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Crazy Puppy Syndrome

It always happens. That lovely sweet, calm, do no wrong 12 week old puppy turns into a 16 week old terror. One day we woke up and this happened to us as well, our sweet Blaze started jumping on the furniture, jumping on me, pulling the toilet paper around the downstairs, rushing to see people. What happened? Well, they are dogs, and that’s what they do.

Here are some ways we are planning on combatting some of these crazy puppy days.

1. Make sure your puppy is getting mental stimulation

If you haven’t invested in some good problem solving toys, now is the time! I highly recommend then kong wobbler. Its a toy that you fill up with dog food or treats and the dog has to work to get the food out. Another great toy is a kong, you can stuff it with anything (my favorite is banana and then freeze it) and that will keep your dog busy too.

2. Make sure your puppy is getting appropriate exercise.

I always say a tired puppy is a happy home. You have to be careful not to over exercise puppies as their bones are still growing and can be damaged. Increase the distance or pace you walk your puppy and pay attention. If they seem tired then certainly stop or take a break.

3. Let them get it out!

Sometimes puppies need to be puppies! Let them have the crazies or sniff and run outside (hopefully fenced in or on a long line). Let them play with some friends. Blow some bubbles for them, let them chase something.

4. Puppy Training

Puppy training with a crazy puppy can be hard if you are trying to do sit stays, work on something active, fun and engaging. Try the cheeseball game (toss treats between your legs then run the opposite direction), or the come game, or run and then ask for a down. Use your imagination!

5. Take them somewhere new

Find somewhere they have been, maybe a playground and let them explore.

6. Beware of the tired monster!

Sometimes puppies get over stimulated just like kids and go wild. If that is the case then dont do the above things and instead put them in their crates for a nice nap time. You just have to know your puppy. Over the next few months you’ll go through periods of the crazy puppy syndrome but with consistency and training you will make it through with a well behaved puppy.

Kong Wobbler Review

Well it came! My new Kong Wobbler. After all the excitement, I can finally share my thoughts about how it really is.

Here are my pros and cons:

Pros: dishwasher safe, not too loud, pretty easy to fill, reasonably priced

Cons: I think its a little big for smaller dogs, toy dogs could NEVER use this. There is no difficulty setting – its equally difficult or easy for all dogs. My puppy doesn’t get it at all :) My dog could unscrew it. I found it difficult to screw the top on.

Watch the video to see all my thoughts on the kong wobbler. I finally got my puppy to learn how to use this by toss a treat on the floor near the wobbler every time he nosed it. Eventually he moved it enough to get food to fall out own his own and he is now a proficient kong wobbler user in just a few hours.

and the puppy finally gets it :)

Puppy Mouthing and Biting

Puppy Training & Puppy Mouthing
Almost all puppies mouth, its how they explore. Ever seen a baby play with a toy? He always puts it in his mouth to figure out what the object is. Dogs are the same way.

Their mouths are like our hands. Before puppy training, it is very natural for a dog to mouth people when they first come home to their new life away from their pack. In the pack, the puppies will mouth each other as well as the mom. When they get too harsh the other puppy will YELP to let them know it hurt. This is called learning bite inhibition and dogs that are taken away from their litters too early might not learn this as well. If your puppy was taken too early (before 6-7 weeks) then get your puppy with other puppies and that can help puppy training.

Stop your puppy mouthing

It is relatively easy to teach your puppy not to do this with proper puppy training. In fact, most puppies simply grow out of this behavior altogether. Remember, they are teething when they are young, so chewing feels good! Give lots of toys with different textures to help get their chewing needs appropriately with puppy training.

1. Never reinforce puppy mouthing

This puppy training technique means you must remove your attention every time this happens. Attention to a dog includes eye contact. With kids its best to tell them to cross their arms and stare at the ceiling. 30 seconds is about the time you should ignore your puppy. Don’t push your puppy away as this can become a game quickly.

2. Try yelping like a puppy

Yelping in many puppy training cases will communicate exactly what you want – that it hurts when your puppy does that. That in combination with removing your attention will likely get rid of the mouthing problem. Of course some puppies will become excited by this yelp and bite harder – if that happens, don’t use this puppy training method.

3. What if those don’t work

Another puppy training technique is using a little lemon juice or bitter apple on your hands. When the puppy mouths you, they won’t like the taste.

4. Teach him something else to do

Teach your dog to lick on the cue "no bite". Put a treat in your hand. When your puppy licks, give him the treat and say "no bite". He’ll learn this puppy training lesson fast :)

5. Grabbing a dogs mouth

The problem with this method is you really want your dog to be comfortable with having their mouths and teeth handled. If they have a negative association to your hand in their mouth, this can create more problems. Be clear about your consequences and try the above methods, if you are 100% consistent, you will see this behavior go away.

Pet Insurance for your Dog or Puppy

Should you get pet insurance?

Trying to decide if you should get insurance on your pet? There are of course pro’s and con’s to it. Years ago I decided to try it out. I thought, if something happened, it would be a good decision to have it. Some plans will cover basic vet care and heartworm and things like that. Read through the information below and make a decision for you and your beloved pets.

Standard Care is the essential care that is required for any pet. This usually includes shots, heartworm tests and supplies, and any other preventitive care that is required through an animals life. This is usually not covered by most insurance plans and requires a special extra fee. Calculate the cost of this fee and then call your local vets office to get a price quote and compare the two. Keep in mind that sometimes your vet may be more costly than using an online pharmacy, so price out those options as well.

Accidents happen to pets all the time. Just the other day, my dog broke his nail. We had to go to the vet, have it removed, and get a shot of antibiotics. The total cost was $50 for this procedure. Of course, not everything is covered so you need to discuss this with the insurance company and find out exactly what is covered. When I was with one insurance company I actually got charged for submitting claims that weren’t covered. Of course I had no way of knowing what was covered and what wasn’t.

Every owners fear is the dreaded Cancer word. At least I know it is mine. Cancer procedures and testing is not covered by most companies. There are special riders for this as well. But you have to purchase them BEFORE the dog has cancer. Otherwise it is excluded as preexisting.

The bottom line is do your research, talk to your vet, talk to different companies and try to make the best decision you can for your loved ones. I know that vet insurance has worked for so many people. In the long run, I think its a gamble, just like life insurance. If you dont have it and something happens you kick yourself that you should have just done it. But in other cases, you do have it, and nothing thankfully ever goes wrong.

Gentle Leader Easy Walk Harness Review

Easy Walk Harness

The Easy Walk Harness will help your puppy pulling or dog pulling problems. If your dog drags you when you go for walks, this is the article for you. From the first day of life on a leash, most dogs learn that by pulling on it, they get to where they want faster. Its the behavior that so many dog owners struggle with. Its a simple solution – just stop walking. Although, somehow your dog doesn’t learn its just that simple. Or maybe we aren’t teaching it effectively enough. Or say, you have taught your dog that, except when they want to sniff the fire hydrant, or meet your neighbors dog, or chase a squirrel.

I have decided as a dog owner, that the only way to walk my dogs is by using either a gentle leader or an easy walk harness. I still enforce the rules – the dog pulls, I stop. The dog pays attention and walks with me, I move forward and often give treats and praise for doing so.

The reason I use and recommend the no pull harness is simple, prevention and safety. If the dog does pull, the easy walk harness causes them counter-pressure which makes them turn around and face me.

The first tool I recommend and use is the Easy Walk Harness. Its an easy fit, the dog doesn’t mind it, and it works really well. There is no issue of the dog escaping, and no damage since you are controlling the body. You will want to get the appropriate size for this. See the sizing chart below. The face collar typically causes dogs to get upset at something being on their face, so this is a good alternative.

easy walk harness

The Gentle Leader Head Collar is also great tool. The fit is a bit tricky and most dogs fight it when they get it on – EW something is on my FACE! Ignore it. If you just keep going, stay happy and reinforce them not pawing at it, it will go away. Some have argued that the Gentle Leader can cause damage to their head / back. I think this is only true if the dog is running and you snap the leash. Do not use the tool this way. I prefer a shorter leash and never yank or pull the leash. Instead, just stop, so their head is guided, not forced back around. I find that the gentle leader head collar is quite effective for dogs who are more rambunctious. If the owner is willing to work through the initial getting used to it, then its a great tool.

gentle leader head collar