Getting a Puppy
Bringing home a new, furry family member can be the most exciting time, but it can also be a little daunting!
Our puppies are raised as truly part of our Amarante family and make such wonderful, loving pets. As such, we have put together a little guide to help you give your puppy the best start in life, and avoid any potential problems later on.
Please, please, please remember that if you are to experience any problems, have any concerns or there's anything at all you're unsure of, you can always get in contact.
In this guide:
Your puppy is being fed four meals per day at approximately: 7.30am, 12.30pm, 5.30pm & 10.00pm. I have been feeding Gentle and they have done really well on it. There are other good brands but do your research and please avoid the bad ones. Nutrition is particularly important with a large breed dog for bone and joint health, especially in his or her growing stage. I have measured out the approximate quantity for each meal, in other words one quarter of his or her daily intake. Obviously this will need to be increased as they get older and gradually decrease the number of feeds to two per day... never go to less than this because of the risk of bloat.
I have been adding a little warm water, which releases the flavour of the biscuits and again helps guard against bloat. I do this for my adults too. I also add a little meat, meat juice, sardines or about a dessert spoon of good quality wet food. They love it with raw tripe added! Pick up what they leave so you are in charge of when they eat and they’ll very soon learn if they don’t eat it, it goes. For behavioural reasons never allow them to graze.
To avoid food guarding, occasionally put a little meat in with your hand while they are eating then they associate a hand giving rather than taking away. That said none of these puppies are nasty around food. Always provide fresh water. Do not give milk. Keep treats to a minimum and avoid hide chews and cheaper brand ‘treats’.
If you have children, or Grandchildren, involve them in the feeding so the puppy learns his or her place in your pack from the start. I will give you some of the food they are used to so you can gradually change to the brand of your choice.
They were wormed with a 3 day course of Panacur at 2 weeks and Milpro at 5 ½ weeks old. Please tell your vet this when you discuss the puppies future worm program. I would recommend for them to be wormed again at around 9 weeks old although take your vet’s advice on this.
Allow your puppy a couple of days to settle then take him or her to the vet for their first vaccination. The second injection will normally be 2 weeks later, although all vets are different.
The injection itself doesn’t hurt the puppy so stay relaxed yourself so a visit to the vet doesn’t become a problem. Your vet will advice the time scale of going to public places but normally the guide is a week after the 2nd vaccination and a little longer before risking a very heavily dog populated area. I have socialised your puppy with other dogs. It is a very good idea for you to continue with this socialisation of meeting other vaccinated dogs.
The ‘oodle’ of your doodle will require a little maintenance. Their ears will need plucking as I have shown. Their bottoms will need to be kept trimmed as discussed. It is also a good idea to have the fur on his or her toes clipped in the grass seed season and keep an eye out for mats between the paw pads. Keep handling their feet, between their toes, ears, eyes etc as frequently as you can in the early stages so there’s no problem when they are older. This litter will need frequent trips to the groomers or alternatively buy some clippers and do it yourself. I recommend either Oster or Andis. I use the Andis two speed with number 10 blades for feet and 7F or 5F for the body.
We’ve started the basics like not getting attention when they jump up, recall by calling ‘pup pup pup’ and clapping our hands, ignoring bad behaviour like play biting... It is up to you to continue this and make sure all family and friends do the same. You and all family members must be consistent.
I would recommend you don’t allow rough play or tug of war games with you or anyone and if you have any problems contact me. Don’t be afraid to ask me for help. Any situation or noise, which might be frightening, is best ignored and treated as ‘situation normal’. If you even feel: ‘there there don’t worry’ that will come across to the puppy that there is danger. We have played them the CD of noises so they are used to the sound of guns, thunder, fireworks etc so make sure no one reacts in any way, especially during the dreaded firework season. When it is time to start walking your puppy on a lead I recommend the gundog nylon slip leads so they can’t slip their collar or a normal collar and lead. Please do not use extendable leads for many reasons, one is that the puppy learns to go where he or she wants and you follow, so who is the leader here? I am also not a fan of harnesses as they are designed to let the dog stand in front of you so they lead you and having spoken to a dog chiropractor I am very against the halter type walking aids as they pull the head to one side and can cause injury to the neck. If you have problems when you get to this stage please ring or come and see me as I can help. Tricks such as ‘sit’ and ‘paw’ are fun but the most important thing to teach your puppy is recall. I use a whistle as they can pick up any stress or anxiety in our voices. Don’t overdo it or they will be like children, become deaf to our nagging. But when you do blow that whistle follow it through. The main thing to remember is most problems associated with doodles stem from attention so ignoring is the best way to deal with most issues. If you are introducing your puppy as a second dog to the family I can’t stress enough to let them sort their pecking order out themselves, in other words don’t interfere, especially at the beginning. It is very easy to over fuss and spoil your puppy in those early days but in doing this you will have a demanding puppy who thinks their place is on a pedestal with a title to their name. Yes they are cute, cuddly and lovable, but they need to know they are a dog, not god.
Don’t overdo things while they are still growing however they must have enough off lead exercise to avoid problems with behaviour and relieve stress. Let them off lead as soon as possible when in the insecure stage as I promise they will come back to you, and reward this. Ball throwing is not a good idea as the sprinting, twists and turns are the worst kind of exercise for growing joints.
As you all know they have been trained from a very early age by keeping the sleep area clean and fresh and the newspaper slightly soiled, but of course not dirty. They now prefer to go outside but obviously that’s not possible all through the night so I recommend having newspaper down near the doorway. Always praise good behaviour but don’t punish bad or you will have a dog who is afraid to go to the toilet in front of you. This litter are particularly good in this department so praising them may confuse the issue as they already know what is expected. Take them out when they wake up and straight after meals, you will soon learn the signs. I don’t agree with using a crate with a closed door to train one of our puppies as they have been brought up to not soil their sleeping area. The exception to this would be a crate by your bed at night when you are next to them if they ask to go out. That said if they do ask don’t give them any attention, not even a ‘good dog’. Put them straight back into the crate when finished and get back into bed. Attention at this time will mean the next night you will find that little whine to go out will be earlier. If you have a happy and relaxed puppy you shouldn’t have any problems like chewing and barking etc.
My advice is to try to copy what we have here... a soft bed, newspaper near the door and a stair gate to keep him or her out of certain areas. Make sure all electric cables are out of the way or blocked.
Have fun and get in touch if you have any questions, however silly you might think they are. I am here to help for life. And last of all, please keep in touch!