Your Puppy’s Journey
The first months – Getting a dog is like getting a new member of the family. The dog will have needs such as walks, play, affection and training. In all likelihood, owning a dog is not the only commitment that you have, so you need to work the dog’s schedule around that of your own.
At ten weeks old, you should take your new puppy to the vet, where they will check the overall health of the puppy and you will be advised on the right timings for vaccinations and worming doses.
The first few months is the time where boundaries are set and training should begin. A variety of experiences early on will build to a respectful and agreeable adult dog later in their life. As the owner, you must ensure the puppy is aware of their surroundings and allow them contact with children, other dogs and other animals early in their lives.
A feeding pattern should be identified early and any special requirements for nutrition should be met. Our GAIN Elite range offers an advance nutrition specifically for big breed puppy’s and small breed puppy’s. However, if your puppy has a special requirement such as showing signs of itchy or sensitive skin, we also have a grain free option known as our ‘Kindness’ range that could be a suitable alternative.
Puberty – This is a short phase and will last between one and size weeks. Puberty starts roughly at size months and can often lead to your dog behaving badly and not wanting to learn new things. During puberty, you should be persistent with the education program and continue with training.
The Adult Dog – You will know when your dog has finished puberty when a male lifts his leg to urinate or when a female goes into heat for the first time. This generally occurs within seven months up to a year.
The Senior Dog – Dogs tend to show signs of ageing between the ages of eight and ten, they will become less active and have a slower metabolism, Many older dogs show signs of weight gain, become grey and experience a deterioration of sight and hearing.
Each stage of a dog’s life cycle requires a different feeding regime. The typical feeding guidelines are generally displayed on the back of the pack/bag of dog food.
Making your puppy part of the family
Balancing Commitments It is imperative that you train your dog to ensure that you and those who live with you have a peaceful time. Every dog should have a few basic commands such as sit, down, stop, bed and stop talking. A badly behaved dog is difficult to live with, and if a dog doesn’t understand what it is being asked to do it can be very stressful. Dogs work best with clear guidelines of what they are expected to do.
Basic Training Before you take your puppy out, introduce your puppy to his collar and lead. Start with a light collar and let them get used to wearing it on its own. Do not buckle it too tightly – just enough to stop it slipping over his head. First, accustom them to the lead rather than trying to make them walk with it on.
Taking Your Puppy Out The lead is essential for keeping your puppy under control in public places and for the basic training every young dog must be given. Coax them to follow you by praise but if he tries to get away just hold the lead until he realises there is no escape.
Once your dog is used to the collar, you can begin the basic training, designed to turn them into a quiet, respectful and social animal.
The Basic Rules Make sure that the approach to training is consistent. Reward them with a show of affection and by stroking them when they do well. Do not punish a dog for not obeying a command. Simply withhold the reward or they will associate the command with punishment. Keep the lessons short and make it fun for the dog to learn.
Training a dog needs patience; it is useful to use short words of command with vowels that sound clearly different. The first four essentials are HEEL – SIT – COME – DOWN.
Knowing Your Dog It is vital that everyone in the household is able to tell when the dog is happy, afraid, nervous and angry.
Make sure your dog has safe toys to play with to stop them getting bored. It is important that a dog’s bed is far away from the front door as it gives the dog more time to make a decision on new visitors at the door, minimising the chances of any unwanted aggression.
Top Training Tips
- Train your dog in general obedience so that you have control at all times
- Feed your dog at regular times and keep to a routine. Do not give snacks or treats between meals
- Feed your dog from their own dish, and keep away from dishes that you would use you’re your human family members.
- Keep your dog on a lead anywhere near the road, or where there are farm animals
- Do not allow your dog to ‘do their business’ on walkways, buildings, lawns and gardens or open spaces where children play. Always clean up after them.
- Do not allow your dog to be noisy and disturb the neighbours
- Provide your dog with their own bed. Don’t let them sleep in yours.
- Never take your dog into a food shop
- Keep your dog clean and regularly groomed
- Register your pet as a patient and yourself as a client with the veterinary surgeon of your choice.
- Make proper arrangements for the care of your pet when you are going on holidays.