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    RickJ's Avatar
    RickJ Posts: 7,762, Reputation: 864
    Uber Member

    Jan 8, 2007, 10:34 AM
    Various Pieces of useful information about Dogs from our members
    Please see the below for information, and answers to Frequently Asked Questions, from our Dogs Expert shazamataz.

    Of course you're also welcome to post on the board: Just click the "Ask About Dogs" button at the top of the page.
    labman's Avatar
    labman Posts: 10,580, Reputation: 551
    Uber Member

    Jan 12, 2007, 12:25 PM
    Information and answers to frequently asked questions:

    What does a puppy need?
    Suggested books.
    My dog won't eat


    Although I appreciate your confidence in me, please don't PM or email me questions. That's announced here. I support the administration on this point. While I try to stick to what I have good cause to think is correct, I have no problem with others seeing my answers and criticizing them. In such a case, I have admitted I was wrong, and am willing to back my original answer if I feel it was right. There are also others here that can give better answers on some subjects than I can. Nobody knows everything.
    labman's Avatar
    labman Posts: 10,580, Reputation: 551
    Uber Member

    Jan 12, 2007, 12:35 PM
    What does a puppy need?

    A crate. It is only natural that a puppy resists its crate at first. What the puppy wants more than anything else is to be others, you, anyone else in the
    Household, and any other pets. In our modern society, even if we are home,
    Other things distract us from the attention an uncrated puppy must have. The
    Only real solution is to crate the dog when you aren't around. The dog may be
    Happier in its den than loose in the house. It relaxes, it feels safe in its
    Den. It rests, the body slows down reducing the need for water and relieving
    Its self. Dogs that have been crated all along do very well. Many of them
    Will rest in their crates even when the door is open. Skip the
    Bedding. At first it gets wet, and later it can be chewed into choking
    Hazards. A wire rack in the bottom will help keep the puppy up out of
    Accidents at first. They are available with the crates, but expensive and hard to find. A piece of closely spaced wire closet shelving from a home supply place is cheaper. I am now using a plastic vegetable bin with plenty of holes drilled in the bottom. It helps block off part of the crate for the smaller puppy.I think the plastic ones give the dog more of a safe, enclosed den feeling. Metal ones can be put in a corner or covered with something the dog can't pull in and chew. Select a crate just big enough for the full grown dog to stretch out in. At bed time, with a new puppy, I have found lying down in front of the crate like you were going to sleep and speaking softly to it, or singing, until it settles down and goes to sleep works very well. Follow the pattern, a period of active play, outside to eliminate, and then into the crate.

    Chew toys. The pet stores are full of toys that many dogs will quickly chew up into pieces they could choke on or cause intestinal blockages. If you are not
    There to watch, stick to sturdy stuff such as Nylabones and Kongs. Keep a
    Close eye on chew toys and quickly discard anything that is coming apart in
    Pieces. Rawhide is especially bad because it swells after being swallowed.
    These problems are the worst with, but not limited to, large, aggressive
    Chewers such as Labs.

    Food. Find out what the breeder is feeding. If it is dry chow you can buy readily, I would stick with it until the dog is 4 months old, at that time switching to a dry adult chow for larger breeds. If not, try to have the breeder give you a few days supply to use making a gradual change to a dry puppy chow.

    Dishes. Empty plastic food containers are good enough. If you want something nicer, buy the spill proof? Ones. SeeÀ. I have found them at Big Lots too.

    A collar and leash. You should stay with a flat fabric or leather collar until your puppy is 5 months old. Then you can go with the metal slip collar with the rings on each end. Otherwise you could damage its windpipe. Put it on like this for the usual dog on the left position. Pull the chain through the one ring forming a"P". Facing the dog, slip it over its head. The free end comes over the neck allowing the other end to release pressure when the leash is slack. A five month old's head will still grow some. If you buy one that easily goes over the head, it still should come off leaving the ears when the dog finishes growing. I start the puppy out with a metal leash and switch to a leather one after the worst of the chewing is over and I need more control.

    A name, try and Dog Names | Puppy Names | Cat Names | Kitten Names

    A brush. Start the puppy with a soft bristle brush. They don't shed much at first, and the bristle brush will remove dirt and help control odor. When shedding becomes a problem later, switch to a slicker brush with the wire teeth.

    The number of a vet. It is very hard to evaluate them. Dogs need more medical care than in the past. Many new problems are wide spread.

    A book. Any book is better than none at all. I like the Monks of New Skete and their The Art of Raising a Puppy, ISBN 0-316-57839-8. Also see the sticky.

    Obedience training. A good obedience class or book is about you being top dog, not about rewarding standard commands with a treat. Start obedience training the day you get the dog. Build on the foundation of housebreaking. The younger the puppy, the shorter you must keep sessions, only a few repetitions at a time. A few minutes here and there, and by the time the puppy is 4 months old, people will be impressed with what a nice dog it is.

    An AMHD bookmark so you can come back for help as needed.

    I didn't forget treats, shampoo, and bedding. I seldom use them.

    labman's Avatar
    labman Posts: 10,580, Reputation: 551
    Uber Member

    Jan 12, 2007, 12:36 PM
    Suggested books.

    Here is a list put together by the professionals at a dog guide school for those caring for their dogs. Any of these should be a good choice for any dog owner.

    The Cultural Clash by Jean Donaldson, 1996

    Excel-crated Learning by Pamela Reid, 1996

    Don't Shoot the Dog, by Karen Pryor, 1996

    Surviving Your Dog's Adolescence, by Carol Lea Benjamin, 1993

    Second Hand dog, by Carol Lea Benjamin, 1988

    Dog Problems, by Carol Lea Benjamin, 1989

    Super Puppy, by Peter J. Vollmer, 1988

    HELP, Mt dog Has an Attitude, by Gwen Bohnenkamp, 1994

    Owners' Guide Better Behavior in Dogs and Cats, by William Campbell, 1989

    What All Good dogs Should Know, By Wendy Vollmer, 1991

    How to Raise a Dog When Nobody is Home, Jerry Kilmer, 1991

    Through Otis' Eyes-Lessons from a Guide Dog Puppy, by Patricia Berlin Kennedy and Robert Christie, 1998

    Puppy Primer, by Brenda K Skidmore and Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D. 1996

    Beginning Family Dog Training, by Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D. 1996

    Planet of the Blind-A Memoir, by Steven Kuusisto, 1998

    The Other end of the Leash, by Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D.

    Successful Dog Breeding, by Chris Walkowicz, DMV, 1994

    The only one I am sure I read is Through Otis' Eyes, a fun children's book. Planet of the Blind sounds familiar. If so, it was hilarious but little help to a dog owner.

    labman's Avatar
    labman Posts: 10,580, Reputation: 551
    Uber Member

    Jan 12, 2007, 12:38 PM

    Much of housebreaking is not training the puppy, but making it easier for your
    Puppy, you, and your carpet while its body to catches up to its instincts. At
    Around 8 weeks when the puppy goes to its new home, the time from when it
    Realizes it has to go, and when it can't wait any longer is a matter of
    Seconds. Only time will fix that. You can hardly be expected to be attentive
    Enough to avoid all accidents. There is no sense punishing the puppy for your
    Inattention. It is not fair to punish you either, but you still have to clean
    It up if you didn't have the puppy outside in time.

    Housebreaking starts before you get home with the new puppy. If you don't have
    A crate, buy one. I prefer the more enclosed, den like plastic ones. Skip the
    Bedding. At first it gets wet, and later it can be chewed into choking
    Hazards. A wire grid in the bottom will help keep the puppy up out of
    Accidents at first. They are available with the crates, but expensive and hard to find. A piece of closely spaced wire closet shelving from a home supply place is cheaper. I am now using a plastic vegetable bin with plenty of holes drilled in the bottom. It helps block off part of the crate for the smaller puppy. If you already have a metal crate, covering it may help. Just make sure you use something the puppy can't pull in and chew. Dogs that start in crates as little puppies, accept them very well. Never leave an unattended puppy loose in the house. If nobody can watch it, put it in the crate. I suggest letting the dog have its crate all its life. A crate needs to be just big enough for a dog to stretch out in.

    Choose a command and spot you want it to use. The less accessible to strays,
    The less chance of serious disease. If it is a female, choosing a non grassy spot will avoid brown spots later. When you bring it home, take it to the spot and give it the command in a firm, but friendly voice. Keep repeating the command and let the puppy sniff around. If it does anything, praise it. Really let it know what a good dog it is and how much you love it, and maybe a treat. Note, being out there not only means you can praise it, but it also keeps it from being snatched by a hawk. If it doesn't go, take it inside and give it a drink and any meals scheduled. A young puppy will need to go out immediately afterward. Go to the spot and follow the above routine. Praising it if it goes is extremely important. If it doesn't go, take it back inside and put it in its crate and try again soon. Do not let it loose in the house until it does go.

    At first it is your responsibility to know and take the puppy out when it
    Needs to go. It needs to go out the first thing in the morning, after eating,
    Drinking, and sleeping. If it quits playing, and starts running around
    Sniffing, it is looking for a place to go. Take it out quickly. You will just
    Have to be what I call puppy broke until it is a little older. How successful you are depends on how attentive you are.

    By the time most dogs are about 3 months old, they have figured out that if
    They go to the door and stand, you will let them out. The praise slowly shifts
    To going to the door. Some people hang a bell there for the dog to paw. If
    Your dog doesn't figure this out, try praising it and putting it out if it
    Even gets near the door. A stern "Bad dog!" is all the punishment that is
    Effective, and only when you catch it in the act and are sure you didn't miss
    It going to the door. Clean up accidents promptly. I mostly keep the little
    Puppies out of the carpeted rooms. Still I need the can of carpet foam
    Sometimes. First blot up all the urine you can with a dry towel. Keep moving
    It and stepping on it until a fresh area stays dry. A couple big putty knives
    Work well on bowel movements. Just slide one under it while holding it with
    The other. This gets it up with a minimum of pushing it down into the carpet.
    This works with even relatively soft ones, vomit, dirt from over turned house
    Plants, or anything else from solids to thick liquids. Finish up with a good
    Shot of carpet foam. Note, do not let the puppy lick up the carpet foam.
    Once the dog is reliably housebroken, your carpet may need a good steam cleaning.

    Many people strongly strongly push cleaning up all evidence of past accidents. I am slower to suggest that. Dogs will return to the same spot if they can find it. When you see one sniffing the spot, that is your clue to run it out.

    The above can be applied to older dogs too. Biggest difference is the longer time after eating or drinking before they are ready to relieve themselves. If a dog has been living where it could keep its living space clean, it should quickly catch on. The important part will be teaching it that if it goes to the door, you will let it out. It will be much more difficult if the dog was forced to live in its filth. You will need to learn to read the dog and learn its schedule, and when it needs to go out. Keep it in sight, closing doors and setting up gates. Some people even leash the dog to themselves. I have used a tie down at my computer desk.

    labman's Avatar
    labman Posts: 10,580, Reputation: 551
    Uber Member

    Jan 14, 2007, 07:23 PM
    My dog won't eat:

    You need to know your dog. If a dog that normally has a good appetite suddenly quits eating, it needs to see a vet. Something is wrong, and the vet can tell what it is and prescribe an effective remedy. Even an older dog may have something that will respond to treatment. At 12 years old, when my Lab, Aster, failed to eat one morning, I took her to the vet. It was pneumonia, which quickly yielded to antibiotics and she was soon her old self.

    If the dog never did eat very well, and has seen the vet since the problem existed, you may be over feeding it. A vet check still won't hurt. Many dogs will snarf down more than is good for them and look for more. Others refuse to eat more than than they need. Evaluate the dog as illustrated in this link, - Life Span Study - Rate Your Dog You may want the vet to confirm your judgment. Adjust the dogs food and exercise as needed to reach its ideal body condition. Some German Shepherds and other breeds may refuse to eat enough to completely hid their ribs. As long as you are feeding a concentrated, meat based chow, the best thing is to accept it.

    The worst thing you can do is to bribe a dog with rich foods into eating more than it needs. Instead, Put down the dish with what the dog should eat, and give it 15 minutes to eat. Then take it up. Do not give it anything to eat until its next scheduled meal. In a few days, it should be eating what it needs. Continue to check its ribs and adjust the food as needed. This is not easy. I had a Shepherd go 3 days on a few nibbles. I was a wreck, but she was fine. It is almost unknown for a healthy dog not to eat what it needs. Unfortunately, in too many cases, it is less than the package says, and less than the owner thinks the dog should have. Many dogs are quite good at holding out for tastier chow. Like kids, sometimes it calls for tough love.

    There are exceptions to the above. A dog in a new home may refuse to eat even if offered what it was fed before. Unless it is already too thin, the best thing is to give it a few days to adjust and plenty of attention. If it still isn't eating after a few days and only after a vet check, it is time to open up the refrigerator and tempt it with something better, cheese, cooked chicken, cat food, cut up hot dogs, etc. This may also be necessary for a dog that has been sick and lost weight. You will still need to get it back on its normal diet as soon as possible.

    There are dogs that are too thin as determined by the method in the above link. Usually they need to see a vet for a medical problem. If a healthy dog will eat more, give it whatever it takes, even if it is more than what some chart says. They are only starting points.

    If a dog is having trouble keeping anything down or continuing diarrhea try this out of the manual I have from a large, knowledgeable dog guide school.

    Bland recovery diet for dogs.

    3 parts cooked rice, one part boiled hamburger or chicken, or cottage cheese. I think you can substitute boiled potatoes for the rice. Once in an emergency, we bought a plain baked potato from Wendy's.

    This is meant for short time settling a dog's digestive tract. It is not the complete and balanced diet they need long term. I have seen it work.

    There was an extensive discussion of weight in a recent newsletter from a service dog school.

    ''Obesity is the number one nutritional disease affecting dogs. It's estimated that 25-45% of dogs in the US are obese. Studies have shown that joint and locomotive problems increase by 57%, circulatory problems by 74%, respiratory problems by 52%, skin problems by 40% and cancer by 50% in animals that are overweight.

    Large breed dogs that are overweight also are more prone to developing hip dysplasia. Obesity is especially dangerous for young puppies, as their underdeveloped frame cannot support the extra poundage that it must carry.''

    So please, before tempting your non eater with rich food, see the vet and evaluate it as in the link above.

    Curlyben's Avatar
    Curlyben Posts: 18,514, Reputation: 1860

    Feb 17, 2009, 04:04 AM
    Information/Article: Protect Your Dog From a "Vaccine Junkie"
    Quote Originally Posted by goldgazelle View Post
    Here is the information/file I referred to in one of my answers regarding dog vaccines.
    I encourage anyone to read this, especially those with animals as well as those who care for them.

    Attachment 16674
    Curlyben's Avatar
    Curlyben Posts: 18,514, Reputation: 1860

    Feb 17, 2009, 04:05 AM
    Veterinary Medical Information for dogs and cats
    Curlyben's Avatar
    Curlyben Posts: 18,514, Reputation: 1860

    Feb 17, 2009, 04:10 AM
    Dog Health Care
    Quote Originally Posted by Silverfoxkit View Post
    Dog Health | Caring for Dogs and Puppies

    This site has a large range of articles concerning common problems and questions ranging from common health problems to what to do if your dog is hit by a car. I thought it would be a good idea to put this up.
    shazamataz's Avatar
    shazamataz Posts: 6,642, Reputation: 1244
    Uber Member

    Mar 18, 2009, 04:25 AM
    Various Pieces of useful information about Dogs from our members
    Hi guys, I know this isn't a question but there are a lot of people on here asking about breeding their dogs and people who have bought dogs from backyard breeders. This is a site that covers all the pro's and con's of breeding. Why it should be left to the experts and how to identify a backyard breeder.
    Just thought it would be good to share :)

    Dog Tip: How Responsible Breeders Differ from Backyard Breeders and Pet Shops

    (I had to post a link not the actual text because the site asks you not to copy info :) )
    binx44's Avatar
    binx44 Posts: 1,028, Reputation: 88
    Ultra Member

    Jun 21, 2010, 09:31 PM
    At What Age should you buy and bring home a puppy (for new dog owners)
    I have been reading posts over the last week or so and I've noticed an occurrence of people buying and bringing home puppies ranging from six weeks to four weeks of age.
    I would like to take this time and give some helpful information..

    When a pup is young it requires its mothers milk for nourishment, and protection. Her milk provides this. Also when they are so young they are also not socialized well.
    In Most States and Provinces it is Illegal to buy or sell a pup under seven to eight weeks old.
    These pups, bought too young can have a multitude of problems. Ranging from behavior problems to health and genetic problems as they usually come from backyard breeders or puppy mills.

    So please, If your considering getting a puppy, research before you buy, ensuring you are buying from a reputable breeder, or even better Rescue a dog (old or young) from a local animal shelter. There are so many dogs out there in the world that do not have loving homes.

    I myself, researched the breed of dog I bought (I have a 14 week old Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog that I got at 8 weeks 1 day old.) for months and months before actually getting one. Checking genetic problems, disposition, history. I also knew the breeder quite well (I've known her for around eight years now) But I also researched other breeders, spoke to many of them on the phone and made sure I had a vet all lined up and ready to meet my pup the second I got him home.
    Me getting him from a breeder did require me to follow a written contract, stating I must take him within 72 hours of bringing him home, to a vet to get a checkup and ensure he was a healthy dog. I also have to get him checked for Hip Displaysia around the age of two years old (as I've also been told by vets that due to a dog growing you cannot get a dog tested for this until two years as there is more bone versus cartilage in their body and it is clear on the x-ray scan if they have displaysia or not.) And in the contract I am also supposed to get all his shots, and provide the best love and care I can (which I would have done in the first place) or the breeder has the right (at my own expensive) to take the dog back from me.

    Also on a parting note, please spay or neuter your pets to prevent unwanted pregnancies and other health problems.

    ( my pup is not fixed but he is breeding quality, first pick of the litter and is going to be used as a stud dog for the breed, so I know I am not practicing what I preach but I have done extensive research on genetics, including not breeding merle dogs to another merle dog as it creates a lethal gene {which occurs not only in this breed but any breed of dog})
    Lucky098's Avatar
    Lucky098 Posts: 2,594, Reputation: 543
    Ultra Member

    Jun 21, 2010, 10:00 PM

    Great post!

    We keep our rescue puppies until they're 10wks. 80% of the time we get the puppies from the shelter. They need time to get their feet on the ground and figure out what's going on. Also, at the age of 9wks, they all start to go there separate ways and are ready for their new homes. At 9wks, they're looking for attention from people. Most breeders don't keep puppies that long due to all the work and food they consume. 8wks is the legal age puppies can be sold. There are a select few in my state that sell at 10wks. I wish more breeders would do it.

    Be careful with using your dog as a stud dog. I would hope you have all breeding rights to your dog and not the breeder. Things get ugly fast when your basically leasing the dog. I would also hope you get the money for the breedings. I just don't agree with the breeders taking breeding rights from the owners. Ever aspect of the dog should be yours. Quite honestly, full males are very hard to handle.. Adding the bully part of it.. Have fun ;)

    Also, you don't need to eat your own words. Responsible dog owners can have intact dogs that are not allowed to wander the neighborhood. There is a huge difference between responsible pet owners and irresponsible pet owner.

    But good post :)
    Habitat4Dogs's Avatar
    Habitat4Dogs Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jun 22, 2010, 12:47 AM
    7- weeks, but no later than eight if you are buying them. After eight there is no reason to pay a breeder for a puppy. If you are set on buying a puppy please download and read, “How To Buy A Puppy” before you consider parting with your money. It is free at

    Buying a puppy without problems is harder than most people think. Finding a responsible and knowledgeable breeder is very difficult.
    shazamataz's Avatar
    shazamataz Posts: 6,642, Reputation: 1244
    Uber Member

    Jun 22, 2010, 01:35 AM

    Binx, I have added your post (and others) to the useful info sticky.
    Very good post!
    Aurora_Bell's Avatar
    Aurora_Bell Posts: 4,193, Reputation: 822
    Dogs Expert

    Aug 2, 2010, 02:41 PM
    A warning to dog owners.
    I just wanted to share this story, in hopes that it will educate pet owners on the dangers of "dog toys". Warning, this is not for the weak of heart.

    This week end, while my family and I were camping, our close friend and neighbor lost their 7 year old Golden Retriever. Samsung was playing catch with his owners, they were using a regular green tennis ball. Sammy, bit into the ball and it sprung back and got lodged into his throat. Instincitvley his owner reached in and tried to grab the tennis ball, only lodging it further in his throat. Sammy spent several painstakingly long minutes gagging and choking to death. Samsung literally choked to death on his favorite toy.

    Tennis balls were always a no-no in our home, not only are they a huge choking hazard, but they are horrible on their teeth. They break apart very easily and are known to have pieces break off and get lodged into the dogs gum and teeth. The tennis ball fuzz is very abrasive and can wear teeth down to the nerves.

    What To Do If Your Dog Chokes On A Tennis Ball

    If you find your dog choking on a tennis ball, you need to act quickly.

    The first thing you need to do is get your dog, and if he's a big dog, then straddle him. Open your dog's mouth.

    If the tennis ball is further down in your dog's throat, then you will need to roll the ball out of your dog's throat. Here's how:

    * On the outside of your dog's throat, roll the ball up his throat and into his mouth.
    * Then, open your dog's mouth and once the ball is within reach grab the tennis ball.

    Just remember the faster you get the item unstuck and out of your dog's mouth, the better your dog's odds of surviving.

    If your dog has something stuck in his throat and cannot breathe at all, then chances are you don't have time to get to the vet. It will be up to you to save your dog's life. If someone else is in the house, yell for them to assist you in getting the item out of your dog's throat. The lesson here is this: If your dog isn't breathing, don't go looking for help -- because once you find help, it may be too late.

    I urge ANY pet owner to take a look at this site. It has some great links on safe and unsafe pet toys available.

    Warning: Dog Tennis Ball Dangers! - The Fun Times Guide to Dogs
    redhed35's Avatar
    redhed35 Posts: 4,221, Reputation: 1910
    Ultra Member

    Aug 2, 2010, 02:52 PM

    That must have been horrific for the owners.

    I have to admit in years gone by with bigger dogs a tennis ball was always on hand,as I became more educated on animal care,safer toys were/are used.

    Thank God I have no horrific dog stories,sad ones,but no horrific ones.

    The link was good,very informative.
    shazamataz's Avatar
    shazamataz Posts: 6,642, Reputation: 1244
    Uber Member

    Aug 3, 2010, 02:19 AM

    Great post Bella, and very scary.
    Mine do play with tennis balls, especially at the park, but they are small and can barely fit them in their mouths let alone swallow them.
    Still something to think about though.
    Aurora_Bell's Avatar
    Aurora_Bell Posts: 4,193, Reputation: 822
    Dogs Expert

    Aug 3, 2010, 07:49 AM

    Yes, the risk definitely runs higher with larger dogs, but I thought the links were worth a look at for all size dogs. :)
    shazamataz's Avatar
    shazamataz Posts: 6,642, Reputation: 1244
    Uber Member

    Aug 3, 2010, 08:01 AM

    You should merge this thread in with the sticky "useful info from members..." or whatever it's called lol that way it'll be on hand.
    Leave it here for a while though for the people who don't read stickies :rolleyes:
    Aurora_Bell's Avatar
    Aurora_Bell Posts: 4,193, Reputation: 822
    Dogs Expert

    Aug 3, 2010, 08:02 AM

    Oh dear, my merging skills aren't the best, but I'll give it a whirl in a few days. Thanks Shazzy!

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