to hit the sack. Good night my friends!
Love Mummy, Domo and Chubbi xx