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This page is about Training Puppies, but can be applied to all ages.
Modified: 06/29/22 11:44 " LEARN MORE, BE MORE " ©
The Big Dog, we believe that Big Dogs are the most wonderful dogs in the world. Raising a Big Dog from a puppy can be a most pleasing experience. NEVERTHELESS, they can be dangerous if not raised the correct way. If you want a good dog and house-watcher read on; if you want a vicious beast that you will have no control over, please do not pick a big dog as you may have some regrets. You must have any dog with the same enthusiasm as you would your own child; give it love and care, with responsibility, and it will repay you ten-fold. In fact there is not a lot of difference in bringing up a young dog as there is to bringing up a human child. Both species can learn to be responsible members of society, if encouraged in the right directions.
Please read this document for male and female, even though his is used more.
Whilst theses pages have been written with the Rottweiler in mind it could actually be applied to any type of dog, and of course, whilst not forgetting the obvious differences, any new member of your own family. Although there are obvious differences here between each animal, young domestic dogs and any other young creature are basically all the same. If you go back say 100,000 years, it would not be hard to realize that all domestic dogs came from one genetic source. Go back 10,000,000 years and it would be hard to realize that possibly many species on Earth today share or have shared similar DNA.
You might like to note that humans share 98.9% of their DNA with some chimpanzees. And if you would wish to note further, humans share 40% of their DNA with the humble . . . . . . . . . banana. Don't look at me!!! I love bananas.
We share 74% of our DNA with the Dog.
People want leadership in their lives - Dogs are just the same.
Most dogs would have looked like this animal above about 100,000 years ago, but probably more robust, weighing 180 - 220 pounds. They were wild and vicious, but out of this came the many hundreds of different types of dog that are with us today, that we call:
Canis Familiaris - the Domestic Dog
The Great Dane & The Chihuahua - The Big and the Small, same blood group; almost same DNA.
Whilst these dogs are basically the same, they are both obviously different.
Both need different training techniques to train them.
A recent project revealed that criminals or people with antisocial behaviour problems generally had LOWER amounts of Serotonin in their brain. It was also noticed that a lot of these subjects were from broken homes or had been institutionalized at some stage. 'Normal' children who had a loving and close relationship from their home life had higher amounts of serotonin and a lower propensity to be of a criminal mind.
So the more you love, hug and kiss your children the greater the probability that they will turn out OK.
Ergo, in this case, the more you love and hug your dog in its first year will determine a lot about its life and behaviour. But remember you must be Pack Leader at all times.
Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine) A compound, derived from the amino acid tryptophan, that affects the diameter of blood vessels and also functions as a neurotransmitter. In the brain it is thought to influence mood: drugs, such as LSD, that alter serotonin levels have hallucinogenic effects
Training Your Dog. Throughout your dog's life he or she will learn easily, along with your body language, TWENTY or more different words. Training starts from Day One, but like any baby, the dog will not understand at first. You may have to say his name 100 times before he looks up.
The more patient handler could teach maybe up to FIFTY to two hundred words. Expressions such as: Paw; beg; lie-down; stay; sit; come-here; heel, nicely, wee and even telly, for when something interesting is on that may intrigue your dog. Canines should not be allowed to watch too much TV however, two to three hours a day is more than enough.
Whenever training it is sometimes a good idea to call the out the dog's name before the command so it is clear you have the attention of the animal, and that it has not got something else of it's mind. Its name will eventually be understood by the dog, and be the sound that applies to him.
Perhaps the most important word from the VERY start is:
This word should be impressed upon your animal from the very beginning and if it is done with love and not bullying, the dog will soon understand that this means FULL STOP; that it must just grind to a halt, stop what it was doing or was going to do.
When talking to a large and powerful animal, particularly the male, whose instinct it is to dominate everything that it meets, including you, you must speak to it with an assertiveness that is meant and sometimes aggressive. Depending on how well you have trained the little beast, obedience can depend on the volume of any command NOT the assertiveness.
Always be assertive!
Assertive can be self-assured, confident, firm, forceful, and even aggressive.
Always repress aggression in your dog. NEVER promote Aggression.
You must always maintain control but this will become easier when your dog fully recognizes with time that you are permitted to give it commands.
You may often see owners of German Shepherds; Rottweilers; Dobermans; Mastiffs talk to their dogs in a way that would bring on a divorce if applied to the spouse. But they are just remaining in control. I myself have often thought, ‘poor dog’ but when I have had to deal it out myself, I have looked at it differently.
All dogs look to lead or be led. Being sharp is the key; never let a second go past if you see your dog doing, or attempting something you would not reasonably want it to do. Once they know their order in life they are generally happier, it is almost a burden off their shoulders to know that they are not going to have all that responsibility being the Alpha Dog.
The owner who gives an order to a large dog as though they are talking to a 4-year old little girl is asking for trouble, unless the dog is highly trained. Basically the domestic dog thinks he is human, but with dog instincts, and his instinctual conditioning makes him accept his situation in life, but he will always take the opportunity to dominate, at some point. How you bring them up from the very start will determine as to how much they will accept this non-dominant position.
For example, if we presume that the oldest male and female family members, perhaps the husband and wife, are the 'head of the household', the dog will react to what they command hopefully without question but perhaps your children will be looked upon with slightly less rank.
Friends asked to look after the dog whilst you are away on holiday or vacation must be good and old friends, well able to be assertive, to keep your dog under control. Therefore, always be a little bit cautious with anyone.
By far the greater majority of the time, your dog will be, if not better, as well behaved as any member of the family will. But when the instinct and hormones take a grip, you, as master or mistress, have to be constantly aware. There will be one or two times when your dog will attempt with YOU, to assert his dominance. He might bare his teeth and give a low growl.
Have none of this. Never a second of it!
Do not thrash your dog, as fear in any dog makes him more aggressive and he will be quick to defend himself, and you might not win the fight. Never enter into a fight you might not win.
Be clever!! Just speak loudly and assertively with NO !!!! Stand up to him at a short / safe distance and stare hard, say: NO !!!! with great assertiveness. If you do not like something, say he makes a growl, stand back, and talk to him sarcastically.
Dogs do not understand the sarcastic tone, it messes with their heads. Chastise him but only for a moment or so. Do not go on, he will get the message and will sulk and act submissively, as it was only a passing thought. Send him to his bed and make sure he goes.
Never thrash or beat your dog. If you cannot fully control your dog with your voice, and you resort to hitting him, you must accept two things.
1] You have not trained him correctly.
2] He is more intelligent than you.
After 10-20 minutes of having him on jankers, or fatigues, call him to you, perhaps in a sarcastic tone. Again, he will not understand the sarcastic tone, but it will keep his attention and it will help your pride. Think dog-psychology! Incidentally this criteria applies to all dogs; small dogs have been recognized as being much more aggressive and uncontrollable, the only difference is that a bite from a big dog is much more painful and damaging. I would rather have a large dog than a small one any day, they are more intelligent and ironically they seem to be more willing to be dominated.
However, should you be presented with a large fully grown dog who challenges your authority too regularly, you must consider your options. [ Be aware, it will happen once or twice.] Perhaps a visit to the vet to see if the dog is in pain maybe a good idea. It may have something in its foot, ear or eye. Whilst they may not show it, dogs have low pain thresholds and will not always understand that you are trying to help, unless you have that special relationship.
Ask the vet about castration, this can help your dog have better control but it is very rarely carried out, as it does not always work. In any event you do not want a dog who challenges you more than is comfortable. It is a big problem and you may have to consider that you may have to give the dog away to another owner or handler.
Thrashing the dog into submission will never work as the dog will always remember that you are not quite the nice guy he was led to believe, and that respect will be gone forever.
Never use more than an outstretched index finger to 'hit' your dog with. But be careful you do not get bitten. It boils down to start how you mean to go on; become good friends, but with you firmly as the boss.
This is why the conditioning of the dog is so important from the very start, from a puppy. A 2-3 year old dog that is bought by you must be considered with some suspicion. Never buy a large dog older than three months unless you are an experienced owner and intend the dog to be a fully working dog, or you may use your strong assertive voice on it and it might bite you on the bum.
Nevertheless, as your puppy grows and it will do so very quickly, you will find what a great asset he or she is. It will ' force ' you to take those long walks that you always wanted to take. Your dog will tell you when someone is either at your door or skulking around the house; dogs have excellent hearing and are very perceptive as to who should be about and who is trespassing. When at the gate, my dogs will let an old lady pat them on the head but a young man dressed in a track suit might get growled at.
Dogs, like the GS, the Doberman and the Rotty are the best guard dogs in the world, have no doubt in this; it is in their genes, hundreds of years of breeding, since the days of the Neanderthal, has made it instinctual for him / her to protect you and the home. No woman need fear walking the streets at night with their large trusty canine with them, and although your dog maybe the most friendly of animals, people will still cross the road to avoid any possible misinformed confrontation.
To rebuke, to find fault noisily, with voice.
To express sharp disapproval to a person, or dog for a fault or disapproval.
To express warm approval or admiration of, a commendation.
To Pet means:
Approval to a domestic or tamed animal kept for pleasure or companionship. Express fondness or familiarity. Fondle.
TRAINING YOUR BIG DOG
Scold & Praise
The Early Days
Throughout your dog’s life its behaviour will depend on how you: ‘
‘Scold’. & Pet and / or Praise’
SCOLD & PRAISE
He will soon learn what he is supposed to do and not supposed to do by using the two above. Praise for as long as you like, not though, when the dog likes. A dog might often come up to you and 'beg' for attention, by all means pet and praise your dog but do it when you want not when the dog begs.
Scold when it is only necessary, and never for too long. I have never been an ignorer. Some owners will ignore instead of scolding, never ignore a 'misdemeanour'. If your dog ever does, at any age, anything that you reasonably believe to be wrong, scold the dog making it known that you are the boss.
But make it swift. As soon as your dog looks as though it is going to do something, that you do not reasonably think is correct, stop it and talk to it. Watch out for its body language, in case you get bitten. Put your dog in the right frame of mind from the very beginning, from when its a puppy, and you will have a better chance of an easy life. Do not put up with any thing negative, rectify the situation at once.
Overly praise any thing positive.
Some methods do involve IGNORING your dog, but this is only applied to older dogs and those that have fell into bad habits due to bad training by their owners.
Scold & Praise, is delivered on several levels.
A Scold can be, just a normal deep tone assertive command from you, right up to a SERIOUS AND ASSERTIVE DEEP TONED COMMAND!!
This is especially important to young dogs; a puppy will be scared of most things and it needs to learn that a deep tone from you, means that it has done something wrong and should stop, and rethink.
Praise is again on several levels. It is generally given in a high tone, and the higher the tone the greater the praise.
Sometimes, the dog may do something wrong, and a deep tone will not do it. Generally if you want your dog to come to you, after playing, and he has not had enough, or he has done some misdemeanour, deep tones will not work. If he hears a deep tone, he will wonder what he has done, he will ignore you completely, or will stop what he is doing, frozen to the spot. You will have to command in a high tone, and the dog, will always come.
A dog, or a child does not know what its behavioural boundaries are; by checking its actions IMMEDIATELY and assertively, you will put it on the right pathway. Understand the behavioural boundaries and make sure that your dog knows them.
Moreover, let any person, who is not a member of your pack or indeed a stranger, know what the boundaries are. Do not let anyone bound up to your dog and start petting him, as they may get bitten. The bigger dog looks like a guard-dog and should instinctively protects itself and its home.
If it does not understand some action by a stranger, it will bite first and suffer the consequences later. But this can be true for most dogs; a dog cannot speak a language that will convey what it wants, it is usually body language or a sneer, a growl or a bite that lets us know what he thinks.
But above all, give love and if the love that you are giving is not at least ten times more than the scolding, you must be aware that the undeveloped puppy-dog needs more attention and control.
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Picking your dog is best after you have seen the parents. If they are willing to allow you to look and touch their off-spring without too much hesitancy there is every chance that your dog can be brought up with the same trust in humans.
Under normal circumstances you will have your dog as just a 6 - 8 week old Puppy.
Remember though , it is perhaps best not to look on any big dog, like the Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Mastiff and any other large dog, as a pet. A pet is something like a hamster, gerbil or a parrot. You would never look upon a Pit-Bull as a pet, as this animal does not act or respond the same as a hamster does.
Many would not agree with this opinion, but if you keep this sentiment in mind you will have the right attitude in keeping any large dog under correct control. A dog like an Alsatian or Rottweiler is and wants to be a working dog. He will not respond to a relationship where he is just a pet. A worked dog is healthier and much more responsive to commands.
The person who treats a large dog with:
" Come on sweetie, let go of that man's leg, that's a good boy!!!"
Is in the company of a time bomb and should not be allowed to own such a 'pet'. Any person who would enter someone else's home as an intruder, will find that the large dog will hopefully defend the home to the death, but this does depend on the breed and the upbringing. If a person who is a 'friend', and who has been introduced into the home, will find if they are properly introduced, the grown dog will tolerate them and they will find that they are quite friendly. But they should not consider that he is their friend, he will tolerate an outsider but will rather be left alone. Once the 'friend' has been to the home many times, then the dog will understand that this person is a friend and part of any sub-pack.
Read on and satisfy yourselves that you are cut out to own a dog that could weigh 150 pounds
Someone who is a true Pack Leader, will have a different energy about them. He or she will be able to command any dog even if they belong to somebody else. I have been with a dog nobody could control, or was very aggressive, but with the right energy the dog will recognise the the Pack Leader and submit more quickly. You can feel the different energy once you have it.
Raising any dog, whatever it becomes in life, it is your responsibility and of your making. It cannot be just a 'pet' but a good friend, one that will serve you faithfully and love you to the end, or it can become a liability. You must realize what you are taking on. A big dog cannot be whipped into easy submission, it will only truly react to love and care, the right energy and proper firm, assertive handling, by a member of its 'pack': The Alpha - You!
Treat it as you would your own child and you will be a good and responsible owner and you will love your dog as much as any other member of the family. If you do have children, it is advised that they should ALL be at least twelve years old and they can then all grow up together and your dog will know his place within the family unit.
Know now that a ‘dog is for life’; a dog is not an animal that you can neglect by leaving it locked up in a cage or chained up, un-stimulated for many hours on end. Rated as intelligent as a five year old human, used by police and armed forces all around the globe, it is a sensitive being, able to ‘read’ you by your actions and tone of voice. If you know that you will have to leave any dog for long durations, do not buy this pet, as they cannot be switched off, they are living creatures with needs equal to any other being on Earth.
Dogs are PACK ANIMALS, which means they run in groups; it is not part of their nature to be alone. Why not buy a small dog, keep it for a few months then buy the big dog you are looking for; they will grow up together, keep each other company.
Much of this philosophy can be applied to the bringing up of your own children also. A child must first be cared for, kept clean, kept warm, given comfort, food and drink and mostly, copious amounts of love and affection. A dog will crave love and attention, but you will not have a good relationship until you know your place in his life and he knows his place.
People need leadership in their lives - Dogs are just the same.
But above all, give love and if the love that you are giving is not at least ten times more than the scolding, you must be aware that the undeveloped puppy-dog needs more attention.
When you have got your puppy home, we hope that you have prepared the event somewhat before hand. Decide where you are going to keep your dog, as it is a ' pet ', it MUST be kept in your home and treated like a member of the family but as a puppy you must confine it to a suitable area that you can keep controlled. A warm kitchen with a hard floor, covered in lots of newspaper, is ideal. Do NOT let the puppy roam around the house, as he will find a little toilet for himself. Always define what rooms your dog can use. Get a child gate or something to pen the dog into one room, but only as a temporary option.
Never let your dog into your bedroom or any of your children's bedroom. Never let it into the bedroom are even. NEVER!
The bedroom, is a personal place, and if your dog gets too comfortable, especially if you let the dog sleep with you, it will be harder to control. If the dog is a small poodle, this might not matter but try to remove a 180 pound dog who thinks that you are trying to take over its bed.
It must have its own bed.
Restrict and train your dog to go where you want it to and nowhere else.
UNTIL he has had TWO inoculations and you have waited about five days after this, keep him away from other dogs and places where other dogs have been.
BUT then INTRODUCE it EVERYTHING. Let it see and understand everything. Introduce it to strange sounds, other dogs and Cats. EVERYTHING
If you have a garden that is easily accessible and is protected, this will make your life a lot easier. If you live in a flat or an apartment maybe up one or two floors, you must be a dedicated and patient owner to take on any dog of any size, especially a large one.
A good routine is the key to success.
Get him a large and secure box or basket that is well padded and that he can get into easily. Cover the padding with something that is easily washed or replaced and cannot harm him. It must be very soft and warm; heaven to lie on, and it will always be his favourite place. A dog must have a place he can call home; a place where he feels safe and comfortable, his little corner. Somewhere to go, when you tell him that it is advisable that he gets into his bed. Remember that a fully grown dog will need a bed that measures at least around 45" X 30" .
That is 110 cm X 75 cm. This takes up a lot of space. Do not therefore invest too much in a factory made bed / basket until they are fully of grown.
Never ever have anything lying around that could possibly harm him. He will want to chew ANYTHING & EVERYTHING, so keep everything out of harms way. Buy, from a Pet-Shop, a suitable little cuddly toy and ask the pet shop’s advice in what to buy the puppy as far as chewing on something is concerned. Never give your dog anything that could be bitten into pieces. A large dog has a very powerful jaw, so what you may feel is indestructible could only last a few minutes with a full size dog. Remember not until your dog is around 8 - 12 months old will it fully stop trying to chew most things it will find, or learn what it can chew and should not. In fact it is as natural for a dog to chew as it is for us to breathe, the secret is to guide your dog as to what it can or cannot do. Never let it get away with chewing anything it should not. Remember NO!!!
If you are having problems with a dog chewing something it should not, like the leg of a Victorian coffee table. You may have to spray or smear something onto it. Spread some Tabasco sauce or English Mustard around the offending area.
With you 'shouting' at him he should get the idea.
But more importantly you must offer him something else that he can chew. If he has plenty of store bought stuff that he can chew legally, he will quickly get the message sooner.
His first night away from his litter will be one where you will have to show patience. He will be lonely without his family and maybe confused and frightened. His bed must be warm, soft and free from drafts, with nothing about that will harm him; such as things that he can bite off, electric cords, low furniture, shoes. Leave a dish of the food that the breeder has been feeding since weaning, and of course some fresh clean water. Make sure the bowls are the kind that cannot be overturned.
To keep your puppy company on his first night, a loud ticking clock or some other harmless low noisemaker will help to make him feel not totally alone. The first two or three nights will be sad for him and you, but ignore his whining, only go to him if it is extra loud. During his first day obviously try to cuddle and pet him as much as is reasonable; try to use up all his energy. When you put him to bed, tell him to lie down in an assertive voice, he will only understand the tone and this may work. Only push down gently. He might stay but whatever happens, things can only get better. He may roam around the secure kitchen or other suitable area but eventually he will fall asleep. Do not let the dog sleep in any other room at this stage. A child's safety gate at the kitchen door is perfect.
So you have a secure room with a tiled floor, a comfy bed and some newspaper to encourage any urination. Once the paper has used praise the dog. Later remove one or two sheets and place under it a few clean sheets. This will leave a urine smell that we hope he will recognise.
Most pundits will say that any training should not be done until a puppy is around seven months old, this is true for serious training like jumping fences, co-piloting a 747 etc, but from the very first moment you get your puppy, a different and perhaps more important training must begin.
Love and Training. Please note that, like most animals, dogs will be very suspicious of things it does not know about and does not understand. So introduce with kindness everything. Notwithstanding its natural instincts it may fear any new thing or any new situation. The first few months of a dog’s life will reassure it that 99% of people and things are not generally something to be alarmed about.
So introduction to EVERYTHING is the key. This will obviously decrease as he matures, to a point possibly where his courage will have no bounds. I am sure you have often seen the little Jack Russell chase after a huge dog without taking into any consideration about the size difference. This may not be courage but some kind of canine madness however.
By introducing your animal to everything, he will know and understand. All dogs do not like surprises and a prime example of an extreme situation is the affects of Guy Fawkes Night OR The Fourth of July OR even Chinese New Year.
This is a classic time when you should keep your dog indoors for protection. However, there is no need to be totally afraid of this situation. At about 10-14 months, at a distance, I always introduce my dogs to the horrendous bangs and paraphernalia of these times. At first he will always be very jumpy and scared, but continued reassurance that all is well will help him understand that perhaps all this commotion is not quite so bad.
Whilst I would not take a dog to a Fireworks display I am confident that in any event or surprises similar to this will give me more than half a chance in controlling what is a very big and strong animal.
Above all else love your puppy, cuddle him, play with him and handle him often as possible, but look out if this is getting too much for him or he needs to sleep or have time to himself. Get ALL visitors to stroke and cuddle him, get your children to cuddle him and play with him as much as possible, throughout his puppy life. Get their friends to play, within reason, with your dog as much as possible. To touch him on every part of his body; human association is paramount. It must learn that humans are friends. If any of your friends have a dog or cat, introduce your dog to these and let them play. A strenuous day will make him sleep better at night. But be careful not to make him fret if things are getting too much, it must always be a joint relationship.
Remember a dog, no matter how much you love him, or he 'loves' you, he is not really your best friend, and not even your friend. You are just partners in some obscure relationship, some symbiosis, where you are the boss or Alpha and he is a subservient member of the pack. Never forget that, especially when dealing with large powerful dogs; but for the grace of you being the human and him being the dog, he would dominate you given less than half a chance and he would not consider you as a friend in any part of the equation.
Symbiosis - Any close relationship between individuals of different species of organisms, including parasitism - see parasite, commensalism, and inquilinism. However, it often refers to an association in which both partners - symbionts, benefit from the association; this is also called mutualism. An example is the sea anemone (Adamsia paliata), which lives attached to the snail shell inhabited by the hermit crab (Eupagurus prideauxii). The anemone protects the crab, from which it receives food and transport.
In further consideration of this, make sure that any visitor to your home, whether human or not, are safe and well aware that any large dog can do considerable damage in the blink of an eye, when it does not understand certain things. Ironically a dog maybe better behaved outside of the home, as no territorial circumstances are involved, so there is sometimes more reason for greater caution in the dog's territory. I have a large garden with a big double gate, he thinks that it is his garden.
When my dog is let out he rushes out to have a wee and a forage. If the gate is closed and a dog, or a cat or even a person that looks a bit suspicious he will rush up to the gate and growl and jump up. But this is all bravado and show. If he rushes outside and the gate is open and a dog is just outside the gate; he will ignore it. Sometimes if a dog is on a lead it will be much more aggressive than if you let it off.
If friends visit, of course introduce them but warn them to be vigilant. Never allow children to come into your home and start playing with your adult dog; it would probably be best to introduce the dog and children and then put the dog somewhere safe. There is a fine line here in what you want from your dog. Of course 99% of the time the children will be fine, especially if you are there to supervise but this ' worry ' can be a chore, subsequently, so you can relax, keep the dog out of the way. But then if your dog has been used to people you will know the boundaries.
The object of this site is to lay down a foundation so that you as a responsible owner will know of all the pitfalls in keeping a dog, as well as all the joy that it can bring. You may love your dog dearly, but for no reason, it might bite the face of a friend's child. How would you feel? Be alert and treat the situation with respect until you are 100% sure of your dog's temperament and then still be careful.
Daily Routine. It is very important that as the dog grows, on a daily basis, you must have a five-ten minute routine where you brush him and examine him closely. Feel his legs and examine his paws; press gently into his tummy and feel his back. Open his mouth gently and examine his mouth, gums and teeth, talk to him all the time so that he associates words with deeds. Saying “Good Boy!!” all the time. Write on your calendar on every day a mark to remind you of this. Set your mobile phone alarm to go off at a certain time every day. Or get into the habit of doing this after he has had a run. It might encourage others to do it; in fact it might be a good idea to let a stranger do it to test how good he is, but be careful, pick someone who has had dogs themselves and someone the dog knows well, otherwise he may get bitten.
All this is not just so that you might notice something wrong it is so that he will get used to these things being done to him by a Veterinary Surgeon.
Most dogs may go through life and, if suitably supervised will never bite. But imagine having a 150 pound dog who at the age of three has some strange person trying to look into his mouth and it is for the very first time. There is no way anyone will be able to look into a fully grown Pit-Bull Terrier's mouth if he does not want it to happen. And the cost of an anaesthetic to make the dog sleep is far too costly. So this human association as a friend is essential for a happy life. In a perfect world when you touch his mouth and say “open”, he will open his mouth. But do not be disappointed if he will not do this; you may have to gently pries it open and the trick is that he will let you without fear of something bad happening to him. As he grows he will get used to humans and all other living things, and just treat them with curiosity and not a danger.
However, after saying this, it is obvious that for some part you have bought the dog because of its watch-dog / guard dog talents. So never be frightened to nurture your dog into an old softy because his instincts are preloaded to tell him that he should guard. Hundreds of years of breeding makes him a good guard dog. Do not worry about strangers getting into your home without your permission; the grown up dog should know whose whom, and that it is his job no matter how gentle he is with everything else. Introduce everyone that you look on as a friend, so that he knows who are part of the extended pack. Only introduce one person at a time though. If you think a dozen kids can just rush up and start patting and petting without an introduction you will be wrong and someone may get bitten.
My Rottweiler is very gentle and loves everyone, but he does not know his own strength. If introduced he is fine, but should someone knock on the door his bark rattles all the windows. Which is good, burglars avoid my house. But in fact I imagine that if they got in, like many dogs, he would hold the torch.
Again purely through instinct, a dog's first defence is to bite, or at least growl very loudly.
From as young as nine weeks a dog should bark at strangers or any noise he does not understand. He will jump to attention, ears pricked and want to investigate. Encourage this. If your dog ever barks at a new or strange noise do not chastise him, but praise him for doing his job. When he is grown up, he will know what ‘shut-up’ means and will stop if he feels it is justified but if he carries on you better go see what the problem is. Until he is about twelve to eighteen months old, although large dog are powerful animals, he will tend to be very wary of any noise, or strange person and even have fear of it. But this is because they are still only babies at this age. Their courage increases with maturity as in all creatures. This is why you must introduce your dog to as many things as possible. Cars, motor-bikes, cats, other dogs, young people, strange noises and strange people. He must be at ease with everything. At two years old most dogs will challenge Godzilla such is their courage. It will determine on the breed how serious the challenge is. May I say here that most people are bitten by dogs like the little Scottish Terrier, not German Shepherd's or Mastiffs.
Your Puppy. After a few days following the second injection, take him outside into the street, not before. Most dogs will have two injections and then a booster over a period of about a month. When it is safe to take him out, introduce him to cats and other dogs, he should get on fine with anything and everything without any question until about a year old. And this should continue, large dogs, if used to other dogs, will not bother too much, but maybe just want to play. BUT if any other dog acts at all aggressively, your mature dog will be quick to defend himself. Your young dog will be surprised at an attack and may not know what to do, and may abscond.
Parvovirus in Children
Erythema Infectiosum (also known as ‘Slapped Cheek’) is caused by Parvovirus B19, a virus that only affects humans.
The condition is often referred to by its viral cause but is also sometimes called Fifth Disease being the fifth (of six) common rash-associated diseases of childhood.
Research so far suggests that up to 60% of all adults in the UK have been infected with Parvovirus at some point, usually between the ages of six and ten years old. An increase in the number of infections occurs every 3-4 years, largely in schoolchildren. One infection is thought to give lifelong immunity.
Although the virus can affect animals (canine parvovirus and feline panleukopenia virus), B19 is the only known human form. The virus cannot pass from human to animal or vice-versa. Infection causes a brief and temporary pause in the production of red blood cells by the bone marrow.
If he has been showered with love all his life, this unwarranted aggression will be alien to him and he may even run from the aggressive Pekinese. As the dog's 'mother or father' make sure you have control of the situation here. A frightened dog may run onto a busy road, forgetting all your training.
If you have chosen a male dog however, maybe your biggest problem could be him attacking other males. NEVER EVER LET him or her, off to roam the streets on their own, always have your dog on a lead or leach unless you know his temperament fully or you are in an area where he can run off with no harm to other dogs or himself. Dogs, when brought up correctly, are actually quite friendly animals but other dogs just need to show the least aggression or something they do not understand and he or she may have to fight back. In fact the longer you can keep a dog away from other unfriendly canines that you know are more territorial, the better. All dogs are territorial to differing degrees.
Also, ALWAYS make sure that the designated handler has the strength, commonsense and the assertiveness to control your animal should it ever be attacked by another dog, which will usually of course be a small terrier, trying his luck. Never let a ten year old take charge of your dog when you are not 100% sure that it can control it. I am 6' 3" and 220 pounds in weight and I have been pulled down the road a few yards because I have been caught off guard.
HOUSE BREAKING. To HOUSEBREAK or Toilet Train your young puppy, remember that he will have his box, large enough for him to grow, and that will be “his” home and the kitchen or utility room floor will be covered in paper and act as his territory. Do not let him roam your house at this stage, make sure he is supervised if you do. He will not mess his bed, if he does when you take him to a vet within seven days of buying him, tell her about it.
For the first day or two, watch your dog carefully. A puppy will WEE, just after he wakes or has had some activity, or maybe after a drink; look for the signs. Should he start having a sniff around, turning in circles, seeking and then spread his or her back legs; then eventually trying to squat a little, pick him up and place him in the corner where you want him to WEE. Speak to him saying:
" … wee, wee wee wee."
Areas, where he has wetted, pick up the papers that are not in the corner you have designated as his toilet, and rinse the hard area with some white vinegar and a few drops of bacterial Fairy Liquid. He will soon get the message that you want him to wee in a particular corner. When he does wee in the correct spot: PRAISE ! PRAISE ! PRAISE !
In the designated corner you must pick up the very wet pieces of paper leaving ones underneath that are damp, thus leaving a scent of his wee, to remind him, where you want him to go. Of course if you have a garden that is easily reached, take him out after he has had a sleep and encourage him to go. Eventually he will realize what you are saying and go every time. He will soon wee on command. This will cut down accidents no end, but do not forget to do it regularly; every hour or so until you get into a good routine.
Throughout the dogs life always use the command, 'wee' to make your dog relieve him or herself when you want it to. He will ‘wee’ on command but a healthy dog or bitch will usually want no coaxing in this area; they will just want a place and opportunity.
As far as the other 'motion' is concerned, pick a word that he will learn to associate with this. PONY, [Cockney Rhyming Slang – Pony and Trap – Crap ] or even more succinctly, just PO, (Not for Teletubbie fans) and carry out the same procedure as above. Never scold too unduly, a puppy is around FIVE MONTHS before he can totally control his bodily functions.
However, should he start to wee right in front of you and right in the middle of your lounge carpet, just shout “ No”. Pick him up and place him on his newspaper. Do not scold too much. He will pick it up eventually and this was just an accident; he was just having so much fun he forgot. One incident will never smell. Just soak it up with Kitchen Towel, spray it with something and forget it. It will be great though when you see a puppy stop in the middle of playing rush off for a wee in his corner and then return as if nothing had happened. But do not fret if your dog is not the automaton you want; meet him half way.
For a young adult animal, telling a dog ‘ N O !!! ’ when he is about to do something or go to wee somewhere that is not permitted, will soon teach him that he cannot go in certain places. Even as a puppy you will soon be able to make him go on command. Always make sure that there is always paper down, as this will confuse him otherwise.
When he does disappear into the kitchen, to have a wee, praise him! Praise him as though he has just swam the English Channel.
Get it clear now. If you buy a dog as a puppy, it WILL almost definitely wee or soil your lounge carpet once or twice or thrice. If you never want this to happen, never let the dog in this area OR watch the little beast like a hawk. Also realize that you will have to get used to clearing up dog's mess and or dog vomit. If you cannot do this, do NOT buy a dog. After a few times it will become much easier. Personally I can clear up anything as long as I do not have to smell it. It is the same with changing a baby's nappy or diaper; this is OK until you get a rather pungent whiff. If the accident is rather lose and spread out, get yourself prepared. Plastic gloves, plenty of paper towels, plastic bags to get rid of the offending material and most important a mask over the nose to shield you from the deadly fumes.
Leaving Your Dog Alone. Please remember that any dog is a pack animal and does not want to be alone. If you have a dog, why not buy another, a small one maybe so that they can keep each other company. Nevertheless, you should not leave your dog alone for hours on end un-stimulated as this is cruel and he will not understand.
Most healthy dogs will for the greater part of their life, never ever soil your home, in fact males look it upon as a waste, using up valuable territory marking fluid. When any dog is grown though, you must always remember that it must be able to relieve itself within a reasonable time period. Perhaps, though unadvisable, a dog could be left for up to eight hours BUT this should only be after a very long walk and a well emptied bladder. Never, leave a grown dog alone in a confined space, allow it to be able to roam within your set boundaries, inside your house and / or gardens. Your dog's welfare must be paramount. Also take into consideration that a dog is a pack animal and therefore does not like being left alone in the first place.
Of course if you are a breeder or a trainer, you may well not agree with this amount of domestication. Whatever is carried out must be reasonable for you as well as the dog.
A good indicator of how far to go is to walk in one direction until the dog has no fluid left, just a dribble. Then swiftly walk back. Bitches are different and you will have to match what is good for you and the dog. If you abuse your dog's good nature you are not a caring owner, you ought to consider whether you should own a dog. Moreover there are legal and moral issues.
Most rescued dogs are put onto the market because their owners have not got the time to look after their pet properly and have had too many ‘accidents’, or the dog is perhaps ill-bred and too aggressive. Going off to work early in the morning and not returning until late at night will turn most good owners to tears. Even more so when they find out that the dog was beaten as well for his trouble. The fact is that the faithful dog probably held on until they heard their owner coming home and only with the excitement could not hold it anymore. This is blatant cruelty and you must make sure that you are never accused of this.
A reflection of this, though not intended is sometimes shown in a movie. The main character gets home after a long day to be greeted by their dog who has been cooped up in their small apartment all day.
My first thought is always: " Take the dog out!! " But the character sometimes says:
" Don't bother me now dog, I've had a bad day! "
And goes off to bed; by this time I am throwing things at the screen.
A dog should have a long walk first thing in the morning ASAP, and a medium one during the day and another last thing at night, not only for much needed exercise but to be able to get some fresh air and go to the toilet. Quick ‘wees’ in between this are also necessary if you do not have a garden that the dog can use at will. A good guide is when you want to go your dog probably does too. Remember, you should drink more than one and a half liters of water each day to stay healthy; that is a lot of trips to the bathroom. it goes the same for your best friend, who has fresh-water to drink all the time.
As well as this, if you can get yourself a big car where the seats fold down in the back, the dogs can get out more. If I ever go out in the car my dogs mostly always come with me. In the back, looking out of the windows barking at whatever. This stimulates them, they get a quick wee before and after getting into the car and it is better for them than being coped up watching the TV. It is funny how they lean to compensate for the corners; I am sure they could get jobs as fairground ride attendants.
Always pick up your dog's deposits; it is illegal and unreasonable not to. Hundreds of young children in the world are blinded each year due to dog dirt.
Training Your Dog. Throughout your dog's life he or she will learn easily, along with body language, TWENTY different words. The more patient handler could teach maybe up to FIFTY to two hundred words. Expressions such as: Paw; beg; lie-down; stay; sit; come-here; heel, nicely, wee and even telly, for when something interesting is on that may intrigue your dog. Canines should not be allowed to watch too much TV however, two to three hours a day is more than enough.
Whenever training it is sometimes a good idea to call the out the dog's name before the command so it is clear you have the attention of the animal, and that it has not got something else of it's mind.
Perhaps the most important word from the VERY start is:
This word should be impressed upon your animal from the very beginning and if it is done with love and not bullying, the dog will soon understand that this means FULL STOP; that it must just grind to a halt, stop what it was doing or was going to do. When talking to a large and powerful animal, particularly the male, whose instinct it is to dominate everything, including you, that it meets, you must speak to it with an assertiveness that is meant and sometimes aggressive. Depending on how well you have trained the little beast, obedience can depend on the volume of any command NOT the assertiveness.
Always be assertive!
Assertive can be self-assured, confident, firm, forceful, and even aggressive.
You must always maintain control but this will become easier when your dog fully recognizes with time that you are permitted to give it commands.
You may often see owners of German Shepherds; Rottweilers; Dobermans; Mastiffs talk to their dogs in a way that would bring on a divorce if applied to the spouse. But they are just remaining in control. I myself have often thought, ‘poor dog’ but when I have had to deal it out myself, I have looked at it differently. All dogs look to lead or be led. Being sharp is the key; never let a second go past if you see your dog doing, or attempting something you would not reasonably want it to do. Once they know their order in life they are generally happier, it is almost a burden off their shoulders to know that they are not going to have all that responsibility being the Alpha Dog.
The owner who gives an order to a large dog as though they are talking to a 4-year old little girl is asking for trouble. Basically the domestic dog thinks he is human, but with dog instincts, and his instinctual conditioning makes him accept his situation in life, but he will always take the opportunity to dominate. How you bring them up from the very start will determine as to how much they will accept this position.
For example, if we presume that the oldest male and female family members, perhaps the husband and wife, are the 'head of the household', the dog will react to what they command hopefully without question but perhaps your children will be looked upon with slightly less rank. Friends asked to look after the dog whilst you are away on holiday or vacation must be good and old friends, well able to be assertive, to keep your dog under control. Therefore, always be a little bit cautious with anyone. By far the greater majority of the time, your dog will be, if not better, as well behaved as any member of the family will. But when the instinct and hormones take a grip, you, as master or mistress, have to be constantly aware. There will be one or two times when your dog will attempt with YOU, to assert his dominance. He might bare his teeth and give a low growl.
Have none of this. Never a second of it!
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