Lexi Preisser, Ethologist
So you have a date to pick up your new puppy.......If you are working with a reputable breeder, she will have shown you her setup and perhaps you spent a day in her house seeing all the dogs and puppies and how they are, or should be, on a schedule. She has shown you how to introduce your puppy into his/her new home. Remember, puppy is leaving Mum, siblings, perhaps other dogs, in other words a pack with a set schedule, and knows where everything is and going to unknown place so he/she may be a bit confused and you need to be patient and teach the puppy, with positive reinforcement, where and how you want things.
First, you will need to contain your puppy in a safe area if he is to be left alone or you just want to do your chores and want him safe. It can be in the laundry room and ensure there are no electric cords/cables or anything dangerous to chew on. Dogs use their mouths like we use our hands and, when teething, are like little piranhas desiring to chew things because their gums itch or hurt. So I suggest a gate if you are putting puppy in an area or a pen with a crate that is covered by a fabric to give it a cozy feel. Puppy must always have water and place a pee pad as they still need to go often. So what do you need: Here is a list:
Crate wirh a cover to make if feel like a cozy cave
Pen to put around crate or gate
ceramic, porcelain or stainless steel bowls, NEVER plastic
safe chew toy and other toys plus the breeder probably gave you a blanket with the mother's smell on it.
bed with sides as they like to rest their heads and is more comfy than a flat bed.
harness plus a regular lead, DO NOT USE retractable leads. You have no control over the dog plus many dogs, due to carelessness of owner have been run over because the lead was at full length.
These are the essentials. I always have the following: pediatric Pepto Bismol, Pediatric Benadryl, non scented baby wipes, saline solution, low dose peroxide which you find in drugstore aisle, not hair peroxide, for cuts, orijel for babies to put on their gums if they are suffering badly from teething. Get chew toys especially made for this. You can also buy hock bones and boil them, cool, then give them to your dogs. They have marrow in them so are nutritious as well as good chew toys. Use the broth to pour on their kibble, they will love it!!
Combs and brushes as Bolognese and Biewers need daily grooming. A child's toothbrush extra soft is cheaper than a dog's toothbrush and DOGGIE toothpaste is a good idea if you want to save 200-500 dollars for a veterinarian cleaning your dog's teeth. Little dogs have tiny teeth and it is cheaper and easier to brush their teeth daily than pay a small fortune to a vet. You can also use greenies or one of the many brands of chewies but you still need to brush their teeth.
Good non grain, preferably organic kibble plus probiotics, Nu Vet supplements. All this will save you a fortune in the sense that a healthy dogs doesn't need a veterinarian and many vets are in it solely for the money. It is dispicable how many will make you pay through the nose for something the dog does not need. Call your breeder from the vet's office if you feel unsure of what the vet is telling you. If your breeder is not very knowledgeable, call me. I will be happy to help at no cost.
Choose a good place where you want your baby to be. It could be in your room, laundry room, bathroom as long as it is IN THE HOUSE. I begin potty training at 4 weeks and often sleep with my puppies with no mishap so your puppy is already potty trained but moving to new location may upset his routine. It takes a week or more for a dog to adapt from my environment , which is a pack with an alpha, me, to a place where there may be no other dogs and the environment is completely different. I am very strict as to what goes where , when they go out, when they eat. Obviously, it will be different in your household so you need to be KIND and PATIENT until the puppy learns what is expected of him/her and is taught with patience and reward for good behaviour. Unwanted behaviour is ignored unless you catch puppy peeing or pooping, immediately pick him/her up and take him out . Praise lavishly everytime puppy does DESIRED behaviour.
In teaching commands, everyone in the household needs to use the same simple words...for example: sit, not sit down. Down is a completely different command. So sit, down, come, stay, stop, drop. They are simple to teach, you can always check on youtube as to how to do it, You can reward with very small treats or just lavish praise and petting. Dogs respond better to the latter and rewarding with treats is not very healthy if you overdo it as dogs will get fat and , just like humans, obesity brings heart problems, diabetes, etc.
You need to set a schedule for your puppy according to your needs. In my house, dogs are let out to potty early, 6:30, fed, then let out again 20 minutes later and allowed to run and play. I live in Florida so I don't like them being outside too long when it is very hot. If you live in an area which is rural or suburban, keep an eye out for large prey birds. They are around and will pick your puppy up as they look like rabbits.
When you get your puppy, about 12 weeks of age, he/she will need to go potty every 3-4 hours and increase an hour for every month. So by 6 months, they should be able to hold it for 6 hours.
Depending where you live, you will need to use some insect repellent for ticks, fleas and mosquitos. I use natural products even though I live in Florida but if one of my dogs does get ticks then I use Nexgard. Don't use the drops you put on the dog's back. They stain their hair and many white dogs have severe allergic reactions to these products. Don't but the cheap stuff from Walmart and supermarkets.....you are wasting your money AND putting your dog in danger. I use Nexgard appropriate for the size of my dogs, all under 10 lbs, and have heard that some dogs have had a negative reaction to this as well which isn't surprising because it is poison just as heartworm preventatives are poison. I give my dogs all of these sparingly and not every month...they are trying to make you spend more money. Every 2 months is adequate and if you live in the north, nothing is necessary the winter months.
Food is essential it be grain free. I feed Life's Abundance and have very healthy, fat babies and healthy Mum's. You can feed them Life's Abundance All Stages mixed with a little canned food also from Life's Abundance. I add probiotics and Nu Vet which is an amazing supplement and will help keep your dog very healthy and the vet away! You can purchase Life's Abundance by going to my website , StarlightBolognese.com and clicking Life's Abundance. It will take you to their site and you can peruse the many wonderful products they offer, none have ever been recalled. To buy Nu Vet call 800-474-7044 and when prompted give code 83521. These products, along with brushing your dogs teeth and hair, will keep your dog healthy and the vet bills low.
Vaccines are a big issue with most breeders and dog people. A vial is used for a 4 lb dog or a 150 lb dog. I vaccinate my own dogs and when my vet does it, he knows to give only a quarter of the vaccine. Vaccines are overused, no dog needs more than ONE rabies shot in its life. The other vaccines are also overused. Unless you show dogs, take them to dog parks, your dog is protected from the vaccines he/she was given as a puppy. You could give a booster at 3 years of age and never again. Over vaccination is well known to cause cancer.
Cleaning products: your dog not only has a highly sensitive nose but is much closer to the ground so I use only gentle and natural cleaning products because Pinesol causes allergic reactions, even I suffer from it. It is excellent to keep pests away, that is how strong it is. Also those plugins are highly carcenogenic for everyone in the house, your children and your pets are more delicate than you so use incense instead or some other type of natural infuser that uses natural oils. Lavendar is very soothing, rosemary is said to help your memory and animals like it. I do use spray bottle that has water with a little bit of bleach to mop the dog area once a week. I allow it to dry completely before letting them in.
Bolognese and Biewers, which I haven't started breeding yet, have hair, they shed like you do and must be combed to avoid knotting plus it helps you check for pests, cuts or anything abnormal. I suggest you buy scissors with rounded edges to cut the hair that may be poking his eyes and you need to cut the hair around the posterior to avoid messy poopies. If the hair is too long, when they defecate, poop can get stuck and it is easier to prevent. Nails should be trimmed but if you take your dog to the groomer every 6 weeks, they will take care of that. Ensure it is a reputable groomer, check for references, make sure dogs aren't being abused, as this is very common amongst groomers. My groomer's area is completely open so when you walk in you can see everything they are doing.
I hope I have answered your concerns but if you have any questions, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to answer your training questions, nutrition or any other concerns.