It is very important to your puppy/dog learning new commands that only one person at a time should give a command so as not to confuse the puppy/dog by hearing many voices telling him/her to do the same thing at the same time. Be consistent with everyone using the same word for the same command every time it is given.
Housebreaking a.k.a. Potty Training
Females until they are spayed will have to relieve themselves more often than males. After spaying, the female will have more room for the bladder to develop and will be able to go out less often.
The first 2 - 4 weeks your new puppy/dog is in your home is a period of adjustment time and the best time to get a schedule for bathroom walks and/or being let out into a fenced in yard. Keep the puppy/dog confined to one room of your home until it goes 1 week without an accident. I suggest the kitchen if at all possible as this will still allow the puppy/dog to have a lot of inter action with the family and will keep accident clean up easier. A baby gate across the doorway should be enough to keep it contained.
With puppies you should take them out at least every 2 hours any time you are home and awake at the same time every day. Always take them out first thing in the morning, anytime they wake up from a nap, about a half hour after they eat, the last thing you do before you leave the house, the first thing you do when you arrive home and about a half hour to an hour before you go to bed. This may seem excessive but it will pay off in the long run because your puppy will know it will be going out and will start to hold it more indoors. This time table should be followed for the first two weeks after you get them or until they go without having an accident indoors for about a week. When the puppy is better at controlling itself and has no accidents, you can start lengthening the time in between walks and allow it to roam more freely around your home. Make the walk schedule conform to your own schedule as the puppy gets older but always take them out first thing in the morning and last thing before you go to bed, just before leaving to go out, as soon as you get home, and about a half hour after they have eaten.
For a dog older than 1 year, take them out every two hours the first couple of weeks. Always take them out first thing in the morning, just before you leave to go anywhere, when you get home, about a half hour after meals and about a half hour before you go to bed.
When an accident happens do not stick the dog's nose directly in to his waste as this can cause a sinus infection and/or upper respiratory infection. Instead take the dog to where the accident occurred, get his nose close to the waste then tell him in a firm voice, "bad pee or poop or whatever words you find appropriate for you". Immediately take them to where you want them to go to the bathroom be it outside, or inside on training pads or newspaper and tell him in a loving voice "Good pee or poop or word of your choice". Do this two or three times every time he goes where he shouldn't. Please remember that older dogs coming into a new home do not know exactly what is expect of them until you train them.
No matter what age the dog is they need a structured, consistent schedule. This way the dog knows it will have ample opportunity to relieve itself outdoors and there will less chance of it having an accident indoors.
Appropriate vs Non-Appropriate Barking
The appropriate time for puppies/dogs to bark is to warn us of danger or someone coming to the door or in our yard. Inappropriate times to bark would be when someone is across the street from your home or yard, at other dogs or people who out for a walk, when you are talking or any time he may be barking just to bark.
Scolding the puppy/dog in a loud voice, to be heard over his barking is useless, to him it means we are barking with him. This will cause the barking to increase and tell him it is okay to bark because you the Alpha are barking. It can become an unrelenting circle in where you get more upset and your voice may get louder causing the puppy/dog to just bark even more.
So how do you stop this behavior? The easiest and most humane way I know of to get a puppy/dog to stop barking when they should not be is to get a spray bottle or squirt gun, fill it with tap water. Have the spray bottle set to come out in a stream rather than a mist. When the dog is barking at an inappropriate time spray it once and say in a firm voice, "NO BARK". Spray it and say “No bark” every single time it barks when it should not be.
When the dog quits barking for about thirty seconds praise the behavior. Tell him in a clam, quite voice what a good dog he is for not barking. Soon you will just have to pick up the spray bottle and the dog will stop barking without being sprayed. Again consistency is the key for this to work.
Exercise and Walks
To help keep your dog from getting into mischief make sure he gets enough exercise every day. Most breeds should have a minimum of three to four walks every day. The length of the walk depends largely on the breed and the weather. For every breed each walk should be at least 15 minutes. Whenever possible for breeds with a higher energy levels the walk should be a minimum of 30 minutes, four to six times every day. This is usually how long it takes them to eliminate everything that needs to be, to get some simulation as well as exercise.
For many breeds they need additional exercise besides the walks, usually one to two hours every day in the form of active playtime. The playtime can be as simple as a game of fetch or as challenging as an obstacle course. As long as he gets to run, jump and have a good time be it in the backyard by himself or on a run with you, exercise to tire him out is the key. A tired dog will not have the energy to get into things he shouldn’t.
In extremely cold weather, shorten the walks for toy breeds to about 5 to 7 minutes. This also applies for any short hair breeds no matter what the size. Any dog with short fur or fur that is groomed to be short should have some type of coat or sweater to wear on walks to help prevent hypothermia. Larger breeds can be out in cold weather for 10-20 minutes depending on temperature.
f your dog starts to shiver at any time during a walk immediately return home. This is the first sign of hypothermia. As soon as you get home, offer him some warm water. Put about 1 cup of water into the microwave for about 30 seconds. Be sure to stir the water when you take it out so the heat is evenly distributed in the cup. If your dog will let you, wrap him in a blanket as soon as he has drunk some of the water. If you have a heating pad put it on low inside the blanket to help warm the dog quicker. If these simple remedies do not seem to be warming him within 15-20 minutes take him to the nearest emergency care clinic for treatment. Hypothermia can be a life threatening conditions. A dog can get frostbite on it pads, nose, ears and tail. Severe frostbite can result in surgery and the possible loss of the area (just like in humans).
Please keep in mind any dog is curious and will get into to some things no matter how much exercise he may have. The above suggestions for tiring out your dog might not always work but they should help.
Separation From Humans
We all have things to do and can not be with our companions all day everyday. If your companion seems to miss you a lot when you leave there are a couple of things you can do to help this. These ideas will also help with getting your puppy to not whine as much at night.
Take a shower but afterwards do not put on anything that may mask your personal scent, i.e. deodorant, perfume, cologne, after shave, powder, etc. Put on an old t-shirt and sleep in it for one night. Have all the members of your family use the same t-shirt to sleep in one night as well. Pass the t-shirt on through the family on consecutive nights. Afterwards you may want to keep the t-shirt in a self sealing type bag in between uses to help the scent keep longer. Keep in mind a canine's sense of smell is 200,000 times greater then ours so even if the shirt does not smell like you to you it does to him/her.
Give the the t-shirt to your companion only when all family members will be gone. As the last family member walks out the door give the t-shirt to your companion and then as soon as the first person gets home they take the t-shirt away. Put the shirt some place where your companion can not get at when you are home.
To help a new puppy not whine so much at night as it gets use top your home and family: The last family member to go to bed gives the puppy the t-shirt in his/her crate or room he/she stays in at night. The first person up in the morning takes the t-shirt away when they take the puppy for his/her first walk of the day.
You may also want to leave the radio or television on a talk show or what ever type of music that is listened to the most in the home. The background noise and t-shirt are soothing to your companion as he/she will think there is someone in the next room.
As the puppy gets older and/or your adult dog gets use to your home you may not need these items for him/her to feel comfortable any longer. Kind in mind though there are some companions that need these nthings all their life.
Introducing a new puppy/dog to an established one & Your Family
When introducing a new puppy or dog to the dog you already have: have them both leashed and meet outside the home in an area your current dog does not use as a bathroom. Let them play 10-30 minutes depending on weather, age, size and breed of dogs. After that walk them into the home together side by side. This is especially important if you are introducing to non-nuetuer males.
As for family members let the pup or dog come to you for best results. By going after or towards the puppy or dog they may take this as aggression and biting or scratching may occur.
Give your new family member time to become adjusted to your family and household routines. Don't expect them to fit in overnight or even up to the first couple of weeks. Some breeds are shier then others and take more time to feel comfortable. This goes for the age of the dog as well, older dogs need more adjustment time usually then a puppy.
No medical advice appearing anywhere on this site should take the place of what your veterinarian tells you to do. Contact your veterinarian or nearest animal emergency clinic for all illnesses and/or injuries.