Advantages:

 

❖ Provides a safe place for your dog to go.

❖ Provides the dog with the opportunity to be part of the group, without interreacting with the people present and is often a better alternative than putting them outside.

❖ Any dog which needs to be admitted to a veterinary hospital will be kept in a pen – dogs which are crate trained adapt much better to this.

❖ If your dog needs to be confined for a period, either due to or following surgery, a crate provides the ideal answer.

❖ A crate trained dog can travel more safely in cars and it is a requirement for planes.

❖ When used correctly, crates are a great tool to assist with toilet training – a pup confined in a crate and taken our regularly will make fewer mistakes than one given free run of the house.

❖ A crate become a security blanket to a dog – when you take him somewhere new, he will settle much faster in his crate with a few of his favourite toys.

 

How:

❖ Like all training, crate training must be done slowly – the dog must never be allowed to feel anxious while in the crate.

❖ First get the crate of the correct size – the dog should be able to stand comfortably, turn around and stretch our in the crate. If you own a larger breed, a collapsible metal crate will probably be the most practical.

❖ Set the crate up in an area you and your dog use a lot and make sure it is comfortable with something the dog likes in the crate, such as a blanket or toy. 

❖ If the dog investigates the crate, praise and reward him with a treat.  If not, encourage him to approach it by dropping treats into the crate and let the dogs work out for itself that it is fine to enter and eat treats.

❖ Toss a treat or toy into the front of the crate.  If he puts his head in, fine, if not Never Forgive HIM!  Just wait there and quietly encourage, put another treat in front of the crate.  Many dogs will go in with not problems.  If yours doesn’t be patient and keep treating.

❖ When he goes in happily, encourage a “sit” or “down” with more treats.  When he will lie comfortably, give several treats, close the door then immediately open.

❖ First increase the time you can keep the door closed (using treats which take a bit longer to chew up).  Then when he will sit there for several minutes, begin to gradually move further from the crate while he is in there.  Never Try To Increase Duration And Distance Simultaneously.

❖ When you have a dog, which enters the crate happily and is relaxed about staying there, keep increasing the duration.  If your dog sleeps inside, have him sleep in the crate near you (most dogs are delighted to sleep in or near their owner's room).  With a crate, you can have him with you, but not on top of you.

 

Warnings: NEVER, NEVER, NEVER

 

❖ Send the dog to the crate as punishment.  It must be a happy place for him.

❖ Leave a young or inexperienced dog in a crate alone.  It is important in the early stages that you are nearby to take him out before he becomes anxious and when he needs to relieve himself.

❖ Never use the crate as a substitute for your attention, exercise or environmental enrichment.

Crate Training

 

Why your dog likes to be in a crate:

❖ Have you ever wondered why your dog lays under the coffee table, curls up in a corner or presses up against the lounge or even on you?  This is a perfectly natural behaviour called denning.  In the wild, if a dog doesn’t keep safe, they are likely to be injured or killed.  Our dogs still feel this need today, particularly when at rest.  This is one of the many reasons why crate training can be a great tool to have.

puppy in a cage

Toilet Training:

Your puppy will be toilet timed rather than toilet trained, it is important to give your puppy lots of opportunities to toilet outside.  
Generally, take your puppy to the outside to toilet every 1 ½ - 2 hours.  Always take them out after eating, after waking and after playing - these are all key times that your puppy will go to the toilet, you will soon learn your puppy's ques for toileting.  
It is also very beneficial to contain your puppy to a smaller area so that you can observe their ques.  Crate training as already mentioned, is a great tool in helping pups to toilet train quickly.

puppy and train

Puppy Preschool
Is designed to allow puppies to socialize with other puppies and people, to provide basic obedience training and to answer questions on general pet care.  They are a lot of fun and they make going to the vet later in life much less traumatic.  And best of all, they are fun for the whole family.

The aim of puppy preschool is to provide an environment where a puppy learns how to cope with lots of people, loud noises, other dogs, children, and novel stimuli early in life in a non-threatening way.  This will provide the building blocks to help you raise a happy, healthy and well behaved puppy and to give puppy parents the knowledge and tools to make this happen.

During Classes we teach and inform puppy owners about:

❖ Basic commands – sit, down, come and gentle

❖ Walking nicely – on and off lead

❖ Common behavioural problems – digging, barking, chewing and jumping

❖ House training/toilet training

❖ Puppy care and health

❖ Responsible dog ownership

❖ Behavioural enrichment

❖ Basic introduction to agility

 

Contact your local vet to enrol your puppy into puppy preschool classes as soon as practical.  They really are lots of fun!!  This is also a good opportunity for you to develop a relationship with your vet and for the veterinary practice to become familiar with your dog.

puppy preschool
puppy preschool

Parasite control
In puppies and dogs

There are three main categories of parasites that are of major concern for puppy and dog health: intestinal worms, heartworm and fleas.

Intestinal worms

These include roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms and whipworms. Many puppies are born with roundworms and can acquire hookworms from their mother’s milk.

Worms can cause anaemia (loss of red blood cells), weight loss and poor condition, dull coat and in severe cases intestinal obstruction. The common tapeworm is transmitted through fleas and will often cause your dog to ‘scoot’. Some of these worms can also spread to people, particularly children, and can cause problems such as blindness or large cysts that develop in body organs.

There are many intestinal wormers on the market – some are more effective than others and some may not treat all types of worms. Intestinal wormers should be given to puppies every two weeks until 12 weeks of age, then monthly until six months of age, and thereafter every three months throughout your dog’s life.

The intestinal wormers that we recommend are Drontal chews or Popantel tablets. The dosage depends on the pet’s weight, and as puppies grow quickly it is always advisable to weigh your pup before medicating to ensure they are getting the right dose. There are also combination products that will treat intestinal worms as well as other parasites; see below for more details.

 

 

canine parasites

Heartworm

Heartworm is a special type of worm that is distinct from intestinal worms. The adult stages of the parasite live within the heart and the blood vessels of the lungs, causing serious disease and even death. Heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes and is therefore more prevalent in the northern states. However, it is becoming more frequently diagnosed in Melbourne.

The mosquito injects heartworm larvae under the skin as it feeds; these migrate to the heart and lungs where they develop into adult worms over a period of six months. These adult worms then cause blood clots to develop and increase the strain on the heart, eventually causing heart failure.

The heartworm preventative that we generally recommend is Proheart SR-12. This is an injectable heartworm preventative that provides year-long prevention of heartworm via a slow-release drug. In their first year, however, puppies need more frequent injections while they are growing. Current recommendations are to give puppies an injection at three months of age (i.e. at second vaccination) and again at six months of age. Booster injections are then continued throughout your dog’s life and are often done at the same time as yearly booster vaccinations.

An alternative to the Proheart injections is Heartguard chewable tablets; these must be given monthly to provide protection. There are also combination treatments available that will prevent heartworm as well as other parasites; see below for more details for happy, healthy pets

Please note that heartworm preventatives will only prevent heartworm infection; they do not treat heartworm if your dog is already infected, and it is therefore very important to continue heartworm preventatives at all times to stop infection. In fact, some heartworm preventatives may cause reactions if given to infected dogs, so a blood test is often recommended for older dogs to make sure they do not have heartworm prior to starting (or recommencing) a preventative. Please speak to our vets if this applies to you.

Fleas

Fleas are a major cause of skin irritation in dogs, causing them to bite and scratch themselves and often causing significant damage to the skin in the process. Some dogs may even be allergic to fleas and a single flea bite may be enough to cause severe itching.

Fleas are usually transferred through contact with an infested area. There may only be small numbers of fleas on a dog at any one time; however, this small number is enough to produce a vast number of flea eggs, which can settle into carpets, bedding and any other sheltered areas. A single flea can lay up to 50 eggs a day and these eggs can last up to six months before hatching.

There are several flea preventatives on the market. However, be aware that flea collars, powders and shampoos will NOT be effective in controlling a flea problem, as they do not provide sustained control for a long enough period.

We recommend the spot-on treatments Advantage or Frontline to prevent flea infestation; these are drops that are applied to the back of the neck between the shoulder blades. They should be applied monthly and are very effective in both killing adult fleas and controlling their life cycle. If there is a significant flea problem already in the house, a flea bomb may be required to kill the eggs and larvae already present in the house. Also remember that other animals may carry fleas, in particular cats, so all animals in the household, as well as their bedding, must be treated at the same time to prevent flea problems developing. There are combination treatments available that will treat fleas as well as other parasites; see below for more details.

Combination treatments

There are several combination treatments on the market that will treat most or all of the parasites mentioned above, making it easier for you to ensure good parasite control. The two that we usually recommend are Advocate and Sentinel.

Advocate is a spot-on that is applied to the back of the neck monthly, preventing all major parasites, internal and external (including fleas), except tapeworm. Sentinel is a chewable treat that is given to the dog monthly. It prevents heartworm and all of the intestinal worms, as well as fleas. Sentinel can cause a shock reaction in dogs that have heartworm infection, so it is important to make sure adult dogs that have not had prevention are tested for heartworm prior to starting Sentinel