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Biting and Mouthing

Biting and Mouthing

It is natural that your puppy will try and mouth you. Their adult teeth come through at 14 weeks which can be very painful for them (and you too if they are mouthing)!

Distraction is the key to stopping your puppy mouth or bite you. Using a toy can help to distract you dog as if they are chewing the toy they cannot chew you.

In addition to using a toy as a distraction, providing you puppy with something to chew on can help with the teething. A rawhide chew may help but don’t leave your dog unattended with it. To get your dog to lock on to the chew spread a very small amount of honey on it. You could also try using a pair of old shoes with the laces removed or latex toys which have a bit of give in them.

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Pet insurance

Pet insurance

It is advisable to have insurance for you dog as unexpected vets bills can be very costly, particularly if extended treatment is required. There are many providers of insurance and some policies my suit you better than others so it is worth shopping around.

Insurance can be a minefield and there are a number of things to look out for. For example what exactly does a life policy cover and are there any issues that suddenly aren’t covered. Look at the excess amount and what limit the policy covers up to.

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What the law says

What the law says

Dog tag

By law your dog must wear a tag with you name, postcode and phone number engraved on it. The tag is attached to your dog’s collar which must be worn when out and about.

Identification

It is a legal requirement to have microchip identification for your dog. This is carried out by your vet and can be done at the same time as its vaccinations.

Poo bags

By law you are required to clean up your dog’s poo. You may be fined if caught not clearing up after your dog. Poo bags can be bought in a variety of places including the supermarket, pet shops or online. They are very affordable but nappy bags are just as good and a cheaper alternative.

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Collars, Leads and Harnesses

Collars, Leads and Harnesses

Collars

As it is a legal requirement to tag your dog, a collar is essential. The collar you choose is down to your personal taste but it needs to be the right size for your dog. A general guidance is that you should be able to fit two fingers inside the collar. You will inevitably require more than one as your puppy grows, though this will to a certain extent depend on breed.

Harnesses

Harnesses provide a less invasive alternative to using a dog’s collar to attach a lead and are really useful in assisting to keep your dog under control whilst being walked. They also work better if you have a dog that pulls whilst on the lead.

Front loading harnesses (those with a ring at the front) are particularly good as when used with a training lead they are comfortable and non-invasive. The training lead is connected to the back of the harness between your dog’s shoulders and to the front of the chest just below your dog’s neck. This gives you the ability to directly communicate and correct the dog at the right time. It is important both areas are connected as if connecting the lead only to the back it can lead to your dog pulling.

Some facial harnesses can create fear issues and be uncomfortable and are therefore not recommended by Happy Dogs Training except for Dogmatic. Proper training should alleviate pulling.

Leads

There are several different types of leads available to use. The flexible or extending leads are not good for training your puppy. The clicking noise they make is off-putting for your dog and distracts from the training. They are also not effective for walking to heel unlike fixed leads.

Using a fixed lead in conjunction with a harness gives you the ability to directly communicate and correct the dog at the right time. A fixed lead also helps with walking to heel as your puppy learns where you want them to be in relation to you at all times.

Long line (training line not extendable) lead

Another very useful piece of equipment for training your puppy outdoors is a long line/training line. This in particular helps with recall training, as they cannot run off any further than the line will allow. Using a training line when first taking your puppy to open spaces, such as your local park, provides them with some freedom to run. However it also prevents them from running off if they get scared by anything they encounter such as a dog much bigger than them (or in some cases much smaller)!

Remember to always keep you puppy on a lead when near to roads as they can get scared suddenly and potentially run off into oncoming traffic.

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Creating a safe area

Creating a safe area or using a crate

Puppies need to feel safe. Create a safe area in your house for when you bring them home. This safe area can be a room where their bedding is set up (such as a kitchen or utility room) or this could be a crate or pen. The area needs to be warm and dry and away from things they shouldn’t have. If you are using an area such as a utility room make sure there is nothing on the floor other than their toys.

Why use a safe place or crate?

Using a crate in combination with a puppy pen is ideal as it provides both a safe place for your puppy to sleep in and an area it can play in safely. For the first couple of weeks you need to keep your puppy in its safe place while you do things. If you leave them to run around you will have a disaster on your hands! Don’t give the puppy the opportunity to destroy your belongings.

If you have children a crate is particularly useful. For example, at mealtimes it helps to prevent one of those situations when food is dropped innocently (or not so innocently in some cases) and your dog naturally cleans up the mess made. If they learn to pick up food dropped from the table the next stage will be your puppy climbing up on the table to finish off the scraps!

Getting you puppy used to the crate or safe place

Your puppy will most likely cry the first night or two in it’s new home. Although it is tempting to run to them to comfort them, try to avoid doing this as they learn quickly that crying gains your attention. It is important to only approach them when they are not crying.

Your puppy needs to learn patience. When the dog is whining you walk away from the crate or turn your back. When your dog is quiet you walk back to the crate and give them a treat. Your puppy will soon learn you respond when they are quiet. Timing is crucial when walking away and if done incorrectly you will get the behaviour you don’t want.

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Toilet training

Toilet Training

Mastering toilet training is an essential milestone for any puppy owner.

What equipment will you need?

Puppy training pads are an indispensable tool to help train your puppy to be clean and to encourage them to wee where you want them to.

Cleaning up properly after the inevitable accidents is also part of toilet training your puppy. Using a specific dog cleaning product with neutraliser will not just clean but will also neutralise the smell left behind. Regular chemical based cleaning products from the supermarket can leave behind a strong smell which your puppy can learn to associate with a place to go to the toilet. Likewise, bleach contains ammonia which is also in present in urine and makes it an unsuitable cleaning product for dog wee.

It is also worth investing in a separate cloth or mop from the one you usually use for floor cleaning to clean up any accidents. All you are doing by using the same mop or cloth is spreading the smell around further and increasing the area that your puppy understands as acceptance to use as a toilet.

Why your puppy wees in certain places?

Dogs have an incredible sense of smell and if the scent of their wee is left behind after an accident they are likely to wee in that location again. Leave a puppy pad in the location of an accident in case they go to the toilet again here by association.

How to get what you want?

Start in the place your puppy has had an accident. Make sure you clean the accident up properly with neutraliser and put a puppy pad down in this area. As puppies always wee where they can smell where they last went, using a small amount of a used training pad will encourage your puppy to wee on the new pad and therefore where you want them to go. To do this cut a small piece of the old pad out and place it underneath the new clean pad.

Once your puppy knows to wee on the training pad (and only on the pad) you can gradually move the pad closer to the door until you can eventually put it outside. Only move it by a few inches at a time. Your puppy is now (barring the odd accident) toilet trained.

If you want them to wee in a specific area of your garden you can use the used training pad and move this to where you want the dog to wee. If your puppy asks to go out for a wee, take it outside and stand with it where you want it to wee until it learns this is the right place. This may take a bit of time and accidents will happen.

Preventing accidents

In the first week dedicate an area for your puppy to play in to reduce the risk of accidents.

If your puppy has had a drink it is likely it will need to go to toilet so put a pad in this area. To prevent your puppy weeing on the carpet you need to use a crate or safe place.

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