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For New Puppy Parents

First Night

A puppy cries through the night because he is frightened. He has been taken away from the comfort and security of his mother and his littermates. One of the best solutions for this problem is to keep the pup in your room at night, in a dog crate with the gate closed. Leave a dim light on all night.  Fill a hot-water bottle with warm water, wrap it in a soft towel, and place it in the dog crate next to the puppy.  A stuffed animal or two is a good idea also. This will simulate the warm, sleeping bodies of his mother and littermates. Do not holler at the dog if he continues to cry. Be patient and understanding and comfort your dog with a soothing tone of voice and an occasional pat on the head. Move the crate close to your bed so he can hear you breathe as you sleep. Night crying does not last very long, and if it does not end after the first week, have the dog examined by a veterinarian for a medical problem.

Feeding Your New Puppy

Most new owners, as soon as they get their new puppy home, want to feed it straight away. Usually that is not a great idea. My advice is, if you must feed the pup,  do not let it eat a lot. There will be plenty of time and I would rather see the pp eat lightly for the first day.  There is just too much excitement and stress. That new puppy has no idea it has been removed from it's mom, it's brothers and sisters, from the humans it was used to and from the surroundings, which it loved and called home.  Sometime in the next 24 hours all this will dawn on your new puppy. The realization of being lost and lonely and miserable. Meanwhile, with all that food in it's little tummy, particularly if it's food it's not used to, you will almost certainly see digestive upsets, colic and diarrhea. That pup which a few hours ago seemed like a bottomless pit, now refuses to eat anything, including what the breeder assured you it had been getting as it's full time diet.  That is why so many folk turn up at the vets within 12 to 24 hours of their new pup's arrival. They present their vet with a miserable, lethargic bundle of puppy suffering from putrid watery diarrhea, and maybe some vomiting.

Wolf Cubs Growing Up.

By looking at young wolves growing up, we are actually observing our young puppy's ancestors. If we couple that with our modern scientific discoveries about diet, health and aging, we should be able to produce a realistic, health promoting, puppy diet.
Wolf cubs grow up hungry, they grow slowly and they eat a lot of bones. They spend their day in play, in sleeping, in scavenging, and eating. Eating little bits all the time, and bigger meals as food becomes available. They are not fed on any sort of regular basis. Sometimes they go for a couple of days without much food. All their food is raw. Nothing is cooked. That single fact is vitally important. Wild dogs eat totally raw food all the time. Their whole digestive system, their whole physiology demands raw food. Your puppy is no different. For your puppy's health sake, most of it's food should be raw.
Wild puppies eat or try to eat just about everything they come across. This includes soil, the stomach contents of their parent's prey, mostly chewed up and fermenting grass; raw meat, raw bones, raw offal such as heart, kidneys, brains, eyes etc; raw vegetables, raw fruit, raw grass, raw berries, raw insects, raw bark, raw roots, raw faeces etc.. You name it and they eat it or try to eat it. All raw, nothing cooked.

Young wolf cubs do not seriously hunt. They play. When they have finished playing they stop and rest. No long boring walks on a lead for wolf cubs......  In the wolf family, eating is based strictly on an individual's position in the pecking order, or order of dominance. When times are tough, a wolf who is low on the pecking order goes hungry. This is important when it comes to understanding how to feed domestic puppies. Weaned wolf puppies, puppies abandoned by mum, are left to fend for themselves. They are at the bottom of the pecking order. This means they are the last ones to eat. No preferential treatment like our modern pups. Those half starved puppies, fighting amongst themselves do not get to eat a lot. Mostly, it is whatever the adults leave. The result is that what they do manage to eat, the central theme of their diet is raw meaty bones, and not much else.  The "not much else" is important however. It includes material such as bits and pieces of internal organs, bits of intestines with their finely crushed grass and other vegetation-type contents, some feces, and whatever else they can find that seems remotely edible.
The pup's hunger is important. Firstly, it drives those wild puppies to supplement and balance their diet by scavenging and hunting. They learn to eat a wide array of food types. Whatever they find in the way of fruit, insects, roots, edible fungi, soil, berries, grass, etc. they eat. The second thing it ensures, is that they never grow at their maximum pace.

From studying the eating habits of wolf cubs which are seen to be perpetually hungry, subsisting on raw food consisting mostly of bones and being forced to scavenge a wide variety of foods, we get four vital clues about successful puppy raising.

Four Vital Clues

Number one... The bulk of a puppy's diet should consist of raw meaty bones.
Number two... all or most of the rest of their food should also be raw.
Number three... Puppies should always be kept hungry. They should never be grown at their maximum growth rate. They should be kept slim, lean and hard. Guard against roly poly, fat, young puppies.
Number four... puppies should learn to eat everything.
The above information is from Dr. Ian Billinghurst's book

Copyright © Ian Billinghurst 1993

Proper Correction When Training

The tone of your voice will indicate your approval or disapproval of a particular behavior. The volume or modulation of your voice will also help communicate the importance or urgency in responding with a particular behavior. Never shout at your dog. This may scare a weak dog. A frightened or intimidated dog stops thinking, therefore, stops learning. Use of voice tone and volume is extremely important in training a dog. Train in a casual normal tone and volume, thus, the dog learns to respond to this. If the dog is taught only by shouting, then the dog will be conditioned to only respond to shouting. No one wants to be shouting inside their home at their dog all the time.

Praise is used to positively reinforce a particular behavior we want repeated. We praise by saying, "Good" followed by the command given. By repeating the command along with the word "Good" you are reinforcing what the dog should be doing plus praising him at the same time. When praising, it is important your voice tone is upbeat, friendly and conveys satisfaction.

An instructive reprimand accomplishes two things at the same time: 1) it informs the dog that the behavior which just occurred does not meet with your approval, and 2) redirects the dog's behavior to what you want him to do. Too many people only reprimand without redirecting, thus, the dog tends to repeat the wrong behavior since he was not shown what he was suppose to be doing.

It is important that the dog's temperament remains in balance at all times during training. When correction is given, it is followed by praise when the dog follows the command. Again, praising after the dog accomplishes the redirective command, the dog will keep a good attitude about his acceptance of training. Then the dog will remain upbeat and positive about training.

Most dogs will attempt to dominate whomever they can in their pack. Since you, your immediate family or anyone else which lives with you or visits regularly is considered by the dog to be the dog's pack members, he will tend to assert his dominance upon these people. Canine dominance may be seen in the form of biting for attention, grabbing onto clothing with teeth and barking or jumping up. This must be corrected immediately or the dog will feel he is the leader of the pack. This can lead to further problems with behavior because he feels he is alpha. Don't forget to give the redirective command after the correction.

Dogs learn through association. Verbal and hand signal commands must be consistent throughout the training by all members of the family. If the dog receives different or mixed signals, he will become confused, anxious and will stop learning. Be sure only members of your family communicate with your dog plus they know what you are teaching and how to reinforce your training. Don't let strangers or occasional guests boss your dog around. One of the major problems we have after training a dog is that when the dog goes home, different members of the household use variations of the command words plus are not consistent about utilizing the same word for the same action required, in addition to this problem, some members of the family will allow the dog to disobey the command by ignoring the request and then the dog learns he does not have to respond when first asked, nevertheless, quickly.

Not sure where I got this from But I didnít write it.  I could have but I didnít.  If anyone recognizes where this came from I will be happy to give them the credit.
Jon Campolong


Recommendations To Help Avoid Canine Bloat

Veterinarians continue to study the bloat problem and still have many unanswered questions.  Researchers prepared the following recommendations to help prevent canine bloat.  You should discuss these recommendations with your veterinarian.

  • Feed the dogs two or three times daily, rather than once a day, and at times when someone can observe them after they have eaten.
  • Avoid vigorous exercise, excitement and stress one hour before and two hours after feeding. Walking is okay because it helps stimulate normal gastrointestinal function.
  • Feed dogs individually and in a quiet location.
  • Make diet changes gradually over a 3-5 day period.
  • Ensure water is always available but limit the amount immediately after feeding.
  • Watch for any actions or behavior that may signal abdominal discomfort (abdominal fullness, pacing, salivating, whining, getting up and lying down, stretching, looking at abdomen, anxiety and unsuccessful attempts to vomit, etc.
  • Establish a good relationship with a veterinarian. Discuss emergency procedures, preventative surgery (Gastropexy (circumcostal, tube, incisional)) and overall medical management of your dog.
  • Feed a diet that includes enzymes and probiotics (microbials) for proper digestion and immune system support.
  • Always add water to your dogs dry food to just under the top of the food. 
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