How To Give Your Hunting Dog the Best Start in Life

Puppies come to us as innocent, clean slates. It’s our job to mold them into the dog we wish them to become. This especially holds true for hunting dogs. While your hunting puppy is going to be born with hunting instincts, it will be up to you to teach him how to use those instincts successfully in the fields or the woods. Giving your puppy the best start in life is a long and involved process. It starts with choosing the right puppy for your wants and needs, starting him on the right diet, and building good habits young.

A well-trained hunting dog is a companion that can rise above the station of a standard pet. These dogs can just as easily watch over your children as they can retrieve pheasants. But it all starts when they’re young. Getting your hunting dog off to a good start while young may very well determine his future.

The Best Hunting Breeds

All hunting dogs have a few traits in common, they’re loyal, brave, and they have a strong prey drive. But after that, each dog is different. Some dogs do better in some hunting areas than others. For example, the Labrador Retriever makes for a great duck hunting companion, while the  English Springer Spaniel is more suited to pheasant hunting. That’s not to say that Labs can’t hunt pheasant, or the Spaniels can’t retrieve ducks. But, each breed has been bred to excel in one particular field while still performing well in all others.

Here’s our list of some of the most popular hunting dogs. There are over 60 breeds between the AKC sporting and hound group, so we may have left a few out from our list below. The AKC classifies both sporting dogs and hounds as dogs who are naturally active and alert and who perform above and beyond in either the water, the woods, or both. These dogs are bred to perform in hunting or other field activities. They are also noted for their stamina and scent tracking prowess. Either a hound or a sporting dog would make for an ideal hunting companion.

Any of the breeds listed below can make great all-around hunters, but if you’re interested in a puppy for a very specific type of hunting, we recommend reading over their breed profiles (listed below) before bringing home your new furry family member.

What Your Hunting Puppy Needs in His Diet

To some extent, hunting breeds are just like all other puppies. They’ll need specialized puppy food while they’re young to help them develop their bones, muscles, joints, internal organs, and immune system. Typically, most vets agree that a good puppy food will be made up of at least 30% protein, vitamins and minerals, and have a high-fat content to promote energy. Currently, PetBreeds rates the following puppy foods as the best in their respective fields.

Puppy Foods for Highly Active Puppies:

  • Royal Canin Medium and Mini Puppy Formulas
  • Blue Buffalo Large Breed Puppy Chicken and Brown Rice Formula
  • Orijen Puppy Food 80/20  Large Breed Formula

Best All-around Puppy Food:

  • Evo Herring & Salmon Formula
  • Nature’s Variety Instinct Chicken Meal Formula
  • Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural Formula

Best Puppy Food for Joint Health:

  • Dr. Tim’s Kinesis
  • Royal Canin Medium Puppy Formula

It should be noted that each breed may require individual and unique qualities in their food. For example, large breed puppies might need more protein than that of their small breed companions. The best way to find your ideal puppy food is to talk to your vet.  

Training Your Hunting Puppy

For hunting dogs, training starts the moment you pick them up, and it never stops. When your puppy is really young, as in younger than four months old, he won’t be ready for any serious hunting training yet. During this time, you can focus on teaching your puppy his name, socialization, potty training, crate training, and “no.” Your puppy will still be growing, so pushing him too far in physical pursuits might negatively affect him for the rest of his life.

Between five to seven months of age, you can begin some of your more physical training. The most basic and important skills you’ll need to focus on first are coming when called and obeying while on a leash. You need to know that when you let your pup off leash, he’s going to come back. Likewise, you’ll need to know that your pup won’t chase off game while on his leash just walking through your neighborhood. Most trainers use check-cords to help teach their pup the searching windshield-wiper pattern they desire during this time. This time is also when you can start teaching your pup your preferred start and stop commands, such as “hup” and “whoa.” Some trainers introduce dead game at this point to engage their puppy’s prey drive while training. Pups may also start flushing or pointing, but it is more intrinsic than skill at this point. During this time, guns may be properly introduced to your pup. Read more about that process here.

Puppy Shots: Everything You Need To Know

When you bring home a new puppy, there will be many items on your to-do list. Introduce the puppy to your family, work on potty training, find the right puppy food, get puppy shots. It’s the last item on this list that new puppy owners typically have the most questions about. What are these shots and what do they do? Does my puppy really need all these shots? These are valid questions, and with a little research, you’ll find that puppy shots are very beneficial for both you and your pup.

So what are puppy shots? First of all, what most people call “puppy shots,” doctors call vaccinations or boosters. When puppy owners hear “vaccination” they typically think of the annual rabies shot their dogs get, but puppies actually need quite a few more vaccinations than that. Puppy vaccinations help dogs lead full and healthy lives. Vaccines protect your dog from infectious diseases that can spread quickly from dog to dog or be picked up while outside playing. The first round of shots your puppy will receive are called boosters.

Puppy Boosters Explained

Boosters are the first round of shots your puppy receives that help to boost his immune system. Typically, puppies get their first round of boosters between six and eight weeks of age. At this appointment, your puppy will receive his first distemper and measles vaccine.  

Next, between 12-20 weeks of age, your puppy will need his first rabies shot. Rabies shots are like human flu shots in that they don’t last forever. Your puppy will need a new rabies shot every year. Vets do this so that they can be assured that it can fight off rabies if your pet is ever attacked. In fact, it’s state law in most parts of the country to have your pet’s rabies shot updated every year. We recommend consulting with your vet to make sure your shot schedule is compliant with your state’s regulations.

When your puppy is between 16-20 weeks old, he’ll be ready to receive his DHPP vaccine. This one shot contains four vaccines that fight distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus, and parainfluenza. Some vets recommend dogs receive this vaccination again every few years, but others are ok with your pup only receiving this vaccination while they’re young. Also while your puppy is young, your vet will most likely also recommend vaccinating against Lyme, leptospirosis, and coronavirus. These vaccines will typically be recommended based on the climate you and your pup live in. Your vet can help you decide whether or not partake of these vaccinations.

Typically, puppies wrap up their puppy shots, or boosters, around the 20-week mark. After this point, your puppy will require yearly rabies shots, but everything else is up to your discretion. We recommend talking to your vet to best determine what your dog’s yearly or lifelong vaccination schedule will look like.

Keeping Disease Away

Each shot has been crafted to fight against a specific disease. Read more about what each shot does down below.

Bordetella: Bordetella is a bacteria that causes kennel cough. When dogs are young, they have weak immune systems, making them especially susceptible to this dangerous disease. While puppies who are boarded are more likely to contract kennel cough, your pup can pick up kennel cough anywhere. From the vet’s office to a dog park, you’ll want to protect your pup. The Bordetella vaccination, DHPP, greatly decreases your puppy’s chances of contracting kennel cough. When left untreated, kennel cough can develop into a serious upper respiratory disease that can lead to lung collapse.

Distemper: Distemper is a viral disease that viciously attacks a dog’s respiratory and nervous systems. This disease is highly contagious and can be extremely difficult to treat. This disease usually tends to be fatal in your dogs. Vets recommend that puppies be treated with the Distemper vaccine at an early age.

Hepatitis: Hepatitis is a viral disease that attacks a dog’s liver and eyes. This disease can also lead to reproductive issues. Humans cannot contract Hepatitis from dogs.

Leptospirosis: Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that, like Hepatitis, attacks a dog’s liver and kidneys. But unlike Hepatitis, Leptospirosis can be transmitted to humans through dogs. Your puppy’s DHPP vaccine is what keeps this troubling disease away.

Parainfluenza: Parainfluenza is a viral respiratory disease that is highly contagious that can spread from dog to dog. With the disease being so contagious, shelters and boarding facilities are particularly vulnerable to this disease.

Parvovirus: Parvovirus is a serious, highly contagious, and often fatal disease that is especially dangerous for puppies. The Parvovirus attacks and suppresses a dog’s immune system, resulting in severe vomiting and diarrhea. DHPP is also responsible for fighting off this disease.

Dog Health:The Life Cycle of a Tick

It’s always fun to take your dog on runs in the woods or hikes in the hills. The experience offers you a great workout and is full of awesome views that you simply can’t get running on a treadmill at the gym. Even better, your dog adores every second of it. However, anytime you head for the hills or go into the woods, the chances that your pup brings home a tick increases.

Ticks are pretty common, especially for dogs since they can go unnoticed beneath a dog’s fur. If removed in a timely manner, ticks do not pose much of a threat to your dog. However, if a tick goes undetected and stays attached to your pup for too long, it can cause some havoc.

If your dog has acquired a tick, here’s a guide for removing it safely, as well as some tips for preventing them in the future.

What are Ticks?

Ticks are parasitic arthropods that feed on the blood of their hosts. They are attracted to warmth and motion, which is why they are most attracted to mammals, such as humans and your dog. Ticks spend a great deal of their time waiting for a host, often hiding in tall grasses, vegetation, or wooded areas. Once a tick senses a host, the tick climbs on and bites into the skin of the host to begin feeding on the host’s blood.  Once locked in place, the tick will not detach until its meal is complete or it is forcibly removed by the host. Depending on the type of tick, it will continue to feed for anywhere from a few hours to several days.

On dogs, ticks often attach themselves in crevices and/or areas with little to no hair, typically in and around the ears, the areas where the insides of the legs meet the body, between the toes, and within skin folds.

Stage One: Egg

The first stage of a tick’s life is as an egg. A female tick will lay anywhere between 4,000 and 6,500 eggs. Once laid, eggs will take between 36 and 57 days to hatch. Once a tick hatches from their egg, they enter the second stage of their life.

Stage Two: Larvae

Ticks hatch from there eggs in the spring or summer months. Upon hatching, ticks are born as larvae, which is considered their second stage. Ticks remain in the larvae stage for about the 9 months. During this stage, a larvae grows and experiences their first feed. Typically, the first host for a tick is a smaller animal such as a mouse or smaller bird. If a larvae successfully feeds, it will evolve to stage three.

Stage Three: Nymph

After successfully feeding during the larval stage, a tick will become dormant for the fall and winter months. When they awake in the spring, they’ll be much bigger than they were as larvae. Nymphs will feed from May to July. Nymphs will target larger mammals than they did as larvae. Typically a nymph will try and feed on deer, but occasionally will go after humans, dogs, and cats.

During this period of time, nymphs can transmit disease-causing organism, such as the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. If you, or your dog, acquire a tick in the nymph stage, it’s best to check with a doctor or vet to ensure you were not contaminated.

Stage Four: Adult

If a tick successfully finds a host during their nymph stage, they will again become dormant in the winter and awake in the spring as an adult. In this stage, a tick has reached its full size, becoming twice as large as it was during the nymph stage. Adult males will search for a host during adulthood. Females will lay eggs during the winter. After laying eggs, female ticks complete their life cycle and die.

Learn More About Dog Health at PetPlace

Ticks are nasty little pests that can cause harm to you and your dog. Anytime you take your dog in a wooded area, a field that is densely vegetated, or in the hills, you should inspect them for ticks after wars. Learn more about safety precautions you can take with your dog at PetPlace today!

What Diarrhea Can Mean in Puppies

The experience of raising a puppy is hugely rewarding and filled with memorable moments. There’s also some messy, less-than-pleasant moments. One of those includes your puppy having a bout of diarrhea. It’s pretty common for a puppy to experience a round of diarrhea, sometimes they may experience a few.

Due to the variance in severity in puppy diarrhea, it’s important for puppy owners to keep a close eye on their puppy. Especially very young puppies, who are more vulnerable to illness than an older dog. Diarrhea can lead to dehydration, which can create several serious medical problems for your dog. If your dog is suffering from diarrhea and appears to be dehydrated, it’s best that you see a vet as soon as possible.

What does diarrhea mean for your puppy? What should you do if your puppy has diarrhea?

Causes for Diarrhea in Puppies

There are a variety of causes for a puppy having a bout of diarrhea. They include:

Stress

Like humans, animals can also get diarrhea as a result of stress. And puppies can experience quite a bit of stress as they transition from being with their mother and littermates to living with you and your family. The change in environment is usually very sudden for puppies. Adjusting to a new place and to new people can leave your new puppy stressed, with diarrhea being your puppies way of expressing the stress.

Your puppy being stressed by his new surroundings doesn’t mean that he doesn’t like you or your home, he’s simply adjusting. If your puppy is stressed and suffering from diarrhea you should continue to give him plenty of attention and love. Try and distract him from his stress by playing with him. Also make sure to keep fresh water available for him at all times. Diarrhea can lead to dehydration for your puppy. If your puppy appears to be not drinking their water, bring the water to them and give them space to drink. If the stress persists, consult your vet to explore additional ways to help your puppy adjust to his new surroundings.

Change in Diet

Another common cause for diarrhea in puppies is a sudden change in diet. Depending on where your puppy came from, you may or may not have received dietary information. If you don’t know what your puppy has being eating, the food you’re currently feeding her could be the culprit for her having diarrhea.

After your puppy is weaned off of her mother’s milk, her digestive system is going to start adapting to whatever food she is given next. If the ingredients of the dog food you introduce to her are different from the food she had been eating, her digestive system could struggle to adapt and cause a bout of diarrhea. The change doesn’t always reflect a quality discrepancy.

Even if your pup was being fed a low quality puppy food before and since was given a high quality diet by you, the sudden change can have digestive consequences.

Ideally, changes to your puppies diet should be gradual. When changing food types, it’s best to mix in the old food with the new food slowly. However, if you don’t know what they were eating, you need to try and stay the course and monitor your puppy’s diarrhea.

Eating a Foreign Object

While cats have more of a reputation for being curious, puppies are always very curious creatures. Part of the growing pains of having a puppy is getting through this curious stage when your puppy will try and bite or eat anything in sight. Wires, cords, shoes, purses, jackets; few household items are safe.

When your puppy chomps on one of your shoes or frays the end of a cord by biting it, the damage to the item is a bummer, but usually you puppy will be fine. However, there’s a number of things that your dog can eat that will cause health issues, including diarrhea.

Foreign objects, including several human foods, plants, and flowers, can all cause diarrhea for your puppy, and sometimes it can cause worse. Certain items can poison your puppy and cause serious blockage in their GI tract, causing an host of issues for their health.

To help protect your puppy from her own curiosity, try and keep dangerous items away from them. If you do catch them chewing something, do you best to get them to stop.

Learn More About Your Puppy at PetPlace

If your puppy is experiencing diarrhea for any of the above reasons, do your best to try and keep them hydrated during the process. Dehydration can cause a number of medical issues for your puppy. To learn more about your puppy’s health, check out PetPlace. We have thousands of vet-approved articles that will bolster your puppy knowledge!

How to Stop Your Puppy From Humping

Humping is one of those habits that can put any owner’s nerves on edge. Most view this activity as a sexual act, but in all actuality, it can be used as a show of power and rank, or more. Dogs from puppies to adults often use humping as a way to assert their authority over others; be it other dogs, other animals, humans, or objects; if the urge strikes, their hips will hump.

 

Research has found that unneutered, also known as intact, males are the most likely to hump things, but that is not to say that neutered males and females don’t partake of this habit; because they can as well. An intact dog having the presence of sex hormones isn’t always the cause of this troublesome habit. Even after your puppy has been neutered or spayed, it may continue to hump for a few months after the surgery. In fact, some pets can develop this habit and then continue to hump for years. For some, it can become a chronic habit that becomes harder to curb each year that it’s left to continue.

Why Dogs Hump

Let’s get technical.

 

Why is it that some puppies hump when they’re young, while some adolescents start after they’ve been fixed, and then some adult dogs begin humping later in life? Why do puppies, adolescent, or adult dogs hump at all? The most obvious answer is for sexual reasons. Intact male dogs may hump for reasons that are similar to that of masturbation. Some dogs can even achieve orgasm while humping. No one said that this article was going to be glamorous.

 

Some speculate that dogs who hump after they have been neutered are performing the behavior in a bid to recreate the pleasure that the behavior use to bring them; aka sexual release. This can be discouraging because some turn towards neutering as a cure for humping in adolescents. But it can take time for dogs to figure out certain things won’t be the same after their surgery. In some households where there are both intact male and female dogs who undergo neutering, the pair can continue to hump after their respective surgeries. This suggests that when permitted, the memory of past sexual acts can leave a life-long lasting impression. This is why so many vets recommend having your pet neutered at the first appropriate opportunity.

 

There are other motivations that can prompt pets to start humping. Dominance, for example, is one of these reasons. It doesn’t mean that all dominant dogs hump, but humping is a way for both dominant and nondominant dogs to exert control over other animals. Veterinary experts hypothesize that some nondominant pups with dreams of being the alpha can achieve an intrinsic reward from humping. Meaning that it feels natural for them to get this high from asserting their dominance.

 

Another compelling factor is serotonin. Serotonin is released in a dog’s brain when it humps; this chemical is largely responsible for regulating mood, behavior, sexual desire, and social behavior. If your pup is feeling stifled, he may start humping as a way to balance himself out. This can be common in pets who don’t exercise enough or who have limited social interaction. Obviously, that is not to say that all pets who hump are not receiving enough exercise or stimulus.

 

Old-school conventional thinking would have you believe that only male dogs hump things, but this simply isn’t true. Sexual behavior and impulses are not distinctly male or female. While the habit may be more common in males than in females, it can definitely be exhibited by both sexes. Females can also use this habit as a way of asserting their dominance. Intact females have a higher level of testosterone in their bloodstream than that of their spayed counterparts, making these dogs more likely to perform sexual behaviors.

How to Stop Your Dog From Humping

Whether your dog is an adolescent or an adult, male or female, there are steps you can take to stop their humping habit. The most common way of stopping humping is to have your dog neutered or spayed. Typically, puppies will be neutered around six months of age. If you have questions or wish to move the date backwards or forwards, your vet will be able to help you determine when it’s the right time for your pet to undergo this procedure. But neutering and spaying doesn’t always solve the problem, and as stated above, it can take a dog a while to discover that the act isn’t the same after their surgery.

Dog Obesity Prevention

There’s a lot of responsibilities that dog owners undertake when they bring a dog into their home. They take on the financial responsibility of feeding their dog, providing their dog with the necessary supplies, and handling the required veterinary bills. Dog owners also have to take on the responsibility of caring for their dog and providing their dog with all the love and support they need to live a happy and healthy life. Within that responsibility, is helping in the task of preventing your dog from becoming obese.

 

Canine obesity is one of the fastest growing health problems for dogs. As with people, obesity can lead to a variety of diseases, disorders, and other complications in dogs. Studies show that a staggering 54% of dogs in the United States are considered obese. When it comes to combating obesity for your dog, it’s easier to take proactive steps and prevent your pup from becoming overweight than it is to be reactive and get your dog back down to a healthy weight.  

 

The article will provide some tips for preventing obesity in your dog, as well as some steps to take if your dog is already overweight.

What Causes Canine Obesity?

There are several different causes for canine obesity, the two largest being improper diet or an insufficient amount of exercise. Often, dog obesity occurs from a combination of the two.

 

A dog’s weight is determined by their caloric intake and the amount of calories burned. If a dog is not receiving a consistent and balanced diet of food, and a consistent and appropriate amount of exercise, the chances for obesity increase.

 

There are additional causes for obesity that are not directly related to exercise and diet. A dog recovering from an illness or injury is usually required to remain inactive and is therefore at risk for weight gain. Weight gain can also be the a symptom of a hormonal disorder, such as hypothyroidism or Cushing’s syndrome. Lastly, genetic predisposition is a big factor is a dog’s propensity for obesity. Because of this, particular dog breeds require a more disciplined commitment to a sound diet and steady exercise. Vulnerable breeds include English Bulldogs, Beagles, Dachshunds, Pugs, Dalmatians and Cocker Spaniels.

Preventing Dog Obesity

Exercise

Your dog needs to exercise regularly to maintain a healthy body and weight. Exercise strengthens your dogs respiratory system, provides oxygen to tissue cells, keeps muscles toned and joints flexible, provides fun, improves brain activity, and burns calories, which directly combats obesity.

 

Different breeds of dogs will require different exercise regimens. Speaking broadly, it’s a good idea for dog owners to give their dogs regular walks, and try to have regular play time where the dog is getting plenty of physical activity.


Healthy Food and Portions

Not all dog food is the same. While it may look and smell the same to us, some dog foods are much healthier for your pup than others. Talk with your dog’s vet about receiving some dietary recommendations based upon your dog’s age, breed, and size.

 

Monitor Your Dog’s Weight

It can be difficult to notice small weight gains in your dog. To best monitor your dog’s weight and health, you should routinely weigh your dog and take note of the weight. By observing the measurements over time, you’ll have a far greater read on how healthy your dog is.

 

Be Mindful of Table Scraps and Treats

We know how tempting it is to deny your dog a small table scrap when they hit you with their adorable, begging eyes. However, human foods are not good for your dog, and can be more difficult to digest, and subsequently burn off. Always avoid feeding your dog human food that is high in sugar.

 

Also, be mindful of the number of dog treats you are giving your pup. Moderation is key.

What if My Dog is Already Overweight?

If your dog is already a part of the 54% of obese dogs, then you’ll need to commit to an action plan for helping your dog get their weight down. Some tips for helping your dog lose weight include:

  • Lower your dog’s daily caloric intake by changing the dog food product (there are several diets formulated for weight loss) or the amount fed daily.
  • Increasing fiber or water intake may sometimes be necessary to satiate your dog.
  • Increase exercise activity. To enhance exercise, a variety of leashes and toys are available.

 

15 Random Puppy Facts

If dogs are man’s best friend, then puppies are the cutest and most adorable best friend possible. There’s a lot to love about puppies. From their affectionate little eyes, to their soft and fluffy fur, raising a puppy is a wonderful experience filled with memorable moments.

 

When you bring a puppy into your home, you begin a journey that will bond you and your puppy for life. During that journey, there’s a lot to learn. You learn about your puppy’s health, training and obedience, and a great number of behavioral lessons as your and your puppy become friends over time.

 

Whether you’re looking to learn more about puppies because you’re considering bringing one home, or if you’re simply searching to broaden your puppy knowledge to become a trivia star, here are 20 random puppy facts that you might not know.

1. The First Mammal to Orbit Earth Was a Dog

A stray Russian dog named Laika was the first mammal to orbit the Earth in 1957. Unfortunately, Laika did not survive the trip to outer space, but she is remembered today as a hero. There is a statue honoring her in Star City, Russia.

2. 30% of Dalmations are Deaf in One Ear

Dalmatians have an irregularly high likelihood of being born deaf. 30% of dalmatians are deaf in at least one ear.

3. A Basenji Doesn’t Bark, They Yodel!

The adorable basenji is a unique breed of dog, as they don’t actually bark. Instead, they yodel!

4. Dogs Hearing is Four Times Better Than Humans

Due to having more muscles within their ears, dogs are able to hear four times as well as humans do. Superior hearing is a trait that leads dogs to becoming outstanding guardians.

5. Dogs Have Three Eyelids

Have you ever noticed that when your dog sleeps it looks like their eyes are rolling back into their heads? That’s their third eyelid, which is an extra membrane layer to provide additional protection.

6. The Nitrogen in Your Dog’s Urine is What Kills Grass

The yards of dog owners are often spotted with dead spots in the grass. That’s because dog urine has nitrogen in it, which kills grass.

7. Urine is Dog ID

Apologies for back to back urine-related facts, but your dog’s urine is akin to our IDs and driver’s licenses. The scent of your dog’s urine informs other dogs of their sex, age, size, and even mood. If our IDs had our mood on them, it’s safe to say most would be registered as cranky. Is there a more frustrating place to be than the DMV?

8. Dogs Smell 1000 Times Better Than Humans

Impressed that dogs hear 4 times better than us? That’s nothing compared to the superior sense of smell that dogs have. How something smells dictates quite a bit for dogs. Everything from taste, comfort, and communication is dictated by their powerful sense of smell.

9. Dogs Can Detect Seizures

There’s lots of different types of service dogs, but one of the more impressive types are dogs that assist people with epilepsy by detecting seizures.

10. Greyhounds Can Run up to 45 MPH

Greyhounds are the fastest breed of canine, as they have been bred and trained for racing for centuries. Reaching top speeds of 45 MPH, greyhounds run 17 MPH faster than the fastest human.

11. Baboons Keep Dogs in the Wild

That’s right, baboons love dogs too. Baboons have been observed to keep dogs for protection in the wild. However, it is not a common practice, as the two don’t always live in the same areas. In East Africa, Gelada Monkey and African Wolves have also been so cohabitating.

12. The Oldest Dog Lived to Age 29

The average lifespan of a dog will vary based on the breed of dog, but most dogs live between 10-13 years. Tipping that number is Bluey, the Australian Cattle Dog who lived to the ripe old age of 29 years old.

13. Dogs Dream Too

You may have noticed your dog twitching and having sudden movements while they sleep. That’s because they’re dreaming!

14. Dogs Have 42 Teeth

While the adult human mouth has 32 teeth, the adult dog has a impressive 42 chompers.

15. Humans and Dogs Have Been Pals for 14,000 Years

While there’s some disagreement on whether wolves were first domesticated by humans or vice versa, we do know that dogs and humans have lived together for at least 14,000 years.

Learn More About Puppies At PetPlace

15 random puppy facts not enough for your puppy appetite? You’re in luck! At PetPlace, we have thousands of vet-approved articles that cover everything from puppies, to kittens, to birds. Expand your pet knowledge and check us out!

Apartment Puppies

So, you decided to take the leap and get a new puppy. Congrats! Just because you live in an apartment, doesn’t mean that you can’t raise a puppy to live a happy and healthy life.

 

There are a lot of things you gain by living in an apartment: a simple lifestyle, convenience, and lower cost of living. But, in some cases, one of the biggest sacrifices of apartment living is not being able to have pets. If you’re lucky enough to live in an apartment that is dog friendly, it’s important to research the best breed of dog best suited to living in your apartment.

 

Here we’ve compiled a list of three dogs that are well suited for apartment life based on a set of desirable qualities.

 

What Makes a Good Apartment Dog?

At this point you’re probably asking yourself what qualities a dog could have that would make them ideal for living in an apartment. Different dog breeds have unique characteristics that make them better for different living conditions. There are dogs that are best for living with families, dogs that are best for active owners, and dogs that are better for cold weather, etc.

 

Similarly, there are dog breeds with certain characteristics that make them better suited for apartment living than others. Because you share walls you’ll want a dog that isn’t prone to barking, and a puppy that is easy to train to behave well. You’ll also want a dog that doesn’t need too much exercise and isn’t too big because of the limited space you have in an apartment. Taking these qualities into consideration we’ve found our top three recommendations of dogs best suited to living in an apartment for those of you that want to have your apartment and enjoy it too.

 

Top 10 Dogs for Apartment Dwellers

1. French Bulldogs

Our first recommendation is the French Bulldog. It’s a very friendly dog that’s low maintenance and easy to train. It won’t bark its head off every time someone passes by your door in the hallway, which will be appreciated by your neighbors. The French Bulldogs compact size is perfectly suited to a smaller apartment. French Bulldogs also don’t need a lot of exercise so they are the perfect canine addition to a family that’s on the run a lot.

2. Pugs

Pugs are our second recommendation for apartment dwellers. They were originally bred to be lap dogs so the tendency to be quiet and happy is in their DNA. They also require limited amounts of exercise, so a short walk each day will keep them happy. These are a few very important qualities that make them perfect apartment pets. Pugs are also relatively easy to train so they’ll behave themselves in a community living situation.

3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are a popular show dog and there’s a reason for that. They’re incredibly easy to train which is a quality that makes them the perfect apartment dog. They’re a bit larger than Pugs and French Bulldogs and so they need a bit more exercise as well but their low maintenance nature is still very noticeable and makes them a great option for a more active apartment dweller.

4. Maltese

The Maltese has always been known as the “most dramatic” member of the toy group. From their impressive coats to their regal behavior, these little drama kings and queens can dish out the drama as easily as they dish out love. This unique breed actually has spaniel ancestry as opposed to the common terrier pedigree of most small breeds.  Being descended from spaniels, the Maltese is typically has a quiet and docile personality. These lovable lap dogs can spend hours on a family member’s lap, relishing any attention. They’re typically not recommended for families with small children as the breed is more of a watcher than a player and small children might be a little too energetic for them.

5. Greyhound

This one might surprise you, due to their size, but Greyhounds make great apartment companions. These loveable giants are great with children, and despite their size, can happily spend hours lazing on a couch. Greyhounds still need daily exercise and enrichment, but watch out, your Greyhound might seem lazy, but if it sees a bunny or another small animal, it’s going to start running. And Greyhounds can run up to 43 mph, so make sure that your Greyhound is only ever let off leash in fenced-in areas. This breed is friendly and obedient and will make a great addition to any apartment household.

Crate Training your new Puppy

The first month of having a new puppy is such an exciting time. It’s among the more enjoyable experiences over the span of owning a dog. However, it’s probably one of the hardest periods of owning a dog. Before puppies know any better they think that tearing up any shoe they can get a paw on is all in good fun and you’re left with a closet full of left-footed shoes. Or maybe they’re just so excited they leave smelly presents in hidden places for you to find.

If you’re familiar with these experiences, you’ve probably decided to look into crate training your new puppy in order to curb these common puppy behavior problems. While this can be a difficult process it is often a great choice for both you and your new canine family member. We are here to walk you through the process of crate training from making the decision to begin and finally having your puppy comfortable spending time in the crate.

Why Choose Crate Training?

Crate training is a common choice many dog owners choose to ease the process of training a puppy. It requires some patience, but there are several benefits for taking the task on that will pay off for you and your puppy. When deploying crate training, you won’t have to worry about your puppy getting into mischief at home. Also, spending time in their crate at an early age will allow them to develop a calm and peaceful response to the crate and they’ll learn to enjoy it. It can even aid in the potty training process.

Selecting the Right Crate

Your first step in this process, after taking puppy home, is to pick the right crate for your dog. The two most common types of crates are made out of wire/mesh material and a hard plastic crate with a mesh metal door. The wire/mesh crate is best for people who want a crate that is easy to assemble and disassemble, and the hard plastic crate can be a good choice for owners who want a sturdier option with more privacy for their puppy. Hard plastic crates work well during car trips.

When choosing your dog’s crate, you should consider both their current and potential size. The crate should be large enough that your pup can stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. You don’t want one that’s too big, however, because the cozy size helps create a safe feeling for your dog as they are natural den animals.

Common Mistakes When Crate Training

  • Mistake #1: Using the crate as punishment. If you use the crate to punish your puppy they will learn to fear it and begin to refuse to enter. You want your puppy to love his crate.
  • Mistake #2: Crating your dog without easing into it and getting your puppy comfortable with it.
  • Mistake #3: Leaving your puppy in the crate for too long. Dogs can do well in crates if trained properly but they need time to stretch and run around too.

 

Best Practices for Crate Training

  • Practice #1: Before leaping in, begin by introducing your dog to the crate for short periods of time and make it a good experience for them by using positive reinforcement for spending time in it. Treats are a great reward.
  • Practice #2: Feed your dog their meals in the crate. This will force them to spend time in it and it will further their positive feelings toward it.
  • Practice #3: Put a comfy blanket or old towel in the bottom of the crate. This is supposed to be a safe retreat for your puppy and they’ll be spending a lot of time in it eventually so you’ll want them to be comfortable.
  • Practice #4: Place an old piece of clothing of yours into the crate. An old sweater or shirt works great. This allows your puppy to get a whiff of your scent in their crate, which gives them a peaceful feeling.
  • Practice #5: Adhere to a specific schedule. If you’re crating your puppy at night, try to put them in the crate at the same time each night. Putting them in the morning before work, do the same and try and keep the time consistent.
  • Practice #6: Puppys will play a lot, but they also take a lot of naps. It’s a good idea to try and schedule some naps in the crate for them during the day.
  • Practice#7: Be patient with your new puppy. This is a new experience for the both of you and he’ll need time to adjust.

If you follow all of these tips and avoid common mistakes people make you’re sure to successfully create a safe place for your puppy to enjoy and save all your shoes in the process. Crate training certainly can be a win-win!

Leash Training Your New Puppy

When you first bring a new puppy home, you want to get a head start on training to prevent behavior problems later on. One of the most important steps for doing this is leash training your puppy. You might choose an obedience class for some more rigorous training, but leash training can usually be done at home.

Some dogs are more easily trained than others but this process is never easy so it’s important to be patient with your new puppy and remember that learning a new skill is never easy. Before you can begin training your new puppy, you’ll need the proper supplies for training. A collar, a leash, and lots of treats to reward them for good behavior.

This post will provide you with a brief guide to the different kinds of leashes and collars that you can choose. This is just a general guide, however, so you should tailor your choices to your new puppy’s breed and your goals for training.

Types of Collars

Standard Flat Collars

The standard flat collar is what you probably think of when you picture a collar. It’s also likely what you’ll find an abundance of them at your local pet store. The standard flat collar is the most popular collar and a great choice for a puppy’s first collar especially if your ultimate goal is just being able to train your dog to walk calmly on a leash for his daily walks. This might not be the best choice for all dogs, however, because some breeds–greyhounds for example–slip out of them easily if their heads are smaller than their necks.

Harnesses

Harnesses are not just neck collars but they wrap around the upper body of your puppy as well. They’re a bit more restrictive and can be a good choice for large dogs that need more guidance while on a leash. They are also a good choice for dogs that need more training to perfect leash training.

Choke Chain Collars

Choke chain collars should not be your first choice if your goal is just to train your dog to behave on his daily walks. They are a popular choice by experienced trainers for dogs that need to be controlled more. These should not be used by owners who are inexperienced with them because they can be dangerous for a dog if not used properly and incorrect use can end up rendering them ineffective. If you think your dog might benefit from training on a choke chain collar you should consult a trainer about training options with them.

Types of Leashes

Standard Leashes

Standard leashes are often made out of the same material that standard flat collars are made out of. The average length of a standard leash is around 6 feet and they are often recommended for best results when first leash training your new puppy. One of their advantages in training is that they are sturdy and their length makes it easy to keep your pup close to you and under control while outside.

Retractable Leashes

Retractable leashes have become very popular in the past few years. They give the dog more freedom on the leash which is nice for your pup but may be counterproductive to your goals if you’re aiming to teach him to behave while on the leash. Retractable leashes can teach dogs to pull on the leash. When starting out training your puppy you may wish to start on a standard leash and graduate to a retractable one once they’ve matured a bit.

Additionally, retractable leashes are not a good choice for large dogs as they are not sturdy and have been known to break if you have a larger dog that likes to pull on them.

The Process of Training

Now that you’ve picked out the best leash and collar for your new pup it’s time to start actually training them. The first step in training your new pup is to introduce them to the collar and leash. You should try to make your pup enjoy being on the leash by using positive reinforcement when they’re on it. Treats work great as a tool for positive reinforcement.

Once your puppy has gotten used to wearing a collar and leash you should start by practicing walking indoors. Hold a treat out and walk backward while you have your puppy follow you on his leash. After you feel he’s comfortable with this you can move things outdoors. It’s best to keep the first few walks shorter to get the dog used to walking on a leash outside. Feel free to bring your treats with and make sure to get ahead of any problems he might cause by distracting him from lunging or pulling on the leash with a treat, or rewarding him for good behavior with one.