Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Puppies need training, healthcare to thrive

By Susan Collins-Smith
MSU Ag Communications

JACKSON – In the months after Christmas, the pitter-patter of puppy paws leads to a lot of puddles and frayed sneakers.
But with proper care and training, the new puppy can become a devoted companion for many years.
“The first few weeks with a new puppy can be trying, but it’s also one of the most critical times for learning in the dog’s lifetime,” said Dr. Christine Calder, a veterinary resident with a focus in behavior at the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine. “Dogs learn more new things from ages 3 to 14 weeks than they will in their entire lives.”
Calder said owners should begin the training process on day one. This includes housetraining and basic commands, including sit, come, leave it and watch me.
To housetrain a puppy, create a schedule for feeding and closely supervise the puppy when he or she is in the house. Take bathroom breaks after meals, after playing and after sleeping. Also, watch the puppy for signs that he needs a bathroom break, such as sniffing and circling the floor.more...