Bringing Home a Puppy

Getting a new puppy is exciting. Dogs are such a great part of a family and puppies represent so much promise of the things to come, but they also have a lot of needs. I remember bringing my first puppy home. I had waited so long and I was SOO excited. I had cut a cardboard box and put a pillow in it for the puppy to sleep in. I am not going to recommend that today :-) but I am going to make some recommendations that can make bringing a puppy home go smoothly.

The more prepared you are when the puppy arrives in your house, the better. Lots of people remember the puppy will need to eat. The most commonly asked question is, “what are you feeding the puppy”. We are currently feeding our puppies Iams Puppy Food. Not only do I like the puppy food, I like the fact that new puppy owners can usually buy it in the local grocery store. It is a good idea to pick up a bag prior to coming to pick up the puppy. While at the store, some people think to pick up a collar.

In the store, the “small” collars may seem small enough, but for an 8 week old sheltie, a 3/8” wide, 6-10” long adjustable collar is about right. Experience has shown me that it is very difficult for new owners to have a concept for how small their puppy is going to be when they first pick it up from the breeder, so I send the puppy home with its first collar. I usually have leashes available for purchase. Shelties are not a breed that pulls on the leash and they don’t require a big heavy leash. I sell a ¼” thick, 6 ‘ long leather leash. I like these leashes because the snap that is small enough to fit on the ring of the little collars I send home with the puppies, the snaps are not really heavy, and puppies have an easier time with the leash training if they are not being pulled down by a lot of weight.

I also send each puppy home with a new toy. It smells like home, and gives them something to cuddle (and bite!). I do recommend that new owners have additional toys available for the puppy when they get home. I think it is a good idea to have a few interactive toys, such as tug toys, squeaker toys, and balls. This will encourage you to play with your puppy. The interaction will help the two of you bond. The more you do with the puppy, the more the puppy will learn its new family interacts. Your puppy will be learning constantly, so teach it about you. If the puppy just wants to spend some time chewing, then something as simple as a carrot will provide them with something to sink their teeth into, and also be edible and digestible.

Puppies should sleep in a crate until they are house trained. What type of crate you get is up to you. We have both wire crates, and molded plastic crates and some dogs do prefer one over the other. Since your puppy will not have a choice, get the one that appeals the most to you. If you get a wire crate, drape a blanket over it to make it dark and more “cave” like. This will help settle the puppy and help them to sleep without distraction. Occasionally they can get over stimulated in a wire crate where they can still see all of the things going on around them. You want the puppy to settle down so that if it does fuss, then you can give it the benefit of the doubt and take it out to see if it needs to potty.

Baby gates are also a wonderful tool to help house train a puppy. By keeping the puppy in the same room you are in, you are more likely to see if it is having an accident. This will enable you to respond and to get the puppy outside where you can say, “go potty”, or some other “potty” command. By staying in the same room, the puppy will not be able to sneak off and find a different room to use as a potty. It that important to insure they do not develop the habit of going into a different room to go potty where you might not see it for a few days. That can be a very difficult habit to break once it has started. Now that you have gotten all of the items you will need for the puppy, you have one more thing to do before you pick up the puppy; schedule a Vet appointment.

As soon as you have scheduled the day you are going to pick your puppy up from the breeder, call your Veterinarian to make an appointment for the day or two after your puppy comes home. Even if your new puppy has been “Vet checked” prior to you picking it up, it is important that YOUR Vet examine your new puppy. My contract states that you must have your puppy examined within the first week. The puppy will not be in need of a vaccination at that visit, but a stool sample should be taken to the appointment. Your vet will ensure that your puppy is healthy (or not !) and guide you on its care.

Your checklist:

__ call your Vet to make an appointment for a day or two after you bring the new puppy home.

__ 2 bowls-

__ water

__ food

__ 5 lb. bag of Iams Puppy food (yellow bag w/ the beagle)

__¼” thick, 6’ long, leash (I usually have these for sale for $15)

__ 3/8” thick, 6-10” long adjustable, collar (included with puppy from me)

__ crate

__ crate pad

__ chew toys

__ 2 baby gates


Happy New Year 2013

Happy and Blessed New Year to all !  Our "first night" started with friends and puppies.  I have to giggle every time I think about the requests we make of our family and friends.  It sure is a good thing we have the BEST of both!   It seems to me that for the last couple of years we have had "holiday" puppies and I have been making some pretty big requests.  I have delivered puppies at my sister's house on Christmas Eve (a few years ago), brought puppies to my mother-in-law's house while we help sell Christmas trees, waited for puppies on Thanksgiving, and last night I called my friends and asked if I could bring our puppies to the New Year's Party.    The funniest part was that they expected the puppies to just be running loose in their house- and they STILL said YES!  How funny is that!  Even I would not have said yes, to that request.  Well, I bring puppies to enough different places to know how to pack for them.  I pack a tarp to put down 1st, then newspaper, then surround it with a portable x-pen, and the puppies are safe, and have a place to potty.  They travel in a crate. 
The hosts of this party have 3 dogs of their own, plus parrots.  When we arrived the birds were making a ton of noise. I thought, oh this is great!  My puppies never would have heard parrots.   When I first got them out of the crate, they all huddled together on the crate pad- but they acclimated quickly.  The next time they all huddled together was at mid-night when everyone was using their "noise makers".  Again, it was a short-term stress from which they recovered.
I was so happy that they got to travel, go to a new place, meet a ton of people, hear new things, and start the year off with a bunch of dog loving people.