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!
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.
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.
Ok, now I am tired of sounding preachy. Either you get this living in the moment, my sort of carpe diem mode or you do not. E. still hasn’t gotten it completely because she has ignored my specific whisperings re: the perfect solution now for seven long years while finishing our book Learning to Live with Fritz (oh yes, that Fritz. That ‘angel’ was me in my earthly disgruntled disguise). All I have been saying is: “Get a puppy!” I have been guiding her to likely prospects she continually ignores or rationalizes away with arguments like ‘too much trouble’ or ‘Traveling with a puppy again! No way!’ Or finally … the endless loop lie she tells herself: ‘I am free of Fritz now … hooray! Never again!’ What a crock. She needs a puppy! I am finally making headway with my former opera diva who now fancies herself an author. Little does she know that her ego is responsible for the idea that she alone has written the aforementioned channeled manuscript with its impressive ISBN number. I am the Author (notice the capital A) and she has taken dictation.
Now back to that puppy idea. I will never come back to her (as in- like it or not– reincarnation) and I am sure she is happy about that. Any pup I have suggested (with varying degrees of passionate whispering) in the past seven years has been a new dog soul entering the Earth Plane completely innocent of opinions and ideas about her. I promised her no more guru dogs! I promised her no more aggressive teaching techniques. I took pity on her because, well, I mean she has earned a rest because she actually learned most of the lessons I tried my best to teach her in my sixteen years of tyranny. And still she is reluctant! She refuses to take my suggestions. My prescription for living in the NOW is … puppy! A young pup is the best medicine for observing how life really is. How life should and could be lived in the moment. A pup is excited about just everything. Every sight, sound, smell and feeling … to a newborn puppy is fascinating, scary, fun and/or as often as not … absolutely thrilling. Puppy hears, sees and experiences his or her life as one boundless adventure of discovery. Now, I ask you … who could be a better teacher of living in the NOW than a puppy?
Thinking back on the puppies I fervently endorsed I get a bit teary. Oh, when I think about how many moments E. has missed because of her obstinate objections to allowing a pup into her life again. There were so many good ones! Here is just one glaring example of E. refusing to get the signs and signals. If I could remind her of Alfie, a dog I manipulated her into noticing while walking in snowy Central Park. It was January of 2012. Alfred, aka Alfie … was about 11 inches tall, a Jack Russell terrier and he was galloping through the snow, jumping and snapping at snowflakes, rolling in the white stuff and generally having the time of his life. E. was drawn to him (ha-ha!) and she asked the woman dangling a short red leash about the delightful little dog she had there … the terrier was having such a gleeful time playing in the snow! The woman shook her head and replied in Swiss-accented German (first clue) that she didn’t speak English. E. immediately switched to her second language and here’s the clincher … this should have closed the deal: The woman was Swiss (E. lives in Switzerland!) and told her that she was only babysitting little Alfie who was probably about ten months old. She had promised her animal activist niece that she would find a willing owner for the little guy before she left for her home in Zürich. Her departure was only a few days away and she still had found no one to adopt the pup her niece had saved from a puppy mill in South America somewhere. Her niece had left New York immediately for a project dedicated to freeing tortured animals in Rumania only after extracting a solemn promise that Alfie would find a good home. E. didn’t take the bait. Go figure. Now I ask you, how much clearer could I have been? And still my unwilling E. refused to connect the dots.
This infuriated me. I had a sort of a Rumpelstiltkin tantrum and nearly fell through my fluffy white cloud just thinking about how stupid E. was to leave that cute little bugger to his uncertain destiny. I looked a bit into the future and found out that the Swiss woman felt so sorry for the poor abandoned Alfie that she took him with her to Zurich to live happily ever after or at least to this very day. It was a match made in, well, Heaven. Whew. I was worried about Alfie. Alfie was my last unsuccessful attempt at puppy propositioning my reluctant student. Whispering Fritz’s next blog will be about my (after all this time) puppy success story. I took a short sabbatical from Blog writing in order to prepare my surprise. Blog 4. Blog 2 was written by my devoted and capable assistant detailing our aristocratic history, our reputation as healers while extolling the many virtues of my breed of choice, the Maltese terrier. Thank you my dear, Now all is ready for Finally Freddy!
Interested in a sneak preview of the little darling? I couldn’t resist!
Ruffff! I am literally dancing up here! I’m so happy to see the positive human response to my first DogBlog posting. It heartens me to see that there are Homo sapiens out there actually thinking about slowing down, smelling the violets and Being Here Now. If I had one lesson to teach my recalcitrant mistress while I still inhabited the earth plane … that was it. Yes. This was and is the lesson: Be Here Now, every letter capitalized. Be = I am. Here = located on this space I presently occupy. Now = at this exact moment in time. With all my disciplinary growls, barks and (occasional but necessary) bites, even my outrageous temper tantrums … had but one distinct teaching goal: Live this moment. Concentrate, pay attention, be real, be authentic. Take this present moment as your only moment.
None of us … even us dogs … have a guarantee on tomorrow or even the next ten minutes. There are no guarantees, period. You don’t see even one of my species Canis lupis familiaris participating in any of the following activities: ruining our thumbs (even if we had them) texting, bowing our heads to our PCs, ipads, Smartphones and/or spending 40% (uh-oh … or even more) of our waking hours on the Internet being discouraged and jealous about the exciting lives of our ‘friends’. You will never see a dog missing WHAT IS because of getting distracted by what isn’t.
Sometimes it takes a wake up call to get humans to Be Here Now and to realize that there is just one life to live here on planet Earth. Sometimes it takes a frightening diagnosis, the loss of a job or an accident in traffic caused by lack of concentration to get a person to take the plunge back into the present moment. On the other hand and occasionally … a great teacher (could even be a Gurudog) enters to enlighten the human out of the artificial and back into what’s real. This is, of course, the easiest (well, at least the most positive) road back to accepting reality. The truth is that time waits for no one to catch up or make up. Lost time is lost. You can’t redo the past even the past that occurred just five seconds ago. Many Quantum Physicists would disagree citing the Parallel Reality Theory, but until scientists can put that theory into practice (which might be a few light years hence) what humans can do is to learn to value of the precious present.
It’s a fine thing when a dog can admire a human as much as I admired Andy Whitfield. I recommend an inspiring trailer for an especially moving documentary feature film: Andy Whitfield’s story is entitled: “Be Here Now” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wE_Y5brW-ZE
After watching this you may be wondering if your own life is passing you by . If you get the message then I rest my case.
Look around you. What do you see? Can you still see anything at all without a digital screen lighting the way to your comprehension of what you are seeing? It is my personal opinion (and particularly from my vantage point) that most humans are living in an altered (manipulated) state of reality that is spoiling real experience and one-on-one communication. Ask yourself: Have I forgotten (or never even learned) how to talk to someone without using my fingers? Have I forgotten (or never even learned) how to express real emotions face to face with another of my species? Think about this.
What would your life look like if someone took all your toys (and that is what all those electronic devices from the simplest to the most sophisticated are … don’t delude yourself) away from you? What would you do without just one of those toys? I ask you … the bigger question to ponder … what if there was no electricity to run the devices that control your happiness? What if? What on earth would you do? How would you cope?
So, for today this is the end of my lecture from beyond the Beyond. Straight from Whispering Fritz to those of you who might be reading this for comfort, for entertainment or for a new (or quite ancient) view of how to perceive what is going on all around you. Look to and learn from the dogs, cats and other animals on your planet. Watch and listen to them. They will teach you how to live in the moment … in real time. The clock is ticking. No kidding. You only have this moment. Never forget it.
Tips on Transformation from Whispering Fritz
Let’s get this straight right now. In the English language man’s best friend … spelled backwards … is God. That’s right … dog. I am (or was) a dog. I am not trying to make a big thing out of this god thing nor am I proposing deity status for myself or any of my esteemed canine colleagues … but there is something godlike about those of us belonging to the Canis lupus familiaris family. Like it or not, believe it or not … it’s the truth. Dogs have a special ability to
communicate with loved ones (and we do love you) that starts in puppyhood, matures with time and continues even after we have left the physical plane of existence. I am not an expert on the communication skills or teaching talents of all the other categories of working animals or beloved pets, but I am sure about dogs. Yes! If you humans are properly tuned in you may receive sound advice and guidance from your four-legged furry comrades. Our primary goal is to form a bond of close companionship (bordering in some cases on the symbiotic) with our ‘owners’. We pay attention to the smallest of passing thoughts and we react. We teach lessons about love, compassion, responsibility, loyalty. If you mistreat us … you will learn a lot about sassy misbehaving (I did a lot of that) which can accelerate and then there is the distinct possibility that we take a bite out of someone to prove a point or just as a conditioned response to cruel treatment. We have long memories and just as with Homo sapiens, all of us are not as evolved as others. However, for most of us, our greatest joy and mission on earth is to accompany our chosen human or family of humansthrough specific time periodsor life passages. This tail-wagging companionship cum advisory mission does not, contrary to popular opinion, end with death. I refuse to debate the question: “Do dogs have souls?” We do. End of discussion. We operate from a place most humans only hope exists … but fear it does not. Let’s take the idea of “beyond the Beyond” and run with it. I, Fritz, have already passed into that space and am constantly communicating with my earthly student, a certain Ms. Em. I am perhaps an extreme example since I have had to use force and a number of terror tactics to get my unwilling target to take me into her care so I could teach her the lessons she needed to learn. Here I am again trying to push her into doing something that is important for the marketing of her (my) book; Learning to Live with Fritz and once again, she rebels.
I refer to the act of writing a blog. My debuting author E. Rawlins was an international opera singer, a person with a voice and two hands that could type and take dictation. Little did she know that singing would give way to writing as I took over her life. I am not ashamed to admit that I forced her to write our story to give more humans a chance to get off the merry-go-round of their ‘me-oriented’ existence and get a bigger picture of what is really important. I am reporting in from out here in the Quantum Field where every service-directed action, every kindness, every act of compassion counts in the race for spiritual enlightenment. Billionaire status, fame, a private jet or your iPhone 4, Adele’s 21 or even a Lana del Rey CD may make you momentarily happy but will get you nowhere fast … as I see it from here. It has taken many years of prodding but my unwilling author has done it. All of her kicking and screaming ignored, I have manipulated her successfully to the very last phase of the book project. However, when she read the word ‘blog’ (discovered in her social network marketing questionnaire) she balked big time. She hadn’t a clue about blogs! So, I whispered the most logical thing I could think of ( into her left ear … my traditional modus operandi) to spur her on. I reminded her that she couldn’t really call up Stephen King or posthumously contact John Steinbeck or Silvia Plath for writing tips. I told her simply to ask her sister who has just published a book entitled Skinny the Cat and the Magic of Kindness. She would know how to do it! Miss Em’s publishers suggested that if she couldn’t think of anything else, she should start out with the second chapter of the soon-to-be “out–there” book, Learning to Live with Fritz … as a teaser. This chapter describes my voice as I order her to enter a Manhattan pet shop (using my powerful Mafia boss whispering technique) and she actually walks out with me (tugging her toward her destiny) on my spanking new leash. This chapter is lots of fun. Every word of it is true. For human understanding, this chapter is just far-fetched enough for potential readers to be intrigued. They would want to buy the book (that’s the point, n’est pas?) and find out what I (then a willful and psychically gifted twelve week old Maltese puppy) did to upset my dizzy diva’s lifestyle in the operatic fast lane. Since narcissism was my diva’s major for all the years leading up to my dramatic entrance in her life, her first attempt at blogging was less than interesting. It started out to be all about whom? Of course, it was all about her and barely a word was lost on me, Frizbee otherwise known as Fritz, hero of a book about one crazy little dog who changed her life. It was then that I decided to take over the blog writing responsibilities. Note to Ms. Em: Try to understand that this blog is a promotional tool for our book and we will have to begin writing these blogs together. Learning to Live with Fritz, no matter how comical, magical, mystical and life changing a book it is … will not sell itself.