Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Training basic commands such as sit is very easy using a positive reinforcement method and does not require any more materials than a place to sit and some very yummy treats! When beginning to teach your dog new tricks, starting off in a distraction free area (such as a quiet room in the house) is best. The training can then expand to more distracting places once your dog has the hang of things.

Start by showing your dog a tasty treat and placing it over his or her nose. When they begin to sniff at the treat, gently move the treat backward. Most dogs will follow the treat with their head, and the backward motion will cause their back ends to sit down! Once your dog sits, reward with the treat and some praise. If your dog tends to walk backwards instead of sit, doing this technique against a wall will prevent your dog from walking backward and encourage sitting.

Once your dog has done this a few times, begin to add the word “sit” every time you put the treat above your dog’s head. Only say the word once, and then continue with the luring motion. Your dog will begin to associate the word with the action after several tries! After this, you can begin to attempt to offer the word “sit” once, and if your dog does so, reward with a treat and praise! If your dog forgets, or appears bored, stop training and try again at a later time- most puppies only have an attention span of a few minutes at most!

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

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Some basic commands your puppy is ready to learn include sit, stay, heel and no. You will also want to practice walking on a leash. At home, practice is critical, but it`s also a good idea to enlist some professional help. Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation for an obedience course near you.
When you take on a 4 month old puppy you might struggle a little more than someone who brings home an 8 week old puppy. But don`t panic, because any puppy can be successfully toilet trained if you go right back to the beginning. Even if they are a little older than the average potty training pup.
Training your pup starts with the week you bring them home, typically 8 weeks of age. At this age they are able to quickly grasp the commands to sit, stand, stay and come.
Many experts agree that a minimum of 2-3 hours of active interaction and engagement is appropriate for puppies. That may not really sound like a lot given it`s only 8-12% of the total hours in a day. But keep a couple of things in mind: Puppies need between 18-20 hours of sleep which accounts for majority of the day.
Your puppy should only have as much freedom as you`re willing to allow destruction and other problem behaviors to occur.
With your dog in a standing position, hold a tasty treat near their nose. Keeping the treat near your dog`s nose, move your hand in an arc over his head. As the dog raises his head to follow the treat, his bottom will go on the floor. The instant he sits, praise him and give him the treat.
According to the American Kennel Club, puppies younger than 10 weeks cannot be left alone for more than an hour. From 3-6 months, they should not be left longer than their age in months (for example, 3-month-old puppies cannot be alone for longer than 3 hours).
At 4 months old, a puppy can be left home alone for a maximum of 4 hours. To be safe, you might want to keep it at 3 hours alone. Make sure to give them lots of cuddles when you return.
Most puppies do best in a crate with a soft and suitable bed or bedding tucked inside. Crates keep your little guy corralled and away from temptations and dangers while you get some shut-eye too.
A general guide for exercising puppies is to allow them one to two sessions of five minutes walking for each month of age, so for example, a four month old pup could enjoy walks of 20 minutes at a time, once or twice a day.
One of the best ways to manage over-excitement is to direct your puppy`s energy toward something healthy like an activity or toy. Structured play like Fetch, plus access to mentally stimulating puzzle games and toys, are all super useful tools to help your puppy maintain activeness. Do reward calm behavior.
Around the 4-5 month age pups get quite naughty (cheeky), they have worked you out by now and know how to get around you and they begin to ignore your instructions. At first it can seem funny but it soon wears thin.
This is all to say that it is completely natural for puppies to have accidents. They`re still growing and so are their bladders! It`s also common for puppies to have accidents even after being outside. They either weren`t completely finished and needed more time or are still learning what`s acceptable and what isn`t.
Most puppies will be able to hold their urine through the night by the time they are 4 months old. However, some puppies may need to go out more frequently, especially if they are small breeds. You should consult with your veterinarian if you have concerns about your puppy`s ability to hold its urine through the night.
If your dog is struggling to understand what you`re asking for, you can also lure them from a down position. Start with them lying on the ground then shape a sit a bit at a time. With a treat at their nose, slowly raise the treat up until they lift their head. Click and/or praise and treat that movement.
Approximately 35% of owners and trainers voted 8-9 months as the toughest age citing new challenging behaviors associated with their puppy`s now larger size such as pulling on the leash or counter-surfing.
At what age is it too late to train a dog? Of course, you know the answer by now: It is not ever too late. Training works at any point in a dog`s life. Whether you start the day you bring your puppy home, or when your 10 year old dog finally needs to stop his leash pulling habit.
Crate training is necessary for when your canine is a puppy—sleeping in a crate at night teaches puppies how to control their bladder and bowels since they don`t like to relieve themselves in the same space that they sleep. Kennels are also excellent for the times that no one can be home to supervise your new puppy.
In the morning, your puppy will be ready for breakfast at 6 – 7am as 12 hours sleep is about right overnight. During the day they then need another 6 to 8 hours as naps, at least one long one, alone in their bed.
Where Should Your Puppy Sleep? While you may eventually want to let your dog sleep in bed with you (or your kids), it really is best if your pup starts out sleeping in a crate — you can always let them in the bed later, once they`re fully potty-trained, sleeping soundly, and happily acclimated to their crate.
Obviously, his stronger sense of smell is useful, but it`s also because dogs can see movement and light in the dark, and other low-light situations, better than humans. They are assisted by the high number of light-sensitive rods within the retina of their eyes. Rods collect dim light, supporting better night vision.
Is There a Best Time to Feed Your Dog? “While there is no best time, with most dogs that eat twice a day, it is best to feed them in the morning as soon as you get up and then again when you get home from work in the afternoon,” says Dr. Sara Ochoa, veterinary consultant for doglab.com who practices in Texas.
The Ideal Puppy Feeding Schedule

A puppy`s meal schedule must include at least three measured meals a day, preferably at the same time every day. For example, feed your puppy`s first meal around 7 a.m., noontime for lunch, and 5 p.m. for dinner.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. How can I train my 4 month old puppy to sit?
ANSWER : A. Training basic commands such as sit is very easy using a positive reinforcement method and does not require any more materials than a place to sit and some very yummy treats! When beginning to teach your dog new tricks, starting off in a distraction free area (such as a quiet room in the house) is best. The training can then expand to more distracting places once your dog has the hang of things.

Start by showing your dog a tasty treat and placing it over his or her nose. When they begin to sniff at the treat, gently move the treat backward. Most dogs will follow the treat with their head, and the backward motion will cause their back ends to sit down! Once your dog sits, reward with the treat and some praise. If your dog tends to walk backwards instead of sit, doing this technique against a wall will prevent your dog from walking backward and encourage sitting.

Once your dog has done this a few times, begin to add the word “sit” every time you put the treat above your dog’s head. Only say the word once, and then continue with the luring motion. Your dog will begin to associate the word with the action after several tries! After this, you can begin to attempt to offer the word “sit” once, and if your dog does so, reward with a treat and praise! If your dog forgets, or appears bored, stop training and try again at a later time- most puppies only have an attention span of a few minutes at most!

Q. How do I desensitize my dog to squirrels and stray cats in the neighborhood?
ANSWER : A. It depends on the goal that you have in mind. I am going to assume that you would prefer that your dog not chase squirrels or stray cats in the yard/street. In this case, your options include: (1) training your dog on a “Leave it ” cue using positive reinforcement methods, (2) training your dog not to pull on its leash when it sees a squirrel/stray cat, and (3) training your dog to perform a more desirable behavior when it sees a squirrel/cat.
Training your dog on a cued “leave it” command is useful because it will give you the ability to tell your dog to stay away from any number of undesirable objects on your command. Training your dog to perform a more desireable behavior when it sees a squirrel or cat will substitute a behavior you find acceptable (sitting, laying down, coming to the door, etc.) with a behavior you dislike. Your dog can still react, just in a positive way. If your dog pulls on the leash every time you see a squirrel/cat, training not to pull will make your walk safer and more pleasant.
The ideal training method to use with dogs, or any animal for that matter, is positive reinforcement training, particularly a method called “clicker- training.” The basic concept of positive reinforcement training is to pair a reward (reinforcement) with a behavior you want to increase in frequency. In other words, when your dog performs the behavior you desire, it receives an award, which reinforces the desired behavior so you get more of that behavior. There are many excellent books in stores or on-line that describe positive reinforcement training in detail and many give step-by-step instructions for training common commands like “leave it”. Look for books that specifically mention positive reinforcement training or clicker-training. You can also take dog training classes to learn the techniques, find a mentor who already uses clicker-training, or request a consult from one of the pet experts on this site to guide you.

Q. We have a 7 week old Toy Poodle/Bichon. We are trying to house train her, any tips would be appreciated. Thanks.
ANSWER : A. It’s understandable that she isn’t able to hold her bladder all that well yet. The bladder doesn’t fully develop until around 6-7 months of age. For now, you should be bringing your pup outside every 30 minutes, immediately after she eats/drinks, immediately after she plays, immediately after a nap, immediately after training.

Is she crate trained? If she is not crate trained, I have some wonderful crate training exercises I could go over. Crate training and potty training go hand-in-hand. Any time you cannot keep your eyes on the puppy, she should be in the crate so accidents do not occur. The main idea when it comes to potty training is to keep your puppy successful.

After a while of bringing her outside every 30 minutes, you can try to increase that time. What you should do is wait until the 30 minute marker strikes, and then begin some basic obedience using treats, or some puppy-play! Then go out a few minutes later. Teach her it’s fun to hold her bladder!

Q. How do I get my dog to stop chewing on things? I kennel her when I leave for a few hours, but I can’t go to the mailbox without her eating something.
ANSWER : A. If she’s young, then this is just normal puppy behavior. Don’t worry about it. The thing about puppies is, they explore using their mouths. If your puppy grabs a coat hanger, or a slipper, you should roll up a newspaper, and smack yourself on the head with it for leaving those things out.. your puppy is going to explore things, that’s normal! It is 100% up to YOU to keep those things away from your puppy when your puppy is unsupervised… even for just a moment.

Remember to never scold your puppy for grabbing these things. They are just curious little cuties, and they don’t chew things up to bother us.. Dogs do not have intentional thought, so they aren’t ever doing anything ON PURPOSE to us.. The most important thing you can do when your puppy is chewing something you don’t want her to be chewing is TRADE her the inappropriate item with a toy of hers, so she understands “no honey, that isn’t what puppies chew on… THIS is what puppies chew on!” and then begin playing with her using her toy to show her that TOYS ARE FUN.. Way more fun than a boring ol’ coat hanger.

Another helpful thing you can do is have two bags of toys. In each bag is many different kinds of toys. Lots of chew toys, lots of soft squeaky toys, lots of rope-type toys, a bunch of balls.. All kinds of things! For one week you have bag#1’s toys out for your puppy to play with.. At the end of the one week, you collect those toys, and you bring out bag#2! The toys will be more interesting/feel like new to your puppy, which will in-turn, make her chew less inappropriate things. Her toys are too fun to care about that dumb Wii-mote that you left laying around.

Hope this helps!

Q. Is there a difference between puppy training and obedience training?
ANSWER : A. Puppy training is all about fun, as you accustom your puppy to following commands, teaching him the traits that will make it easier to adjust to obedience training. Obedience training, on the other hand, is a more formal and strict training method that teaches your puppy self discipline and how to obey the commands you give.

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Q. Are Yorkie Poos alright to be left alone some of the day and are they easily house trained
ANSWER : A. They are not very easily house trained, no. Yorkie’s have small bladders, and tend to drink more than other small breed dogs. Yorkie’s need to be on a very strict pottying schedule. When they’re puppies, they should be brought outside every 30 minutes when they’re out of their crates, and when they are in their crates the “rule of thumb” is one hour per month of age, plus one (until they ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO potty). Crate training is extremely important when it comes to raising a puppy, especially one who has notorious issues with potty training.

I could go over a crate training exercise for you so you can start crate training right away. Crate training is a very SLOW, careful, and positive process. It needs to be handled very delicately to ensure the puppy has a positive experience.

Of course dogs are alright to be left alone some of the day. About as long as the “rule of thumb” allows, and absolutely no longer than 8 hours (as I find that just cruel). Crating ensures dogs safety.

Q. My puppy is urinating a lot. And the lady I gave one of the puppies to said she thinks her puppy has diabetes could my puppy have it to
ANSWER : A. It is not likely that either one of these puppies has diabetes. It is very uncommon for a puppy that young to have diabetes. If your puppy is straining to urinate or is urinating very small amounts frequently and cannot seem to wait for very long between urination, he may have a urinary tract infection. It is quite possible that your puppy is completely normal. I would suggest an exam with your veterinarian and discuss the behavior with them. They may suggest a urinalysis. Your puppy should be going to the vet at 3 week intervals for vaccinations at this age, so you can discuss it when he has his next set of vaccines. The other person with the other puppy should also be taking hers to a vet for proper immunizations and she should also discuss her concerns with her vet.

Q. What solid food should I start 4 week old Pit Bull puppies on?
ANSWER : A. A puppy food designed for large breed puppies can help with rapidly growing bones and joints and can be given in a wet form easily to puppies learning to eat solids. You can also provide a dry kibble for them to try and should moisten it with water or some formula to make it easier for the puppies to eat and digest. As the puppies grow and their teeth come in, they will begin to eat and explore more of the solid food on their own.

Mom should also be on a Puppy formula while nursing her puppies as it will provide extra nutrients to both her and babies while they are in a very rapid stage of growth!