Getting a new puppy or dog to bring into the family is such an exciting thing, but sometimes you get your precious new pup or dog home and realize that it’s just not working out. Maybe Jed the Labrador has too much energy and is acting out or Pudge the pug can’t keep up on your walks and outdoor adventures. These instances are no fun and so very avoidable.
When we decide it’s time for that new pup, we need to think about what we want to do with him, what is our lifestyle like. Are we active people or couch potatoes? How much time do we want to spend grooming? Do we dislike dog fur all over the place? Sometimes there is a particular breed of dog that we just love the looks of and that’s great but is it a good fit? All of these things and more we need to address when picking out our new friend.
If you’re an active person then a lab, golden retriever or standard poodle might be a good dog for you. But wait… you don’t want to have to be brushing a dog all the time. Well that removes the golden retriever from your list and, oh no, you don’t like lots of shedding, there goes the lab. Which leaves the standard poodle….. Smart, loves the water, active, easy to train, low shedding but does need to go to the groomer for hair cuts.
Not really an outdoorsy active person, no problem. There are pugs, shih tzus, lhasa apsos, chihuahuas, mastiffs and lots of other lower energy dogs with different grooming needs and shedding levels.
All dogs need regular, daily exercise to burn physical energy and enrichment activities to burn mental energy but some need more than others. It’s best to choose a dog whose energy level matches or is a bit lower than your own. A dog that is not properly exercised and trained can very easily become destructive and unruly.
So when you’re ready for your next dog, ask yourself these questions:
For a list of dog breeds and their breed requirements please check out the AKC list of dog breeds https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/ and of course don’t hesitate to contact us at 618-923-1871 if you have any questions about picking out the perfect companion.
Losing a pet is so hard. There are options for handling the loss of your faithful companion other than a plain burial at home or cremation through a veterinarian's office.
Maxton-Rosado Funeral Home and Cremation Center has a wonderful pet loss service. They go above and beyond to help you say a special goodbye to your beloved companion. Click on the link below to see the services they offer.
House Breaking Protocol
The following is the process we have found most effective for housebreaking puppies and dogs. At the heart of it is limiting our dogs to their only option of eliminating outside. To accomplish this we will need to crate our dogs when we are unable to keep a close eye on them. Below are the steps as if we are starting in the morning with our puppy or dog having been in the crate overnight.
Taking out to potty:
If they have done all their business when taken out, then they can be free around the house with only a limited amount of focus on them for a period of time that is approximately ½ of the total amount of time that they have shown you they can regularly hold it. If you are just starting and are unsure, our rule of thumb for puppies is 1 hour per month of age or for adult dogs (over a year old) starting at two hours. This limited amount of focus does not mean they have run of the house.
So a puppy 6 months old should be able to hold it for around 6 hours when awake and active, but we would only allow them minimal supervised free time for 3 hours.
After the minimal supervised free time has elapsed we will need to start the process over again. When your dog is showing you it can regularly hold it for the minimally supervised free time, then bump the time by about 30 minutes.
If they do not potty or only do one when you take them out:
We have two options in this situation:
If you keep them out, you must keep enough focus on them that they can’t sneak behind the couch or into another room and have an accident. I usually recommend attaching them to you with a leash or use an x-pen or baby gates to limit roaming.
In either case you will need to start taking them back out to potty every 30 minutes to an hour and rely on the above protocol to decide the amount of minimally supervised freedom we can give them, if any.
If you catch them pottying in the house:
If your dog has snuck off to potty and you catch them in the act, clap your hands loudly and give a stern “No!”. Then quickly take them out and start the potty process to give them a chance to go.
If you come across an accident after the fact:
Clean up the mess. There is nothing you can do at this point to reprimand your dog that they will associate it with pottying in the house.
Enrichment stimulates your dogs mind and body, keeps them busy, learning, engaging in activities that use their senses and can provide an outlet for the specific drives for their breed.
There are all kinds of things that you can do with your dog to provide enrichment. Below I will list some ideas but you can also do an internet search for....dog enrichment ideas.
Dog food puzzles
Hiding treats around the house and yard for your dog to find
A nice walk through the woods on a long leash to allow exploring and sniffing
Game of tug with rules
Game of chase and catch with a flirt pole
Wally, our Akita, trying to figure out his puzzle.