I wanted to jot down a little information on dog training and tricks. Remember that dogs are experts at reading body language. Your dog will know how to read you better than anyone or anything you know. So this should be used to train them.
I wanted to bring this up, not for teaching them tricks, but to get your Coton used to you leaving home. If you are single and this is the only dog you will have, then this is extremely important. Here are some tricks and tips to make sure that your new puppy will not suffer from separation anxiety.
1. Remember that your new friend will not be able to hold their bladder very long. You should not leave them in a kennel or room for longer than 3 hours, for the first year. If you work, plan on coming home for lunch and letting your puppy out to go to the restroom. This will make sure that they do not have accidents in their kennels and bladder issues as they get older from trying to hold their urine in their bladders for too long.
2. Crate a routine when you leave the house. This routine will train your dog to know that, even though you are leaving, you will be back. These dogs are extremely smart and you can even have multiple routines to tell them the length of your absence. This will help train them to avoid separation anxiety.
3. Make sure your puppy has toys, that will not allow choking, to play with in their kennel while you are out. This will make sure that they are able to pass the time doing something. Chew toys, bones etc will do wonders.
4. Sounds. Make sure you purchase some DVD’s for Cats / dogs that you can play in your DVD player or stereo during the day in a loop and loud enough to drown out sounds external to your house / apartment. These sounds are soothing (the DVD’s are usually birds and other natural sounds) and they will train your pup to be used to sounds. You would be surprised how scary it is to be alone puppy, in a new location, in a kennel or large apartment and hearing people thumping up the stairs or jumping in the apartment above you, or sirens from emergency vehicles or car horns etc. The puppy can’t see where the sounds come from and it can be scary. If they are used to hearing calm sounds from the DVD’s all day, they will be desensitized to those sounds (and the volume from the DVD’s will drown out loud external sounds) it is amazing how different your puppy will be when they get older.
5. Kennels. Kennels should never be used for punishment. They are your puppies bastion of safety, their castle of protection and that should always to the case. Never use someone home as a prison, they will forever after see that house as a prison and not a home.
6. Always make sure your puppy enters their kennel themselves. Do not help them by pushing them or setting them in or any other means other than by tossing a toy in their or a bone, treat etc. They should always enter voluntarily even if it is by command.
7. Never yell or punish your puppy for accidents in the house. They do not understand human language. Yelling does no good. They have to be trained. If your pup has an accident in the house, take them outside immediately to try to get them to go. Take them out frequently, every two hours and make sure you give them enough time to go. If you have a porch or backyard, get a doggy door and train them how to use it. I found that once I got a doggy door and a porch potty, it was much easier to potty train puppies when I lived in an apartment. In a home it is the same, but it is up to you how you would like to train them. Just remember that your new puppy has a small bladder, has no understanding of why they can’t go inside (mom used to take care of all that) and by repetition and loving care, your puppy will learn pretty quick where and when they can go.
8. If you are kenneling your puppy at night for bedtime then that is fine, but you should get a couple of items to help them get through the night. Puppies like to snuggle and they get cold fast. You should have a large, covered, water bottle and put warm water in it when they go into their kennel to sleep. This will give them something warm to snuggle up to and it will keep them warm for a long time. You should also purchase one of those heartbeat sounds so that your puppy will also hear a heartbeat and think that they are still with their mother and pack mates. I believe that all puppies should be kennel trained when they are young, even if after they get to an adult you let them sleep on the bed et cetera. This will make it much easier when you are traveling with them or they are kenneled during the day et cetera.
9. Doggy Daycare’s! If you are able, once your puppy get to the age where they have all their vaccines and they can be introduced to other dogs, a great way to socialize your puppy by taking them to reputable doggy daycare places so that they can meet fellow dogs and learn how to interact with other dogs.
10. Vaccines! Follow your veterinarians timeline to get your puppy vaccines done so that you do not lose your best friend from a bug.
11. Always touch and handle your puppy often. Touch their feet, ears, belly etc. Often, so that they get used to people touching their feet and other areas. You want your puppy to know that being handled by humans is OK and it is a good thing, even if it is in areas that they don’t normally like or is sensitive. This will make a huge difference when they get older and when they are groomed. You should also do this when they are eating so that they do not have food aggression. Touch them when they are eating, handle their food, feed them with your hand while they are eating food, pet them, put your hand in the bowl. If they give any aggressive signs take the food away. This will let them know that it is not a proper reaction and that you control the food and water.
I hope these tips and tricks will help you and your best friend get through the formative months while you each bond with each other. Remember, you should also brush them every day and groom them so that they are used to the routine so that if you take them to a groomers instead of doing it yourself and you can rest assured that they are not giving the groomers a hard time!