Train Your Puppy Like a Pro
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Congrats! Your adorable li’l bundle of fur is finally home. Now it’s time to train your pup like a pro with our essential puppy training techniques and tips for three important topics:
How to Housetrain Your Puppy
Most experts suggest potting training a puppy when they’re between 12 and 16 weeks old.
Before you begin, though, set your puppy up for success by giving them a confined space in your house, whether that’s in a crate, a small room with a baby gate or on a tethered leash, so you can keep an eye on them and prevent accidents.
Create a Regular Feeding Schedule and Take Away Food Between Meals
Most puppies need to eat three to four times a day, so feed your furry friend delicious, specially formulated IAMS™ Puppy Food at the same times every day. The food is easy to digest and will help keep your puppy’s potty breaks on a fairly predictable schedule, which is a win-win for both of you.
Take Your Puppy Outside Often
We recommend every hour or two at first, depending on your pup’s breed and size. Also take them out right after they wake up in the morning or from a nap, after they eat or drink and after play sessions.
Pick Up Your Pup’s Water Bowl before Bedtime
Removing access to water two hours before bed time and scheduling a bathroom break right before bed will help your li’l baby sleep through the night. Most puppies can sleep about seven hours without having to go. But if your puppy does need to go out, be low-key about it. Take them outside, allow them to go and put them right back in their sleeping space.
Pick a Potty Spot Outside
By taking your puppy on a leash to the same spot every time, you’re saying to them, “This is where you do your business.” The scent in this spot will encourage them to go. Also, use a consistent phrase like “go potty” as your puppy does their business. Eventually, that’s all you’ll have to say to prompt them.
We recommend using a leash so your puppy knows exactly where they need to go and doesn’t get distracted on the way — which, of course, is what puppies do.
Reward Your Puppy Every Time
Give your little pooch lots of praise after they do their business so they learn your expectations. You can also give them a treat, but do it immediately after they go so they associate the treat with the behavior. Going for a walk around the neighborhood is another great way to reward them.
How to Keep Your Puppy from Nipping and Biting
While playing with your puppy is fun for both of you, it’s important to teach your puppy that they aren’t allowed to nip at your clothing or bite your skin. Here’s how to do it:
Tell Them “Owwww!”
A great technique to nip puppy nipping is to say “ow!” in a loud, high-pitched voice. This gets your puppy’s attention because it mimics the yelp a mother dog and littermates use to say, “Hey, you just hurt me.”
Teach Them That Nipping Ends Playtime
Every time your puppy nips or bites you while playing — or any other time for that matter — gently remove yourself from their grip, quietly turn around and walk away. This says to your little guy or girl that biting is not an OK way to play.
Put Your Pup in Time-out
If your puppy keeps biting after you say “ow!” or walk away and ignore them, they might be overstimulated or overtired. If so, gently put your puppy in their crate or room for a little while so they can calm down or sleep.
Give Your Puppy Something Else to Chew On
If you don’t want your hands, fingers and toes to be chew toys, then always have a puppy chew toy handy. This distracts them from the biting behavior and teaches them what’s acceptable to chew on, especially when they’re teething and gnawing to make their gums feel better.
Tire Them Out with Exercise
A tuckered-out pup has less energy to nip and bite, so give them the right amount of physical activity and playtime every day. See how much exercise our experts recommend.
Reward Them for Not Biting
Whenever your little friend plays politely and doesn’t bite you or others, don’t forget to praise them, give tons of affection or perhaps offer a tasty treat.
How to Teach Your Puppy to Walk on a Leash
No doubt about it: One of the most important things you can do as a new puppy parent is teach your dog how to go on a well-behaved walk with you on a leash. Here’s how to get started:
Get Your Puppy Used to a Collar and Leash
Start inside your house by putting on your pup’s collar or harness for short periods when you’re playing with them and giving them treats, like pieces of tasty IAMS™ kibble. After your puppy is comfortable with their collar or harness, attach the leash and let them drag it around
Begin with Short Indoor Training Sessions
Start with simple walks around your house. Teach your puppy to walk next to you with a loose leash, praising and encouraging them with small pieces of dry dog food.
Take the Lesson Outside
As your pup gets the hang of indoor walking, it’s time to take your leash training outdoors, preferably in your backyard if you have one. Keep your puppy focused during each brief session and encourage them to stay right next to you without pulling, lunging or stopping while they’re on the leash.
Go for Your First “Big Walk”
Now’s the time to put your training into action. Start out with a short walk and work hard to keep your pup close by your side. You’ll also need to keep them focused because they’ll be distracted by all the new sights, sounds and smells. Be patient, keep your pace slow and give them plenty of chances to sniff around and do their business.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Practice really does make perfect. So keep praising and giving your little friend occasional treats until they learn the leash-training routine and become a well-mannered walking partner for life.
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- adp_description_block164Nutrition for Large- and Giant-Breed Adult Dogs
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Healthy joints and proper weight are especially important for dogs that grow to be more than 50 pounds. But not all large- and giant-breed adult dogs have the same nutritional needs. Is your dog getting proper exercise? Is she about to have puppies? Special conditions can dramatically affect your dog’s nutritional demands. Giving her a food specially formulated for her large size, life stage and activity level is the easiest way to make sure she’s getting the nutrients she needs.
Choosing a Food for Overall Health
To address the special needs of your large- or giant-breed dog, look for these features:
- Less fat to help maintain an ideal body condition for less joint stress
- Vitamin-rich fish oils for healthy skin, shiny coat and overall health
- Essential vitamins and minerals to help support the immune system and help maintain good health
- High-quality animal-based protein sources to help maintain muscle tone
- A moderately fermentable fiber source, such as beet pulp, to maintain intestinal health, enhance your dog's ability to absorb nutrients, and reduce backyard cleanup
- A carbohydrate blend to help sustain energy by maintaining normal blood sugar levels
These components are key to good nutrition. Look for them in treats, wet dog food, or dry dog food, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Adult Large Breed.
Maintaining Healthy Joints and Cartilage
Joint health is a big concern for owners of large- and giant-breed dogs. A large- or giant-breed formula that contains high-quality protein can help nourish healthy joints. Vitamins and minerals help promote the production of cartilage. Also, keeping your dog at a healthy weight will help minimize joint stress.
Guarding Against Weight Gain
Dogs with lower activity levels and dogs that have been neutered or spayed are all prone to weight gain. Controlling your dog’s weight is an important step toward protecting against the health effects of excess weight, such as diabetes or joint health problems. If you use a weight-management food, look for these characteristics:
- A reduced fat level that still offers essential nutrients for skin and coat health
- L-carnitine, a key nutrient that helps burn fat and maintain muscle mass during weight loss
- Special carbohydrate blends that help maintain energy while managing weight
- Vitamin-rich fish oils for overall health
Providing Nutrition During Pregnancy
Pregnant dogs have substantial nutrition requirements. Starting in the seventh week of her pregnancy, a mother dog will need to increase her energy intake up to 50% by the time she gives birth and increase it even more when she starts nursing her puppies. Because she may lose her appetite at times, it's important that she eats a nutrient-dense food. A complete, balanced puppy formula can give her the extra nutrients she needs. But avoid puppy food created for large and giant breeds; these formulas contain specially adjusted levels of energy and minerals that may not be sufficient for a pregnant or nursing dog.
Switching to a Mature Diet
Dogs who grow to be more than 50 pounds are considered mature or senior at age 5 or 6, which is earlier than small-breed dogs. So, it’s critical to make a proactive transition to a specially formulated mature diet, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Mature Adult Large Breed, to help keep your dog healthy and active as she ages.
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