Caring for your new Puppy

A NEW LAKELAND TERRIER PUPPY by Rachel L. D. H. Chamness

Hints on helping your new puppy to become a happy, contented, well adjusted member of your household. (The following remarks apply to any breed of dog)

First of all don’t get your puppy until you have time for it, especially at first. Train him correctly at the start and you should have a long and happy life together.

Read plenty of books, listen to old “doggie” people, go to a few breed shows, agility shows, and obedience shows. Try to think of the future, you won’t want to say a year later on, “I’ve made so many mistakes, when I eventually have another dog I’ll treat him differently.” Remember your Lakie should live the next fifteen or eighteen years. Let them be happy years. If your dog doesn’t behave properly, it’s not his fault.

If you have problems don’t hesitate to call the breeder. Join one or two breed clubs, breed club secretaries can be quite a help; don’t let bad habits start, remember prevention is better than cure.

1. Make your puppy feel at home. Get it a wire cage as a “home”; this should be (about tea chest size) 22ins wide, 24ins from front to back, and 22ins high. This will still fit it as an adult, it will seem rather large for an 8 week old puppy so get it a soft cat’s bed to go inside. Do not use this cage as a prison, most of the time the door can be left open but it is useful as a place of safety when maybe there are a lot of children around or you’re busy cooking and may trip and spill something on the pup. Remember your pup is a baby and not a toy, respect his rights and his need to rest and sleep, do not let the children fetch him out of his bed when he is tired. Consider which is the best place to put your cage --- not in a draught, not where he’ll be cooked in hot sunshine or where it’s too cold. Its best put a few inches off the floor to avoid floor draughts, (try sleeping on the floor your-self). A blanket can be draped over the cage to make it more private or keep it warmer. A banana box fits inside to stop draughts too. Instead of a wire cage a wooden box of a similar size can be used, show people often use a wooden box as its more private and doesn’t worry the dog when there are other dogs passing close that they may feel to be threatening. The blanket over the cage comes to the same thing. The advantage of a cage is that it can be folded flat when not required.

2. A cage or box is also useful in the car for the safety of all, get your dog used to going in a car, then you can take him with you on holiday etc. He can go in a hotel or someone’s home in his cage. The R.S.P.C.A. recommend a cage or harness for your pet while travelling, as very many pets run away and get lost when an accident happens.

3. If your pup is a bit worried at first, when travelling, get another person to hold him on their knee for the first journey or two, then put him in his home and put your fingers into the cage to reassure him, usually they are O.K. without, but odd ones do need a bit of reassurance. Don’t let your pup start a barking habit in the car, we have travelled with many Lakelands of our own, and belonging to others, and never had a “barker”. If you do, try to ascertain the reason, try leaving the pup in its “home” in the car for a while when you aren’t going anywhere. I have never known a Lakeland “car sick”. Cages are also useful to keep your furniture safe if you are leaving your pup for an hour or two in a room where he could do damage, remember any breed of pup has teeth coming through that gives him the urge to chew. Give him a bone or something O.K. to chew while he’s in his cage.

4. House training, here again your cage comes in useful, surround your cage (with its bed in,) with a “playpen” made from a large fire guard or other wire mesh - see through material, he can then see you, but he is contained to a small area. Cover the playpen floor with newspaper. Puppies usually keep their beds clean. They will use the newspaper to go to the toilet on. Remember puppies have to “go” quite often. Feed your pup at the same times each day leave water down all day, but remove food and water a couple of hours before you go to bed.

Decide the place that you want the pup to use as a toilet. Quietly get up in the morning so that the pup doesn’t wake up, then put him in his “toilet area,”

as he “obliges” say a word that you are going to use in the future to get him to “go”. Then give him lots of praise. When your pup isn’t wanting to sleep spend as much time as possible with your pup outside his playpen, don’t take your eyes off him for a minute. Fairly often or if the pup starts sniffing or running round in circles, quickly put him in the “toilet area” and say the word you are going to use to get him to “go”. Don’t forget the praise. When you can’t watch him put him back in the playpen with a toy or chew. Never leave him untended where he must not “go”. If you really concentrate on your pup, he will soon learn what you want him to do. Never scold, or smack your pup for doing it in the wrong place. It is totally your fault.

5. Toys, don’t let your pup have articles of clothing or shoes to play with, he will not know the difference between old stuff and good clothes. Get him some things of his own from the pet shop, pig’s ears, cow’s hooves and marrow beef bones. These are his things to keep and chew when he likes. Get him other toys, such as squeaky toys; hard rubber balls or dumb-bells with bells in. Play with him with these. Don’t leave him with squeaky toys to destroy. Don’t let anyone get the pup hyped up with a squeaky toy, use it with care. It is a good idea to teach your pup to retrieve, do this properly, don’t start chasing him but make him come right back to you. If it’s a wet day or you are busy so don’t want to go a long walk, you can exercise him by playing “fetch” in the longest space in the house. About ten times is enough then let him rest.

6. By law when a dog is out he must have a collar and lead with name tag. For training a “half-choke” is good, it has a strap that just meets round his neck, its attached to two little chains then onto the lead. This can then be easily slipped off for training exercises “off the lead”.

7. Training, start from day one. Think ahead to the things you will not want him to do when he is grown up. So don’t think it’s funny to encourage him to do anything you will later regret. If you may want to do Obedience or Agility, don’t train him to do something you later will wish to undo, for obedience the dog walks on your left side, for agility he must work from both sides. We breed Shetland ponies also spotted ponies, we halter train the foals and we find that if they aren’t led the very first time on both sides, it will take about ten more lessons to get them to walk properly on the second side. My daughter Getta rescued an eighteen month old collie Misty, that was going to be put down because she was destroying the house, her owner left her alone most of the time as she lived alone, worked in the day and went out in the evenings. Being left so much was sending the poor dog round the bend. One thing she had trained Misty was to walk nicely on her right side, this made it hard to get her to walk on the left. She was a smart dog and a year later she came second place in a class of three hundred at an agility show! Not long after she sadly died of cancer, maybe from the stress as a pup.

a) Never give an order that you can’t enforce fairly quickly.

b) Use your tone of voice, firm and deep for, “No”; light and happy for praise.

c) To have an obedient, happy dog he must like you, think you are reasonable. Reward him with lots of praise. Every time you give an order and he obeys, praise him, this is most important, don’t forget.

d) Be consistent, don’t encourage him on the sofa one day because he is clean and dry, then scold or smack him the next day because he is wet and dirty. The pup will think you are mean and nasty, so why should he obey you!

e) Decide what action you want him to take when someone knocks on the door. I think at the first sound he should bark, if he doesn’t, say in an excited voice, “what’s that”. Then pick up the pup telling him, lets see who it is, stroke him, calm him, go slowly to the door, don’t let him bark now; open the door, let him be greeted by the visitor from the safety of your arms so he isn’t intimidated. Go back inside; keep him calm, if he is too boisterous he may need to be put in his cage with the blanket over to calm down. If he is well behaved, when your visitor leaves, pick up the pup go quietly to the door, together, bid your visitor good-bye and return quietly to your room. If you don’t want him to bark at all, say if the baby is asleep, say “No” firmly, take him in the other room, put him in his cage, covered.

f) Decide what you want but again you must be consistent. You can’t let him bark one day and not the next.

g) Puppy parties; some vets run these once a week for 4 weeks or so after the pup has had its injections, these are very good and teach the pup to socialise and not get intimidated as they are all pups together.

h) Training classes; find a good one where the dogs are well behaved and the owners keep their dogs under control. Some mild natured trainers let the owners get away with letting their dogs bark and be unruly, etc. This sort of class will make the pup worse, so find a good class, then do as you are told, and practice in between classes. The first once or twice at the class don’t join in; sit out and watch with the pup in the safety of your arms, don’t let him be frightened or bark. Go slowly.

8. If you have children of your own or ones who visit, teach them to respect your pup, he has rights of his own, he is not a toy. He must be handled with care, not dropped. He must not be teased.

9. Take him for walks on a lead. Don’t let him bite the lead, if he does, say “no” firmly, if he doesn’t listen, pick him up, tell him this is not the thing to do, put him down again, if he grabs the lead again, say “no” more firmly and if necessary give him a little shake. An extending lead can be used later for more exercise and freedom but with safety.

10. Picking a dog up shows him that you are in control. It serves two purposes, one that he is in a position for you to protect him so he need not be scared and two that he is in a position where you are boss. When you are sitting down and it is quiet, you can hold the pup firmly upside down in your arms, this is a submissive position and reinforces the fact you are boss. Be sure you have a firm grip of both front and back ends as he could squirm and get a twisted gut.

11. Getta’s 8 year old Gemma loves to sit upside down on your lap with you gently stroking her tummy, after a while if you quit she gives you a gentle pat on the nose with her front paw! This is to say don’t go to sleep!

12. Rewards. Most of the time your praise, approval and love are enough reward. If you are holding a treat (a reward), at the same time as giving an order, for instance, “sit”; then your pup may be concentrating too much on the treat to comprehend the instruction, so have the treat on something close so that you can reach it quickly. If you want to use a treat sometimes, use something that is small and special. Some things you can use are: - take a big piece of liver, boil it, cool, then cut it into pieces about half an inch square, these can be stored in small plastic bags in the deep freeze to bring out a couple or so at a time. When you use them they can be divided smaller. Some dogs like sausages fried and slice these small, use the same as liver. The best time to give treats is when you call a pup, teach him “come” by voice and/or whistle him. If you whistle it will carry further, so you can get him back from further away.

13. Never give a dog any “people’s chocolate”, it can be deadly. It is best not to give “dog’s chocolate” or anything sweet at all, it is not good for them. They like liver best anyway.

14. A young pup is quite soft and pliable, so it is quite easy to put it into a “sit” or “down”. Don’t teach him two things on the same day; teach one command for a few days, then when he has learnt that, you can teach the next command. It is easy to confuse him. After he has learnt the “sit” and “down”; teach the “stay”. Put the pup at your side with his collar and lead on, get him to “sit”, then, command “stay” with your hand in front of his face. When you have taught him to stay by your leg, you can say, “stay” then move away just a little for a second or so at first, then return. Gradually move further away as he learns what you mean. Slightly increase the length of time to “stay” too. Keep the lead on, then if he tries to move you have got him instantly under control, so he gets no chance to disobey.

15. The “Recall”. With the lead on, sit your pup in front of you, command “sit”, then take a couple of steps backwards while calling the pup to you, (say the pups name and “come”), when he’s come “sit” him again. Over the next few days, gradually increase the distance you move backwards, extending the lead as necessary.

16. If you have taught the pup well, so that he knows and obeys the different commands, “Sit”, “Down”, “Stay”, and “Come”, on the lead; you can now progress to the next stage of the same commands, off the lead in a small space, say a hall or garage. Use your treat again.

17. If you have given your pup lots of attention and training, and given lots of praise for good behaviour, you should now have an obedient dog that you are proud of, as well as a happy dog.

18. Agility is fun, a Lakeland is just the size for mini agility, his long legs help him to run fast and jump high giving him a chance to win, that is if you can keep up!

19. When you are out walking and meet someone go up to them in a calm, confident manner, this will transmit to your pup that there is nothing to be afraid of, no need to have a frightened or defensive attitude.

20. Dog “Good Citizen” awards, and “Obedience” competitions should now be within your grasp. Love your little Lakeland terrier, be the leader but not the bully. Here’s to a long and happy friendship.

It is a good thing to join a Lakeland Terrier Club. There are 3 clubs and they all have 2 shows each a year. The Midland Lakeland Terrier Club holds its shows in the Midlands, near Birmingham. They are very friendly and helpful to beginners, their committee members give help after the show on the special points of trimming a Lakeland, advising new members how to proceed with their dog that they have brought along. They also produce a Year Book. Their secretary is Helen Ashe, 16 Ebrooks Road, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands. B72 1NY Tel: 0121 355 4562

Email h-rileyashe@lineone.net

Web www.Ebrooks-lakeland-terriers.co.uk

There is also The Lakeland Terrier Society, secretary, Mrs. Nicky Patterson, Eikal House, 1 Kersland Road, Glengarnock, Ayreshire. KA14 3BA Phone: 01505 682 680

The secretary of the Lakeland Terrier Club is Mrs Kirsty Peake, Park Cottage, Widecombe in the Moor, Newton Abbott, Devon. TQ13 7TR Phone: 01364 621287 Kirsty runs a dog training class near her home, she is also a qualified Animal Behaviourist.

These last 2 clubs issue a joint Year Book.

Kirsty and Helen Ashe’s husband Joe write in the dog papers, “Our Dogs” and “Dog World”.