New Puppy Checklist
Now that you have gotten past the starting point, which is making your decision to get and train a puppy, (and by the way congratulations) and you have purchased everything the breeder told you that you needed, i.e.: what kind of food, leash, collar, I.D. tag, etc., its time to get past those few basics and make sure you have taken care of every thing else the new puppy will need just before you take it home.
Some of the items listed here may not be applicable to you, since you may already have them or done them, but you will know as you read which ones they are. Also, the breeder you are dealing with should have given you, or will give you when you pick the puppy up, some of these items. If you get the puppy home, and you do not have the following, you should contact your breeder for direction.
1) Have the breeder provide you with copy of their contract for your review.
2) Obtain a copy of the breeder’s recommendations for care of the particular breed of dog you are buying. Many breeds have their own special needs which are peculiar to them. Also ask the breeder for a list of food, supplements, vitamins, etc. that the puppy has been on, so that you can get them, before you get the puppy, and continue the administration.
3) Obtain a copy of a Certified Pedigree for your puppy, to check it’s lineage.
4) Obtain a complete record of the shots the puppy has received since birth. Included in that health record should be any abnormalities or problems the puppy has had, steps taken in the treatment of same, and any veterinary visits, along with the name and address of the Veterinarian used.
5) After checking with close friends, acquaintances, Chamber of Commerce in your area, Better Business Bureau, and any other outlets you might have, choose a Veterinarian (if you don’t already have one). Check with the Veterinarian to see if he or she is well versed in treating the particular breed you have bought. Some Vets specialize in many ways, and may not know your breed, in the same manner as a Veterinarian that treats large animals may not be skilled in treating birds or reptiles. Don’t feel locked into one veterinarian. If your dog comes up with something that your regular vet can not diagnose or seem to treat to your satisfaction, get a second opinion. You can learn from this that certain vets are excellent in certain areas, i.e.: one is better than another in diagnosis, or skin disorders, or x-rays, etc. (Gee, just like regular Doctors) No one doctor or veterinarian has all the answers and is completely knowledgeable on all aspects of every field, and they nor you, should feel the least bit embarrassed about taking your dog to someone else for certain things.
6) Enclosed, secured, escape proof yard. Don’t let yourself become one of those that give continual excuses for the dogs escape, and tout your dog’s exceptional prowess and ingenuity in it’s ability to escape. Yards and dog runs can be made escape proof, and at surprisingly little effort and low cost, (cost and effort depends on the size and breed of dog). If you think your dog can escape and wants to roam, he will escape. Just because you train your dog in the rudimentary socially acceptable manners, does not mean it will not be enticed into “coming out to play” with other dogs, if so implored.
7) Put away anything and everything you do not want the puppy to get into, ruin, chew, urinate on, etc., inside the house and outside. The puppy will do it for a short time until training starts. Make sure that all chemicals, liquids, powders, and solids that the puppy can gain access to are put away and locked up. Block off all areas you do not want the puppy to gain access to. If you have kids, does any of this sound familiar? It’s exactly the same. They can and will get into everything, pick up everything, put everything that will or will not fit into their mouths (only puppies chew it better). and if not for the sake of diapers, urinate on everything.
8) Make a plan and inform the family of it for retrieval of your pet during an emergency, such as fire, earthquake, etc.
9) Purchase chew toys and rawhide bones (if the breeder approves), that will not be swallowedand choked on by the puppy. Do not give your puppy a play sock, (unless it has a large knot tied in it), a play shoe, slipper, or anything else that evenbegins to resemble any of the things you do not want your puppy to chew on. The puppy does not know the difference and training will become next to impossible, not to mention the confusion the puppy will go through.
10) Purchase or build a bed for the puppy, or at least make a place that is only for the puppy where the puppy knows it can go without reservation. (and I don’t mean having to make reservations before going).
11) Choose a place for the bed and keep it there. Don’t move it all over the place trying to decide after the puppies’ arrival where to put it, it will be confusing. Later, when the puppy knows it’s at your home to stay, and feels accepted and comfortable (days or weeks from now), you can move it all you want).
12) Find an outlet that carries the brand and type of food that your dog’s breeder recommended, and have it at home when the puppy arrives. Some breeders give you a small portion of the food they use to take home with the puppy, just to be sure you give it the same stuff they have been feeding. This small amount runs out quickly, and if your like most people, that is when you will go out in search of more food. This, unfortunately, oft-times only serves to frustrate you, since you may not be able to find that particular type or brand in the first 12 stores you go into. Unfortunate is a word that best describes the terrible gastro intestinal upset your new puppy will have when you bring home, and feed it the substitute food you found after giving up on the primary one. Without at least a week to change over a food product from one to another gradually, your puppy will not only have the worst night of its short life, but it will probably give you one of yours as well. The whining, crying, and diarrhea which ensues this instant change of diet will not endear this puppy to you, believe me.
13) If the breeder is some distance from your home, chances are that they are supplied water by a different agency than you. This difference in water can also be a stomach twister for a puppy. Take a large container with you when you pick the puppy up and ask the breeder if you can fill it to take home with you. (Be prepared for the shock on the breeders face, they don’t get requests that take that much consideration for the puppy into account). Over the next several days, wean the puppy off the breeder’s water a little at a time, same as on food change-over. i.e.: 1st day, give only the breeder’s water, (remember, the puppy is in partial shock from being displaced to new surroundings and people, and is already under great stress.
It does not need immediate changes in other aspects as well); 2nd day, 7/8ths breeder’s water and 1/8th your water; 3rd day, 3/4 breeder’s water and 1/4 your water, and so on, until the change over is complete. That’s about 8 or 9 days. Keep a written record to not only keep track of each day, but for reference later should the need arise. Your puppy and family should thank you for what you did not put them through.
14) Buy, and keep up to date, a complete medical record book for vaccinations, procedures, treatments, medicines used, prescriptions filled, vet visits, etc. Keep notes on any allergies, skin disorders, and anything that effects your puppy’s health for the rest of its life.
15) Secure a place for your puppy when you are not home, either in the yard mentioned earlier or in the house. Be sure that where ever it is that the puppy will be able to get in out of the elements when needed. Heat, Cold, Rain, Direct sun, High wind, and any other adverse weather condition should be considered dangerous at any time you are not there to keep a watchful eye on the puppy’s condition. If the puppy can get out of the elements itself, it will. When making preparations for this, take the following into account. If you lock your puppy up in the house when you leave (with the fondest of intentions to say, keep it cool on
a hot summer’s day). and do not provide for access to the outside through a dog door or some other means, you have in essence consigned your puppy to death in the event of a house fire.
I won’t dwell on this topic long. The only way to buy a Pure Bred dog, is from a reputable Breeder. Not a Pet Store, Not the kid on the corner with cute puppies, Not the neighbor that just had a litter from his Big dog and his friends nice bitch. There’s no excuse to not buy from a reputable breeder, they’re all over the place.
Training a New Puppy
Dogs are not unlike people in many respects., many breeds appear to become bored with repetition more quickly. If you can’t make it interesting and different from time to time, you may lose their attention. They seem to almost have a need, to know the reason for having to learn certain things. There are several methods or ideas to inject different and interesting training procedures to help keep your dog enthused.Starting out with a regimented schedule is …read more
Where To Train Your Dog
As indicated previously, your locations of training should change as often as possible once you have finished the initial process of getting your dog comfortable with the training procedures. There are certain rules to follow, which can make your training sessions go much easier, and also help to keep your dog interested and attentive…read more
Where Not To Train Your Dog
In the previous chapters, we have dealt somewhat with this topic. Let’s get into it a bit more here. As mentioned earlier, the most important message I can give you, is to pick a safe place to train. Not only for your dog, but for you also. It your attempt to find different locations to vary the training session, never train in unlighted areas at night, or any other place that you would not go to even if you were not training…read more
When Not to Train Your Dog
There are certain times that training should be curtailed. These times are sometimes the most elusive of all to not only understand, but to implement. It’s difficult for a trainer to admit that, “today, I am not capable of training” for some reason or another. It’s also difficult to say that in relation to your dog. i.e.:” My dog is not capable of learning what I am training today.”…read more
Varying The Training Locations
The old saying, “variety is the spice of life”, rings true in the world of dog training as well. Arctic breeds have a propensity toward “attention deficit disorder”, or so it would seem, sometimes. In reality, they just, plain, get bored with repetition, and redundancy, as do I, sometimes. Don’t you? In order to avoid this situation, there are several ways to keep your dogs attention…read more
How to Distinguish and Identify Dog Temperaments
As trainers, it is incumbent upon us to get to know our dog as well as possible. We need to understand their moods, reactions to specific stimuli, and the periods of their ups and downs. This includes everyday living experiences, not just during
training. These observations and understandings will help you in your training. Coupled with the above, is knowing what temperament you are dealing with. In order to deal with a certain temperament…read more
What to expect From Your Dog
Today, more and more, we find that people expect unbelievable feats of accomplishment from all aspects of life than were previously though reasonable. Many things contribute to this strain on humans and animals alike. Television, Movies, News Broadcasts, and sensational specials, depict animals in feats of daring, and performing acts that only the most advanced trainers should attempt…read more