rec.pets.dogs: New Owners, New Dogs FAQ

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rec.pets.dogs: New Owners, New Dogs FAQ

Post by Cindy Tittle Moo » Fri, 08 May 1992 05:39:57

Summary of changes:
A "critical info list" in prologue.
Sex of dog added in what kind of dog.
Vicious dogs discussed in Responsibilities.
Getting "one for the kids" in Responsibilities.
Added short note on worms and puppies in Puppies
Spell checking and other light editing.

II.  New Owners, New Dogs.

  A.  What Kind of Dog?
  B.  What are My Responsibilities?
  C.  Where?
  D.  Veterinarians.
  E.  Puppies.
  F.  Puppy-Proofing Your Home.
  G.  Feeding Your Puppy.
  H.  Teething.
  I.  Chew Toys.
  J.  Preliminary Training.
  K.  Socialization of Puppies.
  L.  Housetraining Your Puppy.
  M.  Living with Other Pets.
  N.  People Food.
  O.  Crating.


A quick critical information list:

  * Never hit a young puppy.
  * Praise exuberantly.
  * Be consistent with your dog, rather than harsh.
  * Don't allow biting, but only correct after 14 weeks (yelp and
    replace hand with toy before that)
  * Never correct a dog after the fact.
  * Dogs need new experiences when very young to get socialized.
  * Praise exuberantly.
  * Dogs need successes and less correction before full maturity
    so they can develop confidence.
  * Train your dog in order to establish communication and give it
    purpose, and make it tolerable.
  * Dogs need to be in a *** hierarchy with everyone; if you
    are not above your dog, you will be below it.
  * Praise exuberantly.
  * *** over a dog is achieved with leadership, never

The very *best* of the recommended books are the Monks of New Skete books.

A.  What Kind of Dog?

1.  Factors to consider

There is an enormous variety of dogs in shape, size, personality, and
abilities.  You must consider several things before deciding on a dog:

 * What space can you provide it?  If you live in a small apartment,
   you must take this into consideration: larger breeds and active
   breeds will not do well unless you expend a good deal of effort in
   meeting their needs.  Larger dogs may also be more destructive in
   smaller spaces, even unintentionally with wagging tails.  Dogs can
   be pretty adaptable so long as *you* help them out.  Large dogs can
   do well in smaller areas if you make sure that its needs are met.

 * How much exercise can you give it?  If your time is limited, you
   should look for smaller or less active dogs that can obtain enough
   exercise in your home or from short walks.

 * How much grooming can you do?  How much hair are you prepared to
   have in your home?  You should give serious consideration to these
   factors: some dogs shed little and require no grooming (clipping,
   stripping, etc); others shed little but require more grooming;
   others shed but do not require grooming; and still others both shed
   and require grooming.  Do note that just about all dogs will
   require some nail clipping regardless of conditions.

 * Which sex do you want, male or female?  There are pros and cons
   to either sex, all of which are generalities and may or may not
   apply to a specific dog.  By all means, if you have a preference,
   get the sex you want.  If you are not sure, it really doesn't
   matter -- look for the dog you hit it off with.

 * Why are you getting the dog?  Its personality should complement
   yours and be suitable for the purpose for which you are getting it:
   pet, companion, or working dog.  Pets are dogs from which there are
   no expectations beyond "good behavior" (no jumping, etc) and
   friendship.  Companions are dogs that assist people or work closely
   with them (examples are Guide dogs, or dogs going through Obedience
   and other testing).  Working dogs are dogs whose primary purpose is
   to work (police dogs, search dogs, Guide dogs also qualify, but
   their work also involves intense companionship, so it overlaps).
   Some dogs are fine as pets, others do much better as companions,
   and still others have levels of energy and determination best met
   by utilizing them as working dogs.

When selecting a breed ask about: propensity to bark, to dig,
protectiveness, trainability, activity level, *** size,
hard-headedness, suitability for less experienced owners.  Good dog
breed books can give you some idea; always ask any breeders you meet
what their opinion is for more input.

2.  Purebred or random-bred dogs

If you are interested in a purebred dog, you should pick up a book on
dog breeds (most libraries will have a good selection) and do some
research, with the above questions in mind.  There are some
breed-specific FAQ's listed in the Introduction.

If the dog's breed is not important to you, you should still consider
the above factors when choosing the dog.  You do face a few more
unknowns since a random-bred puppy (e.g., a "mutt") may or may not
clearly exhibit what its *** characteristics will be.

3.  Books

Listed here some good references on dog breeds; others appear in the
References section.  In addition, there are many that are specific to
one breed.  Space prohibits listing any of these type of dog books
here, but you should look up breed specific books on the breeds you
are especially interested in for even more detailed information.  The
breed specific FAQ's mentioned in the introduction will contain
recommended pointers.

De Prisco, Andrew and James B. Johnson.  _The Mini-Atlas of Dog
Breeds_. TFH Publications, One TFH Plaza, Neptune City, NJ 07753
(1990).  ISBN:0-86622-091-7 (hardcover).
  This book lists and describes over 500 breeds from around the world.
  Abundantly illustrated with color drawings and photos.  Includes a
  short forward on what criteria you should consider in choosing a
  breed, and a short description of the categories it chose to group
  dogs in (slightly different from, eg. AKC groupings).

Tortora, Daniel F.  _The Right Dog For You_.  Fireside, Simon &
Schuster Trade Books. 1983.  ISBN 0-671-47247-X.
     Offers a complex decision procedure, with lots of questionnaires
     to alert you to the potential significance of various features of
     breed behavior and physical characteristics.  One of the few
     that lists potential problems of each breed rather than giving
     a glowingly positive one for each.

Wilcox, Bonnie and Chriss Walkowicz.  _Atlas of Dog Breeds_.  TFH
  Over 900 pages long in large format.  The authors are top notch
  writers and did extensive research to compile this comprehensive
  resource of the world's dog breeds.  The book is profusely
  illustrated with excellent quality photographs and a 3-5 page
  article.  This book makes a good effort to show every color and
  every coat type of each breed in the various photos.  Expensive.

Mandeville, John J., and Ab Sidewater, eds.  _The Complete Dog Book:
official publication of the American Kennel Club_.  Seven***th
edition.  Howell Book House, Macmillan Publishing Company, New York.
1985.  ISBN 0-87605-463-7.  768 pages.
  This is the reference for the AKC breed standards, each of which
  covers several pages and includes a black and white photograph and
  text on the breed's history, characteristics, and nature.  The
  health section is not illustrated, but is otherwise excellent as it
  was prepared with the cooperation of the faculty of the School of
  Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Potential
  buyers of this book probably ought to wait for the next edition,
  since it is now seven years old and new editions have been published
  every three years (on average).

Sylvester, Patricia, ed.  _The Reader's Digest Illustrated Book of Dogs_.
Revised edition.  The Reader's Digest Association, Inc.,
Pleasantville, NY.  1989.  ISBN 0-89577-340-6.  384 pages.
  Besides the excellent text and illustrations in the album, which
  cover 2 pages for each breed (175 total), the informative sections
  are also well-written and illustrated and include many color
  photographs as well. This is a good general reference on dogs, and
  is especially helpful when choosing a breed to own.  The health
  chapters are invaluable to non-veterinarian owners.

B.  What are My Responsibilities?

There are responsibilities that go along with being a good dog owner.
A dog will live from 10 to 20 years, depending on its breed, size and
general health.  This is a long term commitment, and you must be ready
to provide the dog with a home for that duration.  You must make
provisions for it when you go on vacation.  It needs attention, love,
and respect from you: feeding and watering it are not enough.
Consider it part of your family: this is no joke as that is exactly
what the dog thinks YOU are: its pack, its family.

1.  You are responsible for...

(1) You are responsible for its health.  An essential part of owning a
dog is making sure that it gets good medical care.  Check the vets in
your area and pick out one before you even get your dog.  Take your
dog in to the vet immediately after acquiring it; and take it in
regularly thereafter.  You will have expenses for yearly shots and, in
many areas, heart-worm preventative.  Puppies and dogs routinely die
without adequate veterinary care.

(2) If you get your dog for protection, you are obligated to make sure
that it is safe, reliable, and trustworthy around people.  Never chain
it up in the back yard, or encourage it to snarl and bite other
people.  Never try to make a dog "vicious."  Such irresponsible
treatment results in tragic stories of children and ***s being
mauled or even killed, the dog being put down, and various dog bans
being enacted.  A dog can protect you just fine by barking at
suspicious noises and allowing you to investigate.  It does not have
to be vicious.  A good protection dog is always well trained and has a
relationship with its owner that encourages it to be protective.
Higher levels of protection (such as attack dogs) require considerable
training and experienced handling and are most definitely not for

(3) You are responsible for your dog's reproduction.  You must either
get it neutered, or make provisions for keeping ***es out of reach
of dogs when she is in heat.  If your male is intact, you must keep it
under control when it smells a *** in heat.  If you breed, you are
responsible for making sure that your dog or *** is suitable for
breeding (i.e., good health, good temperament, good specimen of the
breed, and free of genetic defects), and making sure that all
resulting puppies are placed in good homes.  The millions of dogs that
must be put down annually in the US are the result of owner
irresponsibility about their pet's reproduction.

(4) You are responsible for your pet's behavior.  This means keeping
your dog under control.  Do not let it roam; do not let it become a
nuisance to others in your neighborhood.  Clean up after it or curb it
(make it go in the gutter) when it eliminates, *especially* in public
areas.  Many parks, beaches, and lakes are closed to dogs because of
irresponsible owners in this regard.

(5) You are still responsible for the dog when you "get one for your
kid."  Unless your child is old enough, at least 13 (and highly
variable at that), she or he will not have the sufficient maturity to
take responsibility for the dog.  A dog can be a good way to teach
children about responsibility, but the dog is still *your* main
responsibility.  Dogs acquired for this reason often wind up in the
shelters when the parents find out that they are the dog's primary

(6) You are responsible for becoming more knowledgeable about dogs.
Find some good books and read up.  Enroll in puppy and dog classes
where you can learn much from the instructor; attend them even before
you get a dog or puppy for first hand knowledge of what you can
expect.  Many dogs are in animal shelters with a note that says
"couldn't be housebroken" or "couldn't be trained."

(6) You are responsible for being prepared for the new dog.  Never get
one as a "surprise gift."  All members of your family must agree on
having a dog.  Have food, water and food dishes, bedding, collars and
leashes, chew toys, and a veterinarian lined up before you pick your
dog up.  Many "Christmas puppies" are found in the shelters by New
Year's Day.

Some books to try:

Milani, Myrna M., DVM. _The Weekend Dog_.  Signet (Penguin Books USA,
Inc.) (1985). ISBN: 0-451-15731-1 (paperback).
  This book outlines practical solutions for working people with dogs.
  It has excellent suggestions for understanding dog behavior,
  particularly destructive or unwanted behavior.  Gives all kinds of
  practical solutions to the problems of adequate exercise, adequate
  training, housebreaking, and so forth.

Miller, Harry.  _The Common Sense Book of Puppy and Dog Care_.  Bantam
Books, Third Edition (revised) (1987).  ISBN: 0-553-27789-8 (paperback).
  This small book provides a surprising amount of useful information.
  A little on the "lightweight" side, nevertheless, it gives a good
  outline of what you should know about your puppy or dog.  You can
  use this to decide how much you do know and where you need to brush
  up on what you don't.  Besides sections on how to select the right
  dog, it covers basic puppy needs (housetraining, feeding,
  illnesses), basic training, basic pet care, and a complete list
  of AKC breeds (each breed illustrated with b/w drawing, thumbnail
  sketch included -- good as an overview, but not very specific).

Monks of New Skete, The.  _How To Be Your Dog's Best Friend_.  Little,
Brown & Company.  1978.  ISBN: 0-316-60491-7 (hardback).
  A monastery in upstate New York breeds, raises, and trains German
  Shepherd Dogs.  On the basis of their considerable experience, they
  offer troubleshooting guides, discuss discipline, environmental
  restrictions, basic and puppy training, and much more.  Extensive
  bibliography.  The emphasis is on understanding the dog in order to
  communicate with it or to solve problem behavior.  An excellent,
  well written classic.

Taylor, David. _You and Your Dog_.  Alfred A. Knopf, New York (1991).
ISBN:0-394-72983-8 (trade paperback).
  This useful book is an overall guide to the health and care of dogs.
  It includes a basic listing of dog breeds (AKC).   This is a good
  general purpose book that gives you an idea of what all is involved
  in owning and caring for a dog.

C.  Where?

1.  Animal shelters

The animal shelter is a good place to pick up a dog and save it from
death in the bargain.  Look for a clean, healthy dog, keeping in mind
any constraints you may have.  Look for signs of friendliness and
liveliness.  Does it approach you in a friendly manner?  Talk with the
people caring for the animals for any information on a particular
animal they can give you.

2. Private parties

People who have unplanned litters will advertise their puppies in the
paper.  This may or, more often, may not be a good source.  Check the
health of the puppies carefully.  As with breeders, look for people
more concerned with the welfare of the puppies -- people out for a
fast buck will not likely have seen to the health of the puppies.  If
you are looking for a purebred, forget the backyard breeders and find
a reputable breeder instead.

3.  Breeders

If you plan to show your dog, or desire a healthy pet-quality
purebred, find a reputable breeder.  In general, don't use newspaper
adverti***ts.  Attend dog shows instead and talk to the owners
there.  Or look for breeder adverti***ts in magazines like Dog
Fancy, or others devoted to specific breeds.  Libraries often have a
local breeder's registry book; you can also check the yellow pages for
breed referral numbers.

Another way to find all-breed or specialty clubs is to call the AKC in
New York City, and ask for the address of the closest all-breed club.
A note to the Club secretary should provide information about breeder
members. Also, a letter to the "parent" club for your favorite breed
(address available from AKC), should provide a list of breeders. AKC's
main switchboard number is 212/696-8200.

When you meet with breeders, look for people that seem more concerned
with the welfare of their dogs than the amount of money they're
making.  Look for ones raising the puppies "underfoot" and around
people.  A reputable breeder should have some history of breeding
animals.  They may be breeding for show or field work or just plain
good pets.  They should be able to tell you about some of their
previous puppies.  They should be able and willing to discuss the
health and well being of the parents of your puppy including: eye
conditions, hip dysplasia, etc.  In general, be suspicious of puppies
from anyone who has not had the parents at minimum x-rayed for hip
dysplasia and had the eyes checked by a veterinarian, or for other
problems associated with the breed.  Not all breeds have the same
problems, but breeders should know what they are and be able to tell
you which ones they've tested for.

You should be able to see one or both parents of your puppy; their
temperament will give you a good idea of your puppy's ***
temperament.  Titles in hunting, obedience, or protection can indicate
good temperament.

Many responsible breeders only guarantee the health of a pup for a
limited time (e.g. 48 hours).  This is not a rip-off.  The breeder has
no control over the pup once the new owner takes it.  Reputable
breeders will stand by that guarantee *if* the new owner takes the pup
to a vet who finds something wrong (e.g. a communicable disease)
within that period but the breeder can hardly be held responsible for
a disease contracted after the pup is in its new home.  Thus, such an
early trip to the vet is for the protection of all concerned.  The
breeder should also guarantee to take the puppy back if you are unable
to keep it rather than having it go to the pound.  The breeder should
also be concerned about your living conditions and what you plan to
use the dog for before they allow their puppy to go live with you.
Many breeders will want to know what you plan to do about
reproduction.  Many will require that a pet quality puppy be neutered,
and withhold registry papers until receipt of proof of neutering (thus
making any puppies from that dog unregisterable).  Approach getting a
puppy as if you were adopting a child.  Expect a lot of questions and
ASK a lot of questions!  A responsible breeder is also looking for a
responsible owner.

4.  Breed rescue organizations

One excellent source for a purebred dog is from a rescue
organizations run by breed clubs across the country.  These
organizations take specimens of their breed from shelters or from
private owners who can no longer keep them, and care for them in
volunteer's homes until a new home can be found.  The adoption fee
usually is less than the cost of a purebred from other sources.  For
addresses of rescue services for various breeds, call the American
Kennel Club library, 212-696-8348, or check the breed-specific FAQ, if
one exists for your breed.

5.  Pet Stores

Don't buy pet store animals.  These are often obtained from
disreputable sources such as "puppy mills" (where animals are bred
(and bred and bred) only for profit).  By buying from the store, you
are supporting these mills and adding to the pet population problem.
In addition, you are obtaining an animal of dubious health and any
money you save will likely go directly into vet costs as its health
deteriorates and you may even have to put it down.  If it is purebred
and has papers, chances are very good that the papers have been forged
in some way and even that the puppy is not really purebred.  In
addition, many behavi***problems appear in these puppies as they
will have been separated too early from their mother, improperly
handled, and forced to live and defecate in small cages.

D.  Veterinarians.

Before you even bring your new dog home, take it to the vet you have
already selected.  Annual shots and examinations are a must for
keeping your dog healthy.  If you cannot afford veterinary care for a
dog, you should not get one.  Preventive and consistent care is less
expensive in the long run.

2.  Choosing a vet

Choose a vet who you are comfortable with and who will answer your
questions.  Check out the office: do animals seem just frightened or
are they also out of control?  Is it bedlam, or reasonable for the
number of different animals there?  Do you have local recommendations
from friends?  Does the vet specialize in small animals as opposed
to, say, livestock?

3.  24 hour emergency care

A good vet will either be associated with a 24 emergency care plan or
be able to give you the number of a good place in your area.  Keep
this number on your refrigerator and check with your vet when you
visit that it's still up-to-date.

4.  Fecal samples

Any time you bring your dog to the vet, try to bring a fresh fecal
sample.  Put a small, fingernail-sized sample into a plastic bag, or
ask your vet for a supply of fecal samplers.  The vet cannot always
get a fecal sample from the dog, and this saves you extra trips to
return the sample and then bring the dog in if the tests are positive.

Try an ordinary sandwich bag (e.g. a "Baggie" -- ziplock is convenient
but not necessary) and turn it inside out over your hand like a ***
glove.  Then simply pick up the stool with your covered hand, turn the
bag right-side out, enclosing the sample.  Zip if ziplock otherwise
use a twist tie.  This is perfectly sanitary if perhaps a bit
distasteful (you should get over that quickly enough: think babies and

5.  Dog reactions

Dogs may or may not dislike going to the vet.  You should invest in a
dog carrier for the trip to the vet (and indeed, any trip in the car)
to prevent accidents while driving.  Sometimes a removable partition
that blocks off the back of the car works well.

From puppyhood, you should accustom your dog to being handled.  Look
into its ears, which should be clean, white, and pink.  Check its
eyes, which should be clear, and should not display any signs of
runniness.  The puppy's nose should be likewise clean and slightly
moist.  Check the puppy's mouth, examining the gums and teeth,
regularly.  Hold the dog still, and look at its***; pick up its
paws, and look at the pads and claws.  this will have the added
benefit that you will notice any changes from normal quickly, and will
be able to notify your vet promptly if something is wrong.

It helps a good deal if you train your dog to "stand" -- this will
assist the vet's examination of your pet.

E.  Puppies.

Puppies should not be separated from their mother and littermates
before 8 weeks of age.  Many recommend 10 weeks minimum.  This is
related to physical considerations such as weaning and psychological
considerations such as the puppy's readiness to leave the litter.

1.  Destruction and safety

You should consider that a puppy has an absolute right to chew
whatever they can get at in your absence.  You must put the puppy
where either it cannot do any damage, or you do not care about the
possible damage.  Puppies can eat kitchen cabinets, destroy furniture
and carpet, as well as a wide variety of things.  Besides the
destruction, the puppy may well injure itself, even seriously.

A good solution to this is a crate.  A crate is any container, made of
wire mesh or plastic, that will hold the puppy comfortably, with
enough room to stand and curl up and sleep, but not too much that it
can eliminate in one corner.  See the section on crates below.

Please put your pup in an environment it can't destroy.  Puppies are
too immature to handle temptations.  Depending on the breed, most dogs
begin to gather the maturity to handle short stints with mild
temptations when they're about 6 months old.  Consider the analogy
with a baby, where you keep it in a crib, stroller, or pen if you are
not holding it.

2.  Two puppies?

Many breeders believe it is best to NOT have two puppies together.
There are exceptions, of course, but they tend to bond to each other
and not to you and that can cause serious problems when it comes time
to train them.  Having two puppies needing housetraining at the same
time can make that process go on for much longer.  If you want
multiple dogs, you may want to wait until all the current dogs are
trained and housebroken before getting the next one.

3.  Immunities and exposure

Newborn puppies receive immunization against diseases from colostrum
contained in their mothers milk while nursing (assuming the *** has
been properly vaccinated recently before the breeding took place).
Initially, during their first 24 hours of life, maternal antigens
(passive immunity) are absorbed through the pups intestines which are
very, very thin during those first few hours (this is why it is so
important that puppies nurse from the mother during that critical
time).  After the colostrum ceases (a day or so later), the maternal
antigens decline steadily.

During this time, puppies cannot build up their own natural immunity
because the passive immunity gets in the way.  As the passive immunity
gradually declines, the pup's immune system takes over.  At this time,
the pups should be given their first immunization shots so they can
build up their own antibodies against them.  However, there is no way
to tell when passive immunity is gone.  This is why pups should be
given a shot every few weeks (2 - 3 weeks apart and a series of at
LEAST three shots).

Picture a plot of antibody level vs. time.  Maternal antibody is
steadily declining.  You just don't know the rate.  At some level, say
X, protection from parvo is sufficient.  Below X, protection may be
less than effective against an infection.  In general, vaccine antigen
cannot stimulate the puppy's own immune system until the maternal
antibody level is *below* X.  Let's say it is .7*X.  Here's the rub.
The antibody level spends some time dropping from X to .7X.  During
this time, even if you vaccinated every day, you would (in this
theoretical discussion) not be able to stimulate immunity.  Yet you
are below that level of maternal protection at which infection can be
effectively fought off.

Thus the importance of giving several vaccinations at 2-4 week
intervals until around 18 weeks.  One maximizes the chance of catching
the puppy's immune system as soon as it is ready to respond,
minimizing the amount of time the puppy may be susceptible to

IMPORTANT: The last shot should be given AFTER 16 weeks of age (4
months) to be SURE that dam's antibodies have not gotten in the way of
the pup building up its own immunity (read the label of the vaccine!).

You should keep your puppy away from all strange dogs.  If you know
that a particular dog is current on its shots and not carrying
disease, then go ahead and let your puppy socialize.  The same holds
true for people.  Ask them to wash their hands before they play with
your puppy.  It can't hurt and it could save you a great deal of
grief.  As your puppy gets its shots, you can slowly add more and more
exposure to its life.  But keep in mind this is an infant and needs
gentle care!

Your puppy should get the following vaccinations between 5-8 weeks of
age: Distemper, Measles, and CPI.  Between 14-16 weeks it should get
shots for Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza, and
parovirus (also known as the DHLPP shot), as well as being innoculated
against rabies.  At one year, it should get DHLPP and rabies again;
DHLPP yearly after that and rabies every three years.  Ask your vet
about any additional vaccinations or medications that are appropriate
for your area.

4.  Worms

Worms can present a serious problem to puppy health.  There is no good
way to prevent puppies from having worms, for a variety of reasons.
You should take your puppy in regularly for worm-testing.  Worms can
interfere with the puppy's growth if left unchecked.  See Worms in
Health Care Issues for more detailed information.

5.  Acclimatization

Accustom your puppy to many things at a young age.  Baths, brushing,
clipping nails, cleaning ears, having teeth examined, and so on.
Taking the time to make these things matter of fact and pleasant for
your puppy will save you a world of time and trouble later in its

For example, every evening before the dog eats (but after you have put
its bowl down), check its ears by peeking in the ear and touching it
with your fingers.  Do this every evening until the dog stops fussing
about it.  Continue to do it and you'll always know if your dog's ears
are okay.

Brushing is important, especially for double coated breeds when they
begin to shed.  A little effort now to get your puppy to enjoy
brushing will save you a lot of trouble later when it begins to shed
and shed and shed...

6.  Puppies and small children

Keep puppies and very small children apart or under close supervision.
Small children do not understand the need for keeping fingers out of
puppies' eyes or refraining from pulling painfully on their tails,
among other problems.  So keep children 6 years or so and younger away
from the puppy until it is grown, for the safety of the puppy.

7.  Puppies crying at night

Your puppy wants to be with the rest of the "pack" at bedtime.  This
behavior is highly adaptive from the standpoint of dog behavior.  When
a puppy becomes separated from its pack it will whine, thereby
allowing it to be found and returned to the rest of the group.  This
is why so many books on puppies and dog behavior strongly recommend
that you allow your puppy/dog to sleep with you in your room.

Try moving the crate into your bedroom.  If your puppy whines, first
make sure it doesn't have to go outside to eliminate.  This means
getting up and taking it outside.  If it whines again, or doesn't
need to go outside, bang your hand on the crate door and say something
like "NO, SLEEP" or "NO, QUIET".  If the puppy continues to whine, try
giving it a toy or chew toy and then simply ignore any continued
whining.  If you don't reinforce the whining by comforting it (other
than to take it outside -- which is OK), it will eventually learn to
settle down.  Also, be sure to have a vigorous play session JUST
BEFORE you are going to go to bed.  This should poop it out and it
will sleep much more soundly.

Alternatively, you can designate a pad for your puppy on the bedroom
floor.  Keep the door closed or put a leash on it to keep it close to
the bed.  When it whines or moves about, take it out to eliminate.
Otherwise, as above, say "NO, SLEEP."

Puppies that cannot sleep in the bedroom for whatever reason may be
comforted by a ticking clock nearby, and a t-shirt of yours from the

8.  References

There are several books that focus on the care and needs of

Monks of New Skete, The.  _The Art of Raising a Puppy_.  Little, Brown
and Company (1991).  ISBN: 0-316-57839-8 (hardback).
  The monks of New Skete have put together an excellent book that
  discusses puppy development and the things that should be done at
  the appropriate stages and why.  First they follow a newborn litter
  through its various stages of development and at each stage they
  discuss what is happening.  They discuss testing puppies'
  temperaments and what you want to look for, under which
  circumstances.  They discuss briefly dog breeds, and how to find
  reputable breeders.  They then launch into a series of useful
  chapters: housebreaking, preliminary obedience, laying the
  foundations of training, understanding (reading) your dog, how to
  become the pack leader, basic training, discipline, and general
  care.  A good bibliography is provided at the back.

Randolph, Elizabeth.  _How to Help Your Puppy Grow Up to be a Wonderful
Dog_. ISBN 0-449-21503-2.

F.  Puppy-Proofing Your Home.

It is essential to puppy-proof your home.  You should think of it in
the same way as child-proofing your house but be more through about
it.  Puppies are smaller and more active than babies and have sharp
teeth and claws.  Things of especial concern are electric wires.  If
you can get through the puppy stages without having your pup get a
shock from chewing a wire you are doing a great job!  When puppy
proofing your home, get down on your hands and knees (or lower if
possible) and consider things from this angle.  What looks enticing,
what is breakable, what is sharp, etc.  The most important things are
watching the puppy and, of course, crating it or otherwise restraining
it when you can't watch it.

Another step in puppy proofing is house proofing the puppy.  Teach it
what is and isn't chewable.  The single most effective way to do this
is by having a ready supply of chewable items on hand.  When the puppy
starts to chew on an unacceptable item (be it a chair, rug, or human
hand), remove the item from the puppy's mouth with a stern, "NO!" and
replace it with a chew toy and praise the puppy for playing with the
toy.  If you are consistent about this, the puppy will get the idea
that only the things you give it are to be chewed on!

There are some products that can help make items unpalatable and thus
aid in your training.  Bitter Apple and Bitter Orange (available at
most pet stores) impart a bitter taste to many things without
staining, etc.  You should not *depend* on these products to keep your
puppy safe, but *use* them as a training aid.

G.  Feeding Your Puppy.

Premium pet food tends to have higher nutritional value.  In
particular, foods such as Science Diet, Eukanuba, Nature's Recipe.
This means you can generally feed your dog a smaller amount of food.
Also, they tend to be highly digestible which means that there is less
waste to clean up in the yard.  For these two reasons, many people
feed their pets premium foods over grocery store foods.  But the
decision is yours and many healthy, happy dogs have been raised on
plain Purina Dog Chow.

There are two methods you can use to feed your puppy: free feeding and
scheduled feeding.  Free feeding is when dry food is left out all day
and the dog eats as it wishes.  Scheduled feeding gives the dog food
at set times of the day, and then takes it away after a period of
time, such as a half hour.  In most cases, you are best off feeding
your puppy on a schedule.  This better controls elimination when
trying to housetrain.  In addition, many dogs will overeat and become
overweight on a free-feed schedule.  But for other dogs, such as dogs
with gastric problems or older dogs, frequent small meals may be
better for them.  If you are unsure, you may want to discuss your
particular situation with your vet.

Something to keep in mind is that many veterinarians and breeders
(particularly of larger breeds) recommend that you NOT feed puppy food
for the first year as is recommended on the bags of food.  They
recommend that you feed puppy food ONLY for the first two months that
you have the puppy at home and then switch to *** food.  A good
"rule of thumb" is to switch to *** food when the puppy has attained
90% of its growth (exactly when this is reached varies by breed and
size).  The nutritional formulation (especially the extra protein and
calcium) can actually cause problems in puppy development.  The
problem tends to be with growth of bones vs. growth of tendons,
ligaments, and muscle.  The growth rates are not the same and so the
connections are strained and if the dog jumps wrong or is playing too
hard, the connections can be torn.  This typically happens in the
front shoulder and requires surgery and several months of confinement
to repair.  The added calcium in puppy food may deposit on puppies'
bones causing limping.

If the puppy has hip dysplasia, its clinical symptoms may be
aggravated by imbalanced growth rates (or obesity, for that matter),
and a puppy with mild HD that could have lived out a happy life as a
pet may have to be put down instead.

H.  Teething Puppies.

Around 5 to 6 months of age, puppies will start to get their permanent
teeth.  There are several things you can do, both to ease the pain and
control the chewing.

  * Make some chicken soup (low sodium variety or make it yourself)
    ice cubes and give them to the puppy.
  * Soak a clean rag in water, wring it out and then freeze it
    (rolling it up helps) and give it to your puppy to chew on in
    place of rawhides.
  * Soften the kibble a bit with water.
  * Discourage biting on your arm or hand for comfort.

I.  Chew Toys.

1.  In summary

Nylabones are best for keeping teeth clean.  Followed by either
Gumabones or Nylafloss.  Rawhide and cow's hooves can cause problems.

2.  In detail

Nylabones are most highly recommended.  They cost about 3 times as
much as a rawhide but last for a very long time indeed.  Some dogs
don't like them; most will happily use them with a little

Gumabones are similar to nylabones, but a bit softer and without as
much tooth cleaning ability.  The manufacturer says that Gumabones are
more likable and serve as toys, but the Nylabone is necessary to
satisfy frustration chewing and chewing due to a need to chew.  Some
dogs have trouble with flatulence when they ingest the small pieces of
gumabone that they chew off.

Nylafloss is also well accepted and is the best tooth cleaner of all.
To many dogs, though, it is only interesting when you wave it in the
dog's face.  (Nylafloss looks like very a thick, knotted rope.)

Rawhide is not recommended by most people because the dogs tend to
swallow large pieces, which swell in the intestines.  Also, if the
shank gets slimy but the knot is hard, the dog can swallow the shank
and then the knot gets sucked down into the throat and chokes the dog.
Lastly, and much more commonly, they cost a fortune if you have a
mid-large dog or a dog with powerful jaws.

Organic bones may splinter and cause tooth wear or even gum and mouth
injuries.  Eating the pieces often results in constipation.

Cow hooves are better than rawhide because they break down into
smaller pieces and are much cheaper and more durable.  However, like
organic bones, they can cause gum and mouth injuries when they chip.
They smell somewhat and may cause tooth wear.  Hooves are available in
a beef basted flavor that doesn't smell badly.

Another chew item out on the market is called CHOOZ, by the makers of
Nylabones.  This item looks like a nylabone but is crunchy like a dog
biscuit (but harder).  It can also be tossed into your oven or
microwave to change its texture (makes it lighter and more like a hard
bread).  CHOOZ has been involved in at least one case of gastric
blockage; you may not want to use it.

J.  Preliminary Training.

It is essential for every dog, no matter how big, or small, or whether
you want to show, or work, or just play with, to have basic obedience
training.  If you want to go beyond the basics, that's great.  But at
least do the basics.  One way to think of it is that without basic
obedience, you and the dog don't speak the same language so how can
you communicate?  But with basic obedience, you can tell the dog what
you want it to do and it will understand you and do it.  Another way
to think of it is getting your dog to be a Good Citizen: it doesn't
jump on people, or run off, or indulge in other obnoxious behaviors --
because it knows what you expect of it.

Find a good class and attend it.  Many places have puppy kindergarten
classes; this also helps socialize your puppy.  Do 10 minute training
sessions every day.  And if you like it, keep going.  You'd be amazed
at all the activities you can do with your dog once you and the dog
learn the basics!  Training is fun and simple if approached that way.
Enjoy it!

Puppies can be started far earlier than many people believe.  In fact,
waiting until your pup is 6 months old to start training it is VERY
late, and will be the cause of a LOT of problems.  Start right away
with basic behavior: use simple, sharp "no's" to discourage chewing
hands or fingers, jumping on people, and many other behaviors that are
cute in puppies but annoying when full grown.  Don't be severe about
it, and praise the puppy *immediately* when it stops.  Tie the puppy
down in sight of people eating dinner to prevent begging and nosing
for food (if you put it in another room, it will feel ostracized and
begin to cry).  If your puppy bites and scratches you when playing,
give it a toy instead.  Give a good, loud *yelp* when the puppy bites
you.  This is how the other puppies in the litter let each other know
when they have crossed the line, and it is a good way to get the
puppy's attention and let it know that biting is not acceptable.

The other side of the coin is *immediate* praise when your puppy stops
after a "no".  You may feel like this is engaging in wild mood swings
(and you may well get odd looks from other people); that's all right.
You're making your wishes crystal clear to the puppy.  It also needs
positive as well as negative reinforcement: how would you respond if
people only ever yelled at you when you did something wrong?  Also,
introduce things in a fun way without "corrections" just to lay a
foundation for formal training later on.  *Formal training*, demanding
or exact, is not appropriate at this stage.  Instead, concentrate on
general behavior, getting its attention, introducing things that will
be important later in a fun way, and some other preliminary things,
such as discouraging it from lagging or forging on the leash (but not
making it heel!).  In sum, lay a good foundation for its future
development and behavior.

Benjamin, Carol Lea.  _Mother Knows Best: The Natural Way To Train
Your Dog_.  Howell Book House, New York. 1985.  ISBN 0-87605-666-4.
$15.95 hardcover.
  "No matter how the pup transgresses, no matter how angry the ***
  becomes, she never denies him his nourishment.  He never goes to bed
  without his supper.  Nor does she offer tidbits of food, treats
  beneath the table, extra portions of dessert to reward good
  behavior. Eating is eating and education is education."

  She uses praise, contact, play and toys to motivate puppies, but she
  does not recommend food training a young puppy.  She does recommend
  crate training and she also recommends sleeping in the same room
  with the puppy.  She provides methods to teach no, OK, good dog, bad
  dog, sit stay heel, come, down, stand, go, enough, over, out,
  cookie, speak, take it, wait and off to puppies. She talks about
  canine language and talks some about mental games you can play with
  your dog such as mirror games, and copying your dog and having him
  copy you, chase games and even playing rough with your puppy.

  Most training methods rely on the foundational relationship between
  an owner and his dog, and this book provides some ideas on
  establishing that relationship while the puppy is still young.

Brahms, Ann and Paul. _Puppy Ed._.  Ballantine Books.  1981.
ISBN:0-345-33512-0 (paperback).
  Describes how to start teaching your puppy commands.  This is a
  thoughtful book that discusses in practical detail what you can and
  cannot expect to do with your puppy in training it.  They stress
  that by expecting and improving good behavior from the start, later,
  more formal training goes much easier.

Burnham, Patricia Gail.  _Playtraining Your Dog_.

K.  Socialization.

During your puppy's first year, it is very important that it be
exposed to a variety of social situations.  After the puppy has had
all its shots, carefully expose it to the outside world.  Take it to
different places: parks, shopping centers, schools, different
neighborhoods, dog shows, obedience classes--just about anywhere you
can think of that would be different for a little puppy.  If the puppy
seems afraid, then let it explore by itself.  Encourage the puppy, but
be firm, not coaxing.  If you want to take the pup in an elevator, let
it try it on its own, but firmly insist that it have the experience.
Your favorite dog food and supply store (unless it's a pet store) is a
good place; dog shows are another.  You want the pup to learn about
the world so that it doesn't react fearfully to new situations when it
is an ***.  You also want it to learn that you will not ask it to do
anything dangerous or harmful.  Socializing your dog can be much fun
for you and the dog!

Do not commit the classic mistake made by many owners when their dogs
exhibit fear or aggression on meeting strangers.  DO NOT "soothe"
them, or say things like "easy, boy/girl," "it's OK..."  This serves
as REINFORCEMENT and ENCOURAGES the fear or growling!  Instead, say
"no!" sharply and praise it WHEN IT STOPS.  Praise it even more when
it allows its head to be petted.  If it starts growling or backing up
again, say "no!"  Be a little more gentle with the "no" if the dog
exhibits fear, but do be firm.  With a growling dog, be much more
emphatic and stern with your "no!"

If you are planning to attend a puppy class (and you should, they are
not expensive) ask the instructor about her/his views before you sign
up.  If socialization is not part of the class, look elsewhere.

The _Art of Raising a Puppy_ has many valuable tips and interesting
points on the subject of socializing puppies.

L.  Housetraining.

The idea is to take advantage of a rule of dog behavior: a dog will
not generally eliminate where it sleeps.  Exceptions to this rule are:

  * Dogs that are in crates that are too large (so the dog can
    eliminate at one end and sleep at the other end).
  * Dogs that have lived in small cages in pet stores during critical
    phases of development and have had to learn to eliminate in the
  * Dogs that have blankets or other soft, absorbent items in the
    crate with them.
  * Dogs that are left for too long in the crate and cannot hold it
    any longer.

To house train a dog using a crate, establish a schedule where the dog
is either outside or in its crate when it feels the need to eliminate.

Using a mild correction when the dog eliminates inside and exuberant,
wild praise when the dog eliminates outside will eventually teach the
dog that it is better to go outside than in.  Some owners correct more
severely inside, but this is extremely detrimental to the character of
puppies.  To make the dog notice the difference between eliminating
inside and outside: praise more outside rather than correcting more

The crate is crucial because the dog will "hold it" while in the
crate, so it is likely to have to eliminate when it is taken out.
Since the owner knows when the dog has to eliminate, the dog is taken
out and eliminates immediately, and is praised immediately.  This is
ideal reinforcement for the behavior of going out to eliminate.  Thus
the dog is consistently praised for eliminating outside.  In addition,
the dog is always supervised in the house, so the dog is always
corrected for eliminating indoors.  This strengthens the inhibition
for eliminating inside.

In general, consistency is MUCH more important than severe corrections
when training a dog.  Before a dog understands what you want, severe
corrections are not useful and can be quite DETRIMENTAL.  Crating
allows the owner to have total control over the dog in order to
achieve consistency.  Hopefully, this will prevent the need (and the
desire) to use more severe corrections.

2.  Puppies

Housetraining is relatively simple with puppies.  The most important
thing to understand is that it takes time.  Young puppies cannot wait
to go to the bathroom.  When they have to go, they have to go NOW.
Therefore, until they are about four months old, you can only
encourage good behavior and try to prevent bad behavior.  This is
accomplished by the following regime.

  * First rule of housetraining: puppies have to go to the bathroom
    immediately upon waking up.

  * Second rule of housetraining: puppies have to go to the bathroom
    immediately after eating.

With these two rules goes the indisputable fact that until a puppy is
housetrained, you MUST confine them or watch them to prevent accidents.

This means that the puppy should have a place to sleep where it cannot
get out.  Understand that a puppy cannot go all night without
eliminating, so when it cries in the night, you must get up and take
it out and wait until it goes.  Then enthusiastically praise it and
put it back to bed.  In the morning, take it out again and let it do
its stuff and praise it.  After it is fed and after it wakes up at any
point, take it out to eliminate.

Make it aware that this is not play time, but understand that puppies
get pretty e***d about things like grass and snails and leaves and
forget what they came outside to do!  Use the same spot each time if
you can, the smell will help the puppy remember what it is to do,
especially after 12 weeks of age.

To make life easier for you later on, use a key phrase just when the
puppy starts to eliminate.  Try "hurry up," "do it," or some similar
phrase (pick one and use it).  The puppy will begin to eliminate on
command, and this can be especially useful later, such as making sure
the dog eliminates before a car ride or a walk in the park.

Don't let the puppy loose in the house unless it has just gone
outside, and/or you are watching it extremely closely for signs that
it has to go.  The key to housetraining is preventing accidents.  If
no accidents occur (ha!), then the dog never learns it has an option
other than going outside.

For an idea of what this can involve, here is a hypothetical
situation, assuming that you work and it takes you about 1/2 hour to
get home from work:

03:00   Let dog out, go to bathroom, return to crate
07:00   Let dog out, go to bathroom
07:15   Feed dog in crate, leave dog in crate
08:00   Let dog out, go to bathroom, return to crate
08:15   Owner goes to work
11:30   Owner returns, lets dog out
11:45   return dog to crate, owner returns to work
17:00   Owner returns, lets dog out, go to bathroom, play
19:00   Feed dog in crate, leave in crate
19:45   Let dog out, go to bathroom, play
23:00   Let dog out, put dog in crate, go to bed.

3.  Reference

For a comprehensive discussion on housetraining dogs, see

Evans, Job Michael.  _The Evan's Guide for Housetraining Your Dog_.
ISBN: 0-87605-542-0.
    Evans was a monk at New Skete for some years.  He discusses all
    aspects of housetraining puppies and dogs, giving many
    constructive solutions for all kinds of specific problems.

M.  Living with Other Pets.

You may need to introduce your dog to another pet that will share
living quarters (as opposed to simply meeting them while walking

It depends on the temperament and ages of the animals involved.  In
most cases, you can simply introduce them, let them work it out, and
after a week or so, things are fine.  However, sometimes this is a
lengthy process that you will have to work through, especially if it
is cross-species.  In general, this will work:

  Put the dog in its own room, where the original pet can smell it,
  but not see it. After a day or so of this, remove the dog from the
  room and let the original pet smell and explore the room thoroughly.
  Put the dog back in.  Depending on the reactions involved, let the
  pets meet under supervision.  If there is some hostility, separate
  them while you are gone until you are certain that they get along.
  It is best if you can arrange a "retreat" for each animal.

Meeting first in a neutral area such as someone else's house or in a
park, if possible, may help.

1.  Establishing a hierarchy

You may find there are problems with establishing *** between
dogs.  If one dog seems to be overly dominating the other, use your
position as alpha to stick up for the lower dog.  When the one
dominates the other, turn around and dominate the one.  Support the
lower dog in some (not all!) of the disputes, especially over food and
sleeping places.

This is an established behavi***pattern of the topmost dog in the
pack; it will look out for the lowest dog under some circumstances
while leaving the general hierarchy intact.  But don't over do it, as
the lower dog will learn to play on your sympathies.  Be sure to stop
stepping in once the hierarchy settles.

N.  People Food.

Feeding your dog "people food," i.e., table scraps and such is not a
very good idea.  First, you may encourage your dog to make a pest of
itself when you are eating.  Second, feeding a dog table scraps is
likely to add unneeded calories to its diet and your dog may become
overweight.  Third, if your dog develops the habit of gulping down any
food it can get, it may seriously poison or distress itself someday.

Some guidelines.  Do not feed the dog anything but dog food and dog
treats.  You might add vegetable oil or linatone to the food to
improve its coat.  There are other foods that you may want to add to
improve its diet (check with your vet first for appropriate food to
meet the dietary need you want to address), but always feed them to
the dog in its dish, never from your plate or from your hand while you
are eating.  Discourage your dog from begging at the table by tying it
nearby (so that it does not feel isolated from the social activity)
but out of reach of the table.  Give it its own food to eat at the
same time, and do not give it any treats during your eating time.
Tell your dog "no" or "leave it" if it goes for anything edible on the
floor (or on the ground during walks!), praise it when it obeys you.
Teach it that the only food it should take should be from its dish or
someone's hand.

If you are concerned about the "boring and drab" diet for your dog,
don't think of food as a way to interest it!  Play with it, take it
out on walks -- there are many other and better ways to make life
exciting for your dog.

Both _Mother Knows Best_ and _The Weekend Dog_ have good sections on
feeding your dog and what food should mean to it.

O.  Crating.

Crating is a controversial topic.  There are those who believe that
crate training is indefensible and others who believe that it is a
panacea.  The reality is likely somewhere in between.

1.  What does the dog think?

First, you must understand what the crate represents to the dog.  Dogs
are by nature den creatures -- and the crate, properly introduced, is
its den.  It is a safe haven where it does not need to worry about
defending territory.  It is its own private bedroom which it
absolutely will not soil if it can help it.  Judicious use of the
crate can alleviate a number of problems, stop others from ever
developing, and aid substantially in housetraining.

Where is the crate?  It should be around other people.  Ideally, set
it up in the bedroom near you.  Have the dog sleep in it at night.
Dogs are social and like to be around their people.  Don't force it
into the crate.  Feed your dog in the crate.

2.  Prices and recommendations

A plastic airline approved (leakproof) crate will run from $10 to $75
depending on the size.  These are the cheapest prices available.  Wal
Mart and their wholesale store, Sams, sell these crates cheaply.  Pet
stores may be much more expensive.  If flying with a dog, most
airlines will sell a crate at near-wholesale prices.

Mail order stores also have competitive prices, and they also sell
wire mesh cages.  Wire mesh is comparable in price to plastic airline
crates, but the crates are sized according to their outside
dimensions.  Because of the shape of plastic crates and the plastic
lip that runs around their middle, a plastic crates' interior bottom
surface may be substantially smaller than the exterior of the crate.
A 36" long Pet Taxi has a floor that is 30 or 32" long.

Wire cages are not as appealing to dogs that like the safe, enclosed
nature of a crate, but they have better ventilation for use in warm
places (plastic crates have ventilation holes also, but there is a
difference).  You might, for example, have a plastic crate in your
house and a wire one for the car.

The crate should be large enough for the dog to lie down, stand up and
turn around in comfortably, but not large enough for the dog to
relieve itself at one end and sleep at the other.  You may buy a crate
sized for an *** dog and block off part of it with a chew-proof
obstacle until the dog grows into it, or you may buy a succession of
crates as the dog grows.

3.  Proper use of a crate

Crating a puppy or dog often seems unappealing to humans, but it is
not cruel to the dog.  A dog's crate is similar to a child's playpen,
except it has a roof (dogs can jump out of a playpen) and is
chewproof.  Also, a crate is not suitable for activity or exercise,
but rather for rest.  Dogs are carnivores and do not need to be
constantly active during the daytime, like people (as gatherers) do.

If a crate is properly introduced to a dog (or puppy) the dog
will grow to think of the crate as its den and safe haven.  Most dogs
that are frequently crated will often use the open crate as a resting

The major use of a crate is to prevent the dog from doing something
wrong and not getting corrected for it.  It is useless to correct a
dog for something that it has already done; the dog must be "caught in
the act".  If the dog is out of its crate while unsupervised, it may
do something wrong and not be corrected, or worse yet, corrected after
the fact.  If the dog is not corrected, the dog may develop the
problem behavior as a habit (dogs are creatures of habit), or learn
that the it can get away with the behavior when not immediately
supervised.  A dog that rarely gets away with anything will not learn
that if nobody is around it can get away with bad behaviors.

If the dog is corrected after the fact, it will not associate the
correction with the behavior, and will begin to think that corrections
are arbitrary, and that the owner is not to be trusted.  This results
in a poorer relationship and a dog that does not associate
corrections, which are believed arbitrary, with bad behaviors even
when they are applied in time.  This cannot be overemphasized: a dog's
lack of trust in its owner's corrections is one of the major sources
of problems between dogs and their owners.

A secondary advantage of a crate is that it minimizes damage done by a
dog (especially a young one) to the house, furniture, footwear etc.
This reduces costs and aggravation and makes it easier for the dog and
master to get along.  It also protects the dog from harm by its
destruction: ingestion of splinters or toy parts, shock from chewing
through wires, etc.

A young dog should be placed in its crate whenever it cannot
be supervised.  Generally this means when nobody is home.

If a dog is trained in puppyhood with a crate, it will not always
require crating.  Puppies or untrained dogs require extensive crating.
After a year or so of crate training, many dogs will know what to do
and what not to, and will have good habits.  At this time crating
might only be used when the dog needs to be out of the way, or when

4.  Introduction to a crate

Puppies are easier to put in crates than older dogs.  Much of what is
printed here may be unnecessary for a puppy.

Before a dog is locked into a crate, the dog must be as comfortable
with it as possible.  If a dog is put into a crate while it is afraid
of the crate, the dog's fear may build while inside and the resulting
trauma may be impossible to overcome.

To make a dog comfortable, the dog must first learn not to
fear it, and then to like it.  To alleviate fear, the following things
can be tried.

  * Put treats or food into the crate for the dog.  Start near the
    mouth of the crate, and then move the treats farther inside each
  * Leave the door off the crate at first.  The door can swing shut on
    the dog while the dog's head is in the crate, startling the dog
    with the contact and the strange sound.
  * Possibly get the dog used to part of the crate.  For instance,
    take the top half of the crate off and use all these tricks to get
    the dog used to that alone, then repeat the process with the whole
  * If the crate is big enough, get in yourself.  (seriously!)
  * Get the dog e***d about a toy and throw it in the crate for the
    dog to chase.
  * Think of the crate as a good thing yourself.  Dogs are good at
    reading their master's attitudes.  Never (ever) use the crate as a
  * Once the dog will go into the crate, feed the dog its meals in the

Once the dog is unafraid of the crate, put the dog inside and close
the door.  Immediately lavish the dog with praise and food for a short
time, then let the dog out.  Do not, at this time, leave the dog alone
in the crate, or the dog will associate the crate with your leaving.
Also, before the dog is fully acclimated, it may grow panicky if left
in the crate long.

finally, put the dog inside for progressively longer periods of time,
always praising the dog as it goes in, and perhaps giving treats.

5.  Crating do's and don'ts

Do think of the crate as a good thing.  In time, your dog will too.

Do let the dog out often enough so that it is never forced to soil the

Do let the dog out if it whines because it needs to eliminate.  If you
know it doesn't have to eliminate, correct it for whining or barking.

Don't punish the dog if it soils the crate.  It is miserable enough
and probably had to.

Don't use the crate as a punishment.

Don't leave the dog in the crate for a long time after letting it eat
and drink a lot.  (because the dog will be uncomfortable and may have
to eliminate in the crate.)

Don't leave the dog in the crate too much.  Dogs sleep and rest a lot,
but not all the time.  They need play time and exercise.

Don't check to see if your dog is trustworthy in the house
(unsupervised, outside of the crate) by letting the dog out of the
crate for a long time.  Start with very short periods and work your
way up to longer periods.

Don't ever let the dog grow unaccustomed to the crate.  An occasional
stint even for the best behaved dog will make traveling and special
situations that require crating easier.

Don't put pillows or blankets in the crate without a good reason.
Most dogs like it cooler than their human companions and prefer to
stretch out on a hard, cool surface.  Besides providing a place to
urinate on, some dogs will simply destroy them.

This file is not copyrighted.  It is in the public domain and may
*not* be copyrighted by anyone.  Please feel free to forward copies of
this to anyone you like.  I only ask that you keep the document
intact, including the addresses below so that any recipient knows
where to query about possible updates.  Include a self addressed,
stamped envelope on postal queries.

Cindy Tittle Moore

Cindy Tittle Moore -- anxiously awaiting Hershe (chocolate lab) in mid-June

Currently working on rec.pets.dogs FAQ.  Now in seven parts, preliminary
versions of five parts have been posted.  Anticipated "official" posting
(crossposted to news.answers and archival at FTP site) in early May.