Crate Training Your Brittany Puppy
A dog crate is your puppy’s private den, his special place – a security blanket. He is not afraid or frustrated when he is closed in. Rather he prefers having a structured life. A crate should only be large enough for your puppy to stand, sit and lay in comfortably. Any extra room will encourage your pup to use his crate as an apartment with a bedroom AND a bathroom. If you use a wire crate you can put a blanket over the top and sides to provide more security and prevent drafts.Be sure your crate is placed where you spend a lot of time. Your pup doesn’t want to feel isolated. Ensure that there is not too much heat, sun or that it is too cool. At night, you can bring your pup’s crate into the bedroom or have another crate in the bedroom for him. He will almost immediately be able to sleep through the night in his crate. He may wake up the first few nights but just take him out to do his business, praise him and put him right back in his crate until the morning. As he gets older and you can count on him being housebroken, you can leave the crate door open at night. If he does well you can eventually remove the crate altogether. You might want to leave light music playing when you aren’t with your pup. Music is soothing. Any complaining your pup might do initially is not caused by the crate but by him learning to accept the controls of his new and unfamiliar environment. You should get your puppy used to the crate with ½ hr sessions (1-2 hrs max), preferably during his regular nap time. Make sure he has a chew toy in his crate as a distraction. Always leave the crate door open when he is not in there so he knows he's welcome to go in and out as he pleases. If he barks or cries, first try to ignore him and hopefully he will quiet down in a couple of minutes. If not, a sharp NO or the quick shake of a can with a few coins inside should stop him. Or cover the crate with a blanket. This especially helps at bedtime. Do NOT go to your puppy every cry he makes. He will learn what cry and to what extent you come running to him and will do it quicker every time. Try to distinguish between his different cries. They will have different cries for different things they need. At first it will be shrill and come get me cries. But after that dies down and he has been in there for some time he may start to yip. This may mean he needs to go potty. That is when you definetely need to listen! Otherwise he may have an accident. It might take 3-8 objections from your pup but he should quiet. After 10 minutes of quiet, take him out of his crate but don’t make a fuss. You don’t want him to immediately associate coming out of his crate with lots of positive attention or he won’t want to be in his crate.Children should respect the crate and not use it as a toy. However, everyone should be able to reach into the crate and touch the puppy so he doesn’t get over protective of his crate.
Never put a puppy pad used for elimination in his crate. They are designed to encourage your pup to eliminate. And that's the exact opposite reason for the crate, it's to be used as a diversion from going potty in his den.
Never put your puppy in his crate for punishment.
Used properly, a dog crate can benefit both dogs and people. You can be comfortable knowing that when you leave your pup alone, he is not destroying or soiling your home. He can travel safely in his crate too.
When you come back after leaving your pup in his crate, don’t immediately go to the crate and make a big fuss over your pup! It will encourage him to make a big fuss every time he thinks you’ve come back too. Instead, when you come back do something else for half a minute or so and then calmly go to his crate and take him out, telling him what a good boy he is. Always take your pup outside to eliminate as soon as you take him out of his crate.
If you need to leave your young pup alone for more than a couple of hours at a time you can gate off an area for him with his opened crate, newspaper or a puppy elimination pad and food and water if you won’t be home at a scheduled feeding. Although a Brittany can learn to climb these so get a tall one. The best way is with a kennel opened up and secured against the wall leading to a doggy door. Allows pup to come inside for cool or warm shelter but still allows them to go outside to eliminate and play.
The “time-out” is a useful tool for eliminating many unwanted behaviors in dogs. Repeatedly interrupting an unwanted behavior and immediately giving your dog some time alone can rapidly decrease the frequency of that behavior. Time-outs are especially effective in discouraging the following common problems:
- Harassment of another pet (chasing the cat, playing too roughly with another dog, etc.)
- Attention-seeking behaviors, like barking, pawing, whining or mouthing
- Jumping up, mouthing and rowdy behavior when greeting visitors
- Mouthing clothes, hands or feet during play
- Begging during mealtimes
It may take some time and effort, but if you consistently deliver time-outs when your dog does something you don’t like, he’ll soon decide that the activity isn’t much fun after all!
How Do I Use Time-Outs?
Here’s an example of how to use time-outs to teach your dog to stop putting his paws on the table while you’re eating.
- If possible, prepare a time-out room in advance. Choose a safe, small space, like a bathroom or a laundry room. Make sure that the area is free of toys and things your dog might destroy.
- When you’re home and can supervise, keep a lightweight leash clipped to your dog’s collar, and let him drag it around.
- The instant your dog’s paws touch the table, say “Too bad!” Then immediately pick up the leash and march him to the time-out room. (If you don’t have a small room to use or think that your dog might have fun in his time-out area, shut the leash in the door to limit his movement.)
- Wait 10 to 30 seconds. Then, if your dog isn’t barking, let him out of the room and pretend that nothing happened. If he does bark while in time-out, wait for him to stop.
- If your dog puts his paws on the table again, march him right back to time-out. Repeat as many times as necessary. If your dog does not jump up on the table, seize the opportunity to reinforce his good behavior. He’s starting to understand what you’re trying to teach him! Let him know how clever he is by giving him plenty of praise, petting or a treat.
Puppy Proofing Your Home
Puppies have a tremendous amount of energy and natural curiosity, and they love to explore the world around them. This is part of what makes them so much fun, but it can also lead them into harmful situations. Before you bring your new puppy home, make sure you survey your home for potential dangers. In many ways, making your home safe for a puppy is similar to making your home safe for a toddler. The following tips are designed to help you keep your puppy safe. Many of the following warnings apply for adult dogs as well:Indoor hazards
- Know which plants are toxic (see our article, Plants Which Are Potentially Poisonous) and place them out of reach, or replace them with nontoxic plants. Toxic plants commonly found indoors include dieffenbachia, azalea, Calla lily, and philodendron.
- Keep all medications, including any dog supplements, in a safe area the puppy cannot access. Do not leave vitamins or other pills out on the kitchen counter or table. A determined chewer can make short work of a plastic container. Puppies are surprisingly quick at pulling things off of end tables or other low surfaces.
- Put bathroom trash cans up high where your dog cannot get into them. Sanitary supplies and used razors are only two of the hazards here. Keep Kitchen trash cans in a closet or cabinet.
- Full sinks, bathtubs, or toilets with open lids can be a drowning hazard. Avoid automatic toilet bowl cleaners if you cannot keep your puppy from drinking out of the toilet.
- Keep cleaning supplies in high cupboards or use childproof latches to secure lower cupboards. Remove the puppy from the area when you are using liquid or spray cleaners. They can get into the eyes of a curious puppy, and the vapors can be harmful to lungs and eyes.
- Be careful of your puppy around furniture. A rocking chair can harm a puppy’s tail or leg, and a curious puppy may crawl under an open recliner or sofa bed.
- Electrical cords are a big danger to puppies, who often chew on them while playing. This can cause burns in the mouth, electrical shock, or death by electrocution. Tie up loose electrical cords and keep them out of sight. Run cords through purchased spiral cable wrap, cord concealers, or even PVC pipe to keep them safe from your puppy.
- Any type of fire can be dangerous. Screen off fireplaces and wood stoves. Never leave your puppy unattended in a room with an open flame or space heater.
- Cords for drapery and blinds can cause strangulation. Either tie up the excess cords, or cut the loop in the cord.
- Swallowed clothing may cause a dangerous intestinal blockage. Keep socks, nylons, underwear, and other clothing put away. Keep laundry baskets off the floor.
- Keep small objects (coins, jewelry, needles and thread, straight pins, yarn, dental floss, rubber bands, paper clips, toys, etc.) out of your puppy’s reach. Jewelry and coins are easily swallowed and can contain metals that are toxic. Keep costly items and those of sentimental value put away until your puppy is older and less likely to chew.
- Keep fishing line, hooks, and lures stored out of reach.
- Be careful about closing doors as you walk through – your puppy may be right behind you and get caught.
- Keep doors and windows closed. Keep screens on windows and sliding glass doors securely fastened and in good repair, to keep your puppy from falling through or escaping.
- Close off stairwells with a baby gate.
- Many dogs will eat cat feces from the litter box if given the chance. In addition to being a disgusting (at least to us!) habit, this can be a dangerous health hazard. Cat litter can cause an intestinal obstruction, and in addition, any intestinal worms the cat has may be passed on to the dog. One solution may be to put the litter box behind a baby gate, either in a separate room or in a closet with the gate across the doorway. The gate can be raised up from the floor to allow the cat to go under it, unless the dog is able to go under it also. If the cat cannot jump over the gate easily, a stepstool beside the gate can help.
- Many human foods can cause problems for pets. Chocolate, onions, alcohol, and foods high in fat, sugar, or salt can be very harmful. Chocolate, coffee, and tea all contain dangerous components called “xanthines,” which cause nervous system or urinary system damage and heart muscle stimulation. Problems from ingestion of chocolate range from diarrhea to seizures and death. All chocolate, fudge, and other candy should be placed out of your dog’s reach. Grapes and raisins contain an unknown toxin, which can damage the kidneys.
- Tobacco products, including nicotine gum and patches, contain substances that can be toxic or fatal to dogs.
- Chicken bones, plastic food wrap, coffee grounds, meat trimmings, the string from a roast – all pose a potential hazard. Scraps from ham or other foods high in fat can cause vomiting and diarrhea, or pancreatitis. To be safe, put food away immediately, dog-proof your garbage, and do not feed table scraps to your dog. Uncooked meat, fish, and poultry can contain disease-causing bacteria, such as E. coli, and parasites, such as Toxoplasma gondii. These uncooked foods should not be given to your dog. For your own health, as well as your pet’s, wash utensils that have been in contact with raw meat, and cook meat thoroughly.
- Do not leave your puppy outside unsupervised. To prevent your puppy from wandering, you will need to either build an outdoor kennel or provide secure fencing that your puppy cannot jump over or dig under.
- Provide your puppy a separate area of your yard to use as his bathroom area. Use fencing, or other means, to keep him out of areas where children may play, especially sand boxes.
- Some outdoor plants and trees can be toxic to dogs. Common ones include potato (all green parts), morning glory, foxglove, lily of the valley, and oak (buds and acorns). Many bulb plants, such as daffodils, are also poisonous. Cocoa bean mulch can be toxic to dogs. Some dogs chew and swallow landscaping stone, which can cause dangerous intestinal blockage.
- Make sure all gasoline, oil, paint, lawn fertilizers, insecticides, and auto supplies are placed into secure containers, out of reach. Be especially careful with antifreeze and rat poison, both of which taste good to dogs and both of which can be deadly if ingested.
- Pools, ponds, and hot tubs should be covered or fenced off. Drainpipes can also pose problems.
- Fire rings, barbecues, and other heat or fire sources pose the potential of causing burns.
- Keep all food and other garbage in securely closed containers. Used coffee grounds can contain harmful amounts of caffeine, and decomposing food may contain toxic molds. Keep compost in a secure bin.
- Walk around your property and look for other areas or items that could be a hazard to your puppy, such as broken glass, exposed nails, or other sharp objects. Plan how you will restrict your puppy’s access to these areas.
Bringing home a new puppy is a time of fun and excitement. Following these tips will help you keep your new friend safe, so that the two of you can enjoy each other’s company for years to come.
Caring for Your Brittanys’s Eyes, Ears and NailsCheck your dog’s eyes every day and keep them clean. It’s normal to find a little matter on the inside corners. Wipe it away with a cotton ball moistened with warm water. Never rub over the eye, just the inside corner. Make sure the hair is dry. Wipe the underside of your dog’s ears with a cotton ball moistened with warm water, mineral oil or an ear cleaning solution available at pet stores. Wipe only what you can reach. DO NOT USE QTIPS. You can irritate the ear canal and do damage with a Qtip. If there is a foul odor, material resembling dried blood, swelling, or if your dog violently shakes his head or carries it tilted – consult your veterinarian. If you bath your dog, put cotton in his ears. It’s very important to keep his ears dry so bacteria can’t grow. Your groomer will pluck the ear hair regularly. Nails should be trimmed with dog nail trimmers at least once a month, but every 2 weeks is ideal to keep them short. Unless you do a lot of walking on paved areas and your Britt should keep his own nails pretty trimmed! You should have a small container of clotting powder (we like Kwik Stop) in case you trim too close. Put your dog on a nonslip surface. Pick up one foot and pull it slightly forward. Inside each nail is a pink area filled with blood called the “quick”. You can see through a transparent nail but you won’t be able to see this through a black nail. Cut the nail back a little snip at a time stopping just before the groove on the underside of the nail. If you do snip the quick, press some clotting powder on the spot and apply pressure for a few seconds.Start trimming nails when your pup is young and he will get used to it as part of his grooming routine.
Diamond Brittany Puppy Training - Housebreaking Made Simple
There are 3 basic dog facts that will help you housebreak your pup quickly. First, dogs are basically neat and prefer not to mess where they sleep. Second, puppies need to eliminate almost always as soon as they wake up and within 20 minutes of eating or drinking. Finally, dogs usually urinate on a spot where they or another dog have previously urinated.
I suggest keeping your pup on a short leash right by your side or in your lap in the house until you can somewhat trust him not to eliminate inside. Timing is everything. Take your pup out of his crate upon waking in the morning and on a long leash bring him to the place outside where you want him to do his business. If he has soiled anything, put whatever he has soiled in that spot. If he hasn’t soiled anything GREAT! Tell him to “do your business” or “go potty” or whatever command you have decided to use when you want him to eliminate. Be patient. If he just sits, encourage him to get moving because moving encourages elimination! When he does his business, tell him he is good boy. No treats needed. Just praise him. When you bring him inside, put him back on the short leash.
Repeat this procedure after he eats and drinks and every time you take him out of his crate. Also, a young pup needs to eliminate after he plays for a little while (20 minutes or so). Take your puppy out frequently when he is little and try not to give him the opportunity to have an accident! It’s much easier to create good habits than correct bad ones.
If your pup has an accident, clean it up with a product made to get rid of scent and stain and figure out what YOU need to do differently so he doesn’t have the opportunity to make that mistake again. If you catch him in the act, say “NO” and take him directly to the place outside you want him to eliminate. Praise him lavishly when he does his business in the right spot!Everyone helping with your puppy should follow the same procedure. Your puppy wants to do the right thing. He will be housebroken soon!
New Brittany Puppy Dos and Dont's
You are proud of your new puppy, and you want to show him/her off to the whole world , but DON’T! At least for a while. Wait until your puppy has had a series of shots recommended by your veterinarian.
To help protect your puppy from viruses and other illnesses, take these precautions:
- NEVER TAKE YOUR YOUNG PUPPY TO ANY PUBLIC PLACE WHERE THERE ARE OR WERE OTHER DOGS!
- Wait until your puppy has completed his series of shots and your Vet says he is protected. Don’t take a chance!
- NO public parks
- NO pet shops (even those that don’t sell pets)
- NO place where other dogs are present or have recently been
- NO contact with outside dogs until completing the vaccines.
TRY TO PREVENT YOUR PUPPY FROM:
- GETTING OVERTIRED- Remember, puppies will sleep about 18 hours a day! Schedule short playtimes for the 1st 2 months.
- GETTING OVERHEATED-When a puppy plays vigorously outside and then comes into a warm house, he could become overheated. Also never play strenuously for 24 hours after the puppy receives vaccines. He could develop sore muscles and not feel well.
- GETTING STRESSED- Your puppy will be under stress for a few days because he has been separated from his family and familiar surroundings. Your puppy has left the environment he has been in since birth. Give him time to explore on his own when he is comfortable. You can expect a puppy to be shy or timid the 1st few days until he feels confident and safe in his new surroundings.
- GETTING WET OR CHILLED- Young puppies have a hard time maintaining body temperature. If your puppy goes outside in damp or snowy weather, dry him thoroughly and provide a warm place for him to sleep.
ALWAYS DISINFECT YOUR HANDS AFTER TOUCHING DOGS OTHER THAN YOURS BEFORE YOU HANDLE OR FEED YOUR PUPPY!
Collar & Leash Training Your Brittany Puppy
Training Your Brittany Puppy to Accept a Collar
Young pups are often bewildered or unsure of themselves and their newly acquired leash and collar. It usually takes only a few hours for a pup or even an adult dog to adjust to a collar. Choose a collar that fits comfortably but securely. Choke collars are a training aid and should never be used as a substitute for a regular buckle type collar. The collar should have an identification tag and license attached.
Simply put the collar on the dog and let him jump, squirm, roll and paw at it if he wishes. Don’t encourage the behavior by laughing or trying to soothe him. Do not reprimand him either. It’s best to just ignore him and let him get used to it or provide some distraction to get his mind off the collar. Playing, training and eating work well to get the pup’s mind off the collar. Once the dog accepts it, he won’t even know it’s there. It’s similar to a person getting used to wearing a ring or watch for the first time.
Training Your Brittany Puppy to Accept a Leash
Once your pup accepts the collar, put his leash on and then just sit and watch. Obviously, do this indoors or in a secure confined area. Let your puppy drag the leash around on his own but keep a close eye on him so that he doesn’t tangle it or get hurt. Leave it on for just a few minutes at first. Later, repeat the exercise for longer periods of time. Put your pup on leash during mealtimes, so he associates the leash with a pleasant event. If he is very fearful of the leash, you may want to put it next to the food bowl for a while before attaching it to his collar. Eventually he will see that no harm is coming and there indeed is nothing to be afraid of.
When you are sure he is completely comfortable walking around with the leash on, pick up the other end for a few minutes. Do not try walking him yet. Just hold onto the other end and let him lead you around. Try not to get into a position that will make him pull or strain on the leash or he will probably become afraid of it again. If he sits down, that is okay. You just sit down too. Try backing up and enticing him to come towards you. If he hesitates, don’t pull or drag him by the leash. Try luring him over to you with a treat or toy. When he starts to walk, praise him profusely so he knows how happy you are. Give him lots of time to get used to his leash and always try to make it a pleasant experience.
Give your pup lots of practice getting used to walking on leash at home, since it is a familiar environment with minimal distractions. When he is comfortable indoors, try going outdoors. Again, begin in an area with only a few distraction such as your front or back yard. When the two of you have mastered this, you are ready for places where there are more distractions. This exercise won’t be difficult, since you’ve both had lots of practice beforehand at getting it right.
If your pup is biting and chewing the leash, try applying bitter apple or some other unpleasant tasting (but nontoxic) substance to the leash. Reapply before every outing.
Remember to always walk your dog on-leash. A dog off-leash is always in danger; accidents happen very quickly. Your dog’s safety as well as compliance with your local leash law, is your responsibility.
If your puppy starts to pull you on your walk I highly recommend the gentle leader. Best investment ever! Follow the instructions that come with the gentle leader to get your puppy accustomed to the gentle leader before going out with it for the first time!!