Dog and Puppy Costumes!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Taking Care of a Puppy

Bulldog Puppy

Puppy Talk!  At 12 weeks, your puppy's focus is still to eat, drink, sleep, eliminate, and play. Your puppy should be underway to learning right from wrong and in the process of being housebroken. He should be playful and curious. You need to make sure your home is puppy proof and safe. This is a critical time for housetraining and you should carefully support your puppy with a good housetraining schedule.

The following list will help you know what to expect from your puppy has he develops.

How Big? Most 12-week-old puppies are only a fraction of their adult length and of weight. Most puppies will gain or grow rapidly between birth and 6 months of age and how much they grow or gain will depend on their breed, diet, and ultimate adult size. Growth is generally steady until they attain their adult size. Some formulas estimate that a puppy's adult weight will roughly be double of their weight at 14 weeks of age.

Teething - Puppies 12 weeks old will have most of their 28 baby teeth and may have their first 2 to 4 adult front teeth, called the incisors. Over the next three months, your puppy will be getting in all of his adult teeth. Because they are entering an active "teething" stage, they will want to chew. Provide lots of safe chew toys. Begin the first steps toward brushing their teeth by opening their mouths and looking or gently touching their teeth. Make each event positive.

Senses - 12-week-old puppies will show fear, pain and excitement. They can see and hear fairly well. They are learning to differentiate between smells.

Ability to Hold Urine – 12-week-old puppies can generally hold their urine for about 4 hours. This means you will need to take them out at least every 4 hours to get them "housebroken".

Intelligence – 12-week-old puppies are very interested in their environment. This makes them at higher risk for getting into "things" as they explore their environment. It is estimated that a puppies brain is fully developed at this age and this is the ideal time for them to begin "training". They can begin to understand right from wrong and remember the consequences (reward!). Get your puppy used to the collar and leash.

Play & Agility – Most puppies that are 12 weeks old are still quite clumsy but are getting stronger and more coordinated. They have all the gaits of the adult dog, just not fine tuned. They can run, play and stop with better accuracy. You may see bouts of "spurts of energy and play" when your puppy runs around like crazy. Enjoy this time! If your puppy is wreaking havoc in your home, redirect this energy toward appropriate balls and toys.

Sleep – Puppies that are 12 weeks old sleep approximately 18 to 20 hours per day. The rest is spent eating, playing and eliminating.

Physical Appearance & Hair Coat – 12-week-old puppies have a very soft baby hair coat and do very little shedding. They still have puppy characteristics but are getting slightly taller, longer and their muzzle is lengthening.

Cute Puppies

Tips on Best Ways to Raise Your 12-week-old Puppy

  • Continue crate training
  • Maintain a housetraining schedule
  • Take him out at least every 4 hours
  • Feed him 4 times per day
  • Get your puppy used to grooming and touching his feet and mouth
  • Expose your puppy to different people to minimize fears
  • Socialize!
  • Never hit your puppy
  • Give positive reinforcement for work well done
  • Beware of puppy hazards
  • Provide safe chew toys
  • Play with your puppy daily
  • Make sure he gets his vaccines!
  • Start/discuss heartworm prevention with your vet
  • Make sure he has a good ID tag and microchip!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tips on Raising a New Puppy

How to Raise a New Puppy

Tanker from The Bark Life

Did you just get a new puppy?  When you get a brand new puppy, things that you do, or don't do, can make a big difference in the development of your new pup. In a sense, they are just like children.  Happy and confident adult dogs (just like humans) don't just happen but are the product of good decisions and correct treatment of the puppy from birth right up until their juvenile period (around six months).

A pup's genetic makeup may be out of your control once you have selected the right breed and individual for you, but you can sculpt or distort the raw clay of the pup's genetic legacy by how you look after him and act toward him. If you do the right things –
and, most importantly, don't do the wrong things - the pup will turn out to be (as the US Army jingle goes) "all that he can be."

The so-called sensitive period of development for puppies is between 3 and 12 weeks of age. The sensitive period has been defined as a time during development when the puppy is dependant upon (the correct) environmental influences for its development to continue normally.

This is a time when primary social relationships and emotional attachments develop between dogs and people and between dogs and other dogs. Note that only half of this sensitive period has elapsed at the usual time for adoption, which is why it is so important for owners to get a grasp of the essential features of proper puppy socialization and training.

How to raise a good puppy has been discussed almost ad nauseam by numerous authorities though the message has still not penetrated to all new puppy owners. In essence, for training a new puppy, new owners need to concentrate on being patient and considerate while using primarily positive reinforcement with, if necessary, negative punishment (withholding benefits) as a consequence for any deliberate, unacceptable behavior. But even informed owners sometimes fail to appreciate the absolute no-no's of puppy raising. True, some of the biggest of them are simply the converse of what should be done, but it doesn't hurt to include these items in the list for even greater clarity.

No Yelling, Threatening, Or Physical Punishment.

Punishment teaches a dog nothing, except how to avoid the punishment. It is far better, and far more humane, to teach the pup what to do rather than punish it for something it is doing. Also note, that punishment after the fact is not only inappropriate; it is pointless. The only type of positive (direct) punishment that might, on occasion be acceptable is that delivered remotely by some anonymous contraption. E.g. some kind of booby trap arrangement to discourage pups from "counter surfing."

Don't Expect Too Much.

Setting one's standards high is one thing but a puppy cannot do what it is physically incapable of or doesn't understand. For example, young pups cannot hold their urine for long periods of time. They are like children and need frequent opportunities to empty their bladder.

The general rule is that pups can hold their urine for a number of hours ("N" hours) equal to their age in months ("A") plus 1 (up to about 9 months of age). [I.e. N = A + 1] To punish a pup of 3-months old for urinating on the floor when you have not taken it out for 5 hours is not fair. To instruct a pup to come to you from a distance, and then get angry with him for not coming is unfair if you have not practiced and honed off-lead recalls at a distance. Temper your expectations. Think.

Do Not Keep Your Pup Shut In A Crate For More than 15-20 Minutes!

Some folk who acquire new puppies really don't have the time to take care of them properly. There's no getting around it, raising a puppy properly takes time. If you haven't got time, don't get a puppy. As a solution to their puppy's ... well, puppy behavior, they lock it in a crate for hours on end. It is shut up while they are out, while they are busy, and while they are asleep. Some pups are crated for almost 20 hours a day for this reason. Of course, when the pup is let out, it goes ballistic and the owner is horrified. The Catch-22 solution, to put the puppy back in the crate: This is all horribly wrong.

Most puppies do benefit from having a crate, a place of comfort and security where they can engage in occasional self-imposed time-outs. A crate can come to be viewed by the pup as a den, of sorts, but note: Dens don't have doors. It is not bad to use the crate for house training, confining the pup in the crate for 15-20 minutes between "bathroom breaks" to ensure to requisite deposition of urine outside but long periods of confinement are counterproductive, leading to a type of kennel dog syndrome of hyperactivity, excessive reactivity, compulsivity, and introversion.

If a pup cries for attention at night, whether crated or not, provide it this attention, as you would a child. Do NOT ignore its separation cries. You don't have to pick it up or pet it, just let it know you are there for it and everything's okay. The less attention you give a pup growing up the more needy it becomes when mature (this accounts for separation anxiety being prevalent in shelter dogs and dogs from abusive backgrounds). Conversely, the more attention you can give a pup as it is growing up, the more independent it will become. It sounds like a paradox, but its true.

Don't Keep Your Pup Completely Isolated From The Outside World.

For the very best of reasons, veterinarians often tell new puppy owners "keep your puppy in until his vaccinations are complete." But what they are not factoring in is the terrible price of failure to properly socialize puppies within the sensitive period of learning window.

Half the puppies born in this country (US) fail to see their second birthday and that (unacceptable) behavior is the primary reason for this continuing holocaust. Proper early socialization would go a long way toward addressing this problem and is as life-saving as vaccinations. It should not be a matter of vaccination or socialization: Both are equally important and can be dove-tailed.

Work with your vet to see what is acceptable in terms of your puppy's possible exposure to infection. Perhaps the veterinarian might agree that some limited contact with "safe" vaccinated dogs and unfamiliar people in safe locations might be acceptable.

Puppy parties at home are one way of socializing pups to people. The idea is that people unfamiliar to the pup come and visit your home arranging themselves around, say, your family room. The strangers are encouraged to interact positively with the pup and then pass it on until all have handled the pup at least once. These gatherings should be held at least once a week (preferably 2 or 3 times weekly) from the time of the pup's acquisition until it is 14 weeks of age. It is a good idea to select people of all shapes and sizes, sexes and colors, and wearing various forms of garb (hats, fake beards, uniforms, even scuba gear) for these exercises. And don't forget to take pictures for the family photograph album!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Cutest Puppy in San Antonio!

I am on a mission to find the cutest puppy in San Antonio.  

This is my soon to be puppy, Tanker.   He is a Snorkie.  

  Snorkies are a unique hybrid breed of a toy yorkie and mini schnauzer.  He will come home this Friday!  This fantastic breeder can be found in Texas.  Info - soon to come.   This adorable breeder family of 3, take extra care and love for their puppies.  Handling them like they are a big happy family!

Email us your puppies info and pictures!!