Entries by Ruth Hagen

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Puppies & kittens & cats – oh, my!

I don’t know a trainer who isn’t restless around puppy season — For me, that includes kitten season, too.
That what’s-cuter-than-kittens? time of year is upon us again. Are you expecting the pitter-patter of four tiny furry paws in your home?  You’re in for a simultaneously adorable, confounding, & sleep deprived rest-of-the-year. So I would be remiss if I didn’t temporarily don my critter-coach cap out of sheer compassion for you: I just wrote the instruction manuals you’ll need for your new family member.

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You can train your cat!

Most of you are cat trainers and don’t realize it.
Does Fluffy come running when you use a can opener?
Does Maxi use his litter box or his scratching post?
Congratulations – you’ve succeeded in teaching your cat a behavior!

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Suggested Puppy Supplies

The Basics, chew toys (and what to avoid) — plus suggested readings

  • Crates: for larger dogs, get one (plastic or nylon) to fit Puppy now for the car. Get a second crate (wire, with 2 doors & a divider panel) for the house. Make it large enough to be comfy for your puppy to lay down, stretch out, stand up & turn around in — as an adult. Use the divider panel to adjust the crate size as Pup grows. Grant Pup more space in her crate as she matures & learns not to soil it.
  • Separate food & water bowls: Stainless steel or heavy glass bowls are healthier than plastic or glazed ceramic ones.
    Food & treats: Get a high quality diet from your vet, breeder, feed store or online. Ask your trainer for healthy treat recommendations. Avoid brands sold in grocery & drug stores.
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When You Bring a New Puppy Home

Congrats on your new pup!
Puppy is looking to you now for security & guidance. So begin teaching her your household rules as soon as you bring her home. This prevents unwanted behaviors from becoming bad habits to break later.
Follow these guidelines for a great start at raising a well-mannered dog: