Category Archives: puppies

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.

Read More »

EmailGoogle GmailBlogger PostTwitterFacebookGoogle+Share

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!

Read More »

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

Find CANIDAE Retailers Near You!

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.

How to Train Your Puppy to Obey Basic Commands


By Suzanne Alicie

Puppies are cute and cuddly, and generally out of control. One of the first things a new puppy needs is training in basic commands. Sit, Stay, and Lie Down are the most basics commands to teach a puppy. When it comes to training a puppy it is important to be firm and consistent. Puppies learn from consistency and repetition, and responsible pet owners know that proper training can turn a wild puppy into a well mannered dog.

Teach Your Puppy to Sit

Initially you will need to get down on your puppy’s level and help him sit. A gentle push on the haunches while saying “sit” to your puppy will help him get the idea. When your puppy sits upon command the first few times, be sure to reward him with praise and a treat. One of the things we do in our house is make the dogs sit while we prepare their food bowls. It is a ritual that helps even hyperactive dogs contain a bit of that energy and mind their manners when being fed. Sit is a common command and one of the easiest to teach, even a young puppy.

Teach Your Puppy to Stay

This is a command that is a bit more difficult to teach. Puppies tend to want to follow, because they simply want to be close to you. To teach this command initially, you don’t want to step away from the puppy and tell him to stay. The easiest way to teach a young puppy to stay is to use a treat. Since repetition is the key it may be easier on your puppy’s tummy to break treats into many pieces, or use smaller treats like the CANIDAE Snap-Bits™.

Place a piece of the treat on the floor in between you and your puppy. Tell him to stay and hold a hand in front of him so that he can’t reach the treat. Scoot the treat closer to him until it is right in front of his nose, while repeating “stay.” In time you will find that when you say “stay” your puppy will do so, but it takes repetition. Consistency is the key, as well as not overwhelming the puppy with too many commands to learn all at once. Concentrate on one act at a time.

Teach Your Puppy to Lie Down

Lie down is another simple command, and an easy transition from sit. Many times when your puppy is sitting if you tap the floor under his nose he will lie down to touch your hand. So once you have repeated this action several times, start to say “lie down” when you reach toward the floor. Before you know it your puppy will lie down as soon as he hears the words. Again, treats and praise along with the repetition and consistency will help your puppy learn the command quickly.

Puppies are loving and eager to please. If you begin training early and consistently, it should not be difficult to train your puppy to obey these basic commands, and then you can move on to other tricks. Puppies can learn just about anything you feel like taking the time to teach them, from sitting pretty to dancing, jumping and speaking.

Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie

Find CANIDAE Retailers Near You!

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.

The Challenges of Raising Litter Mate Puppies


By Linda Cole

It’s hard picking out just one puppy. They’re all so cute and adorable. People with room in their home and heart for two pups may not think twice about buying or adopting sibling puppies, but there could be potential harm to one or both of the pups. Raising litter mate puppies is more complicated than it sounds, and it can be a challenge.

A new puppy needs to have a chance to bond with the human who will become his pack leader. In fact, it’s essential that bonding take place. Pups are ready to leave the nest when they are 8 weeks old, and their development will continue in their new home. Litter mate puppies are comfortable with each other, and can keep each other company while you are gone. The situation can change, however, once they grow up. Just because they get along as pups doesn’t guarantee they will get along as adults, especially if they are both male, or both female. As full grown dogs, siblings will fight and jockey for dominance in their pack just like any other dogs would do. Female pups will also fight for their place in the pack, especially if there’s a male dog in the home. Aggression and rivalries could turn into double trouble for their human parents.

When you raise pups from the same litter, you risk creating insecure dogs with behavior problems that can be with them their entire lives. There’s a good chance they can be so dependent on each other that separation anxiety could become a severe problem anytime they are not together. You want them to play with each other, but they need time apart in order to learn about life away from their sibling.

Raising litter mate puppies can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible as long as you are aware of what you’re getting into, and you learn how to teach each pup according to their personality and individual needs. You will need to keep litter mates separated as much as possible for the first year. Treat each puppy as an individual dog and not as an extension of its sibling.

Keep them apart from each other during housebreaking and training activities, at feeding time, and when you are giving each one attention and playing with them. This gives each pup a chance to develop their own personality, find their own identity and understand their social order in the pack. It also gives them both a chance to bond with you equally, which will help them learn how to maintain a balanced and stable relationship where they both feel secure within the home. If you crate them while you are gone, they need to be in different rooms. Take only one at a time for walks or to the vet for checkups and vaccinations. Even though they live in the same home, each one should be treated as if you have just one dog.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to raising litter mate puppies. Some breeders won’t sell siblings because they are afraid they could turn out to be more than the owner bargained for and one or both pups could suffer the consequences if the new owner can’t handle two pups. Other breeders feel it’s up to the buyer to decide. Responsible breeders will work with you and are happy to help out any way they can. A breeder’s concern is for the pups, and they want to make sure the puppies are going to a good home.

A prospective owner who understands what they are getting into and has the time and energy to properly socialize and train both pups should do fine. If you really want two dogs, a better solution might be to take one, then go back in about 6 months to pick another puppy from a different litter. If you want to take litter mates home, it will work out better to take a male and a female. Make sure to have them neutered and spayed as soon as they are old enough to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Two puppies will require double work and expense when it comes to housebreaking, veterinarian bills, food and time for bonding, development and training. But if you do your homework and invest in the hard work and commitment needed to raise litter mate puppies, you will also be rewarded with double the love and fun of two well-adjusted individual pets.

Read more articles by Linda Cole

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.

Tips for Teaching Your Puppy His Name


By Julia Williams

When people adopt a puppy, one of the first things they usually do is name him. But once you’ve decided what to call your furry new friend, it’s just as important to begin immediately teaching your puppy his name. Why is it so essential? Because once your puppy learns to respond positively and immediately to his own name, teaching him other basic commands (such as sit, stay or lie down) will be much easier. When your puppy knows his name, you will be able to get him to focus his full attention on you instead of his surroundings. Thus, teaching your puppy his name is a fundamental base for any future training.

Your first objective is to teach your puppy that when you say his name, he must immediately stop whatever he’s doing, turn his head and look directly at you. With consistent training and patience, your puppy will eventually understand that the sound he hears is his own name. Later, you can teach your puppy that the sound of his name will be followed by a command.

Step One: Take your puppy to a quiet place with no distractions, armed with some dog treats (CANIDAE Snap-Bits™ are perfect treats for puppies) and a few toys that your puppy enjoys playing with.

Step Two: Put your puppy on a long lead, which will help you to keep him from wandering off if something attracts his attention elsewhere.

Step Three: Using a happy tone of voice, say your puppy’s name.

Step Four: If your puppy looks in your direction when you say his name, immediately reward him with a treat and praise, such as “good doggie.” Puppies are usually very attracted to the sound of your voice, and will naturally look towards you when you speak. By giving him a treat and praising him, you reinforce the desired behavior. Only say your puppy’s name once; if he doesn’t respond, you can gently tug his lead or touch his leg so he turns to look at you.

Step Five: Hold a treat up near your face so that your puppy has to look directly at you when you call his name. Doing this will ensure that you have his full attention.

Step Six: Swap a toy for the food treat, and use a few minutes of playtime as the reward for looking at you. Experiment with different treats, toys, and tones of voice to learn which ones are the best motivators for your puppy.

Step Seven: Repeat steps one through six several times during each training session until your puppy consistently looks at you when you say his name.

The next step in training your puppy to respond to his name is to introduce distractions. The goal is to teach your puppy that no matter where you are and no matter what else is happening around him, he needs to give you his full attention when you say his name. Try training him with other family members in the room, outside in your garden, at the local park or at someone else’s home.

Training your puppy in different environments or with distractions will likely be much more challenging at first (both for you and your puppy), but it is a great way to reinforce what your puppy is learning. Remember, your puppy wants to please you, so help him do that by remaining patient and taking this stage slow.

When teaching your puppy his name, it’s important that this sound only be associated with good things. In other words, try not to use your puppy’s name when you are scolding him. Otherwise, he will form a negative association with his name and may become confused or refuse to respond to you when you call his name.

Key points to remember:

* Keep your training sessions short (five or ten minutes at a time, several times each day), and keep them fun.

* Train your puppy before a meal so he’ll be more motivated to get the food treat. Just remember to account for the extra food in his daily rations, so as not to overfeed him.

* If more than one person will be teaching your puppy his name, make sure everyone understands what to do and uses the same technique.

* Be sure to give lots of praise along with the treat or toy reward, and always end each training session on a positive note.

If you follow these simple tips, your puppy will learn his name in no time at all!

Read more articles by Julia Williams

Find CANIDAE Retailers Near You!

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.