I have made a deposit. What should I do now?
This is the fun part!! One thing to consider is the purchase of a puppy starter kit for your new addition. This “kit” is put together using full sized items and the items that your puppy is accustomed to using daily. You can find more information regarding the supplies we carry in our small storefront on this site.
P.S. We ALWAYS recommend a harness rather than a collar for any puppy. We don’t want the pressure from pulling to be put on their fragile necks, but rather spread through the chest and body. Safety first of course.
How do we prepare our home?
You will need to “puppy proof” your home, inside and out.
What decisions need to be made before the puppy’s arrival?
- The Name Game ~ You will repeat your puppy’s new name over 35,000 times in his lifetime. Make sure it is one that both your family and your puppy love. There are LOTS of sites online to view optional names. Don’t forget to check racehorse names, boat names, etc to add to your list of options.
- Keep it simple. Dogs grasp brief orders, so short and sweet says it best. Names with just a couple of syllables work well.
- Don’t confuse the issue. Your puppy’sname shouldn’t sound similar to any commands. “Fetch, Fletch!” and “Stay, Ray” will only befuddle your pup.Since you’ll be calling your dog’sname in public, loudly and frequently, make sure it’s not a name you’ll be mortified to yell. A name may be funny in the privacy of your own house, but it won’t sound so great at the dog park.Consider the kids. You’re right; “Fluffy” doesn’t illustrate the noble nature of your regal dog, but kids appreciate simplicity, too. Register the fancy schmancy name with the AKC/UKC/APR.Don’t name the pooch after a family member. Naming your baby after Uncle Norbert will keep you in the will, but naming your pup after him may not. Ask first before bestowing such an “honor” on a friend or relative.Try it out. When you find a name you like, give it a test run for a day or two. If it feels natural, it’s a keeper! Otherwise, move on to the next name on your list.
- Potty training ~ How will your puppy tell you that he needs to go out?
The latest and greatest way for your puppy to share his urgent need is to teach them to ring a doorbell. We offer two options in our online store.
Simply hang it on your doorknob and ring it each and every time you take your puppy out. Soon, your puppy will be ringing it to ask to go out. AT this time you can move it to a hook beside the door rather than on the door itself so it doesn’t ring each time a human goes in and out.
You can then take the bells with you when you travel to a hotel or family member’s home and your puppy will have the consistency of your home.
- Crate or playpen ~ The key to potty training success is only allowing your puppy to have access to a small area of your home. Often an entire laundry room or bathroom is too large to start with.
For our small breed dogs we recommend the purchase of a playpen or exercise pen. You will be able to put in the litter box, litter, pad, Lixit water bottle for dogs as well as any toys in with them.
For medium and large breed dogs we recommend a wire crate. In my mind the optional floor grid is a gift from above. It does come with an adjustable panel that you can give your puppy more or less room as they grow, but the floor grid is a separate option. It will elevate your puppy out of any urine or feces when they have an accident. (yes WHEN, not IF). You can simply slide out the pan, put down a new disposable potty pad and push the pan back in. Easy!! When using a plastic kennel with a wire mesh front door, you will need to wash the puppy each time an accident occurs and try to maneuver your head and hands into the kennel to clean it out as well. I can recommend the appropriate size for your puppy that will last for a lifetime.
Decide on key word to use with your puppy. These commands should not be the same vocabulary you use daily with your family members, but something unique for your puppy. Recall that the patrol units use a foreign language when training their canines~ for this same reason.
“Sit” or “Park it”, “No” or “uh-uh”, “Potty” or “Touchdown”
What about Housetraining?
What are common training mistakes?
It is easy to mistakenly encourage poor puppy behavior. Here are a few ways that new puppy owners can make themselves their own worst enemies:
- Giving a puppy too much freedom too soon
- Allowing misbehavior to become habit
- Letting a puppy think she’s the one in charge
- Refusing to use a crate or playpen because it seems cruel
- Never letting a puppy greet the world on her own; instead always carrying and coddling her
Like children, puppies need structure and rules; praise when they do it right; corrections when they make a mistake; and a place where they can go to feel safe. By showing your puppy what you want, keeping her on a schedule, rewarding her for good behavior and providing a crate or safe room where she can stay when you can’t supervise (thus preventing unwanted behavior) you’ll give her the framework she needs to become a super companion.
What food should I feed my puppy? What about watering?
We have been raising puppies for over 30 years. We have run many, many food trials, We are in love with Fromm Foods. Fromm foods are made in Wisconsin. You can of course read all about their devotion to quality nutrition on their website.
You will not find Fromm food in your local PetsMart or PetCo as they do not sell to the big box stores. You will find it at most “Mom and Pop” pet stores or online at www.chewy.com Chewy offers the food including free shipping to your doorstep for less than you can pick it up at any store.
Puppies cannot store body fat and therefore must have full access to their food and water 24/7.
To treat or not to treat
When a puppy does something well we want to let them know that we appreciate that behavior. Most often families provide a food treat to show their approval. This is fine, but one must consider what we are putting into these little tummies.
- Treats need to be free of dyes and preservatives.
- Treats need to be very small, as not to fill up their tummies so that there isn’t room for their normal kibble.
- Treats containing rich ingredients, such as liver treats, taste yummy, but too many can cause diarrhea. I must say that there is nothing worse than trying to potty train a puppy with diarrhea. (Training classes are grand, but be sure the treats you are providing are appropriate.)
- Treats should be made with products from within the United States. There are far too may deaths due to imported chicken and other products to be comfortable with taking the risk of foreign ingredients.
- Other items that work well for treats are things such as Cheerios, Chex Mix or baby food hot dogs, rotisserie chicken, etc
Once you begin using treats, your puppy will be expecting those treats for a lifetime. As a puppy you provide a treat or praise each and every time they repeat the expected behavior. As they age, you need to offer those treats/praise randomly so that they repeat the behavior never knowing if a treat will be offered this time or not.
Many of our puppies have a very strong bond with their humans and a great desire to please. Often one can simply use a facial rubdown, a verbal “happy approval” or a pat on the back to let them know that they are doing something well.