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Starting Your Puppy off Right! – Tips from Cesar Milan

Currently a bit too busy to help Freddy compose his “welcome” blog. Ms. Em is remembering how much work (and fun) a new puppy can be! I decided to do a little research, and luckily, I found some tips that might help her out from the great Cesar Milan. I’ve added them below in case you’re in need of a little guidance with your new furball, too. More Freddy updates to come!


Freddy at 10 weeks old.

Freddy at 10 weeks old.


People often ask me at what age they should start puppy training. The answer is immediately! Here are some quick tips on the steps to training and maintaining an obedient and balanced dog from the start.

New puppy owners often make the mistake of endlessly worrying about finding the right accessories, puppy treats, or bed. They spend little or no time thinking about how or what they will teach their new puppy. Yes, a puppy needs nutritious food and a safe, warm place to live, but another equally powerful and important biological necessity is the need for a strong pack leader.

Be the Pack Leader

Puppies are naturally hard-wired to follow a pack leader. A pack leader is, by definition, strong, stable, and consistent; traits many new puppy owners forget. Many of my clients are strong leaders in their jobs, but when they come home, they turn to mush with their dogs. Then they come to me puzzled as to why their dog won’t behave.

Puppies sense our confidence levels and will take control if they perceive us as weak. When this happens, bad behaviors, such as excessive barking, chewing, leash-pulling, or anxiety, will develop.

The most important thing you can do is become your puppy’s pack leader. This role doesn’t begin when your dog is six months old or when he’s bad; it should be maintained throughout the entire dog training experience. For your new puppy to grow into a healthy, balanced dog, you must demonstrate leadership from day one!


All dogs become conditioned never to eliminate in their dens. From two to four months of age, most pups pick up on the concept of housebreaking quite easily since it is part of their natural programming.

In the early days of housebreaking you want to make sure the puppy has a place to relieve herself where she feels safe; a place that seems and smells familiar. First thing every morning, bring your puppy outside to the same general area. It is important to remain consistent throughout the process so your puppy can learn the habit.

Once your new puppy has successfully gone outside, it is important to reward the good behavior. It doesn’t have to be a big, loud celebration, but a simple quiet approval or a treat can get the message across of a job well done.

And be sure not to punish your puppy for an accident or do anything to create a negative association with her bodily functions. Stay calm and assertive and quietly remove the puppy to the place where you want him to go.

Dog Walking

Please find SAFE ways to exercise your puppy too! As your puppy’s pack leader, you must help to expend their energy in a productive way. For all dogs, this means a daily walk.

Walking in front of your new puppy allows you to be seen as the pack leader. Conversely, if your dog controls you on the walk, he’s the pack leader. You should be the first one out the door and the first one in. Your puppy should be beside or behind you during the walk.

Also talk to your veterinarian about the risk of long-term bone development problems, parvovirus, and other health issues before implementing an exercise routine.

Visit to the Veterinarian

One of the cornerstones of good health for your puppy is regular veterinary care. It is crucial that your puppy maintains a nutritional diet and exercise routine to stay healthy and balanced. While a lot goes into keeping your puppy in good health, it all begins with the first visit to the vet. Refer to the following list of the veterinary or health related concerns that will come up during your puppy’s first year for more guidance.

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5 Surprising Maltese Facts

From Animal Planet’s Pets 101:

A Maltese may be small, but he’s not all fluff. These little dogs only weigh between 4 and 7 pounds (1.8 to 3.2 kilograms), but their sprightly prance, keen attention to their surroundings, affectionate personalities and devotion to their humans will make them a huge part of their owners’ lives. A wonderful companion dog, Maltese can live in a variety of homes, including city apartments, since they don’t require a lot of exercise. For over 28 centuries the Maltese has had an impassioned following around the globe, and that certainly still applies today. Famous Maltese owners include Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Tony Bennett and Barbra Streisand.

How cute am I?

How cute am I?

1: Maltese May Not Make You Sneeze

There’s no doubt that part of the Maltese’s allure is its beautiful white hair – not to be confused with fur. Like human hair, the Maltese’s white locks grow and occasionally fall out — they don’t shed like most dogs. According to the AKC, no breed is guaranteed to be hypoallergenic, but the Maltese won’t bother some allergy sufferers.

Unless their Maltese is a show dog, today’s owners often opt for a “puppy” cut — which is shorter than the traditional show cut — since it takes less time to brush and care for. Although the modern AKC breed standard requires that Maltese have white hair, early Maltese were sometimes golden or tan, and others had black ears. The Maltese and its soft, silky locks took part in the first Westminster Dog Show in 1877, and was called a Maltese Lion Dog.

Fans of these small dogs are in good company with people across the ages, and it’s not hard to see why!

2: The Maltese Has Royal History

Throughout history, Maltese dogs have been companions to royalty, rulers and monarchs. Even a Roman emperor, Claudius, kept one as a pet. Perhaps because of their long silky hair, steady companionship and fabled ability to restore health — for which it is rumored that they earned the nickname “The Comforter” — the Maltese’s popularity continued rising in the upper classes. The Maltese hit British shores under the reign of King Henry VIII and were welcomed immediately. Mary, Queen of Scots and Queen Victoria each owned Maltese, and in France, Empress Josephine Bonaparte and Queen Marie Antoinette also kept them as pets. More recently, a different sort of King owned a Maltese — Elvis Presley.

3: Maltese Were Featured in Ancient Writings

It’s no wonder the Maltese was a darling dog of history — it played a starring role in early writings.

According to the AKC, in the middle of the 1st century A.D., Publius, the governor of Malta, had a Maltese named Issa that he loved. A poet of the times, Marcus Valerius Martialis, wrote lavishly about Issa:

“Issa is more frolicsome than Catulla’s sparrow. Issa is purer than a dove’s kiss. Issa is gentler than a maiden. Issa is more precious than Indian gems… Lest the last days that she see light should snatch her from him forever, Publius has had her picture painted.”

4: The Maltese Was in a Class by Itself

There has been some debate over the past few centuries about whether the Maltese should be classified as a terrier (since it was such a good ratter and had a terrier-like temperament) or a spaniel (since it was a good hunter and physically resembled a spaniel). In 1907, Lillian C. Raymond-Mallock, an English spaniel breeder and author of the reference book “Toy Dogs,” wrote that the Maltese should be classified as neither spaniel nor terrier, but suggested that the Maltese and spaniel probably owed their similar good looks to a shared source. The AKC currently classifies the Maltese simply as a toy dog.

5: The Maltese Breed Is Thousands of Years Old

The Maltese is the oldest of the toy breeds from Europe. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), Egyptian artifacts of Maltese (or Maltese-like) dogs have been found, which means ancient Egyptians may have worshipped the breed. Greek pottery dating from 5 A.D. shows  images of  small, long-haired dogs like the Maltese, and according to the 18th century religious scholar Carolus Maria DuVeil, ancient Greek writings by historians like Strabo mention small, pretty dogs known as “Catelli