for new puppies:
remember that your puppy is a BABY
and needs naps often when it is young!
First, although it will seem obvious, reward
good behaviour, especially when training. It is
for your puppy to know how to please you (most dogs will want to please
and get rewarded) and your puppy also needs to know what you don't
Reward can be praise given in a loving tone, reward can be a food
but your puppy will learn quicker if it is promptly made obvious what
is doing that is getting it all these good things!
Puppies and Children
Never allow children to pick the puppy up from
behind and unsupported as the puppy may instinctively react as though a
predator such as a hawk or eagle has struck and the puppy may scream,
bite, scratch and learn that its’ home is not a safe
Your Home Please
puppy-proof the area that the puppy will be in! Although your
puppy needs to learn to behave and not to chew backpacks, kids toys and
shoes, it would be best if it learns these lessons on a pair of old
runners, not your child's brand new wheelie shoes or your new handbag...
slap or hit a puppy to discipline it.
Dogs understand glowers, growls, nips, shaking the scruff of the
Striking is what bears, cats and humans do and is not appropriate
for a dog! It will make them hand-shy as they will not be
if you are lifting a hand to their head to pet them or to hit them.
Calling Your Puppy
Try and make a practice to always use their name
in a nice tone that they WANT to respond to! Save the growly
voice for some other words such as “bad
dog” or “no”. You want
them to perk their ears when they hear their name and associate it with
good things like belly rubs and treats!
A note about treats... most store-bought treats/biscuits are
of preservatives and cheap ingredients that can cause allergies.
Most of us buy the best dog food we can, hypo-allergenic, no GMO, no
grains known to cause allergies... and then we give them treats loaded
with all this junk. Please choose treats that your dog is not
Establishing Pack Order
most effective training methods use the instincts
that your dog is born with to train with. How to discipline,
to discipline and how much to discipline are all important.
pack order is very important in a dog's life... it is how the
functions in the wild, and YOU are now its' pack!
and your family/kids as higher in the pack is not being mean, and your
puppy will be happy just to know where it fits in the pack regardless
if it is at the 'bottom of the pecking order' or not. But I guarantee
you that your family will be happier if the dog is not at the top of
order! No dog will obey you or be a pleasure to
be around if it "outranks
you" and is at the top of the pecking order; it will only obey those
are higher in the pecking order than itself.
should always be fed last and you and your
family eat first. In the wild, the pack leader eats first,
by the others in order of dominance in the pack. Your puppy
to know that ALL members of your family outrank it or the puppy will
that it is right for it to establish dominance over family members
by nipping, growling and other doggy dominance behaviors.
have young children, teach your puppy that
it must be invited to eat when you put the food down. That
doesn’t just barge in and be rude about it. After
it has learned
that with you, your children can take turns feeding it so it learns to
mind your children also.
children (with your supervision) should not
only practice giving the puppy treats where it takes them gently, but
should also take treats or toys away and the puppy must not be allowed
to growl or nip. Then the treat/toy is given back.
is that ANYBODY in your family should be able to take anything out of
dog’s mouth and it will permit it. This is also for
safety as there
will be times when the pup has something in its’ mouth that
(like a small ball it could choke on) and you need to be able to go
its’ mouth safely. Make sure that kids don't do this
as a teasing game!
puppy should not be allowed to nip or bite.
It is not teething, it is establishing dominance. Neither is
run-and-I’ll-bite-the-hem-of-your-jeans game a good
idea... what is cute
as a puppy is a menace when the half grown “puppy”
does it to the kids
or your visiting elderly grandmother!
teaching all our puppies not to nip by
either closing their mouth if they do nip or by
“biting” back and waiting
for the puppy to open its’ mouth and back
Pinch the upper or lower jaw of the puppy with your fingers and
The object is to make it uncomfortable but not painful.
the mother dog uses with her puppies
mother dog uses a variety of techniques to
train her puppies to respect her and to teach them the 'social graces'
of doggy society. You
will note that a mother dog NEVER smacks or
strikes her puppies! In order of increasing
seriousness, the mother
will discipline as follows:
Glower and walk away
3. Growl and nip
(pinching can imitate this)
4. Grab (bite) the scruff of the neck and shake
5. Grab (bite) the scruff of the neck and hold
the offending puppy to the ground until it stops struggling,
growling while doing so.
If you do use #5, it is
important that it not be done
for minor naughtiness, as it is a serious action. If you use
severe discipline, you are being a bully. Also, once you
use #5, do not release the scruff and let the puppy
up UNTIL it
stops struggling, even if it scratches, cries, struggles,
If you do, the puppy has won that particular dominance struggle and
that it does not have to listen to you as the puppy is the boss/pack
not you! Using #5 (or any of these disciplines) does not hurt
the puppy, but it does teach
it that it is not the pack leader. This is important, as in
world, dogs lower in the pack order do not discipline dogs/beings that
are higher in the pack order. You want your dog to know that
lower in your ''pack/family" than your kids, neighbors, neighbor kids,
etc, etc. After all, you do not want your puppy
(soon to be
an adult) disciplining (growling at, nipping) your children!
Poodles are a less dominant breed than some others
(they are not huskies or pit bulls after all!), but they are still
dogs and have the same instincts that can be used successfully for
is also a place for using “time-outs” for
your puppy too. 5 or 10 minutes is reasonable, 2 hours is not!
Training your puppy
new here, it's been said by many
others, but consistency when doing this stage of training is absolutely
important! All babies do best on a routine or schedule...
Here's a sample schedule for an 8 week old puppy:
first thing when you get up in the morning, get rewarded, then I have
breakfast and feed the puppy.
outside for a potty again after breakfast, gets rewarded, plays for a
while (1/2 hour to an hour) and goes in its' crate for a nap.
puppy wakes up after an hour or two, it goes immediately outside for a
is awake for a while, goes out every half hour for a potty.
eat lunch and feed the puppy.
goes outside for a potty after a meal, gets rewarded and then goes for
a nap in the crate.
it wakes up, it goes outside for a potty, gets rewarded, and comes back
inside to play for a while... you get the idea!
need to be
with your puppy and watch it like a hawk the WHOLE time it is out with
you. To start with, try taking it outside every half hour to
pee, and reward the puppy IMMEDIATELY when it goes potty. I
bring the treat out with me so I can give it to the puppy as it's
peeing! Puppies will circle and squat just before peeing, so
you are watching, you can catch it just before it starts to pee or just
as it begins, and quickly take it outside (with your treat
can't watch the puppy like a hawk, it
can go in its' crate for a short while, and then you can still take it
out every half hour to pee.
Night-time Pottying Your
puppy will need to pee in the middle of the night at least once
for the first number of weeks that it is in its' new home. It
also reasonable to remove the water dish in the evening after supper is
finished, and this can help the puppy to hold its' bladder overnight
when they are old enough to do so.
it cannot hold its' bladder for even half an hour in its' crate, take
it to your vet as it likely has a bladder infection that requires
immediate antibiotics! Girl puppies are more succeptible to
bladder infections than boys, but boys can get them too! In
later stages of a bladder infection, you will see blood in the pee,
sometimes LOTS of it. If you can catch it in the early
is much better for the puppy... (If you are familiar with
homeopathics, they can often be used successfully to treat bladder
Sometimes if the urine is too acidic, crystals can form in
bladder, which can give symptoms similar to a bladder infection but
without an infection. We have used cranberry capsules
on our dogs for this. Also, there are pet products one can
purchase over the internet that naturally alter the ph of the urine to
help treat or prevent this problem. As always, it is best to
check with a qualified wholistic vet before treating syptoms
are having training issues with your
puppy, regardless of what breed it is or who you got it from, we
that you have a dog trainer come to your home and offer suggestions or
coaching. Often, seemingly small changes in what you are
make big differences in your dog's behaviour.
We recommend that you find a trainer experienced with many types of
problems including aggression. Our experience has been that trainers
unexperienced and/or unsuccessful with aggression problems are also
more likely to use distractions/treats/rewards rather than also
teaching you how to discipline your puppy. Puppies will NEED
discipline as well as rewards if they are to learn good manners!
We highly recommend the National Geographic program called
"The Dog Whisperer" as well. He is very common sense and
practical, and his methods work!
We are also
for support over the phone or by email for our puppy families, but
a trained person observe you and your dog's interaction is something
we cannot do over the phone or via email ...