PuppiesSkully is expecting puppies at the end of November,so I thought a timely article on preparing for a new puppy would be welcome.   New owners should prepare in advance for their puppy.  Plug in a Adaptil diffuser near to puppy’s bed 3 to 4 days before picking puppy up.  This simulates the mother’s natural hormones and will help puppy to settle in.  Give a small blanket to the breeder, so that it will have the litter scent on it when puppy comes home.

comfortable bed (a hard plastic bed is fine and is easily cleanable) filled with vetbed or warm, washable blankets.

cavalier spaniel puppies at 6 weeks

cavalier spaniel puppies at 6 weeks

If puppy is to sleep in a crate, buy one big enough for adulthood, with room for puppy‘s bed, food, water, a toilet pad, and toys.  Covering the crate will exclude draughts and give puppy a nice warm “cave” to rest in.  At night, it may help to put a warm water bottle wrapped in a towel under the blankets, and a ticking clock in the room simulates mothers heartbeat.

Children must learn from the start that puppy is not a toy and must be allowed time to rest unmolested.  A tired puppy who is being “played with” may show his displeasure and bite.  This is never the puppy’s fault.  He may, however, learn from that experience that he can control humans that way, and you have a problem.

Do not be tempted to let puppy sleep in your bedroom unless you want that for the rest of doggy’s life – bad habits learned early are hard to break.  Do not play with puppy just before bed-time to “tire him out” – this will only make him hyper and he will not settle.  Be prepared for broken sleep over the first few nights.

React calmly but firmly when settling him down. Close the door and wait to see if puppy settles.  If not return to him with the same calm attitude, settle him down again and leave the room.  This may need to be repeated, but the intervals of quiet should get longer until puppy realises he is getting no-where and goes to sleep.  At this point you can quietly return to bed for a well earned rest.

Safe chewable toys – soft toys will quickly be destroyed – but rubber toys will help puppies through the teething stage.

Bowls for food and water.    Please ensure water is available to the puppy 24/7.  I once knew a lady who only provided water when she fed her puppy on the grounds that it made him pee!!!  Wake up!!!  That’s what puppies do!!!

cavalier puppies at 9 weeks oldHouse-training can begin immediately.  Take puppy outside on waking and after eating. Stay with him and praise him when he performs, using a word or phrase which he will start to associate with toileting.  The word can be any word, but try to avoid “Good dog” unless you want him to pee every time you praise him!  Choose a word which will have no other associations for the puppy … like “toilet” “go now” or “perform”.  The dog does not understand the meaning of the words he merely associates the sound of the word with an action.  This will need to be repeated every time the puppy needs to “go” and you should soon achieve results.  Always make training a pleasant experience, using treats to reinforce your delight at a positive result.  Never use negativity, scolding will only lead puppy to pee in “secret places” which you would not wish him to use.  Getting cross never achieves the desired result, perseverance with positive training will always win through.

…  Anne