HOUSEBREAKING, ETC...

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A link to a good page for training your puppy: http://www.dogskool.com/puppy-training.html

THE ARTICLE BELOW WAS TAKEN FROM DOG CULTURE WEBSITE (I changed some of the text, corrected some grammatical errors, etc...), THANKS JASON!

...When these cute little puppies create a problem at home, many owners don't know what to do. It's important for any dog owner to train the pup as early as possible.  We need to understand that there are puppies who can easily grasp the training, while there are others who are left a bit behind. If you think your puppy falls into the second category, do not be discouraged. You need to persevere in order to successfully train your puppy. By applying the right techniques as well as the right attitude, your dog will learn to behave properly whether he's inside or outside the house.

It's important to take note that dogs are pack animals. They are territorial and they do not want anyone including people to invade their space. Aside from that, they follow the commands of their pack leader. Owners should assert themselves as the pack leader who is responsible for their food, hygiene and behavior. Consistency and fair leadership should be remembered because it's the key to successful training.


It is necessary for a puppy to have his own crate. This serves as his comfort zone, an area where he rest and sleep. Although some puppies pee or poop anywhere, they always keep their crate clean. Thus, owners should be able to provide a crate that the puppy will love to dwell on. Adding to that, putting the puppy to his crate should not be in a form of punishment whenever mistakes are committed. It will be a lot easier to put the puppy to his crate when he loves to be on it. So do not be cruel to your puppy rather; always impose authority in a good way.
When buying a crate for your puppy, always consider the size of it. It should accommodate your dog when he is fully grown and it should have dividers so that you are assured that your puppy will not pee or poop in his sleeping area. Always maintain the crate as an area where the puppy feels security and comfort.

Feeding the dog should be done on a schedule. You have to set the number of meals that he ought to consume every day and this should be done consistently. You can place his food near his crate together with his toys. Choose a wholesome food and ask recommendations from your veterinarian. It is important to let him consume healthy foods only and appropriate diet should be imposed all the time.  Steer away from table food, and unless you're an expert, don't try to make your own dog food!

As a pack leader and owner of the dog, it is necessary to determine the right place for him to pee. The backyard is the perfect place for the puppy to pee, but it should be accessible on his part.  To establish the puppy’s peeing routine, you need to consistently bring the puppy to that area. Know that puppies pee frequently and that they have low urine retention. They need to pee from 10 to 12 times per day so you have to bring him to that area at least every two hours. This means that it is your responsibility to wake up at the middle of the night to take the pup to his pee spot. Meanwhile, you also have to learn the puppy’s body language before he pees. There are some puppies that sniff, go round in circles, or stand with the rear leg up.

It is very helpful to train the puppy to poop whenever you command him to do so. You can make use of a phrase like “go poop” or whatever you prefer. Making a signal for this will enable the puppy to defecate at the right time and at the appropriate spot. Thus, the puppy will not create a mess inside or outside the house. When this is successfully done, make sure to cuddle the puppy and give him a food treat so that he associates the treat with the correct response to your command.

Mistakes usually happen the first few weeks of training.  Never punish the puppy, praise his appropriate behavior and immediately clean up the mess he created.  Use a cleaning product that will leave no odor or the puppy will return to that area.

Points to Remember in House Training your Puppy:

1. Select the best diet for your dog!
2. Food treats should be given when he properly executes your commands

3. Praise your puppy when he does his toilet in the right place. Reinforcing his good behavior will encourage him to do it again.  Don't just turn your pup out alone in the backyard and expect him to know what he's out there for!

4. Be consistent with your commands.

When puppies exhibit a bad behavior, it needs to be corrected by scolding him verbally, not through physical harm. But dogs do not have the capacity to comprehend what you are saying, that's why it's important to catch the puppy in the act so that scolding will be effective.  (praising good behavior is better then scolding bad so try to avoid the bad behavior in the first place)
Dog owners need to have lots of patience while training, especially when it comes to housebreaking. The mess should be cleaned properly and thoroughly, and the dog should be trained to do it in your selected area. Be consistent with everything so that the dog will not be confused!

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MY OWN PERSONAL ADVICEOUR PUPPIES AND DOGS ARE ON TASTE OF THE WILD HIGH PRARIE FROM LAMBERT VET SUPPLY, available for orderonline, can usually be delivered to your door. There are many good dog foods at PetSmart and even a few new good ones at Walmart so just ask if unsure. Do not feed ANY dog food that has corn, wheat or soy anywhere in the top half of the ingredient list!!! You want to feed your dogs a good meat based dog food. Brown rice is good in the top half of the ingredient list as long as meat is first, brewer's rice is not so good.

PLEASE DO NOT FEED YOUR PUPPY COMMERCIALLY MADE DOG TREATS WITHOUT CHECKING WITH ME AND RESEARCHING THOROUGHLY ONLINE FIRST! DOGS DON'T HAVE TO HAVE TREATS, SO WHY STUFF THEM FULL OF FILLERS, CHEMICALS AND THINGS THAT ARE BAD FOR THEM??? FEED A BALANCED DIET, IF YOU WANT TO TREAT A DOG, GIVE THEM HOMEMADE FROZEN BEEF LIVER TREATS.... SUPER EASY TO MAKE! COOK BEEF LIVER UNTIL ALL MOISTURE IS GONE FROM SKILLET. LET COOL, CUT INTO SMALL CUBES, PUT IN BAGGIES AND FREEZE. GIVE FROZEN OR THAWED. Dogs can have uncooked beef bones, never give a dog pork or chicken bones, they splinter and with round pork bones they can lodge in throat and choke. But I personally just recommend their regular dog food and homemade liver treats be all they get. An occasional treat of human table food will not kill a dog, but don't take the chance unless you're certain it is safe for dogs!!

 

**************************GOOD ARTICLE ON GLUTEN INTOLERANCE IN WESTIES!  (Copied from a facebook page on Westie health)

Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance in Dogs - I believe this topic has not been addressed on our group page.

Consumption of glutenous grains in sensitive pets, can lead to the following symptoms:

Chronic GI upset – intermittent or continuing diarrhea and/or constipation including mucusy stools. Vomiting may also occur in more severe cases.
Repetitive chewing at the feet, as well as red and inflamed paw pads.
Dermatitis – chronic dry and flaky skin, hair loss, redness, bumps, rashes, and constant scratching are classic signs of a food intolerance.
Chronic ear infections – over-consumption of grain can lead to a buildup of excess sugars in the system. This in turn can contribute to yeast overgrowth, leading to dark, smelly waxy debris in the ears, head shaking and scratching.
Other health problems that may be related to food intolerances such as grain sensitivity include: arthritis, epilepsy, abnormal behavior, allergic and inflammatory reactions, conditions like pancreatitis and hepatitis, as well as an increased susceptibility to infection, Cushing’s, Addison’s, and thyroid problems.
 
 SKIN ISSUES/SCRATCHING?
 
Here is a site that has some extensive helpful information on different westie skin problems and solutions: 
Yet another site says adding Olive Oil to their feed helped their dog tremendously and his skin problems totally went away. Another said Evening Primrose Oil...I say try whatever you can for a couple of weeks, if it doesn't work go on to a different product. 
Dog Food highly recommended for dogs with skin issues: Nature Variety Instinct Salmon Meal Formula
REMEMBER, BATHING STRIPS THOSE NATURAL OILS FROM YOUR WESTIE'S COAT AND THAT IS NOT GOOD.  KEEP BATHING TO A MINIMUM.  There are tons of products you can use to keep from bathing your westie.  White On White product line has very good products.  There are grooming powders for harsh coated breeds that help ALOT! and some of the waterless shampoos may help.
Another article I found by a vet: 

"What’s your gut (no pun intended) reaction when you hear the word "gluten"? Mine is mildly negative, which I find funny since I actually eat a lot of gluten with no ill effects. For very different reasons (mine being mostly ethical, his being health-related) my dog and I are both vegetarians. Therefore, we get our protein from plant-based rather than animal-based sources. Gluten is simply the word that describes the protein portion of a carbohydrate. It is found in grains like wheat, rye and barley, but not in rice, oats, potatoes, and some other carbohydrate sources.

Apollo’s food, on the other hand, is gluten-free. He is a food allergy/sensitivity nightmare. I can’t say with certainty that he’s gluten intolerant, but the one food I’ve found that allows his digestive system to function normally uses rice as its carbohydrate source, and rice is gluten free. I suppose I could perform a dietary trial and add a little of my pasta to his food and see what happens, but since I’m happy with what he currently eats, I don’t see the point (and don’t want to deal with the potential mess). For the sake of argument here, let’s just say that Apollo is gluten-intolerant.

I bring this up because I think the dietary idiosyncrasies of my household perfectly illustrate what’s wrong with the debate that surrounds gluten in pet foods. Like almost all ingredients, gluten is neither inherently good nor bad. Gluten is an excellent source of protein, unless an individual (human or canine) is allergic or has some other type of adverse food reaction to it. I have not found gluten sensitivity to be all that common, despite what many pet food manufacturers would have you believe, and research backs me up on that.

In a study of 278 cases of food allergy in dogs where the problem ingredient was clearly identified, beef, dairy, chicken, egg, lamb, soy, pork, and fish (none of which contain gluten) were responsible for 231 combined cases. Wheat, which contains a lot of gluten, was only involved in 42 cases.

If your dog has normal gastrointestinal, or GI, function and isn’t itchy while eating a diet that contains gluten, he is not gluten intolerant and there is no need for you to spend the extra money on a gluten-free dog food. Spend it on upgrading the overall quality of his diet instead. If, however, your dog has a poor appetite, excessive gassiness, vomiting, diarrhea, weight-loss, or chronic skin problems and itchiness while eating a food that contains gluten, switch to a gluten-free dog food and see what happens.

If the gluten-free diet change leads to a resolution of your dog’s symptoms, then he may be allergic or intolerant to gluten. I say "may" because I’m sure other aspects of his diet also changed (e.g., the meat source, preservatives used, etc.) and those may be the real reason for his improvement. But do you really care as long as he’s feeling better? If you’ve just got to know, toss a little pasta on top for a few days and see what happens.

 Dr. Jennifer Coates"