Handbook for New Puppy Owners

Excerpts from "Handbook for New Puppy Owners" by Lois E. Denny

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A Few Notes Before We Get Started

Not all dogs train alike.  A professional handler gauges the dog and figures out what to do next by the reaction of the dog.  This is one reason why no book can tell you how to train your dog.

How long will it take you to train your dog?  Well let me start by telling you it would take me three days to teach your dog: come, sit, down, stay, heel (right turns, left turns, about turns, fast, slow and auto sits) as well as the recall.  Next my job would be to make sure the dog will do what he has learned with distractions of all kinds.  That will take me about a week.  But… That is all I do.  I begin my day at 6:00 am and go to bed at 10:00 pm.  A dog would get trained at: 7, 10, 2, 4, 6 and 8.  That would give the dog six small trainings per day.  I also begin a dogs training at four weeks old.  At four weeks old I do not expect the dog to do anything, I just speak commands and place the dog in the appropriate position.  It is so freaking easy at that age.  This four week old pup of mine would learn ‘stand stay’ for his grooming in one week without me even training him.  Just with his grooming sessions and photo taking sessions alone.  The go potty command is used EVERY SINGLE TIME the dog goes to the bathroom.  Do you realize how many times a young pup can go pee?



Ninety-Eight percent of the problems in most animal behavior issues are manifested because a human (the owners) did not know how to communicate with an animal.  The other two percent is the Breed of dog that was chosen did not fit the personality and temperament of the owners.

As you read this handbook, you will hear me say ‘ACT’ so I want you to understand that you need to do just that.  Can you do it?  Let’s just try it.  Open your mind and try something you may not be comfortable with and then see for yourself if this crazy lady is speaking the truth.  

Let me tell you that when you act out your anger or over-act your happiness, you will find that your training ability will go through the roof and you will be amazed at the outcome!

So, you think that you will need to over-act for the rest of the dogs’ life?  Nonsense!  Once the dog “see’s” and begins reading the person you are, then only subtle movements will be needed to speak to your pet. However, if you begin training your dog/puppy with ‘over-acting’ and use your voice, body, eyes and smile . . . then you will find that Fido will catch on faster than you ever imagined a canine to learn. This is our secret!

The Animal Trainer

An ‘Animal Trainer’ is patient and understands that animal training takes time and it takes baby steps.  He is self-educated in his profession and has the desire to gain more knowledge thus, he keeps an open mind.   An ‘Animal Trainer’ thinks about the effect that his actions will have upon the animal.   An ‘Animal Trainer’ understands that experience brings forth more knowledge as he learns the reasons dogs do the things they do.  He is decisive, quick and effective in all that he does.   It becomes second nature to reward whenever the animal is doing anything that is derived as ‘good’ even when the animal is doing nothing at all.

An ‘Animal Trainer’ is emotionally disciplined and does not let human emotions interfere with his acting career.  He is not prone to temper tantrums and can administer praise and discipline appropriately.

When he physically punishes an animal, he does so impartially and with a clear and thought-out decision that results in the training session at hand.  He absolutely never disciplines just to relieve some human frustration or vengeance as he knows that animals do not understand such things.

The ‘Animal Trainer’ has integrity!  He is his own person and depends on nothing outside of himself to declare to the world that he himself is important for he already knows of his importance.  His dog is not an object of idolization.  Each dog to him is unique and special and is trained according to that dogs individualism, temperament and character.

First, get the right breed and character for your lifestyle.  Let me repeat that while you get that highlighter out.


Learn the different breeds then accept the pup you have chosen as the breed he is and mold the kind of character you want in your dog.  Do you want a bird dog, herding dog, coursing dog, hauling dog, racing dog, toy companion dog, terrier?

Sometimes it is very difficult to see your pup as he really is rather than as you want him to be. The exuberant, forceful person may make his pup a bit shy and needing confidence (without understanding this) just as the forceful person may make a dog ‘shy down’.  Then there is the quiet person’s pup who becomes a leader and who will require a firm hand and firm voice!  Such a person may think that surely this assertive little puppy will become sweet and gentle any day now!  Your puppy’s behavior is in direct opposition to who you are.  Perhaps God has a hand in this?  



Several Days Before the Arrival of your new puppy

The day is arriving when you will go to the airport to pick up your new puppy so let’s go over the things you will need to do before your puppy comes home.

______1.  Re-arrange the house for your new arrival.  Pick up stuff and put it away.

______2.  Find a place that will be just for the puppy.  The puppy could use his own “bedroom” where he can be himself, where there is no stress.  This could be a closet, the mudroom, or a wire exercise pen.  This all depends on the age of your new pup.

There should be a way out to his potty area, or an area made for the pup to relieve himself when need be.  Put newspapers near the door out to his potty area. If your pup is not familiar with relieving himself indoors, either make sure the newspapers cover 80 % of the floor if he is to stay inside or make a place for him outside.

If he is to stay outside then you best put him in a kennel near your bed or inside where you can condition him first.  No puppy that I have ever known could adapt in one day to the outside without any other animal or person to let him know that he is not lost or alone.  Dogs are social animals and need someone or something to be with.  If your dog will spend a lot of time outside, fix up a place for the pup to have his water BUCKET and his FOOD DISH.  Purchase a large doghouse that has a small entrance as most dogs like dens.  You may wish to hammer down a carpet on the floor of the doghouse and a carpet to flap over the door now or in the future.

You should have the following:

______ 1.  Doghouse, crate or someplace the dog can go to get out of the elements.

______ 2.  A water bucket.

______ 3.  A food dish.

______ 4.  A fifteen or twenty-foot leash for training the “come.”

______ 5.  A choke chain and a collar .

______ 6.  Doggy shampoo special for your allergies? You should also have cream rinse, old towels and a blow drier.

______ 7.  A large tooth comb and a shedding blade.

______ 8.  A toolbox to put all his stuff in.

______ 9.  A toy box and doggy toys.

______10.  A “cookie jar” and chew’s.

______ 11.  Chicken franks cut up into thumbnail size pieces, put in small baggies, and frozen. One baggy in the refrigerator. You have cheddar cheese cut up and put in baggies for rewards when his stools are too lose or he is tired of the chicken franks.

______ 12.  Lots of newspapers if your puppy will be in the mudroom, laundry room or other enclosed places.

______13.  Your backyard has been puppy proofed. Go around the fence line and make sure there are no places where your puppy can stick his head through or under the fence. Make sure your fence is solid and sturdy. (Once an escape artist, always an escape artist).

Ok, you are ready for tomorrow?

How to put on the slip choke collar- In order to be productive, all tools must be used properly.  The following are instructions to the choke collar and I feel that such instructions should be included when anyone purchases one of these collars.

  1. Measure around the dog’s neck where the collar will “set on” right above the shoulders.  Add two inches and this is the length your choke collar should be.
  2. Kneel in front of your dog with your dogs head facing you.  Hold the two “end rings” one in each hand.  (The end rings are the rings at the end of both ends of this collar).
  3. Place your right hand higher than the left hand and let the chains go into the end ring that you are holding in your left hand.  All the links will pass through the end ring of your left hand and they will stop passing through when the ring in your right hand meets the ring in your left hand.  The ring in your left hand is called the “stationary ring.”  This ring only holds all the links.  That is its job. The ring at the end of all the lengths is called the “working ring” because it is this ring that will pull the chain links out of the stationary “end ring” and allow them to slide back through.

The “working ring” is the ring that you will attach the leash to and this is the most important ring.  This ring MUST be positioned so that it pulls the rings beginning at the back of the neck. Therefore, the way you put this collar over your dogs head (and on his neck) is IMPERATIVE.

  1. Put the collar on the floor and spread it out in a circle as shown in the diagram.  The working ring must come out of the non-working ‘end ring’ and go over the backside of the dog’s neck so . . . hold the ‘working ring’ in your left hand along with the non-working ‘end ring’.  Hold the links open with your right hand and slip the center hole (of all the links) over the dog’s head with the rings going off to the left side of you as you are looking at your dog.  The working and stationary links will actually be on the right side of the dog’s body.  

Now, if you place the dog on your left side and stand in the proper heeling position (with both the dog and you facing in the same direction) then the rings will be at your left leg as well as the leash itself.

Your dog will heel beside your left side. Why the left side? Because most folks are right-handed therefore you will need to use your right hand to open doors, sign contracts, or get the mail out of the mailbox.

The two-inch length of chain that hangs through the “stationary end ring” is the amount of chain that “works” or the amount of leverage you have to work with.  This amount of lose chain is what you will be able to “jerk and release” giving the dog the noise of the chains running through each other before the sharp “wake up” tension around the back of the neck . . . followed immediately with the “release” of tension.

The amount of force or strength of “pull” you will use on your pup needs to be enough to stop the dog from doing what he is doing.  If the jerk-release does not do the trick several short jerk and releases may do it.

Never, ever, pull the leash taut!
Always “jerk” and immediately “release” the tension.

This “choke” collar is not to be used to harm the dog.  It is a tool that when used properly lets the dog figure out what he is doing that is displeasing. The dog will learn to control the tension himself.

As you can see, this book is a very good book to read and to educate yourself with on your first or second dog.  Even if you have trained dogs before, this handbook will open your mind to other ways of thinking.

Schwarz dogs are NOT working dogs