Many prospective dog owners worry about how to ensure their young puppies grow up to be happy dogs with good temperaments. However, the answer to that worry is deceptively simple: socialization. A well-socialized puppy almost always grows up to be a loving dog, as dogs generally do not fear or dislike experiences they encountered in their first three months of life. If a puppy has experienced meeting other dogs, humans, children and other kinds of pets before they reach the age of 12 weeks, they will generally react well to meeting other dogs and humans later in life.
Puppies are most alert to socialization cues between the ages of 3-12 weeks. As most puppies leave their mothers and breeders at 8 weeks of age, a significant proportion of their socialization happens before you even meet your future pet. A poor dog breeder therefore almost guarantees an aggressive or fearful puppy, as a poor dog breeder may not give enough attention to properly socializing your puppy in those important early weeks.
You might think the answer is taking a puppy home when they are very young, so as to ensure their first weeks are as sociable and happy as possible. Unfortunately, almost every authority recommends that puppies do not leave their mothers before 8 weeks of age. Why? Here are just a few facts that you may not know about very young puppies:
In short, you need to ensure that your puppy came from a good breeder and was well socialized between weeks 3-8 of their life. Puppies who are alert and social able at 8 weeks when they are introduced to their new family can almost always be further moulded into excellent pets.
Puppies are generally naturally inquisitive and playful, so those early weeks are the best time to introduce them to new things and experiences. After 12 weeks, a dog may fear types of people or experiences to which they have not already been introduced. Week-by-week after that 12 weeks cut-off point, it becomes progressively harder to socialize a puppy. Therefore key socialization should happen before that 12 week mark. For example, if you have children (or you plan to have them in the future), it is advisable you introduce your puppy to children as soon as possible — especially if your puppy breeder did not introduce your puppy to babies or children before week 8.
A great way to socialize your puppy and get him/her used to new humans and dogs alike are puppy kindergartens, socialization classes that give puppies the opportunity to play with other young puppies and their owners. Such classes are highly recommended by authorities such as and they go a long way to preventing the all-to familiar scene of dogs growling at other dogs or humans in the street. One caveat to this is : a puppy should at least have had their first set of vaccinations before coming into contact with other dogs.
Because of all the dangers listed above, many people are wary of taking in an older dog and some even say that dogs older than 3 months will not be able to adjust to a new family. This is simply NOT true. As long as a dog was well socialized in their first three months of life, they should quite easily adjust to new surroundings or a new family given time. In other words, a 4 months old dog or even a year old dog will adjust to your family and make a great companion if he was a loved and cared-for dog in his past home or since his birth.
In all, introducing your puppy to new people, pets and experiences in the first 3 months of his or her life is crucial to ensuring they are not fearful or aggressive dogs in the future. A puppy who has played with other dogs and been handled by a variety of people and children will usually turn out to be a happy, confident and loving pet.
first day home with your puppy is a special day for you and your family. Everyone will
be trying to find their new position in the household. There are new
responsibilities, new adventures, and new toys everywhere!
Bringing a new puppy home is
exciting but it can also be quite expensive, exhausting, and scary. A puppy’s needs are not unlike any new
addition to the family. They need lots of love, patience, and kindness,
but they also need clear rules and expectations from day one. They will need a
place of their own and a safe environment all around them.
Preparing for your Puppy
Preparations for your first day home with your new puppy should begin well before they ever romp across the living
room or leave their footprints in the grass outside.
Your family should be made aware of the way having a new puppy can change the structure in your home. Children
need to understand that puppies are not toys and cannot be treated as such.
Everyone needs to know that anything left out could get chewed, messes will get
made, and a puppy will need to sleep
as much as they will need to play.
Introducing the new Puppy to
Your first day home with your new puppy
will set up what will become a standard of care for the future. Make sure children are taught to be
careful when handling a puppy and
small children should NEVER carry a puppy
around. An adult should monitor interactions with small children at all
times. Some puppies are very
fragile and all puppies are wiggly, and rambunctious. Children should
be taught to treat a puppy with respect. Children should never be in
charge of discipline or correction of behavior.
When introducing a puppy to children
in your home, make sure you lay down ground rules first. The children should be clear
on what the rules and expectations are before you start to teach them to the
puppy. If a small child would like to hold the puppy they should first
sit down, so when the puppy wriggles away, they will not fall and get hurt.
Some basic rules should include:
1. Pick up your toys…or they may get ruined.
2. Do not wake a sleeping puppy. They need their rest.
3. Do not interrupt a puppy that is eating. You might get bitten.
4. Do not carry a puppy around. Puppies break when dropped.
5. Do not hit a puppy. It is an adult’s job to discipline.
6. Treat a puppy like a friend, not a toy.
If you’d like to find out more about introducing a new puppy to your family, download our free ebook: My First Best Friend.
The photo was provided by Mario Tabraue, former representative of Euro Puppy USA,
director of Zoological Wildlife Foundation.
Many families own a cat prior to bringing a new puppy in the home. For a young puppy, leaving its mother, litter mates and adapting to a completely new environment can be stressful enough, while meeting a cat – even if it’s not as large as the one above – can easily cause trouble.
If the puppy is younger than 2-3 months (depending on the breed), you need to realize that it’s the dog that you should be concerned about as the cat can hurt a puppy with its sharp claws quite badly in an instant.
The main principle that should be followed when introducing a puppy to a cat in the home is that you should always be in control. This is best achieved by putting your puppy in a crate first and letting your cat get to know the newcomer from the outside. A few days or even weeks should pass before you let the puppy out of the crate when the cat is present. The right time to do this is when both seem perfectly comfortable in the presence of each other.
If you are bringing a slightly older dog to the home and feel that it is the cat that is more vulnerable, you should still stick to the crate routine. When the time for meeting outside the crate comes, make sure you have your dog on a leash and put a muzzle on him too. In that way, they can get close contact safely and you can easily tell if they are relaxed together or not. The next step is to let the dog off the leash and make sure you can call him to you even if the cat starts running. If that is the case, you can remove the muzzle and let them meet.
What’s amazing about cats and dogs living together is that they seem able to learn to read one another’s body cues and develop some sort of an interspecies communication as explained in this Science Daily article.
If your dog doesn’t do well in the muzzle phase and always gets out of control when the cat starts running, you may need to use a remote collar that you can read more about here.
Remember, dogs and cats can be good friends, provided that you pay attention to introducing them in a proper way.
According to a recent article of USA Today, the number of dogs being stolen has risen dramatically in 2011.
Stealing dogs with the intention of demanding a ransom from the owner is not
a new phenomenon. In fact, the first ever dognapping case was recorded in 1934. The stolen Boston Terrier was returned to its
owner after 5 long months so the story had a happy ending.
Dogs become part of our families. They will be just like a small brother or
sister to the kids. And when they are kidnapped and there is a chance that
money can buy them back, we pay gladly – provided that we have the money
demanded, that is.
Over time, as conformation showing became more popular, show dogs became the
targets of thieves. It’s easy to see that if the owner of a regular dog is
willing to pay thousands of dollars in ransom, the owner of a valuable show dog
might pay tens of thousands of dollars to get his pooch back.
Dognapping – not only for ransom but reselling, experiments and a number of
other purposes – has become widespread in the United States by the 60’s. So
much so that it had actually become one of the most talked about issues of the
time. The public dismay and the floods of letters demanding something to be
done put enormous pressure on the senate. As a result, the “Dognapping Law”,
which became the Animal Welfare Act of 1966 was born.
Almost fifty years later, the situation seems to be getting out of control once
again. According to the AKC, reports of stolen dogs rose by 49% in the first 7
months of 2011. The numbers have been growing steadily since 2008, which is –
to a large extent – due to the economic turmoil the world is going through.
Fortunately, a Euro Puppy dog has never been stolen, but we thought a list
of breeds that are more likely to become the victims of theft could be useful
to our customers as well as any dog owner:
If you have a dog of one of the above breeds, your dog is a more attractive
target for a criminal than most other breeds because of its size, popularity or
both. You need to pay extra attention when going for walks and meeting
strangers. Never leave your dog tied to post in front of a store or alone in a
car. Unless your dog is very obedient and always comes back when called, never
let him off the leash in public.
If the breed of your dog is not listed above, that doesn’t mean you should
not be careful of course. Any dog that is left unattended will become an
attractive target of a thief looking for its next victim.
It’s just about summertime, and while that means pleasure, joy, and
adventure to the dog park for our furry friends, it’s also a time to
be extra careful.
Summer is a very common time for dogs to contract kennel cough.
Although kennel cough itself is generally not a serious condition and
usually goes away naturally after a few weeks, it is often the case
that the cough is masking a more serious issue. That’s why it’s
important to be aware of the different ways you can prevent, identify,
and treat kennel cough. This will help you give your dog the proper
care if you notice any odd behavior to avoid serious problems from
There are many ways to treat and remedy kennel cough, and it is
important to remember that every dog is unique and may require a
different type of care. The key is to carefully monitor your dog for
any symptoms so that you can get him/her checked out as soon as
possible if something is wrong. If you find that your dog has
contracted the cough, there are many options available from vaccines,
to antibiotics, to natural home remedies!
Our friends at http://www.kennelcoughhelp.com have created a fantastic online
resource for everything to do with kennel cough symptoms, treatment,
remedies, prevention, and more. There you will learn what you can do
to prevent kennel cough, which symptoms to watch out for, recommended
home remedies, and a ton of other helpful information.
“Drop and give
me twenty, dog!” is an image that many people conjure up about
the type of training that goes on at doggie boot camps. The rigors
and possible degrading that they think their little puppy would have
to endure keeps many owners far away from otherwise enrolling and
correcting the behavior of their wild and unruly pooch. Training your
new dog can be one of the hardest tasks an owner must face. A dog
training camp offers one of the most direct solutions
to such a problem. Don’t let the thought of sending a beloved pet off
to a camp and subject entirely to the whim of a strange trainer deter
you. A proper understanding of the benefits of a dog training camp,
and its inner workings, can make the decision and subsequently the
process much easier for both man and pooch.
When deciding whether or not to send
Fido to a dog training camp, there are two major factors to be
considered, your own wellbeing, and the wellbeing of your dog. In the
case of your dog, it is important to understand that sending him/her
to a training camp may not only be for your own convenience, but to
ensure the safety and happiness of your dog as well. An untrained dog
is an unpredictable dog, and without a proper concept of boundaries,
a dog that has not been to training camp can put itself in danger in
many ways, from running away into traffic to biting neighbors and
being subject to legal punishment. Sending your pup to a training
camp allows you to keep him or her under control, and prevent any
rash actions which might inadvertently lead to harm. A camp is also a
protective measure when it comes to the training itself: there are a
plethora of training methods available to dog owners in this day and
age, both in books and on the Internet, and not all are guaranteed to
have a positive effect on your dog. Indeed, some of the more extreme
practices may cause him or her bodily harm. The staff at a dog
training camp, on the other hand, are schooled in the best and safest
methods of training, and are highly unlikely to cause your pooch any
emotional or physical trauma. The difference, as they say, is that
between a professional and an amateur.
While your dog’s safety and
happiness may indeed be your primary concern, the benefits posed to
the owner by a camp-trained pup are considerable as well. Aside from
saving you a tremendous amount of grief and man-hours, dog training
at a school provides you with a calm and professionally conditioned
pup, who is less likely to cause damage to your property or that of
others, or to make you the target of any legal actions. The ability
to communicate on a basic level with your dog, and to give him/her
commands, will also strengthen the bond between you and your dog,
making the relationship between you two more comfortable and
While these may represent some very
compelling arguments in favor of sending pooches to a training camp,
such a decision should certainly not be made lightly. Camp represents
both a time commitment for the dog and a financial commitment by the
owner, and one should be sure that both individuals are mature enough
for the task. If both are ready, however, a trip to a dog training
camp can make life quite a bit easy, for both man and hound.
Everyone who had a dog in their childhood appreciates the positive effect dogs can have on children. A dog can be a child’s best friend, one who is always up for some fun even if human friends are tired and one who is always there to provide love and affection, when humans are busy with their own business. Not to mention the responsibility children learn by taking care of a dog on a regular basis. This can help the development of their personality and insure their balanced emotional life for adulthood.
But how can you tell if your children are ready for a dog? Is this something to do with age? As My First Best Friend reveals, age has little to do with it, however, there are a number of vital questions you need to ask and answer honestly, to tell if your children are ready for a dog.
Once you have considered every eventuality carefully and are ready to buy that special puppy, you are suddenly faced with many new questions and decisions to make. My First Best Friend will guide you through the process of selecting the breed and buying your puppy, preparing your home for its arrival and making sure that your children are safe.
To ensure your children’s first puppy is a success, buy My First Best Friend for only $19.97 in a downloadable and printable ebook format or receive the contents of the ebook FREE in a five part newsletter series in five consecutive weeks.
Buying a puppy can be a challenge, especially if you are a first time owner.
There are just too many factors to consider and the volume of information on the internet is overwhelming. You may spend days researching a certain issue and after reading countless articles you might find yourself more confused than you were in the first place.
We have heard from a lot of people with similar experiences so we decided to make a really brief and simple guide that points out all the most vital questions you have to ask yourself before buying puppy.
The gender, breed and temperament of a dog must be chosen carefully to match your lifestyle and unique needs. Finding a responsible breeder is a major issue as well. Once all that is done, there are still a couple of very important things to do before you take the puppy home.
These and other similarly important issues are addressed in “Factors To Consider When Picking Your Perfect Puppy” . We figured that this essential information can help thousands of people making better decisions every day, resulting a happier dog and owner relationship, so we made the ebook freely available to download. Also, feel free to share it with any of your friends looking to buy a puppy.
Choose a suitable crate for your
dog when he is fully grown. It may appear to be
too large for your baby puppy, and will be more costly than a small
crate, but your canine companion isn’t going to be that little
forever. Buying a big crate will spare you further expense in the
future, because youwon’t need to purchase a larger crate when your
dog grows out of his smaller crate. Keep in mind as well where you
plan on keeping the crate. Dog crate furniture provides an alternative to
the wire and plastic crates typically purchased but serves as a
piece of your furniture as well as a crate.
Don’t rush. Dogs
have different learning abilities, and some take longer to pick up
new skills than others. Relax as you go through the crate training
process, and you will both enjoy it more. Most dogs eventually
become crate trained given time.
Use heaps of
treats when your dog is learning to use his crate. He’ll
look forward to their training sessions and enjoy the process,
because he has the opportunity to get a scrumptious reward.
Make the crate an enjoyable
space to be. Make sure your dog has a padded bed to lie on
(unless he likes to chew things) and put his preferred playthings
in there. Stuffed Kongs and similar chew toys will keep him busy if
he has to pass a few hours on his own.
Position the dog crate in
the activity hub of your house, so your dog senses that he
is part of your family’s activities, even when he is confined in
Don’t place your crate near
the heater or fireplace, or in the path of a cold draught.
Your dog will be at ease in his crate if he isn’t too warm or too
Don’t leave your four
legged best friend unsupervised in the crate while he has a
bone. There is the chance of the bone becoming stuck in
his molars, or worse still, in his pharynx or esophagus. If you
wish to feed him a bone, make a point of remaining near the crate
to keep a close watch on him
Watch out for strangling
hazards. If you have drapes, keep the crate away from the
cords, so they don’t hang inside where your dog could reach them.
Think about removing his collar while is confined to his
Give your dog his dinner in
his crate, so he connects being inside with enjoyable
experiences, and is glad to go into it. Regularly check for any
food that has been spilled as it could go bad and give off a bad
odor. Not only that, but if your dog eats any spoiled food, it
could make him sick.
Lastly, never put your dog
into his crate by force, or shout and yell at him while he
is in his crate. Don’t put him in his crate to punish him. If your
dog becomes apprehensive about the crate, you might have to go back
to the beginning and re-train him to enjoy his crate. Also, he may
end up scared of you, and that’s not healthy for your
Crate training is as useful and as
important as teaching your dog to sit or stay. Spend the time teaching
him to be happy in a crate, and you’ll find that it makes life easier
for your whole family.
Rosie Brown is a veterinarian with 20 years’ experience in small animal practice. Her passion is preventative health care for our dogs; what can we do to keep them well and reduce the chances of them getting sick?
Rosie has written a short report on how to give your dog a checkup, following the steps she uses in her clinic. It is just under 20 pages long and has full color photos. It explains such things as why we look at a dog’s gums and press on them when we’re doing an examination, how to check a dog’s pulse, and more. Her aim is to encourage dog owners to become familiar with their dog, so they can quickly notice any changes and have them treated straight away. They then have a better chance of a good outcome, and early treatment may not cost them as much in veterinary fees.
The 20 pages ebook is priced at a very reasonable $4.95, to get it into the hands of as many dog owners as possible.