Pryde Puppy Pack Info

Starting Out

Take one young puppy, a new family and home, blend together and what you get is a recipe for fun and excitement or disaster. The future and success of this new relationship are often determined during puppy's first days in your home, when owner and dog begin to interact. This time can be difficult, but there are ways to ensure a smooth transition and help build the foundation for a long, happy and healthy life together.

"It can be an overwhelming, frightening, wonderful experience" said Matthew Margolis, California-based dog trainer and author of I Just Got a Puppy: What Do I Do?, "If you do it right, you have to do your homework -- read, research and educate yourself -- before you do it. Remember the five 'P's:' Prior planning prevents poor performance."

Assuming that you've studied different breeds, chosen a responsible breeder and picked a healthy dog, then the next step is to learn about dog behavior, and, how to raise, train and care for a puppy. Read books on the subject and talk to trainers, veterinarians and groomers for information.

Before bringing him home, decide what the new puppy will be permitted to do and what methods will be used to teach him household manners. To prevent confusion Margolis said, "Everybody has to agree how to raise the puppy. You don't want one person praising the dog and one person saying 'no.' The more family members involved in the training, the better. Then no one gets mixed messages."

Map out a strategy for consistency. Select specific words or phrases to use when praising, correcting or training the puppy. Plan where the dog will be kept, how he will be house-trained, who will feed, exercise and clean up after him and when it will be done.

"It's important to decide these things before the puppy comes home," said Margolis, "Decide on everything the puppy needs for a comfortable transition from the breeder to his new home."

Some breeders may start crate-training or house-breaking a puppy prior to the sale, to better prepare him for his new home. "I told my breeder that my puppy's name would be 'Flash' and she called her that. She used the specific crate I planned on using and she sent an old towel that smelled like home with her, said Dr. Debbie Eldredge, DVM, from Vernon, New York, AFlash's transition was a piece of cake. So many of the new-puppy problems weren't problems. What an incredible way to start with a new dog."

If possible, Dr. Eldredge recommends sending a blanket and toy for your new puppy to use while still in the breeder's home. When he leaves, he can bring possessions with him that smell familiar, which may ease his initial loneliness. Get the breeder to supply you with some of the food the puppy has been eating, as well as the schedule she has used to feed and exercise the pups. Also obtain a health and vaccination history, and any other written care instructions the breeder may suggest.

Prior to the puppy's arrival, make certain to puppy-proof the house. Have all necessary equipment and supplies on hand and ready for use. Decide when you will bring the puppy home. Try to arrange a date when the weather will be pleasant, and on a weekend or day-off so you can be home with the new pup.
Puppy's first days home will be a whirlwind of potty breaks, feedings, play time, more potty breaks, explorations and introductions. Introduce him to any children and other pets in the household. Take him to meet your veterinarian and for a preliminary exam. Show the new puppy his home -- where he will eat, eliminate, sleep and live. "The first week should be introductions to the home, said Margolis. We want to make him as comfortable as we can. This isn't his natural environment, he has to get used to it."

To help puppy adapt to the new environment, Dr Eldredge said, "People need to realize a puppy shouldn't have the run of the house. During play time, he can explore one or two rooms when you are with him."

As he explores, monitor his behavior and let him know how he's doing. "Praise the puppy for exploring new areas. Tell him he's a good dog. This helps him to adapt and lets him know he's behaving appropriately," said New York City dog trainer and author of Mother Knows Best, Carol Lea Benjamin, "There's also nothing wrong with saying 'no don't chew this, but here's a ball.' Substitute good for bad. This is how to teach a dog to behave in his new home."

What type of behavior can be expected from a puppy those first days? "Many new dog owners either don't know or don't remember what is normal behavior for young puppies," said Sara Staats(*1), PhD, a psychology professor at the Ohio State University Newark campus, "The problem often isn't with the dogs, it's with the owners' expectations."

Margolis said, "What can you really expect? Assume that the puppy will do everything wrong. He will chew, cry, whine, dirty, maybe be shy or rambunctious, and that's normal." Getting into trouble is a normal part of puppyhood. "Puppies this young can't be expected to be perfectly well-behaved without training from the owners," said Staats.

Your puppy will be more secure and happy if he knows what is expected of him. To prevent the bad behavior that may come from not understanding his limits, training must be started as soon as the pup comes home. Teaching the puppy makes him aware of "the boundaries that make him feel secure and safe as a pack animal," said Benjamin, "All creatures need to understand the rules of the world in which they live."

Training methods for a young puppy should never be rigid or harsh, particularly during those first days when you are developing a lifetime bond. Never hit or yell at the pup. Remember that the puppy is a baby and as such needs special care and attention. "How would you want to be treated if you were new in someone's home? What would you like and dislike? This is how the pup would want to be treated," Margolis said, "Think of him like a child. He needs shown and praised, not disciplined and punished."

Teach the pup in a kind and patient manner, and gently establish yourself as his leader. "Give the puppy mental stimulation. Name everything you're doing. This educates him, makes his brain grow and helps him to concentrate and listen to you," Benjamin said.

Benjamin suggests using a game to teach the puppy. "Walk through the house calling the pup in a sweet and encouraging way. The puppy will turn and follow you. This says, 'I'm the leader and you're the follower.'," said Benjamin, "It sets the tone for the relationship and gives the dog structure without doing anything that appears to be training. This lays the ground work for future training and starts the bonding process."

Make the puppy feel welcome and loved when he first comes into your home. "The most important advice to the owner is to bond with their new family member. This relationship is about love. Sit down with him and stroke him, talk to him," Margolis said, "You will bond with the puppy playing with and feeding him, praising him when he goes outside, grooming him. It all should be done as a welcome to his new home."

Puppy's early weeks in your home will be a busy, tiring, exhilarating time. It's important to keep in mind that the events of this period will set patterns for the years ahead. "Remember in the midst of all the excitement that this is a living being that's going to share your life for 15 years or more," said Dr. Eldredge, "If you start that first day trying to make it as positive as possible, you and your puppy are more likely to have a lifetime of good relationship."

Providing a Safe Home For Your Puppy

Start with puppy-proofing your home. Just as you would “child” proof your home for a toddler, you must do the same for your puppy. Like toddlers, puppies will put everything in their mouth to see if it can be eaten or chewed, as well as explore places you didn’t know you had. All of which can be hazardous to his health.

His new home is a new, exciting world he is anxious to explore. Restrict the puppy to small areas where he can be watched. Look around the area and put away items he will want to chew/explore (shoes, waste baskets, children’s toys). What can’t be put away (such as the furniture), spray with Bitter Apple spray. Close off areas you don’t want the puppy exploring until he’s better trained by closing the door or putting up a gate. If possible, gate off the area the pup should remain in.

When you are too busy to watch the puppy or you have to leave, keep the puppy in the crate where he is safe. Just as you wouldn’t leave a toddler unattended, never leave your puppy/dog running loose in the yard or house. He is bound to get himself into trouble. The crate is meant to be used as a playpen, crib, or secure transport device.

Have a special place to set up your puppy’s crate. Most Boxers like to be in the same room as the family. If your puppy won’t settle down, try putting a dark blanket over the crate. Sometimes the crate needs to be put somewhere quiet. If necessary, try different places and see which area your puppy does less crying/howling.

A final note: Just as toddlers playing together require constant supervision, so do children and puppies. Neither knows the appropriate manner in which to play with each other. Kids can tug, hit, or squeeze a puppy in a manner that can injure the puppy. As well, puppies are rambunctious and excitable and can unintentionally knock down a child or grab their clothes and tug them to the ground. Be consistent in teaching both children and puppies good manners.

 Providing a safe, loving environment, as well as a consistent training routine for your puppy will be a rewarding family experience.

Puppy Supply List

Crate & Bedding

This should be the first item in the your cart. The wired crates are easier to move around, as they usually fold down. For a Boxer, you will need one at least 36x24x28. If you are getting a male Boxer, you may want to go to the next size up. Many wired crates can be purchased with a divider, which you can use while your puppy is small.

For bedding, get something washable. Imitation sheepskin is great for puppies because the material is designed to draw moisture from the surface. This will give your puppy a dry place to sleep even if he has an accident in his crate. Line the entire bottom of the crate with newspaper and lay the sheepskin on one half of the crate. Hopefully if the puppy does go in the crate, he will go on the newspaper. No lambskin? Old blankets or throws work great too.

When the puppy is a little older and less likely to have accidents in the crate, put a chew item in the crate to keep him busy and help prevent boredom.

Stainless Steel Bowls

For a puppy, a 1 qt size bowl is recommended for putting their food in. When they are older, you will need a 2 quart bowl.  The water bowl should be a 2-3 quart wide based, non-tip bowl. If you are buying bowls that hang on the inside of the crate, do not get the ones that have a looped “hook”, as a puppy can get their head stuck in the loop if the dish is knocked off. Make sure you get the ones that have a clamp that secures the dish tightly to the crate. You can also provide a 2 qt bucket that hangs or clips on a wire crate for water.

Leash and Collar

Puppies are going to grow, so don’t spend too much money on the first one. Purchase an adjustable collar (10’-14”). When he grows out of it, get the next adjustable size up. That should be the last collar he needs. Boxers on average weigh between 40-90 lbs, so I prefer the wide, flat leashes.

Nail Clippers

Most people prefer the cordless grinders (Dremel) found in your local hardware store or dog supply catalog. If you prefer the traditional clippers, the “pliers” style cutters are recommended.


Make sure the toys are safe, not too small to swallow and have plenty of them. All dogs love balls, twisted ropes and squeak toys, just make sure they are not a solid rubber ball (like the old super balls), as they split and become a choking hazard. Rule of thumb to prevent a choking hazrad to puppies, if it can fit in their mouth and not hang out it is too small of a toy for them to play with. Please do NOT purchase and give your new puppy/dog any of the "rope" knot toys. These string like rope toys as the pieces are chewed off can be swallowed then become entwined in your puppy/dog's digestive tract and could cause irreversible damage or even death.


Every breeder/owner has their “favorite” brand of dog food. Start with the brand your breeder already has the puppy on. If you want to change, do it gradually so you don’t throw your puppy’s digestive system off track. Even as adults, I pour heated water over their food and soak it for 5 minutes. This seams to let the “gases” out of the food. Then I add a large spoon of canned meat and mix it in. This helps cut down on Boxers having gas and less chance of choking. When you go home with your new puppy the food they have been eating will be provided by us for you to either continue them on or so that you can gradually switch them over.


All dogs love to chew on bones. There are many kinds. Favorites are shank and knuckle bones. These can be purchased in pet stores. The smaller ones can be purchased with a filling inside. They can be refilled a few times with either peanut butter or Cheese Whiz. This will occupy your dog for awhile. You can also freeze the bone with the filling inside, providing the puppy more time to chew out the filling. When a bone starts to wear thin or splinter it becomes a choking hazard, discard it. DO NOT give poultry bones, pork bones or steak bones!!!! DO NOT give puppy or dog ANY cooked bones. Once bones are cooked they become more brittle and more likely to splinter. These splinters can lodge in a throat and or severely injure your puppy/dog. If you wish to give them a natural boned to chew on we HIGHLY suggest to give them ONLY the beef knuckle bones.We also DO NOT recommend giving rawhide because it is a choking hazard as well as too much rawhide can bind a puppy/dog.

ID Tag

If putting an ID tag on your puppy, always update the information when needed.


Purchase a safety gate (found in the infant section) to block areas that you want to keep your puppy out of/or inside of.

First Days At Home

You've just brought home your new puppy. Where do you start? For the next few days, your life will revolve around puppy's needs and schedule, so begin that first minute by getting him into a regular routine.

As you develop your daily care schedule, remember that young puppies can't control their bladders well and need to be let out about every three to four hours. Normally they'll also need to eliminate following playtime and after drinking or eating.

If the breeder fed and exercised him at certain times, try to implement the same schedule in your home. If changes need to be made, do so gradually to help puppy adapt.

First day

As soon as puppy arrives, show him where his "potty area" will be and allow him time to eliminate and stretch his legs. Next, bring him inside to his crate for some quiet time. While he's in his crate, puppy can look around and start to check out his surroundings. Do not overwhelm puppy immediately with too many new people, pets or strange situations. Talk to puppy and try to sooth any fears he may have.

After a brief nap, let puppy out for a potty break and some supervised playtime and petting. If it's time, feed the puppy, take him out again, then let him go back into his crate. As the day passes, introduce puppy gradually to his new home and family.

Stick to a familiar routine, show him he is welcome and puppy will begin to settle happily into your household.

First night

Some puppies may cry throughout the night because they miss their old home and litter mates. It's best to keep puppy's crate next to your bed for the first week or two. Put a safe chew toy and a familiar smelling towel or blanket from puppy's first home into his crate. If possible, hang your arm over the bed so that puppy can lick your fingers or smell your scent until he falls asleep.

In cases where puppy has to sleep in a room away from you, a night light and a ticking clock or soft music may help him to sleep better.

Most puppies will need to be taken outside during the night, and again early in the morning to eliminate.

First day home alone

When you return to work and puppy has to spend his first day alone, there are some steps to help make it easier for him.
Before you leave, put puppy out for his potty break. Feed him in his crate while you're getting ready. Let him out again to eliminate, then allow some play or exercise time. Return him to his crate with some safe toys before leaving. Give the puppy a bowl of ice to lap instead of water, since you won't be there to let him out.

Leave on a radio for pup while you're gone. If you have an answering machine, call and talk to the puppy during the day.

Someone will need to come home for lunch and let the puppy out to potty. If a family member can't do the job, ask a neighbor or relative, or hire a pet sitter.

When you return home, greet your puppy and resume his normal schedule. Spend some time -- playing, teaching him and being together -- and enjoy each other's company.

First Vet Visit

In order to ensure a new puppy's health, it is important to schedule an examination with a veterinarian during the first days that he is in your care.

"We prefer that vet involvement starts early," said Dr. Marty Becker, DVM, and author of Becoming Your Dog's Best Friend, "Our goal is to prevent problems. In that first visit we are forging out a lifetime of care."

During that first visit the vet will check the puppy for obvious congenital defects. Most breeders prefer this to be done within 72 hours after the puppy has left their kennel. The vet will ask about the pet's health history, perform a thorough physical examination, give any vaccinations that may be due and look for internal and external parasites.

Many vets take the time to instruct new owners about nutrition and preventive care such as heartworm medication and sterilization surgery. At the first visit Dr. Debbie Eldredge, a veterinarian from Vernon, New York, said,"I like to mention spaying and neutering to people because I want them thinking right from day one about having it done."

If the owner has unanswered questions about puppy care or behavior, the first visit is a good time to ask for help. "We are going to look into the health, happiness and longevity of the pet," said Dr. Becker, "We try to find out what the owner's concerns are and address behavior issues too. We'll communicate about how the owner feels about their pet, which is a uniquely precious bond. We particularly emphasize this on the first visit. It has everything to do with a positive outcome for the partnership."

Preparing for the First Vet Visit

As soon as you set a date for picking up your puppy, call your veterinarian's office and schedule an appointment for a "new puppy" visit.

For that visit to the vet, bring:
* Medical records, including vaccination history, and health care instructions that came with the puppy;
* Any medications the puppy is currently taking;
* A fresh stool sample;
* The name of or ingredients found in puppy's food;
* Information on where and how your puppy was born and raised;
* A list of questions to ask or issues to discuss.

Puppy Prep Kit

Getting a new puppy is a great reason to go shopping. Below is a list of supplies you will need to have on hand and ready to use before puppy comes home with you.

* Books about breed information, home-medical reference for dogs, puppy care and training, dog behavior.
* Food , food and water bowls (two sets), food storage containers.

* Crate, crate padding or bed -- possibly use old blankets or towels.
* Toys, chew toys.
* Puppy collar and leash, identification tag.

* Healthy, bite-sized treats for training and rewards.
* Baby gate; possibly an exercise pen.
* Sweater if the puppy is a short-haired or hairless breed and the weather is cold.

* Cleaners, disinfectants, odor neutralizer, air freshener, carpet cleaner; consider getting a hand-held spot cleaning machine.
* Pooper -scooper tools, large outdoor garbage bags, old newspapers.
* Paper towels, small indoor garbage bags.

* Puppy-resistant, indoor trash cans
* Grooming equipment, such as comb or brush suited for puppies fur type; towels for drying puppy if he gets wet outdoors.
* A box or container for storing puppy's toys or supplies when not in use.

When you travel to pick up your puppy, or even when transporting him to and from the vet's, it's a good idea to carry a bag of dog-related supplies with you. These could include:

* Water, water bowl, light snack (healthy treats or small serving of his regular food).
* Paper towels, carpet cleaner, sandwich bags (for solid messes), plastic bags for disposing of soiled towels or pooper scooper bags, waterless shampoo (rinse-free) for emergency cleanup if puppy gets carsick and vomits on himself, air freshener spray.

* Identification papers and tag; health and shot records if crossing state or country borders.
* Extra leash and puppy collar.
* Blanket and chew toy for crate.

When planning your trip, pick routes that aren't too winding, hilly or bumpy and which could cause puppy to get carsick. For safety, transport the puppy in a portable crate. Place the crate where it will not slide or fall while the vehicle is in motion. Allow time for potty stops for pup. When you let him out of the car, have him securely on a leash and exercise him in an area away from traffic. Don't leave puppy alone in the car, where he could become overheated, chilled or afraid.

Introducing Kids To Puppy

Kids and puppies are a wonderful combination -- if the children are educated about and prepared to have a pup. If children don't know how to properly treat a young dog, one or both may become seriously injured. Here are some tips on how to accustom your children and puppy to one another.

* Read easy-to-understand books about puppy care, safe handling, and dog behavior to your children prior to getting a puppy. Discuss what you have read with your children.

* Demonstrate how to properly handle a young pup by using a stuffed toy dog. Have your children practice with the toy animal.

* Have a family meeting and set the ground rules for bringing up pup. Children need to agree to follow these rules before and after puppy comes home.

* Make puppy his own little home-within-a-home as a safe haven. Involve children in setting-up this space. Pick a warm, comfortable location for puppy's crate. Enclose an area around it with an exercise pen or cardboard, and line the area with newspapers. Place pup's toys, bowls and bed in this area.

* Keep very young children and puppies separated. ALWAYS supervise small children and puppies. Be sure that older children are treating the puppy appropriately.

* When pup and kids meet for the first time, it should be done in a calm manner. An adult can hold the puppy while children slowly and quietly approach and allow the pup to smell the back of their loosely closed fist. Then they may gently pet him.

* Children must not be allowed to hurt or roughly handle a puppy. Don=t allow them to pinch or poke the puppy or pull pup=s tail or ears. Be careful not to let them step on or drop the pup, or to squeeze him too tightly. And never tease or torment him.

* Never let a child hit a puppy.

* Puppies may be afraid of squealing, yelling, running stomping children. Keep pup in his space when they are playing, or have them play quiet games when pup is out.

* Children should not play chase with the puppy -- regardless of who is chasing whom. They should also refrain from playing dominance-establishing games, such as tug-of-war. Teach children not to stare, bark or growl at pup as part of their play as this may make puppy feel threatened.
* Teach children not to sneak up behind or startle puppy, and, to leave him alone when he is eating, resting or sick.

* Do not make a child responsible for a puppy's care. When children are old enough, involve them in the puppy's daily care and overall training.

* Teach children to nurture, love and respect the puppy; teach them by example.

Pets and Puppy

If introductions are not properly done, the fur can fly if you already have another pet and add a new puppy to the household. Here are some steps to help your new and old pets adjust to one another.

* If you already have a pet that will not be able to accept or get along with a puppy, don't get a puppy.

* If there is more than one other pet at home, introduce the puppy to them one at a time, beginning with the alpha (head) dog or cat. Introduce them first through the crate, allowing them to see and smell each other. After a few days, let them meet without the crate between them, but have one person hold or restrain each animal.

* Hold introductions in a neutral space if possible, such as in the yard or family room.

* Don't do introductions at meal time and always separate when feeding.

* Each pet must have their own food and water bowls, bed, toys and crate or space. Show the existing pets that they will still get sufficient food, and still have their own possessions that the new puppy may not have.

* Keep the puppy and other pets separated until they accept each other's presence. ALWAYS supervise all contact until their relationship is reliable and they get along well.

* The adjustment will not happen overnight. Give the animals sufficient time to accept each other. Introductions should be done slowly, over a period of at least one to two weeks.

* Let the existing pets know the new member of the "pack" is here to stay and should be accepted. Let the puppy know he is the new kid on the block and should learn to become part of the pack.

* Give sufficient attention, first, to older pets, then to the new puppy.

* Owner should continue to support the existing hierarchy of the pack prior to pup's arrival, but don't show favoritism to one animal over another.

* When old and new pets can be together (supervised of course), play as a group and show them that they can have a good time as a larger pack.

Puppy Proofing Your Home

Puppies are notoriously adept at getting into trouble, chewing or shredding dangerous objects, or personal belongings that are off limits to tiny teeth. In a matter of minutes, a single, small pup can cause hundreds, even thousands of dollars worth of damage, and seriously injure themselves in the process.

If you don't want your puppy's first days eek home to be a series of reprimands, "No. Leave that alone. Get out of there. Drop that. Stop it. No," then puppy-proof your house and yard before he arrives. Think of it as child-proofing your home, except that a puppy is smaller and more active than a baby and can therefore get into more things.

Put up barricades or baby gates across areas where the puppy isn't allowed. Close doors, cabinets, and drawers to rooms or storage spaces where pup could get into trouble. Since a puppy believes that it's okay to chew anything that is within reach, provide plenty of toys to keep him busy. And always, keep a close eye on what puppy is doing, no matter how well you have prepared your home for his arrival.

Here are some precautions you can take to get your home ready and keep puppy safe. Spray a repellant, such as Bitter Apple on objects such as chair legs, that cannot be placed out of harm's way. Pick up, put away, secure, hide or keep puppy away from or out of reach:

* Small pets such as hamsters and fish tanks;
* Houseplants, some of which are poisonous, including the dead leaves. Check with your vet or green house before adding new plants;

* Some children's toys have small parts;
* Crayons, pens, pencils, paper clips, pins, tacks, staples;
* Paper shredder;
* Books, magazines, mail, newspapers, important documents;
* Money, paper or coin, checks;

* Electrical cords or wires;
* Telephone cords, computer cables;
* Drawstrings from draperies or blinds

* Television and other remotes controls, VCR tapes;
* Knick-knacks, figurines, or collectibles, heavy items like lamps that can get pulled own or knocked over;

* Firewood or debris from fireplaces;
* Pillows, fabric arm covers, afghans or throws
* Throw rugs, bathmats
* Candles, potpourri, air fresheners;

* Food, candy dishes, food crumbs, bones or discarded cooking items;
* Ovens, cooktops or hot pans;
* Puppy's food and treats (can overeat and get ill or bloat)
* Alcoholic beverages
* Trash compactor, garbage and trash cans or bags;

* Paper towels and napkins, clean or dirty;
* Tissues or toilet paper;
* Bed and bath linens;

* Clothing, gloves, hats, shoes, dirty laundry;
* Jewelry, combs, toothbrushes, hair ribbons or pins
* Medications, drugs, toiletries, cosmetics;

* Cleaning items, rags, sponges, household chemicals, detergents;
* Sporting equipment, hunting or fishing gear, craft-working items;
* Tools, nails, string, fasteners, glue.

Garages, basements and attics may be filled with so many hazardous objects, that it's best to prevent puppy from entering these rooms at all. After puppy-proofing indoors, do the yard area to which pup will have access.

* Check fencing for weak or broken areas where puppy could escape. Lock fence gates.
* Do not let puppy near a swimming pool or pond where he could fall in and drown.

* Many outdoor plants, flowers and shrubs are poisonous. Plant only in gardens where puppy will not be permitted. Check with a veterinarian or landscaper about what plants to avoid. Also, don't let puppy eat his way through your vegetable garden.

* Don't use fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides on the ground in puppy's area if possible. If these chemicals must be used, keep the pup off the lawn for at least 48 hours afterwards. Check with your vet before allowing puppy back into a treated yard.

* Leave puppy in the house while working on the lawn. Put away all gardening tools, such as hoses and rakes, when finished using them.

* Keep puppy's potty area clean -- scoop the poop daily!
* Always watch puppy when he is playing outdoors and inside.

When you think you're finished puppy-proofing, go room to room, and look at each and every item. Do you see something you missed before? Are there objects in which puppy could get caught or tangled? that could be pulled down or ripped up? Ask yourself, "If I were a puppy, would this be an interesting place to explore? Would this be fun to chew, shred, carry or hide? " Once you've made your household safe for puppy and your belongings, introduce him to his new environment and watch him happily adapt to his new home.

Crate Training

Providing your puppy or dog with an indoor kennel crate can satisfy many dogs' need for a den-like enclosure. Besides being an effective housebreaking tool (because it takes advantage of the dog's natural reluctance to soil its sleeping place), it can also help to reduce separation anxiety, to prevent destructive behavior (such as chewing furniture), to keep a puppy away from potentially dangerous household items (i.e., poisons, electrical wires, etc.), and to serve as a mobile indoor dog house which can be moved from room to room whenever necessary.

A kennel crate also serves as a travel cabin for you dog when travelling by car or plane. Additionally, most hotels which accept dogs on their premises require them to be crated while in the room to prevent damage to hotel furniture and rugs.

Most dogs which have been introduced to the kennel crate while still young grow up to prefer their crate to rest in or "hang-out" in. Therefore a crate (or any other area of confinement) should NEVER be used for the purpose of punishment.
We recommend that you provide a kennel crate throughout your dog's lifetime. Some crates allow for the removal of the door once it is no longer necessary for the purpose of training. The crate can be placed under a table, or a table top can be put on top of it to make it both unobtrusive and useful.

Preparing the Crate

Vari-Kennel type: Take the crate apart, removing the screws, the top and the door. Allow your pup to go in and out of the bottom half of the crate before attaching the top half. This stage can require anywhere from several hours to a few days. This step can be omitted in the case of a young puppy who accepts crating right away.

Wire Mesh type:Tie the crate door back so that it stays open without moving or shutting closed. If the crate comes with a floor pan, place a piece of cardboard or a towel between the floor (or crate bottom) and the floor pan in order to keep it from rattling.

Furnishing Your Puppy's Crate

Toys and Treats: Place your puppy's favorite toys and dog treats at the far end opposite the door opening. These toys may include the "Tuffy", "Billy", "Kong", "Nylabone" or a ball. Toys and bails should always be inedible and large enough to prevent their being swallowed. Any fragmented toys should be removed to prevent choking and internal obstruction. You may also place a sterilized marrow bone filled with cheese or dog treats in the crate.

Water: A small hamster-type water dispenser with ice water should be attached to the crate if your puppy is to be confined for more than two hours in the crate.

Bedding: Place a towel or blanket inside the crate to create a soft, comfortable bed for the puppy. If the puppy chews the towel, remove it to prevent the pup from swallowing or choking on the pieces. Although most puppies prefer lying on soft bedding, some may prefer to rest on a hard, flat surface, and may push the towel to one end of the crate to avoid it. If the puppy urinates on the towel, remove bedding until the pup no longer eliminates in the crate.

Location of Crate

Whenever possible, place the crate near or next to you when you are home. This will encourage the pup to go inside it without his feeling lonely or isolated when you go out. A central room in the apartment (i.e.: living room or kitchen) or a large hallway near the entrance is a good place to crate your puppy.

Introducing the Crate to Your Puppy

In order that your puppy associate his/her kennel crate with comfort, security and enjoyment, please follow these guidelines:

Occasionally throughout the day, drop small pieces of kibble or dog biscuits in the crate. While investigating his new crate, the pup will discover edible treasures, thereby reinforcing his positive associations with the crate. You may also feed him in the crate to create the same effect. If the dog hesitates, it often works to feed him in front of the crate, then right inside the doorway and then, finally, in the back of the crate.

 In the beginning, praise and pet your pup when he enters. Do not try to push, pull or force the puppy into the crate. At this early stage of introduction only inducive methods are suggested. Overnight exception: You may need to place your pup in his crate and shut the door upon retiring. (In most cases, the crate should be placed next to your bed overnight. If this is not possible, the crate can be placed in the kitchen, bathroom or living room.)

 You may also play this enjoyable and educational game with your pup or dog: without alerting your puppy, drop a small dog biscuit into the crate. Then call your puppy and say to him, "Where's the biscuit? It's in your room." Using only a friendly, encouraging voice, direct your pup toward his crate. When the puppy discovers the treat, give enthusiastic praise. The biscuit will automatically serve as a primary reward. Your pup should be free to leave its crate at all times during this game. Later on, your puppy's toy or ball can be substituted for the treat.

 It is advisable first to crate your pup for short periods of time while you are home with him. In fact, crate training is best accomplished while you are in the room with your dog. Getting him used to your absence from the room in which he is crated is a good first step. This prevents an association being made with the crate and your leaving him/her alone.
A Note About Crating Puppies
Puppies under 4 months of age have little bladder or sphincter control. Puppies under 3 months have even less. Very young puppies under 9 weeks should not be crated, as they need to eliminate very frequently (usually 8-12 times or more daily).

Important Reminders

Collars: Always remove your puppy or dog's collar before confining in the crate. Even flat buckle collars can occasionally get struck on the bars or wire mesh of a crate. If you must leave a collar on the pup when you crate him (e.g.: for his identification tag), use a safety "break away" collar.

Warm Weather: Do not crate a puppy or dog when temperatures reach an uncomfortable level. This is especially true for the short-muzzled (Pugs, Pekes, Bulldogs, etc.) and the Arctic or thick- coated breeds (Malamutes, Huskies, Akitas, Newfoundlands, etc.). Cold water should always be available to puppies, especially during warm weather. [Never leave an unsupervised dog on a terrace, roof or inside a car during warm weather. Also, keep outdoor exercise periods brief until the hot weather subsides.]

Be certain that your puppy has fully eliminated shortly before being crated. Be sure that the crate you are using is not too large to discourage your pup from eliminating in it. Rarely does a pup or dog eliminate in the crate if it is properly sized and the dog is an appropriate age to be crated a given amount of time. If your pup/dog continues to eliminate in the crate, the following may be the causes:

 ***The pup is too young to have much control.
 ***The pup has a poor or rich diet, or very large meals.
 ***The pup did not eliminate prior to being confined.
 ***The pup has worms.
 ***The pup has gaseous or loose stools.
 ***The pup drank large amounts of water prior to being crated.
 ***The pup has been forced to eliminate in small confined areas prior to crate training.
 ***The pup/dog is suffering from a health condition or illness (i.e., bladder infection, prostate problem, etc.)

The puppy or dog is experiencing severe separation anxiety when left alone.

Note: Puppies purchased in pet stores, or puppies which were kept solely in small cages or other similar enclosures at a young age (between approximately 7 and 16 weeks of age), may be considerably harder to housebreak using the crate training method due to their having been forced to eliminate in their sleeping area during this formative stage of development. This is the time when most puppies are learning to eliminate outside their sleeping area. Confining them with their waste products retards the housebreaking process, and this problem can continue throughout a dog's adult life.

Accidents In The Crate

If your puppy messes in his crate while you are out, do not punish him upon your return. Simply wash out the crate using a pet odor neutralizer (such as Nature's Miracle, Nilodor, or Outright). Do not use ammonia-based products, as their odor resembles urine and may draw your dog back to urinate in the same spot again.

Crating Duration Guidelines
9-10 Weeks Approx. 30-60 minutes
11-14 Weeks Approx. 1-3 hours
15-16 Weeks Approx. 3-4 hours
17 + Weeks Approx. 4+ (6 hours maximum)

*NOTE: Except for overnight, neither puppies nor dogs should be crated
for more than 5 hours at a time. (6 hours maximum!)

The Crate As Punishment

NEVER use the crate as a form of punishment or reprimand for your puppy or dog. This simply causes the dog to fear and resent the crate. If correctly introduced to his crate, your puppy should be happy to go into his crate at any time. You may however use the crate as a brief time-out for your puppy as a way of discouraging nipping or excessive rowdiness.

[NOTE: Sufficient daily exercize is important for healthy puppies and dogs. Regular daily walks should be offered as soon as a puppy is fully immunized. Backyard exercize is not enough!]

Children And The Crate

Do not allow children to play in your dog's crate or to handle your dog while he/she is in the crate. The crate is your dog's private sanctuary. His/her rights to privacy should always be respected.

Barking In The Crate

In most cases a pup who cries incessantly in his crate has either been crated too soon (without taking the proper steps as outlined above) or is suffering from separation anxiety and is anxious about being left alone. Some pups may simply under exercised. Others may not have enough attention paid them. Some breeds of dog may be particularly vocal (e.g., Miniature Pinchers, Mini Schnauzers, and other frisky terrier types). These dogs may need the "Alternate Method of Confining Your Dog", along with increasing the amount of exercise and play your dog receives daily.

When Not To Use A Crate

Do not crate your puppy or dog if:

*S/he is too young to have sufficient bladder or sphincter control.

*S/he has diarrhea. Diarrhea can be caused by: worms, illness, intestinal upsets such as colitis, too much and/or the wrong kinds of food, quick changes in the dogs diet, or stress, fear or anxiety.

* S/he is vomiting.

*You must leave him/her crated for more than the Crating Duration Guidelines suggest.

*S/he has not eliminated shortly before being placed inside the crate.
(See Housetraining Guidelines for exceptions.)

*The temperature is excessively high.

*S/he has not had sufficient exercise, companionship and socialization.
Buying a Crate

Where to buy a crate: Crates can be purchased through most pet supply outlets, through pet mail order catalogs and through most professional breeders.

Some examples are:
Crate Size and Manufacturers
Dog Size
Small: (Vari-Kennel #100 
or General Cage #201)
Toy Poodles, the Maltese, etc., 
with average weight of 6-10 lbs.
Med/Small: (Vari-Kennel #200 
or General Cage #202/212)
Mini Schnauzers, Jack Russells, etc., 
with average weight of 11-20 lbs. 
Medium: (Vari-Kennel #300
or General Cage #203/213)
Cocker Spaniels, Field Spaniels, small Shelties, 
etc., with average weight of 21-40 lbs. 
Large: (Vari-Kennel #400
or General Cage #204/214)
Huskies, large Samoyeds, small Golden Retrievers, 
etc., with average weight of 41-65 Ibs. 
Very Large: (Vari-Kennel #500 
or General Cage #205/215)
German Shepherds, Alaskan Malamutes,  Rottweilers, 
etc., with average weight of 67-100 lbs. 
Extra Large: (General Cage #206
or Mid-West #89-Z, 89-E or 99)
Newfoundlands, Great Danes, 
etc, with average weight of 110 lbs. plus. 

The Cost of A Crate

Crates can cost between $35 and $150 depending on the size and the type of crate and the source.

The Cost of Not Buying a Crate

The cost of not using a crate:
*your shoes
*table legs;
*chairs and sofas;
*throw rugs and carpet, and
*electric, telephone and computer wires.
*The real cost, however, is your dog's safety and your peace of mind.
Alternative Method Of Confining Your Puppy

There are alternative methods to crating very young puppies and puppies who must be left alone in the house for lengths of time exceeding the recommended maximum duration of confinement (see Crating Duration Guidelines). We suggest the following:

Use a small to medium-sized room space such as a kitchen, large bathroom or hallway with non- porous floor. Set up the crate on one end, the food and water a few feet away, and some newspaper (approx. 2'x3' to 3'x3') using a 3 to 4 layer thickness, several feet away. Confine your puppy to this room or area using a 3 ft. high, safety-approved child's gate rather than shutting off the opening by a solid door. Your pup will feel less isolated if it can see out beyond its immediate place of confinement. Puppy proof the area by removing any dangerous objects or substances.

Dog Safety For Modern Dogs

Auto Safety:

* Never allow your dog to ride in the back of an open
bed pickup. Your dog should only be allowed in the back
of the pickup in a crate that is securely tied down. If you
do transport your dog in a crate in the back of the pickup
make sure there is protection from overheating or chilling.
Never leave the dog in the crate in the sun. Provide
water often on warm days.

* Dog seat belts are available to secure your dog from
jumping around in the car. Crates can also be strapped
down with seat belts and used to keep the dog secured.
A crate may be helpful if your dog gets car sick.

* Keep water available for your dog as you travel.
Overheating can happen quickly causing heat prostration
and death. Special travel bowls are available with no spill
lids. Also freezing water in the bowl provides cool water
as it melts.

* Never keep the windows open far enough that your
dog can jump out. Window guards are available that allow more air.

* Never leave your dog in a parked car on hot days.
Temperatures rise quickly even with windows open.

* Provide cold damp towels for him to lay on to help
reduce heat stress.

* Have a leash on your dog before you open the car
door to let him out. Teach your dog the wait command
and make sure you have a firm grip on his leash before
giving him the command to get out of the car.

* Teach your dog to wait until you are ready for him to
load into the car. Use an unusual command that others
would not think of using if they were to try to steal your
dog. If you teach him "go for a ride?" or similar phrases it
makes it easy for someone to open the door of their car
and call him in. Whereas if you use an unusual command
such as "Boing Boing?" it would be harder to lure him in.
Your Boxer will start the bonding process almost
immediately. Some bond very quickly giving you a false
sense of security that your dog will stick close, come on
recall and always be tuned into you. It may be several
months before that bond has become strong enough and
your voice will be what he hears when he is excited.
Even then there is DANGER for your Boxer. Sometimes the excitement
of a passing car, child, bicycle rider, squirrel, cat or
another dog is enough to cause them to chase and put
themselves in harms way. Because of this many Boxers
die each year under the wheels of cars.
Protect your Boxer. Keep him safely on leash when
near traffic and never let him off leash to potty or
play in an unsecured area. Temptation can simply be
too great for our wonderful working dogs.
There are many dangers our dogs are subject to. Please
review this list as a reminder of how you can reduce the
risks to your dog.

Leashes and Collars:

* Check leashes and collars often for wear or chew spots.

* Have a leash on your dog before you open the car door.

* Make sure the leash is NOT attached to the ID tag rings.

* Check often to make sure ID tags can be read.

* Make sure the collar can not slip off over the head if
your dog panics and pulls. Use a slip or Martingale collar
for walking rather than a flat collar.

Fenced yards need to be secure, check for:

* Fencing: Is it adequate to contain the critter?

* Are there any bad spots in the fence that might easily
give way to a pushing dog?

* Is there anything near the fence that the dog can get
up on allowing a dog to use it as a springboard. ie: dog
house (they get on the house then pop over the fence),
wood pile, etc?

* Is there a garden/flowerbed near the fence that when
tilled would encourage the dog to start digging and dig

* Are there neighbor dogs that might cause
fence fighting if it is an open fence?

If there is no fence you MUST have a secure potty plan
and should have a safe area within a reasonable
distance to allow the dog to run and play.

Decks on two story homes:

* Are they safely surrounded by tall secure railings
that will keep a dog from falling or jumping?

* Is it close to a fence so the dog might vault off the
deck & over the fence?

* Are the rails such that a dog could get his head
caught? Are they chewed through?

* Are the stairs safe or can the dog fall through the
stair railing.?

* A gate at the top of the stairs MUST be high enough
that the dog can't jump over it.


* Are there garbage cans in a place where the dog can get to them?

* Are there any chemicals (fertilizer/sprays/
etc.) where the dog can get to them?

* Are there upright sprinkler heads? If so, they need to
have a bucket/coffee can over them so the dog can see
them and don't chew or get hurt on them.

* Does the dog have 'his' place? Is there a place where
he can dig and not get in trouble? (A kiddy pool with sand
to dig in, and one in the summer with water if the dog
likes water).

* Dogs should be kept off the grass and away from the
flowers and shrubs for a while after fertilizing or spraying
for insects. Don't put out insect killers or snail bait in
areas where the dog could eat or lick them.

* Dogs should always be kept in the house when
mowing the lawn or using yard equipment.

* Check to see if you have plants toxic to your dog in
your yard or home.

Other Animals:

* If you have other animals sheep /cattle/
horses /rabbits/chickens etc., are they safe from the dog?

* Other animal feed should be kept where the dog can
not get to it.

* In a barn keep poisons out of reach and make sure it
doesn't have residual kill if they eat a dead mouse.


* Make sure there is no antifreeze/gas/oil/
sprays/or chemicals sitting about.

* If there are shelves, washers or dryers that the dog
can get on you must have nothing dangerous within
reach of the dog if he were to get up on them.

* Is their oil on the floor the dog might lick off his feet or
track into the house?

* If the driveway goes into the dogs fenced area make
sure the dog is secure before pulling the car in or out.


* Is the trash can where the dog can get to it? They do
open cupboards. Garbage is dangerous.

* Secure the chemicals that are kept in the home so
the dog can't get to them.

* Are there fine collectibles, nic nac's that can be
damaged by a dog knocking into or chewing them?

* If you intend on having the dog in one area when you
are gone, is it secure? Is there a secure place for the dog
if people come who aren't comfortable with dogs?

* Make sure there are not small objects a dog could
chew or swallow and choke.

* Keep candies out of reach. Chocolate in particular is
dangerous. Nuts can be a danger causing bladder stones
and walnuts contain a common fungus that can cause
seizures in dogs.

* Garlic and onions can cause hemolytic anemia.

* If your home is a two story home, are there safety
screens on windows on the second floor that will be
secure enough to keep your dog from going through the
window and out onto the roof?


* If there are doors that go to the outside where there
is not a fenced yard, be prepared to restrain the dog so it
doesn't bolt out the door.

* Are there glass doors? Put a sticker or two on the
door to make it easier for the dog to see.


* Are they free of obstacles that might trip up a dog or
cause them to jump it and fall?

* If there is a gate at the top, it must be high enough
that the dog does not jump it.

Bicycling with your Dog:

* A comfortable speed for the cyclist could be a hard
work out for the dog, especially on a decline.

* Stay in touch with your dog. Heat Stroke can have
very subtle symptoms and if you are on a bike you are
more likely to be looking at where you are going, avoiding
glass, other bicyclists, joggers etc. and may not really be
tuned into your dog. It doesn't take much for an accident
to occur when balanced on two wheels.

* YOU must be careful and remember that other
people may not be aware of your dog and may strike him
or cause him to move into harms way.

* Boxers sometime find the moving tires, pant legs
etc. too overwhelming and may try to bite them, or stop
you or other cyclists by running in front and blocking the bike.

* As you ride. there may be other distractions that can
cause your dog harm. Moving cars, other people,
squirrels, cats and his instinct to chase can cause him to
bolt, unaware of other hazards.

Sepration Anxiety And Dogs

Much of what is called "separation anxiety" is really boredom, or the dog discovering the chance to engage in his favorite "hobbies" safely. If your dog spends every second that you're home glued to your side, including sleeping times, and any destruction you find happens within the first 20 minutes of your absence (use a video camera to watch, or come back within a short time period) then it's possible that you have a true case of separation anxiety. If your dog can spend the night away from you, and is comfortable being somewhat separated from you while you're home, you probably do not really have separation anxiety - you are more likely to be dealing with boredom or just inappropriate chewing, barking, digging, etc.

It is likely to be separation anxiety if:

  The dog chews on a variety of things, but chewing is often focused on items that smell most like you (or a particular person in your house) such as recently discarded clothes, including underwear or socks, or favorite chairs; and /or escape routes (doors or windows). The dog only chews these items when you're gone. (If your dog chews on the couch, or chews on things even when you're around, you have a houseproofing problem - see the other training tips for advice).

The dog tries to stay close to the things that smell most of you (chewed stuff will still be warm when you get home).

  The dog pees or poops inappropriately, in many locations.

  The dog barks continuously during the day, perhaps after a build-up of whining. The barking is not on-off-on-off. (For other kinds of barking, see the Barking Training Tip.)

  The dog always shows these behaviors when left alone.

  The dog is wild to greet you, and is still stressed, anxious and clingy when you first arrive home.

The dog does not appear "guilty" over destroyed items.

Destruction begins soon after you leave.

  The dog cannot be isolated from you at any time, even in a different room with the door closed.

  The dog sleeps with you. (This does not mean that all dogs who sleep with their owners will get separation anxiety. It does mean that dogs that survive being apart from you at night can survive it during the day, too).

  Sometimes, the dog can be left alone in a car (for any length of time) or other unusual location,
without showing anxiety or destructiveness.

  The dog gets increasingly distressed as you prepare to leave.

Here are some things you can do to help.

Try to make your arrivals and departures very boring and low-key. Don't make a big fuss over saying hello and goodbye.
Be very casual and up-beat.

Get your dog used to your getting-ready-to-leave cues, like picking up keys and jacket. Go through these actions repeatedly during the time when you're staying home, without actually leaving. If your dog has already learned to associate his fears with your depature cues, it will take a lot of repetitions before the dog will get it.

Give your dog more exercise. A tired dog is a good dog! A dog can sleep most of the day if he's tired enough. Most young dogs could use 20-100 minutes of full-speed running per day. Increase your dog's exercise. Don't forget mental exercise, like training, exploring new places, encountering new smells, and social interaction with other dogs. Taking your dog to a park where he can run and play with others may be crucial.

Give your dog something to do while you're gone! What does your dog do all day? Wait around for you to come home?

Give your dog an hobby. Jean Donaldson calls the solution to a lot of dog problems "work-to-eat" programs. Stuff a Kong or a hollow prepared bone, fill up a Buster Cube or Roll-A-Treat, scatter the dog's food in the grass or hide several chew treats around the house (see the Merchandise page for a description of some of these items). A dog that is working for goodies is not barking or chewing, and a dog that is eating is not very stressed!

Don't draw attention to forbidden objects just before leaving - in other words, don't straighten up or point out the items that you don't want the dog to chew. Your dog might misinterpret your attention and give those objects his attention just because of it.

Consider crating your dog. Some dogs are more comfortable when confined to a small "den". Make sure your dog can "hold it" for as long as you need him to, and provide plenty of exercise so that his main activity in the crate is sleeping. You might just want to consider leaving your dog in one room (rather than giving him the run of the house), and maybe leaving a radio on and an article of clothing that smells like you in the next room. Warning: Some dogs are a lot less comfortable confined to a crate when alone. Make sure your dog is comfortable and secure.

Consider taking your dog to doggie daycare or to a friend's house (or to work), so that he is not actually alone, while you train your dog to deal with being alone. Remember, dogs are pack animals that want to be with others; being a "lone wolf" can be dangerous in the wild, as well as lonely. Note that for many dogs who have bonded strongly with people, having another dog (or other pet) around will not be sufficient.

If you have serious separation anxiety...

Serious separation anxiety is indicated by a dog who does major property damage (chews holes through walls), injures himself in his anxiety (scratches or rubs paws or nose raw in digging or chewing), or stresses himself to the point of exhaustion during your absence. While stop-gap measures, like keeping the dog with you or with another person, will help while you train, you will need to spend a lot of time teaching this type of dog that he can survive being alone. Start by making sure your dog is getting enough exercise, including mental exercise (usually satisfied with some training and the chance to interact with other dogs or explore new places). Before you can retrain your dog (and it may take weeks), arrange for the dog to not be alone - get a pet sitter, join a doggy daycare, or leave your dog with a friend who's home all day.
Next, pick a day (or two) when you can practice desensitization without having to actually leave - a weekend is a pretty good time to start.

Desensitize Your Dog To Your Getting-Ready-To-Go Cues

Figure out what begins your dog's anxiety. Is it when you put on your work shoes? Brush your hair? Pick up your keys? Find the earliest item in your getting-ready-to-go sequence that makes your dog anxious. Then practice doing that action, over and over again, until your dog is no longer anxious about it. For example, put on your work shoes, then take them off, then put them on again, over and over. You don't need to talk to your dog or do anything else special. Act just like you do every morning when you put on those shoes. When your dog is no longer anxious when you put on your shoes, move to the next step in your normal morning sequence; perhaps brushing your hair. (Note that if your dog's anxiety does not decrease after several repetitions, you are probably not working on the first item in your getting-ready-to-go sequence, and you'll need to back up). You will have to spend a LOT of time with the early items in your getting-ready-to-go sequence, but as your dog learns to deal with this sort of thing, it will get easier. Opening up the front door (presumably the last item in your getting-ready-to-go sequence) will take fewer repetitions than the first item (putting on work shoes, in this example).

Practice Short-Enough Absences

When you've worked through your whole getting-ready-to-go sequence and your dog is no longer anxious, you're ready for your first absence session. Up to now, your dog with separation anxiety has associated absences with intense anxiety. The dog has to know learn to associate absences with a lack of anxiety, or calmness. You and the dog will practice being apart from each other for very short lengths of time - the time that your dog can handle - and you will gradually practice longer and longer lengths.

So you've gone through your whole getting-ready-to-go sequence, and your dog is not yet anxious (if your dog is anxious, you are not ready to do any absences. Go over repeating the sequence items until your dog is calm about them). Now you're ready for your first very short absence. Walk out the door, shut it behind you, lock it, and then turn around, unlock it, and come back in. Don't make a fuss over the dog. Repeat. When your dog is not anxious, lengthen your absence to 2 seconds. Repeat until your dog is not anxious. Lengthen your absences to 3 seconds, with occasional 1-second absences. Repeat until your dog is not anxious. Continue with this process, gradually increasing the length of time you are gone, until the dog is alone for longer than your normal absence. (Yes, that means you will NOT be able to really leave the dog alone for longer than you've successfully practiced. Hire a dog sitter.)

It might help to set up some cues that the dog will not be alone for longer than he can handle, in other words, that this is just a practice session. Do you normally leave the radio or TV on when you're home? If you do, the silence when you're gone is a good indicator that the dog is alone. During this training, set up a cue that says "this is just a practice", such as the sound of the radio or a Mozart CD that you leave on "repeat" on the CD player. When you really do leave, you will continue to play this same cue - the dog will always believe that this is just a practice session.

Note: Some medications, such as Clomicalm or amitryptalline, may help your dog get over his anxiety. However, these may take a few weeks to take effect, so you will need to make sure the medications are in effect before you try to use them in combination with the desensitization. The medications will not work in the long-term without the desensitization/counter-conditioning work - the process of teaching the dog how to deal with being left alone.

Homeopathic remedies like the Bach Flower Essence mix "Rescue Remedy", may also help calm a very anxious dog during training. You should talk to your vet (traditional or holistic) about using these items to help. Visit the Alternative Veterinary Medicine webpage to find a holistic vet near you.

Hypoglycemia And Puppies

HYPOGLYCEMIA is a serious side effect of too much insulin, or low blood sugar.  Hypoglycemia can be a life threatening, even fatal condition that often happens in very small puppies.  ut if you puppy is monitored carefully you can prevent this condition.


The occurance of these signs depends upon how low the blood sugar level has fallen and how far into an attack the puppy is, the further down the list the more serious the case.


 Stay calm and focused.  bring the blood sugar back to a safe level, observe your puppy, and call the vet.

If your puppy is acting strangely,displayinhg one or several of the above signs, you should assume it is hypoglycemia and act accordingly.  This is a situation where it is better to be safe than sorry.  if your puppy is not hypoglycemic, then your treatment will have just raised the blood sugar causing no harm to your puppy.  If your puppy WAS hypoglycemic, then you probably just saved his life!

While owning a tiny puppy always have Karo syrup, Nutrical, and or honey available.
Karo works well because it is pur sugar ina liquid form.  if Karo is not available then use Nutrical, honey, Pancake syrup, or table sugar dissolved in water.  Whereever you and your puppy go there should always be an emergency supply of sugar.
We recomend Nutrical, a high sugar vitamin to supplement your puppy until it is 4 months old and then as is need during major changes or stressful situations such as; moving, vet visits, grooming, playing with the kids, etc.  Nutrical or a product like it can be obtained in most pet stores.  if you do not have Nutrical, half a teaspoon of honey, once or twice a day will go a long way in the prevention of hypoglycemia.  Also, unflavored Pedialite to drink is a great way to prevent hypoglycemia.


If your puppy is showing only mild signs of hypoglycemia, your should treat it by immediately feed the puppy some of its regualr food.  The effects of the food may be enough to countact the hypoglycemia.  If you puppy refuses its regualr food, try offering it something it thinks of as a treat.  ANY FOOD AT THIS POINT IS OK!!!!!!!!!!  Your main concern is to get the blood sugar up to eliminate the signs of hypoglycemia.  Observe your puppy for several hours to make sure that the hypoglycemia does not happen again.  Also give plenty of fluids to drink as hypoglycemic dogs are usually dehydrated.


Karo or honey should be given, either alone or combined with food.  Karo can be mixed in with wet food or poured over dry.  The Karo will bring the blood sugar up quickly and the food will help to keep it up.  Small puppies should be given about 1-2 tablespoons and larger puppies about 0.25-0.5 ml per lb of body weight.  The effect of the Karo will only last for a short period of time and the hypoglycemia may return so observe your pet and give Karo and food as often as needed.  Don't forget the water!


If your puppy's case is severe, especially if it is having seizures or unconscious, you must give Karo immediately!
Rub small amounts of the Karo on your puppy's gums.  DO NOT put a lot of liquid in the puppy's mouth.  this could cuase the unconsciou puppy to choke!  DO NOT stick your fingers in the mouth of a seizing puppy.
Call your vet!  If you can not contact your vet, call any vet and get additional instructions right away!


Whenever a puppy has a moderate to severe hypoglycemic reaction, you should call your vet.  The possiblity of a repeat episode is strong! Repeated attacks can cause brain damage.  IF IN DOUBT CALL YOUR VET!!


Please make sure that your puppy is eating.  Tiny breeds have high metabolism and small stomach and need food and water available at all times.  Please don't just set food out and assume your puppy is eating.  Please watch your puppy and observe the amount eaten to be sure it meats the required daily amounts.  reduce and monitor ruff play time with children and other pets - your pupy is still a baby!

Undisturbed sleeping time and sufficent rest is a must.  Within a few weeks the attention span and waking periods of time of yourlittle one will get longer and longer.  Feel free to call us with any questions.  We have had much experience and are always there to help.
Teaching A Puppy
The Fundamentals Of Obedience

Obedience training starts in the whelping box. You have to depend upon the breeder from which you purchase your puppy to provide these basics. If you are well acquainted with the breeder, you are more likely to be able to positively affect the early training of your puppy. You will also be better able to make an educated choice of puppy, based on your knowledge of each individual pup in that litter.

Up to three weeks (21 days) of age, studies have shown that puppies are able to absorb very little in the way of education, they are unaware of much except mom, food and sleep. Elimination is done by reflex at this point. This changes between 21 and 28 days of life. Puppies begin to leave the blankets and look for a corner in which to eliminate. They become acutely aware of their environment, and are extremely sensitive to stimuli. In fact, any experiences at this stage, (to the negative or positive) will more profoundly affect the puppy than at any other point in its life. This is where you and the breeder can help shape your puppy's mind and life.

Crate training and minor obedience training can actually begin at this age. A large wire crate (big enough to hold all the puppies) padded with blankets is introduced to the whelping box. Papers are layered on the floor around the crate (as they were around the blankets at the beginning). As the puppies explore and roam, they will choose to sleep in the crate, and eliminate on the paper.

Puppies can be handled and stacked at four weeks, and it is great for them to be socialized and handled starting at this point. When stacking, remove a puppy from the litter. Place the pup in position, hold in position gently for just a couple of seconds using the "stay" command quietly. Praise softly and release. Make it a fun, play kind of thing. Calling the puppies as a group, clapping the hands and using a happy voice, is an introduction to the "come" command. This is effective as a pre-training method if the puppies can be induced to come to the caller by a second party urging them forward gently, and if lots of praise is used. They can learn lots of basic skills at 4-6 weeks, which will save the owner and handler (and also the pup) the headaches and frustration that may occur, if taught at a later age.

Dont Use Punishment:

Punishment as a training aid does not foster the willingness to please and excitement for work, which come with positive reenforcement and treats. Any negative stimuli should be limited to using the word "no" and blocking (using the hands) the puppy's negative actions. Hitting and physical abuse of any sort are unnecessary in a young pup, and should not be used unless under the most extenuating circumstances in an older dog.

Timing and Consistency:

Remember that timing is everything. Coordination of the trainers movements and corrections is directly related to the ability of the puppy to comprehend the lesson he is being taught. It is important to make him understand that the corrections given are a direct result of his behavior, and will not take place if he does as the trainer wishes. For example, if a puppy is given the command "come" while in another room chewing on a toy, he is unlikely to respond. If no one brings him to the trainer on the command "come" he will learn the word "come" is synonymous with "ignore." On the other hand, the puppy is only told "come" under controlled circumstances, while on leash and in the hands of the trainer. He is gently pulled towards the trainer with praise and learns that "come" always means to approach the trainer, and that to do so brings praise.

Rewards and Praise:

Directly related to timing is praise. If when given the command "come" a puppy responds with the correct action and is not praised, he quickly loses enthusiasm and interest. Conversely, when given plenty of praise and caresses immediately upon correct completion of a given command, he quickly learns that the exercises are fun and profitable. He also learns to duplicate the correct action quickly in order to reap his rewards faster. In this way, praise and treats strengthen the understanding and willingness of a pup to respond to a given command.

Allow the Pup to Think for Itself:

Allow a pup the chance to act on its own before forcing or using corrections. Guiding a pup is more confidence building than using force. When a puppy realizes that the trainer will do the work for him, he has no motivation to perform a given task on his own. Given the choice between being hauled around on the end of a leash and getting a treat at the end, or having to pay attention and work for a few minutes, then getting praised, a puppy almost always chooses the lazy way. Let him work for the rewards and he accepts it as a job he must do. As the pup progresses, he becomes more sure of himself when he does not have to "lean" on the trainer.

Work for Short Periods:

This is pretty self explanatory. Puppies have very short attention spans. Keeping sessions short (10 minutes) and doing them frequently (2-3 time daily) ensures that the trainer will have the full attention of the pup, and that the dog will not grow bored. Again, working for short periods will be rewarding, too.


This works hand in hand with working for short periods of time. Do an exercise for as many times as it takes to get it right, or close to right. Once you get it right, STOP. A puppy will learn that doing an exercise correctly and quickly will be a reward in and of itself, because it will not have to keep doing the exercise over.

Patience and Confidence:

Training a pup requires patience and confidence. Puppies know when the trainer is sure of himself and what he is doing, the information travels down the leash to the pup as easily as electricity down a wire. Lack of confidence can be overcome by the trainer practicing and working on his own, but will deter from the pups ability to learn if not dealt with. Patience is not as easily learned, but if not used consistently, impatience will cause fear and lack of confidence in the puppy.

Keep it Simple:

Doing easy exercises one at a time is a much simpler concept for a puppy than learning a whole exercise in one sitting. The sit-stay for example, is not taught all at once, but broken down into its component parts. First a pup must learn to sit reliably, on its own, then the trainer can add movement away from the pup. Once that part is learned, the trainer can make the distance between himself and the pup greater and greater. Then he can add time away from the pup as a factor. Eventually, the pup learns that no matter how far and how long the trainer is gone, he must stay in the position originally placed, until he is released.

Talk to the Pup:

A constant flow of happy chatter from the trainer to the puppy insures that the puppy is paying attention. Praise words along with corrections can be given, and the pup will learn to watch the trainer and listen for changes of command given with tone of voice. In this way the pup also learns to watch the trainers face, a great beginning for attention training.

Hands Off:

One sure way to defeat your training ideal, is to constantly touch a puppy while working. This does not apply to the first 12 weeks of life. At this time in his life a pup needs reassurance and cuddles, these are necessary to build trust and love. Once a pup has started to learn commands, withholding some touching will help the training process. If the trainer corrects a puppy who keeps leaving a sit-stay by using his hands to encircle the body and replace, the pup associates touching as positive reenforcement to misbehavior (Cool! If I move, so and so touches me). Instead, use the leash to replace the puppy into a sit with minimal use of the hands. During training, use the hands only to praise and pat at the end of the exercise. In the same way when a dog comes to the trainer and nudges for pats and attention while relaxing, take this opportunity to train briefly. The trainer must ask the pup to "sit", or "down" or any other command to reenforce his training, then be generous with hugs and pats once the desired exercise is completed. This serves to build the rapport between trainer and pup and further strengthen discipline.

Please bear in mind that I write these articles from personal experience, and from observations I have made while working and training. I have written this article as a tool that you may use to help your own training program, and to embellish what you have already found to work for you. I am a strong believer in NOT using punishment for training (ie: Ear Pinching). This does not mean it may not work for someone else and I will not criticize its use, only give you examples of what I find as alternate choices to try first. Nothing is written in stone and I would not attempt to be the first to tell you otherwise.
Boxers have the potential to be great at Tracking, Agility, Fly Ball, Obedience and Breed Champions too!

Submissive Urination

Submissive wetting or urination is a normal way for dogs and puppies to demonstrate submissive behavior. Even a dog that is otherwise housetrained may leave dribbles and puddles of urine at your feet and on the floor when greeting you.
Submissive urination is the ultimate show of respect and deference for higher rank. It occurs frequently with young puppies who have not yet learned and perfected other social skills and means of showing respect. Submissive urination in adult dogs is usually a sign of insecurity. Often unsocialized and abused dogs will submissively urinate. Other dogs that engage in submissive urination may simply have not been shown that there are more acceptable ways to show respect, such as paw raising (shake hands) or hand licking (give a kiss). Submissive urination may be present in overly sensitive or mistreated dogs because they feel the need to constantly apologize. This state is often caused by excessive or delayed punishment which frightens and confuses the dog without teaching him how to make amends. The dog resorts to the only way he knows to show respect and fear, by submissive urination.

When your dog urinates in this manner, it is best to just ignore him. If you try to reassure him, he will think you are praising him for urinating and will urinate even more. If you scold him, he will feel an even greater need to apologize by urinating. Either reassurance or scolding will only make submissive urination worse.
Treatment of submissive urination must be directed towards building your dog's confidence and showing him other ways to demonstrate respect. The quickest way to accomplish this is by teaching your dog a few basic obedience exercises. A dog that can earn praise by obeying a simple routine of "Come here, sit, shake hands," will soon develop self esteem and confidence. A confident dog who can say, "Hello, Boss" by sitting and shaking hands does not feel the need to urinate at his owner's feet.

Excitement Urination

Even a dog that is otherwise housetrained may exhibit excitement urination by leaving dribbles and puddles of urine at your feet and on the floor when greeting you. It's normal for some dogs to urinate when they become excited.
Excitement urination usually occurs in puppies and is caused by lack of bladder control. The puppy is not aware that he is urinating, and any punishment will only confuse him. Since he does not know why you are angry, the excitement urination will quickly become submissive urination in an attempt to appease you. As your puppy matures and develops bladder control, the problem will usually disappear. However, in the mean time, it is probably a good idea to do something to help keep your puppy dry.

The best treatment for excitement urination is to prevent your dog from becoming overly excited in the first place. You can do this by exposing your dog to the stimulus that excites him, over and over until it no longer excites him. Most likely, your dog gets excited and wets when you return home. If so, simply ignore him for several minutes. Don't even look at him.
Then leave again for a few minutes, return and ignore, leave, return and ignore. Keep doing this until you can see that your dog is not only unexcited, but is actually getting bored with the whole thing. If excitement urination is a problem when visitors arrive, have them do this too. When your dog has calmed down and is no longer excited when you come in, then very quietly and gently say hello. If any signs of excitement or urinating appear, quickly exit and repeat the coming-and-going routine. A rapid sequence of heel-sits will capture your dog's attention and channel his excitement to the game of heeling and sitting instead of urinating. Remember to ignore all excitement urination and never scold or get angry at your dog when it occurs.

The Alpha Factor

Regardless of your reason for acquiring a puppy, you'll have to win it over. You, not your dog, will have to be the leader of the pack if your pup is to develop into a well-mannered family member instead of a burden. Dominance and alpha behavior are important concepts that every dog owner should comprehend.
Dogs are animals, not human beings. They are pack animals by nature. Every pack has a leader, known as the alpha animal, who dominates and leads the other members of the pack. The alpha is the boss who makes decisions for the entire pack. Usually the pack will have an alpha male and an alpha female. All the other members of the pack form a hierarchy of dominance and submission where everyone has a place.
In your home, you and your family become your dog's pack, as do any other dogs you may have. It is your responsibility to establish yourself in the alpha position. If you fail to do this, your dog will do it as a natural behavior. Many people assume that they are automatically in charge just because humans are superior to animals. But are you really the pack leader? Does your dog know it?
Being the pack leader does not mean you have to be big and aggressive. Nor does it mean that there has to be a battle of wills after which you are the victor. Anyone can be the pack leader. It is an attitude an air of authority. It is the basis for mutual respect, and provides the building blocks of communication between the two of you.
A pack animal becomes a full fledged member of the group by a process called subordination. With dogs, subordination begins shortly after the third week of life and continues throughout early development. Most normal, healthy puppies are basically pushy animals, and will try to advance as far as possible within the social order of the pack. The key to successfully rearing a puppy is to establish yourself as the pack leader and then maintain that position for the life of your dog.
So how do you become the alpha leader? In the wild, the adults of the pack begin early to teach the cubs the rules. The adults grab pups around the head or neck and gently, but firmly, pin them to the ground. The cubs learn to greet the adults with respect by approaching them using a slightly crouching posture, with ears back, tail down and wagging, and they lick the adults' muzzles. The cubs do this as a sign of respect and affection, not out of fear. It is called the subordination display, and its function is to keep peace and harmony within the pack.

Alpha exercises:

Leadership exercises can confirm humans as the heads of the family pack. Once you establish this relationship, your dog will seek you out. He will want to be with you and will treat you with respect and affection. After he learns to submit to handling, all other tasks such as grooming, nail clipping, cleaning ears, and medicating will be easier to accomplish. But first he must learn that you have the power to handle him, and that handling will not lead to any harm. He must come to trust you entirely.
These exercises will help establish leadership but should not be used with an older pup who has learned to use his teeth to get his way. Exercises one and two are recommended only for small puppies up to three months of age. Exercises three and four are suitable for pups up to six months of age as long as there's no problem with aggression. Be gentle but firm with all exercises, as you would with a baby human.
Sit on the floor, then pick your pup up off the floor with both hands supporting him just behind his front legs, facing you. Hold him away from you at arms length. Look directly into his eyes. Growl at him if he struggles, using a low guttural sound. Hold him till he relaxes. Vary the time you hold him in this position from 15 to 45 seconds. Vary the location.
Sit on the floor and cradle your pup, placing one hand under his head and the other supporting his back so that he is upside down on his back, and up in the air. Hold a larger puppy across your lap. Hold the pup for 15 to 45 seconds, using the same growl as in exercise 1 if he struggles. Hold him until he relaxes.
If your puppy is large, substitute this exercise for the first two. Straddle your pup, with one of your legs on each side of him. You should be facing the same direction as your dog. Lock your fingers together under his chest, just behind the front legs. Lift his front legs off the ground for 15 to 45 seconds. If he struggles, growl at him till he is quiet.
Place your dog on the floor with all four legs pointing away from you. Hold him firmly by the neck with one hand, and press down on his midsection with the other hand. Talk to him softly after he is quiet. It might take two or three minutes to get him to relax. If he exposes his belly to be rubbed, you are on the right track. Do not allow him to struggle, get up, or nip. Always praise him lavishly in a quiet tone when he relaxes. Now is also a good time to handle all four paws and look briefly into his mouth so he can get used to tolerating your handling him gently. Be sure to do this exercise four or five times a day at first. Taper off as the pup gets more used to you and accepts your leadership.
The stare:

Eye contact is also one of the ways order is kept in a wolf pack. Only an alpha animal may use the stare to remind everyone who is in charge. When you initiate eye contact, you express your alpha position. Encourage your pup to maintain eye contact for several seconds, making it a pleasant experience. Do not force him to do so. Use the term "watch me" and always praise him the instant you have eye contact. However, you do not want to try to do this with a dog who thinks he is already in charge of things. The dog must know you are the leader first. Otherwise you will begin a stare-down contest. An alpha dog will not be willing to be first to avert his eyes. If you are the first to avert or even blink your eyes, it will help confirm the dog's alpha status.

Alpha discipline: Pack leader activities

There are many pack leader activities you can use as part of a daily training routine. Probably the single most important command your dog can learn is "sit." You can incorporate "sit" into everyday situations as a reminder that you are in charge of things. Tell your dog to "sit" before you feed him, before you play, before he goes out the door. This shows the dog that he must respond to you before indulging in his own pleasures. If he is obedience trained, put him in a down-stay while you prepare his dinner.

Your dog will accept you as pack leader as long as you are consistent and fair in your demands. You must never permit him to growl or snap. If he does, a severe scruff shake is necessary, followed by no attention from you for 10 to 15 minutes. The scruff is the loose skin around the dog's neck. If your pet growls or snaps and you are not afraid to handle him, grab him firmly by the scruff with both hands, stare him in the eyes, and shake him. Then put him in his crate for 15-20 minutes and ignore him.
If your dog growls or snaps and you are afraid to discipline him, seek professional help. Don't ignore the incident; a dog allowed to threaten his family can easily become a biter.

Never overlook any challenge to your authority. Most dogs will test their owners, usually in adolescence. When the issue is settled immediately, it usually ends the matter.

There are several books that will help owners establish leadership to assure a long, healthy relationship with a pet. There are also several training clubs and businesses in the area for those who prefer an instructor's assistance and for those who need help with problem dogs.

Summer Tips

On a warm day, the temperature in a parked car can reach 120 degrees in a matter of minutes, EVEN WITH THE WINDOWS PARTIALLY OPEN , so you should never leave your pet unattended for ANY period of time. If you want to feel what your pet feels, sit in your car with the windows partially rolled down for 15 minutes and see how unbearable the heat will become for you. The sun beats down on the car’s glass and is converted to heat inside the car. The heat is unable to escape through the glass. High temperatures can cause your pet to suffer from brain damage or die from heatstroke or suffocation.

In the summer months, shipping can be a problem Airlines are becoming much stricter on when they will ship dogs. If possible avoid shipping during the summer months. If you have to ship, make sure you have direct flights and ship very early in the morning or late at night and time arrival during the cool part of the day, at the other end. Don’t sedate your pet - makes dog more susceptible to heat exhaustion. Dogs with flattened noses (i.e. pugs) are in greater danger during the heat.

If you like to take your dog for walks or biking, avoid the high heat of the day. Take early morning walks or very late evening walks. A dog that has been in air conditioning all day can easily be overcome by a walk on a hot day.

If your dog remains outdoors during the summer, then shade must be provided with plenty of accessible fresh cool water. A dog house is not a good place to get shade as the house heats up and retains the heat. When the weather holds in the 90‘s, if possible bring your dog indoors. A cool, well ventilated garage or basement is a viable option. (remember however, that dogs are companion animals and enjoy human company - to remain outside or in a garage or basement is detrimental to your dog’s mental health - Happytails insert)

WHAT TO LOOK FOR in a dog that may be suffering from heat distress:


*heavy panting
*rapid breathing
*excessive drooling
*bright red gums and tongue
*may be standing 4 square, posting or spreading out trying to maintain balance


*gums may be white or blue
*lies down, unwilling to move
*may defecate or urinate uncontrollably
*difficult and noisy breathing


Dogs exhibiting early signs of heat distress should immediately be cooled down and contact a veterinarian. The quicker you respond and begin getting the dog cooled down, the better chance your dog has of surviving. Once a dog has reached the advanced stages, the situation is very serious and requires immediate vet care.

Suggestions for cooling down a dog with early signs. Apply rubbing alcohol on the dog's paw pads. Apply ice packs to the groin area, hose down with cool water, give the dog ice chips to lick and offer only small amounts of water to drink, either from a bowl or spray bottle. Offer Pedialyte to the dog to restore the electrolytes. If you're not with a vet during the cooling down process, take the dog's temperature every 10 minutes, so as not to lower the body temperature too low. Once the temperature is between 100 and 102 degrees, you should discontinue the cooling down process.


If your dog must be kept outdoors, provide a childrens wading pool filled with fresh water for your dog to cool off in
dogs with lighter coats and skin color may need sunblock on their noses and tips of their ears be especially vigilant with double coated dogs (such as Chows, Alaskan Malamutes, and many of the Arctic breeds) and brachycephalic dogs (such as French and English Bulldogs, Boxers, Boston Terriers, English Toy Spaniels, Japanese Chins, Pugs and Pekinese.) Make sure the brachycephalic dogs have a clear airway, not obstructed by phlegm or saliva when shipping a dog during warmer months, provide ice packs, ice blankets or ice bottles in the crate with the dog. Provide an accessible container of fresh water, as well as a container of frozen water allowed to thaw over the period of the trip  anytime you must travel with your dog, take your own shade. Invest in a reflective blanket for your windshield, as well as breathable sunblock tarps. Also consider carrying a fan. It can be plugged into a generator, if you have one; if not invest in a battery operated fan. always have plenty of fresh water and a water bowl on hand take towels or wet blankets for your dog keep a spray bottle filled with cold water on hand to spray on your dog to keep it cooled down have an ice chest packed with ice and ice packs take 2 littler soft drink bottles, fill them with water and freeze. These can be placed in a crate to keep the dog cool. Blankets placed over ice packs have the same effect. There are products on the market called ice blankets that can be wetted down and frozen and placed in the bottom of crates.

Always have unflavored Pedialyte (can be purchased in the infant section of grocery or drug stores) on hand for your dog and Gatorade for yourself to restore needed electrolytes

Have 2 sets of car keys with you at all times. Then if you must stop somewhere with your dog in the vehicle, you can leave the vehicle and air conditioning running (with slightly opened windows) while you QUICKLY take care of business. Your dog should always be crated in the vehicle. Crates should be well ventilated.  if you have a motor home or truck that you must leave with the generator running check back often and have a neighbor help you monitor the generator. Manufacturers now have devices that will notify you if the generators should malfunction. Also, thermo devices are available that will sound an alarm if the inside temperature reaches a certain level never leave a motor home, van or truck completely shut up, even if you have a generator and air conditioning running. Partially open a window or door or run the exhaust fan


Mechanical devices such as generators and air conditioners, can and will malfunction- a dogs safety should not be dependent on these devices.

The most important thing to remember is that a dog needs you to look out for his needs and well being. He depends on your guidance and care. He should never be left unattended and unsupervised for any length of time. Without proper precautions, HEAT CAN KILL !

If you see an animal in a car exhibiting any signs of heat stress, call your local animal care and control agency or police department immediately. They will send you a small supply of "Hot Car" flyers to place on the windshield of any car where an animal is left unattended in warm weather. These will alert the owner to the dangers of leaving their pet in a parked car.

Beach & Swiming Tips

Not all beaches permit dogs.  Make sure you are informed before you begin your excursion to the beach.

Beach Tips:

Taking your dog to the beach can be a great way to spend a beautiful summer day.  However, as a responsible dog owner there are certain precautions you should take:

*Provide plenty of fresh water and shade for your dog.

*Dogs can get sunburn, especially short haired dogs and dogs with pink skin and white hair.  Limit your dog's exposure when the sun is unusually strong and apply sun block to his ears and nose thirty minutes before going outside.

*Check with a lifeguard for daily water conditions - dogs are easy targets for jelly fish and sea lice.

*If your dog is out of shape, don't encourage him to run on the sand.  Running on a beach is strenuous exercise and a dog that is out of shape can easily pull a tendon or ligament.

*Cool ocean water is tempting to your dog.  Do not allow him to drink too much sea water.  Salt in the water will make him sick.

*Salt and other minerals found in the ocean can damage your dog's coat.  So, when you are ready to leave for the day, rinse off your dog.

Does Your Dog Doggie Paddle?:

The majority of dogs can swim and love it, but dogs entering the water for the first time should be tested.  Here are some important tips for teaching your dog how to swim:

*Never throw your dog into the water.

*Start in shallow water and call your dog's name. You can also try to coax him in with a treat or toy - always within your reach.

*Another way to introduce your dog to the water is with a dog who already swims and is friendly with your dog.  Let you dog follow his friend.

*If your dog begins to doggy paddle with his front legs only, lift his hind legs and help him float.  He should quickly catch on and will then keep his back end up.

*Swimming is a great form of exercise, but don't let your dog overdo it.  He will be using new muscles and may tire quickly.

*Be careful of strong tides that are hazardous for even the best swimmers.
*Never leave your dog unattended!  You should always be in a position to help your dog get out of the water.


I was born today, one of 10. My daddy was very famous. I have lots of half brothers and sisters. My mother is very famous. Since she got famous, she has only had puppies. No more loving hands, no more fun trips . . . just puppies. She is always sad when they leave her. I left home today. I didn't want to go, so I hid behind my mother and my three littermates that were left. I didn't like you. But one day they said I would be famous. I wonder; is famous the same as fun and good times? So you picked me up and carried me away, even though you were concerned about me hiding from you. I don't think you liked me. My new home is far away. I am scared and afraid. My heart says be brave. My ancestors were. Did they go to good homes like mine? I'm hungry because I can't eat too much because it will be bad for my bones. I can't bite or snap when the children are mean to me. I just run and play and pretend I am in a big green field with butterflies and robins and frogs. I can't understand why they kick me. I am quiet, but the man hits and says loud things. The lady doesn't feed me good things like I had with my mother. She just throws dry food on the ground, then goes away before I can get too close for touching and petting. Sometimes my food smells bad but I eat it anyway. Today I had 10 puppies. They are so wonderful and warm. Am I famous now? I wish I could play with them, but they are so tiny. I am so young and playful that it is hard to lay here in this hole under the house nursing my puppies. They are crying now. I am so hungry. I scratch and worry my fur. I wish someone would throw me some food. I am also very thirsty. I now have eight. Two got cold during the night and I couldn't make them warm again. They are gone. We are all very weak. Maybe if I take them out on the porch, we can get some food. Today they took us away. It was too much trouble to feed us and someone came to take us away. Someone grabbed my puppies, they were crying and whimpering. We were put in a truck with boxes in it. Are my babies famous now? I hope so, because I miss them. They are gone. The place smelled of urine, fear and sickness. Why was I here? I was beautiful, like my ancestors. Now I am hungry, dirty, in pain and unwanted. Maybe the worst is unwanted. No one came though I tried to be good. Today someone came. They put a rope on my neck and led me to a room that was very clean and had a shiny table. They put me on the table. Someone held me and hugged me. It felt so good!!! Then I felt tired and laid over the last one who cared. I AM FAMOUS NOW. Today someone cared.

My family brought me home cradled in their arms.
They cuddled me and smiled at me and said I was full of charm
They played with me and laughed with me and showered me with toys.
I sure do love my family, especially the little girls and boys
The children loved to feed me; they gave me special treats.
They even let me sleep with them - all snuggled in the sheets.
I used to go for walks, often several times a day.
They even fought to hold the leash, I'm very proud to say!
These are the things I'll not forget - a cherished memory.
I now live in the shelter - without my family.
They used to laugh and praise me when I played with that old shoe.
But I didn't know the difference between the old one and the new.
The kids and I would grab a rug, for hours we would tug.
So I thought I did the right thing when I chewed the bedroom rug.
They said I was out of control and would have to live outside.
This I didn't understand, although I tried and tried!
The walks stopped, one by one; they said they hadn't the time.
I wish that I could change things; I wish I knew my crime.
My life became so lonely in the backyard, on a chain.
I barked and barked all day long to keep from going insane.
So they brought me to the shelter but were embarrassed to say why.
They said I caused an allergy, and then they each kissed me goodbye.
If I'd only had some training as a little pup.
I wouldn't have been so hard to handle when I was all grown up.
"You only have one day left", I heard a worker say.
Does that mean I have a second chance?
Do I go home today?

-Author Unknown-

If you read the poem thru, then you understand why it's so important that you realize the responsibility that goes along with pet ownership. If you're unsure whether you'll be able to deal with the mischief that dogs and cats get into, it's best not to buy a cat or dog. Domestic animals have as much right to this planet as what we do, and they deserve to be in a happy family environment as well. They are very much capable of having feelings, and when they're abandoned or sent to the shelter, they're suddenly without a family. Before you buy a dog, cat, parrot, or other domestic pet, try to imagine yourself in this situation where you're abandoned and no longer are a part of a family. Then, when you decide that it's a situation you wouldn't want to be in, ask yourself this: Can I commit myself to this animal for the rest of it's natural life? If the answer is yes, then please do consider adopting from a shelter or taking in a rescue animal, please do not buy from a pet store!

An old man and his dog were walking down this dirt road with fences on both
sides, they came to a gate in the fence and looked in, it was nice grassy,
woody areas, just what a 'huntin' dog and man would like, but, it had a
sign saying 'no trespassing' so they walked on. They came to a beautiful
gate with a person in white robes standing there. "Welcome to Heaven" he
said. The old man was happy and started in with his dog following him. The
gatekeeper stopped him. "Dogs arend't allowed, I'm sorry but he can't come
with you."

"What kind of Heaven won't allow dogs? If he can't come in, then I will
stay out with him. He's been my faithful companion all his life, I can't
desert him now."

"Suit yourself, but I have to warn you, the Devil's on this road and he'll
try to sweet talk you into his area, he'll promise you anything, but the
dog can't go there either. If you won't leave the dog, you'll spend
Eternity on this road."

So the old man and dog went on. They came to a rundown fence with a gap in
it, no gate, just a hole. Another old man was inside. "S'cuse me Sir, my
dog and I are getting mighty tired, mind if we come in and sit in the shade
for awhile?"

"Of course, there's some cold water under that tree over there. Make
yourselves comfortable"

"You're sure my dog can come in? The man down the road said dogs weren't
allowed anywhere."

"Would you come in if you had to leave the dog?"

"No sir, that's why I didn't go to Heaven, he said the dog couldn't come
in. We'll be spending Eternity on this road, and a glass of cold water and
some shade would be mighty fine right about now. But, I won't come in if my
buddy here can't come too, and that's final."

The man smiled a big smile and said "Welcome to Heaven."

"You mean this is Heaven? Dogs ARE allowed? How come that fellow down the
road said they weren't?"

"That was the Devil and he gets all the people who are willing to give up a
life long companion for a comfortable place to stay. They soon find out
their mistake, but then it's too late. The dogs come here, the fickle
people stay there. GOD wouldn't allow dogs to be banned from Heaven. After
all, HE created them to be man's companions in life, why would he separate
them in death?"

-Author Unknown-

1. My life is likely to last 10 to 20 years. Any separation from you will likely be very painful.
2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.
3. Place your trust in me - it is crucial for my well-being
4. Don't be angry with me for long, and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment. I HAVE ONLY YOU!
5. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words, I understand your voice when it's speaking to me.
6. Be aware that however you treat me, I'll never forget it.
7. Before you hit me, remember that I have teeth that could easily crush the bones in your hand, but I choose not to bite you.
8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food, I've been out in the sun too long, or my heart may be getting old and weak.
9. Take care of me when I get old. You too, will grow old.
10. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say "I can't bear to watch it" or, "Let it happen in my absence." Everything is easier for me if you are there. Remember, I love you.

Treat me kindly, my beloved friend,
for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness
than the loving heart of me.
Do not break my spirit with a stick,
for though I might lick your hand between blows,
your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me
the things you would have me learn.
Speak to me often, for your voice is the world's sweetest music,
as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail
when the sound of your foot step falls upon my waiting ear.
Please take me inside when it is cold and wet,
for I'am a domesticated animal, no longer accustomed to bitter
elements. I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your
feet beside the hearth.
Keep my pan filled with fresh water,
for I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst.
Feed me clean food that I may stay well,
to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side
and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life,
should your life be in danger.
And, my friend, when I am very old
and I no longer enjoy good health, hearing and sight,
do not make heroic efforts to keep me going.
I am not having any fun. Please see to it that my life is taken gen-
tly. I shall leave this earth knowing with the last breath I draw
that my fate was always safest in your loving hands.
author unknown
A Poem For New Puppy Owners
Don't smell crotches, don't eat plants,
Don't steal food or underpants.
Don't eat my socks; don't grab my hair,,,
Don't eat those peas, don't touch that bush,
Don't chew my shoes, what IS this mush!?!
Eat your cookies, drink your drink,
Outta the toilet! Outta the sink!
(and must you kiss me after that!?!)
Raising a puppy is not for the lazy,
Those rugrats are funny, but also quite crazy.
Don't despair through the toil and the strife.
"Cause after three years you'll get back your life!
So lets go for walkies, so you can do your "thing"
And maybe I'll get back my diamond ring!
-Author unknown-

Now I lay me down to sleep,
The king size bed is soft and deep..
I sleep right in the center groove
My human being can hardly move!

I've trapped her legs, she's tucked in tight
And here is where I pass the night
No one disturbs me or dares intrude
Till morning comes and "I want food!"

I sneak up slowly to begin
My nibbles on my human's chin
For the orning's here and it's time to play
I always seem to get my way.

So thank you Lord for giving me
This human person that I see.
The only one who hugs and holds me tight
And shares her bed with me at night!
--Author Unknown--