River City Doxies






Spooked Puppy | Teach Sit | Teach Down | House Training | Separation Anxiety

NAIL TRIMMING: Many dog owners avoid trimming toenails. However, you can take care of this job

yourself if you like. The problem with nails is that each has a blood vessel inside. The trick is to trim to

just beyond the end of this vein; if you nick it, the nail will bleed and your dog will yelp. Everyone hits this vein

on occasion, even veterinarians, which is why you should be sure to have some blood-stopping powder

on hand, such as Kwik Stop, before you start trimming. If your dog has light-colored toenails, the blood

vessel is the pink area. Black nails are harder to figure out, but you should be able to see the vein by

shining a flashlight behind the nail. If you can't tell, just clip back a little at a time. If you draw blood,

take a pinch of the powder and press it against the exposed bottom of the nail for a few seconds to stop the bleeding.



SPOOKED PUPPIES: Puppies frequently spook at some object they perceive as strange --

a lawn mower, a vacuum cleaner, or a large box. Don't sympathize or force them to

confront the "bad guy." Instead, go to the object, pet it, laugh a bit, and talk happily to

encourage your puppy. Let your puppy sniff and investigate it on his or her own terms.

Some dogs are more sensitive to unfamiliar sounds and motions than others. This situation can get out

of hand, resulting in a nasty barking problem. To prevent this behavior, teach your dog to "Speak"

and be "Quiet" on command.


"Speak." Whenever your puppy starts to bark, use this command to egg him on.


"Quiet." After four or five barks, stand tall and in a low flat voice say "Quiet." Give the leash

a tug and encourage your puppy to follow you by using the "Let's Go" or "Heel" command.

Praise him when he obeys and refocus him on a treat or toy. Soon you'll be able to get

your dog to bark on cue, and more important, quiet down on command

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TEACHING SIT: The basic "Sit" command is the basis for many more intricate commands and is an

invaluable tool in teaching your dog good manners. To teach your dog the basic sit, try the following steps:

1. Praise your dog each time she chooses to sit. Say "Good, Sit" whenever your dog's bottom hits the ground.
2. Lure your dog into position as you command "Sit" once, releasing the reward the instant your dog is sitting.

Avoid repeating yourself so your dog doesn't think the command is optional the first time you say it.

Instead, gently position your dog and say "Sit" as he's doing the action.



TEACHING DOWN: After your puppy learns "Sit," you can work on this command.

Twice a day, do the following:

  1. Take your puppy aside with some treats.
  2. Placing the treats between your fingers, instruct "Sit," but before you let go of the treat, drop your hand between the puppy's paws and say "Down."
  3. Your puppy may not know what to do, so as he looks down, cradle his shoulders with your left hand and press him gently into position.
  4. Let go of the treat when his elbows hit the floor, praise him, and say "Okay" to release.
  5. Repeat Steps 2 through 4 five times.

The eventual hand signal is pointing to the ground. As the days progress, try this command

without a treat. After four days, fade off the treat and stop using this command in lessons.

Continue to use the command and signal throughout the day.

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DACHSHUND-PROOFING YOUR OTHER PETS: Dachshunds love cats and other dogs, especially

Miniature Dachshunds. However, introductions shouldn't be too sudden.

One good way to introduce your new puppy and your other pets is to let each pet hang

around in a room where the other pet has been for a while before letting them see each other.

One vet suggests keeping them in separate rooms with a door between them so they can

hear each other before they see each other. Curiosity may eventually get the better

of any aggressive impulses. Of course, unneutered males may not get along well with each other,

and unspayed females may not, either. Best to have your pets neutered.

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House Training tips: To be more efficient, have your puppy at the preselected elimination

spot when he has to relieve himself. These times tend to be

-- Whenever he wakes up.

-- After he drinks water (the younger the pup, the sooner after drinking).

-- After he eats (the younger the pup, the sooner after eating).

-- Whenever anything exciting happens (like five minutes of training).

-- Whenever you play with him for five minutes (training is play; do it whenever you can).

-- If he hasn't been out for a while.

-- First thing in the morning.

-- Last thing at night.



MORE HOUSETRAINING: If you're nervous about the prospect of housetraining a puppy or

new dog, remember that above all, you'll need patience. You can train Some dogs in days;

with others, training may take months. The best way to house-train your new addition is to

establish a strategy and follow a consistent routing, like this:
-- Don't greet or praise your puppy until after he has pottied.
-- Use one specific word as you walk your puppy to his toilet spot.
-- The outside toilet spot you pick should be in a discreet place relatively close to the house.
-- Be consistent. Always follow the same path to the toilet spot.
-- When you arrive, ignore your puppy. Do not let your dog roam until he's relieved himself.
-- As your puppy is eliminating, use a second command like "Hurry Up!" After a month of saying this

phrase while he's in the process of toileting, your puppy learns to go on cue.
When your puppy's done, greet, praise, and walk him as usual.

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Dogs are pack animals, and they crave the love, attention, and companionship of their human owners.

Some dogs are a little too needy of human closeness and can suffer from separation anxiety when

apart from their owners. Separation anxiety can manifest itself in a number of ways, including

excessive barking, scratching destructively at windows and doors, destructive chewing, and soiling.

If your dog hits the panic button the minute you pick up your car keys, don't despair.

You can help ease his anxiety with a few simple measures:

  1. Prove to your dog that when you leave you will come back. Leave your dog for five minutes at a time and gradually work up to 15 minutes, 30 minutes, one hour, and so on.
  2. Provide soothing music or a television at a low volume to help fill the sound void. To an anxious dog, silence can be deafening.
  3. Consider getting your dog a companion. If you're up to the added responsibility and expense of another pet, consider introducing your dog to a playmate. Nothing cures loneliness like a buddy.

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The puppy has to realize that you, the provider of all food, also have the right to take the food away.

(Only do this when the puppy is well, you don't want to attempt this when a dog is suffering

from even minor physical discomfort; after all, you wouldn't want someone toying

with your chicken soup when you're battling a cold.) If the puppy growls, you should give a stern warning,

but then give the food back and praise the pup. Try taking the food away again in a few minutes

and note the reaction, repeat your warning if necessary. This discipline will have to be practiced

until the puppy understands that giving up food without protest brings praise and affection from his owner.

The possession of food is a primitive canine instinct that is nearer the surface in some breeds than in others.

Importantly, never allow children, cats, or other dogs to interfere with a dog when he is eating.