Caring for your puppy
Looking after a puppy is a very time consuming pastime and can involve a lot of hard work and stress. You obviously need to consider whether you can afford the time and patience to dedicate to a pup before purchasing, but having done this you will no doubt find the task of puppy care very involving and rewarding.
Most breeders agree to release their pups at around the 8 week old stage. So you need to be aware that the pup is not going to have been away from its litter mates before, and will probably still have been with its mother as little as 3 weeks ago, so be prepared for some initial nerves when you get it home.
One of the best ways to acclimatise a new pup, is to ask the breeder to provide you with something containing the scent of both the mother, and litter mates, a blanket usually does the trick. It is important to always keep in mind how great an upheaval has taken place in the little pups short life, by coming to live with you, so do try to be as patient as possible.
Pups at 8 weeks will normally be on 3 or 4 meals a day, consisting of an early morning feed, a midday feed and an evening feed. This does not always fit in with everyone’s lifestyle but do remember it will only be for a short time and any drastic change to the pups routine will only help to upset it more. You MUST make time for the pup.
As the pup reaches 10 to 12 weeks it will be ready for its first inoculation. Some vets vary as to what age they will administer the first jab, so it is a good idea to contact your vet as soon as you purchase the puppy. The vet will give your pup a general examination of health on your first visit and after the second jab is given your pup will be ready to see the big wide world it is about to grow up in.
It is EXTREMELY important not to exercise your pup too often during the crucial development period between 3 to 8 months, too much exercise will stop the pups bones from forming properly and thus cause the dog problems in later life, such as arthritis. This is not to say you should not exercise the pup at all, but you will tend to find pups will give themselves plenty of exercise themselves as they play.
Puppy Preschool and Training
Training is important for you and your dog. Start early – we recommend Puppy Preschool. It is usually a 4 week course run in Veterinary Clinics. Early intervention is crucial for socialisation and education, and what’s more it’s fun.
Training is an on-going commitment. We firmly believe in Basic and Advanced training courses as a follow-up to Puppy Preschool.
Your pup will be learning from the very second it sets foot in your home, so it is a good idea to lay the ground rules down as soon as your pup arrives. Puppy training should not be a succession of corrections and tellings off. It should all be done in the spirit of puppy play, firm but fair.
The way your puppy develops into an adult depends a great deal on how it is guided through its formative early months as a juvenile, by you, its owner. The two most important words to remember throughout the life of any dog, be it puppy or adult, are consistency and fairness.