TRACIE HOTCHNER: 5 EASY TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL PUPPY HOUSE TRAINING

newtraciepic1) Learn to Recognize When a Puppy Needs to Go
If you take the time to notice the signals that can tell you what a puppy is thinking or wanting, it can save you time and trouble. If a puppy whines or cries at you, this is probably an attempt to communicate the urge to eliminate.

Think of this like a little kid being potty-trained who says urgently, “Daddy, I need to go. NOW!” If that parent doesn’t respond instantly to the child’s plea, the next thing he’ll hear is, “It’s okay. I don’t need to go anymore,” followed by a little puddle at the child’s feet. If you don’t want to wind up like that with your pup, you’d better learn to notice the ways she tries to signal her needs! A puppy probably needs to go out if she suddenly puts her nose down and starts sniffing the floor, going in circles.

Likewise if she starts panting, but she hasn’t gotten hot from running around. If a puppy lifts her tail while doing any of this, take note of whether her anus begins to open: this is the main sign that she needs to move her bowels. This may sound as though I’m suggesting you be disgustingly over-attentive, but watching body language for signs of impending evacuation really can save you from an even grosser fate: scraping up fresh dog-doo from your floor!

2) Get the Puppy Outside Quickly!
You need to take your puppy to her potty area immediately after opening the door to the crate. If the puppy leaves the crate on her own, the first thing she’s going to do is relieve herself, a habit you do not want her to form. When you open the crate door you need to pick up the pup and take her outside. You really should be doing this every time the puppy eats, drinks, plays hard or chews a toy (which stimulates defecation).

Always take her to the same area: she will remember why and it will stimulate her. Take the puppy out on a regular schedule so her body gets into a rhythm. And do not confuse things by trying to introduce a different schedule on the weekends—the puppy’s bladder is going to get used to a certain schedule. Get up and keep the same schedule every single day of the week—it’s not as though her bladder knows when it’s the weekend!

3) Give Happy Praise Immediately After Your Dog Does Her Business
As with all positive reinforcement in the learning process, you want to reward the desired behavior immediately when it happens. This is slightly different with teaching a puppy to eliminate outside the house because you don’t want to interrupt the dog with praise while she is going.

In addition, you should not give a food treat once she’s finished – just happy verbal praise and physical affection – because some dogs might think they will get a food treat wherever they go, even inside the house! (this idea had never occurred to me when I wrote The Dog Bible, but it’s logical!) You want to reward the puppy for eliminating outdoors right after it takes place – with an enthusiastic song and dance instantly after the correct choice by the puppy, which is a display of delight she’ll want to elicit from you again!

4) No Water in the Evening
Pick up your puppy’s water bowl by 5 or 6 o’clock so that when she eventually goes to sleep after a late night potty break outside, she’ll be going in her crate with an empty bladder. – not filling your puppy’s bladder makes it a lot easier for her not to pee during the night. If a pup seems really thirsty at night, give her an ice cube, which can be refreshing without filling her bladder.

5) Be Prepared to Get Up in the Middle of the Night
If the puppy wakes up and fusses or whines, you have no choice but to take her out. She is probably communicating her understanding that she should not empty her bowels or bladder in the house—which means you must get up—and pretty darn quickly! You might even want to keep some sweat-clothes or other easily donned clothing beside your bed so you can pull them on, snap on the puppy’s leash and carry her out to her “potty spot” (where she has been regularly relieving herself).

Note that a puppy’s bladder is smaller and her digestive system works quickly, so when she realizes she has to go out there’s only a small window of opportunity between her realization of that need-to-go sensation and that sensation becoming reality. When you get outside, use your word cue (see the earlier section in this chapter on page 217, “Going on Command”) to hurry up the process. Don’t make a middle-of-the night outing seem fun: praise the puppy quietly once he goes but then go right back inside. No feeding, playing or cuddling, or you’ll teach him the benefits of waking you up. Put him back in the crate and get right back into bed yourself (as if you need encouragement at 3:00 A.M.!).

Tracie Hotchner is the author of THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know. She is also a renowned pet radio host and producer, having spent 7 years on the Martha Stewart Channel of Sirius/XM with CAT CHAT® and even longer with her award-winning NPR radio show DOG TALK® (and Kitties, Too!) that continues to broadcast in the Hamptons and the Berkshires. Her most recent accomplishment is the pet talk radio network she has created on the Internet called The Radio Pet Lady Network.

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HALO, FREEKIBBLE PROUD TO SUPPORT HUMANE SOCIETY OF US LOS ANGELES EVENT

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Pets for Life Los Angeles celebrated a Community Outreach Event at Hollenbeck Park in East LA on June 7th by arranging FREE spay/neuter appointments for community pets. Freekibble.com donated 6,000 meals of Halo Spot’s Stew to the event.

This was just one of the 2014 successful events! Only about 15% of pets in under-served communities are spayed or neutered. When Pets for Life takes the information and services directly to these communities, they are able to spay or neuter around 70% of unaltered pets.

Amanda Arrington, Director of Pets for Life sent us a thank you and these wonderful pictures from the event.

Pets for Life builds humane communities using innovative strategies and fresh approaches designed to extend the reach of animal services, resources, and information to under-served areas. Addressing the critical need for accessible, affordable pet care, our program helps animals by empowering the people who care for them.

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PICKLES, THE GIGANTIC RESCUE CAT, FINDS A HOME AT LAST

pickles2Move over, Marmaduke! Here comes Pickles the Cat!

Also known as “Catasaurus Rex,” Pickles is a huge rescue cat who finally, despite his size and ornery ways, has found his forever home.

At 3 feet long and 21 pounds, Pickles is bigger than some dogs, with an appetite and attitude to match.

According to Barcroft TV, Pickles was found on the side of the road when he was just a kitten.

Sadly, he went through two homes before he landed at the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals. There, he earned the nickname, “Catasaurus Rex.” The MSPCA shared pictures of their giant cat online, which drew lots of attention.

Click here to read the complete story.

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OLATE DOGS TO PERFORM IN DURHAM, NC TODAY

haloThe Olate Dogs — winners of America’s Got Talent, will be appearing at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, NC today on July 14th, located at 409 Blackwell Street.

These sweet, funny, talented, energetic dogs and their entertaining owners and handlers captured hearts across America.

We’re proud the dogs only eat Halo Spot’s Stew. We’re even more proud to partner with the entire Olate family to promote animal rescue nationwide.

For more information go to this Website: www.milb.com/promotions/index.jsp?sid=t234

Click here for the complete schedule of Olate Dogs Shows performances.

Be sure to view our first project together: the acclaimed #rescuefilm “Le Sauvetage (The Rescue).”

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TRACIE HOTCHNER: ANOTHER TRIP OVER THE RAINBOW BRIDGE

Tracie_Hotchner_PicIt has been a Spring of sadness and loss in my world – my older rescued Weimaraner, Scooby Doo, gave up the ghost himself, soon after I lost my youngest Weimaraner, Teddy, to a fast and brutal death from cancer. It was heart breaking for me to witness the older dog’s broken heart from the loss of his younger adopted brother – yet it was also uplifting as a reminder of the depth of feelings that our dogs can have, not just for us, but for each other.

During Teddy’s hospitalization and after he failed to return home, Scooby Doo became lethargic and stopped eating or drinking. At first I thought it was a medical emergency and rushed him to the vet for ultrasounds, blood tests and I.V. fluids. This medical intervention made him extremely nervous and agitated, which I realize in hindsight was because I had misinterpreted his profound depression as a medical problem, when what Scooby actually was suffering from was a broken heart.

Whichever room they were in, Scooby Doo and Teddy had never failed to lie down on the same bed together, curled or spread out in parallel positions, always touching. Our other older dog Jazzy, a Collie mix, is an aloof gal who likes her own space and couldn’t offer any comfort to her lifetime boyfriend. Scooby Doo was devastated with loneliness, and continued on “a hunger strike,” which was so out of character for the Fastest Eater in the West that I knew I had to find a way to give him a reason to live again.

I decided to bring a new breath of life into the household when I learned that the Mid-Atlantic Weimaraner rescue in Virginia Beach had a nine-month-old Blue Weimaraner female, Maisie, who had been turned in for adoption. Maisie’s situation reminded me of adopting Scooby Doo, turned in by his owners as a 6 month old pup, and adopted by me the day he came into the Southampton shelter over twelve years before.

My sister and I had driven down from Vermont to Virginia to pick up the beautiful young lady, and Maisie came home filled with exuberance. She tried her best to rouse Scooby Doo from his depression; for a brief period it seemed as though he might have revived emotionally. However, within a couple of weeks it was clear that having lost Teddy, Scooby had thrown in the towel and decided to follow his little brother over that Rainbow Bridge. On a Friday night – exactly five weeks to the day when Teddy’s illness had declined past the point of salvation – Scooby got “that look” in eyes saying it was over, it was “time.”

I reached the vet early the next morning and she offered to come over and ease Scooby Doo out of his mortal suffering. It was a chilly morning in early April and we had lit a fire in the wood stove; Scooby managed to get up from a bed he had been on all night and stretch out on the bed in front of the toasty fire. He did not raise his head or open his eyes again.

It was almost the same time on a Saturday morning when my sister and I had driven to the specialty hospital where Teddy’s suffering had overwhelmed his ability to fight against his illness and we held his paws and each others’ hands while putting him out of his misery. Scooby Doo was the opposite: no apparent physical suffering (despite not having eaten or drunk in a full day) but with the loss of the will to live. He looked peaceful, resigned and patient, waiting for his chariot to take him across the Rainbow Bridge.

As we waited for the vet to arrive, I debated whether it would disturb him if I were to get down on the floor with him, worried that expressing my sorrow might interfere with his peaceful resignation to leave this world. As I was wondering how to be of comfort – and considering if I should sit down next to him and put his head in my lap, the exuberant young puppy came bounding into the room. Fearing that she would disrupt Scooby’s peaceful state of near-unconsciousness, I caught Maisie. I was about to banish her from the room when she stopped in her tracks. She regarded Scooby Doo thoughtfully, taking in the scene.

Before I could do anything, she quietly slipped down next to him on the adjoining dog bed. Ever-so-gently, she lay her young head right on top of his – like a laying on of hands. She lay there in utter stillness for quite some time, then shifted her head so that it lay across his neck in a protective, loving position. Then she stretched out her neck and fit it against him in an embrace of sorts. She had not known him more than a couple of weeks, but even as a young newcomer to the family she recognized what was going on.

She had an instinct about how to keep Scooby Doo company until he was freed from his suffering. He accepted what she had to offer. Both Scooby’s love for Teddy, and Maisie’s respect and affection for Scooby, left me breathless. Their deep attachment and elegant, instinctive compassion were luminous examples of pure love. As sad as I was, it heartened me to experience this surreal and awe-inspiring interchange.

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Tracie Hotchner is the author of THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know. She is also a renowned pet radio host and producer, having spent 7 years on the Martha Stewart Channel of Sirius/XM with CAT CHAT® and even longer with her award-winning NPR radio show DOG TALK® (and Kitties, Too!) that continues to broadcast in the Hamptons and the Berkshires. Her most recent accomplishment is the pet talk radio network she has created on the Internet called The Radio Pet Lady Network.

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