Alright so I've been a little behind on my posts this week. With the online shop opening up and a new puppy, my mind has been a little preoccupied. With all this puppy excitement and preparation going on it occurred to me that I should write what I've been doing to prepare for the new pup.
So here it is, my puppy starter Kit! Things I've learned over the years to help you be the best owner you can be for your puppy and things I used when bringing home my new hound dog Hank.
BEFORE THE BIG DAY! First thing you need to do even before you bring your puppy home is put away any food or cleaners that are at floor level. Close the pantry door, or closet doors, anywhere you don’t want the puppy getting into. Put chemicals on high shelves and pick plants up off the floor. Loose electrical cords should be taped to the base boards. Once you think you're done take a look around with a puppy's view: get on your hands and knees and see if there's anything you missed.
You will need to create a list of words that you will use to train the puppy. Come, Sit, Stay are the go-to's, but what about when he jumps up on someone are you going to say Down or are you going to say Off? These are important to decide on so that the puppy doesn't become confused.
Things you will need when first bringing him to his new home:
Food Water + Food bowl Toys (chew toy for teething and playing) Treats (for training) Collar Leash Poop Bags Puppy Shampoo Nail Clippers Brush ID tags Dog Friendly Cleaner Pee Pads (for accidents) Crate/Kennel
BRINGING HIM HOME:
Take an old shirt you have and wear it for a day so that your smell transfers onto it. Then when you pick up your puppy rub that shirt on the mom or his siblings so that the shirt smells like both you and his family. Then wrap him in the shirt for the trip home. This way he will be comforted by the smell of his mother while getting used to what you smell like.
It's time, everyone is excited. This is where many people unknowingly make their first mistake. Coddling, carrying, and playing with the puppy when he or she first arrives will cause your sweet little puppy to feel like a princess/prince. This may seem cute but for dogs this is unhealthy the puppy needs a strong "pack leader". A dog that is spoiled causes many problems down the road. It can become disobedient, dominant, territorial and aggressive which is the last thing you want out of your new precious puppy. Instead when you bring your dog home keep him/her on leash and walk him/her around the perimeter of your yard and the rooms of your house.
For the dog, the leash and your guidance is calming. They will learn immediately that you are the pack leader. Once the puppy has been taken around the home, place the puppy in their kennel or crate, this way they learns that the house is yours, but they have their own place in it to feel safe. After 10 - 15 minutes you may then let the puppy out to explore a bit on their own. Make sure to keep a close eye on them so no accidents happen.
This takes me onto Potty Training!
Puppies can only hold their bladder for about an hour per month they are old, Some smaller breeds of dogs even less. So if you are picking up your puppy at the 8 week mark you should make sure to take your puppy out every two hours minimum. Accidents will happen so don’t stress, just be prepared. Pee pads are a great way to train the puppy so that if they are going to have an accident in the house they learn to do it on a pee pad. Once the puppy is old enough accidents will be less likely and your puppy should be able to be fully potty trained.
Finding the right food can be challenging. I spent numerous hours researching brand after brand of dog food looking for the best one. I narrowed it down to a couple that I found suitable.
Acana - meat and protein rich diet. Canadian sourced ingredients. Fish from Vancouver's coastline. Cage-Free chicken and grade A eggs from the prairies. never frozen and preservative free. Wild caught herring from New Brunswick. for the puppies sensitive digestive tract. Fruits and vegetables from the Okanagan.
Blue Buffalo is also a great brand. I use the Chicken Dinner With Garden Vegetable wet food to mix in with his dry food. Kibble is great for puppies but because Hank is so young I chose to make it a little easier on his developing digestive track by adding in wet food.
Other dog food brands I liked were Orijen, Holistic Select and AvoDerm.
GET INTO A ROUTINE:
Consistency is key. Set out a routine for the puppy.
(We get up at 6 so I apologize if it seems way to early, just change the start time to whenever you get up.)
6:00 am : Take them out for a pee and say a keyword that you have decided on earlier (like "go pee" or "outside") to remind them why we are outside. Then praise her and give them a treat once they finish and before you go back inside.
6:15 am : Breakfast Time! Puppies need to eat a lot because they are growing. Half a cup three times a day is suggested. Once the puppy is older you can change it to 3/4 of a cup or 1 cup twice a day.
6:30 /7:00 am : After eating puppies usually have to go to the bathroom again, using the keyword to prompt them and a reward once they are finished.
7:00 - 11:00 am : This is time you can figure out a routine that works for you weather you're at work, or at home. Puppies need a lot of sleep so make sure to schedule in a couple naps and remember to take them outside once they wake up.
12:00 pm : Lunch Time! Puppy gets another 1/2 cup of food then taken outside to pee.
1:00 -6:00 pm : Again time for you to set your own schedule with whatever works for you. Keep in mind the puppy needs time to nap in their crate, and needs to be taken out for a pee often.
6:00 pm : Dinner Time! Their last meal of the day.
8:00 pm : Remove the water dish so that the puppy doesn't need to hold its bladder all night. This is also puppy playtime. Spend some time with them.
10:00 pm : It's nearing bedtime, they may become tired, but don’t let them nap unless you don’t want to get any sleep tonight.
11:00 pm: Bed Time. One last time outside for a pee then it's into the crate for bed.
If your puppy whines and cries during the night they may need to be let out. If you take them out and they doesn't go pee then place him/her back in the crate. If the whining persists don’t give in or else you will associate whining with reward. They learn that especially well if you take them out and hold him/her. You may think that you are comforting them but really you are rewarding her/him for their bad behavior. If after 20-30 minutes they haven't stopped just place your hand on her or put your fingers through the crate. This way they feel like they aren't alone, but still understand that it is bedtime.
Hope you all have a wonderful Easter Weekend! xx