How to Care for a Puppy Tips

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What should I know about puppy obedience training?

Puppy Obedience Training

As a new puppy owner, you may be having a hard time imagining a time when you'll have a full grown dog on your hands. However, it does happen eventually. All dogs, whether they are tiny Poodles or giant Great Danes, can benefit from puppy obedience training so that when they do grow up, they are a joy to be around.

You can probably handle teaching your puppy the basics on your own. Come is a very simple command, because your puppy is just dying to come play with you anyway. The trick is to say come every time your puppy sees you and seems about to romp over.

Sit is another command that is easy to teach. Some puppies sit on their own when a treat is held in front of them and moved back. Other puppies need a helping hand to press their backsides into position.

The down command is an extension of the sit. After your dog knows the sit command and will sit without treats, it is time to move on to the down command. Get a treat and hold it in front of your sitting puppy's nose. Slowly slide the treat down to the ground. Your puppy should naturally follow it down. If he or she doesn't lie down completely, slide the treat out a bit until it is in the proper position.

If you do have trouble teaching the basics or if you'd like to continue your puppy's training, there are probably classes for new puppies in your area.

Are there any tips for dog grooming?

Dog Grooming 101

As you stare at your new puppy, you have a horrifying realization. You are going to have to groom your dog and you have no clue how to do it. Suddenly, you're wondering if you should have gotten that Chihuahua instead. Before you get too upset, try some of these dog grooming tips. When grooming a puppy, you should:

  • Begin grooming sessions right away, even if the puppy doesn't actually need to have its coat maintained yet. The two of you will develop a routine that will help the puppy to be relaxed and comfortable when he or she really needs to be groomed.
  • Check teeth, eyes and toe nails whenever you brush its coat. Grooming isn't just about your dog's coat.
  • Look at pictures of your dog's breed to see how it should look when properly groomed. If you clip its coat and mess the hair cut up, don't be too upset. Hair grows back. The important thing is to be sure that you don't nick your dog's skin or let the clippers get so hot that they burn your dog. Take things slow the first few times and don't worry about getting the job done all at once.

Are there any tips for caring for a puppy?

Tips For Caring For a Puppy

You're getting a new puppy and now you're worried. Are you going to be a good puppy parent? You need some tips for caring for a puppy to be sure you do things right.

  • Be patient, but firm. Just like toddlers, puppies do not do well with screaming, angry people. They also don't do well with extremely permissive people. You want to raise a well-behaved, confident puppy that people will love to be around.
  • Puppy proof your home. Get down on the puppy's level to see what he will see. Phone cords, shoes, newspaper and other items that are usually low to the ground are the kinds of things that puppies think are wonderful new toys that were put there just for them. Be sure to keep electrical cords off the ground in areas where your puppy hangs out.
  • Make sure you have a secure area for your puppy to exercise in. One of the worst things that can happen with a puppy is having it run into the road and get hit by a car. Save yourself from this devastating experience with a fenced yard or always leash your puppy when you take it outside.

What should I look for when buying a crate for my new puppy?

Buying a Crate for Your New Puppy

You just finished buying a kennel to ship your puppy and you were planning to use it to crate train your puppy. Then, someone asked if you were buying a crate for your new puppy. You explained your plan and found out that your puppy's kennel is not going to work out as a crate. It will be too hard to clean and is too enclosed for every day use. Now, you need some pointers for buying a new crate.

  • A puppy crate needs to be big enough for the puppy to stand up and turn around, but it should not be a palatial home. You want to encourage the puppy to keep the crate clean. A larger crate makes it easy for the puppy to have a spot for sleeping and a spot for bathroom breaks and he or she doesn't worry about keeping the crate clean.
  • Crates with removable trays are a nice option, since they are easy to clean when accidents do occur.

  • Look for a collapsible crate. This is a nice option for people who travel with their puppy or have limited space and don't want the crate to be set up when the puppy isn't in it.

Are there any tips for choosing safe puppy toys?

How to Choose Safe Puppy Toys

Puppies basically do three things. They eat, they sleep and they play. Most of their play involves chewing, especially when they are teething. This means you will need to choose safe and sturdy puppy toys. You'd think any toys that are sold as dog toys or dog chews would be a good choice. However, there are some toys that are not a good idea. To choose safe puppy toys, you should:

  • Think about what materials make up the toys. Rawhide chews are a bad choice for puppies. Their delicate digestive systems cannot handle the rough rawhide.
  • Consider whether the toys have parts that can be chewed off easily. Puppies will gnaw away until things break if they aren't sturdy enough.
  • Avoid toys with stuffing. Stuffed toys have a tendency to get unstuffed fast when puppies are teething. If you do give your puppy stuffed toys, supervise play. Never leave a stuffed toy with a crated puppy.
  • Look for toys that are made specifically for puppies, such as the Nylabone puppy starter kit bones. These toys are durable and safe for your little chewer to play with. Be sure you choose the right size for your dog. Tiny bones for toy size puppies will not last long in your Great Dane puppy's jaws.

Why do I need puppy training classes?

Puppy Training Classes

Your puppy knows how to sit and come. He knows the basics of heeling. So, why would you want to bother with puppy training classes? There are several great reasons to take classes, even if your puppy has learned the basics.

One of the most important purposes of a puppy training class has nothing to do with obedience commands. These classes help puppies learn important socialization skills. They have to learn to get along with other dogs, they are exposed to strange smells and noises and they get fussed over by a bunch of puppy lovers. Socialization can mean the difference between owning a weird dog that hides under stuff and an outgoing, jolly friend that loves company.

Puppies have to obey commands with all kinds of other dogs and people around. Classes provide an environment chock full of distractions. If your puppy obeys commands during classes, he or she will obey them in the park or while romping in the yard.

Beginning obedience classes could be the start of a lifelong love of learning for your dog. If he or she picks up commands quickly and seems eager to learn, you may just find yourself entering obedience and agility competitions together in the future.

Are there any tips for choosing the right puppy food?

The 411 On Puppy Food

One of the most important things you can do for your new puppy is to provide it with good nutrition. As young puppies grow, they need vitamins and protein to make their bones, muscles and joints strong. Also, human babies can develop learning problems, such as a bad short term memory, from poor nutrition. It is a reasonable assumption that the same could be true for animal babies. To be sure you choose the right puppy food for your dog, you should:

  • Take a close look at the ingredients. Don't just go by the slogans and adjectives on the front of the food bag. If a food claims to be nutritious or healthy and lists corn meal as the first ingredient, look for another food. Meal of any kind as a first ingredient isn't a great thing, but quite a few dogs have corn allergies, so this is one you really want to avoid. (Meal is a fancy way to say scraps no one would give a human to eat.)

  • Look for food that is high in protein. Puppies use a lot of fuel just to grow. On top of that, they are very active. They need that protein to keep them going.

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Lynne Christen