PUPPY LOVE, A CARE GUIDE
Congratulations!! If you are reading this then you have adopted an amazing puppy from Wasatch Pup and your life is about to change for the better! Adopting a dog as a companion in your home can be so rewarding and wonderful, adjusting to your new puppy can also be a source of stress at times. What you do with your dog in the beginning stages of their life will determine how they will behave as an adult. I am sharing what has worked for our family. This is just a guide, I am sure you will adjust things to make them work for your home!
-Debbie Thomas, Wasatch Pup
Training your new puppy!
With puppies, the more you can redirect instead of discipline, the better. Praise praise praise! Your puppy will learn that good behavior gets rewarded. Get small treats and start with the "sit" command. Say "sit" and gently guide their bum to a sitting position. Give treats and praise, do this over and over for about 10 minutes then give them a break. Working with your puppy in 10-minute sessions a few times a day will do wonders. After “sit” is learned try “stay” or “lay”. We use hand signals for each one.
I do not let puppies bite on my face, hand, clothing, or shoes. If they do this, I pull their lip over their own teeth and gently push their lip into their teeth to make them bite themselves. I say "NO NO" they will yelp and stop. If they do it again, then you also do it again. It has worked very well for my puppies. Remember YOU are in charge and the alpha of your new puppy. 90% love, praise, and affection, 10% punish!!
When your puppy gets older, you can teach them not to bark. Dogs that just can't help it get to wear a shock collar. There are settings that only vibrate as well. I have tried many bark collars and this is the collar that has always worked the best for us.
I also use a tool called pet correcter, it is a canister that sprays out compressed air. It makes a sound that they hate. When they jump up, bark, or scratch doors, I spray it and say "NO." They will learn very quickly. Do not overuse the spray or it will lose its effectiveness.
When your puppy has an accident in the house, which they will, if you catch them in the act jump up, tell them “NO NO” and rub their nose in it. I know there is a lot of controversy on this, I have always done it for all of my dogs. I do not want them to go to the bathroom in the house. Immediately put them outside. If you do not catch them in the act it is hard for them to understand why they are being punished. I keep my new puppies outside, kenneled, playing, or laying by me at all times. When they start sniffing around take them out to their spot and say something like “Go potty!” Reward your pup’s successful bathroom trips every time they go with positive reinforcements or treats. When in doubt, keep pee pads in thier kennels and by the doors.
At Wasatch Pup we kennel train all of our dogs. We want them to have a place where we can put them when we are not watching them. A kennel can become a den for your dog, they will love to go in to get away from you too!
To keep your puppy comfortable and make their kennel a space that they will enjoy, you will want to provide them with just enough room to be able to stand up and turn around comfortably. Dogs do not like to potty where they sleep, when they are just learning I will put a towel or cheap dog bed in their kennel as well as a puppy pad they can use if they need to go at night. Once they are potty trained we use a durable, washable, kennel pad full time.
Every puppy will be scared for their first few nights sleeping alone without their siblings. They will likely cry for attention throughout the night. You can turn on a fan right next to the kennel that makes a lot of noise, cover the kennel with a blanket, and go to bed. For the first little bit at night-time, we put the kennel in a room or bathroom where no one can hear the crying. Maybe even downstairs. In the morning we always bring the kennel back upstairs into the living area. Don't Leave the kennel in a place where they are not with the family during the daytime. They are pack animals and want to be part of your family. Do not let them out of the kennel when/because they are whining, this will encourage unwanted behavior.
It can be difficult to find a dog food that is tasty to dogs while still providing nutrition. Purina Pro Plan has proven to satisfy both of these needs for us. I use Purina Pro Plan Dry Puppy Food Chicken Flavor. I have researched food extensively and breeders use this food more than any I have found.
Here is a guide to how you should feed your pup, according to the AKC...
Growing pups should be fed puppy food for normal development. Feeding adult food will rob your puppy of important nutrients. 4 feedings a day are usually adequate to meet nutritional demands. To discourage picky habits, feed at routine times in routine amounts.
Sometime during this period, decrease feedings from four to three times a day. A pup should be losing potbelly and pudginess by 12 weeks. If they are still pudgy at this age, continue to feed puppy-size portions until body type matures.
Begin feeding twice daily. Spaying or neutering lowers energy requirements slightly; after the procedure, switch from nutrient-rich puppy food to adult maintenance food. Small breeds can make the switch at 7 to 9 months; bigger breeds at 12, 13, even 14 months. Stay on the side of caution: Better to be on puppy food a little too long than not long enough.
+ 1 Year
Most owners feed adult dogs two half-portions a day. There's a saying in canine feeding: Watch the dog, not the dish. Body condition, not the amount eaten or left in the bowl, should determine portion sizes. Portion sizes depend on individual metabolism and body type, and nutritional requirements vary from dog to dog. If your puppy occasionally skips a meal or picks at food, don't worry. It could mean they are ready to eliminate a feeding or that you have given them too much, in which case simply reduce the quantity served.
Hair and Hygiene
You will need to groom your puppy. They are part poodle and their hair will grow like humans. Many people ask how often they should groom and that is up to you. I bathe my dogs when they start to smell and groom them when they look scruffy. I use a slicker brush to brush them every few days and I have a de-matting comb for when they get a matted spot. It is important to make sure your pup is getting brushed often enough to avoid matting.
We highly recommend regularly shaving your dog's bums and tummies! We usually try to keep these areas on our dogs trimmed down as short as possible, you want to prevent any pee or poo from clinging on if possible. This is the best way to keep your dog's potty parts clean. You will feel so much better having them sit on your furniture, and your lap! It also helps with keeping your hands clean while rubbing their bellies!
Dog ears should never have a foul or yeasty smell. They should be nice and pink with a light coating of pale yellowish wax. A small amount of wax is part of the ear's self-cleaning system. If the ears look red or have a dark brown or black discharge, or if your dog frequently shakes their head and paws at their ears they may have an infection. I always have a bottle of Zymox Plus on hand for this reason. To combat ear infections, put 5-10 drops in each ear canal and massage it in. Do this for about 5-7 days and it will be gone in no time.
Your pup will need their fingernails clipped. They have had this done by us a few times already. We use regular human fingernail clippers while they are tiny pups, then I switch to dog nail clippers. You may want to watch a YouTube tutorial on how to do this your first time. If you clip too short they will bleed, this is ok and normal. I clip my dog's nails up to the curve in the knuckle. The part of the nail that should be clipped off will be transparent.
Puppy Health Guidelines
Hips and Exercise
Puppy hips are important and should be protected, there are things you can do to help prevent hip dysplasia...
Puppies don't need long walks or vigorous exercise. Playing in the garden is sufficient for pups under five months old. If you take your puppy out on a leash, a rule of thumb often mentioned is no more than five minutes of walking per day, for each month of his age. So that means a maximum of 25 minutes for a 5-month-old puppy. This is just a guideline, to inform those who are not sure how to exercise a puppy, this is just a common-sense principle that will help you avoid overdoing it. It is a sensible precaution to carry your small puppy up and down steps to prevent hip dysplasia. Most experts recommend you don't teach or encourage your dog to jump until they have stopped growing as well. Try not to let them jump out of a vehicle.
Your puppy has been dewormed by us at 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks. They will need to be dewormed at 12 weeks, then every month until 6 months. I use a dewormer made by Oral Pro. At this time I would do it every 4-6 months.
We vaccinate all of our puppies at 6-8 weeks old. Here is a generally accepted guideline of the puppy vaccination schedule for your puppy’s first year, according to the AKC. Click here for the full vaccine guide and article.