The Wagadilly Times Puppy Page

Emily Wagadilly Times  Puppy Page Editor pictured with her son, Pesto
Wagadilly Times Puppy Page Editor
pictured with her son, Pesto                                                     Photo courtesy of Ronnie Gregorio


by Emily


Adopting a Dog is one thing – Adopting a Puppy is a whole different thing… but a precious one!  Lots of people planning to adopt a dog decide early on that what really want is a puppy. And who can blame them? Puppies make wonderful additions to both first time dog owning households, and homes that already have dogs.

Do be aware!  puppies can be a challenge! Starting early with basic training is a must, not only because it will help your puppy to grow up to be a well behaved dog, but also because it helps immensely with the dog-owner bonding process. There are simple steps anyone can take to reinforce good behavior without spending a lot on treats or trainers.

pink treatsBRIBE THE PUPPY!  One of the first things I worked on with my puppy Pesto was learning his name and learning to come when called. I started by taking a clean, empty dog food can and filled it with a small handful of dry kibble. Then I covered the can with a washable, re-usable plastic lid like these :  PET FOOD CAN LID.   They are also available in most grocery stores, dollar stores and online.  Voila! I had a rattling can of treats that no puppy could resist. I’d let Pesto wander the yard and every few minutes I’d shake the can, call his name and ask him to come – and reward him with a bit of kibble from the can every time he did. Pesto quickly learned his name, to come when called and most importantly to associate the sound of the kibble in the can with rewards. It was no time at all before he’d graduated basic training and moved on to advanced tricks.  tum rub

paw tracks

friendsBy Emi
Many people adopt a puppy because they want a companion. heart no arrow   But it’s important to remember that dogs are pack animals and your new companion will need companionship as well. This does not mean you’re obligated to get your puppy a puppy of his or her own, although that’s not a bad idea!  but you will need to work on socialization skills and work on them early!  A new puppy learns and develops most of its socialization skills in the first 12-14 weeks of life.
So – do you need to spend a whole lot of money on puppy classes or doggie day care to get your new little friend well adjusted? No! Socialization can be done for absolutely zero dollars!
heart bone (c) melonheadz 13 coloredBegin with simple steps – take your puppy with you on your day-to-day errands, like a quick trip to the bank or post office. Let them out of the car when you get there and take a little walk around, let them smell new smells and see new places. Let them meet new people and other dogs along the way. Be sure to encourage interacting with other dogs that are also well socialized because your puppy will learn behaviors from other dogs more than he or she will learn from humans.
Now that you own a puppy, many of the errands you’ll be running will be to places that are pet-centric. Petco, Pet Smart, Tractor Supply and many other stores you’ll need to visit for necessities encourage dogs in the store. Bring them in with you! These are perfect places for puppies to learn how to interact with other animals and people.
My puppy Pesto and I especially liked to go to PetCo and Pet Smart on days that they were hosting adoption events because there were so many new friends to meet.
Once you’ve covered these basics, graduate to bigger things – find a local dog park where your puppy can interact with other dogs off leash, leash (c) melonheadz 13 colored  or find other people in your neighborhood with dogs and organize pack walks.
paw tracks
paw trackspaw tracks
Set yourself an obtainable goal for your puppy’s socialization. For me, it was to have Pesto meet 400 new people before he was 6 months old. I think we accomplished that in about 4 weeks! Pesto is now so well socialized that he even made best friends of the mailman and UPS driver. Let your new puppy do the same because
A SOCIAL DOG IS A HAPPY DOG !      jessica's baby (c) melonheadz 13 colored

Potty Training Success

By Emily Ridder-Beardsley
Puppy Page Editor

CHALUPA Photo courtesy of Rhonda Gregorio
Photo courtesy of Rhonda Gregorio

This is my new baby, the to-die-for-adorable, Chalupa, who I Adopted two weeks ago.  When they are this precious, it’s not too hard to have patience… and patience IS needed!
One of the most difficult parts of puppydom – especially for first time dog owners – is potty training! Yes, it’s messy. No, it doesn’t always go as planned. YES, you can conquer it!
Don’t get bogged down by pet stores trying to sell you expensive solutions, there are DIY ways to take on the problem without spending a lot of cash.
The first step, and in many cases the most difficult, is time commitment. Make sure your puppy gets lots of outside time (when I adopted my first puppy, Pesto, I actually trained him to learn the words “Outside Time” and “Inside Time” – which was very helpful to me because he knew exactly what I was asking!).
The second, and perhaps most important is to remember to be patient! Getting angry with your puppy for having accidents will never help in the training process.
So, the first question is: when does my puppy need outside time? A puppy should be taken out during potty training every time he or she wakes up from a nap, after meals and before bed time or crate time (if you’re using a crate).  Beyond that, it is really helpful to find a schedule that works for you and for your family. The smaller the dog, the more frequently it will need to go out. If you have the time or help from your family, plan to take your puppy outside every 30 minutes to an hour for the first couple weeks. That way, you can preempt the possibility of accidents in the house.
Be sure to congratulate your puppy when they do their business outside! It is much easier to teach a dog good behavior with positive reinforcement! You can even bring small treats with you as a reward for doing the right thing.                                 pink treatsgoodtum rub

Then, expect that there will be accidents. Instead of buying expensive potty pads from the pet store, line crates, kitchen floors or other areas where you leave your puppy unattended with old sheets and towels. The great thing about these is that they can be used, washed and re-used! Be sure to change out the sheets or towels after each accident and clean them before you re-use them. A puppy can smell where it has used the bathroom before and will continue to return to that spot if it is not properly cleaned. When accidents happen, take your puppy for outside time right away! That way they learn to associate potty time with outside time.

If you’re diligent, you’ll be through potty training in a few short weeks and the lessons will last a lifetime!  puppy care


Puppyhood can Make You Crazy

Four Reasons My Puppy can Make Me Crazy – and Thoughts on How to Deal With it.

pug puppies
While visiting a Festival with me, Puppy Chalupa napping… in a French Fry tray!
He defies the laws of physics: Ever heard the law of physics “what goes up must come down”? Little Chalupa has been growing up in many ways and has learned a lot of new tricks. One of them is getting up the stairs – he’s great at it and he loves doing it! But the getting back down is a bit of a problem…  He simply can’t do it! He’ll run upstairs happy as a clam several times an hour, then stand up there crying, whining and screaming until someone comes to carry him back down. This means spending a lot of the day running up and down the stairs to get him back to the first floor of my house.  For people like me, who frequently work from home, that’s a major problem!
He eats better than me: My dogs get both breakfast and dinner, but since they are so to-die-for adorable, they wind up getting loads of treats from just about everyone. Obviously, they get table scraps. No matter what is cooking you can be sure they’ll get a taste – chicken, salad, fancy steak – they get it from someone or another! But that’s not the half of it. When they go to the bank they get doggie biscuits from the teller, if we go to run errands at dog-friendly shops they get showered in doggie cookies, even my mom’s house is dangerous (she gives so many treats we’ve dubbed her Grandma Bones!). Yep, my boys are totally spoiled in the food department.  pink treats
He gets better sleep than I do: Chalupa is a real puppy, through and through. That means he spends most of the day bouncing between manic energetic playtime and totally zonked naptime. So, when it’s been a super long day, or late night, it’s hard when you find yourself waking to a 5:00am screaming puppy wake-up call the next day. It’s also hard when you’re trying to get the day moving (or keep it moving) when your puppy is so tired he can’t move! I mean, he’s rested! Why can’t I be??       z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z
Everyone likes him more than me: It doesn’t matter where I go, who I’m with or what I’m doing, Chalupa and Pesto get all the attention! Friend, family, perfect stranger, old, young, male, female, biker, hippie or cowboy, EVERYONE wants love from my puppies! I’ve had friends see me and my dogs from across the street, run up to me beaming and scream
heart no arrow  “CHALUPA! PESTO! I love you!!!!” I always assume they’re running to give me a hug or say hi to me, but NOPE, it’s always about the puppies.

Okay, so here are a few solutions to these problems….

He defies the laws of physics: Always remember that dogs have a different sense of depth perception that humans do. They don’t have the same capability of judging that kind of space. So, a step down could be two inches or ten feet, but they won’t necessarily see the difference. So going down the stairs is scary! Once your puppy conquers the trip up the stairs, you’ll need to help him get back down and, more importantly, trust that he can do it. One trick I like is to let them get to the top of the stairs on their own, then coax them down by leaving little training treats or even bits of kibble on each of the stairs. This gives them incentive to come back down. DON’T just leave the treats and leave them to figure it out on their own, though. Make sure you’re helping them the whole way through. Congratulate them with every step they do on their own. Give lots of praise verbally and the treats will do the rest.    good
He eats better than me: Giving your dog treats and table scraps is just fine, but remember these rules and always follow them! 1) Make sure you use every treat or table scrap as a training tool for your puppy. Make them sit, lie down, shake, rollover or any other trick you want your dog to know, BEFORE you give the treat. This is a great training tool and will reinforce good behavior for the rest of their lives. 2) Make sure the table scraps are safe for them!!! There are a number of human foods that are not good for a dog’s health and can cause serious problems. Carrots, fish and fish skin, eggs, peanut butter and apple slices are all great. I love Ceasar Milan’s list (, but there are many things missing from this that are great for dogs. Chocolate, avocado, onions, macadamia nuts and many more things can seriously affect your puppy’s health. Be sure you’re aware of the nutritional dangers of any human foods before you let your puppy eat them. 3) Be sure to be monitoring your puppy’s weight. Dogs, just like humans, can become overweight and even obese, which has the same health dangers as it does in humans. If you start your puppy off with a bad diet you’ll be setting the tone for the rest of his life.     dog food2
He gets better sleep than I do: Typically, puppies that wake very early in the morning do so because they need to go to the bathroom. When you get home late from work or go out for the night, be absolutely sure that you get your puppy outside to run, play and potty before you go to bed. This will curb his morning rush and give you some extra snooze time. Also, be sure to get your puppy on a regular schedule. If you wake him up every morning at 6:00am, don’t expect that on Saturday he’ll happily sleep until noon. Remember, there is power in consistency with puppies and there is also power in preventative care!
Everyone likes him more than me: Well, I never said I had the answers to EVERY problem. I guess you just can’t win them all!     ruff



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