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Welcome To The Family

NOW THAT YOU ARE HOME

Understanding canine communication is important for dog owners as we handle our dogs on a daily basis how they express themselves and the meaning behind their actions. 

  • Apart from being very young, a new pup may need much more time to adjust to its new environment.

  • They have just been separated from their mother and siblings, so do not be surprised if they do not love and obey you instantly.

  • Understand that accidents and relapses are inevitable at some point in the training journey, puppies live in the present which means discipline and praise must be given exactly when the behaviour occurs, positive reinforcement is to target the specific desirable behaviour. 

  • Any frightening experience will have a long-lasting impact on your puppy.

Creating House Rules

Remember that preventing problems is easier than solving them. By six months of age, almost all behaviour problems are already in place. Dogs learn each day what behaviour will or will not be allowed. 
Early training is a must to teach them appropriate good manners, they love being raised in a structured environment and look to us for security and leadership, if we don't show this, they will.

Select areas of your house you would like your pup to have access to firstly, then gradually introduce others.

The First Night

The area you have allocated for your puppy to sleep will need to be clean and feel warm, soft and protected.

The first night can be a challenge and they may cry as this is their first night on their own without their littermates, we have a blanket with the litter scent on it to use and also give them an item with your scent to, this will try and get your puppy to starting thinking of you as their new family member. Don't show affection if they are crying as this reinforces the behaviour.

Crates

A crate provides a safe place for your pup to go for quiet rest time and to prevent any undesirable behaviour, where they won't be able to make mistakes giving us peace of mind as we know they are safe. Using a dog crate to keep pup confined for short periods of time really helps with housetraining. It needs to be big enough to stand up, lie down, turn around and stretch out.

Your pup has been introduced to an open door crate from 4/5 weeks old, the process to your crate if your choose should be a walk in the park.

But crate training 101 is so simple:

Leave the door open and have a cosy mat inside and tempt them in with a toy or treat by placing it completely inside the crate so they have to step in to retrieve it, keep repeating this multiple times until they are completely relaxed and you can gradually close the door for very short periods to start with. Keep repeating and encouraging their good behaviour.

Your pup confidently having crate time also has developed calm and independent behaviour, it's a great start to prevent separation anxiety when you do you have to leave them.

Crates Represent Safe Peace Love

Never put puppy in crate in energetic state, always have exercised first, so ready for rest. Pup needs to be at their highest level of relaxation, represents calm, resting, surrender state not alert state. Never close the gate when energetic, wait for calm surrender so he is not feeling trapped. (Cesar Milan)

Going back to Work

Not make a fuss when you are saying goodbye and when you return from being away. It is so exciting seeing them again, but try to contain your excitement until they are calm, showing leadership,  this way you are saying to them, you are ok without me, reinforcing their calm behaviour.

Socialisation

You are able to charge the outcome of their life by what you choose to teach them in the first 8-12 weeks.

Early socialisation is not to stressful, they need to learn to be able to read people, we don't want their biggest fear to be ... people

  • You have got a lot going on, but don't delay, book your puppy in to preschool. Puppy classes will also help puppy behaviours that you may have problems with, they offer a good start in basic obedience with gentle methods.

  • Puppy classes provide a safe forum for socialised puppies to continue socialisation under the watchful eye of a trainer

  • It's all about gently exposing your puppy to as many new experiences as possible in a safe way decreasing their fear response and building their confidence ensuring a positive experience.

Most people think puppy socialisation is playing with other dogs and humans and going to the dog park, but it's much more. Dogs that are properly socialised to other dogs and humans will incorporate both species into their social structure and form communication patterns with both species. This helps develop a balanced and well mannered adult dog with lots of skills to deal within the world, other dogs without the socialisation can be anxious and fearful because they haven't been exposed enough.

Goldens are intelligent dogs, so give your puppy plenty of stimulation and company, your puppy's best place is by your side including them in all the things you do, they are so happy in your company and love social time. If no structure is provided they will begin to assert themselves. This is usually seen in the form of growls, nips and other kinds of unwanted behaviour. 

Once our puppies have left our care by the approximate age of 8 weeks they have been accustomed to normal household sounds: vacuum cleaner, dishwasher, music, radio and noises from a PupSchool app we play of fireworks, drills, baby crying, storms and motorbikes and a whole lot more, continue to introduce your sounds from around your home.

It's recommended to not expose your dogs to other dogs until their 10-12 week vaccination, but this doesn't mean to leave them inside, have groups of people over to get them used to meeting new people, take them on short car rides to help with motion sickness and noisy busy areas with interesting smells and sounds.

Most people have a front yard and driveway, practice walking them on the lead and exposing them to the postie on his motorbike and the rubbish truck and have him on the lead when you take out the wheelie bin, lay different textures on your floor for them to walk on like alfoil, baking paper and egg cartons etc, wear a coat and hat occasionally and rewarding their calm behaviour with treats. Handle you puppy as much as possible making touching their ears, paws etc a positive experience.

Problem Solving

Toileting

Avoid punishing a puppy who has a 'toilet accident' inside, as they have short memories they will become confused if punished seconds/minutes after an act.

A good idea is to have a spare lead with the handle area cut open, so it won't catch on any furniture etc and have this on them during the time you allow your puppy to be inside with you, so you can quickly and positively take the puppy outside for toileting, you choose what command you will use and keep reinforcing it. We use the command "lets go" to encourage them to come outside and the command "go toilet" once we are outside and walk around showing them the area allowing them to sniff etc.

If they do wake in the night, even if it doesn't look like they are asking for it, take them outside anyway and say your commands you've chosen, they will start to associate these words with the action, offering praise and treats and before you know it they will be holding through the night.Dogs do not go to the bathroom where they sleep and good news is they hold it for longer whilst sleeping. 

Puppies have a 45-minute bladder capacity at three weeks of age, 75-minute capacity at eight weeks, 90-minute capacity at twelve weeks and two-hour capacity at 18 weeks, taking them outside hourly offers them the opportunity, and you are rewarding for toileting in the designated area rather than time slipping by and they toilet inside.

Recognise the Signs

When toilet training a puppy, it is critical to identify the subtle cues of nature’s calls to promote good communication and avoid accidents.

Through close observation of actions such as:

circling, sniffing, a yawn perhaps and a whine, scratching at the ground, quickly direct them to outside and give lots of praise and positive reinforcement for going in the right place.

Also take your puppy at these times during the day:

as soon as they wake, after playing or eating, before bed time, after being in their crate.

If they have gone to the toilet in the wrong place, clean up as thoroughly as you can as they will keen to reinforce their scent and don't get angry or rub their nose, they won't make the link between your anger and the location.

In addition to quickening the learning process, your attentiveness fortifies the relationship between you and puppy building a strong basis for mutual understanding and collaboration throughout life. ALWAYS BE PATIENT.

Barking

They like to say their piece. However, if it is excessive, consider the following:

  • Make sure they have had plenty of exercise and stimulation and its not just out of boredom

  • Keep them occupied when your not there, toys and kongs with treats etc in them and even leaving on background noise like the radio or tv

  • Teach them the word "Ssssssh" or "Quiet"

  • Confidently and happily go and actually look at what they are barking at (just your presence would have already distracted them and 99% of them would have stopped barking already) and then physically go down next to them at their height and look at what they are looking at, with no eye contact and not patting or touching them and tell them "its ok "and return as you where. 

Jumping on you, guests and furniture

Nipping, barking, jumping, destructive chewing etc, are unwanted behaviours, although early learning behaviours, do not tolerate these undesirable habits, they will become part of their normal behaviour if not corrected.

As we mentioned earlier, its a good idea to have a spare lead with the handle area cut open, so it won't catch on any furniture etc and have this on them during the time you allow your puppy to be inside with you, so you can quickly and positively take the puppy outside if they jump on the lounge for example, which may not be your preferred option, you can gently entice him off with the lead and a treat as well perhaps, rather than trying to yank on his collar or worse, some body part. If you decide you do not want your pup to be allowed on the bed or the lounge, it must be clear which furniture all the time, do not allow it just this once' and then tell them off the very next day. This is very confusing.

Never reward jumping for a greeting on you or guests, tell your guests to ignore the pup, the best way to teach your pup not to jump is completely ignore the behaviour by turning away and give them no attention until 4 paws are back on the ground, luring to a sit, be sure to always treat for the sit and then can give attention again. Repeat all day long the sit command for everything you do with them, this reinforces calm behaviour, a pup sitting, isn't jumping. 

Chewing/Nipping/Biting/Teething

When your puppy is around 4-5 months old these baby teeth will fall out to make room for adult teeth, by 5-7 months all adult teeth will be present, you can provide chew toys to prevent unwanted chewing on other objects around the house, it is a great way for them to relieve stress during teething, which can be an uncomfortable and sometimes painful process. Having raised hundreds of puppies, we can all attest they have sharp teeth. 

They will take shoes, socks and toys if left around at their level, it's a good idea to get down low on the ground to see what the pup will see, if the pup has taken your item, use the words "give it" and do a swap with the pups actual toy/treat ready in your hand.

A squeaky toy stimulates a variety of senses and is a great quick responsive distraction, a yelp from you, gets great results as well, see below underlined links.

Providing chew toys is one of the most important things to do, chewing helps puppies stay happy and healthy, as it keeps them busy rather than their urge to chew on your things. 

 

Digging, barking, and escaping are usually secondary problems of unhousetrained adolescent dogs which have been relegated to a life of solitary confinement and

boredom in the yard. Housetrain your dog, and then you may leave him indoors. Magically, the digging and escaping problems will disappear. Ian Dunbar Acadamy Dog Behaviour For Breeders

The founder of The Pet Professional Guild website is a Dog Trainer and Pet Care Professional was frustrated by the lack of comprehensive resources committed to pet care based on current scientific learning theory. Click here for Puppy Nipping Guide.

In 3 minutes and 15 seconds one of Cesar Milan's trainers has great quick tips, click on the link below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Odb0BAjZxA

Understanding Your puppies Behaviour - this is great info from the Royal Canin website

https://www.royalcanin.com/au/dogs/puppy/understanding-your-puppys-behaviour

CHANGES IN YOUR PUPPY

FROM PUPPYHOOD 8+ weeks...

Behaviour

In this phase their learning will have a huge impact on a puppy's life as they have stepped out into the world as you start to reinforce skills your teaching them and being learnt at puppy school.

Development

Much of a puppy's height and muscle growth happens between six to nine months. Milk teeth are replaced by adult teeth at around 5 months, and an adult coat replaces the puppy coat. Somewhere between six to 12 months your puppy may begin to lift his leg, or enter her first heat period.

Environment

Ensuring that your puppy has their own set places for eating, sleeping, toileting and crate time as well as a range of toys to play with, this will all help with understanding of basic house rules. Exploring a range of outdoor environments and being exposed to new experiences will stimulate learning, ensuring self-confidence, and generate a stronger bond between you both.

Health

Brushing your puppy is so relaxing for both puppy and yourself, this also allows you the opportunity to touch paws, ears and clip nails etc. all great help for vet visits to. Remember your vaccination schedule and book your puppy in when they are due.

...TO ADULTHOOD 12 - 24 months

Development

Up to eight or nine months, large puppies experience rapid skeletal growth, with the remaining months focusing on developing muscle until they reach their adult bodyweight.

Nutrition

As a puppy transitions into adulthood, their nutritional needs change with them. At this point, it's time to gradually transition them onto an adult food that supports the nutritional requirements of their size, breed, and lifestyle.

Health

Its time to spay or neuter your puppy at around 18 months of age as per our desexing contract. See Page: Nutrition Section When to transition to adult food 

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