Todays mood at the refuge is as grey as the sky as I am writing this blog. Today we had a mum and two young pups arrive quickly followed by two more pups! So five arrivals and no departures.
Like all arrivals the dogs will have a vet check, have any necessary treatment and will have their first vaccination provided that they are old enough. The two younger pups have gone straight into a foster home which is great as the refuge is not the ideal environment for a pup.
Puppies are usually adopted quite quickly and for anyone considering adopting one we like to point out that this is a lifetime commitment. Once the decision is made and the pup reserved, the real work begins!
With pups, preparation is everything. First of all make sure that the breed of pup that you choose is compatible with your lifestyle .Research the breed of pup you are interested in and if it’s a cross, look at both or indeed all of the breeds. A lead, collar, bowls, bed, toys and of course food are essential items you will need before your pup comes home. Before you get the pup home you also need to prepare the house and garden.
In the house, pick up everything that you don’t want the pup to touch. Pups, like toddlers, explore the world with their mouths and will most certainly pick up whatever they can. Make sure that you do have a stock of suitable things that the pup can chew such as kongs, toys etc and encourage them to use them. If the pup does pick up something that it shouldn’t then simply swap it for one of its own toys and make sure you put that item well out of reach!
Carefully think about what areas you want the pups to have access to. If you don’t want the pup upstairs, use a stair gate. Its likely that you will have to house train your pup so please ask us for our house training guide should you require it.
If you are going to use a crate, and we really recommend that you do, then make sure it’s a safe one and of a suitable size. Dogs very quickly learn that their crate is a safe, comfy place where they can relax and chill out.
Existing family dogs can be very stressed by the arrival of a pup. Its normal that the pup will want to play but slow introductions are recommended and its up to you to protect the family dog from the pup. If you allow the pup unrestricted access, or to bully to the existing dog and don’t supervise it then you will either end up with a bitten pup or a pup who has no doggy manners whatsoever!
Outside, make sure your fences and gates are puppy proof. If you don’t want yellow patches on all of your lawn then screen off an area where the pup can toilet. Lift anything dangerous that the pup could eat and be prepared to supervise the pup in the garden at all times!
As soon as the pup is vaccinated, get it out and about. Early socialisation is crucial and the more positive interactions that your pup can have with people and other animals the better.
We really recommend doggy classes for all of our dogs, especially pups but please ensure that the trainer uses positive reinforcement, any choke chains, alpha rolling or anything like that then run fast in the other direction ( that’s just my opinion though!) This is your opportunity to shape the behaviour of the dog who will be part of your life for the next 15 years so its well worth making the effort to get it right.
So pups are great fun and lots of work. Is it worth it? Gosh yes, the bond you develop when caring for and training a pup is unbreakable, You have the opportunity to mould the pup into the dog that you want to be part of your life. What a privilege that is…