Category Archives: puppies

Raising a Puppy – Teething and Puppy Breath

By Linda Cole

Raising a puppy can be challenging; dealing with house breaking, chewing, nipping, teaching basic commands and making sure the cat and furniture are safe from exploring teeth can be a full time job. However, the most challenging time comes when he’s teething. When pups are around six to eight weeks old, mom will start the process of weaning them, and with good reason. Puppy teeth start to come in when they are ready to begin eating solid food, and those little teeth are sharp – all 28 of them.

As puppies mature, their baby teeth fall out and are replaced by adult teeth – 42 for most breeds. Once a puppy’s baby teeth begin to fall out, you might find one or two on the floor, but not usually. Most teeth are swallowed, but there’s nothing to worry about. Teething is a natural and necessary part of raising a puppy.

Because the teeth are well positioned and strong, a mature jaw has the necessary strength needed for protection and eating. Puppies, on the other hand, have weaker jaws, so their teeth have to be razor sharp to make up for inadequate jaw strength so they can eat solid food easier.

Puppies can start to lose their baby teeth as early as three months, but most will start closer to four months. However, some may not begin until they are older, at around six months or so. It depends on the breed and his size. For the most part, pups should have their adult teeth between seven to eight months old. Once teething begins, so does the chewing.

Chewing is how puppies soothe their mouth during teething. They will pick up anything and everything they find, whether it’s an appropriate chew toy or not. This is an important time to be vigilant, to make sure your pup isn’t chewing on electrical cords, furniture, shoes, clothing or anything else that could be dangerous.

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How to Bond with Your New Puppy or Kitten


By Langley Cornwell

The bond you have with your puppy or kitten begins the moment they come home with you, and continues to grow throughout their lifetime. Ways to strengthen this bond include affection, training, grooming, playing, exercising and participating in a variety of activities with your new puppy or kitten. What you do in the early stages of your union sets the proper foundation for a solid, lasting connection; a connection that will benefit both of you in more ways than you can imagine.

Bonding with a new puppy

The first week or ten days of a puppy’s life consists of nursing, sleeping and not much else. During that time, the puppy’s mother is his source for everything. If he gets separated from his mother, she finds him and leads or carries him back to the litter. If he gets hungry, she feeds him. If he cries, she comforts him. The bond between a puppy and his mother is the first and most important relationship of his little life.   

Once the pup’s eyes and ears open, he begins to notice things beyond just his mother. As the puppy ages and is able to fend for himself, his relationship with his mother becomes less dependent—more like a friendship. When the pup is between three and six weeks old, he begins to develop relationships with his littermates and learns basic social skills from their interactions.

According to noted veterinary behaviorist Dr. Nicholas Dodman, a puppy’s distrust of unfamiliar people starts developing at around eight to ten weeks of life. At this time, it’s essential that the puppy is introduced to others.

At about eight weeks of age, most puppies are available for adoption, and that’s when a puppy’s new human enters the picture. Early separation anxiety is almost unavoidable at the beginning of the relationship, because the puppy misses his mom and littermates. It’s at this time that you must become ‘everything’ to your new puppy—so if he whimpers or whines, you tend to him.

If you’ve ever heard or read that you’re supposed to let your puppy cry through the night, ignore that advice. That’s incorrect. You are now substituting for the puppy’s mother, and mama dog doesn’t ignore her babies. By meeting the puppy’s demands you will keep him on the right track for appropriate social development. Additionally, the puppy will gradually re-attach to you, his new provider. This is when your connection begins to really take shape.       

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Tips for Introducing a New Dog to a Household with Cats

By Langley Cornwell

We have a cat and a dog, and they are best friends. The introduction was easy for us; we rescued the animals together, so they were getting accustomed to us, our home and each other at the same time. It worked beautifully. But what do you do if you already have cats and want to adopt a dog?

Cats and dogs can live together in harmony, even if you bring them into the household at different times. Much of their long-term relationship depends on the manner in which they are introduced to one another. As long as you are patient and mindful of each animal’s natural tendencies, the transition should be fairly peaceful.

The initial meeting of an adult cat and a puppy

If you have an adult cat that has no experience with dogs, introducing her to a rambunctious puppy requires extra care. Keep these tips in mind:

•  Put the pup on a leash during their first encounter. Keep the leash loose enough for the dog to behave naturally, but make sure you are in control of the meeting.
•  Allow the dog and cat to sniff each other – it’s an important aspect of their initial meeting.
•  Try not to overreact to hissing, growling or barking, which are typical ways for new animals to communicate. Be ready to separate the animals if the hostility escalates.
•  Puppies are naturally energetic; their overzealous behavior can trigger a quick and serious attack from a wary cat. Stay alert.

If none of these tips work, separate the animals with a crate, baby gate or in rooms with an adjoining door where they can sniff each other under the door. Keep them separate for a few days, allowing them time to become acquainted without coming into full contact with one another.

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How to Housebreak a Puppy

By Linda Cole

Puppies are so cute, until you find a little surprise waiting for you on the kitchen floor. Hopefully, you didn’t discover it in the dark. Housebreaking a puppy can be frustrating, but it’s not impossible nor is it the puppy’s fault. Stay calm and committed and you’ll be surprised how quickly you can train your puppy where to go.

A puppy can’t control his bladder muscles properly until he’s at least 12 weeks old, and he simply can’t “hold it” for very long. He doesn’t know going inside is bad. Housebreaking a puppy takes patience and consistent training to teach him where the appropriate place to eliminate is. Yelling at a puppy for going inside the house won’t teach him anything positive. He will understand you’re upset, but he doesn’t connect his mess to why you are angry with him. Because dogs live in the moment, he relates your anger with whatever he was doing at that moment. If he eagerly greets you at the door and you respond by yelling at him, he learns greeting you makes you unhappy and he’ll stop greeting you. You want your pup to have only positive thoughts about you. Inappropriate discipline creates unnecessary stress and a confused dog.

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Enjoy Those Eight Stages of Puppyhood

By Tamara L. Waters

They’re cute and adorable, and who can resist a sweet face (or my weakness – those squeal-inducing bellies)? Why, they’re puppies of course, and if you have a new pup or are thinking of adding one to your family, you might be interested in learning about the eight stages of puppyhood. These stages are categorized according to an article titled “Stages of Canine Development” originally published in Weimaraner Magazine.

The eight stages of puppyhood are divided according to days after birth, and run into adulthood. Knowing about the stages of your puppy’s development can help you become a knowledgeable and responsible pet owner, which will help you give your pet the best care possible.

Puppy Stage One: Neonatal Period – Birth to 13 days
This is the most helpless stage of puppyhood, as the pup cannot regulate its own body temperature and requires food and warmth from mama or a surrogate. During this stage, human interaction should start. Puppies should be handled gently by their humans beginning in this stage of development.

Puppy Stage Two: Transition Period – 13 to 21 days
This next stage of puppyhood will see the pup’s eyes and ears opening up. Yep, that means the puppy will start to hear, and his sense of taste and smell will develop. More human handling is on the agenda during this stage, and this is also the perfect time to start introducing your puppy to your kitties, if you have them. Just make sure they are friendly kitties!

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Simpatico Weimaraners: Elegance, Strength & Balance


By Suzanne Alicie

It has been my extreme pleasure to interview Jennifer Martin of Simpatico Weimaraners for this article. Jennifer is a loving “dog mom” who is excited about her dogs being sponsored by CANIDAE pet foods. She was approached by CANIDAE to be a part of their Special Achievers program after contacting them to ask questions about the food she was feeding her dogs. Such care and attention to detail as a responsible pet owner caught the attention of the CANIDAE representatives. Jennifer says that she is thrilled to let people know that her dogs get noticed, in the show ring, at the vet or on a walk, and that CANIDAE All Life Stages dog food is partly responsible for that.

Elegance, Strength and Balance

As breeders, owners and handlers, Jennifer and her husband seek to ensure that Simpatico Weimaraners are the epitome of these three characteristics. The elegance, which makes a Weimaraner such a beautiful dog; the strength of character and breeding in these dogs; and the balance of temperament, mind and body. Simpatico Weimaraners are known for being exceptional examples of the breed, and Jennifer works hard to make that so.

Up early each morning to run 3-4 miles with the dogs and work with them, the Martins are dedicated to all stages of their dogs’ lives. While these dogs are “show dogs,” which basically means they are working dogs, Jennifer takes great pride that they are also their pets. The dogs are part of the family, and they live in the home and hang out together when they aren’t training or competing.

Getting Started

Jennifer and her husband originally became interested in the breed and wanted two puppies to raise as pets. A Weimaraner breeder sold them two littermates. According to Jennifer, who quickly learned, anyone knowledgeable about dogs and their pack mentalities would know that two litter mates should not be sold together. This is because one will become submissive and one dominant as they grow up together, just as a litter of six who stay in the same place will develop a leader and followers. Learning as they went, the Martins worked with those puppies and worked through the personality problems.

A few years and much wisdom later, Jennifer and her husband decided they would like to get another dog as well as learn more about the breed to begin showing dogs. Their first step was to contact Tom Wilson, the well known and reputable breeder of Smokey City Weimaraners. After several meetings with Tom to learn all they could and convince him they were the right couple to entrust one of his dogs to, he agreed to sell them a puppy. Because Tom believed in them, he selected a puppy with a strong pedigree and a champion dam.

That puppy, known as Avery, was finished by the novice handlers as their first show dog, and Jennifer’s husband handled Avery to a championship. Not only did they gain a champion dog they also formed a lasting friendship with Tom Wilson.

After Tom’s death, Jennifer used her own Smokey City Weimaraners to start her breeding program known as Simpatico Weimaraners. Out of respect for her friend and mentor, Jennifer did not continue the Smokey City name. She felt that if she did one of two things would happen, and either one would diminish the championship name. 1.) She would be trading on the rich history and success of the name instead of on her own merits, or 2.) She would not live up to what the Smokey City name stands for.

Her respect for Tom and the Smokey City name shows a great deal of character and self awareness. Jennifer is certainly doing something right, as Simpatico Weimaraners is now home to several champion dogs. A member of the AKC and the WCA, Jennifer is committed to responsible dog breeding, dog care and producing the best examples of the breed.

Breeding and Placing

Jennifer and her husband are dedicated and responsible pet owners and breeders. When speaking with Jennifer I was impressed with her sympathy towards rescued dogs and dogs without homes. As a responsible breeder, Jennifer has an ironclad contract as well as a thorough application process that demands potential puppy owners meet with her and spend time with the dogs before being approved to be a home for one of her puppies.

Because Jennifer keeps all dogs that are to be trained for show, her puppies are only placed as pets, no showing or breeding, with a spay/neuter clause in the contract as well as a stipulation that the puppy never be sent to a shelter or rescue. All an owner has to do is return the dog to Jennifer if they are unable to keep it for any reason. Jennifer says all of her dogs have a forever home with her. She is also adamant that the AKC registration papers aren’t given to any new puppy owner until she receives written verification from a vet that the puppy has been spayed or neutered. She doesn’t want to be responsible for any unwanted puppies. Jennifer stands behind her dogs, from the amazing amount of love and attention each is given from birth through adoption, to the open door policy if an owner is unable to keep the puppy, and visits from her puppies when the owners go on vacation.

Knowing the quality of life and care that Simpatico Weimaraners come from, many people who are approved for puppies are put on a waiting list and have even waited up to two years for a puppy. The bitches aren’t bred until they retire from showing at about four years of age. The career of a show dog is fairly short; after that they get to be mommies and pets.

Raising Puppies

Jennifer and her husband have a whelping area where the dam and puppies are kept for several weeks. While they are in this area, Jennifer’s husband often sleeps in there with them, and the puppies are not left alone for any amount of time for the first 4-5 weeks of their lives. It takes real dedication for two people to handle the grown dogs with exercise, attention and training while babysitting several puppies for weeks on end.

Weimaraner puppies are born with striking blue eyes and stripes. They grow out of the striping, and many of their eyes change color. It is pretty much impossible to know in a puppy whether the eyes will stay blue or not. I spent a great deal of time looking at pictures on the Simpatico Weimaraners website and have to say these are gorgeous animals. You can see the love and care that is provided for them. My favorite is the picture of them all lying on the bed; there is no room for a human in that doggie pileup.

“Jennifer’s husband” as you’ve come to know him here, does have a name, but let’s maintain the mystery a little longer and I’ll tell you a little about what Jennifer says about her other half.

“My husband is the unspoken hero, he has a great sense of humor, and he supports me.” She goes on to say that because she and her husband do it all from start to finish with their dogs he is a big help and support, working by her side to raise and show the dogs. Each time she speaks she doesn’t say “I,” she says “We.” They are a team, and from the success of Simpatico Weimaraners I’d say they are a great team.

Final Thoughts

As a responsible pet owner and breeder, Jennifer advises that anyone who is interested in dogs and their breeding should pay attention to the dog laws that are being debated and instituted, be aware of dog happenings in your community and realize that just because a dog is in a shelter or rescue it doesn’t mean the dog is bad. Please visit the Simpatico Weimaraner website to see photos of these dogs and learn more about Jennifer and her husband Curtis.

Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.