Wednesday, June 13, 2012

When Your Little Puppy is...Not So Little Anymore

Puppies are so cute, so small, so playful...and grow so fast!  From the American Kennel Club's list of the top 10 dogs of 2011, half of the most popular dog breeds are in the "large breed" category.  Dogs in this category stand approximately 22" - 26" high at the shoulder and weigh about 60 - 90 pounds when full grown. When bringing in a new dogie friend into the family the the full grown size and weight of your new furry friend needs to be considered  to prepare for when your puppy is full size.


A small jumping puppy is very cute but a large jumping 90 pound dog can be dangerous.  Puppies need to run and play but need to be taught not to jump up on people, both adults and children. When standing on hind legs, a full grown Lab can be as tall (or taller) than an average size adult woman. A friendly, playful dog that size can be frightening and dangerous when jumping up at full force. Taught from a puppy that this is unacceptable behavior, jumping won't be a problem when full grown.


The Grrrip Leash
All dogs, especially large breeds need to walk, run, and get daily exercise.  Without, they may become restless and destructive. A daily walk will not only provide much needed exercise but socialization as well.  For successful walks as an adult dog teach good leash walking practices from puppyhood.  Controlling a 20 pound puppy on a leash may not be too difficult by try controlling a 90 pound, pulling, full grown dog. Teach proper, no pull leash walking as a puppy. If your pup still pulls occasionally, or you are concerned about easily walking a larger dog, try The Grrrip Leash.  As a dog walker I walk many large breed dogs and I this is the leash I always use.  This leash has an extra handle at the hook end of the leash that attaches to the collar. If pup starts to pull, gets excited by a passing squirrel or truck, or starts walking faster than you would like you have the extra handle to quickly stabilize yourself and calm your dog.  The Grrrip Leash is widely available on-line or at large chain pet stores.

Not able to provide your pup with a daily walk? Professional dog walkers & pet sitters can help.  An experienced dog walker will know how to properly walk and exercise you pup.  One walk a day will provide both exercise, companionship and the social experience that dogs need to help prevent obesity and curb boredom.

Outdoor Play

Will your large pup have sufficient space to run and play? A large fenced-in yard is not a substitute for walks but is the perfect place for your pup to run off leash, play and experience different sights and sounds. Have available a variety of puppy or dog safe balls and toys upgrading them to larger age appropriate varieties as needed. Many dogs love tennis balls and will enjoy a game of fetch or will enjoy the challenge of catching fly balls.  It is important that these balls and toys are checked for wear and replaced when they become old and worn. Once the outside fabric of a tennis balls starts to shred it could become dangerous if the your pup pulls off pieces and ingests them.

If a fenced in yard is not available, or not of sufficient size, visit your local dog park.  Dog parks will not only allow space for your dog to run and play but they will have the added benefit of allowing your pup to socialize with other dogs.  Most dog parks have separate areas for large and small dogs so your pup with find friends of similar size and energy level.
Enjoy your pup at every age and size. Before you bring home your new furry friend familarize yourself with their breed's adult size, weight and energy level. A great source for information is the book Your Purebred Puppy: A Buyer's Guide by Michele Welton. as well as their website  Enjoy your puppy, have fun with your dog... enjoy all of their life stages.

1 comment:

  1. I have never seen this type of leash before. I will have to check it out. Thanks for the info!