Housebreaking a New Puppy

Although it doesn’t sound like the most appealing job in the world, housebreaking a new puppy will play an important part in bonding with the newest member of your family. It will teach you patience and leave you with a better understanding of what your puppy wants once he has learned. In addition, he will learn acceptable behaviors and exactly what is expected of him to live happily and comfortably in his new home.

It’s important to remember that, just like a small child, a puppy’s attention span is very short. When you teach a young child not to hit, he likely won’t learn the lesson the first time, but instead, gradually after you’ve shown him repeatedly that it’s not okay. Similarly, you will have to be consistent with your dog when training him. Also, when housebreaking your puppy, keep in mind that he is not intentionally being a bad dog; he just has not yet learned what behaviors are acceptable!

Start housebreaking your puppy with a simple feeding schedule. Give him breakfast, lunch and dinner, just as you would yourself. By doing this you will be helping him become regular with his bowel movements. Once he has eaten, wait 20-30 minutes and then take him outside. Watch how long it takes before he is able to void. This will give you an idea of how long to wait the next time you take him out. (Within about a week, you should have his schedule down.) Try to never let him eat at free will, leaving food in his bowl all day, because it will cause him to have accidents and make housetraining all that much more difficult.

Despite the old rules of training a puppy, you should never hit, rub his nose in his messes, or yell at your puppy. By doing this, you are telling him it is bad to relieve himself at all! In addition, most dogs respond negatively to aggressive and mean behavior and it has the opposite effect—they regress in their training rather than advance. Instead, while housebreaking your puppy take him straight outside when he has an accident. In addition, don’t forget the praise! Every time he “goes” where he’s supposed to, praise him lavishly, and soon he will begin to understand exactly what brings praise, and what brings that disappointed face. During the process, don’t forget that full control of the bladder and bowels won’t happen until 16 weeks of age, so don’t expect too much from your puppy in the beginning.

Also helpful in housebreaking a new puppy is to buy a stain remover/ odor relief spray. Household cleaners and sprays cannot be smelled by dogs; only those made for animals will work. When an accident happens, clean the mess and spray immediately. This will cover the odor left and your puppy will not try to mark his territory there again.

Remember that housebreaking a puppy is a big responsibility that can lead to you and your puppy sharing a special bond. Giving encouragement and lots of love will make all the time spent worth your while!

Handling Dog Behavioral Problems

Sometimes, even the best dogs can act out, and if you’re dealing with dog behavioral problems, it is best to act as quickly if possible. If bad behavior is allowed to continue, you may end up with a bigger problem on your hands. The good news is, there are many easy ways that you can handle dog behavior issues in a humane and friendly way.

Dog behavioral problems can range from cute, but annoying little problems, to full fledged dangerous issues such as biting. While there are many causes of behavioral problems, the solutions are fairly simple. The old adage, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” doesn’t apply here and with consistent training, you can overcome dog behavior problems. Let’s look at a few simple and easy to implement dog training tips.

1. Be Consistent. This is the absolute key when training any animal. You may be tempted to let them slide every once in awhile, but this will only serve to hamper your efforts. Be consistent with praise as well as with corrections and your dog will begin to understand that you are indeed the master.

2. Positive Reinforcement is Vital. While many older dog training techniques, such as choke chains may be initially effective, they may actually cause more problems down the road. Positive reinforcement helps your dog associate good behavior with good rewards is a very effective means of tackling even the toughest dog behavior problems.

In brief, positive reinforcement means that you reward a dog when they do the right thing, and withhold the reward when they do not. Even the most stubborn dog will begin to respond to these training techniques, when they are applied consistently.

3. Introduce a Crate. One of the easiest ways to put an end to destructive behavior is to provide your dog with clear cut boundaries. Crating them while you are gone, or when you need some space is an effective and humane training aid. You may need to introduce them to the crate slowly, and allow them time to get used to being confined. Remember, be consistent and reward them for good behavior in their crate. A crate should not be used as a punishment device, but rather as a safe place for them to go and relax.

4. An additional cautionary note for you and especially your immediate family members. Once the dog behavioral problems are addressed, and the corrective training has started, it is imperative everyone involved with the dog use the same training techniques. Everyone must be consistent in the handling of the dog. If not your poor dog will become very confused and make act out even more than before the corrective training was initatied.

Once you have these methods in place, you can easily begin to solve dog behavioral issues without undue stress to you or your pet. A well behaved pet is a happy pet and you’ll appreciate the lack of destructive and potentially harmful dog behavioral problems.

Flying With Your Dog

There are many requirements that a pet owner must meet before traveling by air with a dog. While specific regulations will vary by airline, most airlines work with the same general rules when it comes to flying dogs.

Dogs Cannot Fly Alone

Every airline that was researched for this article has a rule against flying unaccompanied dogs from one point to another. Understand that dogs are considered to be cargo to the airline. You can’t send your luggage to a city somewhere across the country without going with it (only the airline can do that – insert rim shot here) and you can’t send your dog. Unaccompanied dogs must be transported by a licensed and approved pet transportation company.

Clean Bill of Health

All airlines require that a dog that will be flying with you receive a full physical examination and be tested for various diseases (most commonly rabies) before they’ll be allowed to fly. Usually the airline will require that the exam certificate be dated within a certain amount of time before the date of the flight, so the exam you had your dog undergo two years ago will not suffice for a flight you intend to take next week.

Weather Related Restrictions

The cargo hold on an airplane can become very hot. Because of this fact there are restrictions on what times of the year dogs may travel to and from certain cities. Most airlines will also enforce specifically weather and temperature related restrictions. For example, if the temperature in the arrival or departure city exceeds eighty or eighty five degrees Fahrenheit, pets will not be permitted on the plane.

Pets in the Cabin

Many airlines are now permitting the transport of pets in the cabin of the plane, provided they can fit into the in-cabin kennel cage (22” long by 9” high on most airlines). The cost for this service also varies by airline but is under $100.00 in most cases. This is a considerable improvement compared to the pets transported in the cargo hold which many consider an unsafe practice and which can cost more than $300.00 in some cases.

International Flights

The customs laws of many nations restrict the passage of dogs and other pets over their borders. Airlines must comply with these laws and in many cases your dog will not be able to join you on an international flight at all.