Raising ...

Raising a puppy

Raising a young dog

training an adult dog

Raising a puppy

After the puppy is brought to the new home, you have to give him a chance to get to know his new environment. If you do take him for a walk, you make sure, that these walks are not too long and that he does not get in contact with other dogs, until all his shots were given to him. You should avoid to take him places, which other dogs use for their "toilet". You have to continue this procedure until the puppy is twelve weeks old. Then the vet will give him his last vaccination. After the puppy turned three months old you should take him for walks in different places, let him get to know all sorts of things, let strangers pet him, let children play with him etc. If another dog crosses your way on them walks, you make sure, that your puppy shows friendly signs. Continually barking towards the other dog you should not allow. You tell him "no" in a harsh tone until he stops, then you immediately praise him to let him know he done well. To praise a dog immediately after he done what you want him to do, is the most important aspect in training a dog. Do not correct the dog, if something happened awhile ago. This could be fatal for the trust between you and your puppy.
Also you make sure, that the puppy will get all his needs he will have to have to become a healthy animal. This includes his well balanced food, which means, that you will give him all the nutrition he heeds for his development three times a day until he is six months old, but you will give him not too much of it, so he does not become overweight, especially while his bones are still soft, they easily could get deformed. You make sure, that he will get enough sleep. Young children grow in their sleep and so do dogs. Especially if you have children living at your house, you have to let them know, not to disturb the puppy while he is sleeping. There is plenty of time, when the children can play with the pup.

Speaking of children and dogs. I would like to say a few words about this. I did have people come to my place and ask to buy a pup from us for their child, which we certainly did not agree with. Families should never buy a dog for their children, like they buy them toys. A puppy is not a toy and a child can never be a leader for this dog. The dog will play with the child, he will protect the child and he will probably be the best friend of the child, but it is the parents task, in fact either the father or the mother, to raise the pup. The parents, better one of them, should be the "leader" for the dog. By nature the dog lives in a pack. In a pack there is one leader. He will lead the pack into the right direction. If the little once act up, he will correct them. He will teach them how to hunt and he will give the whole pack security, which is most important for the pack to survive. A leader of a pack is usually a very smart and dominant animal. Since a child itself is going through development, he or she can never be this leader. Only an adult person can consequently raise a pup and lead him into the right direction. That person also has to have knowledge in how to understand the dogs way.

By the time the young dog is about six months old, you should start feeding him twice a day and your every day walks can be extended. Over here in Germany we do x-ray our dogs with the age of twelve months. If the dog is dysplasia free you can start to let him run besides a bicycle. First you start slowly. The distance should not extend more then two miles. With each month you can put more and more miles on to it, until you reach about ten miles. Your dog should be around 16 months old. Of course you do these exercises either in the morning or in the evening, but do not exercise your dog during the day while it is hot.

Copyright Dagmar Anderson 2001