Raising a puppy
After the puppy is brought to the new home, you have to give him a
chance to get to know his new environment. If you do take him for a walk, you make
sure, that these walks are not too long and that he does not get in contact with other
dogs, until all his shots were given to him. You should avoid to take him places, which
other dogs use for their "toilet". You have to continue this procedure until
the puppy is twelve weeks old. Then the vet will give him his last vaccination. After
the puppy turned three months old you should take him for walks in different places,
let him get to know all sorts of things, let strangers pet him, let children play with
him etc. If another dog crosses your way on them walks, you make sure, that your puppy
shows friendly signs. Continually barking towards the other dog you should not allow.
You tell him "no" in a harsh tone until he stops, then you immediately praise
him to let him know he done well. To praise a dog immediately after he done what you
want him to do, is the most important aspect in training a dog. Do not correct the
dog, if something happened awhile ago. This could be fatal for the trust between you
and your puppy.
Also you make sure, that the puppy will get all his needs he will have to have to become
a healthy animal. This includes his well balanced food, which means, that you will
give him all the nutrition he heeds for his development three times a day until he
is six months old, but you will give him not too much of it, so he does not become
overweight, especially while his bones are still soft, they easily could get deformed.
You make sure, that he will get enough sleep. Young children grow in their sleep and
so do dogs. Especially if you have children living at your house, you have to let them
know, not to disturb the puppy while he is sleeping. There is plenty of time, when
the children can play with the pup.
Speaking of children and dogs. I would like to say a few words about
this. I did have people come to my place and ask to buy a pup from us for their child,
which we certainly did not agree with. Families should never buy a dog for their children,
like they buy them toys. A puppy is not a toy and a child can never be a leader for
this dog. The dog will play with the child, he will protect the child and he will probably
be the best friend of the child, but it is the parents task, in fact either the father
or the mother, to raise the pup. The parents, better one of them, should be the "leader"
for the dog. By nature the dog lives in a pack. In a pack there is one leader. He will
lead the pack into the right direction. If the little once act up, he will correct
them. He will teach them how to hunt and he will give the whole pack security, which
is most important for the pack to survive. A leader of a pack is usually a very smart
and dominant animal. Since a child itself is going through development, he or she can
never be this leader. Only an adult person can consequently raise a pup and lead him
into the right direction. That person also has to have knowledge in how to understand
the dogs way.
By the time the young dog is about six months old, you should start feeding him twice
a day and your every day walks can be extended. Over here in Germany we do x-ray our
dogs with the age of twelve months. If the dog is dysplasia free you can start to let
him run besides a bicycle. First you start slowly. The distance should not extend more
then two miles. With each month you can put more and more miles on to it, until you
reach about ten miles. Your dog should be around 16 months old. Of course you do these
exercises either in the morning or in the evening, but do not exercise your dog during
the day while it is hot.
Copyright Dagmar Anderson 2001