Getting Ready For Your New Puppy and Helpful Information:
Getting a puppy can be a very exciting time for everybody involved. Once you have done your homework and researched the breed that best suits you and your families lifestyle, it is time to start getting ready to have a puppy move into your heart and your home.
Your Puppy Shopping List:
* Indoor Bed/Indoor Crate
* Outdoor Kennel
* Outdoor Hammock Bed (so he/she can sleep up off the ground)
* Dry Bedding/Blankets (Blanket supplied in you puppy show bag)
* Water Bowls for Outside and Inside - Shallow water bowls for puppies then upgrade to a bigger bowl when he/she gets bigger (Puppy water bowl supplied in your puppy show bag)
* Food Bowl (Supplied in your puppy show bag)
* A Puppy Collor and Lead (Suplied in your puppy show bag)
* All Sorts of Play and Chew Toys - Rope toys, knot balls and kongs are best for Staffords
(Assortment of rope, ball and knot toys supplied in your puppy show bag. *Kongs not included)
* Good Quality Kibble/Dry Food - We use and recommend 'Meats for Mutts - MfM'
(One week supply of Meals for Mutts when you buy a puppy from us)
Meals for Mutts use high quality human grade natural ingredients in their unique food formulas and provide complete vitamin and mineral supplements to proactively build, maintain and repair functional systems. Meals for Mutts dry kibble is a holistic premium pet dry food which is grain and gluten free and has no preservatives, artifical colours or by-products. For more information check out out 'Favorite Links' page or go to www.mealsformutts.com.au
* Raw Meat - We use and recommend raw high fat race chopped meat
(One week supply of raw race meat when you buy a puppy from us)
Meals for Mutts kibble and raw race meat is supplied by www.petfoodsdelivered.com.au
Pet foods delivered offer a convenient delivery service and you can check out their website for all their products and services. Invest in high quality products like these and you too will offer your new furry family member optimal long life health. See our 'Favorite links' page for more information.
* Choose a Certified Veterinarian That You Trust
We highly recommend Casey and Cranbourne Veterinary Hospital and Monash Veterinary Clinic for vet care and assistance - See our 'Favorite Links' page for more details and information.
* And Most Importantly, Lots of Love and Cuddles!
First Thing First:
Puppies and crawling babies are very alike and can get into anything and everything if given the opportunity, therefore you will need to puppy proof your home. Put things that you do not want chewed or things a puppy can swallow and/or be dangerous to your puppy away behind a closed door or up on a higher shelf. Close the doors to rooms you may not want your puppy to be in or use baby gates to keep them out.
Have a seperate area in your back yard where your puppy will play when he is having outside time, an area that has shade, where you can put a kennel and always have fresh water 24/7. Make sure you check your whole boundry fence line before you bring a pup into your home, making sure it is completely secure and safe. Have solid gates so that your puppy/dog will never be able to jump over or get through, be mindful that some fancy gates are not dog friendly, sometimes catching paws and causing broken legs etc. Once you have your puppy home and playing outside, especially as he gets older and is left alone for longer periods of time, remember to check your backyard for any digging or broken fences on a daily basis. Your dog might not dig out but another dog may try to dig in. Keep your dogs home SAFE inside and out!
Find a local veterinarian you like and trust with your dog. On your first visit to the vet have them take down your pups microchip details for safe measure. Have regular check ups and booster shots to keep your dog at his healthiest, is of the utmost improtance.
Preventing disease is extremely important for your puppy. The pup has had virus protection from his mother's antibodies which were present in the colustrum he drank in the first 24 hours after birth, but by 8 weeks of age his immunity has almost disappeared.
Your puppy has had his first multiple shot to protect against Distemper, Hepatitis, Kennel cough, Leptospirosis and Parvovirus. This first needle is a temporary 'shot' and must be followed in four weeks by repeat, which confers immunity for a year.
Discuss with your vet which other preventative 'shots' and measures you need to use to ensure your puppy's health stays on track, talk about heart worm medication, worming etc and keep accurate records.
Feeding Your New Puppy:
Puppies grow 20 times faster than adult dogs so require a special diet to aid their physical development. A specially formulated growth food is recommended which needs to be fed at evenly spaced intervals to avoid over stretching their small stomachs (a rule of thumb is to feed your puppy/dog a food portion no bigger than the size of the top of thier head skull plate). A responsible breeder will have given you advice about your puppy's diet.
It is better not to leave food down, so throw away any uneaten food after 20 mins. It is best not to give your puppy any variety, which could cause upset with disgestion and toilet training. Be sure to leave their water bowl out, they need to have access to water 24/7 to stay well hydrated.
The most suitable diet should be easily digested and produce dark brown, firm, formed stools. If your puppy produces soft or light stools or has wind or diarrhoea consult your vet for advice.
Please remember that stability in the diet will help maintain good digestion. Any change in diet should be made gradually over at least a week to avoid upset, dietary change should remain the same for at least 10 days before making any further changes.
There are lots of different kinds of puppy and dog foods available, in both dry and moist foods. Do your research when choosing a food to find one that will best suit your dog. A helpful tip is to keep your puppy on the same food he was having before you took him home and follow his same meal routine, then if you wish to change it, introduce new foods slowly using the method above.
NEVER FEED YOUR PUPPY/DOG: Chocolate or Onions (they are toxic to dogs). Also NEVER feed them cocked bones, raw potatos, grapes, peas or corn.
Using treats is a good way to reward your dog during training and encourage the behaviour you want. There are a wide variety of prepared and natural treats on the market which vary hugely in quality. Some commercial treats have lots of sugar, colourings, milk products and fat in them so always check the ingredients label.
Good quality prepared treats have been developed with dogs dietary needs in mind. However, all treats should be given sparingly, never more than 15% of the total calorie intake. Some chew treats have proven ability to help prevent dental diseases, but again check the label to ensure you are getting a genuine product.
Real chocolate is POISONOUS to dogs and can cause liver damage and even be fatal, so never give your dog any chocolate, or leave any lying around.
Always keep in mind that a dog will empty their bowel straight after waking in the morning, after a meal, and approximately 3 hours after a meal, especially as a puppy. Puppies have very poor bladder control, and need to urinate at least every hour or two. They can urinate spontaneously when they get excited, so take your puppy out frequently if it has been active, playing or exploring. As soon as your puppy wakes in the morning and after every nap, take him directly outside on a collar and lead to empty his bladder and/or bowel. Take him to the same place each time, stay with him and give him 10 - 15 mins to do his business.
Having an expression associated with the action is very helpful in the teaching process. Choose words as - "do your chores", "time for your business", "toilet now", "wee wee's", "poo poo's" etc. When the same phrase is repeated over a few days, the pup learns what it is you want of him vey quickly. Your puppy is very intelligent and eager to please you. There should be no outdoor play untill he has it firmly in his mind that the outdoors is the place to go to the toilet. When he does what you've requested of him, praise him and bring him back to the house immediatly and give him a little reward treat.
Once your puppy is toilet trained he will want to go out to the toilet by himself and you will need to learn his messages for when he is letting you know this. He may simply go and sit by the door you use to take him out, he may whine, circle around or sniff about. Be sure to pay attention and let him out immediately.
Just remember during this whole process that you are dealing with a baby with a small bladder and you should expect to have accidents to clean up until he is about 6 months old. When he has an accident DO NOT RUB HIS NOSE IN IT OR HIT HIM. If he does have an accident take him straight outside to the toilet spot and say your phrase.
Toilet training takes a lot of time and effort, but it will be the best thing you teach your pup. Bring out your patient side and good luck!
Rest Time For Your Puppy:
You and your family will have to make a decision as to where the puppy will be sleeping. Your puppy is just like a new born baby and needs a lot of undisturbed sleep. Put a soft bed down for him, with a blanket or towel inside and put it in a area in the house where it can become your puppy's private, safe place for him only.
During the day your puppy will need a morning and afternoon sleep and he should only be having them in his own bed, not on the couch or the carpet. Your puppy will play very strenuously for a short time, then like a baby, fall sound asleep. When this happenes, gently pick him up, carry him to his bed, shut the door and let him sleep.
As soon as you hear him wake, take him straight out to the toilet by collar and lead, this will help with both toilet training and him getting used to lead control.
Play Time With Your New Puppy:
Puppies are toy addicts and will need a good supply of them. Infant puppies have fun with empty paper towel rolls and empty plastic bottles (ALWAYS remember to take the lid off first and throw it away). Soft toys are the best for a puppy, then firmer toys for when they get bigger. Be careful of many squeaky toys, many have a plastic squeaker inside, babies and pups can choke on that piece. Be sure to buy toys with a built in squeak.
Kongs are great toys, they keep your puppy/dog entertained for hours, you can fill them with kong paste, treats or their dry gribble food. Balls and frisbees are great for when your dog is bigger, teaching them to retrieve and get the exercise they need.
Remember to always take a dog drink bottle with you during your play time as it is important that you keep your dog hydrated while they are using all of their energy.
Puppies need much less exercise than fully grown dogs. If you over exercise a growing puppy you can overtire it and damage it's developing joints, causing early arthritis. A good rule of thumb is a ratio of five minutes exercise per month of age (up to two times a day) until the puppy is fully grown. i.e. 15 minutes when three months old, 20 minutes when four months old etc. Once they are fully grown, they can go out for much longer.
It is important that puppy's and dogs go out for exercise everyday in a safe and secure area, or they may become frustrated. Time spent in the backyard only is no substitute for exploring new environments and socializing.
Always use a lead and/or make sure your puppy is trained to recall so that you are confident that he will return to you when called, especially when in a non leash area.
You should never exercise your dog on a full stomach as this can contribute to bloating and discomfort.
Bathing Your Puppy:
Buy a dog shampoo from a pet store. Human shampoo is not acceptable or desirable for bathing puppies or dogs because the Ph (acid/alkaline balance) of dog skin is different from the human Ph level.
Dogs feel heat more strongly than we do, so don't make the water too hot, have it at room temperature or lower. After you have used soap to wash your dog, be sure to rinse it all out of his coat. Gently pour the water from a cup over his head, from behind the skull, tipping his nose down so that the water runs down and away from his nose and eyes. Make sure when using soap around his head not to get it in his eys and mouth. Use a damp cloth to wash his ears, do not tip water over them or in them. Always wash his head last because water on the head results in automatic shaking of the whole body. Have a towel ready to wrap his body in while washing his head, then dry his head immediately when finished.
Do not bathe your puppy unless he is dirty or very smelly. Too much bathing strips the protective oils from the coat and can cause eczema.
Puppies normally reach puberty any time from six months old and their elevated hormone levels can adversely affect their behaviour, so seek help if you are having problems. This behaviour will not automatically be resolved by neutering despite advice you may receive to the contrary. Try not to worry, it soon passes!
Bitches are normally 'in season' for three weeks and are fertile during this time, so they should not be taken outside (other than your backyard) or allowed to mix with male dogs. You can tell your bitch is in season when her vulva swells and she exudes a discharge which may be blood tinged. This should happen about every six months, through her life.
As a male dog reaches puberty they start cocking their legs, and you may observe an increased interest in other dogs, independence, mounting and/or 'macho' behaviour with dogs and other people.
Eye and Nail Care:
Daily, gently clean the 'sleep' from the corner of the eyes with a dampened tissue or cotton ball. This is usually a darkish brown discharge, and a small to moderate amount, but if it is green or yellow in colour, an eye infection is indicated and veterinary care is required.
Nail trimming should be done weekly on a pup. Their nails grow very fast and if left untreated can grow under like talons on a bird of prey and cause pain. It is important to trim your dogs nails so that they walk firmly on their paws and don't rock back and walk on their heals, causing discomfort.
Have someone help you when cutting your puppy's nails, you can control them from wriggling about and it will make the job much quicker to do. When you look at your puppy's nails you will notice that the tip is much clearer as as it gets closer to the paw it becomes full and less see through. Just cut the tips of, just before it gets to the 'full' part if the nail. If you accidently cut your puppy's nail back to far, have a damp tissue or face washer ready and hold it over the nail until it stops bleeding. It hopefully will never happen for you but if it does you wont have been the first person to have given your little puppy a fright....and although your puppy might yelp and fuss, it looks a whole lot worse than it really is. A big cuddle will take away any discomfort!
Your other option is to get your vet to show you first before you have a go or even just have them do it for you.
Your dog depends on you to help him stay healthy. Good dental hygiene can play an important role in keeping your dog in top form. Clean gums are firm, pink, black, or spotted. Young dogs have smooth white teeth that tend to darken with age. Puppies have 23 baby teeth and their permanent teeth will push them out when they come through just like ours do.
Clean your dogs teeth regularly with special toothbrushes and toothpaste designed for dogs. Any plaque or tartar should be brushed away, make sure your dogs gums are healthy and his breath is not foul smelling. Mouth infections can lead to serious problems in the gums and other parts of the body, including the heart, so it's important to give your dogs teeth and mouth special attention. You can have your dogs teeth cleaned by a veterinarian if necessary.
The Benefits Of Dog Obedience:
With breed specific legislation on the horizon, we as Stafford owners act as ambassadors for the breed. Every time a member of the public sees our Staffords being well behaved is a feather in our caps and something that we should all be mindful of. The benefits of an obedience trained Stafford are enormous.
They are such a 'willing to please' breed and positively flourish with training, revealing a side to your dog, you may not have noticed before.
Read through some of these benefits of obedience training and you may just find that obedience is for you! When you feel frustrated with your dog's behavior, remember that someone must teach a dog what is acceptable behaviour and what is not.
A dog that hasn't been given any instructions, training or boundaries can't possibly know what you expect of him. By teaching your dog how you want him to behave, you'll not only have a saner household, but a happier dog as well.
An Educated Dog:
* Allows you to handle every part of his body, to check for injury or illness and to give him medication.
* Has good manners, so he can spend most of his time indoors with his people. That means more supervision, less boredom and fewer opportunities for dangerous mischief. The more time you spend with your dog, the more likely you'll be able to notice when something is wrong with him, like a limp, a cough, a sensitive area or a loss of appetite. By recognising such irregularities early, you can seek medical attention immediately and hopefully prevent more serious problems.
* Wants to stay near you, listening for instructions (and praise). This means he'll have less oppertunity to stray into danger.
* Will walk or run beside you on a leash without pulling, dragging or strangling, so you and your dog can get more exercise and spend more time together.
* Knows that "drop it" and "leave it alone" are phrases that mean business, so he'll have fewer opportunities to swallow dangerous objects or chew your shoes! He also can be taught what things and places are out of bounds, like hot stoves, heaters or anxious cats. However, you'll still need to limit his access to dangerous places when you cannot supervise or instruct him.
* Will "sit" immediately, simply because you say so. No matter what danger may be imminent, a dog that is suddenly still is suddenly safe, and a dog that will "stay" in that position is even safer.
* Understands his boundaries, knows what is expected of him and has fewer anxieties. Less stress means a healthier dog.
These are only a few of the ways you and your dog can benefit from obedience, it can only strengthen the bonds you already have with your dog, provide a different way to spend time together and ultimately, leaves you with a well behaved dog who is a pleasure to own!
Ask your local veterinarian clinic to point you in the right direction for an obedience school and/or you can always look online.
Tips On Finding A Lost Stafford:
If your Stafford goes missing, try using these steps to assist you in the speedy recovery of your best friend.
* Ringing the R.S.P.C.A and Animal Welfare Organisation in your local area and surrounding areas. Ring each day and visit with a photo as dogs can be misidentified.
* Contact your local council and other councils around your area.
* If possible visit council pounds in person as your Stafford may be there. Don't just take their word for it.
* Check with the local vet and other vets in your area.
* Report you're missing Stafford to your local police station and leave a photo.
* Advertise in the papers and your local shops.
* Check with your neighbours.
* Use your social media outlets to advertise and ask your friends to share your post with everyone they know also.
* Take regular photos of your dog, at least every six months so you have up-to-date photographs to pass around.
*Sections of information provided was collaborated by research from a variety of K9 and Staffordshire Bull Terrier websites.