The pages for:
– First Few Days
– Puppy Safety
require information and rather than source the internet for information I decided to write each page as I have experienced each part twice over so I also have my personal experience. I also decided to ask close friends their opinions on each subject so I started a discussion which would help contribute to each pages information.
These were the responses I received to these questions…
“1 – them having a space that they know is their space like a crate, when we got our first puppy my sister and i were told if he went in his crate to leave him because that’s his place to go if he needs to have space, we’ve done that with all our dogs and the puppy just now still has a crate that he’ll go to by himself if he gets a fright… or gets in trouble!”
– Louise Tanner
“1- most important thing to help them settle in was to just introduce them to the surroundings, let them explore the house, it also helps if you have blanket or toy with the mums scent on it to comfort them, mines all came with a blanket that had been in the mothers bed, we also got cages for them to sleep in, so they had their own personal wee space
2- we put puppy pads at the front door and got them to go to the bathroom there, rewarded them with treats. Within a few days they were pretty much house trained
3- ask to see both the mum and dad, if any look like they are in bad shape or like they have been overbred avoid them. Make sure you have the medical history like vet check ups of the mother as well to make sure she has been treated well and is healthy.”
– Kerry Crawford
“Puppy likes there comfort blanket and there bed and are like a baby you are their mum now so they need lots of cuddles.”
“1. Make sure they feel as safe as possible by providing them with something that smells like their previous home; I remember we had a little blanket with a bone pattern on it when we first got him and he slept with it a lot. I also think making sure they get loads of attention in the first few days is important because puppies need a lot of stimulation and have a lot of energy. Playing with them is good because then they associate you with something thats fun and makes them feel at ease around you.
2. Use treats. Treats are one of the best ways to encourage a dog. We’re not too big on teaching our dogs tricks but it’s important to teach them necessary things that will keep them safe; things like stay, come here and no are good things to work on.
3. Make sure that the breeder you are buying for has a good reputation; if you know someone who is familiar with the breeder and gives them the all clear then even better. Also it’s important to go and see the environment they are bred in as well as see the rest of the family; mum especially. Make sure that both mum and puppy are in good condition and their environment is safe.”
– Louise MacKinnon
“I have a new puppy and when I got him he was given his own cuddle blanket. Toys that I already had were made available to him
I also put paper down for him and every time he moved I put him on it . They need to be put the garden often to accustom them to going out. My dog will play outside for run back in the house and go right to the paper lol.
It’s sometimes hard to know what is a puppy farm we have a pedigree for our dog but we did have problems for a few months and my vet is absolutely sure he came from a puppy farm. A lot of love and affection is required for any dog.”
– Sylvia Alexander
These people are in no way professionals but I feel that other dog owners opinions are more important as it makes it more personal. I would trust ten dog owners over a dog expert who never had a dog. Because my inspiring stories are about real people I wanted the rest of the ebook to be contributed by real peoples lives.
Information for FIRST FEW DAYS page
The first few days are the most traumatising and exciting for a new puppy, they have just been taken away from their mother and all their siblings. It is a big change and you are a complete stranger to them so making it easy and comfortable for them is extremely important. When you bring your pup home the best thing to do for the first few days is to keep to one room – preferably one with a floor that is easily cleaned – this helps the pup to not get too overwhelmed and start to slowly explore his/her surroundings. Creating a space for just them to go is important wither that is a crate or a confined area of a room with a bed & some blankets. This allows them to have their own part of the home that they can go to if they are tired, overwhelmed or if they get a little frightened. They will learn to know that that is their safe place where they feel comfortable and at ease.
An item from their previous home (the breeders) is very helpful, a blanket or teddy to comfort them, as they will smell their mothers scent which will allow them to relax. Attention is one of the key factors within the first few days as they have went from being able to play with five to ten brothers and sisters and now they only have you. They have so much bursts of energy so make sure you play with them that way they associate you with something that is fun, which will then lead to comfort. There are no right or wrongs just suggestions but love and affection beat all of them, just make sure they feel like the luckiest pup in the world.
Collar & Lease
Crates and Containment
Food and Water Bowls
Information for TRAINING page
Training is very important, especially at the early stages as dogs learn a lot within the first few months. You do not need to train it so that it is ready to compete in Crufts, but enough so that they listen to you and realise that you are in charge. The key training points are:
These are enough to make sure you dog listens, understands & follows through on each action. The most important one is come as that can change a situation to life or death, as many dogs like to wonder off or they get out of the garden so it is important they come when called upon.
To help with training a lot of people use treats as a reward system, that way when the dog does something correctly they receive a treat so they are encouraged to respond more to your commands. Always best to use something they love, for example my dog Woody loves chicken & cheese he would do anything you ask for one of them (even lets me brush his fluffy ears). This allows them to understand they are getting something really good and not just a bit of their normal food.
As for toilet training many people resort to puppy pads, but they do not always work. Another alternative is taking them outside every half an hour in the beginning and not interacting with them until they do the toilet. Dogs do not like being ignored they love to be the centre of attention, this can also be used when bad behaviour is happening a simple arms crossed and head up posture allows them to know they are not getting any attention.
Information for SOCIALISING page
Socialising is something I never really thought of until after getting a dog, and the first twelve weeks of a puppy’s life determines what kind of dog they will be. This is the gap where socialisation is highly important, they need to be surrounded by strangers, loud noises, unfamiliar noises, the outside an many more. As you know puppies are not allowed out until they have had all their injections and this is what stumps people, how can I socialise my dog if they cannot go out? Take them out but carry them, put them in the car, take them to the supermarket (not all supermarkets may let you in) but busy places and noisy places are the key. From personal experience, my dog Woody was not socialised, as he was our first dog so we never knew the right and wrongs. He is now a very anxious dog, barks at anyone he does not know, hates loud noises, I can not even have my window open if he is in my room because the slightest noise sets him off. I now have two dogs, and with Buzz we took him out on walks but carried him, took him in the car, and lastly around our local supermarket in my arms. He is the most laid back dog you would ever meet, no noise bugs him and he would happily approach a stranger. Now this may not be the reason behind their personalities but socialising is an important key. Once your dog has had all of its injections walk them daily around busy places such as schools and main roads. Vary your walks by taking them to the beach or the woods, and also pack walks. Pack walks are such a good way to get your dog used to other dogs; many trainers do them in our area but if you cannot find one start one. It is super easy to set up a group on social media to ask locals to bring there dogs to one place and go for a big walk. They actually introduce them to people as well as dogs which kills two birds with one stone.
Information for PUPPY SAFETY page
Puppy safety is so important, and more important before you have even put a deposit down on a puppy. There are more and more puppy farms emerging and it is very difficult to tell if you are purchasing from one (because they don’t all look like a farm surprisingly). The best things to do to avoid purchasing a pup from one is to ask loads of questions and do not worry about asking too much. True breeders do not mind answering questions as they are experienced and educated on breeding. The key things to ask are:
– Can I see mum and dad? (Normally the breeder will only have the mother but they should have a photo or information on him)
– How many times has the mother been bread?
– Mother’s medical history, vet check ups
– Can you see where pups are being kept?
– Have any puppies been sick?
It is so important that you can see that the mother has been looked after, is in good health and has not been a breeding machine – healthy mother healthy pup. If the breeder does not allow you to see the mother then it is a high risk they are from a puppy farm. Puppies need their mother until the day you go to collect your pup, if they are being kept separate that can be a huge red flag as they will not be getting the right nutrition.
Throughout the process after placing your deposit you are entitled to visit your pup a handful of times throughout to make sure they are healthy and are being raised in a safe and happy environment. From a personal point, we had a very good relationship with our breeder where we visited three or four times and were able to sit and play with Woody to allow him to get to know us a little. We were also shown pictures of previous litters and of the father, which belonged to a friend of the breeders. Although not all breeders will be as welcoming as others but do not be afraid to ask questions and see your pup as many times as they allow. If you do happen to be in a situation where you think you have purchased a pup from a bad environment, take them to your vet straight away for a once over in case of any disease. Be careful and safe when purchasing a dog, there is no limit to the amount of questions you can ask.
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