Helpful Hints
for your new puppy


CONGRATULATIONS! You are the proud owner of a very special MINIATURE SCHNAUZER puppy. Just like a new baby, there is work to be done so your lifestyle isn't totally disrupted (and it will be disrupted to some degree). You must remember this is a puppy who will be fully grown in a few months, so you only have a short while to establish your ground rules. If you don't work daily with this puppy, you may end up with an ill-mannered adult dog. If given lots of love, and trained and handled properly, your dog will provide years of enjoyment. YOU are the adult- PUPPY is the child- YOU are the boss, don't forget this! MINIATURE SCHNAUZERS are very lively, intelligent curious dogs by nature. You will be surprised how quickly they learn if taught with consistency and firmness. Below are some guidelines that will assist you in the upcoming months.


VACCINATIONS AND HEALTH CARE: Your puppy is current on it's vaccinations as of the date it was purchased/shipped, details of which are on the Bill of Sale & Health Guarantee provided in your Puppy Starter package. However, you will need to consult your veterinarian for his/her recommended future vacination schedule. Please treat your puppy as if it has had no shots, at least until after the next booster if given by your Veterinarian. Please refrain from taking the puppy to the Pet Store, park, groomer, etc. until absolutely necessary. Parvo and distemper are airborne diseases and puppies that have not had their shots are very susceptible to being infected, possibly resulting in death.


FEEDING: Dry puppy food is recommended, one of high quality with the appropriate combination of protein, fat, vitamins, etc. for a new puppy. These ingredients are essential in order to maintain a healthy pet with a nice shiny coat, and strong teeth and bones. You have been provided a sample of the food that your puppy is currently eating (Diamond Natural Small Breed). I recommend that you keep your puppy on this same food, but if you choose to switch to another food, do it only after puppy is settled in and has adjusted to his/her new home and is stress free. Do not switch food all at once! This must be done slowly (over a 5-7 day period) or your puppy could get diarrhea. Start slowly by mixing 1/3 of the new food with 2/3 of the old food for a few days, then 2/3 of new food with 1/3 of the old food for a couple of days, Gradually work up to 100% of new food. DO NOT feed the puppy ANYTHING other than dog food. Do not feed only soft or canned dog food. If you do, you could possibly have an adult dog with poor teeth and gums, and bad breath!


UPSET STOMACH: Puppies will get into things that will upset their stomach. Any kind of stress can also cause a loose stool. If your puppy is vomiting and/or has diarrhea, it is VERY IMPORTANT that it be stopped as soon as possible- Consult your Veterinarian IMMEDIATELY! You should not let this condition go unattended, as it can easly result in dehydration and can be life threatening to your puppy within a very short period of time. Make sure you have no poisonous plants that your puppy can chew on. Be cautious of any plant that produces a white, milky substance when it is cut or you snap off a leaf. These can cause the puppy to become very ill and if he/she has ingested enough, even die. Watch your puppy outside, he's very curious and can get into everything.


LOVE: Most importantly, give lots of love and praise. This new baby really wants to make you proud of it and a little love goes a very long way. Remember, a dog's love is always unconditional. Don't take advantage! Give your baby all the love he/she deserves.


House Training

Buy a crate and during the first few weeks, keep your puppy in it whenever you are not playing, holding or watching him explore his new surroundings. Spend as much time as you can with your new pet, but when you can't watch him, crating him can prevent mistakes from occurring. In addition to providing the safe, secure refuge your dog needs and wants, crates are critical to house training because as den animals, dogs are naturally inclined not to soil their bed. The most important thing learned by house training dogs in a crate is that they can control their urge to eliminate until the proper time and situation.


Establish a schedule and don't deviate from it. The ''when'' and ''how'' you house train needs to be consistent so make sure all family members follow the same guidelines. Pick a soiling spot in your yard and take your puppy there on a lead when it is time to eliminate. The odor from previous visits to this spot will stimulate the urge to defecate and/or urinate. Many new owners confuse their puppy by using different words for the same command. In the housebreaking process, it is a good idea to use the same word like ''outside'' every time you take the puppy out to eliminate. Consistent use of a word with an activity will help to build a level of communication between you and your pup. Later, while you are watching television and notice your pup staring at you, you can say the word ''outside'' and your pup will go to the door.


Be patient. Dogs may urinate or defecate more than once in an outing, and not always right away. Don't distract your pup from the job at hand. This is a business trip, not a social time.


Praise them for their success when the job is done, but don't overdo it. Just patting them across their shoulders a few time will do the trick. In a dog's language, that means moe than constant rubbing across the head or repeating ''Good Dog". Some peope prefer to use a consistent phrase to encourage the pup to eliminate, such as ''Go Potty''. The pup soon learns this is a signal to eliminate, which is very useful when traveling or when time is short.


Don't mix business with pleasure. When your pup has finished, take him back inside, even just for a minute or two. When you come back inside, spend some time with your pup. You know there is little chance the pup will have to eliminate for a while so play with him and have a good time. The more time you spend with the pup, the better. Remember, they are still young and need to act like a pup, developing and learning about their new situation and environment. When you're finished, take one more trip outside and then place the pup back in it's cage or crate. After every meal and playtime, remmber to take them outside before placing them back in the crate.


The key to house training is you. Spend as much time with your puppy as possible during the first two to three weeks your puppy is home. Consistent, patient, praise when appropriate, and be willing- for however long it takes- to invest the time and energy necessary to make this important training time a success. The effort you put forth now will be well worth it for the lifetime of your pet.


Establishing a schedule is important. Dogs are creatures of habit; they like to eat, sleep and relieve themselves on a regular schedule. Establishing and maintaining a schedule is easy to do and gets easier as your puppy grows.
Pay attention to your dogs behavior so you can develop a schedule that works for both of you. First learn when you dog naturally defecates- in the morning, at night, 30 minutes after eating, etc. Look at your schedule and determine what compromises need to be made to make this workable for everyone.
If you catch your puppy in the act of having an accident, tell him ''NO!'' forcefully and pick him up and take him outside. If you don't catch him, simply clean up the mess and scold yourself for not being available. Do not scold the puppy.
Until your pup is 14 weeks old, take him outside frequently and watch him very closely when he is in or out of his crate. As soon as you see him pacing, sniffing around, turning around in circles, or trying to sneak away (if he's out of his crate), take him outside. These are telltale signs that he needs to relieve himself. Say ''outside'' each time you take your puppy out, so you can develop communication and understanding between you and your pet.



The Marvelous Crate

Any wild canine will secure a small snugly fitting space to call it's own. this space represents security to the dog. If it is in it's den, it cannot be attacked or bothered, so it is able to relax fully. This instinctive desire for a secure den is the basis of the psychology behind using a crate as a training aid. Once the pet owner has overcome his own prejudice against ''caging a pet'' and has accepted the sound reasoning behind crate training, he and his dog can begin to enjoy the benefits of the marvelous crate.

To accustom your puppy to it's new crate, prop open the door and allow the pup to explore the confines of the crate. Placing food or a favorite object inside will encourage it to step in. When the dog is comfortable, close the door and keep it confined for about 5 or 10 min. When you let the pup out, do it unceremoniously. Releasing the puppy should not be a major production.

Each time you put the dog in the crate, increase the time it is confined. Eventually the puppy can be confined for up to several hours at a time. If the crate also serves as the puppy's bed, it can be left crated throughout the night. Don't overuse the crate though. Both you and your puppy should think of it as a safe haven, not as a prison.

Many dogs will learn to go directly to their crates when they are ready to call it a day. Often, the use of the crate will convince a restless dog to stop howling at the moon or barking at every little sound, allowing their owners to sleep through the night undisturbed.

Many dogs receive their meals in their crates. Finicky eaters are made to concentrate on the food that is offered and, as a result, overcome their eating problems. For the owners of more than one dog, the crate serves as a way to regulate the food intake of each dog. If dogs in the same household have different diets, crate feeding is almost essential. It can also make mealtimes less stressful if you have a dominant dog that tries to keep the others in the household away from the food bowls.

Housebreaking is made easier when the wise owner relies on the help of the crate. Until the dog is dependably housetrained, it should not be given the opportunity to make a mistake. A healthy dog normally will not soil it's den (the place where it sleeps). If the crate is the right size for your dog, allowing just enough room to stand up and turn around, it will not soil it's crate. If you purchase a crate for a puppy based on the size of the mature dog, you may need to block off one end to keep the puppy from sleeping in one corner and using the other for elimination.

Any time you cannot keep a close watch on the puppy, kindly place it back in it's crate. When the dog eliminates at the proper time, reward it. With the assistance of a crate, house training can be almost painless for you and your puppy.
The crate is a safety seat for a traveling dog. You may know that shipping a dog requires a crate, but did you realize that a crate in your car, serves as a seatbelt would to protect your dog in the event of an accident? A dog thrown out of the car through a windshield has little chance of surviving. Also, in the event you or a passenger need medical care during an accident, a crate will keep the dog from "protecting'' or "guarding" you from paramedics.

If you need to ship your dog by air, the task will be much easier if the dog is already accustomed to it's crate. A crate-trained dog is relaxed and less likely to need sedation for traveling. Avoiding sedatives removes one of the major risks of air travel for dogs, and your dog will be alert and happy when it lands.

When you travel and have to leave your dog behind, the caretaker will have a much easier time caring for a crate-trained dog and she might appreciate being able to confine the dog for rest periods. Your dog will also enjoy being able to take it's crate (and a little bit of home) with it if it must spend time in a strange place.

No untrained dog should be given the run of the house while it's owner is away. This is not only foolhardy from the standpoint of protecting your belongings, but also from the standpoint of intervals to exercise and taking care of business.
If your dog becomes ill or needs surgery, confinement in a crate means better care for your dog. It reinforces consistency in training. It helps the dog feel more secure. It makes having strangers in the house less hectic. It makes travel safe and more comfortable. It makes bringing up a puppy as easy as can be. Once you have experienced the benefits of crate-training your dog, you will question how you ever lived without "THE MARVELOUS CRATE".


Chew Control

Puppies chew on whatever they can get their mouths on for any number of reasons: they're bored, they have a lot of energy, they're teething, or they're just curious. Dogs learn through their mouths. It's their tool, it's how they receive a great deal of information. They are naturally inclined to use their mouths whenever they can. Fortunately, most destructive chewing behavior can be prevented or controlled. To prevent problem chewing and to direct your pup's natural inclination to chew towards appropriate objects, follow these simple guidelines:


Critical Periods in a Dog's Life

0 to 7 Weeks
Neonatal, Transition,
Awareness, and Canine
Puppy is with mother and littermates.  During this period, puppy learns about social interaction, plan, and inhibiting aggression from mother and littermates.  Puppies must stay with their mother and littermates during this critical period if possible.  Puppies learn the most important lesson in their lives - they learn to accept discipline.
7 to 12 Weeks
Human Socialization Period
The puppy now has the brain waves of an adult dog, but his attention span is short.  This period is when the most rapid learning occurs.  Learning at this age is permanent so this is a perfect time to start training.  Also this is the ideal time to introduce the puppy to things that will play an important part in his life.  Introduce the puppy to different people, places, animals, and sounds in a positive, non-threatening way.
8 to 11 Weeks
Fear Imprint Period
Avoid frightening the puppy during this period.   Any traumatic, frightening or painful experience will have a more lasting effect on the puppy than if it occurred at any other time in it's life.
13 to 16 Weeks
Seniority Classification Period
or The Age of Cutting
Puppy cuts teeth and apron strings!  Puppy begins testing who is going to be pack leader.  You must discourage any and all biting because such biting can be a sign of dominance.  It is important that you are a strong and consistent leader.  If formal training is planned, this is the time to begin.  Such training will help you establish your leadership.
4 to 8 Months
Play Instinct Period
Flight Instinct Period
Puppy may wander and ignore you.  It is very important that you keep the puppy on a leash at this time.  The way you handle the puppy at this time determines if the puppy will come to you when called.  At about 4-1/2 months, the puppy loses his milk teeth and get his adult teeth.  That's when puppy begins serious chewing.  A dog's teeth don't set in his jaw until between 6 and 10 months.  During this time, the puppy has a physical need to exercise his mouth by chewing.
6 to 14 Months
Second Fear Imprint Period
or Fear of New Situations
Dog again shows fear of new situations and even familiar situations.  Dog may be reluctant to approach someone or something new.   It is important that you are patient and act very matter of fact in these situations.  Never force the dog to face the situation.  Do not pet the frightened puppy or talk in soothing tones.  The puppy will interpret such responses as praise for being frightened.  Training will help improve the dog's confidence.
1 to 4 Years
Maturity Period
You may encounter increased aggression and renewed testing for dominance.  Continue to train your dog during this period.



Dog and Puppy Hazards

From the Veterinarians at the
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center
Typical Species Exposed and Affected
Commonly Observed Signs
Cats, dogs and other small mammals
Vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, tremors and seizures
Yeast dough
Drunken appearance, abdominal pain, respiratory depression, cardiac arrest
Macadamia nuts
Weakness, vomiting, incoordination, tremors
Raisins and grapes
Dogs and possibly other species
Vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, lethargy and kidney failure
Dogs, cats, rabbits, goats, cattle, horses and birds
Vomiting, diarrhea, inflammation of the mammary glands in some species, heart and respiratory problems in some species
Cats, dogs, small mammals
Vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, tremors and seizures
Alcoholic Beverages
Cats, dogs and other small mammals
Drunken appearance, vomiting, lethargy, respiratory depression
Cats, dogs, other small mammals, horses, birds, reptiles and livestock
Vomiting, drunken appearance, excessive drinking and urinating, seizures and kidney failure
Liquid potpourris
Cats, dogs, other small mammals and birds
Oral and esophageal burns
Ice melts
Cats, dogs, other small mammals, birds and horses
Vomiting, diarrhea, disorientation and electrolyte imbalances
Electrical cords
Dogs, cats and small mammals
Shock or electrocution
Holiday decorations
Dogs, cats, birds, small mammals and reptiles
Injury to the mouth or gastrointestinal tract and foreign body obstruction in the gastrointestinal tract
Dogs, cats and small mammals
Foreign body obstruction and corrosive injury to the mouth and gastrointestinal tract
Human Cough/Cold/Flu medicines
Dogs, cats, birds, small mammals and reptiles
May affect one or more body system, life threatening conditions possible
Easter, stargazer and tiger lilies
Vomiting, kidney damage and probable death
Christmas cactus
(Schlumbergera truncata)
Dogs, cats, birds, small mammals and reptiles
Gastrointestinal upset
(Phoradendron serotinum)
Dogs, cats, birds, small mammals and reptiles
Gastrointestinal upset, lowered blood pressure, cardiovascular collapse and other variable signs
American holly
(Ilex opaca)
Dogs, cats, birds, small mammals and reptiles
Gastrointestinal upset and depression
Christmas tree preservative
Dogs, cats, birds, small mammals and reptiles
Mild gastrointestinal upset
Dogs, horses, cattle
Gastrointestinal upset, foreign body obstruction, kidney failure

Plants Toxic to Cats and Dogs

Aloe Vera, Amarylillis, Apple (seeds) , Apple Leaf Croton, Apricot (pit) , Asparagus Fern , Autumn Crocus, Avacado (fruit and pit) , Azalea , Baby's Breath , Bird of Paradise , Bittersweet , Branching Ivy , Buckey , Buddist Pine , Caladium , Calla Lily , Castor Bean , Ceriman , Charming Dieffenbachia, Cherry (seeds and wilting leaves) , Chinese Evergreen , Christmas Rose , Cineraria , Clematis , Cordatum , Corn Plant , Cornstalk Plant , Croton , Cuban Laurel, Cutleaf Philodendron, Cycads , Cyclamen , Daffodil , Devil's Ivy , Dieffenbachia , Dracaena Palm , Dragon Tree , Dumb Cane , Easter Lily (especially in cats!!!!) , Elaine , , Elephant Ears , Emerald Feather , English Ivy , Fiddle-leaf fig , Florida Beauty , Foxglove , ,Fruit Sala d Plant , Geranium , German Ivy , Giant Dumb Cane , Glacier Ivy , Gold ieffenbachia , Gold Dust Dracaena , Golden Pothos , Hahn's Self-Branching Ivy , Heartland , hilodendron , Hurricane Plant , Indian Rubber Plant, Janet Craig Dracaena , Japanese Show Lily (especially cats !!!) , Jeusalem Cherry , Kalanchoe , Lacy Tree Philodendron , Lily of the , alley , Madagascar Dragon Tree , Marble Queen, Marijuana , Mexican Breadfruit , Miniature , roton , Mistletoe, Morning Glory , Mother-in Law's Tongue , Narcissus , Needlepoint Ivy , ,Nephytis , Nightshade , Oleander , Onion , Oriental Lily (especially in cats!!!) , Peace Lily , Peach (wilting leaves and pits) , Pencil Cactus , Plumosa Fern , Poinsettia (low toxicity) , , Poison Ivy , Poison Oak , Pothos , Precatory Bean , Primrose , Red Emerald , Red Princess , , Red-Margined Dracaena , Rhododendron , Ribbon Plant , Saddle Leaf Philodendron , Sago Palm , Satin Pothos , Schefflera , Silver Pothos , Spotted Dumb Cane , String of Pearls, Striped , racaena , Sweetheart Ivy , Swiss Cheese Plant , Taro Vine , Tiger Lily (especially cats!!!) , Tomato Plant (green fruit, stem and leaves) , Tree Philodendron , Tropic Snow Dieffenbachia , Weeping Fig , Yew

Dr. Jill Richardson
ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center
Phone (217) 337-5030
Fax (217) 337-0599