Tips on Puppy Training - II

When should I take my puppy out-doors?
To a considerable extent, it depends on facilities around you. If you have a house with safe compound wall and reasonably clean ground, you can take him outside at an early age itself. Often, you are the best judge in this case. However, in the extremes of climate, think about rain, hot sun in the tropics, snow or hailstorms. Though, you need not be over-cautious as pups are not very 'delicate' as many of us might think. Initially, take him out for a short-while and wipe-dry him if wet or give him warm milk especially if it is cold outside. This out-door time is also a very good opportunity to train him on house-breaking. If you do not have an area which is not safe, take him only with a collar and leash. We will discuss separately on collaring, wearing and use of leash.

Is it safe to keep my pup alone? 
If enough care is taken, it is safe to keep your puppy alone at home. Let him not fall down from a stair-case, chew electric wires, chew cotton pillow and make meal out of cotton etc. It is also preferable to train the puppy familiar to be in the house alone for a long time. This will help you to be out of home whenever you want and will not be tied at home because of your pup. You should make him to be at home alone without howling, barking or being destructive. We will discuss more on it later. This will also help you to avoid hiring a pet-sitter as in the western countries. In the western world, it is a booming business for pet sitters. Also, there is demand for persons who take up the dogs for walks, for those who have no enough time to take their pets out for a walk.

How to take my dog in a car?
A pup or a small dog is best carried in pet-carrier. Such dog-carriers are available in various sizes and specifications with a good pet shop. Dogs will enjoy travel once trained in carriers. Do not allow your dog to pop out the head and neck as warned in a public bus! Do not take the animal for a travel in full- stomach. Preferably, a two hour interval is ideal but never earlier than half to three quarters of an hour. If it is a long journey, small quantity may be fed especially if the dog drools. As far as possible, delay the feeding till the end of his journey. If dog carriers are not available, spread a sheet over the seat cover to avoid scratches by their nails. Also, cut over-grown nails in level with the paw. The nails can be covered with socks/dog-shoes to avoid scratching the upholstery. If your dog travels with you often, make him to be seated in the same place/seat. This will make him to learn where his seat is and will spare fellow passengers. If you are leaving the dog alone, remove the leash; lest, it may strangulate itself inadvertently. Dot not leave him in the car in the hot sun. He may suffer heat stroke or even succumb to it. This is also a punishable offence!

How about travelling in a train or plane?
Travelling in train is very common and air travel is also not uncommon these days. Enquire about the facilities available in the train you propose to travel. Confirm the requirements. Certain precautions are to be taken before taking your pet for a train journey or an air travel. Dogs which accompany differently- abled persons- like blinds, always travel along-with the owner. This is very common in western world. You will be marvelled to see their skill of performing their act of taking around the blind people. In the case of airlines, please enquire with the airline before you undertake the journey. Not all airlines allow dogs, though, there is an exclusive pet-only airline in United States! Airlines generally provide specifications about the pet-carriers considering their aircraft. Some carriers even rent you a carrier on a temporary basis. A label should be attached on the pet carrier giving all the details of the pet, owner and contact numbers. If the dog is unaccompanied, the details should be more specific and detailed. Specific information is also available with IATA. If your dog is nervous, consult your vet; he may give you some tranquillizer for the dog. This will help him to remain calm as well prevent from vomiting out of travel-sickness.

How frequently should a pup be bathed?
Pups can be bathed if he is above eight weeks old. Too frequent bathing is not necessary. Most often, a good grooming will do. We will discuss it separately. Use good quality dog soap or dog shampoo. Different types of shampoos are available depending upon the hair-coat of the animal. Medicated shampoos are better avoided in pups. After giving a bath, dry him and keep indoors in a warm place till he is completely dry. A range of moist pet-wipes are also available in the market.

How frequently should an adult dog be bathed ?
It depends on your pet's lifestyle. Does he often play outside, likely to run around and soil his coat? Is the hair-coat long or short? Smooth-coated, short haired, small dogs living in flats/apartments may be given bath, less often. A good, thorough grooming and limiting the bath to once in a week is often sufficient for our climate. However, some breeds are notorious for their characteristic 'doggie' smell. They need more frequent bathing. Good grooming is also beneficial in preventing 'doggie' smell and building relationship.

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