We developed this guide to help answer some of
the most obvious questions on how to take care of your puppy.
General Health Care
In order to have a valid health guarantee you must take your puppy to see your vet within one month of bring them home. At this appointment, talk with your vet and develop a plan for all the medical care needed moving forward.
Health Events to Expect:
Vaccinations – this is an excellent opportunity for your puppy to receive an overall check up and get their next set of vaccinations.
Parasites – when you receive your puppy they would have been treated for worms. On going treatment will depend on where you live. Your veterinarian will assist you with this.
Heartworm – seasonal treatment
Fleas – can spread quickly. Something to treat quickly.
Spay and Neuter – Recommended time is 8 months for females and one year for males.
Ears – Many dogs have long fluffy ears. They can be a place for dirt and irritants to collect. Cleaning will keep those ears in great condition. It is safe to stick a cotton gauze soaked in a solution of 40% vinegar and 60% water deep inside the ear to wipe clean. Consult your vet if you happen to get a foul smell from you dog, it maybe a yeas infection, canker, or mites.
Grooming Your Puppy
Most of our dogs require fairly low maintenance. They should be brushed out every couple of weeks. If you wish you can take your dog to a groomer a couple of times a year for a groom.
A common issue when grooming your dog is dealing with mats in the coat. Mats develop when only the top layer has been brushed, and not the layers underneath.
Be sure to brush out any mats before bathing your pup. Bathing will make the mats harder and tighter, and brushing them out will be nearly impossible.
Your puppy will change from a puppy coat to an adult coat. The adult coat will fill out between 9 – 12 months. During this time you can expect some shedding even if your dog has a non-shedding coat. Expect to brush your pup every few days during this time. Often times the under coat will mat. This is when a lot of owners choose to give their dog a very close clip at the groomers.
Training & Discipline
When you first bring your puppy home he/she doesn’t know right from wrong. The only way they learn is from experience and training. Consistency is what makes training successful. It takes a lot of effort on your part to provide your puppy with adequate supervision and training. The earlier you start and the more you do it, the quicker they will learn.
Positive behavior is just as important as negative behavior. Reward your puppy with a treat, praise, a belly rub, food, playtime, a walk, scratching behind the ears, a car ride, etc. Your puppy with quickly learn what rewards they get with good behavior.
As for negative behavior, select a word you will use every time your dog does something wrong, such as “No”, “Enough”, “Hey”, “Stop”, “Wrong”, etc. The word should be short, firm, and non-emotional – just enough to get your pup’s attention. Screaming is not necessary. Next, you remove them from whatever it is they are doing, Whether it’s digging in the garden, tugging on a curtain, or chewing a table leg. Your dog will soon learn what the word means and they will just back away so you don’t have to remove them.
Never put you dog in their crate when you are angry or upset – the crate should not be used for punishment.
This leads to crate training. A crate is a your puppy's own private den, where they will feel safe and secure. It is a good idea to place a few toys and treats inside.
There are many benefits to crate training:
It is a safe place to be away from others
It allows to dog to have a good rest
It can help prevent behaviours such as chewing and destroying
It can help with house training (dogs just don’t want to mess in their own sleep area as it makes for an uncomfortable bed)
It serves as a temporary play pen when you aren’t able to monitor the puppy
You must make sure every interaction your dog has with the crate is a positive one. Slowly introduce your puppy to the crate. Make it apart of the environment. Surround it with treats and give lots of praise.
Until your puppy is fully house trained avoid putting towels or bedding into the crate. Even an old towel might encourage the pup to chew or to soil. Once house trained you can put a towel, blanket, or even an article of clothing with your scent in the crate. If the puppy accidentally urinates on these items, remove them until he no longer relieves himself in the crate.
You may ask how long can a puppy hold their bladder. This depends upon the size of the puppy and age. Generally, at two months a puppy should be able to hold its bladder for two hours. At four months, four hours; six months, six hours; and at seven months, most are able to hold their bladders for eight hours.
All that said, your puppy may have a different schedule.
Brushing your dog’s teeth once or twice a week would be sufficient
It is recommended to continue using the same dog food we use when you first take your puppy home. We use Royal Canine.
General guidelines on how often to feed your puppy:
8 Weeks: 3 – 4 feedings per day
4 – 12 Months: Twice a day
12 Months +: Once or twice a day
An active puppy is a good sign your pup is healthy. Be careful too much exercise too early in life can cause problems later on. Moderate exercise for its first year with lots of play, is enough to keep your puppy happy and healthy.
Dogs under 12 months of age should not be exercising on hard surfaces for long periods. Look for local parks or your back yard.