Be your dog’s best friend

It’s been 3 months since we added Osiris – to our family. He’s a handsome boy from a long line of show champions. He was deemed best suited for the pet life, and he is proving to be quite an amazing pet and a charming fellow. Osiris and Ro cannot help but to stir curiosity and compliments from strangers everywhere they go. You see, due my husband’s career, we travel often. We found it easier to live where Mike works (a novel idea, I know). As a result we’ve lived a nomadic lifestyle for close to a year, bouncing between Marriott hotels. We’ve found that when having Great Danes as pets plus living in a hotel you will be stopped, and often, by strangers who are interested in asking tons of questions about your dog. (As a sidenote: I can assure you that hotel living makes for great stories to share over drinks.) 

If you were to ever meet us you would come to realize that we are always happy to answer questions regarding our dogs. I try to answer with as much clarity, honesty and depth as possible. We believe that educating others about dogs, and especially Great Danes, is a part of being a good dog owner. It’s not just a responsibility, but a duty to spread the knowledge. You will never know when you might be speaking with a future-first-time-owner of your dog’s breed.

During one of these Q&A sessions I was shocked to realize that many people didn’t know that their dogs teethed. That much like human babies, dogs lose their baby teeth. So, in response to those who were wondering about this subject matter, I’ve decided to continually update this blog section on training tips based off of things I’ve learned while raising my two dogs.

First tip of the day – Learn how to be your dog’s best friend

There is literally a book on how to achieve this. If you too just found out that your dog teethes, or you don’t know what your dog was originally bred to do then you are missing out on basic clues as to how to be a  suitable companion for your dog.

And that is okay as long as you commit to researching as much information about your dog and it’s origins. Everyone has to start somewhere and reading this book is a great place to begin. If you don’t like reading, you can buy it at Audible. It was a great way to pass the time during one of our long 13 hour road trips.

Second tip of the day – How to deal with puppy teething

In order to deal with teething you need to first recognize the signs. At 4 weeks, your puppy developed their ‘milk teeth’. These tiny teeth will begin to fall out as a final set of adult teeth erupt. You may see obvious signs of chewing such as drool, foul breath, and blood spots. Fortunately, our breeder gave us a heads up that Osiris’ siblings had started to teethe.

Your pup, like Osiris, may become irritable and begin to chew on things that are not his toys, like your hands, blankets, shoes, wood etc. He’s looking to alleviate pain and this is where your help is required. You have to pay attention to him, and start to redirect the chewing to more appropriate items. It is not okay to let them chew on your hands. By letting your dog chew on your hands, he’s learning that it’s okay to handle humans with their teeth. You don’t want to encourage this behavior as it can lead to nipping and biting.

Again and I stress, you do want to redirect him immediately to chewing to one of their own toys. Simply stop him in his tracks by replacing what ever he is chewing on with a toy. Yes, its that simple. Be consistent and timely about executing this training tip.

Within a day of his siblings, our little Osiris lost a tooth too. Their teeth will be really small and most likely he’ll swallow it before you have a chance to find them. I have to admit Mike had a hand in helping the tooth “fall” out. Mike gently and swiftly tugged the tooth out. Osiris was immediately given gratuitous praise and treats. We did this to let Osiris know that this experience doesn’t have to be a weird, or painful one. If you do find yourself looking to assist them, then make sure the tooth really is on the verge of falling out.But most importantly do not make this event a traumatic one. Remember your dog is in their formative years, and what you do now may have a life long impression.

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I was shocked to realize that many people didn’t know that their dogs teethed.

You can also give your dog ice cubes, or even buy teething rings like the one you see in the photo below. These are great because you can freeze them and they providing chewing relief for hours. I do not recommend raw hides. In fact, never give your dog raw hides.

pPETNA-5214294_alternate1_t300x300I don’t recommend raw hides because once digested, the smell returns in a gas form (a fart) which is a toxic chemical assault to one’s nose. YUCK!

But mostly you shouldn’t give your dog raw hide because they are a major choking hazard and hard for your dog to digest. Most good breeders will back me up on the latter part of this statement and should have warned you before you took your pup home.

In short

Knowing basic information about your dog’s physical and mental being will help you to train your dog to become the best that he/she can be. A well behaved dog, who trusts and responds to their parents reap the rewards of a privileged life. People often comment on how well behaved our dogs are and are impressed that we are able to take them to public settings, like restaraunts or clothing stores. However, because we understand our dogs we were able to train and prepare them on how to live peacefully among their human counterparts.

Treat interaction with your pup as a training opportunity that will help him to trust and bond with you and your family. Today’s tip will help your pup from chewing on anything that’s not his and also show him that he should be comfortable when people handle their mouths. This is important because you’re going to have to start brushing all of those new sparkly adult teeth soon.

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