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Questions, questions...


Guest mcc0004

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Guest mcc0004

I feel like I don't contribute to this forum at all other then to ask questions...but I'm so new to this, I don't have much to offer yet. Hope thats ok!

We've had Sam for a week and he is doing great. We are all madly in love with him already!! We're learning fast... I now know that even at a little under 3lbs, Sam can out run us and can not be outside for even quick potty-breaks without his leash!! I now know that even after a looong potty-break, if it isn't timed correctly, Sam will potty in the house as soon as he comes back in!!

As for training...what can and should we be doing with a baby! Sam is just 9 weeks old and seems so very tiny. We will be taking him to puppy school when he is 12 weeks. But shouldn't we be doing something in the mean time?? We do work on sit and come. To no success as of yet of course. We are trying techniques in books.

He will be going to school with Loralie Zwitt. Has anyone heard of her? She apparently has a show on PBS and has been on ABC and CBS. She has a really neat training approach that I look forward to learning. Her facility here in Houston is amazing! Huge 'playroom', cafe, and bath bar! But, she won't start until 12 weeks...

I feel at a loss as to how to work with my Sammy. As an adult I've only had one dog, and he was really my husbands and I did little with him as I had a small child and new baby. Its been years since then. As a kid we always had a dog around, but I can't remember anyone working with one. So any and all help is greatly appriated and needed!!!

Thanks so much.

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Well as you say he's just a baby. So I would just spend time playing with him, engaging him in short mental games, and reinforcing bite inhibition that he started learning with his mom and littermates - bascially, just letting him know that humans are fragile and teeth on skin hurts us very much - therefore, not allowed. Now is a good time to establish and demonstrate to him consistency in your rules for his behavior - no growling, no teeth, work on housetraining, etc.

I'm afraid I was a bit of a drill seargant with our first dog but I've since learned to r-e-l-a-x quite a bit. Sam is learning every day and while you can teach him specific things even now, it's probably more important to just ensure he's well socialized and well-exercised. Let him experience the wide world in his own way.

One thing you can do is playfully expose him to a wide variety of stimuli so that he develops confidence. For example, umbrellas, vacuum cleaners, fans, bearded men if the men in his life are cleanshaven, and vice versa, women wearing hats, small children, men and women of ethnicities different than your own, all kinds of music, cats, busy places like the mall or farmers market. There's also a fear period about this time (roughly 8-11 weeks) so even at that I'd go gently and let him experience things at his own pace and make sure every new encounter is a happy, positive one with treats and confidence (but not coddling).

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Guest rottndobie

Oh my yes - you should be spending lots of time on socialization. The is my BIG bug-a-boo.. People do NOT do enough of that and wind up with unsocialized dogs. Having people at your home or neighbors is so not enough. You need to get him out and about in the world. Take him to parks, walk around and let people and kids pet him. Go to shopping parking lots and get out and walk him around so he sees and gets used to all that goes on there - shopping carts, people again, various noises. Take him to pet stores (PetSmart is great), again walk around and let him see the sights and sounds. Walk around your town, let him see everything there is to see. You only have until they are 16 weeks of age to have them come into contact with everything they will as an adult. You don't stop at 16 week but that is the foundation you build on. All the above comes by way of Phaffenberg's New Knowledge of Dog Behavior (now out of print).

Here are some links on socialization and the critical periods...

http://www.ducatgoldens.com/new_page_11.htm

http://www.dogclub.co.uk/advice/puppygrowth.php

http://www.thedoghousetoronto.com/criticalperiods.html

http://www.bulldoginformation.com/Developm...of_a_Puppy.html - Make sure you click on the link at the bottom to read Part II

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Mccoo4, don't feel like you don't contribute enough. Even asking questions will get others to think....and that is contributing!

You have gotten some great advice, so I won't add anything except I'm glad you posted! :)

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He will be going to school with Loralie Zwitt. Has anyone heard of her? She apparently has a show on PBS and has been on ABC and CBS. She has a really neat training approach that I look forward to learning. Her facility here in Houston is amazing! Huge 'playroom', cafe, and bath bar!  But, she won't start until 12 weeks...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

where in Houston is she located? I'm in Pearland and have been looking into dog training for Teona.

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Guest mcc0004

Teri,

The address is 2215 Lawrence. I have no clue where that is, apparently its "centerally located in the Heights" according to my husband. I'm not familiar with Houston, I live out past 1960 and rarely venture any where!! LOL! Her web page is thinklikeadog.com

The place is really nice, it has quite a bit there, and is really big. I'm looking forward to starting Sam, even though it'll be quite a drive...

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Just my two cents...

I spoke to a trainer when my pup turned four months. He said to continue to socialize, socialize and socialize. Also, the trainer said to keep our pup "in check" if he growls (trying to take over as Alpha). He said to call him back when my little guy turned six months old. Well Harry just turned six months and we've started one-on-one obedience training. My trainer said many people try to train their little guys at too young of an age. Sometimes the puppy just isn't mature enough yet until around four-six months. If we start them too young they may become anxious or confused. He said to be consistant and patient. I see a big change in Harry's behavior now at six months than when he was only four. He seems to have more of an attention span now. Good luck.

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