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Topic: Need a book for training dogs

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Subject: Need a book for training dogs
Date Posted: 12/31/2009 12:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2008
Posts: 407
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We just brought home a min-pin/dachshund puppy that is 6 weeks old.  Does anyone have books they recommend for house training, feeding, etc?


We also got dry puppy food from the breeder that she mixed with baby oatmeal and warm water.  The puppy only eats about 2 pieces of the dry food but eats all the rice cereal water mix.  Ideas?  We just got him yesterday.  Also,  is he too tiny to try to go potty outside with it cold and rainy?  And when is a good time to get them fixed?

Date Posted: 12/31/2009 4:34 PM ET
Member Since: 9/10/2009
Posts: 438
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Books are no good.  Dogs can't read!


:-P  Sorry...   I couldn't resist.

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 10:02 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,536
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I highly recommend My Smart Puppy by Brian Kilcommons.  It is an excellent book on training your puppy and starts very basic.  It comes with a CD so you can see some of the methods in practice.  His other book Good Owners, Great Dogs (I think that is the title) is one of my keepers.

Please come over to the Pets forum and join us in the Puppy support group.  Folks might have answers to some of your problems.

I see your puppy is very small like my Misha was.  We got her at 9 weeks and she weight all of 2 lbs.  I potty trained her on leash, so I could take her where I wanted her to do her business.  I do this now since it rains every day almost.  We have a tarp up and I lead her on leash to the potty area.  This might work for you too.  I am not sure out the food.  Your puppy might go through a small adjustment period.  He is so young at 6 weeks.  You might try using the dry food as treats so he gets nourishment that way.  Maybe the hard food is too hard even with the oatmeal?  I didn't give Misha oatmeal, but I soaked her food in water for 10 minutes to make it soft enough to eat.  Now I put water in it to slow her down because each meal she acts as if I haven't fed her all day. LOL

Good luck with your puppy and post a photo!  I love Mini-pins.  My brother has 2 and they characters.

Date Posted: 1/2/2010 2:33 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 880
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Last Edited on: 7/2/10 12:22 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: New puppy
Date Posted: 1/4/2010 12:39 PM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2009
Posts: 16
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At six weeks, this puppy was too young to be removed from dam (mother) and litter mates.  You'll need to establish some bite inhibition in this puppy as he gets a little older (since that part of "training" is normally done during interaction with litter mates and dam).  I'm a dog behavior specialist and the only book I can recommend (and do recommend to everyone with a young puppy) is Dr. Ian Dunbar's "Before and After Getting Your puppy: The Best Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy and Well Behaved Dog."  His site is Dog Star Daily.  I interviewed Dr. Dunbar several times on my radio program and have attended his seminars, the guy is stellar.  Regarding the puppy's feeding: you need to ask the veterinarian any question related to your puppy's health, including diet.  A very small puppy needs to be fed several small meals a day to ward off hypoglycemia, which can develop quickly and is deadly.  Good luck with your new puppy.

Date Posted: 1/6/2010 1:23 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,246
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Yes, please be very careful with your puppy ... six weeks is too young to be away from his mother. There are tons of things that your puppy would be learning from his mother and litter mates during the next few weeks that are critical to his future and your future happiness with him.

Bite inhibition is one thing ... puppies will naturally chew and bite as they play, and they learn from their littermates and Mom how hard is too hard .... you will need to teach him this instead. 

Also, socialization with other puppies and dogs, and all kinds of people  ... if your dog doesn't come into contact and learn from dogs any "doggy good manners" he may have a hard time as he grows, behaving normally around other dogs. You may need to ask your vet for advice or start doing some research ... because on the other hand your dog is also still too young to be meeting strange dogs until his puppy vaccination series is complete.

Try moist puppy food while he is still so young, over the next months, you can start mixing moist with dry until he goes onto all dry food.

Also, house training, .... get a good book, but expect the house training to take a while, maybe even a couple of months, your puppies bladder is tiny so you will need to watch him like a hawk and take him outside yourself all day long... it is easiest if you are on a regular schedule of feeding and potty breaks, that way you will come to know all the likely times your puppy will need to go outside. For now, first thing in the morning, last thing before bed, after EVERY meal (and you should be feeding him several times a day, not just a single meal), and every 2-3 hours in between those other times. And any time he turns in a circle and starts sniffing the ground.

Get some puppy pads and encourage your puppy to go on those for those times he won't make it outside, or for overnight.

I highly recommend a baby gate to keep your dog confined to part of the house instead of having the run of the whole house at will.  This will make it much easier to clean up after him until he is trained.

I highly recommend crate training for dogs. All four of my dogs are crate trained and they go to lie in their crates during the day whenever they get nervous, or just want to get away from whatever is going on,  and since they like being in their crates I can leave the house with my dogs secure in their crates and know I will be coming back to a house the same way that I left it.   (I had some friends who got a puppy and I had recommended crate training ... they didn't think they needed it ... .six months later they were telling me stories about the dog running around like a maniac first thing in the morning, also pooing on the carpet first thing in the morning before they could get up to let it out, and chewing on socks and shoes all night long ...  I  was like "Well, that is why you need a crate, duh!" ... next day they had a crate and have been much happier ever since.) 

As to getting fixed, I believe that 12 weeks in the youngest they recommend (but I could be wrong about this).

I did a lot of internet research when I got my first dog ... so I don't know too much about which book is the best (sorry!)

Last Edited on: 1/6/10 1:44 AM ET - Total times edited: 4
Date Posted: 1/6/2010 12:31 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2008
Posts: 407
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Thanks so much for all the advice.  I agree that he was too young to leave his mom, but it wasn't our decision.


We went to a local store and got some epilac (or something like that) which is puppy milk and have it mixed with rice cereal to help with diariah.  We got some Natural Balance food to mix with the food they had been trying to give them.  We'll continue to try to get him to eat the dry food (and give him some with water)  He seems to sleep a lot, but has a lot of energy when he's awake.  He was 1.75 pounds, so we are going to have him weighed on Monday and see how he's doing.

Date Posted: 1/6/2010 3:04 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,246
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If your puppy has a diahrhea problem, try mixing some cooked rice into his food.

One of my puppies had a terrible diahrhea problem when I got him that lasted for about 4 months. It impacted his house training because although he had learned that he was supposed to go outside for potty, and he had learned how to let me know that he wanted to go outside ... he couldn't hold in the diahrhea until I could open the door. Luckily I have a tile floor, so even though I had to clean up messes every single day until we got the diahrhea under control, at least it wasn't carpet. (That puppy is 3 now, and he has NEVER had an accident since we got the diahrhea under control).

So, to control the severe diahrhea that my puppy had, my vet had me take him off commercial food altogether and I made my own food for him of cooked chicken mixed with cooked rice. The rice is suposed to help with the diahrhea. My puppy also had medicine that I was giving him every day (don't remember exactly what it was). Also, I had quite a  few vet visits in a row because diahrhea should not last longer than a few days once you start treatment ... if it does, they start needing to look at other possible causes, like deworming, or a giardia test, etc. My poor puppy had to go thru a lot of tests before we got his diahrhea under control.

Date Posted: 1/6/2010 4:15 PM ET
Member Since: 5/17/2009
Posts: 3
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Oh, so little! The diarrhea could be anything, really. Giardia is super-common, but pretty treatable. If you got a puppy that young, I'd suspect giardia right away, although it could be due to the too-early weaning.

As for books, I love How to Teach a New Dog Old Tricks by Dr. Ian Dunbar. It worked wonders for us and is a no-stress way to teach your puppy. :-) Good luck!

Date Posted: 1/6/2010 5:23 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,574
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Boy, my last puppy will be my last one.  I am going to get rescue dogs from now on from Golden Retiever rescue because it doesn't matter how many books you read, puppies, like kids learn all their tricks good and bad from other dogs and YOU!

I have the worst dog training attitude.  I baby them and spoil them and let them beg, sleep on the bed with me and every bad thing in the world and the miracle is that Goldens STILL turn out good dogs in spite of ME.  I love dogs and they love me, but I had to find a breed that could learn to train me properly. 

Date Posted: 1/27/2010 1:39 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 13,991
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Pam---you are wonderful to think about rescue dogs. We have two, both gotten as adults, and it was soooo nice not to have to go through all the issues that come with puppies---even though they are so adorable.

There are so many dogs out there that need homes, I wish more people would consider this. Almost all breeds have rescue groups, with really fine, well-trained dogs who desparately need a loving home, not just somebody who thought their color matched their decor (true story, more times than you'd think) or "it was so cute on that TV show"......

Date Posted: 2/21/2010 8:09 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2008
Posts: 3
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THANK YOU for planning to get your dog fixed. I have found Brian Kilcommons' books to be excellent, and I have seen them on PBS!