The below is an index of units intended to provide new Barrett puppy owners with a daily drill-down of information and recommended best practices in raising a Barrett puppy. As always, please feel free to contact us directly with any questions, anytime. – Kim and Stacy
In this first week with your puppy (Week 8 in his life), we’ll cover socialization, check-ins, puppy poops, naming, training, and crating.
UNIT 8.1: Introduction. Congratulations on your new Weimaraner puppy!!! Keep in mind that your home is a big change for your little one. While passive training happens the moment you bring him home (and will continue for the rest of your dog’s life), use the first few days to get to know one another and don’t overdo it with too much training and/or expectations. Observe your puppy and follow his natural routine. Use moments he’s just waking from a nap to teach him about pottying outside. Reward him with pieces of his regular kibble. Let him explore the yard (under supervision) and pick one room in the house where he will be (usually the living room or kitchen). Use a baby gate to keep him from accessing long dark hallways or other rooms in the house. Snuggle with him if he wants to, but don’t hold onto him against his will. When he’s upset (whining, crying, howling, etc.), re-direct his attention to something else, like giving him a plush toy, chewy stick or peanut butter filled Kong to work on. You can even leave all of these items in his crate to keep him busy before he falls asleep for the night!
The first night may be rough because it will be his first time going to bed without his biological mother or his littermates. For the first few days, try crating him next to your bed so you can lean over and talk to him if he gets upset. (Bonus points if you’re able to squeeze in an activity session like playing fetch or tug right before bedtime to tire him out.) He should be able to sleep the whole night this way (and he’s been sleeping overnight at our house for a couple of weeks now).
Feed your puppy what he’s been getting at our house, but don’t introduce too many other treats just yet, as puppies have sensitive digestive tracts and introducing new ingredients when he’s acclimating to a new routine could upset his tummy and loosen his stools.
Make a veterinarian appointment to have your puppy’s vaccinations boosted at the age of 12 weeks (so, 4 weeks from now). As a reminder, your puppy’s vaccination record is printed on the second to last page of your puppy agreement.
Keep our cell phone numbers handy and feel free to text us ANYTIME (Kim/CA litters is at 949-278-2981, and Stacy/AZ litters is at 480-202-0600). And gather some strength because the next four months will be intense, but worth it.
Today’s Goal: Successfully potty your puppy outside at least once.
UNIT 8.2: Enrichment, Exposure, and Socialization. Puppies grow and develop exponentially in their first four months of life. To that end, proper enrichment, exposure, and socialization will be CRITICAL for a puppy to mature into a well-adjusted adult. It’s so important that we have a 10-page checklist dedicated to it. If you haven’t already, please print it out and get started on checking off the list. In the weeks to follow, we’ll go back to the topic of socialization to make sure everyone is on the right track.
Today’s Goal: Knock off five (5) things on the socialization checklist.
UNIT 8.3: Correspondence. It’s been a couple of days now… How’s it going?! What’s going well? What’s NOT going well? If you haven’t already, please download WhatsApp to your Android or iPhone so you can post questions to the Puppy Group. (Kim lives in a remote area and standard texts and photos don’t always work from home.) Please feel free to ask any question, anytime, through this App. There is no such thing as a stupid question and answers will be shared to the whole group so everyone benefits from the Q&A. You may opt out of this group at any time by simply exiting the group chat.
Today’s Goal: Download WhatsApp and be on the lookout for an invitation to join the Puppy Group.
UNIT 8.4: Loose Stools. Now that you’re a few days in, you may be noticing that your puppy is gifting you with loose stools. This is typically due to a change in environment (like going to a new home or being acclimated into a new routine) and actually quite common in puppies. If his appetite is still good, the easiest fix is to buy a can of 100% pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix) and mix about two (2) teaspoons in with every meal for the next 3-5 days. You can find this at the local supermarket in the baking aisle. The stools will start to firm up, with a little bit of an orange hue to it. That’s normal. If this doesn’t resolve in the next week or so, we’ll troubleshoot using different methods. Oh, and while you’re at it, keep a can or two in the pantry on standby at all times. You’ll need to use it a few times over the course of your dog’s life. Keep the unused portions covered and refrigerated. We keep ours in a Tupperware container in the fridge.
Today’s Goal: Pickup a couple of cans of pure pumpkin and have it on standby in the pantry for when you need it.
UNIT 8.5: Naming Your Puppy. So, what’s it gonna be?! Don’t worry if you haven’t come up with one, yet. (It has taken me up to a puppy’s 12-week milestone for me to come up with a name.) For those who need a little guidance, here’s an article from AKC about teaching your dog his name. Bonus points if the dog’s name does NOT rhyme with the word “no.” For those of you with performance dogs, here’s an article about giving your dog a registered name. If you haven’t already, let us know what your puppy’s name is, so we can submit the name as part of the AKC paperwork submittal (which we’ll do). Your puppy’s AKC certificate will arrive in the mail in about four weeks.
Today’s Goal: Get your puppy to come to you when you call his name at least ten (10) times throughout the day.
UNIT 8.6: Training. Like socialization, this will be another vital and ongoing subject in the weeks and months to follow. In addition to giving your puppy a name, you’ll want to teach him a few commands that will be useful in your everyday relationship for the next 12-15 years. Start with the basics: come, sit, watch, down, stay, and wait. Don’t feel like you need to spend hours and hours training your puppy. Nobody’s got time for that!!! This week, training should be short little spurts, only 3-5 minutes a session, about 3-4 times a day. That’s it. Work on the recall (come), sit, and stay. Then expand your repertoire to the next few things you’ll want your puppy to learn. Treat using your dog’s existing kibble or dry food to prevent upset tummies.
Today’s Goal: Get your puppy to sit on command three (3) times throughout the day.
UNIT 8.7: Crating. Dogs are hard-wired by their genetic history to be den animals. A den is a small, safe, well-defined space. It is a place in which dogs feel instinctively safe. It is also a place that they instinctively avoid soiling. The combination of these two native traits are what make crate training, done in the right way, a kind and effective component in house-training your new puppy or dog.
Weimaraners need “down time.” A crate is a great place for your Weimaraner to have just that. For your new puppy, a crate can limit access to the entire house until your new dog knows the house rules. A crate can help with house-training by setting up a routine. For example, you can feed the puppy in the crate and, afterwards, carry him or walk him on a lead straight out to an elimination site where you can use a word or phrase to remind the dog what the trip outside is for.
At some point in your dog’s life, it may also be necessary to use a crate when you are traveling with your pet or when your dog is recuperating from an injury. (Or when I’m borrowing it back for dog shows!) These situations will be much less stressful if your dog is already familiar with and comfortable in a crate. Tip: We cover our wire crates with a blanket to heighten the den experience.
- The Value of Crate Training
- Seven Reasons to Crate Train Your Weimaraner
- A Beginner’s Guide to Crate Training Part I
- (We’ll get around to writing Part II someday)
Today’s Goal: Get your puppy to nap in his crate during the day with the door closed.
You’ve made it through the first week together!! Hopefully, everyone’s able to sleep overnight and potty accidents are minimal. How’s it going so far? What’s working and what’s not working? In this second week with your new puppy, we’ll go over some tips to help your new routine together.
UNIT 9.1: Marker Training. Marker training is one of the most important skills you’ll need to have in your training toolbox. It’s great for Weimaraners, since our breed is sensitive and doesn’t take well with negative reinforcement. Read up on how we do it and teach your puppy to sit using this method, if you haven’t already. Also, if you haven’t already, let us know what your puppy’s name is. This will help us determine what the registered name is going to be so we can get the AKC paperwork submitted. Please also send us a quick message to let us know how things are going. If there are any questions you have about training or troubleshooting, or anything else, give us a call!
Today’s Goal: Email with a quick puppy update.
UNIT 9.2: Housebreaking. Puppies don’t come out of the box understanding where it’s appropriate to potty and where it’s not. It will be your job as his new owner to provide that understanding. So how have the last few days been going?! If you’re successful with potty training, great! If you’re not, it’s likely you’re not giving your puppy enough opportunities to go outside. Remember to lead your puppy immediately outside after every nap and set a timer to go off every 20 minutes that your puppy is awake. If you’re successful at 20 minutes, bump it up to 25 minutes, then to 30 minutes, and so on.
Today’s Goal: Aim for an accident-free streak of 24 hours.
UNIT 9.3: Flea, Tick and Heartworm Prevention. Barrett Weimaraners are not treated with flea, tick or heartworm preventative medication before they go home. Please check with your veterinarian if you are unsure whether or not fleas, ticks, and heartworm are prevalent in your area and preventatively treat as needed. Seresto Collars are great for flea and tick prevention, and Heartgard (available with a prescription from your veterinarian) works well for heartworm prevention. Please do not use Comfortis or Trifexis (spinosad) or Bravecto, Nexgard, Credelio (lotilaner), or Simparica (isoxazoline) as a flea and tick preventative as that has been linked to neurological disorders (including tremors and seizures) in dogs related to Barrett Weimaraners. This can be purchased in-store at Petsmart, Petco, Target, Walmart, or Tractor Supply, or online at any dog supply retailer (Chewy, Amazon, etc.).
Today’s Goal: Check your puppy over for fleas and treat as needed.
UNIT 9.4: Socialization. At Week 9, puppies are little sponges and ready to soak in new experiences. You still have a handful of weekends left before the current development stage ends and the next one begins. Please get your puppy out into safe situations (NOT a dog park) to log some “good experiences.” Positive encounters with strangers, both people (adults and kids) and dogs (big and small), will make a long-lasting impression on your puppy, so do as much of this as time allows. Things we like to do at this age is: put the puppy on a blanket in a shopping cart and roll her around Home Depot, Lowe’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, and other garden/nurseries. Even putting your puppy on the ground and getting some leash training in at the garden center at Lowe’s or Home Depot is a great idea, because they water plants there a few times a day so the cement floor is constantly getting hosed off. It’s a low-risk area.
Today’s Goal: Schedule a 30-minute trip to the Lowe’s or Home Depot Garden Center sometime this week.
UNIT 9.5: Alone Time. With the excitement of bringing a new puppy home, many families will take a few days off of work to help their puppy acclimate. That’s great! But it’s not realistic to be with your puppy 24 hours a day. I, for example, work outside of the home. I like going out to dinner with my husband. I have to get grocery shopping done at least twice a week. I’ll bet that many of you do, too! So, please be sure to weave alone time into your puppy’s day. Just a few minutes here and there. Go get the mail. Weed your garden. Tinker in the garage. Intentionally come in and out of the house without making a fuss or acknowledge your puppy so she realizes that this is just part of the routine.
Today’s Goal: Sneak away from where your puppy is for three (3) minutes.
UNIT 9.6: Routine. One of the best ways to succeed with puppy training is to set a routine. At minimum, this should start with a (supervised) morning potty as soon as your puppy wakes up for the day. In other words, follow your puppy outside and lead her to where you want her to potty. Tell her what a good girl she is for pottying outside. Then, come back in to start your day together. At some point, do a short training session with your puppy. It doesn’t matter what you do, just as long as you’re doing something together. Then feed her. Give her some play time. Get her good and tired. Then put her up in a crate for a nap. Repeat this routine a few times so that throughout the day, your puppy gets multiple cycles of potty, training, play, exercise, and nap. And remember, a tired puppy is a good puppy.
Today’s Goal: Set up a routine for tomorrow and think ahead about what training commands you want to work on, and what you’ll do together for mental and physical exercise (e.g. learning a new trick, fetch, leash walking, etc.).
UNIT 9.7: Pet Insurance. Submission of AKC paperwork starts a temporary (30-day pet insurance policy). During this time, think about getting your puppy covered under Trupanion, Healthy Paws, or some other provider. We have policies with both Trupanion and Healthy Paws and would recommend both. Some Barrett puppy owners have also reported success with Nationwide. Note: Healthy Paws requires a 15 day waiting period before coverage goes into effect, so if you’re thinking about getting a plan, please commit soon. And now, some Barrett puppy statistics on the frequency of health insurance claims that would have been helpful in the last 3 months:
- 2022-01 – Maui (2021 Skeeter x Tennessee) ran through a glass slider and cut up some tendons. Maui was not covered under health insurance. The out of pocket cost for his family: $2K
- 2021-12 – London (2021 Baja x Brandy) ate rocks and needed to have them surgically removed. London was not covered under health insurance. The out of pocket cost for his family: $3K
- 2021-09 – Henry (2021 Louie x Mango) went into the vet’s office for swollen gland ducts. Henry was not covered under health insurance. The out of pocket cost for his family: $600
Today’s Goal: Do some research on pet insurance and decide now if that’s something you’ll want to consider. The longer you wait, the higher the premiums get.
UNIT 10.1: Nipping and Biting. Got a puppy who keeps trying to mouth and bite you?! Welcome to the pack. Puppies spend the first two months of their lives playing with their littermates. Normal play behavior includes biting, mouthing, pulling skin, and football-style tackling. When the play gets a little out of hand, puppies correct each other with a loud yip, and then walk away. The offending puppy learns real fast that if he goes too far, play time ends. And because puppies don’t like it when fun things end, they’ll remember to cool it the next time they find someone to play with.
Now that your puppy is part of your pack, he’s treating you the only way he knows how. It’s not mean or spiteful. Just teach him other ways to use his mouth. There are lots of training articles on how to stop a puppy from biting. You may also redirect his behavior by teaching him how to target the palm of your hand with his nose so the next time he’s thinking about coming at you to nibble you, he instead noses you for a reward. Please reach out if you have a specific nipping or mouthing concern you need help with.
Today’s Goal: Redirect a mouthing behavior with a toy or chewy stick three (3) times, or teach your puppy how to target with his nose.
UNIT 10.2: Social Media. We’re on social media! And we’d love to stay connected. Our presence online is mostly shared on our Barrett Weimaraners Facebook page at www.facebook.com/barrettweimaraners. From time to time, we are also on Instagram at @barrettweimaraners (Kim) and @stacykzepeda (Stacy). Photos of Barrett dogs are tagged with #barrettweimaraners. If you have a Facebook account, please feel free to friend us personally; www.facebook.com/kimburnell or www.facebook.com/stacy.zepeda. That way, we can invite you into “The Barrett Collective” group for owners of Barrett dogs. It is a good place to share photos and updates on your puppy, and also connect with other owners for puppy play dates, meetups, training advice, babysitting trades, etc. Three great FB groups to post questions about training, and to solicit advice are 1) The Barrett Collective – Private Group, 2) Weimaraner Puppy Training – Private Group, and 3) Southern California Weimaraners – Public Page.
UNIT 10.3: Vaccinations and Socialization. If you’ve been doing some Google sleuthing about socialization, you’ll see that on one extreme folks will tell you to keep your puppy LOCKED DOWN AT THE HOUSE until after you get through the second rounds of shots and on the other extreme you’ll read about breeders telling their puppy people to get out there and see the world as soon as you can. So what’s our take?
Get your puppies out there and see the world as soon as you can. We encourage this because at 10 weeks, your puppy now has a very narrow window of how much longer he’ll be able to soak-in new experiences and accept them as positive experiences before he moves on to another development phase in his life where he’s suspicious of new things (and in this phase, it’s not wise to socialize a puppy).As long as you’re staying out of high-traffic dog areas (like dog parks), there’s a very low probability that your puppy would be infected with Canine distemper or Parvo. The drawback to keeping your puppy at home is that when he grows up, there will more work required to fix some behaviors that might develop (due to lack of exposure to these elements when he was younger), including but not inclusive to leash pulling, being reactive with other dogs while on and/or off leash, barking at people who walk by, and not adjusting well to new people and new environments. Take a look at your socialization checklist and step it up a notch if you haven’t found the time to take your puppy out of the house very much.
Today’s Goal: Plan to bring your puppy with you somewhere off your property in the next three (3) days.
UNIT 10.4: Food and Water. Whether you are feeding twice daily or three times daily, please do not over-feed your puppy as this will seriously harm his/her health. But please don’t underfeed, either. Try to feed to a set routine (same time every morning and evening) as this will keep your dog on a pattern, and it also make it much easier for you to predict when your dog will need a bathroom break.
NOTE: Please note that you should NOT follow the feeding recommendations on the back of your bag of food. Weimaraners are highly active dogs and will likely need a lot more than the “generic puppy feeding guidelines.”
If you can see a hard “indent” in your puppy when you look at him/her from directly above, now is a good time to up the food. Below is a photo of what your puppy should look like on an EMPTY stomach (before meals). Alternatively, if you do NOT see your puppy’s ribs when viewed from the side… you may be overfeeding. What you can do: Increase food rations by 1/4 cup per meal.
If your puppy is needing to wake up overnight to potty, you might want to pick up the water bowl three hours before bedtime. Your puppy won’t die of dehydration, but you WILL get to sleep a full night!
Today’s Goal: Check your puppy’s physique and adjust their daily food intake accordingly.
UNIT 10.5: Loose Leash Walking. Barrett puppies are introduced to the leash at six weeks of age. If you haven’t already, start walking your puppy (and work on your leash walking skills) for short distances. Do your best to just “let your puppy be.” Put the leash on, but don’t yank it on the puppy. Instead, talk to your puppy and encourage him/her to follow you as you move along. If it stops and gets distracted, stop. Get their attention using your words, and then continue. At this point, do NOT yank your puppy or drag it along if it isn’t cooperating. If it’s being fussy, simply take a break and wait for it to calm down. Praise your puppy when it’s not pulling, and then use your words and/or some training treats to get your puppy to follow you. Bonus points if you can keep your puppy to your left side. There’s an article here about leash walking a puppy.
Today’s Goal: Walk your puppy on a leash for at least 20 feet without pulling.
UNIT 10.6: Poops. Puppies poop. A lot. Like a lot A LOT, as Ruth and Darryl learned this year with their Ruby puppy. 🙂 It’s normal because puppies are eating a lot of food relative to size. There’s so much of it that most people scratch their heads as to where it could be coming from. Seriously, how is it possible that so much poop can come out of a puppy that’s so dang little?! But don’t worry – As puppies grow older, they won’t need to poop as often.
UNIT 10.7: Alone Training.
We did a lot of training with your puppy in the first eight weeks. But, “alone training” wasn’t one of them. And, it is CRITICAL for the success of a Weimaraner (because the breed as a whole is so family-oriented). Without “alone training,” traits that echo separation anxiety are a real possibility.
Now (and especially during COVID) is a good time to teach your puppy to be alone. This is the first step to successfully crating your pup for times while you are away.
- Start by putting your puppy into a crate and leaving the house for 5 minutes. Hang out in the front of the house. Get the mail. Just make sure it knows you’re leaving it. Then come back and see if it’s stressed. Praise it and let him/her out if he seems okay. If it’s howling or scratching, don’t budge until it stops. Don’t coddle your puppy. Wait for him/her to calm down before you release it.
- Once successful, try again with a 10 minute interval.
- Then go to the grocery store or another short errand (30 minutes or so).
Hopefully, within a few days or a week, you will have stretched it out to a good block of time so you can go to work or run some errands.
More about alone training: Don’t take your puppy with you, everywhere, ALL THE TIME. Your puppy needs to understand that sometimes, you have to leave him at home. Alone. AND THAT’S OKAY. Encouraging a puppy to think you’ll be there for it all the time is setting yourself up for separation anxiety disasters. Don’t be that enabler. 🙂
Today’s Goal: Give your puppy 5 minutes of alone time.
UNIT 11.1: Put Your Things Away. One of the greatest traits about puppies is that they’re inquisitive about life. Always searching, always exploring, and always experimenting. Without human intervention, they haven’t a clue what’s appropriate and what’s inappropriate. So – Whose fault is it when your puppy chews up the dress shoe, houseplant, or reading glasses?
The answer is… yours. If you’ve discovered in the last week or two that your puppy has been stealing and destroying your personal belongings, think again about how the circumstance came to be, and if it’s an issue (I still cry when I think about the time that a puppy ate my Prada wedding shoes, and that was almost 10 years ago), figure out ways to eliminate the occurrence from happening again.
- Are the personal items in reach? Easy fix! Put them out of reach. 🙂
- Is the puppy climbing furniture to get to things he shouldn’t have access to? Another easy fix. He shouldn’t have access to that room while you’re not in there with him. [See also: puppies need constant supervision.] Put a baby gate or exercise pen up to minimize your puppy’s “areas of free access” and make sure there’s nothing ‘of value’ in those spaces.
If you catch your puppy stealing your item, this is where a strongly reinforced leave it command becomes valuable. Give your puppy the command, and then give him something he’s supposed to have, like a stuffy or a chew toy. NEVER yank the item out of your puppy’s mouth and verbally scold him for what he just did.
Didn’t catch him in the act? Take it as a lesson learned for yourself and be more diligent about putting things away. NEVER scold him after the fact because he will have no idea what you’re upset about.
Today’s Goal: Make it 24 hours in a row without having to tell your puppy to “drop something” he’s not supposed to have, from his mouth. Extra credit: Teach him the command drop it.
UNIT 11.2: Designated Potty Areas. Many people ask us about how to teach a puppy to potty in a designated area. This is indeed possible, but there is unfortunately no “quick and easy” way to do it. If this is something that’s important to you (so your dog doesn’t pee and poop all over your lawn), start by putting the puppy on a leash and leading her to where she’s supposed to go. Make sure that every time she pees, it’s in that spot. As the area becomes inundated with her scent, she’ll be conditioned to keep using the same spot. You may also leave a poop sample or two in that location so your puppy understands this is an appropriate place to potty. For bonus points, pair this with a verbal cue, like “go potty.” And reward her for doing the right thing. Speaking from experience, we can tell you that teaching a dog to potty on command is an insanely valuable tool.
Today’s Goal: Get your puppy to pee in the desired spot three times in a row.
UNIT 11.3: Whining. Puppies are at an age where they whine about everything. Learn the difference between “plaintiff whining” and “alert whining” and don’t cave into the plaintiff whining.
If your puppy is whining during the day, watch her through the crate and wait for her to stop. The second she stops, praise and/or treat her, but don’t let her out. See if she starts up again. If she starts up again, ignore her. When she settles down, praise and/or treat her. Do this a few times until she stays settled. Then praise and/or treat her and take her out. This should only take a minute or two, tops. Do NOT let her get away with her whining!
If your puppy is whining overnight, let her out to potty and check to see how big that potty is. Is it a lot? A little? If it’s just a little, there should be no more opportunities to go potty for the rest of the night. If the puppy keeps whining, don’t say a word… but take her out of her crate, put her into another crate in another part of the house where you can’t hear her (another bedroom, office, laundry room, etc.), cover the crate and leave her there for the night. If she whines, no one will hear it. This reinforces the fact that whining does not achieve desired results.
Today’s Goal: Find three opportunities today to reward your puppy for not whining.
UNIT 11.4: Mouthing. Mouthing in puppies is a harmless way for them to explore the world, but as they get older it can feel like biting so it’s important to start training them not to mouth from a young age.
Sometimes confused for biting, mouthing is when your puppy or dog puts their mouth around something without actually biting down. Puppies usually mouth hands, feet, or sometimes clothing as they begin to use their teeth and naturally want to explore the world. As your puppy gets older mouthing becomes even less desirable and starts to feel more like biting, so it’s important to get them out of the habit from a young age.
Mouthing is natural, but it’s important to get your puppy out of the habit before they get bigger and stronger. Here’s an article about what to do about puppy mouthing.
Today’s Goal: Find three opportunities today to reward your puppy for not mouthing.
UNIT 11.5: Vaccinations. At your Week 12 veterinarian appointment, please provide your veterinarian with a copy of your puppy’s vaccination protocol (which is provided in your Purchase Agreement) so there’s zero confusion on what your puppy should have, and when. For those who wish to learn more about how vaccines work, and why there’s a modified protocol for Weimaraners, please read this article.
Today’s Goal: Check with your veterinarian about local area outbreaks; you may need to vaccinate for bordatella, leptospirosis, lyme, etc. depending on where you live.
UNIT 11.7: Housebreaking. Your kiddo should be housebroken by now.
If you’re still having troubles, just keep at it. Also, a reminder that if you did not catch your puppy in the middle of the act, simply clean it up and let it go. Do NOT reprimand your puppy after the fact; puppies (and dogs of any age) do not connect delayed responses. They will have NO IDEA why you’re reprimanding them if it’s even three seconds after the incident.
UNIT 12.1: Grooming. Nails. Check the length of your puppy’s nails, and clip them back if they’re long. You’ll need to do this about once a week to keep them trimmed. Also, your first few attempts may involve some teamwork. Someone to clip the nails one by one, with lots of praise in between, and another person to feed the puppy treats to keep it distracted and happy (as much as can be, anyway) during the whole experience. Ears. Weimaraners have long, floppy ears, so they should be cleaned out about once a week. Epiotic ear cleaning solution can be found at the local PetSmart or Petco. Here’s a great video that talks about how you can clean your pup’s ears.
Today’s Goal: Trim your dog’s nails and check the ears.
UNIT 12.2: Puppy/Juvenile Vaginitis. Puppy vaginitis is also called juvenile vaginitis, and refers to inflammation of the vagina in a puppy that has not reached puberty (i.e., has not gone through a heat cycle). (Likewise, male puppies may have a greenish yellow crusty discharge from the penis sheath.) This condition is caused by the normal sloughing off of cells and is part of the hormonal and developmental changes in a puppy. (Most of the puppies out of the 2013 Max x Friday Litter had this at some point in their puppyhood.) These opportunistic conditions are due to your puppy having a weak or underdeveloped immune system. It’s generally a mild condition and not something to be terribly concerned about.
Signs and Symptoms:
- Vaginal discharge (mucous-like, white to yellow to green, and usually not very heavy)
- Licking at vulva
- Mild irritation of skin around vulva
What you can do: Daily cleaning of the vulva or penis with an unscented baby wipe or alcohol-free ear cleaning solution is typically all that is needed to help keep the area clean and alleviate any irritation from the discharge until the condition resolves on its own. A trip to the vet is unnecessary.
UNIT 12.3: Puppy to Puppy Socialization. It is imperative that your puppy’s experiences with other dogs are positive and not negative. Start with a 1:1 meeting. Best ways to do this is to introduce two similar aged and similar sized puppies in an enclosed area (like a backyard) and encourage them to play, wrestle, chase, etc. Bonus points for a dog that looks similar to yours (GSP, Vizsla, Dane, Doberman, etc.). Over time, add new experiences, like dogs of different sizes, dogs with different coat types, dogs of various ages.
Today’s Goal: Get on NextDoor and organize a puppy playdate!
UNIT 13.1: Socialization. Guess what, folks?! You have THREE WEEKS left to socialize the snot out of your puppy before he/she enters a new development phase that includes a “fear period.” To increase your chances of being successful on the other side of this fear period, please socialize your puppy. as. much. as. possible. If you need some additional tips on socializing your puppy, check out this article, this article, this article, or this article.
Shout-out to the owners of Ruby’s Yellow Boy and Green Boy for getting together for a safe playdate a couple of weeks ago. Faraday and Jasper had a great time!
Today’s Goal: Knock off three more items off the socialization checklist.
UNIT 13.3: Play and Exercise. Puppies need to play and exercise every day – no matter what the weather. Play with your puppy by running around, chasing it, tossing a small ball (not small enough to choke on) to it, or getting a short thick length of rope and playing tug of war. Be friendly while playing. If your puppy gets a bit too playful and nips at you, say in a low-pitched tone, “Fido, no!” Sound firm but not angry as you don’t want to scare your puppy, simply to correct the puppy’s behavior. You may also want to make “ow” noises yourself and audibly play up the fact that you’re hurt. Remember, your puppy sees you as a member of the pack, so if you let them understand they hurt you, they aren’t inclined to do it again. Note that without sufficient exercise, puppies tend to be restless and unhappy and far more inclined towards discipline problems.
A note about the great outdoors. There is grass, wood, rocks, tree droppings, dirt and plants. Puppies try to everything in sight. To keep them safe, redirect them, give them a toy, play a game, etc. Also, twigs and sticks are okay for chewing, but watch your puppy to make sure it’s spitting out the pieces.
UNIT 14.1: Overnight Pottying. At 14 weeks, puppies should be sleeping in their crates overnight with no issues. If puppies are needing to pee overnight (especially if it’s more than once), pick-up the water bowl four hours before you go to bed for the night so that she does not have access to drinking water before bedtime. Always finish the evening with “one last potty” before going into the crate.
UNIT 14.3: Alone Training. Reminder to practice leaving your puppy home alone from time to time!! It’s a good skill to be good at. As much as you love your dog, remember to NOT take your puppy with you, everywhere, ALL THE TIME. It needs to understand that sometimes, you have to leave them at home. Alone. AND THAT’S OKAY. Encouraging a puppy to think you’ll be there for it all the time is setting yourself up for separation anxiety disasters. Don’t be that enabler. 🙂
UNIT 14.5: Selective Hearing. At this age, puppies may have selective hearing. “Rilo is still doing pretty well with her training, we’re adding a few more commands here and there. Unfortunately she seems to have selective hearing when it comes to commands that mean stay off the counters and furniture and stop eating your bed! And she’s very scared of (and barks very loudly at) the dogs who “live” in the oven and the fireplace i.e. her reflection.” Puppy not coming when called?! Congratulations on enter the “adolescence” stage. They’ll eventually grow out of it. Just keep up your training. If your puppy is ignoring you because she’s curious about her surroundings, that’s actually a very good thing. Now is a good time to encourage a little independence.
UNIT 16.1: Counter Surfing. Purple Girl/Lola is developing a habit of going up to the kitchen table for food and trying to reach counters for food. How can we train her away from this? Do you think we should get a trainer or simply get your suggestions and do our best to implement?
Boulder is doing the same thing. I have a spray bottle filled with water and turned to the “jet” setting and I squirt him on the head whenever he tries to get up on the counter. At the same time I give him the “off” command.
UNIT 26.1: Secondary Fear Period. Yellow Girl/Rilo is going through a subsequent fear period. “She’s waging barking wars against certain ceiling lighting fixtures. Car doors slamming send her scampering. She flipped over construction noise this morning–I drove past site on my way to work…it was a mile away. Oh and art, certain paintings/posters terrify her! A few times she’s found herself in front of a whole wall of framed photos, paintings and poster. You can see her look intently/curiously at each one of them. Then she’ll zero in on one and bark her little head off. By my estimation we’re only a week into this phase. Anyway, we’re having daily meet and greets with ceiling fan in my living room. And after being ignored she’s learned to tolerate the wall decor!”
Black Boy/Boulder drinks like a fish and in recent nights has cried around 3AM to be let out. He storms the doors, and the second he reaches the grass, potties for a full 60 seconds (which is A LONG TIME when it’s the middle of the night)! Bo is also starting to do this “whistle” noise in his crate when he whines. His dad does it, and I CAN’T STAND IT. If he doesn’t shape up soon, I’m kicking him out of the house! He’s also getting on my every last nerve and is otherwise a complete handful. This week alone, he has stolen and eaten the entire contents of three boxes of cereal. Here’s the thing: They were INSIDE a drawer and he learned to paw it open and take them out. UGH!
Tips on quieting your dog: http://www.justweimaraners.com/woof-woof-woof-quiet/
UNIT 27.1: Hives and Breakouts. A message from Yellow Girl/Rilo’s mom – A few months ago, Rilo ate some seeds (still not sure where she managed to find them, though I’ve searched far and wide for the culprit tree/bush/plant/grass) and that led to a partial blockage. Luckily, overnight observation and fluids were all that she needed to get things moving on her own… Once they got the fluids running, she perked right back up and started trying to lick everyone to death. She’s all good now. However, there was one slight complication that you might be interested in as her breeder—I didn’t realize at the time, but when I picked her up from the clinic, an allergic reaction was starting to ramp up in her body. She essentially blew up—ears, skin, face, eyes. I had to take her back in for a round of steroids and Benadryl at 11:00PM. They worked. Her vet and I have gone through every possibility of what the trigger might have been, but it’s still a mystery. They only gave her fluids and little Hills i/d. She was in a controlled environment for 24 hours. Weird huh? No problems since. There was some upside to situation—we found an awesome vet (and staff) at the emergency clinic and I am now very well acquainted with Rilo’s puke face. You’re right, hellions through and through!
Any other puppies out there with hives and breakouts?!
UNIT 28.1: Swallowing Foreign Objects.
Sometimes, despite our best efforts to watch our puppies like hawks to keep them safe, they still find a way to get into things they shouldn’t have. In the past few weeks, Blue Boy/Heinrich ate a sock and had his stomach pumped to get it out… Green Boy/Cooper went under the knife to get a bouncy ball, Legos, and fabric removed from his lower intestine… and Orange Boy/Jasper swallowed pieces of his bunny rabbit stuffie (and later passed it in his poop).
You’re all still good parents. But let’s take a moment to go over some lessons learned:
- Weimaraner puppies (especially these babies!) are destructive with stuffies. It’s a good idea to stick with chewies, rawhides, antlers… something they can’t break off into little pieces and swallow.
- Small objects (Legos, bouncy balls, etc.) should be kept in boxes with lids.