Photo: Manon Nuvelstijn-Proost

There are many stories and advice about the education and development of puppies. We would like to create some order in all stories and misunderstandings. We will go deeper into a number of things that are often being said without any substantiation for them. We will go for exercises, the famous / infamous 5 minute rule when walking, and busy puppies that seem tirelessly.

Issue 1: I do not start practicing / training until later, then he learns everything better

At first there is quite a lot to be said. Dogs can usually start a sport around the age of 1 year. There are also preparatory activities that you can start with earlier, such as e.g. pre-agility. But then you only have an eye for the future sport. The basic preparation for a sport is the good development of the motor skills and fitness of the future sport dog. He must be physically ready to start the sport without problems. That development actually starts in the nest.

The nervous system is basically ready to be used at birth of the puppy. It only needs to be activated. With each activity the insulation layer around the nerves (myelin) is made thicker . That layer ensures that the speed of a stimulus in that nerve increases and that the stimulus becomes more specific because it can not leak to other nerve pathways. A nerve with a thickened myelin sheath always remains intact.

At one point – in dogs we think about 6 to 7 months – all nerve connections that are not regularly used are removed by the body. At a later time in life, these nerve connections are no longer easily established. You can still learn a lot, but the self-evidence of automatisms (also called muscle memory) and learning ability is greatly reduced. Children who learn two languages ​​within the first ten years of life will learn all languages ​​more easily for life. That learning ability is activated. Others may learn a foreign language, but they will never be as extremely talented as those who have learned it at a young age. You will never forget cycling when you have learned that at your young age. That is why it is better to teach your pup to learn balance and Core Stability with a lot of different circumstances at an early stage. The ease of movement is learned in the first months. Then you have to row with the straps your dog has. It is therefore unfortunate if you miss this first period unused.

Issue 2: 5 minute regulation for walking

A rule circulates that a pup can walk for 5 minutes per month of life. We do not agree with this. It is too rigid a rule, which of course has been drawn out as a precaution because puppy owners tend to walk too early for too long. Especially if you already have several dogs.

You do not walk extensively with a puppy. You can take it with you in a baby carrier on your stomach or in a cart if you walk with the other dogs. It is a good idea to put him on the ground for a few minutes at regular intervals and let him move freely. Always look for alternating places that are safe for the puppy. He thus receives a wealth of experiences, which he can process well. He can also look at his surroundings and socialize in this way. Take a good look at your pup. If he gets tired – and that is with a lot of impressions soon – you stop loosening and he goes back into the cart or baby carrier. Later on the walk you can repeat this ritual.

Issue 3: My puppy is very busy. He has to become even more tired, otherwise he will not handle it.

Puppies like to play and can run around unrestrained. Sometimes he can not calm down. People then think that you have to make your puppy tired. That he has too much energy when he is running around like that. Often the opposite is true. The puppy can be tired and over-stimulated. He does not really know what he is doing anymore. Apart from the fact that it can be dangerous for him because he no longer has any control over his movements, he will become increasingly restless. You actually train him to become busy. Just when a puppy is so unrestrainedly active, you give him a time-out in the bench. First rest and then he can start new activities again with fresh courage.

Further Reading: Which Dog Breed Would YOu Rather Choose
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Dog first aid can save the life of your companion! Specific training for pets is increasing among dog owners today; they are ideal for knowing how to respond without panic when your dog is in danger. While you are waiting to register, do you know what to do in case of an accident?

The most common accidents that requires dog first aid

With a dog or cat you have to be prepared for the following emergencies:

  • Hyperthermia / hypothermia: the rectal temperature rises above 39 ° or falls below 38 °. The situation must be taken seriously if the animal is very young or the temperature is very high, or vice versa.
  • Choking: Usually the animal coughs and then automatically removes the foreign body. If this is not the case, you have to go get it out yourself from his mouth, or you perform a Heimlich maneuver.
  • Cardio-respiratory problems: often after a shock they must be treated with absolute urgency. If your pet is equipped with a GPS tracker with real time tracking you can be quickly alerted.
  • Ingestion of toxic products: Make your pet to vomit it.

Read More: Dog Crate Training Tips

Dog First aid kit

A well-filled medicine kit is essential to prevent accidents; What should it contain?

  • Specific dressings and dressings of all sizes, compresses and veterinary antiseptic wipes;
  • A muzzle to prevent your dog from bite
  • A pillow cover to control your dog with gentleness
  • A rectal thermometer and petrolatum
  • Scissors and tweezers
  • A solution of hydrogen peroxide dosed at 3% maximum , to induce vomiting from your prt
  • A blanket of survival and towels
  • Disposable gloves
  • A veterinary emergency number and / or that of a clinic

Focus on: The Heimlich Maneuver

The Heimlich maneuver does not only work for man, it applies to animals too.

  • Dog First Aid: stand behind your dog, standing or squatting, depending on the size of the animal. Put an arm around the stomach (3 or 4 fingers of the hand if it is a small dog) and practice 5 short but powerful pressing on the stomach. Repeat until he spits out the object
  • Cat: Place one hand on his back to hold it firmly and the other hand on the belly at the base of the rib cage. Perform series of 4 presses that are directed inwards and upwards. You can help your cat by knocking him twice in the nose between each series of pressures.

Focus on: Taking Pulse

Sometimes, after a shock or a fall, no lesion is visible on your animal. However, he may be injured and / or startled. Checking the pulse is a good way to assess his general condition: put your pet on his side. Search with the index finger and the middle finger for pulsations on the inside of the thigh at the level of the groin. Count the number of beats over a period of 20 seconds and then multiply the number by 3 to get the number of beats / minute. The average for a dog varies from 60 (for a large animal) to 160 bpm for a small breed.

Prepare to help your pet with a problem or accident: contact a rescue training organization. Your veterinarian can also teach you some simple dog first aid techniques that can save his life. Think about it!

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Heat management in dogs: Some essential reminders

The dog is an endothermic animal, that is to say it has a thermoregulation system and its internal heat must be constant. In view of this, there must be a constant balance between heat production (thermogenesis) and heat dissipation (thermolysis), just as it is happening to man. The temperature of the dog is around 38.5 ° C and the variations are very poorly tolerated by their body!

How panting Helps in Heat Management

The peculiarity of dogs, compared to human beings, is that they possess very little sweat glands; housed at the pads, their surface is not enough to regulate the temperature of the dog. This is why they are panting continuously or almost all the time in order to stabilize their metabolism.

It can be stated that the more dry the  air is, the more effective the panting is, and the more humid the air, the lower the transfer.rate.

The Role of Conduction and Radiation in Heat Management

Conduction and radiation maximize heat loss via the epidermis, this is less effective but nevertheless necessary, . It is not sweat but simply a loss of energy by contact or radiation. Apparently during hot weather, the dog’s blood system promotes blood transfers via peripheral channels rather than internal networks to maximize losses.

Heat Management in Dogs: Behavior

Be that as it may, the best solution developed by dogs lies in obvious behavioral mechanisms. Looking for shade, cool, feeding in the warmest hours, higher drink intake, etc.

Helping your dog manage the heat

It’s all about common sense … But since it’s especially when you’re not suspicious that accidents happen, stay alert!

REMINDER: If your dog is brachycephalic, black, sick, overweight, elderly or unaccustomed to heat, be especially on your guard.

Here are some points to observe (this is not exhaustive):

1. Try to give him water to drink. (No ice water)

Wet your dog if you can, with water at room temperature and / or bathe it wherever possible. For those who do not have this opportunity , there are refreshing blankets and coats for dogs that are sensitive or obliged to withstand the heat (apartments, vacations, etc.)

2. Take your dog out at times when the the sun is not at its peak (before 10 am and after 5 pm)

3. Make your dog stay in shaded areas as much as possible.

4. Avoid bituminous soils that can be very hot.

 

The heat stroke.

Heat stroke can cause serious brain damage and even death of your dog, if you fail to quickly recognize it, and give it the required attention. If your dog has the following symptoms, he may be a victim from a heat stroke:

Rising heart rate and breathing: Excessive gasping, foam, drool

Rising body temperature, or  hot body

Unusual: search for freshness

Appearance of involuntary movements: convulsions, tremors

Loss of consciousness: dizziness, fainting

Blue / gray mucous membranes

In the case of heat stroke – What to do?

Stay calm but do not waste time to respond. .

Do not force your dog to get up. Place him in the shade.

Moisten or cover him with a damp cloth.

Try to give him water to drink, but not to excess.

Ventilate the air around him if possible.

Call your veterinarian re or the nearest veterinarian.

Conclusion

Heat management is essential in the summer season and is mainly based on common sense. Be extremely vigilant if your dog is in his first days of heat. Follow these simple rules, and if your dog does not return to normal consult a veterinarian urgently.


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Rex is a five-month-old German Shepherd Dog breed, born to a mother of the show line and a dad of a working line. A good size for his age. Rex will certainly be out of standard, that is to say that its size will be larger than what is written in the standard of its breed. His voice is powerful, not to talk about the solid frame. He will surely become a fine specimen . The owner who adores him could sense the rejection and criticism of his peers.

Rex is scary, aggressive, and imposing. He barks all the time! In short, Rex does not enjoy the acceptance of the people around him. The owner of the breeding house  from which he came made a serious mistake for his psychological development since he was weaned too early, and adopted from the age of 6 weeks. Knowing that a puppy needs his mother and siblings up to the minimum age of 7 weeks, Rex missed the boat. He created a hyper attachment to his adopted mother.

Rex barks immediately he is left alone, feeling abandoned by her adopted mother. and always react to the slightest noise by a well punctuated bark. Despite the indisputable efforts of his owner to make him socialize, Rex remains hesitant with strangers, but with dogs, he wants to play.

Sometimes using his voice with exaggerated enthusiasm, some dogs are afraid of his big clumsy frame. Their fear may spawn a response from Rex, but without any serious aggressive reaction. Rex is a clumsy teenager who only thinks of playing with whatever he finds comfortable with, just like all young people do. The patience of those around him is put to the test all the time, but Rex learns and matures slowly. He needs stability, calmness, and general friendly disposition, and not screaming, frustration or threatening people, and other dogs around.

Good things come to those who wait for it. A dog, especially an exuberant and active puppy like Rex, does not reach maturity in 3 days. It takes months of patience and grooming to arrive at a more acceptable result. Too many dogs are abandoned at this stage every year, simply because the owners are tired of this canine adolescence.

To raise a german shepherd dog, just like any other breed from puppy to adulthood requires a good investment, time and patience, but in the case of Rex, the family circle and the neighborhood are not ready to give this, practically they lack patience and understanding for this growing adolescent. It’s sad to say this, but today many people are generally not very tolerant of dogs. These people only like to caress dogs in exhibitions and breeders’ shows.

They see them beautiful and fine, but immediately a neighbor or family member brings a new dog that barks they develop an attitude towards the poor creature. They quickly call to the owner to shut him up. As a result, dog owners are always under pressure and frustration from their peers. The dog is not a human that can be reason, hence he will always see hostility in these “no to pets” neighbors, and then react more with barking and snarling.

From a purely emotional and psychological point of view, the dog can be compared to a child of about age 4 to 5 years, who still needs lot of supports and care from their parents. He acts and reacts emotionally as a child. He is conscious of hatred and abandonment, experiences joy, pleasure and a whole range of emotions that can also cause stress. This stress triggers anxiety. Anxiety damages the well-being of the dog, as well as his physical and psychological health.

To be balanced, the dog needs clear instructions, guidance, and respect in a stable and consist manner. This should be given by all, so that a dog can always feel warm, acceptable, and confortable with people. If dogs can talk, they will tell you that they are also afraid of most people, just as humans are afraid of them.

Rex is an example like so many other dogs I have seen over the years with bittr experiences which they do not deserve.

The story of this unfortunate german sherperd dog, Rex is teaching us something, and that is, any dog can be educated, and this education begins before birth by choosing balanced parents. The breeder is then responsible for contributing to the optimal development of his puppies by beginning their socialization and respecting their psychological and emotional needs of daily contact with their mother and the siblings until the minimum age of 7 weeks.

Then, the owner has the duty to continue this socialization and education throughout the first year of the dog’s life, and all the years that he will share with him thereafter. “You are responsible forever for what you have tamed. The question is, do you want to breed? Do you want to have a pet or work dog? Then you must be ready to take responsibility to socialize and educate them.

That’s the way it should be, and the only way that we can make sure that dogs like Rex are no longer a majority in our neighborhood, but a minority. Behavioral problems, especially those leading to aggressive demonstrations and extreme fears, often have their source programmed from early childhood through improper breeding. Before buying a dog, make sure that the breeder knows this, and that your puppy is well prepared for his future pet dog life.

Avoid overprotecting and cuddling a dog like a baby. A puppy will become what you do with him. The more you treat him as a baby, the less balanced he will be. A dog remains a dog.

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