Puppies | Puppies http://www.dogster.com/puppies Puppies en-us Fri, 26 Sep 2014 02:00:00 -0700 Fri, 26 Sep 2014 02:00:00 -0700 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Orion <![CDATA[We Celebrate International Rabbit Day -- With Dogs]]> http://www.dogster.com/puppies/cute-dog-pictures-photos-international-rabbit-day-bunny Did you know that this coming Saturday is International Rabbit Day? Yup, it most certainly is. Being that Dogster is a full-on Internet explosion of canine content and community, you know where this one is leading: Yup, here's a roundup of 10 broad-minded pooches who are putting species rivalry to the side to celebrate with their hop-a-long pals. Salute!

Dogster Editor-in-Chief Janine's pup Moxie and bunny pal Roger know that shared mealtimes are happy times.

When luxurious long-haired dogs become bespoke bunny pillows (part one).

Surf's up for this cony and canine duo!

Pillow talk part two: Never pass up the opportunity to turn a sleeping pup into a personal pillow.

True puppy and bunny love can never be caged.

Both of these lil' scamps looks guilty -- guilty of mischief!

Color coordinated dogs and bunnies are predicted to be a big hit this fall.

An epic stare-off? Or a silent meeting of minds to discuss what to do about this human's unkempt toes?

Janine's foster fluffball Kaboom is hoping to soon move into the spare room in Moxie's lounge pad.

Nice try but... nope!

Learn more about dogs with Dogster:

Fri, 26 Sep 2014 02:00:00 -0700 /puppies/cute-dog-pictures-photos-international-rabbit-day-bunny
<![CDATA[And Now, Ridiculously Adorable Shiba Inu Puppies!]]> http://www.dogster.com/puppies/shiba-inu-puppies-puppy-pictures Although he was probably not thinking specifically of Shiba Inu puppies, in Leviathan (1651), Thomas Hobbes felt it necessary to explain that animals can neither speak nor properly understand human language. He wrote, "To make covenant with brute beasts is impossible; because not understanding our speech, they understand not, nor accept of any translation of right; nor can translate any right to another; and without mutual acceptation, there is no covenant."

If you spend any time on the internet, you might have encountered the Shiba Inu "doge" meme. In this series of images, pictures of Shiba Inu puppies are littered with phrases in broken, unintelligible gibberish. Worse yet, those words are printed in the Comic Sans font!

If Shiba Inu puppies could talk, I like to think they'd be several degrees more articulate and interesting conversationalists than meme creators would have us believe. On the other hand, the pictures of Shiba Inu puppies you're about to see have reduced us to a blubbering, cooing mess.

Show me Shiba Inu puppies!

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Sagan, a black and tan Shiba Inu, as a puppy. "What a handsome guy," by Sagan Inu on Tumblr.

Quite right, too! Here's our first Shiba Inu friend, Sagan! Judging from his home site, he's grown to be a strikingly handsome dog. And, my word, what a start to our survey of Shiba Inu puppies, because he was a beautiful puppy! Black and tan is a common coat coloring for Shiba Inu puppies, and Sagan wears it well, wouldn't you say?

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Kuma, a red Shiba Inu puppy, playing with a toy. Photo by Little Kuma on Tumblr.

Here's a red Shiba Inu, Kuma, in the days of his own misspent youth. What a naughty fellow to have run off with a ball of yarn! Isn't that the way with very young ones, though, whether they're children or Shiba Inu puppies? You go to all the trouble of finding them the perfect toy, and they spend the next several hours chewing on the box or fiddling with the wrapping paper?

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Here's a cute little Shiba Inu in the snow! "Hashbrown," posted by Naming Dogs on Tumblr.

Nothing sets off the coat of red Shiba Inu puppies like a fresh snowfall. This little guy is as cute as they come, too! He's ready to run around and play in all that powder, maybe even slide down a hill -- not a very steep hill, mind you, since he's still very tiny!

Shiba Inu puppies playing around

There's nothing quite as visually intoxicating as Shiba Inu puppies clowning around, by themselves or in a group. I can't get enough of this young lady in a banana suit. I've been in hysterics for most of the past week at the very thought. Apparently, the banana suit serves the same purpose for this Shiba Inu as a typical thundershirt; it calms her down in times of excessive excitement. Any more Shiba Inu puppies, and I'm going to need a banana suit myself!

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The only thing better than a cream Shiba Inu puppy is one wearing a banana costume. Photo by Mistress While on Tumblr.

This is too much! Three completely adorable Shiba Inu puppies in a huddle. Wow! So tiny! Such chemistry! I'm chewing on the sleeve of my shirt to keep from alerting the entire neighborhood to the cuteness quotient. The Shiba Inu is one of a handful of ancient dog breeds, those most closely related to wolves, still extant in the modern world. These little ones, though, are still capable of making the most wizened adult chirp and gurgle like a newborn.

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These Shiba Inu puppies are best friends. Three nice puppies - shiba-inu, by Shutterstock.

Like all tiny creatures, Shiba Inu puppies don't quite have the firmest grasp on balance. Here's a baby who is having more than a little trouble staying on all four feet. I can hear you sympathizing and adoring the puppy from all corners of the Internet! I hear your woes and echo back your sighs!

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This Shiba Inu puppy is up to mischief in the garden! Adorable! Posted by Parakavka on Tumblr, originally by Rikiblog.

Patiently awaiting your squeaks of joy

Can you handle three more Shiba Inu puppies? I hope so, because we have three left to share with you! They've been waiting, patiently, for your attention. We cannot make covenants with beasts, but we can make a pact to enjoy these pictures of baby Shiba Inus together. Thomas Hobbes won't mind! Here's Vito to lead us onward!

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This is Vito, a black and tan Shiba Inu puppy! "Vito at the puppy store before he came home," by Vito Life on Tumblr.

This next black and tan Shiba Inu puppy is a real treat. That wiffle ball has been judged and found wanting in the entertainment department. Your applause, however, will do nicely! Give the puppy a big hand for being so charming!

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The wiffle ball has ceased to amuse this baby Shiba Inu puppy. Black and Tan Shiba Inu Puppy by Shutterstock.

8 Shiba Inu puppies down, one to go!

This is only one of the best puppy pictures in the history of puppy pictures. This Shiba Inu has brought along its favorite toy to ensure that you haven't scrolled all this way in vain! When I encountered this photo, a wave of happiness swept me out to sea. I had to swim for a week to return to my senses!

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One more precious Shiba Inu puppy picture for the road? Amazing funny Shiba inu puppy on yellow grass by Shutterstock.

We hope you've enjoyed these fantastic Shiba Inu puppies half as much as we've enjoyed sharing them with you! Do you have a Shiba Inu, know someone who does, or see one out and about in your neighborhood? Share your Shiba Inu stories in the comments!

Mon, 30 Dec 2013 08:00:00 -0800 /puppies/shiba-inu-puppies-puppy-pictures
<![CDATA[Corgi Puppies! We Can't Get Enough]]> http://www.dogster.com/puppies/corgi-puppies We are all fascinated by Corgi puppies. Is it their low center of gravity, their innocent and cheerful faces, or their indomitable spirits? Whether we’re talking about the two major breeds -- the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi -- or any of a variety of equally delightful mixes, Corgi puppies command attention when they enter a room.

Corgis trace their roots to Wales in the United Kingdom, where they protected homes and farms, and worked to shepherd domestic farm animals ranging from cows to pigs to geese. Corgi puppies, as we shall see, are a brilliant lot -- puppies who are attentive, playful, adventurous, and outlandishly lovable.

We present these ten Corgi puppies as a representative sample of a breed thought to have kept company with the fairy-folk and who has been immortalized by its association with royalty.

Bring on the Corgi puppies!

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Toby, the Cardigan Corgi puppy. Posted at corgiaddict.com on Tumblr, photo by justbriann.

This is Toby, the Cardigan Corgi, taking it easy among the fallen leaves. Corgi puppies love nothing quite so much as playing out of doors. For Corgi puppies, the world exists to be explored and comprehended. No detail of their surroundings goes unchronicled or unnoticed as Corgi puppies make their way, but even the most active must take a moment for quiet reflection.

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Chuckles helps dad prepare his thesis on Persian Dynastic Politics by chuckles the corgi on Tumblr.

Meet Chuckles, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi! Don’t let the name fool you; if you read into Chuckles’s history, it becomes apparent very quickly that neither the name nor the decision to adopt Corgi puppies is undertaken with anything but the greatest solemnity and care. Chuckles here repays that consideration through dedication to his one of his parent’s scholastic pursuits.

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TBT, when his head was smaller than corgdad's hand by Fawkes News on Tumblr.

Here's Fawkes, a Pembroke Corgi, when he was but a young puppy. There’s no doubt that Corgi puppies are as adorable as any puppies, but with a charm and style all their own. The greenness of the grass matches well with the hopeful curiosity of Corgi puppies, don’t you think?

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Gus the Corgi puppy looks out over Bodega Bay. Photo by wandering nebula and a dog on Tumblr.

Gus is a little bit older, a little bit more established among the Corgi puppies we’ve seen so far. One is reminded of the reflective sublime in the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich as Gus gazes out over California’s Bodega Bay. The Welsh Corgi puppy overlooking the sea of fog, if you please.

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Some Corgi puppies just want to hang out with mom. Two cute welsh corgi cardigan posing by Shutterstock.

Some Corgi puppies just want to spend time with mom. The Corgi personality is widely renowned, celebrated, and typified by loyalty, and there’s no sight that comforts more than a Corgi puppy sharing moments with his loved ones. Have you seen anything cuter today than this baby Corgi giving his mommy a kiss?

The Corgi is an active breed, though, and while a quiet scene tugs at our heartstrings, Corgi puppies want to play! Take a peek at this Pembroke Corgi; he’s ready for excitement and mischief-making! We hope you’re enjoying these Welsh Corgi puppy pictures as much as we are!

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Don't you love this little Pembroke Corgi? A Welsh Corgi puppy sits in a pile of Autumn leaves by Shutterstock.

Here’s a Corgi puppy poised for fun among the fall leaves! This tiny Pembroke Corgi is beckoning to you with her lovely little face, and her perky little ears are waiting to hear you say, “Hello there!” If I were you, I wouldn’t put her off a moment longer. These Corgi puppies can hear you cheering from every corner of the Internet.

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This baby Cardigan Corgi is here to greet you and ready to play! Posted by Smiling Doggies on Tumblr.

Do you know what we really need now? A Cardigan Corgi puppy, bright-eyed and full of joy to greet you! We understand and are here to deliver. All of these Corgi puppies fill us with a sense of life’s promise and unlimited possibilities that wait just around every corner. This Corgi puppy’s fur is so beautifully colored that you could spend hours doing nothing but admiring the little brown eyebrows on the face or little white booties covering the feet.

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Smudge the Pembroke Corgi surveys the forest. "Adventurepuppy!" by Smudge the Corgi on Tumblr.

Back into nature! Smudge is this Pembroke Corgi puppy’s name, and Smudge longs to be in the forest. Fallen trees make for a good perch, giving this Corgi puppy a clear vantage point from which to assess and survey the land all around. Alert and attentive, Corgi puppies might be short in stature, but regardless of breed, the Corgi personality is expansive. Don’t you want to explore the forest with Smudge?

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Time for a nap! "Third time this week we find her sleeping on shoes." Photo by Colin on Tumblr.

After a long day of playing in fields and forests, or even just running around the backyard, even the most energetic Corgi puppies need a nap. This Cardigan Corgi has found a good place, right where everyone leaves their shoes! We’ll let you fawn and coo over her while she sleeps.

Never enough Corgis!

Do you love these Corgi puppies? Of course you do! Share your Corgi puppy pictures and stories in the comments below!

Check out some cuteness with Dogster:

Thu, 26 Dec 2013 04:00:00 -0800 /puppies/corgi-puppies
<![CDATA[13-18-Month-Old Puppy: What to Expect]]> http://www.dogster.com/puppies/13-18-month-old-puppy Your dog has passed his first birthday but the learning doesn't stop for either of you! You'll find that caring for a properly-socialized adult is a little easier than chasing after a frenzied puppy, but there's still work to do. While most of your pet's behavioral issues were likely addressed during his first year, some new ones like separation anxiety, jumping or digging could crop up while some old ones resurface. And while you've switched to an adult dog food you might find you need to make adjustments based on your pet's weight and overall health.

Here are some things you should be thinking about during your puppy's second year:

» What to Expect at Your Puppy's First Yearly Physical Exam
Even if your vet does not recommend yearly vaccinations, it's important to make this an annual habit to check for lumps, allergies, and anything irregular. This is a thorough exam and you should feel your vet is taking her time with it. Bring in your list of questions and concerns and make sure they are addressed. Here's what to expect »

» How to Determine if Your Puppy is Doing Well on Adult Food
Is your puppy wolfing down his adult dog food or is he turning his nose up at it? Have you noticed either positive or negative effects from switching from puppy food? This change may seem simple but it can wreak havoc on everything from your puppy's stomach to your patience at dinnertime. Here's how to determine if your puppy's adult food is right for him »

» A Guide to Longer Walks and Short Hikes with Your Puppy
Introducing a puppy to hiking is a joy for everyone. By now, he should be up for some longer walks and short hikes, which you can slowly lengthen. Longer treks benefit your puppy as much as they benefit you. They strengthen his leg muscles, his lungs, and his heart. A well-exercised puppy is more alert and learns training commands more easily. It may even give a boost to his mood. View our guide to hiking with your pet »

» How to Deal with Housetraining Accidents
Just as your older puppy may revert to young puppy behavior problems, he might suddenly seem to forget his housetraining at this age. Actually, a dog does not truly forget his training - changes in the environment are more likely the cause. If you don't take the time to determine what has changed that has caused this problem, it will pop up again later on. Here's a look at changes that can cause housetraining accidents »

» How to Prevent Parvovirus
Parvovirus can be a threat for puppies at any age. But, because your puppy is out and about now and in contact with other dogs, it can be especially dangerous at this age, as it is transferred by contact with canine stools. Luckily, it almost never occurs after 14 months so the time for worry now is short. Bone up on the symptoms of Parvovirus »

» How to Safely Jog, Rollerblade or Bike with Your Puppy
Now that your puppy's coordination, bones and joints are developed, it's a good time to try some creative exercise with your pup. Jogging, rollerblading and cycling with your puppy offer a chance to do something exciting for yourself and a chance to teach your puppy new skills. Here's how to get started »

» How to Check Your Puppy's Vision
Now is a good time to check your puppy's vision. At this age, a dog's color vision should be mature as well as his ability to see detail. Signs of a pup whose vision is not optimal include not recognizing family members when they come into a room, bumping into furniture, the inability to catch, and barking at inanimate objects. Learn more about checking your dog's vision »

» A Beginner's Guide to Agility Training
Does your puppy jump logs and recycle bins with the greatest of ease? Does he dodge the kids' toys on the floor with majestic swiftness? Then it's a good time to introduce him to agility training. Most facilities will not take a dog until he is over a year old because puppies under that age are not coordinated and developed enough. Dogs at this age have at least 90% of their adult coordination and development so agility is a good choice now for exercising and learning new commands. Learn more about agility training ».

» A Checklist for Grooming Your Dog
Since puppies start shedding at around 11 months and their fur continues to come in until about month 15, it's a good time to look at your long term grooming choices. Keeping a dog well-groomed on a regular schedule offers many benefits. Even if you do use a groomer, you should do your own lighter grooming weekly to ensure the health of your puppy's skin and coat. How often a heavier grooming is necessary depends on your dog's coat. Check out our grooming checklist »

» How to Prevent Dog Fights
Any breed can get into a dog fight, even your mild-mannered Maltese. Dog fights outside of the ring usually involve a territorial argument. Dog fights can occur at the dog park, among dogs in the same house or really anywhere where your puppy meets another dog. There are many signs that a puppy is going to fight before it actually happens. Knowing and watching for these can help you prevent a fight. Learn more about preventing dog fights »

» How to Navigate the Bad "Treats" Your Puppy Finds on Walks
Do you go on walks with your puppy only to spend a great deal of time jerking his head back from the ground? If so, it's time to stop your puppy's grazing. Noticing the signs that your puppy is ready to dive can help prevent the problem. Here's how to prevent your puppy from being tempted »

» How to Prevent Underlying Illnesses from Progressing
If your puppy suddenly has a change in behavior, it's possible that it's a sign of an underlying illness. There are several behavioral signs that an underlying illness or condition could be present. Knowing these, and knowing your puppy can help you decide if it's time for a visit to the vet. It also helps to know what is "normal" behavior for a puppy at this age. Here's what to look for »

» How to Curb Your Puppy's Tendency to Bark at Everything
Is your puppy suddenly acting like he's a guard dog at a palace? Does he bark his head off at sounds you can't even hear? Dogs bark at things for several reasons including a perceived a threat, a sign of boredom, or a cry for attention. Barking is also a form of communication between dogs. There are two approaches to stopping barking - deterrents and training. Often the best result is to use both »

» The Top Eight Ways to Deal with Separation Anxiety
Separation anxiety is simply your puppy becoming fearful or agitated when you're not there. Though most often seen in puppies who were not properly socialized early on, even well-adjusted puppies at this age can suffer from separation anxiety. And it may suddenly appear after months of not having any trouble. Understanding why the anxiety occurs can help you alleviate it »

» How to Play the Right Way with Your Puppy
Play is just as important as training for your puppy. Play helps a puppy with his social skills (many early skills are developed by playing with litter mates). It is a way to model real life, help your puppy learn to follow directions, use up excessive energy and have fun. Playing with your puppy also helps you better understand your puppy and communicate with him better. Here are some good games to play with your puppy »

» Tips for Finding Work for Your Puppy
Most breeds were bred for a certain job - flushing out birds, guarding stock, pulling a sled, herding sheep, sighting or tracking prey - and most dogs today, whether purebred or mixed, are pulled to that desire. When a dog uses his instincts and skills to accomplish something, it's a beautiful sight indeed. Besides the praise he gets from you, a working dog is calmer, more alert and less likely to engage in destructive behavior. If you consider your dog's breed or mix and learn what they were bred for, it's easy to find a suitable pastime. Find work for your pup today »

» A Guide to Testing Your Puppy's Hearing
When you call your puppy's name and he doesn't respond, do you automatically think "He's ignoring me, darn it!"? Well, that's certainly a possibility but also consider that your puppy's hearing may not be good. Because your puppy's hearing is now fully mature, it's a good time to test it. If you think your puppy may be hard of hearing, there are tests you and your vet can do to get further information. Learn more about testing your dog's hearing »

» What to Do if Your Puppy is Overweight
Overweight dogs often suffer from many maladies including arthritis, diabetes, heart and breathing trouble. They are also much more at risk for death during surgery. This is a good age to determine if your puppy is overweight as he has probably been on the same food for a while and you've got your exercise routine down which may, or may not, be sufficient. Learn how to help a tubby pup slim down »

» Ways to Keep Your Puppy from Stealing Things
Puppies at this age are notoriously mischievous. The good news is that even when they steal something, they usually leave it intact as the goal is to get the object, not to destroy it. Here are five tricks you can try to deter your pup from stealing »

» A Guide To Earning Your Puppy's Canine Good Citizens Certificate
If your puppy has gone all the way through basic obedience classes, you may wonder what new challenge you two can try. Earning a Canine Good Citizens certificate offers new and exciting commands and lessons and gives your puppy a chance to work in such jobs as being a therapy dog. The AKC determines the criteria for a CGC certificate and the goal is to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community. Learn more about how to earn a CGC »

» Make Your Puppy's First Dental Cleaning a Success
More than half of dogs have tartar accumulation by one year of age. This is a good time to introduce your puppy to the process and make it a routine thing. Dental cleaning prevents tartar build up, helps ensure healthy gums, reveals loose teeth and any other problems, and improves breath. Read more about a puppy's first cleaning »

» Checking Your Puppy For Benign or Dangerous Lumps
We think of lumps cysts or as something that appears in older dogs but puppies can get them too. Lumps are categorized into two sizes - small (papules) and larger lumps (nodules). There is also a simple categorization of lumps or cysts as benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Starting to check for these lumps now will help insure that you will always catch something early on. Learn more about benign or dangerous lumps »

» How to Stop Your Puppy from Licking or Mouthing You
Lickers or mouthers often start out with the occasional slobbering of the hand. But this seeming innocuous habit can advance to a chronic habit. There are several reasons that puppies this age do this. Your puppy may be mouthing or licking you as a sign of affection or of dominance or they may be mimicking wild behavior. Learn how to curb this behavior »

» What to Do If Your Puppy is Sleeping Too Much
At this age, puppies should be sleeping about the same amount of time as adult dogs which is approximately 14 hours a day. The correct amount of sleep for dogs is as important as it is for humans. If you're home all day, it's easy for you to see how much your puppy is sleeping. If not, there are some signs to look for. Here's a short list »

» A Checklist for Leaving Your Puppy Alone for an Extended Time
Crating your puppy is ideal but some dog owners do not like this method. If you leave your puppy out when you're gone, section off an area for him which you can make sure is free of temptations such as shoes and cat food. This also makes it less likely your puppy will have an accident. Whether crating or leaving in a sectioned-off area, there is a checklist for ensuring that his time alone is optimal. See it over here »

» How to Care for Your Puppy's Toys
It's best to set up a schedule for cleaning the toys than waiting until a toy looks too nasty to touch. Clean them about once a week and consider rotating them so that you only have to clean half at a time. Never spray the toys with hand sanitizer. It can be harmful to dogs. To prevent bacterial growth on toys, clean them properly and frequently. Here's how to do it »

» Eight Ways to Deal with a Finicky Eater
There's a difference between a picky eater and a finicky eater. A picky eater will only occasionally refuse to eat and can be easily tempted with a slice of cheese added to his bowl. A finicky eater is what we deal with here, a dog who has decided he's giving up dog food for good. First, you want to rule any health issues out first when a dog makes any behavioral change but if your vet gives your puppy the thumbs up, there are several ways to get him to eat without disrupting his stomach. See our suggestions »

» How to Stop Your Puppy from Humping
It's rather embarrassing if you have guests over, go into the kitchen for the drinks and return to find your puppy going at it on your guest's leg. Humping is a subject that even seasoned dog owners hesitate to discuss perhaps because it can seem to be a hard habit to break. As your puppy nears his second year, it's likely that he'll start humping objects and people. Here's how to get over the hump »

« what to expect in months 7-12

Wed, 24 Nov 2010 14:57:43 -0800 /puppies/13-18-month-old-puppy
<![CDATA[7-to-12-Month-Old Puppy: What to Expect]]> http://www.dogster.com/puppies/7-12-month-old-puppy Over the second half of your puppy's first year, you'll continue to reinforce positive behavior and correct him when he stumbles. Your pet's brain is growing and you'll want to stimulate it by taking him to new places, introducing him to new people, and investing in some great interactive toys.

By your puppy's first birthday he'll be close to his full potential in terms of size and you may have to start treating him like the young adult he is, starting with switching him to adult dog food and taking him to the vet for his annual exam.

Here are some things you should be thinking about during these months:

» How to Handle a Vomiting Puppy
It can be alarming to see your puppy vomiting for no apparent reason and, yet, they often do this. And it can be tough to tell when to be worried and when to just let it go, particularly so with vomiting. Vomiting can indicate a serious illness such as liver disease or a simple upset tummy from eating the rug. Here's what to pay attention to if your dog is vomiting »


» How to Analyze Your Puppy's Body Language
Puppies and adult dogs use their body language to communicate with other canines and with humans. It is based on the language you see among wolves and wild dogs, but our domesticated pups have adapted their language to get what they want from us. Learn all about puppy body language »


» Three Ways to Treat Puppy Acne
You may have thought that acne was just a human malady, but it's actually present in canines, too. Most often you'll see it around this age though adult dogs can get it as well. In canines, acne is a development of comedones, or blackheads. They can get it anywhere on their bodies. Learn how to treat canine acne »


» What to Do if Your Puppy Eats Feces
The eating of feces, or coprophagia, occurs in many puppies. It's pretty easy to check for the signs of coprophagia -- bad breath and a surprisingly low amount of poop in the backyard. The causes range from an attempt to get attention to mimicking another puppy's behavior to hunger. Learn how to curb this today »


» Solve Your Pup's Stress with Tolerance Techniques
Even if your puppy's fear imprint period is coming to an end, there may be some residual effects. Dogs experience stress much like we do. Your main goal is to keep the stress from escalating. This means if your puppy gets stressed out from thunderstorms, you're going to try to solve the stressor before it really gets going. Here's how to teach your puppy to handle scary situations calmly »


» A Guide to Puppy Hip Dysplasia and Treatments
Most of us assume that hip dysplasia only occurs in large, older dogs. Medium-size and smaller breeds can be affected, too, and you can see signs of in in dogs as young as 33 weeks. It is primarily a purebred disease, though it can show up in mixed breeds as well. Many pups will show signs of it early on. Here's what to look for »


» Advanced Obedience Training
Obedience training doesn't ever have to end (and really shouldn't). You can keep taking your puppy to class for the rest of his life and work with him at home. Dogs are always eager to learn and love praise for a job well done. Here are some advanced commands to teach your pup »


» Keep Your Pet Safe with Microchipping and Tagging
A lost puppy is a heart-wrenching experience. It's something all dog owners worry about. There are hundreds of thousands of dogs who are lost in the U.S. every year. Some are lost because their owners let them roam, some because they are escape artists that no fence can hold in, some because they bolt past their owner and out an open door. Learn about your ID options »


» Directions for Proper Dental Care at Home
Puppies of this age tend not to have any dental problems but it's amazing how quickly things like gingivitis can take hold. A good 80 percent of dogs by the age of three show periodontal disease. Starting to take care of your puppy's teeth and gums now means he will get used to the process more quickly and you will be insuring a healthier adult mouth. Here's how to get started »


» Eight Ways to Give Your Puppy Structure
It is likely that your puppy is still in his adolescent phase and with all the distractions and curiosities of the world around him, even a well-trained puppy may not always listen. It's time to go back to basics and give your puppy the structure he craves and deserves. Here are eight ways to do just that »


» Stimulate Your Puppy's Growing Brain
It is during this time of your puppy's life that his cognitive system is rapidly developing. Varied stimulation helps a puppy learn and grow, so you want to make sure he has enough stimulation in his life. Here are four ways to provide healthy stimulation for your puppy »


» Use the Surge of Your Puppy's Senses in Training
Puppies at this age need a good deal of stimulation to hone their senses and develop their cognitive ability. This is a time when a puppy's senses are surging and unless he's consistently and correctly stimulated, he'll get overwhelmed. The main goal now is to help him focus his senses and to use his senses in training. Understanding how a dog's senses work makes these tasks much easier. Here are the basics »


» How to Handle Canine Incontinence
Incontinence basically means your puppy cannot control his urination. It is entirely different from marking or spraying, which is a voluntary act meant to spread scent around. It is also different from submissive urination, which is a behavioral problem. Incontinence is involuntary and the dog is usually unaware of it. Here are several things you can do to remedy the problem »


» A Guide to Treating Recurrent Ear Infections
Does your puppy shake his head like he's trying to get water out of his ears even though he hasn't been swimming? When you scratch behind his ears, does he pull away? These could be signs of an ear infection. Learn how to prevent and treat canine ear infections »


» Trick Your Puppy Into Becoming a Straight-A Student
Your pup may already be a straight-A student in obedience training, but even the best students have a subject or two that is difficult for them. Using objects such as toys and enthusiasm can help even the most stubborn puppy learn that last command or two. These tools can also tempt your puppy into behaving better all around. Read on to get the right tools »


» A Guide to Advanced Socialization
Most puppies who have been socialized since birth will have a well-developed communication system in place. But while some are still in adolescence, especially the large breeds, you may see some awkwardness among friends and new introductions. Here are some things you can do to help your pet along »


» Prevent Injuries in Your Growing Puppy
At this age, puppies will push themselves to the limit and can easily hurt themselves. They also get easily distracted so that when they're running toward something, such as yourself, the sound of a can opener can make them turn suddenly, causing legs to get all tangled up. Prevention is the best medicine in this case, and you can do several things with training and making spaces safe to avoid injury. Learn how to prevent injuries in growing puppies »


» How to Stop Your Puppy from Digging
Some puppies this age are big diggers who leave craters in your lawn. Other puppies are small diggers who pockmark the grass with dainty holes. Digging occurs when puppies are bored, stressed, or lonely. They also dig to get cooler on a hot day or to get warmer on a cold day. They dig to get to something or to hide something. Here are some way to stop your pup from digging »


» Controlling Your Puppy's Shedding
Dog fur seems to have an ability to get everywhere, whether it's the short coarse hair of a Terrier or the long, silky hair of an Afghan. Shedding really gets going around this age, especially if it's warm outside, although because we keep dogs indoors so much, some will not shed according to season but instead shed year-round. Here's a look at products to help with shedding »


» How to Determine Your Puppy's IQ
Did you know that you can test your puppy's IQ? Your puppy's cognitive development is coming to a close, and it's a good time to see just how smart he is. Learning his IQ number certainly won't change your feelings towards him, but it might give you something to brag about at the dog park. It also can aid you in training, telling you what to focus on and what needs extra time. Here's how to determine your dog's IQ »


» A Checklist for Traveling with Your Puppy by Car
Being aware of your puppy's physical and emotional reactions to a long car ride is very helpful. A dog who is fine traveling around the block may get really anxious after an hour in the car. A quick car trip doesn't take much planning but if you're planning on sailing down the highways to places unknown, preparation for the car ride is imperative. Here's what you'll need »


» How to Begin to Switch Your Puppy to Adult Dog Food
Puppy food is fine until about 52 weeks. At that point your puppy's growth begins to slow and he needs to start on adult dog food. Adult dog food is packed more densely with nutrients and vitamins than puppy food, partly because an adult dog eats less calories than a pup. The vitamins and minerals in adult food are also different. It is best to slowly introduce adult food to your puppy so that by 52 weeks he can be completely converted. Here's how to do it »


» Prevent the Return of Your Puppy's Bad Childhood Habits
If your puppy has stopped chewing shoes and diving for that piece of cheese, you may have let your guard down. If so, it's likely that shoes are suddenly getting strewn across the floor and your puppy is once again pushing against your leg at dinner for some tidbits. This occurs not because your puppy has forgotten his behavior training but because he's seen that he can start to get away with things, inch by inch. Read about some common bad habits and how to handle them »


» How to Stop Dermatitis Before It Spreads
If your puppy is scratching all over, it may be that he has dermatitis, an inflammatory itching of the skin. It has many causes including parasites, food allergies, plant allergies, or chemicals such as cleaning products. Dermatitis can be chronic or temporary. Fortunately, there are ways to stop it, and the first step is to determine what is causing it. Read on to learn more about Dermatitis in puppies »


« what to expect in the 6th month »  |  what to expect in the 2nd year »

Tue, 23 Nov 2010 11:09:00 -0800 /puppies/7-12-month-old-puppy
<![CDATA[5-Month-Old Puppy: What to Expect]]> http://www.dogster.com/puppies/5-month-old-puppy By her fifth month, your dog is done with her puppy vaccines and ready to socialize with other canines of all walks of life (and their people, too). Take your pup out often and sign up for puppy socials if you can. You'll meet like-minded folk who you may wind up planning puppy play dates with. The impressions made on your dog by her environment at this stage are vital to how she perceives the world later in life. 
Your puppy will be developing her play style at around this time as well, and you may notice the play becoming a little rougher, with a few nips, growls and humping, as your dog rehearses for her adult role. That said, it is also time to think about getting your pet spayed or neutered.

Here's what you should be thinking about with a 5-month old puppy:

» Curbing Your Puppy's 'Adolescent Urges'
A puppy's adolescence can last 12 months, with the larger dogs lasting the longest. Your puppy may experience confusion about his place in his pack, raging hormones, erratic behavior and rebellion of a sort. A puppy's adolescence is a time in his life when experiences have a very lasting effect on him. It is crucial during this time to maintain your role as Alpha which provides security for him. Here are some tips to help you both survive puppy adolescence »

» Five Ways to Deter Your Puppy's Chewing
Puppies chew because they're teething, because they're bored, or because your stinky sweat socks are actually tasty to them. They are unaware that it's looked down upon by polite society and cannot calculate the cost of a ruined couch. Most puppies around week 21 are at their heaviest chewing period. Here are five ways to control your puppy's chewing »

» How to Calculate Your Puppy's Adult Weight
This may seem superfluous but knowing your puppy's adult weight can save you time and money. It can be tough to decide on a crate size or even something as big as a car if you don't have any idea how big your puppy will be when he's grown. Likewise, you can prepare now for illnesses or disorders associated with small or large dogs, such as foot problems or Hip Dysplasia. Learn how to calculate your pup's adult weight »

» Getting Your Puppy Spayed or Neutered
If you've noticed a new and heightened interest from male puppies in your female puppy, it is probably time to make that most important vet appointment to get her spayed. Though your pup may not be exhibiting signs of being near her first heat, other dogs can smell the change in her hormones prior to it. Get fast facts about spaying and neutering »

« what to expect in the 4th month  |  what to expect in the 6th month »

Fri, 19 Nov 2010 16:18:50 -0800 /puppies/5-month-old-puppy
<![CDATA[4-Month-Old Puppy: What to Expect]]> http://www.dogster.com/puppies/4-month-old-puppy Come your puppy's fourth month of age, you'll find her obsessed with gnawing on everything in sight with the teething stage in full bloom. You'll also notice that the pup that was working so hard to earn your attention and affection last month is beginning to show some independence with a hint of stubbornness. Prepare to put your alpha hat on as you deal with ignored training commands and be sure to keep your dog leashed up when you're at a park that isn't fenced lest you find yourself unable to catch a bolting ball of fur that won't come when called.

Here's what you should be thinking about with a 4-month old puppy:

» Your Puppy's Third Round of Vaccines
Once again it's time to get your puppy to the vet! The good news is this is the last round of puppy vaccines. It is essential to finish your pup's vaccines with this round because, if you don't, you're undoing all the good the first two rounds provided. One of the biggest misconceptions out there is that one booster is adequate when, in fact, your puppy is not fully protected until all rounds are completed. Learn more about the third round of puppy vaccines »

» Controlling Your Puppy's Prey Drive
A puppy with a strong prey drive is actually very trainable. This drive, one of many, is the natural working instinct of a puppy. All puppies have some level of prey drive. This dates back to their days as wolves when eating and procreating were the most important things. This drive is activated by movement and its purpose is to catch food. The key is to harness this drive. Here's how to do it »

» How to Be Your Puppy's Partner
Contrary to what you may think, your puppy is not challenging you or being stubborn, he is just doing what comes naturally. And while he may rather chase a leaf than come when you call, there are ways to make yourself much more rewarding to him. Now is the time to begin building a foundation of partnership that will last through your puppy's life »

» How to Help Your Puppy While He's Teething
Teething for puppies is very harrowing and their main goal during this time is to alleviate the pain. They do this by chewing on everything in sight. You may notice little puppy teeth marks around the house as an indication that this has started. Other signs, besides excess chewing, are bleeding gums, a rise in aggression, and whining. But there are a few things you can do to ease your puppy's discomfort. See our guide to teething »

« what to expect in the 3rd month  |  what to expect in the 5th month »

Fri, 19 Nov 2010 13:23:26 -0800 /puppies/4-month-old-puppy
<![CDATA[2-Month-Old Puppy: What to Expect]]> http://www.dogster.com/puppies/2-month-old-puppy By a puppy's second month, his senses have fully developed and the curiosity displayed so freely in his first few weeks is now tempered with a bit of caution. Minimize potentially startling experiences during this period, and keep travel to a limit outside your pup's first vet visit where he'll receive his first round of vaccines. You'll also want to avoid taking your new pet to the dog park until he's had his first shots lest he catch something from his new four-legged friends.

During your pet's first visit to the vet, do your best to make it a positive experience as it will set the tone for his association with the veterinarian for the rest of his days. In your puppy's second month you'll also begin your adventures with housetraining and introduce your dog to his own personal safe haven: his crate.

Here's what you should be thinking about with a 2-month-old puppy:

» Getting Your Puppy Used to a Crate
When you give your puppy a crate, you are giving him a place that is safe and secure. Not only does crating him give you peace-of-mind, it mimics the den-like atmosphere that he naturally seeks out. It also provides an area he is unlikely to soil and thus helps in house training. But how do you get your puppy to accept and maybe even like a crate? Learn how with these simple steps »

» Your Puppy's First Round of Vaccines
One the most imperative and confusing responsibilities in caring for your puppy is making sure he gets the right vaccines at the right time. There is controversy nowadays about whether or not adult dogs need every vaccine every year (except for Rabies, which is required). But with puppies, getting their vaccines is crucial. View our guide to a puppy's first round of vaccines »

» Housetraining Your Puppy in (Almost) a Week
Yes, house training really can be done in approximately a week. The keys to training your pup quickly are: time, tenacity, patience and consistency. You may have to take a little time off work up front but it will pay off later. Here's how to get started »

» Review Your Puppy's Diet for Optimal Health
Up until now you've probably been following your breeder or rescue agency's recommendations for your puppy's food. Now is a good time to review his nutrition and the amount he is eating. But how do you determine the best food and quantities for your pup? Here's a quick rundown »

what to expect in the 3rd month »

Fri, 19 Nov 2010 11:55:14 -0800 /puppies/2-month-old-puppy
<![CDATA[6-Month-Old Puppy: What to Expect]]> http://www.dogster.com/puppies/6-month-old-puppy At six months of age, your puppy's permanent canines have erupted and his sense of hearing, seeing, tasting and smelling have refined. Have plenty of chew toys handy and hide your favorite shoes! Your pup is on the cusp of adolescence and now is a good time to start formal training if you haven't already. Read up on the different training methods out there and find a trainer who suits your needs. Now is also a good time to get your dog screened for health issues that could rear their ugly heads later in your pup's life.

Here's what you should be thinking about with a 6-month old puppy:

» Help Your Puppy Through His Fear Imprint Period
If your puppy jumps out of his skin when a plastic bag blows by him on a walk, he's exhibiting a normal sense of fear. If you notice that your puppy is suddenly afraid of the pillow on the couch, this is a sign that his Fear Imprint Period has begun. Puppies go through several developmental periods and during this period, your puppy is susceptible to conditioning from pain and fear. Learn how to help your pup through this phase »

» Prevent Future Health Issues by Screening Your Dog Early
The thought that your puppy could have an orthopedic problem or a congenital disorder that could show up now probably isn't one of the first things that comes to mind when discussing canine diseases. But it is possible for conditions such as Hip Dysplasia, Patellar Luxation and others to be present this early. It is also possible to screen for congenital disorders such as liver and kidney disease. Here are some reasons to have your puppy screened »

» What to Do With a Frenzied Puppy
What do you do when a calm puppy is suddenly in a frenzy? It's a common problem at this age. Your puppy is having something similar to a toddler's tantrum. He is causing havoc partly because his hormones are racing but also to get attention because he's bored, he has an excess of energy, and, again, to test you. Learn how to recognize a frenzied state »

» Advanced Obedience Training
If your puppy is still having trouble walking correctly on a lead or staying when you tell him, then advanced obedience training is important to do now. Training your dog is beneficial in many ways. It creates a bond between you, reminds your puppy who is Alpha, ensures your pup can be taken with you anywhere and provides safety valves for bad behavior. It also tends to produce a more confident and calm puppy. Here's what you can expect »

« what to expect in the 5th month | what to expect in the 1st year »

Fri, 19 Nov 2010 11:09:42 -0800 /puppies/6-month-old-puppy
<![CDATA[3-Month-Old Puppy: What to Expect]]> http://www.dogster.com/puppies/3-month-old-puppy In your puppy's third month you'll see a resurgence in the confidence he had as a wee pup, wiggling about and exploring everything in sight. Your pup's brain is now at the stage where is he ready to learn his name and the most basic of commands. He's also more interested in earning your attention and affection.

Much to the joy of dog owners everywhere, most puppies develop better control over their bladders at the three-month mark, alongside the ability to sleep through the night. But be forewarned that the start of your pet's teething period is just around the corner.

Here's what you should be thinking about with a 3-month-old puppy:

» Your Puppy's Second Round of Vaccines
It may seem like yesterday when you took your pup in for his first round of vaccines but it's time again to make a trip to the vet. The second round of vaccines is as important for your dog as the first. Your puppy needs the full three rounds to ensure he is safe against illnesses such as Distemper, which is often fatal. Here's what to expect from round two »

» Navigating the Pet Health Insurance Maze
The minimal medical costs per year for a dog (meaning his annual check-up and shots) comes out to around $240 on the average. This does not include other common procedures such as dental cleaning or blood tests. A dog with cancer can rack up bills as high as $7,500. So, how can you provide your pet the health care he needs without worrying about the cost? Pet health insurance can help. Find out why it's often a good choice »

» Beginning Obedience Training
If your puppy seems out-of-control with problems such as rushing you when your hands are full of laundry, nipping at your feet when you walk, or barking incessantly at the cat, obedience training can help. If you start now it will help your puppy understand what is expected of him early on. Understanding the rules makes it much easier for both of you. The key is to keep it simple in the beginning and make it a positive experience for both of you. Here's how to get started »

» Tips for Dealing with Your Puppy's Growth Spurts
Your puppy's first growth spurt will likely be around 15 weeks of age and halt for a while come 20 weeks. During this time, your pup may suddenly be all limbs and all tail, knocking over precious vases and glasses full of soda. Just how much a puppy shoots up at this time depends on his breed (or mix of breeds), his diet and his health. The growth spurt affects several things including his appetite and his sleeping patterns. Read more about what to expect »

« what to expect in the 2nd month  |  what to expect in the 4th month »

Thu, 18 Nov 2010 09:55:52 -0800 /puppies/3-month-old-puppy
<![CDATA[Crate Training Puppies]]> http://www.dogster.com/puppies/crate-training-puppies You've just brought your new puppy home and after hours of oohing and awwing, you wonder what to do with him while you cook dinner. There are risks in leaving your pup unwatched as he can get into trouble in a second. There is also a good chance he'll have a hard time sleeping at night for a while. And he'll need a place to call his own when the kids get too rough or the cat won't stop chasing him.

The best and easiest solution to this problem is crating your puppy. When you give your puppy a crate, you are giving him a place that is safe and secure. Not only does crating him give you peace-of-mind, it mimics the den-like atmosphere that he naturally seeks out. It also provides an area which he is unlikely to soil and thus helps in house training. But how do you get your puppy to accept and like a crate? It's a simple process which, begun early on, will become habit for both of you very quickly.

The main direction to take is a positive one. If your puppy is afraid of his crate because you drag him in there, he's unlikely to use it on his own or be comfortable after you've shut the door.

1. Cover the crate with a blanket on three sides. This will make your puppy feel more comfortable and will help him sleep at night.

2. Start with the crate in an area where the family hangs out. If he can see others around him, he'll be less likely to feel abandoned.

3. Take as much time as is needed to let your puppy explore the crate himself. Using a treat, encourage him to go in and praise him when he comes out.

4. Put secure and fun things in the crate. Have a good crate bed, some chew toys, water and any blanket that your puppy fancies.

5. Do positive things in the crate like feeding your puppy there and petting him if he goes in and lies down.

6. Begin by closing the door for only seconds at a time and build up to longer stints from there.

7. Keep a white noise machine or a ticking clock near the crate when you're gone. This helps sooth the puppy and helps him sleep.

Your pup may whine a bit at first when he is left for longer periods of time. Resist opening the crate immediately. He is fine and will get used to it. Getting a dog used to a crate as young as possible is imperative. Older dogs can certainly be crate trained but it is more difficult, so do it now.

There is no better solution to avoiding chewed up shoes, getting a good night's sleep and having a less anxious dog than crating. With a small amount of time up front, you will ensure his safety and finally have time to do your nails.

Photo: Jim W.

Tue, 18 May 2010 17:20:48 -0700 /puppies/crate-training-puppies
<![CDATA[A Guide to Your Puppy's First Round of Vaccines]]> http://www.dogster.com/puppies/puppy-vaccinations One the most imperative and confusing responsibilities in caring for your puppy is making sure he gets the right vaccines at the right time. There is controversy nowadays about whether or not adult dogs need every vaccine every year (except for Rabies which is required). But with puppies, getting their rounds of vaccines is crucial.

For instance, if a puppy catches Parvo, he has less than a 20% chance of recovery. So, put your pup's vaccine dates on your schedule and send yourself reminders.

This tip has a list of necessary vaccines for the first round and further tips will cover the next two rounds. Vets and local laws differ a bit about exactly what to give when so use these tips as guidelines and follow your vet's advice. The vaccines to give at this age are 1. Distemper 2. Parvo 3. Corona and 4. Bordatella.

There are rarely side effects to vaccines but there are a few serious ones that you should look out for:

  1. Swelling of face, neck, head or body.
  2. Loss of consciousness.
  3. Seizures.
  4. Hives, or large swellings anywhere on the body.
  5. Difficulty breathing.
  6. Disorientation or poor co-ordination.

It is important to keep your puppy from any situation with multiple dogs or unknown dogs until he's had his third round of boosters. At the least, keep him away from other canines for five days after his vaccines, as it takes that long for them to start working. Ignoring this rule could expose your puppy to something like the aforementioned Parvo and have deadly consequences.

While it's tough to make all those vet appointments with a new puppy, just think of it as insurance against illness and assurance of a healthy puppy.

Thu, 06 May 2010 16:06:44 -0700 /puppies/puppy-vaccinations
<![CDATA[How to Navigate the Bad "Treats" Your Puppy Finds on Walks]]> http://www.dogster.com/puppies/how-to-navigate-the-bad-treats-your-puppy-finds-on-walks Do you go on walks with your puppy only to spend a great deal of time jerking his head back from the ground? Does your puppy find cigarette butts, used chewing gum, and dog vomit equally enticing? If so, it's time to stop your puppy's grazing. Puppies at this age are enjoying the full development of their senses. Their strongest sense is smell and, even though it's related to taste, it's even stronger than that. So, he's attracted to stinky items and, when he finds one, he hopes the next will be just as good even if it's not as smelly.

Noticing the signs that your puppy is ready to dive can help prevent the problem. Usually, your puppy will go from a relaxed "Heel!" to a sudden plunge which can make it difficult. Noticing what is on the ground can also be helpful but it's impossible to watch the ground constantly.

How to Prevent Your Puppy from Being Tempted

1. Bring Along a Toy - A squeaky dog toy works very well to distract your puppy.

2. Avoid Areas with Food - This includes blocks with restaurants on them or behind them, areas behind an office building, some parks, and schools.

3. Avoid Overhanging Fronts - Often, people will smoke under an overhang on a building leaving their cigarette butts behind.

4. Avoid Trash Bins - Often, apartment houses will have a large trash bin out back and sometimes the trash doesn't make it to the bin.

5. Bring Treats - Bring your puppy's favorite treats on walks to tempt him away from trash.

6. Leave It - Work on the command "Leave It," which teaches your puppy not to pick up an object.

How to Stop a Diving Dog

There are some subtle signs that your puppy is getting ready to go for that piece of gum on the ground. He'll turn his head sharply to look at the "prey." Then, he'll rear up slightly and turn in the direction of the goodie. You can feel this as well as see it. At that point, a firm but gentle jerk on the collar will redirect his attention as will a low pitched "Heel!" or "Leave It!"

If your puppy does get into something, it's imperative to get it out of his mouth if you can. Teach your puppy the "Drop It!" command and be ready to stick your hand in his mouth if he doesn't drop it immediately. Practice getting your puppy used to having your hand in his mouth at home to avoid accidental biting. If your puppy looks up at you angelically and swallows the object, try not to worry. Do look for any signs of illness later such as diarrhea, vomiting, fever, or lethargy and take him to the vet if these show up. It's tough to understand why a dog finds vomit tasty but then again they probably are stymied at our penchant for caviar.

Thu, 06 May 2010 15:47:00 -0700 /puppies/how-to-navigate-the-bad-treats-your-puppy-finds-on-walks
<![CDATA[Puppy Training and Socialization Tips]]> http://www.dogster.com/puppies/puppy-training-and-socialization Historically, pet owners have been told to avoid bringing their puppy out in public until their pet have received all puppy vaccinations. In recent years, the veterinary behavior community has changed their position to advocate positive reinforcement socialization classes for puppies.

Why the change of heart? Socialization saves lives. Behavior problems are the number one reason for euthanizations and shelter overpopulation. Most behavior problems can be avoided if breeders and dog owners focus on early socialization. Well-socialized puppies rarely grow into dangerous adult dogs. It is always easier to prevent behavior problems from occurring than to fix established problems; and one of the best ways to do so is through extensive, appropriate puppy socialization.

This article is intended to be a primer on socializing your puppy. I must stress that while socialization is especially important for puppies; socialization activities should continue throughout the dog's life. If you have an adult dog with an inadequate and/or inappropriate socialization history, you will have to do remedial adult dog socialization.

Critical Stages Of Development

  • Neonatal period: Birth to 12 days
  • Transition period: 13 days to 20 days
  • Awareness period: 21 to 28 days
  • Canine socialization period: 21 to 49 days
  • Human socialization period: 7 to 12 weeks
  • Fear impact period: 8 to 11 weeks
  • Seniority classification period: 13 to 16 weeks
  • Flight instinct period: 4 to 8 months
  • Second fear impact period: 6 to 14 months
  • Maturity: 1 to 4 years

Sign up for our Puppy Growth Stages email to receive important developmental tips as your puppy matures.

New Puppies And Socialization

What types of things should you socialize your dog or puppy to?

Husbandry: Ear examination, paws being handled, toenail clipping, oral care (teeth brushing), eye examination, grooming, brushing, relaxation during gentle restraint, being picked up/held, accept collar/leash/harness, being on table and scale, collar grab, etc.

Sounds: Vacuum cleaner, hair dryer, thunderstorm or fireworks, CDs (start at low volume!), clapping, deep voices, high pitched voices, sound of clippers or a Dremel, doorbell, knocking on door, dishwasher, etc.

Sights: Remote control car, umbrella opening, moving objects, bicycles, skateboards, cars, etc.

People: Of all ages/skin colors/physical builds; with: wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, irregular speech/body movement; wearing bathing suits, puffy coats, Halloween costumes, hats, sunglasses, various uniforms; men with facial hair, etc.

Events & Environments: Car rides, veterinary visits, groomers, puppy class, pet store, rural, urban, suburban environments, parks, pet stores, etc.

Other animals: well socialized puppies and non-aggressive adult dogs, cats, horses, etc.

Toys: Introduce a variety of chew toys, tug toys, balls, etc.

Walking on different surfaces: bubble wrap, grass, concrete, through a stream, on grates, flattened cardboard boxes, through a ladder or tunnel, etc. (This list is not intended to be exhaustive; I encourage you to think of as many other socialization stimuli as possible.)

How To Socialize Your Puppy

Beyond introducing your puppy to these events and items, you must make her experiences with them positive. A well taught, positive reinforcement puppy class will be a great help here. Keep training sessions short and fun, 1 to 3 minutes is more than long enough for most puppies.

Employ classical conditioning techniques: New things in the environment make "good stuff" happen for the dog. Click and treat any interest in the socialization stimuli, even for looking at the item in question. In classical conditioning, the reinforcement is contingent upon the presentation of the stimulus rather than on the dog?s behavior (food is presented as soon as the vacuum is turned on and taken away as soon as the vacuum is turned off, for example).

When doing husbandry exercises, it often helps to have two people - one to handle the dog and one to deliver treats. The treats should start being delivered when the contact starts, and when the contact ends, so do the treats (1:1 ratio of contact - treats to start with). As your dog is more confident about the socialization stimulus, you can begin thinning out the reinforcement schedule.

Once your dog is more confident, you can switch to operant conditioning - clicking for calm behavior around the stimulus or for approaching, investigating, and interacting with the stimulus.

Learning canine stress signals will help you keep your dog under threshold. If she is hungry but can't or won't eat, she is probably too close to the object. Increase distance until she notices the object but is not startled by it and proceed more slowly - only decreasing distance when she is comfortable at the current level of exposure. For more on stress signals in dogs, check out this site.

Each time you are able to make interacting with novel stimuli a positive experience for your puppy, you are one step closer to a confident, well-adjusted, non-reactive adult dog.

Wed, 09 Dec 2009 12:16:35 -0800 /puppies/puppy-training-and-socialization
<![CDATA[Puppy Feeding Schedule and Guide]]> http://www.dogster.com/puppies/puppy-feeding-schedule-guide Depending on which stage a puppy enters your life, different puppy feeding schedules apply. A puppy grows very fast, passing through several life stages quickly. Be responsive to your puppy's special needs along the way.

Bottle Feeding Puppies

If a newborn pup is especially large, if there are many puppies in the litter, or if you have undertaken to adopt and raise a newborn puppy, you will have to bottle feed. For very small puppies, sometimes a needle-less syringe can substitute for a bottle. For puppies with larger mouths, your vet can recommend the appropriate type of bottle and silicone or rubber nipple. Commercial puppy milk formulas are readily available either from your vet or from large pet store chains. You can make your own formula-there are many to be discovered online - but check with your vet about the recipe you have chosen before using it. (Be sure to make a new batch every day to keep the food fresh.)

Heat the formula to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure the milk drips, not streams, out of the nipple or syringe.

Feeding newborn puppies requires patience. Find a comfortable seat. Cradle the puppy in your hand or in a soft towel and introduce the nipple to his mouth. You want him to swallow the droplets from the syringe and learn to suck on the nipple, not flood him with formula and hope some goes down. Watch out for choking and avoid holding him on his back. Newborn puppies do not drink from their mothers lying on their backs, so such a posture would be unnatural.

Afterward, mimic what the mother dog would do. Rub a little cotton ball on the pup's bottom to encourage him to defecate and urinate. After about 3 weeks, he'll take over in that area. Also, remember to allow your puppy a little quiet time after eating. Carrying him about or allowing him to play vigorously with family members could cause a tummy upset that causes him to lose all you put in him.

Newborn puppies generally need about 1 cc of formula per ounce of body weight every three hours round the clock. Since puppies vary greatly according to breed as to how fast or large they will grow, this feeding guide for dogs needs to be modified according to your individual puppy's special needs as outlined by your vet.

Weaning to Solid Food

At about 3 or 4 weeks, as you see your puppy begin to explore his little world, you can begin to introduce solid puppy food, but do not immediately stop bottle feeding. Ask your vet what brand of high quality puppy food she recommends. Buy the best you can. Remember, what goes in, especially at this early stage, affects your puppy's future health.

You can begin by spooning a little of the formula you have been using over the solid food just to get the puppy started. Offer solid food four times a day in small quantities and supervise your puppy's eating to make sure he doesn't choke or fall into the bowl. Discard uneaten food and put out fresh food the next time. Do not expect your puppy immediately to begin to gobble up this new food in spite of the fact that he seems to put everything else in his mouth. Puppies really love to nurse, so chewing may not appeal initially. For reluctant puppies, you might try putting a very small bit of the new solid food in his mouth and encouraging him cheerfully. If your puppy isn't ready, don't force him, but wait a few more days and try again.

As you introduce solid food, it is also time to introduce water. Boiled and cooled or filtered water is safest for young puppies. Put your puppy's water in a small, shallow bowl, not one deep enough for him to drown in, and keep it fresh. Alternately, start with a water bottle with a ball and drip spout affixed to the side of the puppy's crate. Show him how to approach the water and have him take a few drops from your hand initially. Continue to introduce him to the water until he drinks on his own. Water is essential for non-nursing puppies.

Always make sure feeding time is a positive, happy event. Remember that patience with training puppies yields cooperative and trusting adult dogs. By about 6 to 8 weeks, your puppy can be weaned off the formula and onto solid food. As your puppy grows, naturally, make the portions bigger, but remember, the idea is to support healthy growth, not a chronically plump little chowhound. Regular check ups with your vet will help you to ascertain if your puppy is attaining the proper weight.

As your puppy approaches his adult weight and size, reduce feedings to twice a day and remember to ask your vet when it's time to either change to a junior food or to move on to adult food. As your puppy reaches adult size, he will need to eat less since he is growing less. Again, encourage growth in bone and muscle not fat; once he's reached his adult size he can only grow out, not up. If your puppy is overweight, see What to Do if Your Puppy is Overweight.

Kindness to your new puppy begins with nutrition and patience with feeding and builds trust for a lifetime.

Photo: Ben Helps

Wed, 09 Dec 2009 11:55:54 -0800 /puppies/puppy-feeding-schedule-guide
<![CDATA[Preparing Your Home for a Puppy]]> http://www.dogster.com/puppies/preparing-your-home-for-a-puppy Adopting a puppy will go smoothly if you anticipate and prepare for the coming of that small bundle of joy and energy into your house. However your puppy finds his way into your heart and home, there are a few helpful guidelines that can make the transition easier on all of you.

A puppy, like a human baby, requires more than his weight in equipment from the beginning. Let's look at the New Puppy Checklist of things you will need to own as soon as you chose your puppy:

  • Travel Crate or Soft-Sided Carrier. This will help you bring your puppy home and take him to the vet or visits to friends safely. The crate goes in the back seat or cargo area, preferably seat-belted in. See Buying the Right Dog Carrier.
  • Leash and Collar Or Harness. Expect to replace these as he grows, but it's best to get a new puppy used to wearing his tags and walking on a leash. Apply for the ID tags as soon as you know your dog's name. See Dog Collars: Which is Best for Your Dog?.
  • Food and Water Bowls. These should be sturdy and easy to clean as well as size appropriate.
  • Food. It's a good idea to begin with the food your puppy's previous caregiver used and then modify your choice as advised by your vet. See Puppy Feeding Schedule and Guide.
  • Bed. Every doggy needs a soft, washable snuggly place to call his own. See Which Kind of Dog Bed is Right for Your Dog?.
  • Crate. If you plan to crate train, the crate should precede the puppy into the house. See Buying the Right Dog Carrier.
  • Piddle Pads and Newspapers. New puppies leak and, whether you are planning to train to pads or not, you will need some absorbent products for the first few weeks.
  • Toys. A variety of safe toys to chew and snuggle with make a puppy feel at home. See The Best Types of Toys for Your Dog.

How To Prepare Your Home For A Puppy

Inviting a puppy into your life provides a great opportunity for housecleaning on a major scale. Since puppies will chew and swallow anything, make sure the floor is very clean of debris. Elevate and secure electrical cords. Time to give up candles, a glass menagerie and candy jars on the coffee table for a while. Cigarette butts, chocolate, grapes and ant traps are toxic and dangerous for puppies, so get any random objects out of your puppy's reach.

You can puppy-proof rooms your puppy shouldn't enter with baby gates. Do not use the old accordion-style gates; they are as dangerous for puppies as they are for toddlers. Gates that open easily, secure tightly, and can be seen through will protect your puppy from dangerous areas and will save your special rooms from puppy accidents.

Remember, puppies WILL get into things. So you will need to behave differently than you did pre-puppy. Do not leave grocery bags, purses, briefcases, backpacks or any easy-to-open containers on the floor. Block off stairs until you know puppy can go up and down without taking a tumble. Basically, think human toddler times 4.

Bringing home a new puppy is always a very exciting and special day that you will always remember. For puppy it may be the day he left his littermates and mother or the day his wandering from foster home to foster home ends, the beginning of the best part of his life, but also a terrifying day of changes and unfamiliar faces and smells. Try to reduce stress by making his drive home as calm and quiet as possible. Make sure he goes to the bathroom before getting in the car. You could put him in his crate, but a small and quiet puppy can be carried in a blanket by a family member or friend. Make sure you talk to him all the way home.

Entering your house should be made calm and happy for him. Keep his greeters down to immediate family and allow him to play and sleep according to his rhythms. Make sure he eats and, especially that he drinks and take him out often so he can relieve himself. It's not a bad idea to put his crate in your room at night so he will feel you are near him and not be scared. A few plush toys in his bed substitute for companions.

There are many puppy dog breeds. Learn as much about all of them as you can so you can decide which breed's intrinsic characteristics might be right for your family. Do not be swayed by dogs featured in movies or cartoons. ( Dalmatians are not really like that.) Make a decision based on your research. Of course, you might see a mixed breed puppy looking hopefully up at you from his cage in the shelter. And you just might fall hard for those puppy dog eyes and take him home knowing that, big or small, loud or quiet, sporty or couchy, this is the puppy for you.

About the Author: Helen Fazio and her dog Raja blog on pet travel and related topics at www.traveldogbooks.com. In their first book, "The Journey of the Shih Tzu," Raja tells the wolf to woof story of the development of this amazing breed. They are working on forthcoming titles.

Photo: Johnny Jupiter

Mon, 07 Dec 2009 12:19:57 -0800 /puppies/preparing-your-home-for-a-puppy
<![CDATA[Puppy Health Guide]]> http://www.dogster.com/puppies/puppy-health-guide "Buy a pup and your money will buy love unflinching." --Rudyard Kipling

A new puppy means changes in your life and puppy care can seem overwhelming. As a responsible owner, you are, of course, concerned about your puppy's health care. A healthy puppy means a healthier, better-adjusted dog. Here are some considerations to ensure your puppy's health:

Preparing A Healthy And Safe Home

When you go through your house prior to bringing your new puppy home, look at everything from his level. All dangers should be put away such as cleaning products, all medicines, any food (including gum and candy), anything like mouse traps - basically, there should be nothing at floor or chair level that he can get into. Puppies get into everything and will easily chew on a razor if they find it. See Preparing Your Home for a Puppy.

Then, prepare your pup's space. Puppies often do best in a crate. It helps with housebreaking and gives them a safe place to go. Check any toys you've gotten - puppies can choke on things like the eyes of stuffed animals. Best to avoid squeaker toys as well. For bedding, dog beds that they can't chew through work best.

Choosing a Healthy Puppy

Puppy health should be a priority to the breeders. They should not offer you a puppy that is less than eight weeks old, and is ideally 12 weeks old. If removed from his mother and littermates sooner, they often don't develop the necessary social skills such as the inhibited bite (what is acceptable mouth pressure).

A healthy puppy is alert, active and playful. He should have clear, wide-open eyes, a wet nose, strong teeth, and shiny fur. He should be nice and plump. He should also be eager for attention and react well to affection.

Once he's home, here are some guidelines for your new puppy:

Four Weeks To Three Months

Puppies are weaned around five to seven weeks old. A two-month-old puppy should be eating puppy food four times a day. See Puppy Feeding Schedule and Guide.

Some Common Problems
Sleeping: Puppies may have a tough time making it through the night. You should set specific times to take him out. Also, try putting a ticking clock or white noise machine near his bed.

Biting: Now is the time to start training him about basics such as this. A good deterrent is sticking your fist gently into his mouth whenever he starts.

Some Common Diseases
Distemper: This is one of the deadliest puppy diseases. Watch for uncoordinated walking, loss of appetite, lethargy, fever and seizures.

Para-influenza: This causes respiratory disease. Watch for dry cough, or difficulty breathing.

Heartworm: Prevention should be started before six months.

Vaccinations: The first set of shots usually include a vaccine combination that protects against canine hepatitis, distemper, parainfluenza, and parvovirus (abbreviated as DHPP). Vets may also recommend the leptospirosis vaccination and coronavirus. A Lyme Disease vaccine is also sometimes administered. See A Guide to Your Puppy's First Round of Vaccines.

Three Months To Six Months

Puppies should be eating puppy food, twice a day. Weigh your puppy each week. See Puppy Feeding Schedule and Guide.

Some Common Problems
Aggressiveness: Puppies will start to challenge those around them. Beginning basic obedience training is recommended.

Marking: Puppies may start to mark around the house which means more diligent housebreaking.

Some Common Diseases
Lyme Disease: This is caused by a tick bite. Watch for swollen or painful joints, fever, walking stiffly.

Allergies: Your puppy may start to show allergy symptoms, either to his food, grass, or airborne irritants.

Vaccinations: Initial Rabies vaccine. Puppies should receive a booster of this prior vaccine combo at 16 weeks. See Dog Vaccinations and Vet Care.

Spaying and Neutering
This is the time to neuter or spay. Neutering reduces testicular cancer and prostrate problems. Spaying reduces ovarian and breast cancers. Both will usually make a dog less aggressive and more trainable.

Six Months To One Year

At one year, you can switch over to dog food but do it slowly. Most dogs do best with feedings twice a day.

Some Common Problems
Adolescence: This is where training comes in. It is imperative that you establish yourself as the pack leader.

If not spayed and neutered, they will start exhibiting sexual behavior such as humping.

Some Common Diseases
Bordatella: This is kennel cough and is highly contagious. Watch for sneezing, coughing, nasal discharge.

Genetic diseases: These may start to emerge. Every breed has different health concerns. A good resource is here.

Vaccinations: Puppies should receive a booster at one year.

Dog and puppy health doesn't have to be a complicated subject. By giving your pup good nutrition, regular vet visits, training, grooming, and affection, you're helping to ensure good puppy health and, later, good dog health.

Photo: Basykes

Wed, 02 Dec 2009 12:31:49 -0800 /puppies/puppy-health-guide