Thursday, January 22, 2009

Feel5ive for Puppies - and their people

Bringing a new puppy into your home means making some major adjustments, especially if you choose one who never seems to sit still.

First there's the question of potty training - the younger the pup the harder it is for them to "get it." And that can cause a good deal of anxiety for the person who is trying to do the training - and the clean up chores.

The thing to remember is not to become upset, angry, or abusive. You're dealing with a baby, after all. The calm and steady approach gets results, while anger causes more problems.

I've learned that Bach flower essences can help a lot - a dose of Feel5ive can bring relief to both of you. First, it helps the puppy calm down so it can pay attention. Then, it helps the person refrain from losing his or her temper!

The same can be said for other troublesome puppy traits - like chewing everything. Before you can teach your pup what is and isn't an acceptable chew toy, you have to get him to pay attention! And screaming at him for eating the TV remote will accomplish nothing but more anxiety for both of you.

So first, put your toys away! (That includes shoes, by the way.)Then, when he goes after something inappropriate, such as a chair leg, tell him to "leave it" and gently pull him away while giving him something he CAN chew on. Remember that he's teething, and like a teething human infant, does need to chew.

Put a few drops of Feel5ive your puppy's water dish a couple of times a day - and when you feel yourself beginning to feel frustrated or impatient, take some yourself. You'll both be happier, and your puppy will not only learn to trust you (because you're not a screaming meemie) but will learn the lessons faster.

By the way, for faster results, when your pup does something right, praise the action by name rather than by using his name. This will reinforce the good behavior and help him associate the words with actions that please you. Good sit, good come, good leave it, good off, good down, good go potty.

Pretty soon, you'll just be thinking "Good dog!"
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