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1. Wire crate vs plastic crate? For a puppy nine week old puppy and for a grown Chihuahua. My thoughts were wire crate would be nicer typically but in my case sticking with plastic would be better, though ugly to look at it, due to having a multi-pet household with a one year old and a four year old in the mix. Less places for fingers to poke into.

2. Puppy classes? I do want to socialize this puppy. I did not with Barley because he did not seem to need it and I lived to regret it. I've had a lot of dogs but this is only the second puppy I've had. How do you tell a good puppy class from a bad one? How do you know when to intervene with the puppies? I live in a rural, ISOLATED area. There is a kennel club in the county but if it's not a good one there's nothing else. I do live in town but the street is a dirt road and deer bed down behind my house. Poor area, lot of thugs with pits and unaltered dogs running loose. I pretty much stopped taking my dogs for walks due to fear of a loose dog going after my dog while I'm out with the dogs since I started pushing a stroller along on the walk. Also Barley went psychotic if he saw another dog. Amy, my big dog, has mellowed out with age (she just wanted to play, Barley was scared to death, had his hackles raised and tail between his legs). I do not care if the puppy grows to be friendly or aloof to those outside of her immediate family, I just don't want a fearful dog. Her only job is to be a good family pet. I am okay with taking the risk of her needing more. She is a crossbred puppy so the only thing I'm expecting considering the cross is an intelligent, biddable dog. Border Collie x German Shepherd, parents were farm dogs in a small farming community. Yes, I preferred a crossbred or a mutt.

3. How long at the various ages can puppy be kenneled? I always use crates. Kess is sleeping in hers right now. No problems with her liking it or having accidents in it. Just want to know how long is a reasonable time for a dog to hold it's bladder throughout puppyhood and adulthood.

4. Teaching bite inhibition. I read the posted link to find that I have been doing it all wrong.

5. At what age could agility start? I've always been interested in it. Not likely to happen but if I get myself motivated enough maybe. We have a huge fenced in backyard, plenty of room to put up a mini course. Once we get the nipping at the heels phased out, my older daughter would probably love doing it with the dog. Running and jumping, what kids and dogs love best. We do not have a lot of money. Competition is not in the future for us.

6. Is cheddar cheese okay for dogs? I usually give them string cheese for an extra tasty reward but right now I just have cheddar cheese.

Baby and puppy both woke up so goodbye and good day.
 

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1 - each dog has their own crate right? Some dogs have preferences but really it's up to you. I like metal crates personnaly.

2 - ABSOLUTELY yes to a puppy class. Find a good one - go see a class, see how they set it up. I like a class that has plenty of supervision and a mix of training and play. The one I did would bring out some things to socialise the dogs (umbrella, walk on crate, wearing a poncho) but did so slowly not pushing the shyer dogs. The dogs that were fearful on their first day were allowed to hide and were encouraged to come out but not forced. They had us "switch" puppies to get the dogs used to other people. The dogs got to play and they talked about what was appropriate play, when to break it up and worked on calling the dog back to us. You can also work on socialisation outside the class (just balance health as the puppy hasn't had all their shots).

3 - depends on teh dog. some are good uncrated at a year or less. others are crated for life ;) trial and error. I would also recommend starting the uncrating process with short outings (10 minutes) and not leaving the dogs alone unless you are 100% sure none is going to bug the other ( i generally seperate). You can often start uncrating at night much earlier than uncrating during the day.

5 - agility starts with the basics. Concentrate on obedience as it is the base of all dog sports. you have to be careful depending on teh size of the dog on having them jump and climb (exampe: medium and large breeds you wait until they have done developing before they jump). but you can get htem used to the tunnel, the fell of the obstacles and all that early on (and puppy jumps - not jumps at all but gets them used to going thru the poles).

6 a little bit of cheese is great, I'd just be careful not to overdo it. Not a full cheese string for sure. little pieces to high value rewards is ok.
 

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2. Puppy class - go by what you feel, but wait until you pup if fully up to date with all 3 sets of shots. You break it up when one pup shrieks, whines, etc. and the other doesn't back off. However, you also have to watch for pups who haven't learned to whine. Don't worry about separating... one test that I like a lot is that if you separate pups, pulling away the 'bully,' if the victim follows to continue playing... then let them have at it. ... However, both pups growl and snarl (OK), and it starts to escalate, so that you being to get some high pitches, then one or both are getting too rough - Separate for 15 sec., teach to sit, then let them continue...

3. Crate time - the very general rule of thumb is that a puppy can hold it for the number of hours equal to the number of months in age plus one. So an 8 week pup (2 mos) can hold about 2 - 3 hours. A 4 mos pup can hold it it for about 4 - 5 mos. Mileage varies.

4. Bite Inhibition, start using The Bite Stops Here... if you make no progress after 3 - 5 days, let us know. It'll take a few weeks, with many refreshers, but you should see a reduction in nipping (or bleeding) in 3 - 5 days.

5. Agility - You can start basic obedience now, but no forced running and high jumping until about a year old. You can go through tubes, up ramps, up ladders, around objects... but no jumps.

6. Cheese is OK, unless you notice a problem or loose stools. For training purposes, a treat is only a taste, the size of a fingernail.
 

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2. Puppy class - go by what you feel, but wait until you pup if fully up to date with all 3 sets of shots. You break it up when one pup shrieks, whines, etc. and the other doesn't back off. However, you also have to watch for pups who haven't learned to whine. Don't worry about separating... one test that I like a lot is that if you separate pups, pulling away the 'bully,' if the victim follows to continue playing... then let them have at it. ... However, both pups growl and snarl (OK), and it starts to escalate, so that you being to get some high pitches, then one or both are getting too rough - Separate for 15 sec., teach to sit, then let them continue....
Puppy classes are MENT for puppie that haven't had all their shots, so I say the opposite, run now to a class! find a school that properly cleans the area before pups arrive.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone. @Rocky911, yes all my dogs have their own crates.
 

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Sorry... If that's correct, then I'm not up to date :) The last puppy class we went to was 10 years ago, and everyone was required to bring a certificate of full vaccination from the Vet...
 

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Sorry... If that's correct, then I'm not up to date :) The last puppy class we went to was 10 years ago, and everyone was required to bring a certificate of full vaccination from the Vet...
it depends on the class. more and more there are classes now aimed to help dogs who don't have all their shots with training and socialization. The dogs must be up to date as per their age (so a 9 week old would have their first set only). The area should be disinfected prior to the class to keep puppies safe. I have gone to one set with a foster and it was the best thing ever, they really help new owners especially that don't have friend with dogs to socialise with and they help owners with the basics (house training, leash walking, biting, etc.). They also remind owners about other types of socialisation (to sounds, places, people, being touched, etc.) But as with any classes, there are good and there are bad trainers so always good to look into it before bringing your pup.
 
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