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Hello Everyone,

I am a first time dog owner. I have always wanted one, but for one reason or another never get one. I got a puppy about a week ago. He is a Cavalier Spaniel. He is about 10 weeks old now. My friends don't have pets, as they lead busy city lives. I bought a book, plus I went shopping and went overboard and bought toys, beds, crate, perfume and so much more. I have also been reading articles online. I am a completely beginner to dogs, and I already love my puppy Max, and I am having to learn fast. So some good advice would be really welcome.

Here are some questions I have at the moment:

1) I have read small dogs or puppies like him only need half tea cups amount of food twice a day. Is this correct? I have been feeding him quite a bit more. He still seems a bit hungry! I don't want to make him fat and get him used to large amounts of food if he does not need it. He is tiny. Typically, I would feed him once in the morning, say around 7am is, and once around 4pm ish. And that would be it for the day. However, that seems like a long time for me! He does always have water. Any advice on this is welcome. My wife gave him a lot of food while I was out today. She always gives hime food if he barks too much and I am not at home. And today she overfed him and his belly now looks all bloated compared to how body, and he was very hyper today. Luckily I feed him 99% of the time.

2) I am getting him used to doing his business in the garden. My garden is one side payment slabs and the other we have a vegetable garden. I try and keep him away from the vegetable garden because of the fear that he may eat slugs and snails, plus the fact that he ends up eating the plants. I understand slugs are bad for dogs! However, the main issue I am having is, he sometimes finds odd bits of stone or brick, or sometimes even dried bird poop, and he ends up trying to eat them. I try to stop him, and I am wondering should I, or does he need to learn from trial and error and mistakes, like we all do!

3) I have a 7 year old daughter, and she loves him obviously. The crazy thing is he likes her more than me. Do dogs know that she is a child like him? Maybe the fact that she laughs and giggles with him all the time helps! Anyway, I want him to be very gentle with kids, as my daughter does have friends coming over quite often as she is an only child. So I am a little concerned about biting. Although he does not do that "properly" yet. I want to start on a good footing. He plays with us a lot. I have read that whenever the dogs teeth touches you or he bites, even if it does not hurt, you should whimper or make a pretend sound as if you are hurt, and then fold your hands, and ignore him for a few seconds. Apparently, when puppies play with each other thats how they learn what is play and what hurts. I have been doing this with him, and so far it has been working OK. Not sure if I am doing it right. Is this the right way?

4) I was told young puppies Max's age do a number one and a number two normally within 30 minutes or so of eating and drinking, and that at Max's age (about 10 weeks), they need to go every 2 hours or so! Is this right? Its so similar to human babies. As you can imagine he has been keeping me up at night. I have got it down to once or twice a night at the moment. Not bad for 1 week. He was very nervous in the first few days. Now he seems more settles, and he is becoming more demanding and less timid.

5) Lastly, I read that you should fit the dog around your lifestyle as opposed to the other way around. You should stop the dog controlling your life and routine and if you let him, he will. So apparently I need to sometimes ignore him when he barks a lot, so that he learns barking does not always work. I have been doing this, and its has helped. However, on some days like today, he seems to bark more than other days. My wife can't tolerate barking for too long. I know it doesn't last, and its part of his training.

Thats it I am done.

So sorry for all of these question. However, I needed some definitive answers.

Thank you.
 

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I strongly suggest you go to Dog Star Daily and download the free puppy raising articles. Ian Dunbar is fantastic, and he has tons of great information on raising puppies.
 

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Thanks, I will take a look. By the way the book I bought, and the tips I have been following has been from Puppy Raising Made Easy by Dai Williamson, just in case you were wondering where I was getting my info from.

I strongly suggest you go to Dog Star Daily and download the free puppy raising articles. Ian Dunbar is fantastic, and he has tons of great information on raising puppies.
 

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1) The amount that you feed will to some extent depend on the quality of the food. A food that is very low in the nutrients that dogs use (like those cheapo brands you get at the grocery store) needs to be consumed in high amounts before the dog gets enough protein, vitamins and minerals. A very high quality food on the other hand has less fillers and more protein, vitamins and minerals. Growing dogs eat a lot, but I can't imagine a spaniel puppy needing more than a metric cup of food per day.

2) Puppies are very much like babies in that they like to explore with their mouths. Mostly, it is a matter of managing the behavior by preventing him wherever possible (obviously you don't want him to choke), trading him for treats and teaching "drop it".

3) Puppy biting is a huge topic in puppy training. Some people like the yelp method, but others find it just excites their puppy even more. Ian Dunbar has a lot of good advice to give. I always say that if the puppy bites down to hard you should mark that with a word like "ouch" and put a toy in his mouth. If he persists in biting, just get up and leave the room for a minute. Dogs learn this way that in order to keep your friends around, you need to play nice.

4) Yes, puppies need to go potty frequently and them more opportunities you can provide for them to do business in the PROPER place, the more solid their house training will become. You can even take him out hourly if you want to be safe. All of the work you are putting in right now to prevent him from choosing his own 'potty spot' in the house will go a tremendously great way towards getting him reliably housetrained.

5) It's a give-take. Dogs are intelligent creatures with needs for stimulation and engagement. My philosophy is that you should change your lifestyle a bit so that you can kill 2 birds with one stone. Rather than giving him his food in a bowl, load it into a food-dispensing toy to keep him quiet and busy when he is bored. When you drive your daughter to and from school, pack the puppy along with you... again, quick and easy entertainment for him. If you need to do some yardwork, tether him to a tree or invest in an ex-pen so that he can get a bit of fresh air while you get things done. That way you're jumping when the puppy says 'jump', but you're tweaking your lifestyle in a smart way that keeps the dog happy, tired and entertained.
 
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