DESIGNER PUPPYS: Everything you wanted to know about raising designer or mixed breed dogs,
featuring The BOYZ: Prince Alvin His Cuteness (on left) and Sir Simon The Sad, Cockapoo pups.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Puppy House Training Schedule - Why You Cannot House Train Your Puppy Without One

Have you ever tried going on a trip without directions to get to your destination? The same level of frustration occurs when you house train without a written schedule!

Why You Need A Written Plan
Three compelling reasons for using a puppy house training schedule are as follows:
  • The goal is to house break the puppy as quickly as possible. A schedule will help minimize accidents. The fewer the number of accidents, the sooner the dog will be house trained.

  • A puppy does not have the muscular maturation to hold his eliminations until he is about 16 weeks old. Before that, a schedule will help develop proper house training habits.

  • If there is more than one family member helping out, a schedule enables communication. It will also minimize finger pointing and assigning blame for accidents.

Activities You Can Plan
The major objection to a house training schedule – “I don’t know when the dog is going to pee or poop!”

Yes, you do – and here is a list of the times when you know the pup has to eliminate:
  • When he gets up in the morning.

  • After he eats.

  • After a nap (they are predictable).

  • After he plays or exercises for more than a few minutes.

  • Before he goes to sleep for the night.
Depending on his age, he'll need to go out at night (the formula is every (puppy age in months plus 1) hours). So a 2-month old pup will go out about every 3 hours over night. Don't be alarmed, this is only a guideline.

Now it’s up to you – jumpstart your dog’s potty training with The Perfectly Housetrained Puppy or leave it all up to the canine gods!


P.S. You can HOPE your puppy or dog will develop into a well-trained companion or DISCOVER how to make it happen! Click here to find out more.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Puppy Crate Training Tips - Ten Things NOT To Do When You Crate Train

You just got a new puppy or dog. You are very excited. You look up all the puppy crate training tips and information online. Your puppy is going to be house trained in 7 days or less. Uh huh!

Dream on - dude or dudette!

Let's look at these puppy crate training tips from another perspective. Listen to an expert at trying house training methods.

Five Things NOT To Do When You Crate Train A Puppy

- Use a crate that's too big for the puppy. Install the divider that comes with the crate. Otherwise, the pup will find a place to eliminate out of his sleeping area.

- Toss the pup into his crate on the first night without a proper crate to puppy introduction.

- Force a puppy into his crate.

- Remove the pup from the crate at the first sign of whining or crying.

- Leave a puppy crated all day and then crate him at night.

Five MORE Things NOT To Do When You Crate Train A Puppy

- Forget to take the pup out before you crate him over night.

- Refuse to drag your ugly butt out of bed when a 2-month old puppy whines, cries, and barks at 2 am.

- Tease a puppy in a crate. If you were imprisoned in a box, would you appreciate your captors poking at you through the prison bars?

- Scream and yell at a puppy that's crying and whining in his crate.

and my favorite of the puppy crate training tips that you should NOT do . . .

- Take the puppy out of the crate and put him in bed with you. You are asking for all sorts of puppy elimination where you sleep. Yuck!

Read 'em Again and Let 'em Sink In

Read these DON'T DO's one more time before you start crate training a puppy. Let them sink in. Then decide what to do at 2 am - put the pup in bed with you or put up with the noise?

Resources For Crate Training Your Puppy

You can HOPE your puppy or dog will develop into a well-trained companion or DISCOVER how to make it happen! Find expert guidance from experienced dog trainers at

More puppy house trainings tips.

Free Secrets to Dog Training 6-Day Course

Sent to your email, this course covers selected training tips and methods used in Secrets to Dog Training.

The Dog Training 6-day course is FREE with absolutely no obligation whatsoever.

Click and scroll down a bit. The Secrets to Dog Training 6-Day Course sign up box is on the right.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Training A New Puppy - Critical Topics To Understand

This post addresses 3 critical topics you will need to address when training a new puppy: correcting puppy biting, house training, and leash training.

These areas can be tough to handle for a new owner. There's a lot of information to digest.

The first two topics (correcting biting and house training) need to be tackled as soon as your puppy arrives in your home.

Correcting Puppy Biting
Biting and nipping are common puppy training problems. Correcting them is a 2-step procedure: stop the biting or nipping with a noise that will distract the pup, and then quickly substitute an item the puppy can bite, like a toy or bone.

House Training Tips
To expedite puppy house training, you may decide you want to use a crate. Here are two important puppy crate training tips:

  • Introduce your puppy to the crate before you actually crate him for a period of time.
  • Once the pup is crated for the night, do not give in to his whining UNLESS you suspect he may need to eliminate.

Another important house training tip - develop a written puppy housing training schedule. A schedule takes a lot of the guesswork out of the house training process and helps with communication among family members.

Leash Training
The third topic, leash training, is probably the most requested training subject in obedience classes. Even if you are attending obedience classes, it will be helpful to read about leash training. You may pick up information to ask about in the classes.

This topic can be separated into two sections: preparation and choosing a method for leash training a puppy.

Preparing for leash training puppies involves choosing the correct collar and the proper training environment to minimize distractions.

You can choose a leash training method by researchinng the internet, talking to a trainer, reading books by training experts, watching a obedience DVD, or actually taking obedience classes with your dog.

Monday, October 26, 2009

My Dog Keeps Vomiting - What Can I Do?

When your dog keeps vomiting, there's not much you can do except call the vet or emergency clinic. Or so I found out last Friday night.

Friday’s Events
Alvin was lethargic all day, but was eating and drinking water. At 10:30 pm, he woke up from a nap and lost his dinner on the couch. I fed him water, a definite "should not do," because he vomited the water, too.

Over the next several hours he vomited about every half hour. I called the emergency dog clinic - they said to bring him to the vet in the morning or bring him into the clinic. The vomiting had stopped, so I opted to wait and call the vet.

Saturday’s Events
Saturday morning he vomited clear fluid. I brought him to the vet’s office. The vet suspected Alvin had eaten something that caused the vomiting.

Here’s how vets commonly treat vomiting in dogs

  • The vet took Alvin’s temperature – it was slightly elevated.
  • Alvin got a shot to arrest the vomiting.
  • He got water intravenously in the form of a bubble on his back because he was dehydrated.
  • He’s taking antibiotics.
  • The vet gave water and feeding directions.
  • The vet said that if he vomits again, stop all water and food and call the vet’s office. Subsequent vomiting may indicate some other condition; for example, an intestinal blockage.

As of this writing, he seems to be recovering. The real test is today (Monday) when he eats close to normal amounts of food.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wooly Bear Gets Groomed - Now Resembles Cockapoo Pup

Back from the groomers and took a few shots of Wooly Bear (Simon) and Alvin. Simon now looks like a Cockapoo puppy instead of a little bear. And for a dog who constantly wants to eat, he looks a wee bit puny. Must be the hair he lost.

Alvin's eyes really stand out after the grooming. You can tell he's half Bichon. What a difference. Now I have to learn how to get these looks after grooming.

The before pics are on this post.

The after pics are as follows:
Simon: Wooly Bear as a Cockapoo Puppy

Alvin: The Eyes Are The Best Feature


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

We're Off to See the Groomer - the Gracious Groomer of Perfect Pets

OK, I said I wouldn't pay for a groomer again because it was so expensive. And it worked for several months with the DIY grooming except for one serious flaw - Simon looks like a miniature woolly bear. He does NOT appreciate the clippers or the scissors OR the nail trimmer.

The rationale is that since Alvin was groomed several times and seems comfortable with the grooming equipment, maybe Simon will too. Maybe not. We'll see.

This groomer is way cheaper than the mobile one, but I have to travel 20 minutes each way with Pupsky 1 and 2, both of whom like to puke in the car. They haven't christened my car yet.

Here's before pictures of the little monsters taken yesterday:

Here's hoping they both look much better tomorrow!


Monday, October 19, 2009

Obedience Training For Puppies - The Leave It Command

Alvin Demonstrates Leave It - The Cookie Is Left!
One of the most valuable commands in puppy obedience training is Leave It. If you add these words to your pup's vocabulary, you can prevent destruction of items of value and ensure your pup's safety.

As explained in the It's Pawsible! Dog Training and Puppy Training DVD, teaching the command is done in phases. (If you are unfamiliar with this instructional tool, it emphasizes basic obedience training for puppies and dogs.)

In Phase 1 of the Leave It command, your pup is on a leash so he can't get the treat you want him to wait for. You (hopefully) can forget the leash in Phase 2. And in Phase 3, not only is he off leash, but he has to do something else before he can get the treat. See Puppy Training Tip - The Leave It Command for details.

Alvin's trained to Leave It. He demos the command in the VID here.

Simon's too much of a chowhound - he's still on leash, but I see the encouraging signs of less strain on the leash and more restraint on his part.

My experience is that although the Leave It command takes a while to perfect, it's worth the effort. Say the command at the right moment, and your obedient pup will literally Leave It (alone). If it's something dangerous, like scissors or a knife, you've saved the pup from injury. If's it's a dangerous substance, like a prescription pill, you've saved a trip to the vet.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Counterpoint: Best Dog For Retirees - Mixed Breed or Purebred? Shelter Dog Or Puppy? Blog: Money discusses the best dogs for retirees. It's strange that the blog mentions pure breed dogs only, but the printed version adds "any mixes of these breeds are great."

So what IS the real recommendation, Mr. Daughtery? Why leave out an important point? Mixed breeds can easily meet the needs of retirees. For example, how about a cockapoo, a dog that can combine the best attributes of a poodle and a cocker spaniel? See this post for Why Cockapoos Are THE Best Designer Dogs.

Could You Resist Simon, the Cockapoo Pup Pictured Above?

And one other point. Although I initially agreed with Mr. Daughtery's panel of experts about a retiree getting an adult shelter dog versus a puppy, I wonder what prompted this statement. An adult shelter dog can be just as time-consuming as a puppy and may be harder to handle. It's harder to bond with a misbehaving adult dog than with a cuddly puppy.

Comments Please!


P.S. Here's an effective obedience training DVD for a retiree with a new pup -
It's PAWSible! Dog and Puppy Training DVD.

See my review of this training DVD.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ten Reasons Why COCKAPOOS Are The Best Designer Dogs

Simon Sez:
"I'm a young mixed breed dog, a Cockapoo.
I look a lot like my dad Spotty,
a Cocker Spaniel."

What is a Cockapoo? No, it's not a vulgar expression, but a mixed breed dog. If you mate a cocker spaniel (American or English) with a Poodle, the result is a Cockapoo. For the most part, the size of the poodle determines the size of the offspring.

According to the Wikipedia definition of cockapoo, breeders usually choose a toy or minature poodle as one parent. On average, a full-grown Cockapoo weighs 12 to 24 pounds and stands 10 to 15 inches.

Most people think designer dogs represent a recent trend that eventually will fade away. But Cockapoos have been bred since the early 1940's. Contrary to what most designer dog naysayers believe, this mixed breed dog is not a fad.

Here's ten reasons why Cockapoos are the best designer dogs:
1. They can be small dogs (toy poodle/cocker spaniel combination), but not so small you can easily step on and hurt them.
2. They are all different - one might look like a poodle, another more like a cocker spaniel.
3. They are sweet dogs. And they are truly affectionate dogs. Maybe not necessarily lap dogs, but certainly owner-loyal.
4. If you are allergic to dogs, you probably won't react to a Cockapoo pup. Their coats are hair, not fur.
5. They love people and will wiggle their butts when their owner walks in the door and when they meet people on the street.
6. They are easily housetrained (relative to other types of dogs) and obedience-trained.
7. They are extremely photogenic (and easy to photograph).
8. They are energetic and playful.
9. People have a good time guessing what mix/breed they are. Alvin is a Bichon Cockapoo and looks a lot like a Bichon Frise; that really confuses some people.
10. You meet a lot of people when you walk your cockapoo pup!


P.S. Here's an effective obedience training DVD for your Cockapoo puppy or dog -
It's PAWSible! Dog and Puppy Training DVD.

See my review of this training DVD.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Read This BEFORE You Get A New Puppy Or Dog

This post is written by the frustrated owner of 2 puppies, 8 months and 4 months old. Honestly, I would never give up these dogs. They're adorable, sweet pups.

On the other hand, when they've both peed on the rug, like this morning, I wonder if I'll ever have 2 housebroken dogs. Or if they'll ever walk on a leash without pulling. Or if both of them will sleep through the night.

I won't give up. There is no giving up in dog training. They will be housetrained and (relatively) well-behaved dogs.

So, before you get a new puppy, think about the time and effort you'll need to invest in training and caring for your new pet. It's worth every second, and your investment will return positive results. AND it won't happen overnight. Or over a few months.

Best of luck with your new pup! Be patient! Be consistent! Be calm!

Here's an effective obedience training DVD for owners with new puppies or dogs.

See my review of this training DVD It's PAWSible! Dog and Puppy Training DVD


Monday, October 12, 2009

Two Puppies or Three?

I have two Cockapoo pups, Alvin and Simon.

Where did the dog in the middle come from?

Seriously, sometimes Alvin and Simon look like stuffed animals, but even I did a double-take on this photo.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

'Tis the Season For Canine Lyme Disease

As I was sweeping the leaves off the deck after a recent rain, I remembered the vet tech's warning - fall is the season for ticks - Simon should be vaccinated against Lyme disease. Alvin already had the vaccination in the spring.

I haven't found any ticks on either dog since last spring. But as soon as they start playing in the leaves, the potential for a deer tick bite (and possible Lyme disease) increases exponentially. Also, the deer ticks are the size of a sesame seed - how am I supposed to find one in thick Cockapoo hair?

Both dogs are protected by Frontline Plus, but all that means is the pesticide kills ticks within 48 hours of landing on the animal. It still can attach to the skin and bite.

And if you think because you live outside of Connecticut, you don't have to worry about Lyme disease (named after a town in Connecticut), you best re-evaluate that thinking:Map from

Guess Simon and I best be taking another trip to the vet's office!


Friday, October 9, 2009

COME Command Not Working? Solution: The Recall Game!

Does your dog look the other way when you say Come?
(This is Alvin's modus operandi)

RECALL This! I Ain't Moving.

Or does he run happily to you EVERY time you use the Come command?
(This is Simon's modus operandi)

So what happened so that one dog ignores the command and the other enthusiastically bounds to you every time you issue the command?

DRUM ROLL please!

Training of course! And taking advantage of puppy shadowing. And playing The Recall Game!

How can you find out about The Recall Game? On a dog forum! Many dog forum threads are fluff, or drippy, or spam. But on occasion, a thread will communicate a workable idea.

The Recall Game is such a post. It's a step-by-step explanation of how to get your dog to come every time, no exceptions. Best of all - your dog will love playing this game!


P.S. Always remember (and never forget) to check out the "Bible" of Dog Training, the best-selling Kingdom of Pets Secrets To Dog Training:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

More Obedience Tips From the Certified Dog Trainer

Simon Sez: "But I AM Down"

Yesterday was the third puppy social Simon and I attended. We both gain from these events. He socializes and I learn from the trainer-in-charge who held an informal mini-class for the owners.

Here's the tips I picked up from the social:

Instant Down Command
You want your pup to lie down without a hand signal. Say the word Down BEFORE you lure the dog into a down. Saying Down as you lure doesn't work. The action requires a lot of repetition.

Training Food
I'm using hotdogs as training treats. Problem is - Alvin and Simon are refusing their normal meals of kibbles - they expect hotdogs at meal time.

The trainer's comment was a simple "They won't starve themselves. They'll learn that meal time doesn't include hotdogs." In other words, don't worry about it!

Train Stay and Come As Separate Commands
I got into the habit as requesting a Stay followed by a Come. I noticed the dogs' anticipation of Come after a Stay. They both start moving to the expected reward.

These two commands should NOT be coupled to avoid the reaction I noticed.

These training tweaks are incorporated into the do-it-yourself DVD and Dog Training Guide I've been referencing (see Time To Check With The Experts), but I've been ignoring my own advice! Duh!


1-800-PetMeds Chalkboard/234x60.gif

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

In the Moment - Dogs Are Truly Opportunists!

After caring for two puppies for the past several months, I've discovered they can teach you something new every day.

Dogs use their senses to take advavantage of NOW and enjoy every second of it. They do not worry about what happened the day before or what'll happen tomorrow. The only second that counts is this one!

In this series of pictures above, Alvin initially plays with the ball and then bites into it. Of course it deflates. But he is an opportunist, and he and Simon turn the delated ball into a tug-of-war toy.

Wow - people can learn a lot just by observing dog's in-the-moment behavior!


Sunday, October 4, 2009

When Did Dogs Learn How To Untie Knots?

Today we went on a Memory Walk for Alzheimer's at a park on the CT shoreline. We gots shirts. The boys Alvin and Simon got bandanas with a seashore theme. And we helped the Alzheimer's cause.

The boys met a lot of new dogs and people, walked in puddles, got dirty, thirsty, and hungry. Both were exhausted when we got home, but woke up several hours later ready to roll.

They went outside to do dog stuff like eat grass and chase balls. Somehow, Simon (Houdini) managed to untie the bandana around Alvin's neck. Since when do dogs untie knots? The bandana became the new tug-of-war toy. Is this a new dog magic trick?


Friday, October 2, 2009

Leash Training Tips From Certified Dog Trainers

In a recent post ( I explained the Gentle Leader as a tool for Leash Training.

But I had to temporarily postpone Alvin's Gentle Leader training due to a muzzle scratch. So I asked the puppy social leader (a certified trainer) how to train with the regular collar. She explained that leash training requires patience, time, and a highly desirable reward for positive behavior.

OK. Time I have. Patience is wearing thin. A highly desirable reward for positive behavior - can do. What's highly desirable? It's dog dependent and both Alvin and Simon love hotdogs. Yeah - it's baloney and not the best food. Another choice - pieces of chicken.

The leash training concept is easy in theory - reward ONLY when the dog walks by your side with a loose leash. Stop walking when the dog pulls or lags behind. Train inside your home first (or a location with no distractions). Then move outside.

Both my dogs respond to this training (with regular collars). I've already moved to random rewarding. Next week I will return to the Gentle Leader for Alvin, and for now, continue with the trainer's recommendations.


Ping blog

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Bored Dogs Bark, Dig, and Chew Excessively

Maybe you've seen the destructive caused by a bored dog - chewed rugs, coffee tables, chairs or the hole to China in your back yard.

A bored dog lives in a kennel in the house behind ours. He barks constantly and at all hours of the day for no reason at all. You may get complaints from your neighbors about your dogs.

Obviously, the barking dog's owner needs to re-direct his dog's energies. How? Toys are one answer. You can read the article excerpt below to find out what toys to use.

Another possibility is a product recommended by a super pet store manager when I asked about bones. He suggested a product called a bully stick. You can read about this alternative below. Be cautious with this one - supervise the bully stick consumption!


Paraphased Excert from Article by Stephanie Hetu,
Dogs experiencing boredom may have different types of behavioral patterns. For example, some dogs bark continuously and some dig holes or chew your furniture.

There are many ways to provide mental activity for your dog. Toys are available which stimulate the dog. These may be kept inside the crate and in particular, puppies love these items. A BusterCube with treats may be placed in the dog’s shelter and the animal soon understands how to roll it to get the treats it prefers.

These actions will help eliminate the boredom-like activity in your dog. Activities pertaining to boredom need to be redefined by dog owners. This will help to re-direct the animal's unwanted behavior patterns.

For example, some dogs will bite chair, cloth, mats, and anything else they can reach. After ruling out a puppy teething problem, provide the dog with some large sized balls, mineral mixture based bone materials, etc. Be careful that the material (plastic bottles create sharp edges) won't hurt the dog.

BusterCube Treat Dispensing Dog Toy

The BusterCube gives dogs the mental stimulation, exercise and relief from boredom they need to stay healthy and content. Durable plastic cube is designed to be filled with bite size dry pet food. The food is then released at an adjustable rate as the dog rolls the cube with his nose or paw. You regulate the level of difficulty.

Redbarn 7 inch Bully Sticks - 6 pack

Dogs love the rich, meaty flavor of Redbarn Bully Sticks and the extended chewing action helps to clean away tartar and plaque from their teeth. Ingredients: Meat By-product. Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein (min) 80.0% Crude Fat (min) 1.0% Crude Fiber (max) 1.0% Crude Ash (max) 2.0% Moisture (max) 15.0% Calcium (min) 0.8% Phosphorous (min) 0.4% Shelf Life: 36 months Made in the USA.