Q: What age can a puppy be taken home to their new home?
A: A puppy should not relocate to it's new home under 8 weeks of age. This ensures that the puppy's innoculations have fully taken effect and that it is properly socialised and robust. This makes it easier for the puppy to adjust.
Q: How can I make my new puppy feel at home?
A: There are several ways to make your puppy feel more comfortable about the move to a new home and family. We encourage 'families in waiting' to visit their chosen puppy as often as possible while it is maturing enough to go to it's new home. This gives the puppy, and the new family, a chance to form a bond or at least be familiar to one another before the move. Leaving a toy or blanket for your puppy to lie on (as will the whole litter) or play with also ensures that it has familiar smells about it when you take it home with the puppy. A hot water bottle in his bed for the first few nights helps him not to miss the warmth of his litter mates, his favourite toy and even the old fashioned ticking clock all help him to settle down for the first few nights. He will need loads of reassurance and attention for the first few days, so consider his feelings and what he's missing and he'll soon replace his litter mates with you and your family.
Q: How can I toilet train our new puppy?
A: The most effective way to toilet train your puppy is to give it the opportunity to learn where he can gain access to the outdoors. Watch it's habits and you'll soon learn that shortly after waking up and eating are two very opportune moments to gently get him into the habit of going outdoors. Pick him up and take him out (or encourage him to follow you out if possible) immediately he wakes up and stay there with him til he's gone to the toilet. Heap praise on him when he does go to the toilet. Do the same after he's eaten. Try to watch for the tell-tale circling to find a suitable spot to go to the toilet. It soon becomes obvious. Simply pick him up or encourage him to follow your outside, and again heap that praise on him when he goes to the toilet. DON'T smack him or rub his nose in his wee or poo, this is disgusting and unnecessary. Simply follow the above routine and you'll soon find that your puppy automatically wanders outside. Mistakes may and will happen. Some newspaper placed near his food bowl and water helps, as does some near the exit to the outdoors. Your puppy will be aware that newspaper is a toileting facility as we train them to use paper once they're active.
Q: Will the puppy dig holes, chew things up etc?
A: You are taking a small puppy home. It's teething and like a baby that's teething it loves to chew on things. If you don't want puppy to chew something, simply tell him firmly, 'no' and replace what it is chewing with a toy. Keep this process up and he will begin to know what is o.k. to chew and what is not. Puppies need loads of interesting toys to keep them interested and occupied. They have a short attention span when very young, so variety is the key. Don't forget to make time to play with him yourself. Start to teach him to chase and retrieve. Teach him to lead so you can take him for walks. He spends a great deal of time snoozing at 8-12 weeks, so he won't need 24 hour attention of supervision. One minute he'll be racing around and the next, the batteries will have run low and he'll be fast asleep. This is normal.
Q: Is a girl better than a boy?
A: To be honest, a desexed boy can often be better than a female dog, particularly an entire female, and depending on what you're looking for. Our two breeds have very similar personalities between the sexes. An entire male of course will reach the age where his hormones denote that he should mark his territory and they will do so quite copeously, believe me. His urine can also have a very noticeable odour. Desexing stops the odour and reduces the need to mark, although he will probably still need to mark some things and lift his leg for toileting. He can be trained not to mark things with a firm 'no' and praise when he does the right thing.
An entire female has 'season' every 6 months and this can be quite difficult to manage as she will have some bloody discharge and of course there are the neighbourhood entire dogs to worry about. Each season lasts 3 weeks and although, technically, a female will not accept a dog for the first 10 days of this period, this time frame can vary from dog to dog, so lock her up (very securely) from the first day to ensure she doesn't succumb to mating.
Male dogs are usually cheaper than female dogs to desex. Both sexes are loving and interactive with their owners. Males can sometimes be even sookier than females. Both sexes are equally good watchdogs, and neither of our breeds are snappy breeds. Temperaments are the same for either sex.
Q: Should I let my female dog have a litter before desexing?
A: Unless you intend to enter into breeding - NO!! This is an old wives' tale and encourages indiscriminate breeding which goes against most of the principles of promoting the breed. Please don't do this. Certainly, you can wait until she has her first season to ensure that she has fully matured before desexing, but there is absolutely no need to breed her that once, nor will it make any difference whatsoever.
Q: Will my new puppy get on with my other pets?
A: Both of our breeds have open, friendly dispositions and generally mix well with other animals. Be gentle about introductions, encouraging all involved in a calm manner and ensuring that each receives equal attention. Jealousy exists in animals, and their could be territorial issues involved as well. Have consideration for this and all should be well. A young puppy will usually learn quickly where boundaries are concerned, although it may take a quick whack on the nose from the resident cat for it to learn sometimes.
Q: Should I take my puppy to puppy training school?
A: We would recommend this whole-heartedly as not only does it socialise and train the puppy, but it is also something that you are doing together and learning about each other in the process. It is a very good bonding process and teaches the value of consistency.
Q: Will my puppy be good with the children?
A: Small children, no matter how good they are, need supervision with animals, and particularly puppies. Puppies are small enough to be picked up and dropped for instance. Both breeds are very good with children, but in this case, it's the puppy that needs to be protected from the innocence of children until they learn how to properly handle the puppy. One of the first things we do is teach children to be sitting before they nurse a puppy. That way the puppy will not be hurt if it falls. We teach the children that pulling his ears or grabbing him by the leg - hurts. Until they learn this they will treat the pupply like a new teddy bear and this is not altogether healthy for the puppy.