Puppy Teething

Puppies milk teeth are razor sharp and are responsible for many accidental but painful nips, so most new owners look forward to the time when pup replaces those razor sharp masticators for their blunter grown up versions. This usually happens at around 4 – 5 months, with the process being complete at around 7 months – give or take a few months depending on the breed. Larger breeds such as Groodles will develop at a slower pace than smaller breeds such as Poochons that go through these stages very quickly.

Groodle puppy runningBecause pups go through their growing stages 7 times faster than humans your pup losing his milk teeth can feel like a blink and you may miss this little milestone in the life of your puppy. You may end up pulling one of the pin sharp teeth out of your bare foot while walking around the house, or find a few embedded in his favourite chew toy, but in reality most of them are simply swallowed whole. Once the milk tooth falls out the body then reabsorbs the root of the tooth.

Human children will notice a loose tooth and can take extra care when chewing their food. Plus, they also have the option to ask for and consume food that is of the softer variety. Pups have no such luxury and we humans are generally oblivious to the occasion as dogs seem to have avoided the discomfort afforded to humans during this early phase. If you are to notice it all it will be when you see a gaping hole at the front of their mouth, as if they have just come home from a serious bar fight.

Poochon happy and excitedIf the milk teeth do not fall out in time for the adult teeth to grow through the pup will have the appearance of possessing a double set of teeth for some of their teeth. If you notice that a baby tooth just won’t come out, a visit to your veterinarian is essential in order to have these problematic milk teeth pulled out to give room for the permanent teeth to grow through properly. Ignoring this situation may result in misaligned teeth, causing difficulty eating and poor dental hygiene which promotes rot and decay.

All dogs should have a system of oral hygiene as part of their overall health care with a routine visit to the vet for a check and a possible cleaning at least once every 12 months. Teeth can rot out quite quickly in dogs which may manifest in fussy eating habits. Unlike humans, dogs cannot tell you about painful headaches caused by dental issues, or how much agony they suffer while crunching down on their hard biscuits and bones. Make sure you keep a close eye on your dog’s oral situation so you can take care of any problems before they can cause your pet any serious discomfort.

 

Why own a dog?

Why you should own a dog

Moodle and woman at a picnicWhy own a dog? Most people know the answer to this question without even asking, especially if they grew up with dogs during their childhood. But apart from the obvious reason of just being a “dog person” what other benefits can dog ownership provide? Well, as it turns out, our furry companions have quite a lot of benefits that can make it a joy to share our lives with them.

Companionship

Spoodle HeelCompanionship is a major reason, and perhaps the most obvious, to own a dog for dog lovers around the world. If you want a companion who is always going to be overjoyed at seeing you then a dog is the best candidate. As dogs are almost always in a good mood they are excellent company to have for lifting your spirits when you’ve had a tough day at work, or are just feeling a little down.

Staying Active

Puggle breedYou’ve always got an excellent excuse to stay active if you own a dog. Whether it be a game of catch, running the obstacle course at the dog park, going for a jog, or even just a walk around the park your dog will love every minute of it right alongside you. If you would otherwise struggle at finding a gym buddy then a dog could certainly help you out in that regard.

Home Security

puppy securityDogs are also a great first line of defence for the family home. Sure, we can have our high tech alarm systems, but they can fail or be circumvented by crafty thieves. Dogs add an extra layer of challenge to would be intruders. Even gentle breeds such as Beagliers can make a racket when it comes to illegal entry into your home, alerting neighbours so they will at least look over the fence to see what all the fuss is about. Of course, some thieves will not be perturbed by dogs if they think the prize is worth it, but the vast majority will settle for an easier target if they notice a dog or two on the property.

Great for kids

Boy And His GroodleMore and more studies are coming out indicating that children growing up with dogs do better at school and are more confident on average. You can also teach your children about responsibility and caring for something other than themselves. While a goldfish could teach your children these things they just aren’t as much fun as a dog, and a fish certainly isn’t happy to see you when you get home from work (at least it doesn’t show it).

While there are plenty of great reasons and benefits to owning a dog it’s not for everybody. Always consider carefully whether a dog should be in your life as you don’t want to get one only to have to find a home for it later on; this is challenging to do for older dogs and can potentially put their lives at risk if they end up at the pound. It’s quite the commitment to have a dog in your life as they live 10 – 15 years, but if you’re the type of person who can make that commitment then the payoff is definitely worth it.

Choosing a good dog name

Choosing a great dog name

Cavoodle sittingNaming your dog can be a challenge but it’s important to remain sensible about the whole process. Names can alter peoples’ perception of your dog so it’s important you choose a name appropriate to the image you want to invoke. If you want a favourable reception, then a name like “Rambo” may not be in your dog’s best interest. However, if the objective of the name is to instill fear in the surrounding populace then go right ahead, but it might be time to seriously consider a change of neighbourhood.

Popular Dog NamesYou’re going to be using the name of your dog a lot so it’s important you take your time in choosing something suitable. You don’t have to name them right away as soon as you get them home. Leave it for a while as you get to know the animal, and let its personality shine through after they have had enough time to settle into their new surroundings. As you go through your list of options something will eventually stand out as the perfect moniker for your new dog. To get your list started here are a few ideas for inspiration:

Famous people are a good place to start for your shortlist of options. Add the names of famous people, past and present, who inspire you such as Edison, Einstein, DaVinci, or Napoleon. Take your pick from movie stars and singers such as Ginger or Jackson, or cartoon characters like Snoopy and Charlie Brown.  Even food can provide you with inspiration, and it will have a lot do with your dog’s personality and the colour of their coat with names such as Hotdog, Peaches, and Nutmeg springing to mind as great examples.  

Tan and white BeaglierYou will be most likely be calling out to your dog where other people can hear so a name that is not embarrassing or cruel is a must. As you are going to be using the name often, short and simple is also the most sensible choice over something that may be overly long, or hard to pronounce.

Also, stay away from names that are similar to other names in the household (such as Mike and Spike) to avoid confusion should your dog think it is being called when it’s not. Dogs who are constantly ignored when they think they are being called will eventually stop responding to that name altogether.

Groodle puppy runningMost training commands are one syllable words, e.g. sit and stand, so two syllables at a maximum should be used for your dog’s name. This will make it easier for her to distinguish between her name or a spoken command. You should also consider a name that starts with a hard or stop consonant as this will also make it simpler for them to distinguish when they are being spoken to.

And finally, while it may be tempting, if you regularly take your dog out to where there lots of other dogs, you may want to avoid the names on the current top 10 lists for dogs. You don’t want 4 other dogs getting confused every time you need your dog’s attention or your dog to go to other people calling their dog.

Popular Dog names

Popular Male Dog Names:                         Popular Female Dog Names:

Aaron
Ace
Adalberto
Adrian
Al
Alden
Aldo
Alexis
Allen
Alphonso
Alton
Alvin
Ambrose
Amos
Andy
Anibal
Anthony
Antone
Antwan
Apollo
Arnold
Art
Bailey
Bandit
Barney
Barrett
Baxter
Bear
Beau
Benji
Benny
Bentley
Billie
Blue
Bo
Boomer
Boris
Bradford
Brady
Branden
Brendon
Bret
Britt
Brody
Bruce
Bruno
Bruno
Brutus
Bryant
Bubba
Buddy
Buster
Calvin
Carl
Carlo
Carol
Carol
Casey
Cash
Chadwick
Chance
Charlie
Chase
Chester
Chewy
Chico
Chong
Chuck
Clarence
Clark
Clayton
Coco
Cody
Cody
Cole
Cooper
Copper
Cornelius
Cornell
Dale
Dalton
Damien
Danial
Danilo
Darius
Darrick
Darryl
Daryl
Deandre
Demarcus
Desmond
Dexter
Dexter
Diesel
Domenic
Dominic
Donnell
Donny
Duke
Dustin
Dusty
Edmundo
Edward
Efrain
Efren
Eldridge
Elliot
Elliott
Elmer
Eloy
Emerson
Emile
Emmett
Ernesto
Ethan
Eugene
Eugenio
Everett
Everette
Fausto
Federico
Felix
Finn
Francisco
Frankie
Franklin
Frederick
Gail
Garland
Gavin
Gene
George
Gerardo
Gil
Giuseppe
Gizmo
Gunner
Gus
Hank
Hank
Harley
Harrison
Hayden
Henry
Herb
Herman
Houston
Hoyt
Humberto
Hunter
Ian
Ike
Ira
Irving
Jack
Jackson
Jake
Jamar
Jamel
Jan
Jared
Jasper
Javier
Jax
Jean
Jed
Jeromy
Jerrell
Joan
Joey
Johnathon
Jordon
Julian
Julius
Kareem
Karl
Kelly
Kent
Kenton
Kevin
Kim
Kirby
Kobe
Koda
Kristopher
Lance
Laurence
Lavern
Lawerence
Lenard
Leo
Leon
Les
Leslie
Lindsay
Lindsey
Loki
Louie
Loyd
Lucky
Luke
Lynwood
Mac
Mac
Mack
Marc
Marcellus
Marcus
Maria
Marley
Martin
Maurice
Maverick
Max
Max
Merrill
Mervin
Michal
Mickey
Miles
Milford
Milo
Mitchell
Moose
Morgan
Morris
Morton
Murphy
Myron
Nathan
Nathanial
Newton
Nicholas
Noble
Numbers
Oliver
Ollie
Omar
Omer
Oreo
Oscar
Osvaldo
Otis
Otis
Pablo
Pat
Peanut
Percy
Perry
Philip
Porfirio
Prince
Quincy
Rafael
Randell
Ranger
Raphael
Rashad
Reggie
Rex
Richard
Rick
Riley
Roberto
Rocco
Rocco
Rocky
Rodger
Rolland
Roman
Romeo
Ronny
Roosevelt
Rosario
Roscoe
Rudy
Rudy
Rufus
Russel
Russell
Rusty
Salvador
Sam
Sammy
Samson
Samuel
Scooter
Scott
Scout
Shadow
Shane
Shaun
Sheldon
Shelton
Simba
Sparky
Sterling
Sylvester
Tank
Teddy
Theo
Theodore
Theron
Thor
Tobias
Toby
Tommy
Tuan
Tucker
Tyrell
Tyson
Van
Vernon
Vincenzo
Waldo
Walton
Warner
Waylon
Wes
Weston
Wilbert
Williams
Wilson
Winston
Wm
Zackary
Zane
Zeus
Ziggy
Abbie
Alejandrina
Alesha
Alethea
Alica
Alida
Allie
Alline
Allyson
Alona
Angel
Anika
Anita
Annamaria
Annette
Annie
Athena
Ava
Baby
Bailey
Bebe
Becky
Bella
Belle
Bethany
Betsy
Beula
Bonnie
Brandee
Bree
Brenda
Callie
Camellia
Candi
Cari
Carissa
Carleen
Carlena
Carley
Carline
Carlota
Carmina
Caryl
Casandra
Catherin
Cecilia
Chana
Charlie
Chloe
Christie
Clemencia
Cleo
Cleta
Coco
Cocoa
Contessa
Cookie
Cora
Coral
Corrine
Crystle
Dagny
Daina
Daisy
Dakota
Danae
Danielle
Danika
Dannette
Danuta
Darlene
Davina
Daysi
Deandrea
Debbi
Deidre
Delfina
Delilah
Delphia
Denita
Dessie
Diane
Dianna
Dixie
Dollie
Dolores
Doreen
Dorothy
Dorthy
Ebony
Eleanor
Eleanore
Elenora
Elicia
Ella
Ellie
Else
Ema
Emelia
Emma
Erma
Esther
Eusebia
Evette
Evon
Fiona
Flor
Francesca
Freda
Geneva
Genevive
Georgianna
Gigi
Ginger
Golda
Golden
Grace
Gracie
Hannah
Harley
Hazel
Heidi
Holly
Honey
Hui
Hyo
Ilana
Inocencia
Izzy
Jackelyn
Jacqualine
Jacquline
Jacqulyn
Jaleesa
Jalisa
Janey
Janise
Jannie
Jaquelyn
Jasmine
Jeanett
Jena
Jennefer
Jessenia
Joella
Johna
Johnsie
Josie
Josie
Joy
Judi
Karima
Karlyn
Karoline
Kasha
Kathaleen
Kathlene
Katia
Katie
Kay
Kelsie
Khalilah
Kiana
Kiara
Kimberlie
Klara
Kona
Kristeen
Lacey
Laci
Lady
Lakeesha
Lakisha
Lannie
Larae
Lashanda
Layla
Leah
Leandra
Leatha
Leia
Lelia
Lena
Leonie
Leonora
Lera
Lesa
Leta
Lettie
Lexi
Lexie
Liliana
Lilliana
Lilly
Lily
Linh
Lissa
Lita
Lola
Loma
Londa
Lorrie
Lovie
Lucky
Lucy
Lulu
Luna
Macy
Maddie
Madeleine
Madie
Madison
Magali
Magda
Maggie
Magnolia
Maira
Mammie
Maple
Margo
Marguerita
Marina
Marley
Marvella
Maryanne
Maya
Meagan
Meg
Mia
Milda
Millie
Mimi
Minnie
Miriam
Missie
Mocha
Molly
Monserrate
Mora
Nala
Natisha
Natosha
Nelda
Nevada
Nikki
Nina
Nisha
Nubia
Nyla
Olive
Oreo
Paulina
Peanut
Penelope
Pennie
Penny
Pepper
Phoebe
Pinkie
Piper
Pricilla
Princess
Regenia
Renate
Riley
Rivka
Rosalia
Rosaria
Rosie
Roxie
Roxy
Rubi
Ruby
Rufina
Sacha
Sadie
Sadie
Sally
Sandy
Sasha
Sassy
Scout
Shadow
Shana
Shanta
Shari
Sharonda
Sharyn
Shea
Sheena
Shelby
Shellie
Shenika
Sherita
Song
Sophie
Sophie
Steffanie
Stella
Sueann
Sugar
Sydney
Tabitha
Tambra
Tenesha
Tera
Theresa
Tinisha
Tona
Torri
Tova
Trish
Trixie
Tyesha
Verdie
Vernetta
Vesta
Vonda
Williemae
Willow
Winnie
Yasmin
Yasmine
Yesenia
Yuki
Zana
Zenia
Zoe
Zoey

How to teach your dog to shake hands

Teaching your dog to shake hands

Although shaking is a fun party trick, it is also very useful for when your dog needs to have his nails trimmed, or has something stuck in his paw.  A dog that is comfortable with shaking will also be more comfortable allowing you, a veterinarian, or a groomer handle his feet, which is important for the health and safety of your pet. On top of this, a dog that can shake hands is always a hit with the kids!

Groodle Shake hands

Steps to teach your puppy to shake hands

To begin, ask your dog to sit.  Show your Groodle a treat, place it in your hand, and make a closed fist.  Place your fist low to the ground, a few inches in front of the paw you would like your dog to shake with.  Most dogs will paw at the hand to try and access the treat.  When your dog does this, immediately reward him.  After following this same routine a few times, begin to incorporate the “shake” or “paw” command. 

A slightly different way to teach to shake

A second way to teach a dog to shake also begins with asking your dog to first sit.  Then, hold a treat above his nose, and move the treat backwards, above his head and towards his tail.  Your dog’s weight will shift to his back legs, and he will begin to lift one or both paws.  Catch one of his paws and reward your dog as soon as his paw touches your hand.  Eventually, add in the verbal command.  This can be used to teach a separate trick of “high five”.

For extremely stubborn dogs, an effective, but more time-consuming method, is to first ask your dog to sit and then physically lift his paw while saying shake, and issuing a treat.  While it may take your dog a few days, or even weeks, to catch on, he will eventually learn that the act of placing his paw in your hand earns a tasty treat. 

Shake with the opposite paw

To teach your dog to shake with the opposite paw, simply repeat the method that worked best for your dog, but use a different command, such as “left.”  When teaching your dog to shake, there is no “wrong” method, but as with all other obedience lessons, be sure to have patience and issue plenty of positive reinforcement. 

Once your dog can reliably shake hands or give a high five, kids will be drawn to the dog. Most kids don’t want to miss out on a high five from a dog. Also if you have kids yourself, they will love to show off the dog’s cool new trick to friends and relatives, increasing the strength of the bond between the dog and your children. The more commands your dog receives from your kids, the stronger the association it has between following commands from the kids and getting a reward. This further cements the dog as lower in the pack than the kids in the dog’s mind.

Dog worms

Vet with MoodleThere are many factors that go into properly caring for a dog.  Besides providing food, shelter, and love, owners should also provide routine veterinary care, vaccines, and necessary parasite preventatives.  Worming your puppy is important, yet is all too often overlooked by well-meaning pet parents. It is easy to forget and often, most owners don’t really think about them unless they see their Moodle rubbing his bum on the floor.

What are worms?

Worms are intestinal parasites such as roundworm, hookworm, tapeworm, and whipworms that use a dog’s (or other host animal’s) intestinal tract as a place to live.  The worms take nutrients from your dog’s food in order to survive, leaving your pet weakened and suffering from poor nutrition. Heartworms live in your dog’s circulatory system (the bloodstream) with the adults residing in the heart of affected dogs.

Roundworms

Dog roundwormDog roundworms (Toxocara canis) are the most common worm parasite of dogs and almost all dogs will have them at some stage in their life. They are picked up in a number of ways and can be passed on to people when basic hygiene such as hand washing is not followed after being exposed to infected dogs or their stool. They look like little lengths of noodles in the feces of puppies but are usually not seen until the puppy is given a worming tablet or syrup and the worm passed is usually a dead one.

Heartworms

Dog HeartwormThankfully, heartworms are less common in Australia than most other dog parasites but they can cause the most damage to an infected dog. Dog heartworms cannot be transmitted to people which is a good thing, considering that they are spread by mosquitos and they are almost 100% preventable in dogs with modern treatments. Heartworm preventatives need to be given from about 4-5 months of age. If you wait until after your puppy is 6 months old to start heartworm treatment, your vet may need to perform a blood test first.

Where do worms come from?

Dogs can contract worms in a number of ways.  Heartworm is transmitted to dogs through mosquitoes, while a dog may get roundworms from eating soil or stool from other animals, including rodents.  Hookworms can infect dogs in a similar manner as roundworm, but can also work their way through an animal’s skin and into its blood stream.  Whipworms come from consuming infected food or water, and tapeworms are the result of ingesting fleas. 

What are the symptoms of a dog with worms?

A dog that has been infected with intestinal worms will show any number of symptoms depending on the species and severity of worm infestation including coughing, “scooting”, diarrhea, vomiting, sudden weight loss, distended stomach, anemia, pale gums, or even death in long term and severely infested dogs. 

How are worms treated?

Depending on the type of infection and severity, worms can be treated in a variety of manners.  Most often, for infections such as roundworm, whipworm, hookworm, or tapeworm, a common dewormer such as Drontal puppy suspension is administered.  This treatment kills worms in the digestive tract, and typically multiple treatments at regular intervals are required. Just remember to weigh your dog as a Standard Groodle will weigh more and need a larger dose than a small breed such as a Moodle. For severe cases such as heartworm infection, antibiotics, steroids, and even surgery may be necessary.  It is far better to administer a preventative than to try to treat heartworm infestation.

How are worms prevented?

Regular deworming is an important preventative measure that kills any existing parasites in a dog’s intestinal tract before they can grow and cause harm to the pet.  Puppies, who are most at-risk from worm infestation, should be administered a deworming tablet or gel at 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, and 16 weeks of age, and then again every 3 months.  Beyond one year of age, dogs should be dewormed about once every three months.  For heartworm prevention, dogs should be administered a separate preventative, typically in the form of a monthly oral tablet, but once per year injections are now available from your veterinarian. Usually this is given at the same time as your dog’s annual vaccination. 

Teach your dog to lie down

How to teach your dog to lie down

Once a dog has mastered sit, he can begin learning how to lie down on command.  Not only is lying down a neat trick that makes your dog look well behaved, but it can also be useful for calming excited dogs or as an antidote to jumping. 

Red Groodle puppy laying down

Steps to teach your dog to lie down

There are a number of methods for teaching your dog this trick, and you should practice each to determine which works best for your pup.  As with “sit,” you will begin by first teaching your dog the motion, and then adding the verbal command.  First ask your Groodle to sit, and then place a treated hand in front of your dog’s nose.  Slowly move your hand both backwards (towards your body), and down towards the floor, drawing your dog’s nose to the ground.  For most dogs, their bodies will follow their nose, and by the time your hand reaches the floor he will be lying down.  Say “yes!” and administer a treat the moment he reaches the correct position. 

Other ways to teach “lie down”

If your dog is tempted to walk towards the treat instead of lie down, a second option is to again start with a treated hand in front of the dog’s nose, but instead of moving your hand backwards, move your hand both toward the dog and down, ending near his front feet.  His nose will follow the treat, and lack of space will force him to assume a lying down position. 

Two alternative ways, should the first two methods not work, are to start with the lure at the dog’s nose, and slowly draw your hand close to the dog’s body, finishing down at his tail.  This manner forces the dog to reposition himself to get the treat, and typically the most natural position is lying down.  A final way is to get your dog’s attention and quickly “snap” the treat onto the ground, causing your dog to follow suit for the treat.  Find the method (or variation) which works best for your dog and repeat this action until he reliably lies down with the lure. 

How to use the command

Once your dog is ready, incorporate the use of a verbal command.  While it is tempting to say “lie down,” dogs do best with one syllable commands, such as “down.”  Just as with “sit,” issue the “down” command and then lure your dog into the proper position.  Immediately reward your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement the moment he lies down.  After this command has been mastered from the sitting position, begin to ask for the down when your dog is standing.

Never become frustrated with your dog if teaching the down command is difficult.  If you find yourself becoming upset, take a break from training and come back to it with a clear head.  Do not force your dog into the proper position, as he will not learn the command in this way.  As always, timing the reward is a crucial component.  Do not reward too soon, before the dog is in the fully lying down position, or too late. 

If you simply cannot find a reliable luring method, a more time-consuming technique is to enthusiastically say “down” and reward your dog every time you see him lying down.  Although a slow process, your dog will eventually learn the association between the word, action, and reward.