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Everybody wants a new puppy that fits well into their family. For families with young children, it’s important to consider which dog breeds tend to get along with kids. Here are some of the best dog breeds for kids and families.

Golden Retriever

With their medium to large build, golden retrievers are one of the sweetest dog breeds out there. This gentle giant gets along with everyone, from young kids to other dogs. Golden retrievers love to run around and stay active, which makes them the best pets for kids with tons of energy. They’re also loyal and will often return to their owners if they accidentally get off-leash. Finally, goldens are typically easy to maintain — busy families don’t have to worry about dedicating too much time to grooming a golden retriever.

Teddy Bear

The Teddy Bear, also known as the Schichon, is a cross between the shih tzu and the bichon frise. As the name suggests, this toy breed is extremely affectionate and cuddly. Teddy bear puppies inherit the intelligence and friendly nature of their parents — their ability to quickly learn new techniques and their eagerness to please make them wonderful family dogs. Moreover, thanks to their low-shed coats, teddy bear puppies are one of the best puppy breeds for people with allergies or asthma.

Cocker Spaniel

These purebred pups are a bundle of love, energy and affection. Originally bred as hunting dogs to catch birds, these smaller dogs enjoy engaging in family activities and spending time with their owners. The average Cocker Spaniel tends to be around 25 pounds and between 12 and 13 inches in height. Their physical and personality traits make them the perfect addition to any family looking for an energetic, loving pup that doesn’t take up too much space.

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador retriever is a medium-sized dog that ranges in height from 20 to 25 inches. Their sweet, outgoing temperaments make them some of the most kid-friendly dogs out there. These intelligent breeds enjoy gentle play and can spend hours out in the yard with more active family members. Labs get along with just about everyone, from children and adults to strangers and other dogs. Because of their medium builds, they’re best suited for homes that have large yards where they can get plenty of exercise.

Mini Poodle

If you’re looking for a puppy that can serve as a lifelong friend, consider a mini poodle. These friendly puppies are smaller versions of poodles and tend to range between 10 and 15 pounds in weight. Their small stature, friendly nature and love of the outdoors make this particular breed one of the best family dogs. If there’s one thing they love more than being the center of attention, it’s their family — you can expect a mini poodle puppy to shower you with cuddles and affection. Mini poodles are also approved as hypoallergenic dogs by the American Kennel Club.

German Shepherd

These popular dog breeds have served a variety of functions, from police dogs to guard dogs. What many people don’t realize is that they’re also great family pets. Known for their loyalty, Germans form strong attachments with their owners and enjoy a wide range of activities, from trips to the dog park to games of fetch in the yard. As an added bonus, they’re easy to groom — although German shepherds shed, brushing their coats regularly can help remove loose hairs. This combination of low maintenance and high energy makes the breed a good family dog.

Boston Terrier

This dog, often dubbed “the American gentleman,” is known for its amicable nature and distinct black and white markings. A crossbreed between an English bulldog and English white terrier, this friendly canine comes with tons of energy. These mixed breeds are best suited for active families and enjoy a wide range of hobbies, from tug of war to fetch.

Basset Hound

If you’re looking for a calm, easygoing dog that gets along with kids and other dogs, the basset hound might be the pet for you. These low-maintenance, friendly dogs are known for their gentle demeanor and affectionate natures, making them one of the best dogs for kids. However, basset hounds can be a bit stubborn, so it’s important to be patient with them.

Dachshund

When it comes to family dogs, dachshunds are one of the best dog breeds out there. These little dogs are intelligent and active and have a lust for life. They’re also incredibly social and get along with adults and kids alike. Dachshunds can also be trained to live with other animals, which makes them a good option for families with other pets.

Finding the Best Family Dog Breeds

Finding the best dogs for kids is difficult, but having the right breeder by your side can make the job easier. At Puppies St. Pete, we offer a range of sweet, healthy family dogs to complete your home. Whether you want a small dog that can get along with other pets or an active dog that can keep up on your hikes, we’ll work with you to discover the perfect match.

Once you’ve found your dream puppy, there’s no need to wait — with our free same-day and next-day delivery services, you can meet your new dog in no time! We personally hand-deliver every puppy, ensuring its safety and well-being. We also offer a bag of premium pet food with each delivery to ease the transition process. Every puppy comes microchipped, up to date on shots and with a slew of health guarantees, including a 10-year Peace of Mind Guarantee.

Our friendly family puppies are waiting to join their forever homes!

Bringing a new puppy home is a fun time for everyone in the house. During the transition from Puppies St. Pete to your home, you’ll have to ensure that you’re providing your puppy with some familiarity so it has time to adjust. One way you can do this is by keeping the puppy on the same food we feed it at Puppies St. Pete – Nutrisource, which is a super premium food.

Benefits of Super Premium Puppy Food

A super premium dry food is beneficial to your growing puppy because it provides the canine with a balanced diet. It can help keep the skin and coat healthy, and it keeps the puppy’s stools solid. Keeping the puppy on a super premium food means your puppy is less likely to have loose or frequent stools, which makes house training a bit easier.

High-quality puppy food is highly digestible, so your puppy will get the nutrition it needs. This can help to promote strong bones and healthy muscles. It also improves dental hygiene.

Some people think super premium puppy food is much more expensive than some of the low-quality foods, and it does appear that way if you only compare the price per bag. The truth of the matter is that super premium food isn’t a lot more expensive when you consider the amount you have to feed your puppy.

Super premium foods don’t have as much filler in them as the lesser quality dog foods, so it takes less food to meet the puppy’s nutritional needs. This means you won’t have to feed your puppy as much of the super premium food in order for them to get the nutrition and calories they need. This can also benefit the puppy by helping keep it at a healthy weight, since it won’t consume as many empty calories.

Each bag of super premium puppy food has instructions on a proper puppy feeding schedule. Check for your puppy’s current age and/or weight so you can feed it the appropriate amount per meal. Following the instructions on the bag or as provided by your puppy’s veterinarian helps ensure your puppy doesn’t become overweight or obese.

Feeding your pup the recommended amount of food is especially important during the first year of the puppy’s life. During this time, the puppy will need super premium puppy food to support its growth. Overfeeding can cause puppies to gain weight too quickly, which stresses the puppy’s organs and joints. Underfeeding can cause puppies to suffer from nutrition deficiencies, which can alter growth and change their mental abilities.

Transitioning to a New Puppy Food

Puppy owners sometimes opt to change their puppy to a new type of food. It’s best to do this slowly so the puppy doesn’t suffer from an upset tummy. Changing food too quickly can cause the puppy to have diarrhea or vomit.

If you opt to change foods, do so over the course of four days. You can introduce the new food by adding 1/4 of the recommended amount based on the puppy feeding chart on the bag to 3/4 of the puppy’s usual food serving. Each day, replace 1/4 more of the old food with the new food until the puppy is eating only the new food.

Before you commit to changing the puppy’s food, you should determine whether the new food is suitable for the puppy. There are several things to compare with the puppy’s current food if you’re considering a change.

  • Are all the nutrients in the new food comparable or better than the current food?
  • Is the new food suitable for your puppy’s age (don’t feed your puppy an adult dog food) and breed (large breed or small breed)?
  • Does the new food address the special dietary needs of your puppy?
  • How do the ingredients in the new food compare to the old food?

Pet parents should always feed their puppy a food that’s at least equal to the one they’re currently on. You shouldn’t ever reduce the quality of the food you feed the puppy, so changing to a grocery store brand, for example, isn’t a good idea. Reducing the quality of the puppy’s food can lead to skin, coat, stomach and similar issues.

Addressing Feeding Issues

Puppies will sometimes have challenges with eating. There are many reasons for this, but puppy owners have some options to help the puppy overcome the issues. It’s important that the puppy eats regularly, so consider using these tips if you see your puppy isn’t eating as it should.

  • Avoid feeding your puppy treats until its mealtime routine is well established at your home.
  • Feed your puppy only dry kibble for its meals.
  • Offer pet food twice per day and pick the bowl up after feeding time.
  • Add in canned or wet food only if the puppy’s appetite needs to be stimulated.

Some puppies appear to have feeding issues because their owners try to feed them right after playtime. Puppies may need a little time to rest after they play before they want to eat. This is especially true if they have a high activity level when they play. Giving the puppy time to cool down may also reduce the risk of the puppy having an upset stomach.

Remember, puppies go through growth spurts. Because of this, slight changes in their eating habits usually aren’t anything to worry about. Feeding issues that are serious enough to require a veterinarian’s care don’t happen often, but you should contact the veterinarian’s office if you think your puppy needs their care.

Puppies will need to go potty after they eat, so be sure you allow time for this. You don’t want the puppy to have accidents in the house or associate feeding time with getting in trouble for using the bathroom in the house.

Our team at Puppies St. Pete is ready to help you find the newest member of your family. We’ll discuss your puppy’s current feeding schedule with you so you can gradually move the pup to a schedule that works for your home. Just remember that you have to watch how the puppy handles the transitions. Some puppies might need a longer transition than others.

Bringing a new puppy home means you have some work ahead of you. In the first 120 days of puppyhood — just four months — you have to ensure you take the time to mold the puppy into the kind of family pet you want. This time period is when it’s the most influenced by your instruction.

Why Do Puppies Bite?

In the wild, a adult dog uses its mouth to interact with the world. This doesn’t change just because the dog lives in your home; it still has natural instincts to deal with. Puppies try to learn about their surroundings by mouthing objects to feel their texture.

Another reason some puppies bite is because they’re teething. This is similar to the discomfort of teething in human babies. The puppy’s sore gums are bothering them as the puppy teeth break through, so they chew to stop the itch and discomfort.

While it isn’t very common, some puppies will bite as a defense mechanism. They will likely only do this when they’re provoked, so be sure to watch for provocation if you notice this occurring.

Ascertaining the underlying cause of the biting is imperative to correct the action. You’ll likely need a variety of methods to try to correct it. This may include preventive measures, corrective actions and positive reinforcement. Seeing what works for your puppy will show you what types of training it responds to.

How Can You Correct a Nipping Puppy?

There are several ways you might be able to correct a puppy that’s nipping. It isn’t likely that you’ll be able to stop the little nips. Instead, you should focus on teaching your new puppy that it shouldn’t bite down hard.

In the wild, the puppy’s mother or littermates will yelp loudly to let the puppy know when it’s gone too far with a bite. You can mimic this yelping by making a loud, high-pitched noise, such as “ow!” to alert the puppy to the pain caused by its sharp teeth.

Sometimes, puppies bite when they’re overly excited. This can be corrected by taking the puppy outside and letting it play. You can use this time as a potty break for the puppy as well.

It’s also possible that the biting is to let you know something’s wrong. Some puppies get nippy when they’re hungry or thirsty, so offer the dog food and water to determine if this is the issue.

Rough play with a puppy may also encourage puppy biting behaviors. It’s important for you to have a positive relationship with your puppy, but during the training phase, you need to show the dog what’s appropriate. This means you may have to stop playing if you see that some types of play are causing your puppy to become too excited and bite. Switch to gentle play to help the puppy calm itself down.

Can Toys Help Prevent Biting?

Toys can help a puppy that’s trying to learn. You can offer suitable chew toys to a puppy if it’s trying to chew on the furniture or other items. Try to offer toys with varying textures and sizes. These can turn the puppy’s attention to exploring them instead of chewing on forbidden items.

It’s a good idea to leave the toys around the house for the puppy so it can chew on them whenever it feels the urge. This can help to keep a new puppy occupied so it doesn’t get into trouble.

An important thing to remember when teaching your puppy which items it’s allowed to chew on: If your dog is chewing on something you don’t want it to, don’t try to pull that item away from it. In canine language, that makes the pup think it should chew on the item more. It may also see your actions as trying to play a fun game of tug-of-war with the item, which could negate your efforts to teach the puppy appropriate behaviors.

A better choice is redirection: Offer the pup a teething toy to gain its attention while you remove the item it shouldn’t chew on.

You may have to try a variety of chew toys for the puppy, but remember you should only offer safe puppy toys. Some items can be choking hazards for puppies, so be selective in what you use. Items that offer some mental stimulation, such as toys that can hold small treats, may keep the dog occupied longer, and the treats serve as an additional positive reinforcement.

When Do You Need to Seek Assistance?

If your puppy is still biting and nippy by the time it’s six months old, you may need to consult a  dog trainer who has experience in this type of matter. A puppy trainer may be able to help you determine the root cause of the biting and suggest a solution that helps.

In most cases, you’ll be able to correct this natural behavior, with a bit of consistency on your part. You’ll have to determine exactly what works for your puppy and focus on that throughout the training. If you see your furry companion start to bite again, you’ll have to continue using methods of correction that you know work.

While you’ll have a long time to reinforce the behaviors you want your puppy to exhibit, those first four months are the most critical. Once your puppy has the foundation down, you can start to work on other training components while you continue to reinforce the initial training.

Puppies in Florida Heat - sun bathing puppyMost puppy owners want to keep their pets as comfortable as possible throughout the year. For those who live in Florida, this means ensuring your puppy isn’t overheating during the hot and humid months of the year.

Your puppy can’t speak out if it’s getting too hot. Instead, you have to take proactive steps to reduce the chance of a heat-related condition. Fortunately, there are many options that can help keep your puppy cooler in the hot weather. Many of these aren’t expensive and can be fun for the rest of the family. Consider these tips to help your pup enjoy living with you in Florida.

Help Your Pet Handle Heat

Obesity can contribute to overheating in puppies, which is why it’s critical that Florida puppy owners take the time to ensure they’re following directions on the foods they feed their puppy. Overfeeding can lead to the puppy becoming overweight.

Puppies should also have ample exercise to help improve their cardiovascular system, which is directly tied to their ability to pant to cool down. Taking walks with your puppy can help. Look for walking paths at local parks that have ample shade. This helps your puppy remain cooler while still allowing it to get time outdoors and exercise. It’s a great chance for you to do the same while enjoying the puppy!

Take the Puppy Out at Appropriate Times

You should avoid taking your puppy out in the heat of the day. This is typically 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. but might be a bit later in the middle of summer. It’s a better idea to take the puppy for walks or out for exercise in the early morning or late evening hours. If you have trouble handling the heat, the puppy likely will too.

Of course, puppies will likely have to go out to potty during the day. Keep these times outside short, and be sure they have shade and water readily available to help keep their temperature under control. You might even consider offering cold water in a bowl that has an ice cube in it.

Never Leave the Puppy in a Vehicle

Vehicles heat up quickly. You can’t leave your puppy in a car when the temperatures are high in Florida. Some people think they can leave the window down a crack for ventilation, but that isn’t enough. It’s best to leave your puppy at home in the air conditioning if you can’t bring it inside with you when you’re running errands.

Because the temperatures in a closed vehicle increase rapidly, there’s a great chance the puppy will succumb to heat-related issues before you even realize there’s a problem. While you might think you only need to be careful on hot days, it’s advisable to keep puppies out of parked cars even in warm weather just because of how much the vehicle can heat up in the sun.

Check Surface Temperatures

Temperatures on the ground are considerably higher than the temperature in the air. This is especially true if you’re on black asphalt. The pads of a puppy’s feet are very sensitive to heat, so there’s a chance they can get burned on the scalding pavement.

A good test for the pavement is to place your hand on it. If you can’t leave it comfortably, your puppy shouldn’t walk on the pavement. There isn’t sufficient time for the pads of its paws to cool down between steps, so your puppy’s paws become more painful with each step if the pads are scalded or burned.

Puppy owners can head out to dirt or grass trails to walk their puppy. This can help keep puppies cool because the sun and heat won’t reflect off the surface. If you aren’t sure whether there’s shade on the pathways, consider packing a backpack with an expandable umbrella. And don’t forget to pack water and a bowl for the puppy!

Know the Signs of a Heat-Related Problem

Excessive panting is one of the primary signs that a puppy is struggling with the heat. This may seem almost frantic. The puppy will likely slow down considerably to try to cool off some. You may also notice that the puppy’s nose is dry and its gums are white. Drooling is another sign of a heat issue.

Develop a Plan to Cool Off

If you notice signs that your puppy is struggling with the heat, it’s time to start your cooling-off plan. Overheated pups need to get to a cooler place quickly. One idea that you might use at home is adding a sprinkler or kiddie pool to the yard. Florida puppies love to play in cool water, and it’s a perfect break from the summer heat. If you have a pool at home, introduce your puppy to the water there so it’s comfortable with the pool.

There are other ways to help an overheating puppy. Move the puppy to a cooler area, ideally in air conditioning. If you’re outside and can’t get inside, find a shady area. Always have plenty of water on hand to offer the puppy.

Spritzing the puppy may also help; however, don’t try to cool the puppy down using ice or ice water because the sudden frigid temperatures can shock the body and won’t cool the pup internally.

Ultimately, pet owners are a puppy’s best defense against overheating. Preventing them from having heat-related issues is beneficial to their health. If something happens and the puppy does get too hot, be sure to seek out care from a veterinarian. This enables you to learn if there are any long-term adverse impacts you need to address.

Getting a new puppy is an exciting time for pet parents. But if you already have a dog, you might wonder about the best way to bring the new arrival home. How will the older dog respond? Will it get jealous?   

After all, while grown pets often welcome a little buddy, they still naturally protect their territory. 

Bringing a New Puppy Home With Another Dog

But introducing a pup to an established dog doesn’t have to be stressful. With a small amount of planning, both pets can live happily and calmly together. These handy hints explain the best way of introducing your puppy to dogs you already own. 

While some dogs take to a new and different sibling right away, others can struggle to adapt. This new source of competition for their owners’ love, affection, and food can cause even laid-back pooches to become distrustful. Allowing both dogs to meet at home without a proper introduction can result in jealousy. Additionally, the grown doggy is more than capable of hurting a young puppy.

The First Meeting 

If you’re picking up the puppy in advance, ask the breeder for a piece of material that has the pup’s scent on it. Let your current pooch smell the item at home; this allows it to make an association with the new dog. 

 

Neutral Ground

The first time the dogs meet should happen on neutral ground, such as a neighbor’s yard or a place your resident dog hasn’t marked. This way, the older pooch won’t become fearful, threatened, or protective of its land — in this case, your home or garden. 

If a neutral territory isn’t available, use a place other dogs use often. The older pet will have fewer territory claims and be more willing to greet the second dog, and they can start getting used to each other. Have the adult dog on a leash while someone else it’s familiar with has the puppy (also on a lead). Next, gently let them meet and sniff each other. Remember not to hold them tight to your side; they’ll feel restricted.

Bonding Playtime 

At this point, a great way to keep things relaxed is by taking them for a stroll together. A walk in a neutral area reduces tension and anxiety while establishing that all-important familiarity. Both dogs will be too distracted by the sights and scents of the world around them to become agitated. 

This meet should be brief, with you calm and composed throughout. Dogs sense tension and are prone to be on guard and stressed if their owner is. The older pet will assess your emotions and look to you to figure out how to react.  

Homeward Bound

Then, let them have playtime and walk into the house together. But before bringing your new addition home, be sure to:

  • Make sure both dogs have had vaccinations
  • Hide your current dog’s favorite toys 
  • Have separate rooms available so they can time out 
  • Use different food bowls to prevent possessive behavior

For the first week or two, monitor both dogs to establish if they’re happy with each other. Your attention and affection should be on the current pet at this stage. Focusing on the resident dog is reassuring for it and helps quell any brewing feelings of jealousy.

 

New Home

On the puppy’s first day home, give it extra time in its new crate to become accustomed to the environment. This also allows the existing dog to get used to the new arrival. Often, puppies want to jump all over older pets, so a little restriction via crating can calm things down when needed.

Another tip to help them get along is for each to have its own toys. If the new pup picks up the senior’s toys, a firm “No” is required before returning the toy to the elder dog. Don’t forget to spend time with just you and the senior to refresh your bond. Also, give the older dog a safe space where it’s allowed but the upstart isn’t (consider a baby gate if necessary). This will refresh the senior’s patience and help it accept the newbie. 

Signs of Agitation 

Of course, when home, your new puppy will want to play and generally muscle in on everything, even if the older animal is showing signs of agitation. But, because of its age, the pup won’t understand canine body language very well. The body language of the elder pet in the initial weeks is going to be crucial to give an insight into how it’s tolerating the young upstart and how they’re getting on. 

Key dog behavior to be on the lookout for includes:

  • Raised fur on the back of the neck
  • Prolonged stares
  • Growls and snarling
  • Teeth displaying

It almost goes without saying, but these behaviors should cause you to keep an extra-watchful eye on the interaction.  Everyone needs a break from time to time, and dogs are no different from puppies in this. 

Natural Behavior 

Don’t punish your older dog when it shows these signs (as long as they’re still in the warning phase). This “back off” behavior is natural, and reprimanding it for correcting the pup can lead to confusion — besides, the youngster has to learn. After all, puppies badly behave: They jump up without being invited and are liable to steal toys or food. The young dog has to learn how to behave and where boundaries lie. 

The Old Routine

It’s a given that your first few weeks are going to involve sleepless nights, whining, and unplanned potty breaks. But settling back into the routine of the older pet is really important at this stage. Besides keeping the disruption to its life minimal, the best part of having an established dog around is that it’s already the best example to copy. 

Once they trust each other, teaching the new family member crucial aspects of dog training like potty training and socialization is far easier.  

The Best Teacher

The new puppy should be taken outside to practice potty training and allowed to watch and learn — likewise when learning social skills like meeting new friends and going places. This process is so much smoother when there’s an older pet at home, one that’s already learned through human instruction. 

Like all animal behavior, it can seem like two steps forward, one step back at times, but the steps above should help get both doggies more comfortable with each other and help them become doggie best friends in no time.   

 

Most people get a dog with the expectation that it will be a family member and companion. Some dog owners aren’t prepared to deal with some of the more complex behaviors that come with a new dog. One issue that some dogs face is that they don’t want to be away from their owners.

Separation anxiety can quickly turn into a challenging situation. It’s important that all dog owners find out how to address this matter so they can take care of it before it gets out of hand.

What Are the Signs of Separation Anxiety in Dogs?

Dogs can display a variety of signs that they’re experiencing separation anxiety. These often manifest as behavioral issues. These include things like eating feces, ignoring food and greeting you with a lot of energy when you get home. Some of those symptoms of separation anxiety don’t bother owners much, but some dogs that have separation anxiety will become destructive. This can include trying to dig within the home, scratching at furniture or chewing things.

What Causes Separation Anxiety in Dogs?

There are many factors that can cause separation anxiety in dogs. These can vary considerably from one case to the next. People tend to think that it only happens because the dog misses their humans. This is far from the only reason.

Dogs need to have confidence in themselves and their humans. When either of those are faltering, there’s a greater chance that severe separation anxiety will occur. Changes in patterns that the dog is accustomed to can lead to this. Moving to a new home, not having proper training, the loss of another pet and boredom are also causes of separation anxiety in dogs.

One of the most important things that pet parents can do to help their furry family members deal with separation anxiety is determine the underlying cause of the dog’s behavior. This isn’t always easy, but looking at how things have changed for the dog recently might give you a clue if your dog is exhibiting the problematic signs of separation anxiety.

How to Help a Dog with Separation Anxiety

When you’re trying to figure out how to help a dog with separation anxiety, you have to figure out what’s triggering the behavior. This might be a challenge, but you can narrow things down by paying attention to what sets the dog off. You can try these tips to see if they help alleviate the behaviors.

  • Consider another companion pet: Many dogs enjoy the companionship of another dog. Having a buddy can alleviate any anxiety when you’re away simply because they have their own best friend to enjoy the day with.
  • Try to downplay the greetings: If you have a habit of making a big deal out of the goodbyes, the dog might get nervous. When it’s getting attention for being hyper when greeting you, it will take that as a sign that it should continue the behavior.
  • Exercise your dog before you leave: This might help the dog exert the energy it needs to become destructive. Going for a walk with your dog can also help reinforce the trust between you and the dog. Consider going to a dog park if you can. This can give your dog exercise as well as socialization with other dogs, which can boost confidence for your dog.
  • Work your way up to longer periods of time: Try leaving the dog alone for a few seconds or minutes at a time. Slowly increase that amount of time until they’re comfortable being without you for the normal time you’ll be gone on a regular basis.
  • Give your dog its own space: This gives it a place where it can feel secure. You can try using calming treats in that area to help it remain calm.
  • Turn on the music: Having noise in the background may help the dog to feel better when you’re gone.
  • Leave comfort items around the house: This might be a shirt that has your scent or a favorite (safe) chew toy. Consider adding toys, such as puzzle toys, that provide mental stimulation.
  • Consider taking your dog to doggie daycare: This might help it to remain enriched so it doesn’t have time for destructive chewing and other behavior problems. Some doggy daycares might even have programs to train your dog while you’re gone. This might help with treating separation anxiety. Be sure you’re prepared to reinforce these skills at home.

Additionally, it might be helpful to call in a dog trainer to help you figure out how to help your dog. A professional dog trainer or animal behaviorist can talk to you and give you suggestions that are targeted to your dog. They may be able to help you through individual training sessions with the dog. If you do this, be sure you keep up with the suggestions they offer. Some of the training points are cumulative, so the dog will only respond to them if you keep them up.

Contact Us with Questions

When you adopt a puppy from us, our communication doesn’t stop when you bring your new family member home. At Puppies St. Pete, we have years of experience and are happy to help you to support your puppy. You can contact us at 727-216-6110 if you have concerns about what’s going on with your puppy. We want you and your new furry family member to be as happy as possible.

Along with the fun and excitement of a new puppy, dog owners must deal with a few of the more mundane essentials. House training is one of these, yet it’s a pivotal step for ensuring happy ownership for years to come. And let’s face it, no one wants to encounter a mess in the living room after work or in their downtime. The good news is that potty training is pretty straightforward and achievable. From the first day, it helps form lifelong bonds and underpin further good behavior.

The Basics

House training requires patience, commitment and lots of consistency! Remember, it’s not instinctive for dogs to poop outside. It’s only natural for them to not go where they sleep or eat. Even untrained adult dogs will happily resort to going in the house. Accidental peeing and soiling will happen and is part of the whole process. By following these guidelines, however, your furry new companion will be on the right track!

The Power of Association

Dogs learn by linking cause-and-effect and crucially, through repetition. When you help them make the right associations by anticipating needs and showing what you expect, they quickly get into the right habits. In other words, reward good behavior with positive reinforcement.

How Long to Potty Train a Puppy?

It typically takes 4-6 months of house training to get it right. There are, of course, many factors that determine this, such as age, breed and your methods. Generally speaking, young puppies can control their bladder one hour for every month of age. In other words, at two months old, they can hold it for about two hours. Older puppies can often hold it for longer overnight, but you shouldn’t expect an uninterrupted night’s sleep for a week or two.

Potty Training Tips

Regardless of breed or age, there are three essential principles for success for new puppy owners:

  1. Recognizing the telltale signs puppy wants to go
  2. Reinforcing the good behavior of going outside
  3. Establishing a feeding schedule

If these are followed, the whole process becomes as hassle-free as it can be. In fact, this dog training milestone should be really straightforward.

Signs That Your New Puppy Needs to Go

Be sure to watch for signs that your puppy needs a potty break.

Some of these include:

  • Barking or scratching at the door
  • Squatting, restlessness
  • Sniffing around or circling

When you see these behaviors, immediately take it outside to a designated potty area. Pick a potty spot outside and aim to return to this place. Again, this will form an association and create established scent markers. Using phrases such as “bathroom” or “toilet” from the first time is an excellent idea so that it learns to associate that word with pooping and peeing. In addition to the signs above, take your puppy outside at least every two hours: after it wakes up, during and after playtime and after eating or drinking.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement in the form of praise and rewards is a cornerstone of all dog training. Rewarding for a successful potty break is no exception. Reinforcement in house training means that every time your pup gets it right, it should get rewarded. This could be in the form of a treat or just lots and lots of verbal praise. But remember to do so immediately after it’s finished.

Establish a Regular Feeding Schedule

Depending on their age, puppies usually need to eat three or four times a day. Feeding them at the same time each day makes it easier for you to anticipate their bowel movements and an imminent potty break. When it comes to water, it’s a good idea to restrict access to water for a couple of hours before bedtime. This will reduce the likelihood of them needing to relieve themselves during the night.

Associating Scent

Dogs hate defecating where they sleep or rest. It’s a powerful ingrained instinct. On the other hand, they also have the instinct to go where they’ve been before. So it’s important to properly and immediately clean places where the puppy has had an accident. Be sure to use enzyme-based removers available from the pet store. Without that scent, puppies won’t associate the area with relieving themselves. If your puppy wanders, the first bit of carpet it finds away from where it sleeps and eats is going to become an unplanned potty spot. Carpet is soft under its paws and makes it think it’s standing on grass.

How to Potty Train a Puppy When You Work

So you understand the power of association, you get the importance of a regular schedule and you know the signs of impending bathroom breaks. But there’s still one thing: How do you continue the training process when you’re at work? A typical 8-week-old puppy needs potty breaks at least every three hours as well as playtime! Changes in the way most of us work in recent times mean more of us are now working from home. If this isn’t an option, though, this means planning ahead and really comes down to two options:

  1. Find a reputable pet sitter who can help you while you’re at work all day.
  2. Set up a safe, puppy-proofed area on the floor. Accept the fact that your pup’s potty-training progress might proceed at a slower pace.

Put together a small baby gate area for your pup measuring three by five feet where they can be safely confined. This should be on an area that is easy to clean and cannot be ruined by accidents, such as the kitchen tile. Cover the floor with several layers of newspaper or puppy pads to contain any accidents the young dog might have while you’re gone. Put a soft bed in one corner where the pup can sleep. Or even better, a dog crate.

Crate Training 

Crate training can seem a bit off-putting to new dog owners. Using a dog crate is the subject for a whole new article, but the principle behind them in house training is this: Dogs don’t like a urine-soaked rug in their living space any more than you do. It’s important that the crate is the right size — just large enough for the dog to lie down, stand up and turn around. If it’s too large, the dog may use one corner for elimination and then settle down away from the mess. First thing in the morning and when you get home from work, take the puppy out. You should also be taking it out before bedtime and keeping it on a routine feeding schedule.

Puppy Pads

If you aren’t comfortable with the idea of a dog crate or want to insure any unsupervised areas of your home, consider puppy potty pads.  These give a dog the option of relieving itself in an approved spot at home. As it matures, you can then work on having the dog do its business outdoors all the time. Allowing puppies to use potty pads inside the house can confuse them about where they’re supposed to go. This may slow down the potty training process and should be avoided if possible. Pee pads shouldn’t be a substitute for going outside unless you have a special situation — work or living in a high-rise apartment, for example.

House Training Setbacks

Following these pointers will usually result in a well house-trained puppy. But inevitably, things don’t go as planned. If your dog has an accident, just clean up the mess, no fuss. Remove the scent, reflect on the signs and causes and continue as before. Then, go back to more frequent trips and increase supervision. Retraining is natural and normal, for both adult and young dogs.

To Sum Up…

  • Scheduling, praise and building associations (particularly scent) are key.
  • Accidents are inevitable and not a big deal.
  • Try to enjoy it. Florida puppies are only young once!

Puppy potty training is one of the first things you’ll do to help your pet get acquainted with its new home. There are many ways to go about it, and accidents won’t stop overnight. But, if you follow the rules laid out here, you can expect to see a house-trained young dog in no time! Visit our homepage to find a new puppy for sale you can adopt today!

Chihuahua puppy inside crateOnce you’ve chosen the perfect pup and bought all the essential supplies to care for it, you’re almost ready to bring your new friend home. But first, you need to set up a cozy space for puppy to hang out.

During the early days of puppyhood, it’s important your new companion has a safe area that’s all its own. This gives your doggy a place to retreat and reduces its anxiety as it settles into its new home. It also limits access to the rest of the house and keeps your pup out of trouble when you aren’t able to supervise. As your puppy grows and learns boundaries and good habits, you can expand its space and eventually let it stay unsupervised throughout the house.

Get your canine pal off to a good start with these tips for setting up a safe space for puppy.

Start With Crate Training

Many dog owners crate train when they first bring home their puppy. Choose a crate that has enough room for the dog to stand up, turn around and stretch out. Some crates have a divider so you can make the space bigger as your pup grows.

The crate is useful for keeping your dog safe when you have to leave it alone, but remember that puppies shouldn’t be crated for more than a few hours. Crates are known as short-term confinement areas.

Choosing the Right Space for Puppy

When your puppy is used to its crate, you can set up a playpen, also called a long-term confinement area. Select a small room that’s fully enclosed and doesn’t contain furniture, wires or other things a puppy can chew on. Simply close off the room with a baby gate so you can still see your puppy.

You can also set up a metal wire pen in a larger room such as a kitchen. A linoleum or tile floor is ideal because there’s inevitably going to be cleanup involved.

What to Put in the Puppy Play Area

Your puppy’s space should contain everything it needs to be comfortable: a bed, toilet area, water bowl and toys. By starting off with these basic elements, your dog learns to do things in appropriate areas.

1. Bed or rest area

Place your dog’s bed on one side of the space. You can use a standalone dog bed, the cushion from its crate or the crate itself. Whichever option you choose, ensure the bed is chew-proof.

2. Water bowl

Keep plenty of water in the pen so your dog stays hydrated. Place the water bowl close to the bed, and choose a weighted or non-skid bowl that’s less likely to spill if your puppy is pushing the bowl or being playful.

3. Toilet area

Puppies aren’t able to hold their pee or poop for long periods of time, so it’s essential there’s a toilet area in the pen. Place this section as far from the bed as possible.

Look for puppy pads that have adhesive bottoms so you can fasten them to the floor and keep them in place. You can also find dog toilet pet mats that are covered in a material resembling grass and have a container underneath that holds urine.

4. Chew toys

Dogs have a natural instinct to gnaw, so keep plenty of safe chew toys in the playpen to engage your puppy. Puzzle toys stuffed with treats keep them stimulated and stave off boredom.

Introducing Your New Puppy to Its Safe Space

Before you place your puppy in its playpen, take it for a long walk so it’s ready for a rest. Give it a few treats and spend time with it inside the pen before you close it. Soon, your doggy will learn that its designated space is safe, comfortable and relaxing. If you’re ready to share your home with a furry new companion, meet some adorable puppies.

Bringing a puppy into your home means plenty of fun times ahead, but it’s inevitable that your new companion will get into trouble. It’s important to stop puppy bad habits in their tracks, whether you’ve got a dog that’s chewing shoes, jumping on visitors or begging to be fed at the table.

While it can be upsetting to discover your new pet getting into mischief, remember that introducing it to its new home and establishing boundaries takes time. Dogs don’t intuitively understand what’s considered right, wrong or off-limits.

How Do You Curb Puppy Bad Habits?

When you catch your dog misbehaving, the best tactic is a firm but gentle “no” and redirecting to another activity. Scolding or punishment doesn’t work, as it can encourage your pup to wait until you’re not in the room before trying again. Dogs respond well to positive reinforcement, so let your dog know when it’s done something correctly by rewarding the desired behavior.

Why Dogs Get Into Trouble

Sometimes there are recurring reasons a dog gets into mischief.

• It’s not getting enough stimulation. Make sure you regularly take your puppy outside to explore, run and play. Offer new toys and treat puzzles to play with.

• It needs more attention. Dogs love their humans, and getting attention for misbehaving is better than not getting any attention. Be sure to give your puppy plenty of tender loving care.

• It’s being rewarded. You might be inadvertently reinforcing bad behavior. For example, petting your dog to stop it from barking at the door only encourages the behavior.

If you continue having problems, ask your veterinarian if there might be a medical reason — perhaps your puppy can’t control where it’s urinating or its mouth hurts, causing it to gnaw incessantly.

Curbing Puppy Bad Habits

Here are some common puppy bad habits and tips for encouraging alternate behavior.

Chewing Anything and Everything

Puppies have a natural desire to chew as a way to discover textures and tastes and learn about the world. They may also gnaw on things to keep their teeth clean or because they’re bored. Make sure your puppy has plenty of appropriate chew toys and food puzzles to keep it busy. When you spot your dog chomping on a shoe or furniture, redirect its attention to toys or bones.

Pulling on a Leash

Going on a walk can be challenging when all your puppy wants to do is run off in all directions. While your first instinct might be to pull back on the leash or drag your dog with you, the best strategy is to communicate to your dog that misbehaving means the walk stops. Stay perfectly still and don’t give your dog attention. Once your puppy settles, the walk can continue.

Please Feed Me

While it’s tempting to feed your dog a few bites from your dinner plate when it’s looking at you with sad eyes, rewarding your dog with food when it’s whining at the table develops a bad habit. Ignore your puppy or, better yet, keep it occupied with its own dinner or a treat toy while you enjoy your meal. Make sure the whole family follows the rules.

Digging Up the Yard

Dogs love the adventure of digging and finding treasure. If your puppy is repeatedly leaving holes in your garden, consider designating a small section of your yard for digging fun. Bury favorite toys and redirect your puppy to its own sandbox when its attention is focused on your plants.

Greeting Visitors With Barks

It’s very common for a knock on the door to be followed by barks. If your puppy gets overexcited, gently direct it to the desired response, such as sitting quietly on a mat. Spend time practicing the behavior, and be sure to reward your dog once they understand what you want them to do.

Patience and Consistency Are Key

Remember that your dog is still learning and it takes time to correct puppy bad habits. Be consistent, caring and patient — the effort is well worth it. If you’re ready to welcome a new puppy into your life, meet some sweet puppies for sale near Tampa that are looking for a home.

It’s important to choose the right canine companion for your family, especially if you have little children. The good news is, dogs and young kids can get along famously, fostering loving relationships for years to come.

To help with your search for the perfect puppy, we’ve rounded up a list of 10 family-friendly breeds. These dogs typically have playful and affectionate personalities that make them a good fit for homes with little ones.

Dachshund

The lovable dachshund has a long body and little legs that keep it low to the ground. Despite its small size, it’s full of energy and can keep up with the most active families. Dachshund puppies come in standard and miniature sizes, with smooth, long or wiry coats, so you’re sure to find one that wins over your heart.

Teddy Bear

Teddy Bear puppies are a lovable small breed dog. Affectionate and inquisitive, the Teddy Bear is a non shedding hypoallergenic playful friend for you and your family. Teddy Bears are small yet sturdy enough to enjoy playful interaction with children.

Cockapoo

Friendly and gentle this light hearted breed will bring joy to your life. The Cockapoo is a medium sized non shedding easy to train partner. This extremely popular breed is outgoing and requires moderate levels of activity. Agile and lovable the Cockapoo puppy makes for a great friend.

Boston Terrier

Affectionate, gentle, and always formally dressed the Boston Terrier is one of America’s favorite breeds. Holding to classic terrier form this mighty pup brings lots of fun and energy. The Boston has a huge personality and is a great friend to have. This breed ranges from 15 to 25 pounds and typically stands 11 to 18 inches tall. The Boston is relatively easy to groom and generally adapts well to training.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

It’s hard to resist this toy breed’s big round eyes, floppy ears and gentle demeanor. Cavalier King Charles spaniels love company and fit perfectly into homes with other dogs and young kids. Easygoing and adaptable, they’re content with quiet cuddle time and an active, outdoor lifestyle.

Beagle

Bred as a hunting dog, beagles are loyal, friendly pups that enjoy good company and lots of exercise. They’re often described as happy and sweet-tempered. Smaller beagles grow up to 13 inches and weigh less than 20 pounds. Larger varieties are between 13 and 15 inches in height and weigh up to 30 pounds.

Pug

With their smooshy faces and soulful eyes, pugs are one of the most expressive breeds of dogs. These pups are easygoing and patient and love their humans, making them great companions for young kids.

Miniature Poodle

Miniature poodles may look elegant and reserved, but standard poodles are good-natured and energetic. Their trademark curly fur sheds less dander than most other furry friends, making them a good option for families with allergies. Smart and obedient, these well-mannered dogs are easily trained.

Siberian Husky

A pack dog by nature, the Siberian husky loves people and thrives as part of a family. Siberian husky puppies so sociable that even strangers can be showered with affection. This free-spirited canine is used to working hard pulling sleds and loves to get out for a good run.

Golden Retriever

Golden Labrador retrievers are smart and easy to train, which is why they’re often used as guide dogs and in search-and-rescue missions. They’re also a popular breed for families thanks to their infectious exuberance. These beautiful pups love to fetch and swim and are patient with children, making them devoted canine friends.

While all of these breeds are popular choices for families, keep in mind that every pup has a unique temperament, and dogs and young kids should always be supervised. But once you’ve found the right match, your new furry friend can bring many years of happiness and companionship. Find a puppy for sale near Tampa today.

When you bring a new puppy home, you’re at the beginning of a lifelong relationship that’s going to bring you and your furry friend unlimited joy. It’s no walk in the park, though. You’ll need to work hard in the beginning to end up with a well-behaved and happy adult dog. The first three months are vital when it comes to all types of training. Patience, positive reinforcement and consistency will be your three most powerful potty training tools.

Proper training instills good habits and helps build a bond between the two of you based on trust and respect. It usually takes around four to six months for a pup to be fully house-trained, but it can take up to a year for some. Size is often a decent indicator of how frequently your dog will need to eliminate. For example, small dogs need to urinate more frequently because they have small bladders and a faster metabolism.

When Should House-Training Start?

Most experts recommend starting the potty training process at around 12 weeks old. Before this point, dogs don’t have enough muscle control to hold it in. Even though they’re animals, puppies are still self-conscious when it comes to toileting. So make sure you don’t get angry or punish your pup for accidents, because it’s likely to make training harder. Rewarding good behavior has proven to be the most effective way to approach house-training.

5 Steps for Potty Training a Puppy

When your pup first arrives, it’s a good idea not to let them roam freely around the house. Keep them in one room or a spacious crate while they’re learning, and gradually give them more freedom as they learn they need to go outside to potty. Being consistent about the essential aspects of their daily life, such as food and sleep, will help make them more obedient and trusting overall. Follow these steps when you start potty training your new puppy to give them the best chance of winning:

  1. Be super-strict when it comes to mealtimes and feeding. Provide meals at the same time each day, and only give the recommended amount for your breed. Never feed them between meals or give in to begging! It will undermine your authority with the puppy.
  2. Take them out every half an hour to an hour, depending on size and the individual. Always take them out after meals, when they wake up and before they go to bed.
  3. Let them do their business in the same spot each time. They’ll detect their scent and it will prompt them to go.
  4. Never let them go unsupervised during the early stages.
  5. Give your clever little furball a treat every time they potty outside. It doesn’t always have to be food; playtime, a walk and copious praise are all highly effective rewards.

How to Crate Train a New Puppy

While your puppy adjusts to its exciting new life in your home, crate training might be a good way of gradually introducing them to more freedom. It helps you keep track of progress and build trust in each other.

Puppies instinctively prefer not to eliminate where they sleep, so as long as they’re old enough to hold it in, the crate method is an effective way of learning the signs your pup wants to go and preventing accidents inside. Here are some basic guidelines for crate training:

  • Ensure the crate is big enough for the pup to stand up and turn around, but not large enough that they can use the opposite corner to eliminate.
  • Keep a supply of fresh water in a dispenser attached to the side of the crate so the little guy doesn’t get dehydrated.
  • Stop using the crate if the puppy is eliminating inside it, and consider the reasons they might be doing it. They might be too young, they might not get outside enough or the crate might be too big.

There Will Be Setbacks!

Accidents are inevitable and should be expected for up to a year. Provided you stick to a strict schedule and take them to the same spot at regular intervals, setbacks will be minimal. Remember to be confident and firm but fair. The puppy will respond to your manner, so if you’re assured and consistent, they’ll be the same. When accidents happen, tell them no in a strong but calm voice and take them to their toileting area.

Buy a New Puppy Today

Potty training can be a rewarding challenge and there is a formula to getting it right. As long as you follow the recommended advice and keep rewarding them for a job well done, you’ll be able to potty train them as fast as possible. If you and the rest of the family feel ready to bring a new addition into the household, find puppies today.

Getting a new pup is so much fun because they’re cuddly, adorable and cute — regardless of the dog breed. However, when it comes to what makes a breed perfect for your home, there’s plenty to consider. Well-behaved and happy dogs don’t just magically end up that way; they’ve been consistently and successfully trained. Getting from puppy-hood to that stage isn’t always easy, but you can choose a popular breed that’s more receptive and eager to please.

What Makes a Dog Breed Easy to Train?

Temperament and intelligence are two parts of a dog’s personality that influence how easy they will be to train. Learning the basics of friendly dog behavior is easy enough for most dog breeds, provided the owner is consistent and precise in their approach. However, when it comes to dog training for advanced skills, such as spending time with children, guarding the house or running, and learning new tricks, you need to look into specific characteristics of each breed.

1. Bernese Mountain Dog

 

Bernese mountain dogs are mild-tempered, friendly giants that take to training like a duck to water. They adore being in the great outdoors, and provided they’re given at least an hour of exercise each day and get plenty of human interaction and socialization, they’re unlikely to act up. As a large working breed, they’re gentle, easygoing and tolerant.

2. Havanese

 

Havanese dogs are incredibly eager to please and feel an immense sense of gratification when they delight their owner. This makes teaching them tricks and commands super-easy because they’ll relish the praise they receive for a job well done. These little guys are trainable, smart and funny, with an appetite for being the center of attention.

3. Border Terrier

 

For a terrier, borders are laid-back — but they’re still balls of energy that require plenty of activity. They’re affectionate, mild-tempered and keen to please their favorite people. Aside from when they’ve caught sight of small prey, they’ll come when called and do as you ask them.

4. English Springer Spaniel

 

The English springer spaniel has been bred to hunt all day and work incredibly hard on the field. Nonetheless, when they’re home or with people they trust, they’re enigmatic and mild, with a strong urge to make their owners happy. With clear instructions and positive reinforcement, these dogs are very simple to train.

5. Doberman Pinscher

 

We wouldn’t recommend a Doberman for a new puppy owner because they can become challenging and destructive if they get bored or lonely. They require intelligent handling, but an experienced dog trainer can get these pups trained as guard dogs for the home, search and rescue or become a canine athlete.

6. Papillon

 

The small but mighty papillon is a tiny bundle of energy that needs plenty of stimulation to keep them happy. They’re alert, friendly and eager to make their humans proud of them.

7. Labrador Retriever

 

As the most popular puppy breed in the US, the Labrador has earned its reputation as the ideal family puppy companion. They love people, other dogs and pets and very rarely show any signs of aggression. These incredibly bright dogs need lots of exercise, and they repay their owners with obedience.

8. Rottweiler

 

Rottweilers need to be socialized, given lots of mental stimulation and under no illusions as to who’s boss. An experienced trainer can teach these sturdy working dogs to become obedience competitors, therapy dogs, service dogs, herders and police dogs.

9. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

 

Pembroke Welsh corgis are happiest when they have a job to do. They adore their family and become protective — they might even try to herd you! The Pembroke Welsh corgi is an intelligent breed, is good with children and one of the easiest dog breeds to train.

10. Miniature Schnauzer

 

Miniature schnauzers are smart pups that find learning commands and tricks easy. However, this small dog requires the best dog training to stop them from barking excessively and plenty of exercise to keep them entertained.

11. Golden Retriever

 

For a first-time puppy dog owner, the golden retriever is the perfect addition to your family. These dogs are joyful, loving and intelligent.

12. German Shepherd

 

Famous for its prowess as a police dog, the German shepherd dog is a highly intelligent dog that can learn complicated tricks and behaviors. These pups can start learning their name and basic commands as young as three months old.

13. Boxer

 

The boxer is an even-tempered canine that enjoys learning commands and rising to a challenge. They’re patient and protective, making them great additions to families with children.

14. Border Collie

 

As one of the smartest dog breeds out there, the border collie is an excellent choice for an experienced dog owner. They also require high levels of stimulation to prevent them from getting bored and bring out the best in their obedience and athleticism.

15. Standard Poodle

 

Standard poodles are fabulous when it comes to obedience and intellect. They love tracking, hunting and agility courses, and in return for plenty of exercise through dog sports, they’re loving and easy to train.

16. Designer Dogs

 

Designer dogs are usually the result of breeding two pedigree breeds together to get the best of both worlds. They often present hybrid vigor, which means they demonstrate enhanced traits from each parent. Designer dogs are often clever and take well to consistent training sessions.

Buy a New Puppy Today

If you’ve decided which puppy breed is the best suited family pet for your needs, visit our website to find puppies for sale today and choose a brand new furry member for your household.

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