Wednesday, March 31, 2010

22 pounds! How big will our puppy Jet get?

Holy moly! Our puppy Jet is now 22 pounds! That is quite a growth spurt. So how big will Jet get?

The general rule is to take the puppy's weight at 14 weeks and double it. This gives you a general idea of how big your puppy will be as a adult. Not rocket science, but a ballpark figure.

Just to give you some perspective, when I was 14 weeks old, I was around 30 lbs. My adult weight hovers around 57 pounds, give or take.

Here's a good article by Dr. Nicholas Dodman on estimating your puppy's adult size.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Junior Puppy Training Class

Do tiny puppies need a training class? Oh my gosh YES! The ideal time to start training is very soon after you bring your puppy home. Our puppy Jet started her Junior Puppy class last night. If you start training early, then you can avoid lots of issues later on. It is way easier to train a young puppy to do the behaviors you want to see from the very beginning. It gets harder later on, when the bad behaviors are habits and the puppy becomes a "teenager". Here Jet and her new friend Joey are learning to sit for attention and treats (instead of jumping up.) Good puppies! What is a positive training class? A class that uses rewards, is tons of fun, and incorporates the whole family. None of that nasty stuff or punishment. It's all about rewarding the behaviors you like and using a training method that the whole family can do, even the kids. Positive training is family friendly.
Puppy classes also offer lots of socialization experiences that are so important to build puppy's confidence about the world. They get a little time socializing with each other too. Jet liked to sniff Joey's butt.Jet really wanted to look at Joey. She thought he was very cute. But Jenn was teaching Jet to give attention to her with distractions around. When Jet looked at Jenn she got rewarded. That was really hard! But Jet was getting the hang of it. She's such a good puppy and Jenn is doing everything to encourage good habits in our new puppy. The puppy class is a great venue for practice.So, get your puppy into a positive training and socialization class ASAP.

Here's a super Dog Star Daily article on puppy classes with more info for you.

To find a positive trainer near you, check out the Association of Pet Dog Trainer website.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Jet meets Mona/Puppy Social Time with Adult Dogs

Jet got to meet my best girlfriend Mona at her house for a playdate. Puppies can learn a lot by playing with well socialized adult dogs. Mona is a great female dog because she is gentle with puppies, but won't take any crap from them. In other words, if Jet gets out of line, Mona will correct her, enough to put puppy in her place, but not scare her. That's what Big Sandy did with me when I was a puppy. Jet was a little scared at first and hid under a chair.Then she decided to come out and just sniff a bit and maybe Mona wouldn't see her.Then Jet decided to hide behind a tree. Mona wasn't fooled and wanted Jet to play with the Kong rope toy. Mona finally coaxed Jet to play.After a couple minutes, Jet decided that Mona might be pretty fun. And they started a nice game of chase...They got along so well, I'm hoping we can all play together this weekend.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Jet Housetraining Update

Another quick update on Jet's housetraining. Jenn and Eric were really on the ball with Jet's schedule, supervision and crate time. Jet hadn't had one accident in the house in about a week. Then...0pps! Jet pooped on the dining room rug last night. Suffice it to say that it was totally Jenn's fault again. She let Jet unsupervised with a full bowel. Opps. Nobody made a big deal about it. We just cleaned it up and will make sure to get Jet out to potty. All in all, my girl Jet is doing great!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Busy Social Weekend/Puppies Meeting Children

We had a very busy weekend with lots of guests here to meet and socialize with Jet. Jet had lots of socialization to people with her breeder, and Jenn and Eric want to continue to expose Jet to both children and adults. Puppies need to meet lots of people, especially during the first months of their lives, even though Jet is well on her way in learning to be a social and confident girl. Corey and Suzanne brought their daughter Vivian. She is a very nice little girl that likes to cuddle in dog beds. Jet was happy to share the bed and her toys with Vivian.
Steve, Mimi and Shane came and Jet was quite happy to get a belly rub from Mimi.Jet really liked Mimi and wanted to sit in her lap.
Shane was very gentle and calm with Jet. He knows all about how to be safe around unfamiliar dogs.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Jet's Favorite Things

Our puppy Jet is quite fascinating. I think it is safe to say that I am her absolute favorite thing. I mean, how could I not be?I spend lots of time watching her and learning what she likes. Her favorite toy is an empty plastic bottle. Those puppy teeth are really sharp and she likes to crunch the bottle with her teeth.
She also likes to play with the Kong rope toy. We play tug and I always win (at least for now). Maybe I will let her win.I guess I should play fair. She's growing fast and may catch up to me!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Jet's Housetraining Update

So here's an update on our puppy Jet's housetraining. Since Jenn and Eric have been supervising her more and rewarding her for going potty outside with special treats, she has had one accident in three days. Of course, that one mistake was totally Jenn's fault. She was cooking dinner when she should have been either watching Jet or putting her in her crate. To help with the whole process, I've been showing Jet how to go quickly down to ramp to the yard to use the potty. Then I demonstrate how to sit and wait calmly to be let back in. I am so proud of my Jet and it is obviously my influence that is making the difference.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Errorless Housetraining?! Not Quite

The supercool Dr. Ian Dunbar talks about the importance of "errorless housetraining" with a new puppy. This means giving puppies zero opportunities to make mistakes inside and lots of opportunities to be successful outside.
So you would think a dog trainer, like Jenn, would have this stuff all down pat. Hmmmm. So I was really surprised when our puppy Jet seemed to be getting a little more freedom than I did when I was her age. Not a good idea, since puppies that young are like toddlers running around the house without a diaper on. So about once a day, somebody isn't watching Jet and she potties in the house. Seriously! She potties IN the house. That's just gross.
After a few days of this madness, Jenn and Eric got with the program. They ramped up their supervision of Jet, made sure they were following a consistent routine of feeding and potty breaks (every hour on the hour through the day, after each meal, after each play session, after waking up), rewarded her with special liver treats and tons of praise for pottying outside, and most importantly, supervising her. When they aren't watching her, she is in her little crate.
Other little things to help your puppy be successful are:
  • Puppies often go multiple times, particularly in the morning. So you really have to take them outside, watch them go, and give them a few minutes to completely empty themselves.
  • An empty bladder and bowel means "you can come into the house and play", but still be supervised. Don't let your puppy come back inside and roam if you don't know if they have gone potty.
  • If you catch your puppy in the act of going, try to get them outside to finish, but don't scare the crap out of them (no pun intended) in the process. You don't want your puppy so freaked out they become afraid to go in front of you outside too.
  • If you find a mistake, just clean it up. Don't scold or punish the puppy. That won't help anything. In fact, your puppy will just rather sneak off and go behind your back. If you want to scold somebody, scold yourself.
  • Clean up mistakes with an enzymatic cleaner specifically made for pet stains. Other stain cleaners won't get our smell out and we'll just keep going back.
  • Feed your puppy near the area where they had a mistake. It is a puppy's instinct to not potty where they eat or sleep, so you can help puppy understand that the whole house is there den by feeding them meals all around the house.
Let's hope Jenn and Eric can keep this up to help Jet understand that pottying is for outside. You can learn about more of Dr. Dunbar's housetraining tips here.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Jet Settles In

Our puppy Jet is starting to settle in. I'm finding that we think a lot alike. She is so into food and so am I. She likes to romp around and be silly, just like me. She likes to nibble on my neck and I like to nibble on hers. I'm trying to be gentle with my mouth so that I don't hurt her. Jenn says that I'm really doing a good job altering my play style. I'm overseeing all of Jet's activities. She plays, sleeps, eats, poops, and repeats all that. That's pretty much it. It is surprising how exhausting it is keeping up with all that. Just ask Jenn and Eric. One of them is supervising Jet all the time. This is so she doesn't get into chewing something she shouldn't or using the house as her toilet. YUCK! More on that later. When someone isn't watching her, she is settled in her crate. I still watch over her when she is in there, just to keep track of her. Anyway, things seem to be going along just fine and I am so happy to have Jet in our family.

Introducting a Puppy to Your Dogs

I was so excited to meet Jet. I heard Jenn's car pull up and I had to start howling. Jenn wanted to introduce Jet first to Eric. He said she was beautiful, even as she tried to eat the leather leash.She is quite the jumper! So now to meet dogs. How to best introduce a new member to resident dogs? Here's a great little trick called a scent exchange which can be very helpful during introductions. A week before picking Jet up, Jenn got a collar and put all our scents on it by having us all wear it. She put it in a bag and then put it on Jet when they got home. So, when we all were meeting Jet, she already smelled like all of us.

Next, you want a neutral location. So we went up the driveway and away from the yard and house. You can even meet at a completely different place. But Jenn was entirely jet-lagged (no pun intended) so we did introductions in the driveway, one dog at a time. First Eric brought out Big Sandy.She sniffed little Jet and that was about it. Jenn had treats so that we all could associate good things with the new puppy. Bernie thought the same thing, "nice puppy, how about a treat?". So far, so good.So I came out and had to get all the facts about Jet. After a thorough sniffing, we all went down into the yard together. That's when Jet did this...Seriously! A full play bow just for me. Well, that definitely set the stage for a smooth introduction into the family. Welcome Jet!

For more tips on introducing new furry members to your family, click here.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Planes, Planes and Automobiles

Jet had quite a journey back home having to be on two different airplanes. Southwest Airlines now permits small pets to travel in the cabin. Jet needed her own pet ticket and she also had to squeeze into the same pet travel bag that I had to over two years ago. It's also called a sherpa bag and it fits right under the seats in the airplane so puppies can ride along with their people. But how can you keep a puppy quiet on a plane anyway? Jenn's strategy was to play with Jet all night before the trip. Apparently, that worked very well because Jet slept the whole trip on both airplanes. Jet got to have a potty break in-between flights, but otherwise, she was stuck in that bag all day. I can tell you from experience that it is not so fun being stuffed in a bag like a sausage.

Jet also wore her little Thundershirt, which Jenn said seemed to help her stay settled during the long trip. Too bad I didn't have a Thundershirt on my plane rides.

Jet had one final leg of her journey from the airport in Jenn's car. At least she got to get out of the travel bag. By then, Jenn was ready to sleep for a week and Jet was ready to meet her new family...


It is finally time for our new puppy Jet to come home! Jenn went to pick her up on Monday and Jet had just turned 10 weeks old. She said that Jet came right over to her with a waggy butt, jumped in her lap and started licking her face. Jet really likes people apparently.
She is definitely cute. Jenn was surprised by how big Jet had gotten. About 14 lbs already (at that age, I was 18 lbs, so hopefully she won't get as big as I am).
Next Jet and Jenn had to get back home, which was quite a trip...