Camelot’s Puppy Manual
Puppy training – A leash is for your puppy what a remote control is for your TV or a stirring wheel for your car.
- Your New Puppy’s Health
- House Breaking
- Behavior Training
- The first night
Your New Puppy’s Health
Please remember that your puppy is still very young and should therefore be kept under close observation. It is important to keep the puppy warm and make any travel as comfortable as possible. Colds can be caused by air conditioning or drafts from cold walls, doors and windows. In case you notice anything out of the ordinary or if you are not sure about your puppy’s condition, please call us immediately. Your puppy’s immune system is still developing and will have to cope with a new environment. The transition and the stress of leaving the accustomed environment can sometimes cause irritations which may or may not be cause for concern. The main concern is colds turning into more serious respiratory infections.
Some parasites can be present in a healthy dog without any signs or symptoms. While our adults are on a variety of vaccinations and a stringent preventive program, worm treatments are not always 100% effective in puppies. Puppies may throw up unnoticed or it may not be possible to determine the specific puppy that did and the preventive worm treatment may subsequently fail.
Other wide spread parasites such as Giardia and Coccidia which are protozoa or single cell organisms and not worms, are not prevented by the broad spectrum worm treatment at all. They are considered opportunistic parasites which take advantage of a weakened immune system and can break out suddenly. You are likely to encounter these easily transmittable organisms at one point or another but will probably never even know about it. The organisms are present in 60-80% of all dogs and usually do not cause any symptoms in healthy adults. It is not commonly agreed upon whether or not to treat these healthy dogs as there are some draw backs to treatment. Both organisms cause diarrhea which can cause a problem in young dogs, older dogs and otherwise weakened adults. Your puppy may have been treated if any symptoms were present, however, all commonly used medications have a limited efficiency. If symptoms were not observed and the stool sample was negative at the time of the vet appointment, the puppy was not treated preventively but may still carry protozoa which in conjunction with the stress of the adjustment may lead to an outbreak of these opportunists. The main concern is dehydration. If you notice continuously runny or mucousy stool, please consult us to further evaluate the situation and devise a plan of action.
Your puppy had his first set of shots, possibly a second, however, it should not be exposed to a large dog population during the first weeks, especially if not much is known about their health status. Your puppy is not at a high risk, however, it will not be totally protected until the initial set of three shots has been administered. Visitors who have pets such as cats or dogs are also potential risks and if any illness of their pets is known, should wash their hands and take their shoes off. To avoid stress and allow your puppy to settle in, expose your puppy to visitors, but keep visitors especially during the first day, limited to a reasonable number. Puppies do stupid things. Watch for high drops and anything that could be hazardous to the eyes of your puppy (rose bushes, cats, etc.) Have visitors sit on the floor to hold the puppy!
Leptospirosis: Lepto shots are highly recommended and are the only shots that need a yearly booster because it is a bacterial disease, transmitted by urine from dogs, raccoons and other wildlife. It is a serious liver disease which can be transmitted to humans and cause severe liver damage. Severe allergic responses have been reported and have widely been attributed to the Lepto shot although the jury is still out and allergic reactions can occur to all shots. The Lepto shot in particular seems to cause dangerous reactions in very rare cases in which the puppy can go into anaphylactic shock several hours after the shots were administered. If the puppy receives antihistamines and possibly an infusion quickly, the shock situation can be avoided and does not have to be life threatening. Only if the puppy is left alone after the shot and does not receive help in case it is necessary, fatalities are possible and have in rare cases occured. Considering the extreme rare occurrence of this severe reaction and weighing the considerable implications of the disease to the dog as well as to humans against it, it is my opinion that the benefits outweigh the risks by far, especially if precautions are taken. Premedication, separate administration of the Lepto and most importantly, close monitoring of the puppy after the shots can reduce any risks to the puppy to a minimum.
Rabies prevention is absolutely necessary and mandatory by state law. Heartworm and Lyme prevention are strongly recommended at the appropriate age which may vary from state to state. Flea and tick prevention is not absolutely necessary and a combination of lawn treatments and shampoos as needed can be sufficient prevention, however, fleas can be present in your yard and can transmit tapeworms, and ticks can carry Lyme disease. Frontline Plus or Advantage are the best available products. I prefer Frontline.
Dental hygiene should be started at a young age. A finger brush and doggie toothpaste once a week is recommended, twice a week is better. A special “dental care bone” helps clean the teeth as well. A rope toy works like floss. Skin and coat care: a bath no more than once a week is fine, more frequently can deprive the skin of necessary skin oils. Once or twice a month is usually enough for shorter coats. Use good dog shampoos only. An oatmeal, teatrea or protein shampoo works best.Worm prevention: a fecal at least twice a year or a preventive treatment is highly recommended.
Your puppy has been trained on paper and/or puppy pads. Puppies are cleaned by their mom for the first weeks of their life. They do not develop their reflex to relief themselves until they are a few weeks old. This is why it is so important that mom takes good care of them, because by triggering them to go to the bathroom, it is instilled in the puppy at the earliest possible age to stay clean, instead of just going to the bathroom where they sleep. Puppies who are neglected by their mother are usually much more difficult to train because they are used to be covered in feces and do not mind the smell.
Your puppy has learnt at an early age that there is a bathroom routine and will try to follow it by leaving his sleeping quarters and walk to a specific area. We started them on paper as soon as they were old enough, by spreading out newspaper to cover their whole run. After some time, we reduced the bathroom area to a small space in the lid of a big card board box. While there are accidents, the puppies are now litter box trained and it is important that you offer them a bathroom area in a confined space where they live, eat and sleep. A playpen works best, a small room is a good alternative. A crate can dramatically cut down housebreaking time. Avoid accidents outside the puppy’s living area and put your puppy back into his or her area any time you can not closely watch your puppy.
Use a medium size crate, possibly with a divider for the first weeks but do not lock the crate for more than 2 hours in the beginning as your puppy will have to use the bathroom. Start crating during the day while you can train and interact instead of during nighttime when your puppy will be crying, disturbing your sleep and not get an appropriate response. Demonstratively ignoring the crying is a good response, commanding to stop with a firm NO also is a good response. Taking the puppy out of the crate is encouraging your puppy to continue crying.
Note: to make your puppy more comfortable in the crate, a towel with your scent on it, a warming bottle your puppy can cuddle up to and feels like a companion, and some source of noise, a radio, etc. can help to calm your puppy down.
Inside the puppy quarters, spread out a full sized newspaper and possibly place a puppy pad in the middle of it. If possible, start moving the pad closer to the outside door which the puppy uses to go to the designated bathroom area. The newspaper should always be an emergency bathroom only and is second best to taking your puppy outside as often as possible.
Bring your puppy to the bathroom area after each meal (10-15 minutes following a meal), after naps and first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening.
- Before you go outside, establish communication with your puppy.
- You can put a bell on your door with a rope attached, long enough for your puppy to reach. Each time you take your dog to the bathroom area, ring the bell first or have your puppy sit down and bark or cry, and eventually your puppy will learn to ring the bell or communicate in the above manner to let you know that it is time to go outside.
You have to teach your puppy the appropriate trigger which will make you come and take him or her outside. Show your pup what to do. Give the example, sit down by the door and cry, bark or ring the bell before you open it. Bathroom time is the only time your puppy should have the initiative and you should be the one responding however, after putting the pup on the leash, you should leave through the door first, the puppy should follow.
- Always walk your puppy to the same area (you may want to let your puppy pick a favorite area) in your yard and slowly walk in a small circle to mimic natural dog behavior. It is helpful to choose a specific area in your yard and bring the puppy to the same area every time. The scent will be an important clue to trigger the expected behavior in a timely manner.
Note: It can help to use a specific door for the bathroom routine and another door to leave the house for walking purposes.
Remember that walking a dog and going to the bathroom are two very different things with different objectives. Walking (on the leash) is for physical exercise, inspiration of the mind and to establish pack leadership while exercising a calm, assertive behavior to achieve a calm submissive response.
Establish leadership. Walk your dog to release physical energy and assume a submissive state of mind. Exercise, Discipline, Affection, in that order, are key to a well behaved, mentally healthy dog.
You can easily spoil your puppy if you wish to do so. It is advisable however, to teach your puppy some basic manners first, as it can be quite difficult to reverse a once learnt behavior. Dogs, especially Pugs, need tons of love, but it is important to remain the alpha dog and train your dog into submission. It is much easier to teach and train your puppy if you are respected as the leader of the pack. Do not let your puppy walk you on the leash. Your puppy is supposed to walk on a short leash, at same level or slightly behind you. A long, expandable leash or even a short leash on which you follow your puppy will mold your puppy into a leader, not a follower. Do not allow tension on the leash. If you feel tension, give it a not too gentle jerk and shush your puppy until he or she learns to follow your orders. Have your pup walk next to you or slightly behind in a following, not a leading manner.
Rewards help as well as punishment. Rewards can be treats, toys, praise and attention. Scolding and ignoring your puppy is an appropriate punishment. A water spray bottle or a soda can filled with coins works wonders, too!
Be aware that each time you make an exception from a rule, such as getting up on the couch, jumping up on visitors, playing with an off limits toy, or feeding from the dinner table, you are confusing your puppy and may have to reinforce the proper behavior all over again.
As your puppy gets older, do NOT show affection unless your puppy is in a calm, submissive state, either laying down or sitting. Do NOT show affection immediately to a dog that is jumping up on you after you come in the door. Instead, ignore your puppy for a few minutes, then return and kneel down for an affectionate greeting.
Do not ever show affection (petting, picking up, treats, talking especially in a high pitch voice, etc.) to a dog that displays nervous, frightened or aggressive behavior or any type of behavior that is not appreciated as affection is encouragement and teaches a dog that the displayed behavior is acceptable or even desired. Instead, lead by example, face your dog’s fear or insecurity towards other animals or humans by being calm and assertive. Do not walk around your puppy if he is laying on the floor in a walking area. Do not give any signs that make your puppy feel superior.
Your dog can sense your attitude and constantly reads your body language. Be aware that you are being closely watched at all times. Your dog looks up to you for leadership, if you do not provide it, your dog will take over. Always be a leader first, then the hand that feeds him (or her) and then a friend and companion.
If you are the established pack leader, your dog regardless of the breed, will only attack the mailman if you attack him first, will not display any neurotic behavior and will be content, social with other animals, walk easily on a leash and do everything you expect him to do. Your dog will follow your lead if you have established pack leadership and not charge cats or other dogs unless you do so first.
Enforce the appropriate behavior with lots of praise, possibly even a special toy that is only given, when the puppy does what he or she is expected to do. Take the toy away after a few minutes. Do not hesitate to let the puppy know if you disapprove with a certain behavior. Pugs are quite sensitive and don’t like to be scolded. They learn quickly how to avoid scolding. Ignoring your dog after scolding is an appropriate and effective punishment. Beconsistent and assertive. Have an alpha dog attitude. Your puppy senses your insecurity in your tone of voice, your posture and even your scent.
If your puppy jumps up on you and or visitors, tell him NO while touching/poking him quickly and firmly in the throat or neck area, turn around and ignore him/her. If your puppy is roughhousing with you and steps over the line or displays stubborn behavior 1) touch your puppy quickly with calm and assertive, never frustrated energy as a first step, 2) pinch your puppy in the scruff, just hard enough to make him wimp as a second step. 3) If necessary, flip your puppy on the back into the ultimate submissive state, mimic a dog bite with your hand, your fingers symbolizing the fangs and pin your puppy down, with a commanding shush! Do not let go until your puppy surrenders and relaxes, then slowly decrease the pressure of hour fingers while repeating shshhh ever calmer. Do not ever back down in this situation even if your puppy cries, wiggles around or starts biting. If you have to flip your puppy on its back, be fast, not too gentle and be determined. Your puppy may get a scare and whimper by your surprise attack. If so, you achieved your goal and earned the respect you had been denied and caused you to use this technique. After a few minutes of ignoring, return to your puppy and give affection.
If your puppy nibbles/bites too forcefully, immediately take action according to the three steps as described above. No warning in this case. Remember that dogs have their own language. If you speak dog they will understand you. Speaking dog means to have an attitude, demanding tone of voice and posture, and to physically touch as above. “Bark” a command. Think military.
To teach your puppy to go down a flight of steps, put it on the last step and let it jump down. Put it up one higher and let it figure out how to make it down. Always repeat lessons frequently and think baby steps!
Next to the selection of a puppy from healthy ancestors and preventive treatments for preventable diseases, food is a major factor in keeping your puppy healthy.
Whichever food you choose, please select a food with:a high meat content, whole rice instead of corn/wheat/brewers rice and without carcinogenous preservatives.
One of the ailments that Pugs are predisposed to, are joint issues due to rapid growth which is why every effort should be made to keep their growth rate as low as possible. The specific factors that have been shown to be of particular consequence are the feeding of high energy foods and the level of calcium in the diet.[i]
Even high end manufacturers don’t always fully understand the specific needs of certain breeds and some of the best and most expensive foods have a fat content above 20% and a protein content of 40% and more. This is well intended, however, in some breeds it can trigger a ticking time bomb by accelerating a puppy’s growth rate and/or leading to excessive weight gain.
To keep your pup’s growth at a healthy rate, your food should have:
- a fat content below 17%
- a protein content of 23-28%
- a calcium level of no more than 1.5%
- a total energy density of less than 4000 Kcal/kg
If your puppy still grows very fast, it may be feasible to switch to an adult formula at a fairly young age (5-6 months instead of normally not under 8-12 months)
PUPPY formula: Taste Of The Wild Puppy Formula, Chicken Soup for the Soul Puppy Formula, Canidae ALS Multiprotein. Alternatives: Innova Puppy, California Natural Puppy, Wellness Super 5 Puppy, Artemis Puppy, Blue Puppy, Merrick Puppy Plate.
ADULT FOOD: My favorites are Taste Of The Wild Ancient Grain, an excellent, 6 star food, more reasonably priced than the comparable Orijen, sold through many pet stores and feed stores such as Tractor Supply Company; Innova Evo, Instinct, Nature’s Variety, Acana, (Prairie Harvest only; made by Orijen with less protein) and Canidae ALS are other top notch foods.
Good (but in some cases overpriced) alternatives (that use high end grains if they do contain grains) are: Horizon Legacy, Innova, Merrick, Timberwolf, Wellness, Before Grain, Fromm, California Natural, Blue Buffalo, Wellness Core, Artemis, and Natural Balance. 20lbs or even 40lbs bags are more economical.
On a budget, at under $1 per pound (based on 35# bag), Premium Edge is a great 4 star food.
Please No supermarket brands, such as Purina, Pedigree or even Eukanuba (!) or Iams (!) widely but wrongly thought to be high end, containing lots of cheap fillers, and/or by-products, corn or wheat, and artificial preservatives. You get better quality incrediences with Diamond Naturals (at 65-80 cents per pound the cheapest 3-4 star food I know of) than with the above feeds at twice or more that price. Only Eukanuba Natural comes somewhat close to our recommended foods but is way overpriced for its quality. That’s what happens when you put a lot of your budget into advertising and sponsoring…..
Treats such as dog bones or rawhides can be swallowed and may not be digested completely. If that happens, the undigested bone may remain in the small intestines and may possibly not be passed in a natural way. This causes severe illness and may possibly require surgery. To avoid any risk, we recommend the use of safe chew toys such as durable Nyla bones only. A great, cheap and healthy treat are cooked baby carrots or some other vegetables.
Your puppy will cry. Do not allow many late afternoon naps during the first few days to get your pup tired for the night. Place a blanket or large towel over the crate to increase the “den feel”. Place a warming bottle (or a large plastic container filled with hot water and wrapped in a towel) in the crate next to your pup. Play some classical music or place a ticking clock near your puppy. Leave the crate open for access to the bathroom. Turn off the lights but leave a little night light on. Do not respond to the whimpering by taking your pup out of the confined puppy space. Definitely NEVER pick him or her up while whimpering!