Puppy Advice

Puppy Advice

Your puppy will need vet care for the rest of his or her life, so establish a vet within 2 weeks of adoption.

Puppies will chew almost anything until they get their second teeth. When nipping occurs, you say "No!" sharply, shake the scruff of the neck, and then ignore the dog. If chewing something of value happens, put a product called "Bitter Apple" on it. Also provide a substitution, like a rawhide bone or a Kong Toy stuffed with dog food that you've put in the freezer overnight

Sometimes it also helps to put your fist into the puppy's mouth when nipping occurs because their natural response is to lick you when you pull back. Then reward the lick with praise.

Crate training
For the first 6 months we recommend crate training your puppy. If you need specific advice on how to crate train, any library, pet store or bookstore will have books on puppy care that will help you determine a schedule. After a year you may not need the crate but your dog might like it as his or her own quiet spot.

Contain your puppy in the crate for no longer than 4 hours at a time. If you work outside the home all day, arrange for someone to let the puppy out during the workday. Gradually you can extend the time - but to no more than 7 hours.

When your puppy is first confined he or she may cry and whine. Ignore it. Then when quiet comes, go in and reward your puppy for being quiet. Do not give attention for crying.

Establish a consistent morning routine. For example: puppy goes out, eats, goes out again, has some play time, goes out a last time, then gets confined. Give her a treat during confinement and say something like "I'll be back!" and walk away. You might leave a radio on for company.

Never reprimand your puppy if he or she soils in the crate. Your dog is still a baby and doesn't have complete control yet.

Discourage your puppy from jumping on you by turning your back and ignoring him or her. When the behavior stops, give some attention.

Your puppy is used to being with the litter or other dogs. So keep him or her with you whenever you can, in areas you can easily clean. Establish a sleeping area and stick to it.

Puppies also need socialization with other dogs from the time they're about 8 weeks old. So enroll your puppy in Puppy Kindergarten soon and then progress to Obedience Classes.

Keep your puppy off slippery surfaces, which can cause hip and joint problems later in life.

Be very careful of your puppy around children and don't leave your puppy unsupervised around children. Children can unintentionally harm a puppy and puppies have a tendency to nip and scratch.

We recommend keeping your puppy on Vitamin C. Lead up to 500 units and then over a period of 2 weeks increase to 1000 units gradually decreasing again to 500 units for the rest of his or her life.

We have also seen dramatic, positive results by administering Vitamin E to puppies for muscular development. Discuss these options with your vet.

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