Mon, Feb. 17

New puppy challenges

The Verde Valley Humane Society “Pet of the Week” is “Gracie,” a sweet little Chihuahua.  Gracie had to be given up by her owner because the other dogs in the house weren’t very nice to her.  The parting was very emotional for all of us. Her adoption fee has been discounted by $20.

The Verde Valley Humane Society “Pet of the Week” is “Gracie,” a sweet little Chihuahua. Gracie had to be given up by her owner because the other dogs in the house weren’t very nice to her. The parting was very emotional for all of us. Her adoption fee has been discounted by $20.

Each day I love seeing the trees begin to bud and the spring flowers poking their heads out of the chilly ground.

What it really means in the world of animals is that soon we will have a multitude of new puppies and kittens.

We’ve already had one of our canine friends give birth to a litter and so far a couple of cats have also had litters.

Those births are nothing like what’s getting ready to happen. Soon we will experience more newborns than any shelter needs.

It’s so easy to come in and see the sweet little kittens and puppies, but do you really know what you will be going through?

Looking through bars shows you a precious bundle of fur that can’t wait to have you pet them. This cuteness isn’t necessarily what you will really be experiencing.

One of the most special places in our new facility will be the “get acquainted” rooms. These rooms will be designed to provide a more normal area for you and the animal.

Won’t that be much better than taking them outside to the area we have at this time? At this time if it is raining the only option for bonding is our front office.

Hopefully by being able to sit inside with your possibly new adoption you will be able to get a better feel for what the animal is really like.

Many puppies that look so calm and sweet will turn to a puppy in a split second. Are you ready for that? It’s very normal and that’s what makes a puppy precious.

You do realize that puppies will be chewing on cords, TV remotes, phones, purses, and your favorite shoes, don’t you?

You do realize that puppies will also be having accidents on the floor and all types of other puppy things, now don’t you?

Why will these things probably happen? Because they are “puppies” and it is no reason to bring them back.

Crate training your “best friend” just might be the key to the success of your new adoption.

Maybe the time has come that you need to invest some time and patience in crate training your puppy.

You are going to need to make the decision to devote yourself to the process; it takes time but is well worth the reward.

Our animals are only going to learn what we teach them. You realize that don’t you? They won’t just automatically learn to stay off the furniture.

It’s up to us to give them the behavior training that they need. They are just like children when you think about it.

Adopting a puppy is a huge responsibility. Of course they are so cute when you take them home, but do your homework before the decision to adopt one is made.

All of a sudden it is the animal’s fault that it is unruly and won’t behave. It’s so sad to see someone take a sweet innocent little pup home and give them absolutely no discipline training.

At times people choose methods that are almost inhumane to try to correct issues that their animal has acquired.

One of the most effective methods that has been said to correct behavior issues is to crate train the animal.

When used correctly, the purpose of the crate is to provide a secure short-term confinement area for safety, housebreaking, and protection of household goods, travel, illness, or general control.

It is said that veterinarians and professional dog handlers have accepted, trusted, and routinely used dog crates since their inception.

It is the individual pet owners, who for the most part, have rejected the idea of using a dog crate.

For many pet owners, the first reaction is “It’s like living in jail, it’s cruel. I’d never put my dog in a cage” At times there is no other choice when negative behavior becomes an issue.

Using a crate can help eliminate the stress that owners feel when a pet displays undesirable behavior. It can be a win-win solution for all concerned.

Wouldn’t you have a much better time while you were out if you didn’t have to worry about what your pet was doing?

Your best friend will also feel much better when he doesn’t receive the much dreaded scolding that usually happens when you arrive home.

Just remember, not many parents would even consider raising a child without a playpen or a crib to sleep in.

Animals, just like children need our guidance and protection. As responsible adults, we need to take the necessary steps to keep them safe and free from danger. Not too much to ask from us, is it?

Dogs are known to have a den instinct. The dog crate helps to satisfy this need. If your canine could talk, he would probably say, “I love having a place of my own; I have my blanket, my favorite toys, nobody bothers me in here, it’s all mine.” To you it is a “cage” and to him, it is “home”.

If crate trained, your pet can be spared the isolation of being in a basement, garage, or the backyard.

He can be included in family outings, rather than left alone or in a boarding kennel. Use a crate, but don’t abuse a crate.

Being crated is not a form of corporal punishment. It is their “safe haven” from everything that is going on.

First of all, choose a crate of adequate size. There should be room for the dog to turn around and stretch out on his side.

He should also be able to sit up without hitting his head. Place a towel or small rug in the bottom of the crate to keep him warm.

Throw in an old unlaundered shirt that belongs to you so he can get your scent. On the other hand, if the crate is too large for a small dog, he may start using one end as a potty.

Don’t force him into the crate and fasten the door. It takes time to properly train your dog to the crate.

At first, toss in a tidbit of his favorite food and leave the door open. You may try enticing your furry friend with his favorite chew toy or ball.

Your dog should be free to leave the crate at all times when the training first begins. He’ll learn it’s his very own friendly haven.

Just to be safe, remove your dog’s collar before confining him to the crate. Even flat buckles on collars can occasionally get stuck on the bars or wire mesh of a crate.

If an open mesh or bar crate is used, cover the crate with a large towel or light throw to give him a ‘den’ feeling.

Be fully aware of the temperature of his surroundings. Never leave a crated dog outside during any season

Be certain that your dog has fully eliminated shortly before being crated. Rarely does a dog eliminate in a crate if it is properly sized and the dog is an appropriate age to be crated a given amount of time.

If your dog messes in his crate while you are out, do not punish him upon your return. Instead, simply wash out the crate using a pet odor neutralizer and give your best friend some clean bedding. Make sure that you always use pet friendly cleaners.

The cost of a crate can run between $35 and $150 depending on the size and the type of a crate. The cost also depends on where you shop.

A good tip is that before you start shopping, stop in our thrift store, the Good Buy Shoppe. It’s located at the corner of 89A and Sixth Street in the Clemenceau Plaza.

Often nice crates are donated and can be purchased at a very reasonable price. They can also be found at our local merchants.

The cost of not buying a crate could be your shoes, favorite articles of clothing, shredded books, chewed table legs, ripped couch cushions and of course damaged wiring.

The real cost, however, is your dog’s safety and your peace of mind. Using a crate can be a win-win situation for both you and your pet.

Don’t rush the process of introducing the crate to the dog. Start with the open door and gradually close the door for five to ten minutes at a time. Gradually increase the time by five to ten more minutes per day.

Stay close by so the dog won’t be frightened with the door closed. You could put the crate beside your bed so he knows you are close by.

When you first begin leaving your dog, make your absence no more than a half hour with the maximum being no longer than an hour. Reassure him that you will be back soon and then do as promised.

If you plan to crate your dog while you are gone to work, it is important to have a friend or neighbor go over and let the dog out periodically.

Don’t think that the crate is an automatic babysitter for your pet. Success is not guaranteed.

Each dog is an individual. If, after all efforts at positive conditioning your dog to the crate have failed, then forcing the animal into such a situation is indeed inhumane and can result in physical injury when the dog tries to chew his way out.

There may be setbacks, but don’t give up. The keys are consistency and perseverance.

Never make the dog feel as if he is being punished for something he did or did not do.

With your patience, the likelihood of the dog adjusting to the routine is very high.

Please understand this method is entirely up to the owner. It’s a choice, not a rule. Crate training is not for everyone.

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