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Your Very First Puppy - Turning Around Those Bad Habits

Bringing up a puppy is similar to bringing up a child; the habits that it learns in its early years will stick with them for the rest of their lives.

In this episode, Dr Chris Brown explores the issue of teething, when your puppy just wants to bite anything.

Some tips include:

- Giving the puppy toys to chew (rather than your furniture)
- Use a high pitched alarm when the puppy is biting something they shouldn't. They should stop immediately!
- Biting should stop after six months

Another major challenge is resisting the temptation to give your puppy access to all areas of your home, such as the bedroom. Where you want the dog to sleep as an adult must be where you keep them as a puppy! You need to make it clear from the outset which rooms are fine for the dog, and which are off limits. The more access they get, the more expectant they become that places like the bedroom are also their rooms too.

The kitchen is also an important area to get it right. We all love the idea of sliding a bit of human food under the table to the new puppy, but that can quickly become a habit, and it can get very annoying after a while. Try not to feed them from the table at any time, and if you have to, put the puppy outside during meal times. In this video, Dr Chris uses an air horn to make the point that jumping up at the table is a bad idea!

Cockatiel plucking her feathers

Hi! I hope you can help me with my cockatiel, I write from Spain and here they aren't that common so vets don't know much about treating them. I have a 5 years old female cockatiel and she is very affectionate, 2 years ago I had to spend a couple of months at a hospital and my parents during that time were either working or visiting me, so she felt lonely and started plucking her feathers. Even after I went back home she continued with this behaviour and hasn't stopped. I took her to different vets, they told me to give her small amounts of a syrup that was meant for calming itching and an antibiotic in case it was something producing an itching, but neither worked. I also tried a spray called "Pluck-no-more" with the same results. In case she was lonely we got her a mate, but it may be also female since they don't pay attention to each other at all. She rubs her cloaca on the perch often but the other tiel ignores it (the pet shop said it was male but they said the same with her and then she laid an egg...). The layer that covers the feather while growing (not sure of the name in English) doesn't grow normally, looks more like bland plastic than a hard cover like the ones on my other birds pin feathers (besides her, I have another cockatiel and a lovebird). Is as if the feathers on the plucking areas aren't growing correctly. The areas she plucks are under the wings, the part where wings join the body, and the body area that is covered by the wings while resting. While plucking she lets out small cries. The fluff covers these areas so by just looking at her isn't easy to tell, unless you watch her while preening. I let her play outside of the cage very often, but lately she can't fly well and I think it may be caused by the loss of these feathers. As I said, vets in this area are more specialized in cats and dogs and know little about parrots, so I hope you can advise me since these birds are native to Australia. Is there some kind of balm or spray I can apply on her skin to soothe it? Some medicine I can ask my local vet to use? I love her and it hurts seeing her in pain everytime she preens. Any advice would be much appreciated. Greetings from Spain!