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We learned how small adjustments could mean a big difference for our dogs....

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A puppy? not just for Christmas
Decision | Preparations | The drive home | @ home.... | Do's and Don'ts | Children and Puppies/Dogs |
The first few days @ home
  • Leaving his mother and litter-mates is a traumatic experience for any puppy (I recommend you do not pick your puppy up until he/she is 10 weeks). Some pups settle into a new home immediately; they are running around within seconds of coming in through the door, others, however, do take longer, so you must be prepared for anything. Whatever his reaction, make sure you let him feel safe with his new environment  You have taken the place of the dog mother – a warm, kind, friendly dog mum with whom the puppy felt perfectly safe. Enter that role, and do not put your puppy into a posision where he is frightened. Remember  “People” say so many things – don’t believe everything you hear.... Use your common sense and listen to your gut feeling and if in doubt send me an email....
  • The settling-in process should begin the moment the puppy arrives home.
  • Take the box, in which your puppy travelled, into the garden and let your puppy come out when he is ready… that way he can immediately toilet. When your puppy relieves himself please reward him with a titbit and some warm words of encouragement, such as “good dog” and perhaps a gentle stroke around the neck/behind the ears.
  • Clapping your hands is a good way to get your puppy’s attention (avoid calling his name for the first few days as you want him settled so that he can respond – you wish to start as you want to continue).
  • Let your puppy explore those areas he is free to roam in; whilst this is happening, you should be giving out gently affectionate signs, smiles and soft noises/words of reassurance and kindness, but please do NOT be gushing or over affectionate with your puppy. 
  • Let your puppy settle at his own pace – do not overcrowd him – give him some space and do not have lots of friends coming around to meet him… all in good time.
  • Once your puppy has investigated - he will be ready for a little food (toilet) and a sleep (toilet) so make sure to provide him with a place where he can feel safe/escape/chill out. We all need down time, your puppy is no different.
  • The first nights are going to be difficult for the puppy. The dark house, with all its own bumps and creeks, is going to be a really unsettling place. For this reason it is a good idea to let your puppy sleep close to you (or you close to it) and if possible this should continue throughout your dog's life.  Dogs are afterwall social creatures who need company.
  • For the next few days, do not overwhelm him with new sights, sounds and smells but do carry on with the normal activities in your house. Do not invite all your friends over to see your new puppy. The first few days should be quiet days at home with your puppy, when he can get acquainted with your family and his new home. Start off slowly, take your time, you have over a decade to share with your new friend.
  • Our emotions, voice, behaviour effects our dogs, so stay calm, use a gentle voice, keep your home calm and you will have a calm dog. If certain people affect your puppy (the same applies when he will be older), gently put him in another room, and bring him out when/if he can cope with the situation.
  • It is also entirely likely at this stage that your puppy will want to follow you everywhere. As he settles into his new home, particularly during the first 48 hours, it is important he has access to you. For this reason baby gates are useful devices, they can divide areas like the kitchen and the hallway. They work well both for the puppy and owner. It allows you to keep an eye on the puppy at all times and it gives the puppy the comfort of being able to see you too.
  • Once the puppy has settled and feels secure, I encourage you start teaching him independence. You have to teach him that there will be time when he will be alone; but that he will be perfectly safe when that happens. Teaching your puppy independence is something that is done gradually. You must get him used to you being away, at first for short periods, then for longer, more extended times...
  • If you already have a dog ... Go SLOWLY..... Get to know the personality of your puppy. Protect them both from failing and do not leave them alone until you are sure that they can both be trusted. Any relationship takes time, there are no instant best friends! Guide their relationship.
  • To begin with, feed the dogs separately just in case one feels uncomfortable, sharing his space with another dog around feeding time. This can change later on, if they are comfortable around each another. Some dogs never like having another dog around when they are eating.
Feeding

 

  • The breeder will have provided you with food that the puppy has been reared on, together with how much and how often to feed it.
  • If not feeding raw - see 3 short self-explanatory articles here should you be interested in learning more about it -  I would suggest a grain free kibble such as Orijen (can be ordered on the internet and the deliver) .  I recommend that your puppy stay on puppy kibble until he is +/- 12 months old and then mix (over a period of 1 week or so) to obtain a +/-50/50 puppy and adult kibble and move onto adult kibble at +/-18 months (once again take your time and do it over a period of +/- 1 to 2 weeks). 
  • If you already have a dog(s) at home, at first, feed your pup separately...  once the pup is a little older you will find the right moment to start feeding all together.
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