Your new holiday puppy: What to do when the honeymoon is overKing of the jungle? Nah, it's just a labradoodle!
The honeymoon phase of a relationship ends when your love and infatuation for the other has passed and you begin to see this fantastic new being in your life more realistically.
In the weeks after the holidays, therefore, it is not uncommon for parents to find that their kids may have been more excited about the thought of getting a new puppy than they were about the reality of taking care of it.
As the days go by, the number of family members standing in line for their turn to take the new puppy outside may start to dwindle, as well as the giggles when the new puppy carries off a favorite new Christmas toy. As a result, "little accidents" on the floor may become more frequent, and as little “Fluff Ball” also begins exploring his world with the only mechanism he has — his mouth — and the kids’ new Christmas toys are, one after the other, being eviscerated, the puppy’s cuteness factor may no longer give him automatic forgiveness passes from the kids.
If you find yourself in the situation I’ve described above, then the “New Holiday Puppy Honeymoon” has officially ended. But do not panic — it’s not too late to get everyone on track.
Step 1: Educate Your Puppy
Getting your new friend into a high-quality puppy kindergarten class as soon as possible is the number-one thing you can do to prevent behavior problems later on down the road. Between the ages of 7 to 16 weeks is the most critical time in your puppy’s emotional and social development. A quality puppy kindergarten class will focus on socialization, communication and problem-prevention skills. Even if you’ve raised dogs in the past or have another dog at home whom your puppy can interact with, it is imperative your family and puppy attend puppy class together. Check with your veterinary hospital to see if they offer a class or know where to refer you. A puppy class should be fun, focused on building a happy and positive relationship, and include the entire family.
You can also help by doing some “homework.” In my experience, I have found the following books to be helpful:
Culture Clash, by Jean Donaldson. When you get a new puppy, you have to realize that you have begun a relationship with an alternate species whose perspective of the world is very different from your own. Before you can begin to teach your puppy, you need to understand the world through his unique perspective. This book will help you to set appropriate expectations that are fair to your puppy.
Puppy Start Right, by Ken and Debbie Martin. This book is a positive approach to problem solving, prevention and training, without the use of punishment. It will teach you how to train the behaviors you do want in order to encourage and create a solid foundation of skills. These foundation skills are comparable to teaching good manners to children. For example, your puppy should learn to go to his mat or bed when the kids are eating. This will keep him from learning the kids' snack time is a free-for-all!
Living With Kids and Dogs . . . Without Losing Your Mind: A Parent's Guide to Controlling the Chaos, by Colleen Pelar. Kids and puppies are both egocentric — they believe the world revolves around their wants and needs! No doubt there will be confusion and frustration as you grow together, but this book will help you prevent miscommunication and get everyone on the right track to building a healthy relationship.
Clicking With Your Dog, by Peggy Tillman. Understanding and using the concepts of clicker training can become a common language between you and your new family member for the rest of his life. Clicker training uses positive reinforcement in combination with a signal — a clicker — to teach dogs how to behave properly. You can use clicker training anytime you want to teach your dog something new or improve on something he already knows. And if you can't get to a puppy kindergarten class, you can also explore online training options for your new pup.
pics, advice, info and stories for pet lovers
A recent study shows why
Not many leading ladies have four legs, lots of hair and, well, dog breath. But that hasn’t stopped Chris Naka from posing alongside office pooch Wrigley in a series of pictures recreating iconic scenes from romantic movies. Naka, 30, told Today that the fun began when he and his creative coworkers at the Blue Man Group in Chicago decided to use the last few minutes of their lunch break to pose their boss’ dog with him in a scene from Titanic. And an idea was born. “Someone printed a bunch of our early pictures, posted them in the green room, and folks from all over the theater started sending emails with movie suggestions,” he said. Check out some of their funny (and bizarre) pictures here.
We talked to 122 veterinary professionals and got their take on which canines are the smartest of them all.
This year, Animal Planet is pulling out all the stops for Puppy Bowl X. The tenth-anniversary extravaganza promises penguin cheerleaders, canine first responders singing the National Anthem, and special appearances by Lil Bub and Keyboard Cat, who will be performing a piano-filled rendition of Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven” during the kitten halftime show. Best of all, continuing the tradition of showcasing adoptable pets, all the puppy players are up for adoption or have already found forever families. We’re hoping that the pups are watching themselves on TV from the comfort of their new homes. The main event starts at 3 p.m. EST on February 2 on Animal Planet. As you wait for the most anticipated event of the season, check out the starting lineup of some of our favorite Puppy Bowl players. And be sure to head to the Animal Planet site later this month to create your own Puppy Bowl fantasy league. Out of 11 all-star puppies, participants will be able to pick a fantasy team of three players.
Walter the otter is settling into his new home
We recently listed the top five smartest dog breeds as chosen by veterinary professionals, and, unsurprisingly, our readers were quick to comment on other breeds that show enormous intelligence. Now we're sharing another result from that survey of 122 veterinary professionals. We aren't going to say "least intelligent" because all dogs have their own kind of genius, right? But we will say that in the opinion of the surveyed veterinary professionals, the breeds named here aren't necessarily known for their cleverness even if they are known for having many wonderful characteristics. Of course, please know that in no way are we saying these dogs aren't smart or aren't trainable. They just might not keep up with the Border Collie in their obedience class. And that's OK — whether our pets sit at the front of the class or flunk out of puppy school, we love them just the same.
Typically, cats don't rush up and bombard you with kisses like some dogs, but many do display genuine friendliness. Happy-to-be-with-you cats range from the demure lap lounger to the chatty feline who escorts you from room to room. Vetstreet shines the spotlight on nine feline breeds with stellar reputations for thoroughly enjoying the company of their favorite people.
Do you find it hard to sit still? Would you rather spend your time running and playing and working outdoors instead of lounging at home on the couch? If so, you may have met your match in these breeds. We polled 122 veterinary experts to get their opinions on which dog breeds are the most energetic. Here are the five that received the most votes!