Welcoming a new puppy part 1

Congratulations on deciding to get a new puppy!!!! There are lots and lots of books, articles, videos, etc on what to do when getting a new puppy and that can be extremely overwhelming. I have put together a list of some tips on what to do when bringing home a new pup.

My number one rule when taking home a new pup is DO NOT take the puppy to places where lots of dogs are that you don’t know if the other dogs are vaccinated. If you need to take your pup to petsmart or the vet HOLD YOUR PUPPY and DO NOT let their feet touch the ground as this is where they could pick up something to make them sick.

Puppy tips:

-keep your pup on a schedule. We let the pups out every 2 hours starting at 6am-10:30pm.

-absolutely no food or water after 6pm as the more they drink during the evening the more they have to pee during the night.

-our pups sleep through the night which shocks most people but we don’t let them eat or drink after 6 and we don’t let them sleep from 6-10pm because just like a baby the more they sleep during the evening the more they will wake up during the night.

-your pup needs to be in a crate when you can’t supervise them. If you aren’t watching them then they are most likely doing something they shouldn’t be and you aren’t there to correct them. All of our pups are crate trained by the time they leave us and LOVE their crates. We want dogs to view their crate as their “safe place”.

-when your pup wakes up, they need to go to the bathroom. Barking does not get them out of the crate for any reason. If one were to wake up at 3am barking then we know they need to go out but we never open it when they are barking. I would say “no” and if they didn’t bark for half a second I’m opening it and getting them outside quick. It is very easy for pups to become “untrained” and start having lots of accidents if you don’t keep up with their routine

-ABSOLUTELY NO CHEW TOYS IN CRATES. You are setting yourself up for a blockage or choking hazard. Think of your pup as a newborn. We don’t leave anything in a crib with a newborn so why do we think it’s ok to do with a new pup?

-don’t let your puppy bite or chew on you. People think this is cute at a young age but it sure as hell won’t be cute in a few months. By letting your puppy chew on your hand you are teaching them it’s ok to bite and chew on people. If you don’t want your dog to do it when it’s full grown, don’t encourage it when it’s a puppy.

-the earlier your pup knows what “no” means the better.

-we feed pups 3 times a day until they are 3 months old.

-I never leave food down for pups to graze because I’ll never know how much they are eating or when they aren’t feeling well.

-the amount of food you should feed them shouldn’t be a lot . Never follow what the bag says as their goal is to sell you more food. Food companies can give you a guideline but they don’t know your dogs metabolism, amount of activity, or environment it leaves in. If your pup is pooping all the time then that’s telling you, you are feeding them too much, so cut back a little.

Next week we will cover more on pups -introducing to walking on lead, retrieveing, and using feeding times as training times.

Have a suggestion for a blog you would like to see??? Email me and Ill see if I can make it happen ☺️

Why dog toys are a huge NO for me

This will definitely catch your attention but my dogs or any dog I train are not allowed to be left alone with toys. This is a huge NO for me. There are a few different reasons for this but the main one is I have seen too many customer dogs pass away from blockages from toys. My dogs and any dog I train are allowed to have a toy only when we are retrieving. I want the dogs to have rules with their toys just like any other game would have rules. I will give the dogs something to chew on a few times a week but ONLY when they are with me. If I were to leave the dog with the toy to chew on all day then essentially I am teaching the dog when they are bored to lay around and chew on things. Dogs are extremely smart but not smart enough to know the difference between your shoes, couch, baseboards, etc. from a toy. I always compare dogs to children and ask my customers if they would let their kids play video games all day long? Hopefully the answer to this question would be no. Dogs thrive on structure and rules just like humans.

Labs especially have a TERRIBLE name for being chewers and this is simply because they are taught to chew on things when they are bored. When my dogs are bored, they know to lay down and hang out. They know we will go play in a little bit but they don’t need to be doing something 24-7. It is human nature that tells us we need to occupy them all the time. Just like children, dogs need to learn to just sit still and be calm.

I often hear people telling me their dog was chewing on something so they gave them a toy to chew instead. Giving them a toy pretty much just rewarded your dog for chewing on something. I like to compare dogs to kids and this isn’t what we would do (hopefully) if we caught little Jimmy setting our house on fire. We wouldn’t give him a brand new Xbox because he was bored and wanted to play with fire would we?

I am not trying to scare you with this post but instead save dogs lives. Some of the best dogs I have had the pleasure of knowing have passed away to soon from a blockage that could of been prevented. Please be sure to supervise your dogs when giving them toys.

How old should my dog be before I fix it?

I get asked at least once a week when should I fix my dog? My answer is always to wait until the dog grows up. Our puppy contract states our pups are not allowed to be fixed until they are at least 18 months old but we recommend waiting until at least 2 years old. Dogs are fully mature when they reach 2 years old.

I completely understand why vets push you to fix your dog at 5-6 months old because irresponsible pet owners leave their dogs outside when they are in heat and that’s where unwanted pups come from. Responsible pet owners should have no worries about a dog becoming pregnant as long as they are educated about a dogs heat cycle. A female can go into heat as early as 6 months but typically I see dogs coming into heat at 8-14 months. When a dog comes into heat you will see some blood, MARK that down on your calendar as Day 1. Females will typically start accepting a male at day 10-15 but keep your dog on lock down for at least 4 weeks, just because you don’t see blood doesn’t mean the dog is out of heat! If you have a male dog around then you need to lock your female in a crate behind strong doors. I have heard of a dog climbing a fence and busting through a window to get to a female so beware. Let your female out on lead and keep other dogs away. Females will typically come into heat every 6-8 months, so it’s not a once a month thing. Females will NOT get pregnant if they are NOT in heat so just because a dog humps your dog doesn’t mean she is pregnant. Please be aware fixing your dog will NOT magically prevent your dog from humping, marking their territory, becoming aggressive, running away, getting cancer, or calming them down. Taking away their hormones at such a young age isn’t going to stop these behaviors. Dogs humping is a form of dominance and dogs that are fixed will still do this. Dogs marking, becoming aggressive, and running away are problems fixed with training. I know all of this because my first dog Buck was fixed at 5 months old because the vet scaried me to death telling me poor buck was going to do all this so I fixed him the next day!!!!! I was terrified!!!!! Fixing Buck at such a young age has always been something I have regretted doing but I like that I can show people the size difference in him and his relatives because he wasn’t allowed to fully mature before I took away his hormones. Buck unfortunately has problems due to fixing him early-arthritis and he can’t hold his pee for very long. There are actually a lot of studies and a lot more vets not encouraging owners to fix their dogs early due to health problems down the road. I would recommend fixing your dog if it will be outside all the time unattended but I would wait as long as you can if possible. Before fixing your dog do some research and talk to your vet about different options.

How to pick the right trainer for your dog?

Picking a method of training for your puppy or dog can be a big decision. There are hundreds of different ways to train a dog and even more trainers. How do you find the right one? Below’s a few questions to ask yourself when deciding:

Are you wanting to train the dog yourself or send off to a trainer?

If you are wanting to train the dog yourself, make sure you are consistent and have help from a pro. If you are wanting to send off your puppy for training, make sure you can see the dog often during training and you aren’t required to leave the dog for months at a time (for basic obedience). I always tell people 10% of my efforts will go towards the dog and 90% goes towards the owner. That’s why we require owners come visit their dog at least twice in the month for “owner training.” Unfortunately, dog training isn’t like going to a mechanic, where they just fix the problem and then it’s good to go. Dog training takes time and patience. They need rules and structure just like kids.

Does the facility or trainer have reviews listed on Facebook or google?

A local trainer recently made news for not taking care of dogs. This trainer didn’t allow reviews on his Facebook page. This is a HUGE RED FLAG. It’s possible they might have a good reason for this policy. But if I had to bet it is more likely than not because they don’t want others seeing complaints and their prior customers’ bad reviews.

What kind of methods does the trainer use?

100% positive reinforcement, shock collars, treats, etc? I’m not going into these methods and why some work and some don’t because that’s a whole other blog post in itself. Just be weary of different methods. Do you want to depend on electronics or treats? Or would you rather build trust & a relationship with your dog?

At Southern Pro, we don’t train with shock collars or treats. We train by speaking the dog’s language & teaching owners how to communicate with their dog.

Can you see the trainers dogs?

If the trainer can’t show you their “end result” then that is another huge red flag. If the trainer’s dog lacks basic skills and doesn’t impress you, then how can you trust them to train your dog?

Always make sure you can see where the dog will be staying. Will your dog be housed outside in the elements? Who will be watching your dog at night? If there’s a fire or break-in, how long will it take the trainer to respond? At Southern Pro, we live onsite but there aren’t many trainers that can say the same.

Be sure to ask the trainer how much time your dog will get worked on a daily basis.

Also, ask whether you can call the trainer with questions after you pick your dog up or will they charge you extra for this.

Southern Pro might not be a perfect fit for everyone. And that’s fine. We want what’s best for your dog. We are more than happy to recommend other trusted trainers who might be a better fit for you. If you have any other questions about trainers or how to pick one, please feel free to shoot Haley an email haley@southernprokennel.com or give us a call.

Buying a puppy??

I have been getting a lot of questions recently about what to look for when purchasing a puppy. I have put together some questions to ask the breeder. If your breeder can’t answer these questions, then something isn’t right. Just because a puppy cost thousands doesn’t mean it’s a well bred dog. Here are a few questions to ask when picking a breeder:

-can you meet the parents?

-can you see where puppies are being raised?

-how early are the puppies weened?

-do parents have any certifications? Hip/elbow, eye, dna testing, etc.

-when can you take your puppy home? 1 month? 2 months? 3 months? 6 months?

-does the puppy come with a guarantee (most breeders give a 24 month health guarantee)?

-if you can’t keep puppy for any reason will the breeder take their puppy back?

-how many litters do they have a year?

-will the breeder help with any training or recommend a trainer?

-have they been wormed every 2 weeks?

-have they had a round of shots?

-do they come with AKC/UKC registration?

-did a vet check your puppy before leaving the breeder?

These questions can be applied to any breed. If you are paying more than $500 for a puppy, I highly recommend all of these questions be answered. If you need help finding a breeder or are unsure of what to look for send me an email. I would be glad to recommend a great breeder or answer any questions you might have. Instead of supporting a bad breeder think about adopting from your local shelter.

December 2018

This month is going to be a busy one and we can’t wait to celebrate Christmas with the dogs! We are busy working on Paw Print ornaments for every dog that steps foot in our kennel. We started the ornaments the week of Thanksgiving and we will do this until New Years. I started making ornaments for the dogs last Christmas and made 89. This year we are already well on our way of doubling that number!!!! We are up to 51 ornaments so far!!!!

We have new trainees starting this week and we will be posting weekly and hopefully daily videos of one dogs progress!!! I picked Ruger to take videos of him because he is a 1 1/2 year old German Shorthair that came by the kennel a month ago and was pulling his owner inside, jumping up, and spastic. Im excited for everyone to see his progress this month!! I’m very excited about this and hope to get better at making videos!!! I’m also extremely camera shy so hopefully I can learn to suck it up and just do it! Stay tuned for more exciting things happening this month and what’s going to be happening in 2019!!!