Monthly WestieGram
What's new this September!
September 2, 2004


In this issue:


1.  Francie's Five!
2.  Abby's Four Pups Are Really Growing!
3.  Bites, Nips, and Sharp Teeth!
4.  Pups Like To Chew!
5.  Give us an update!


1.  Francie's Five!

At five weeks, Francie's pups are really active and playful!  Late in the evening, after work, I enjoy laying down on the floor and playing with them.  Linda spends hours each day with all the dogs.  They enjoy the belly rubs and crawling around on me.  We allow them to spend a few minutes each day with the big dogs.  They all run and play in the yard with the pups.  The pups chase them and they have a big time.  They growl and chase the big dogs.  They are now  separated from their mom most of the day and are really eating that mashed up kibble soaked in warm water.  They are eating like little pigs! 

Click Here to see her pups.

2.  Abby's Four Pups Are Really Growing!

At almost three weeks, their eyes are open and their hearing will begin soon.  They spend most of their time sleeping or nursing.  They have begun discovering their surroundings and are playing with each other more each day.

Click Here to see her pups.

3.  Bites, Nips, and Sharp Teeth

It is very natural for your pup to use their mouths to play and to communicate.  They fuss, gnaw, and bite on each of their littermates.  Before they come to your home, we have already begun the process of teaching them that to bite people is NOT acceptable.  You must continue that training.  Pups have razor sharp teeth.  They can draw blood with only minor contact.  This is not a bite!  When they get older and that behavior has not been modified, the same innocent incidents can become actual bites.  This is why we must deal with mouthiness immediately.

Puppies learn bite inhibition from their mom and their littermates.  We see them play with each other, really rough and tumble, then suddenly one puppy squeals/yelps and there is a skirmish that evolves into a real fight.  The pups are learning what is "too much' in the mouthy play.  They learn this from their mom and littermates between six and eight weeks.  This is another reason we do not like for pups to go to their new homes until eight weeks of age. 

When playing, pups will be drawn to your hands.  You communicate with them (pet them, feed them, play with them) with your hands.  They communicate with their mouths.  Therefore, it is up to us to teach them the appropriate manner to play with your hands.  When we play with our pups, as they get older and bite on us, we yelp and say, "No bite".  Be consistent.  Do this each time.  At first, it will have no meaning.  But soon, they will catch on.  I play a lot with our grown dogs on the floor.  One of them can get a little rough and begin to bite down on my hand or my ear.  I can say "Ouch", and they know what I am talking about.  They simmer down and we continue to play.  I never have to worry about one of them getting too rough because we have trained them to play without biting, even though my hand may be in their mouth or they may be nibbling on my ear!

The same principle applies to the feet!  All of this is absolutely normal.  The only way they will know differently is if you teach them the difference.  They will learn quickly.

Remember, no behavior is taught overnight.  It takes many repetitions, consistency, and patience.  Your pup will need to be rewarded for correct behavior to ensure success.

4.  Pups Like To Chew!

Chewing is a natural activity for puppies.  They chew on things due to their natural tendencies and their "teething".  When pups are teething, chewing actually provides physical relief.  Just as we provide teething rings for our infants, your pup needs teething rings too.  They will gnaw on anything available that will offer them teething relief.  We have used Bitter Apple spray that is suppose to discourage chewing on furniture, etc.  All of our pups seem to "love" Bitter Apple.  It has never worked for us.  If you catch your pup chewing on something that is not acceptable, say in a firm voice, "No chew, no"!

Some additional Helpful Hints:

1. Chew proof your home.  Pick up all items that will be inviting to a pup's mouth.

2. Keep all socks and shoes away from the pup.  If they chew your socks or shoes, it is your fault for leaving them out.  Do not give them their own shoe or sock to chew on.  How can they tell the difference from their shoe and your shoe?

3. Never let a pup out of your sight.  If they are somewhere else and quiet...they are into something...probably chewing something.

4. For teething pups, keep nylabones available.  You can also use baby teething rings.  Just be sure they can't chew them up and swallow pieces.

Pups require a lot of patience and commitment.  For this reason, it is not a good idea to have a new pup in your home if you are not home all day with the pup to housetrain and teach him puppy manners that will pay great dividends in time to come.  When you work all day, it is not fair to a pup to crate him for hours during the day and then crate him at night and expect him to be quiet.  He has already slept all day!  He's ready for some play and attention.

5. Give Us An Update!

If you have one of our pups, be sure to keep us informed.  We like receiving pictures of our pups.  Give us an update often.  Send us a picture and I will post it on the "Friends Page" of our website for 30 days.  Even if you have a Westie that is not a Down South Westie, send me a picture, your first name, state, and a sentence or two about your Westie and I'll post it for 30 days.