Monthly Archives: July 2013

Selecting the Right Bone for your Dog

ChaseWhether you have a new puppy or an old faithful friend one of the best things you can do for your dog is provide them with a chew bone of their own. It’s not only fun but it provides many health benefits.

All dogs chew. Puppies chew when cutting their teeth. While other dogs chew their whole lives.

Bones promote dental health.

Chewing on bones helps scrape away plaque that causes bad breath. It also cleans their teeth, exercises muscles and maintains healthy gums that can prevent serious dental problems.

Dogs have an innate urge to chew. Giving them their own bone prevents them from chewing on your furniture and avoids destructive behaviors.  Filled bones provide a stimulating activity that will keep them busy for hours. A bored dog is an unhappy dog.

Chose the right bone for your dog. 

Choosing the right bone can make all the difference. The following guidelines can help you select the perfect bone to fit your dog’s chewing habits. If you have a small dog or a dog that chew for a short time then they would enjoy a dental chew or a bully stick. They are softer and easy to digest. If you have an aggressive chewer with a  strong jaws that rips through everything then  antler, buffalo horn, tuffie and filled bones are the bones for you. These bones are tough and long-lasting.  They wear down slowly without breaking or splintering.

Like any dog chew, you do need to be careful when allowing your dog to chew on hard bones. The main concerns are breaking a tooth or choking on the  chew. To prevent these things from happening, be sure to supervise your dog’s  chewing. Do not allow him to bear down forcefully with his molars on the chew and do not allow him to chew on a piece that is of a size they could choke on.

www.greatpup.com is proud to offer your best friend the widest selection of bones in several shapes, sizes, and flavors.

Treat your dog to a greatpup bone today!Zoe enjoying a bully stick.

Adventures of Bill (guide dog in training) weeks 13 &14

Bill in coat at the first puppy meeting

Bill in coat at the first puppy meeting

Bill has had a busy two weeks. He is learning new things everyday. Puppies at this age are very curious this is both good and bad news. The good news is that your puppy is open to engaging in new environments. The bad news is that their curiosity can get them into trouble.

Training tips for 13-14 week old puppy

Bill has begun to adventure out into the public.  He has been wearing his coat more, sometimes just around the house to get use to it.  When we go out he walks with a small nylon leash. This is very important because you want a light leash that isn’t going to drag or weigh him down. Puppies at this age generally follow you around. This is the perfect time to teach your dog to walk on a leash. Begin by going short distances. Walk slowly and encourage your dog to walk along side of you. If he doesn’t give the leash a little tug say “forward” and when he starts to walk forward again say “good boy”.  If  your puppy runs out ahead of you, use the command “steady” and stop walking and pull him back to you. Being consistent is so important at  the beginning stage of learning to walk on a leash. Never let the dog drag or pull while walking.  If you do, you are teaching the dog to pull you.  Instead, stop walking and give the steady command when he is beside you again begin walking. I talk to Bill the whole time we are walking, giving him lots of praise for walking beside me. I have raise 7 dogs and none of them have ever had to wear a gentle leader or choke collar to prevent them from pulling. Never allow them to pull and you won’t have to worry about teaching them not to pull. You need to walk your dog daily and continue to work on these command. Be patient and consistent.

Now that we are walking on leash and going out into public it is time to talk about your backpack. Every puppy walker carries a backpack with our supplies. These supplies are very important for three reasons: 1.  to clean up any accidents 2.  to help train the puppy while out and about and finally having things to entertain your puppy makes the outing a blast!  My backpack has the following in it:

  • wet wipes, paper towels and a plastic zip lock bag to clean up accidents
  • air freshener spray in case we leave a smell
  • a tie down cable ( I don’t use this very often) but sometimes I need him to stay close to me
  • toys, bones and treats to keep him entertained while he is waiting for me.
  • Hand gel
  • and of course, collar, leash and coat

One of the first places Bill and I went was to a restaurant. This is an easy one. I always busy him before going into any building.  Bill goes under the table while I  eat.  I always bring a special bone for him to chew on while I eat. The only time that he gets this bone is when he is under the table at a restaurant.  Most of the time he is so excited about the bone that he spends the whole time chewing or sleeping because he wore himself out chewing.  I carry him out of the restaurant because I don’t want him to have an accident in front of people eating at the beginning of our training. When his bladder control is more trustworthy I will let him walk out of the restaurant on him own. Sometimes it depends on how far we are from the exist door.

Bill’s Accomplishment:

  • Went to his first puppy meeting
  • Went to the mall and a few stores and restaurants
  • Had a swim in the ocean
  • Weighs 28 lbs at 13 weeks
  • Sits on command
  • Whistle feeding ( we will cover this next time)

Adventures of Bill ( guide dog puppy in training) Weeks 11-12

11 weeks bill photo

I can’t believe how fast a little black lab puppy can grow. It makes me sad to see how quickly he is growing. This must be how parents feel about their children. We  want them to stay little forever. But they don’t, so we continue our pursuit to raise a great pup.

Training tips for 11-12 week old puppy

Bill is the first puppy that we have raised in the summer time. I must admit raising a puppy during the summer has it challenges. We live in North Carolina where the heat and humidity can before unbearable. Puppies dehydrate very quickly so it is important to have access to water at all times. I know what you are thinking, the more they drink the more they “busy” and you are right. I think of it as more opportunities to practice house breaking.

The other challenge that summer brings to raising Bill is the payment. We are to take Bill out to socialize him and practice walking on leash, but when the temperature is 90 degrees with the heat index of 100, it is difficult to put Bill in a hot car and go to the store and walk across a hot parking lot. You should test the payment yourself. I wear flip-flops a lot during the summer so I can easily slip them off and put my foot on the payment for about 10 seconds. If it is too hot for my foot it is too hot for Bill’s feet. Your hand can work just as well. When the payment is too hot, I just pick him up and put him in a grocery cart and push him across the parking lot. We work on walking on a leash when we get in the nice cool air conditioning store.  Remember if you can’t take your dog inside then don’t take him with you to the store on a hot day. A car can easily heat up to 110 degrees and cause a heat stroke and kill your dog.

Bill is ready to start learning commands.  The next two things I want him to learn is “off” and “sit”. We are getting out more and meeting lots of new people. The first thing that Bill and all puppies want to do is jump on people. When we meet someone I put Bill in a sit. I  tell the person waiting to pet him not to pet him until he sits.  At this point, I say “sit” while pushing his bottom down. When he sits I say “good boy”. When you first start this training you may have to keep your hand on his bottom while the person is petting him.  He will soon learn to sit if he wants someone to pet him. If he breaks the sit, stop petting. The nice things about this approach is Bill can’t jump on people if he is sitting.

I use the command “off” to mean, off  of people, furniture or anything I don’t want him climbing on. Whenever he jumps on something I say “no, off” and push him down. When he is no longer on the object I say” good boy”. He will soon learn not to jump on things.

Puppy kisses

Puppy kisses

Bill’s Accomplishment:

  • He is climbing up and down 3 to 4 stairs on his own.
  • Bill is learning the command to sit before eating, putting on his collar and leash, and being petted.
  • Bill weighs 22 lbs at 11 weeks
  • He learned how to play in the pool  to keep cool
  • He went to my mother’s house and met the rest of the family.
  • He has played with large and small dogs and loves them all
  • Bill made it through the 4th of July with no signs of fear with all the fireworksHappy 4th of July!Happy 4th of July!

 

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