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Feeding & Training

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Preparing to Bring Home a New Puppy

 What to Expect…

All puppies need time to grow and mature.  They have all the energy of youth combined with a darling, silly little puppy brain.  You need to be prepared to keep your puppy safe, happy, well-fed, healthy, entertained, trained, exercised, and loved.  Your puppy is fully dependant upon you.  You are your puppy’s entire world.   A young, untrained puppy will require a significant commitment of your time and attention.  Silly young puppies pose a huge danger to themselves, and can easily get into something that can cause them harm.

Things to Arrange before Puppy Arrives……

  1. Veterinarian:  Locate a good, local veterinarian who is not far from your home and make an appointment for a few days after the puppy is due to arrive – this is for your own protection.  If you don’t like the first vet you try, make an appointment to see another vet at the same practice.  Before agreeing to various extra shots and procedures, tell the vet that you prefer to wait on that for the moment and do some research/call the breeder.  Unless it is vital to save your puppy’s life, it can wait and you can arrange for such procedures/shots to be done later on, if appropriate.
  1. Boarding:  Unless you plan to remain at home for the next 12 years, you really need to locate a responsible situation for your puppy to be left when you are out of town and it is best for puppies to start boarding when they are young.  Good kennels are fine and better than leaving with a friend or family where accidents can happen.  Some breeders and people involved with the care of dogs, board in their homes.  Having someone come to your home is not ideal in that you really never know if they actually come and for how long?  It’s too long for dogs to be on their own for a week or more, only to briefly interact with a human three times a day.  In the Tri State area, we have Camp Chadwick as an option.  Contact us for further information.
  1. Housebreaking/Socializing:  These are your prime concerns when you first get your puppy.  Instructions on Housebreaking are provided.  Take puppy everywhere with you but carry puppy.  Puppies are not fully vaccinated until 4 months so cannot be with other dogs or go to public parks until after the last 4 month old vaccine is given.

When Puppy Arrives……

When you first bring your puppy home, your puppy should not be crated for more than 2 hours at a time, unless sleeping at night.  Initially, your puppy will need to relieve itself every 2 hours or so.  Be prepared to take your puppy outside very early in the morning, as well as late at night. You will need to feed your puppy three times, daily.  (Tip: Don’t feed your puppy too late in the evening.)

Potty Training…..

I strongly advise you to read Chadwick’s Guide to Housebreaking your Cavalier, in advance of picking up your puppy.  This training technique works well with Cavaliers.  If you should choose to potty train using a different method, that is fine, as long as you are willing to accept that responsibility.

Once home, for the first three days, you should not allow the puppy’s paws to set foot on the floor of your home.  Your puppy should always be: 1. In your arms, 2. In the crate, or, 3. Outside, doing its business.  As your puppy matures and becomes more reliable, your pup can earn safe “floor time”.  Do not give your puppy the run of the house or too much freedom too soon (too soon being before two months of bringing your puppy home).

Children, especially visiting children, should be discouraged from picking up the puppy as they are so wiggly and they will fall.  When puppy is on a chair or sofa, sitting with someone, puppy should never be allowed to jump off as soft puppy bones can be broken.  Best to have children sit on the floor with the puppy or put puppy’s harness or leash/collar on and have the children hold onto that so puppy cannot go anywhere.

Items to be Purchased ……   Prior to Bringing Home Your New Puppy ( a list of recommended items will be provided, but not all need to be purchased at one time):

1.  Crate:  You must have a crate with divider and a small mat to fit half the crate when you pick up your new puppy.  This is strictly for the safety of your puppy.  It is required before any puppy can go to a new home.  Consider this as important as having a car seat for a newborn baby.  You can purchase an airline-style flight kennel, usually the #100 size which is small, for night-time sleeping by your bed or traveling in the car, and for sure, a metal wire crate for every day.  Size for an adult Cavalier is 18” x 24” x 19-“-20” high.  The divider will make the crate half size for the baby puppy.

2.  Baby Gate(s) and Scat Mat:  Optional and buy later if needed.  Prepare a puppy “safe zone“ in your house, usually the kitchen.  You may need to put up a baby gate.  You cannot allow your puppy the run of the house.  Trust me, puppies are little hooligans, and they will destroy your carpet, furniture, books, pillows, shoes.  They will chew on electric cords.  Scat mats are used to disallow access to rooms that are off limits to dogs or discourage exiting doors leading to no fencing.

If you have a backyard/run, you should inspect it in advance, and make sure it is safe, too.  Look for holes in and at the bottom of the fencing where puppies can scoot under and look over the list of poisonous plants.  Puppies love to dig holes and tear-up landscaping.  Do not leave your puppy outside, unattended.  

Always keep your puppy on a leash when out in public, with no fencing.

3.  Puppy Piddle Pads and a Tray (for paper training ONLY):  This product gives your puppy an indoor option.  If you are housebreaking the puppy during a time of year with inclement weather, this is convenient.  Petco carries a tray with pads for around $18.  Not recommended if you plan to housebreak the puppy.

4.  Bacterial Enzyme Cleaner:  Have something like “Simple Solution” or “Nature’s Miracle” on hand for clean-ups.  “Resolve” also makes a good cleaner.  If you have an accident, use one of these types of cleaners.  It removes the odor, and makes it less likely the puppy will use that spot again.  Do not use ammonia-based products for clean-ups.

5.  Exercise Pen 24":  Optional and buy later if needed, but very useful.  They are not expensive and can be ordered online from various dog catalogs.  They can be used to block off an area if needed, like a computer desk, fireplace, grill, bookshelf, Christmas tree. Can be used to create a temporary safe zone.  Portable and temporary.

When you pick up your puppy, you will be provided with a Puppy Starter Kit.  It will contain various supplies for your puppy.  You will get some current food so that your puppy can stay on his/her regular diet until you decide on a food that the puppy likes.  You will also receive a folder containing the puppy’s medical information, puppy’s recent health certificate, copies of the health clearances by various specialists for the parents of your puppy and various other informational documents.   Housebreaking, Training & Feeding instructions, Purchase agreement, Health Insurance form, Membership Application and Restricted Transfer papers (restricted from being bred) will be sent via email.

Naturally, your new puppy will need time to adjust to its new environment. The first few days your puppy is home, please understand that your puppy has been whisked away from its mother, siblings, familiar people, sights, sounds and smells.  Initially, your new puppy may seem worried, cry a little the first night and may not do its business outside easily.  This is all normal, temporary, so don’t worry, and very soon everything will fall into place and become routine.

As the breeder, I am always there for support and back-up, so just pick up the phone, give me a call, or email me and let me know if things are going well, or, maybe not going well, and we can discuss strategies and solutions.

C. Anne Eckersley
203-616-5443 Home – 203-253-0068 Cell

I must tell you that your "strong encouragement" to follow your housebreaking instructions intensively and accurately has paid off royally.  Yes, you were correct that friends and even professionals would offer their well-meaning advice.  But we stuck painstakingly to your regulations and I'm happy to report that Vienna, at five months, has not had an accident for one month.  I'm not saying that adhering to your strict rules at times wasn't arduous, but it has proven to be well worth the results and pay-off.  Vienna is able to have more free safe playtime, and we get to enjoy it with him as well.  It's a win-win situation that we delight in!
Andrew Achsen

More to come