Would You Believe??

You really have to read this article to learn some fantastical and amazing facts about our most beloved canine companions.

And I’d like you to pay particular attention to this fact:

Trying to be “dominant” over your dog is not the best approach

“Despite enjoying considerable popularity for many years, the “dominance” theory of dog training is finally seeing the truth come out. “You should never try to dominate your dog,” Hartstein insists. The idea that you need to show your dog “who’s alpha,” with methods such as eating before your dog, making sure you’re always in a higher position than them, or punitive behavior, is outdated and ineffective.”

Of course, you need to set a routine and make sure your dog understands rules and boundaries, but avoid traditional advice about displays of dominance.

Poop Eating Pups

This fact relieved one of my clients who has wrestled with the poop-eating of one of her pups. Despite her distress and embarassment over her dog’s gross habit, she learned that poop-eating is not abnormal. However, also adding to her distress is, depite all sorts of alleged remedies to stop the habit, the only real remedy is to march out with your dog in rain, snow, sleet, etc., and pick up the little brown pile yourself.

Want to know why dog’s eat poop? Read on…

How to Train Your Puppy to the Crate

Your dog’s crate should be his Mecca, his domain, his very, very happy place. But not all puppies welcome the crate at first, and in fact, fear may be their initial watchword. For some pups, getting them to cherish their crate may take time and patience.

But it’s all good and doable, and here’s how.

Picking a Crate

The size of the crate helps determine how quickly your dog will adjust to it. A large size crate for a small puppy is overwhelming, just as a too-small crate is cramped and uncomfortable. Select a crate just big enough so that your puppy or dog can turn around in it comfortably without any excess space for him to poop or pee in.

Introducing the Crate

Avoid putting your puppy in the crate right away. Instead, put him in the same area and every time he looks at it, give him a treat.

Moving Closer

After you have rewarded him multiple times for looking at the crate, set up a path of treats that leads right to the opening of the crate. At this point, you can also place a treat right inside the crate’s opening.

As your pup’s confidence builds and he becomes excited about getting the treat in the crate’s opening, reduce the length of the pathway to it and place additional treats further into the crate.

Moving In

Once your puppy has gone into the crate in a relaxed and happy manner, use treats to entice him to sit and/or lie down in it.  Try closing the door.

Give him toys and or a puzzle toy filled with goodies and walk away for a few moments. When you return, you guessed it – more treats. Gradually increase the amount of time you are away until you see that he is happy and relaxed being alone in his crate.

If at any time he becomes tense, back up to a previous, successful step.

Eating Meals

Now, think about meals. Once your pup has successfully entered the crate with the door closed, feed him his meals in it, with the door open.


Now your puppy should be comfortable being in his crate with the door closed for short periods of time. Also, when you are around and able to keep an eye on him, leave the crate door open so he can happily escape to his quiet little cave.

So You Got a Puppy for Christmas!

All you wanted for Christmas was a puppy! You got one, and now what? Read on for the best way to bring your new puppy into your life and home in a healthy and safe way.

First, take a big, deep breath. If this is your first pup, chances are you’re feeling overwhelmed. The more you can relax, the more your puppy will catch the vibe and lose some of the natural anxiety he feels from being in a new environment.

What You Need

Hopefully, you knew your puppy was coming in advance, so you have time to get the supplies you’ll need. These include the following:

  • Food and water bowls – stainless steel is preferred
  • Food – ask the breeder what food your puppy has been eating and be sure to feed him the same thing
  • Collar and leash – there are many different options here. I will be glad to help you select the best ones for your puppy
  • Identification tags – if your puppy should escape, an ID tag with your contact information gives you the best chance of getting him back.
  • Toys – in the beginning try out a variety of toy types to see which ones he likes best.
  • Treat – get plenty of high-value puppy treats: you’ll need these for training.


Using crates with puppies I find is very important. First, a crate gives them time to relax and sleep because puppies need to be sleeping 18 hours a day. Plus, when you don’t have time to watch them, it’s safe to put them in their crate. To first encourage him into the crate, use treats.

It’s a great start when they’re young to get them used to their crate, so as they go through life, they know that a crate is not a terrible thing.

Make Your Home Puppy-Safe

Puppies can get themselves into all sorts of trouble so it’s important that you make your home puppy safe.

Small Space

Set up a small space for your puppy to live in for his first few days or weeks at home. You can put him in a small powder room or use baby gates to section off a small space in a larger area. Put his crate in this area.

Electric Cords and Outlets

Hide cords or use cord concealers and put plastic safety plugs into unused outlets.

Trash Cans

Be sure to keep all trash cans covered or well out of reach from curious little noses.

Cleaning Supplies and Medication

Here lurks potential danger so make sure all are locked away or stored up high.


Use this ASPCA guide to determine if any of your household plants are toxic to your puppy and remove those that are toxic promptly. Toxic and Non-Toxic Plant List – Dogs | ASPCA

Potty Training

Before you even bring your puppy into the house, take him outside to the area you have designated as his potty spot.

Your puppy may get it right away that this is where he does his business, while others may take more time. Take him out every 3 hours and after naps and eating. When he goes in his spot, praise him, and give him a treat.

Inside mistakes are inevitable. Don’t punish him. Just clean up the mess and take him outside.


Adults: Your puppy is bound to be scared and traumatized having left his mother, siblings, and the only human he has thus far known. In other words, resist the temptation to have a welcoming party and instead, keep it quiet – just immediate adults in the family; save the little ones for later.

Other pets: Do not introduce any resident pets right away, but after several days, begin to allow the pets to smell the puppy through a baby gate or the closed door on his crate. Do this several times each day for a few days. Once the pets have gotten each other’s scents, allow them into the puppy’s small, confined area. Supervise the interaction closely.

Kids: Special care needs to be taken with the small members of the household. Young kids may be loud and want to pet and pick up the puppy. They need to be instructed to only handle the puppy with adult supervision.


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