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  • #1 Sleep- How often, where?"
    Puppies follow a natural rhythm of Sleep, Eat, Play, repeat. They need plenty of sleep at night and frequent naps in the daytime. I let them sleep when they want to sleep and put them in their crate to keep from being disturbed by children and other dogs for their morning, afternoon, and evening naps. Some like blankets inside their crates or an old sheet or towel folded up and placed inside is great too. Our dogs go to bed at 9 pm. When our kids go to sleep. If you are enjoying some cuddle time feel free to keep them with you but let your puppy sleep if he is tired. I do not recommend letting your puppy sleep with you or your kids until they are at least one year old. This is because they will have potty accidents more frequently if they are not crated at night and will also be too spoiled to leave with someone else to be watched while you are gone on vacations etc. Crate training takes consistency even at night, even if they cry. If they cry try leaving them for 10-15 minutes. Then return and take them out for one minute at first. Put them on their potty pad for a minute and then put them back in the crate. Then leave them for another 10-15 minutes. When you return don’t take them out just stand by the crate. Then repeat once or twice more and then don’t return. They may cry more but this usually only lasts for a few nights then they are happy to hunker down and get sleep after that. I like to leave the crate door open to their play area during the night at first. I like to use a potty pad holder with a potty pad in it near their crate so they can go in the night and not disturb the family (or me!) Gradually you will want to leave them locked in for longer and longer periods to develop the muscle control to hold their potty. Between 3-4 months of age, they should be able to hold it through the night.
  • #2 Food- What, when, how much?"
    First, I have been feeding your puppy a high-quality puppy food found on Amazon (or online at Tractor supply and pet stores) called Diamond Naturals small breed chicken and rice formula. This is a very high-quality food that is made by one of the premium dog food makers in the US. Your vet may suggest switching to their brand of food usually called Hill Science diet. I DO NOT recommend switching to this food for a few reasons. First of all, it may contain CORN which is not healthy for your puppy and may cause allergies, hair loss, and excessive weight gain. Your Vet usually receives a commission for recommending their food so keep this in mind when considering what to do. I feed my puppies a half cup (depending on their weight a 1- pound puppy will consume at least 1 cup of food per day) of dry puppy food 2 times per day inside their crate at eight weeks of age. This gradually increases in volume and continues until they are 4-5 months of age. After that point twice per day morning and night is great! Just feed them after you eat (Follow the Golden Rule of feeding if you can along with gesture eating a cracker over their bowl before handing them their food. Remember, the pack eats after the leader is done). You can treat your puppy in between meals just don’t fill them up with table scraps or they will refuse their food which can lead to a sick tummy😩 and a fat dog! Some have opted to feed their dog raw puppy food. If you choose to feed raw I would recommend that you use a well-known brand sold in stores such as Fresh Pet (found at Walmart and Target). There are also vegetarian plant based foods that receive good reviews for puppies who are sensitive to meat.
  • #3- Potty- When, how often?"
    Puppies can only hold their potty for one hour for every month old they are. I take my puppies out to potty first thing in the morning and anytime they have been sleeping in their crate. I also take them after every meal and a couple of times in between. Your puppy will have been taken out to go potty 8-10 times per day when they come to you. This gives them a good start on going potty in the right spot. It can take 10-15 minutes for them to be able to relax their bowels enough to go so be patient. They will poop as much as they are fed so at least 3 times per day in the beginning. The rest of the time it is just peepee. Pick a spot outside at your place and try to have them go in the same spot every time. When you take them potty say “go to your spot” or “go potty” etc. A good time to get them to potty is on or right after a walk. Consistently is key with potty training. Puppies use their sense of smell to find their spot so clean up any potty accidents inside using an enzymatic cleaner (the dollar store has a great one!) that erases smell to avoid having them go there again. Never slap or yell at your puppy if they have an accident or they will be afraid to go potty anywhere and will usually hide in places like closets to go. It’s ok to say “not your spot!” If they have an accident then take them to their spot. It's also a good idea to leave a little bit of poop there so they will be able to smell it and know that it is the place to go.
  • #4- The walk-how often, where?"
    Your puppy will only have one set of shots when he comes to you and won’t be able to walk outside of your yard at that point. I suggest waking them around your yard every day until they are over 12 weeks of age using their puppy harness and leash. It is good to call them and encourage them with treats at this stage so they learn to stay with you and follow you. After that, a short walk at a park or around the neighborhood will suffice. Gradually increase their frequency and length as they grow and most dogs are great with 2 walks per day.
  • #5 Health- How many Vet visits, shots, deworming etc.?"
    Your puppy will come to you healthy and with a one-year genetic health guarantee. This covers anything they are pre-disposed to (which should be nothing since parents are health tested and cleared!) and does not include accidents or illness after they go home with you. They will have had de-worming done and one set of shots and a vet check. They will need two more sets of shots after they go home with you. These shots should be given at 10 and 13 weeks of age. After that, they will need yearly boosters for some of the shots. Ask your Vet about the best ways to de-worm your dog. Most vets will prescribe a monthly supplement called Interceptor that you will give them that takes care of worms etc. They will need their rabies shot at their last puppy visit and boosters are given every two years depending on when they were given last so check with your vet for a schedule and set reminders on your calendar.
  • #6 Discipline vs. Punishment?
    The best way to discipline a puppy is to give them puppy time-outs in a quiet place such as a bathroom or laundry room. This is not so they can think about what they did but because they do NOT like being separated from the pack. A bathroom or laundry area works great. Only keep them separated for a few minutes. Don’t talk, just quietly put them in and let them out. Remember dogs don’t understand what you say just how you say it! We do not recommend hitting, yelling, spraying in the face with water etc. as this will break down the trust you are working so hard to build with your puppy.
  • #7 Supplies- what is provided and what to buy?
    To make sure you are prepared we have put together a sterter kit for your puppy. Puppy supplies provided are Blanket with Mom’s scent A snuggle pup toy with a realistic heartbeat A small bag of food A tuggy A toothbrush A toy A leash A few puppy pads A food bowl SUPPLIES TO PURCHASE A Wire crate A small dog bed More puppy pads or a patch of turf, potty box for them to potty on Puppy Toothpaste Treats More puppy food A harness Did I miss anything? Send me your questions and I will add them to this doc. Most of all, have confidence in yourself as a puppy owner! You are capable of raising a healthy, happy companion that will give you love unconditionally!
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