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  1. #1
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    Default New Puppy - Need Advice

    DH and I are about to adopt a puppy from the humane society. I really know nothing about dog's needs. What kind of dog food should we get? What about kennels & shampoos??
    1+1=5! Baby #3, Aug 2012!

  2. #2
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    I would absolutely advise you to learn more about their needs BEFORE buying a dog, not after. Also learn about breeds that would fit your life style and look for dogs with those breeds in them.

  3. #3
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    Thats what I'm asking, we don't have the dog yet. We are getting a mutt, and the few we looked at are terriers. Now I'm trying to figure out what kinds of things are good/bad for the puppy.
    1+1=5! Baby #3, Aug 2012!

  4. #4
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    I would ask what type of food the humane society feeds them. You don't want to shock the little guy's system with a new food right away. When you change to your "real" food, look for something that has protein as the first two ingredients. There are a lot of good threads here with some good foods listed. DH and I use Eukenuba for our dog. My grandma uses it for her Chihuahua.

    Depending on the size of the dog, there are very size crates you can use. For our lab, we got a large wire crate. We were able to partition it off when he was little. Now he fits in the whole thing. Make sure your dog can comfortably stand and turn around in the crate.

    In terms of shampoos and such, make sure you get one that's appropriate for your dog. If it's a puppy, make sure you get puppy shampoo. they do have some special washes out there; it's up to you if you want to spend the money. Also, get him a toothbrush and toothpaste. Start early and it will be easy to do as he grows up.

    I'd also recommend getting a house training book. It can really help with that part of having a puppy. Also, invest in puppy classes. We took ours to a puppy socialization class. He learned some basics, but also was around other dogs. It helped him become more social.

    Make sure you have toys and treats for your little guy. The treats should all be made in America. Outside of the US, you don't know what is used in the treat and it could be harmful to your pup. The cost isn't too high for US treats.
    Kidlet 1 - 8/06
    Kidlet 2 - 7/09
    Kidlet 3 - 12/12

  5. #5
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    DH and I read Dogs for Dummies before we got out lab. I have to say it was very helpful just for the basics. Neither of us had ever had a dog before, so we were clueless.

    Keep the dog on the same food they've been giving him at the shelter. When/if you change food, do it over time (gradually decrease the old food and increase the new food each day) so the new food isn't a shocker. We also use Eukanuba. It's expensive, but my dog's coat loves it. Talk to your vet.

    I would go to the vet the first or second day you have the dog to make sure everything is ok, and they can help you as well.

    I second puppy school. It's more for you than the dog, in terms of training, but good for socialization of your pup.
    My little man: 03.12.06

  6. #6
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    I highly recommend crate training your dog. We started our puppy out in a smallish cat carrier, but within a couple of weeks, upgraded her to a BIG dog crate. Now, we only use it at night to keep her out of trouble, but let her have free reign during the day. Here is a thread about crate training.

    As for potty training - I would recommend keeping her in smaller restricted areas while you're gone (like a bathroom or small kitchen) with PLENTY of paper available to help with accidents. If possible, come home to take her outside during the day. Within a couple of weeks, you can move her to larger restricted areas (like a large kitchen) with LOTS of newspaper available. Soon, she will adjust her eating and drinking habits to your schedule and will eventually stop going inside. Also, dogs do not like to "go" where they live and eat so restricting her area will help you get her trained more quickly - otherwise you may end up with her bathroom in your closet or in the corner. When you're home, take her out often (like every 30-45 minutes) to help avoid accidents.

    Also, we use a potty command. When it's late at night and you want to go to bed, you don't want your dog to think that you're out there to play. Whenever she would go outside, we would use her command (while she was going), then give her a LOAD of praise when she was done. Our command is "hurry, go!". Now, if we're going out, we tell her to "hurry, go!" and she goes! We have another dog that we adopted a year after Luna and the new dog followed Luna's lead with the "hurry, go!" thing.

    Re: feeding - I would get her going on a premium dog food as soon as possible (after weaning her from the shelter food). It really does make a difference in the health of your pooch. Also, we free feed our dogs and have never had a weight problem. They have dry food (and fresh water) available 24 hours a day. As a treat, they share a small pouch of wet dog food each night. We give them a few dog biscuits throughout the day, too. Out of habit, we give them 2 buscuits each after they get in their crates at night. We started it as a reward, but now they just jump in when we say, "get in bed". Here is an awesome thread about dog food.

    Another thing you should work on is preventing food aggression. Whenever you treat your dog, make her work for it (have her sit or lay or speak) - that puts you in charge. Also, put your hand in her food dish while she's eating and generally invade her space. Once she knows she doesn't have to fight for her food, feeding will be a less scary time for everyone involved.

    Something I regret not doing in having my puppy attend training classes. Petsmart and Petco have these.

    Good luck with your new pup! They are a lot of work, but it SOOOO pays off in the end!
    Last edited by sublime311; 12-29-2005 at 09:22 AM.

  7. #7
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    Hey, I just wanted to give you the perspective of someone who works at a Humane Society. Particularly re. feeding, we don't feed them one specific brand. We feed whatever is donated, except for the low-quality stuff that doesn't have meat in the first or second ingredient. Then, to avoid upsetting their little bellies, every day we mix a bunch of different types of food together in a big bin, and feed them out of that. So, my guess is your little guy has been eating a combination of lots of different kinds of foods at once.

    You obviously aren't going to continue that trend, so its possible you can expect a few messy mistakes, but just get some Nature's Miracle and be prepared for it. After a few days, his or her tummy will adjust, and once you pick a food you should stick to it and not switch without warning to another food.

    I also recommend crate training, potty commands, and I think everyone should go to obedience classes. It trains YOU even better than it trains your dog.

    Congratulations, good luck, and thank you so much for adopting your little baby from the Humane Society!

  8. #8
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    When we adopted Murphy, the SPCA gave us a list of must-haves (all of them were also on our list...so we felt good in our research abilities) and a coupon for 20% off our first purchase from PetFood Express. The coupon helped a great deal..the list adds up (I think our initial cost for crate, food, etc was a little over $400). I don't know if this is a common practice nationwide or just at our facility though. We had decided to wait until after we got the dog so we'd have the correct crate size.

    Kudos for adopting and enjoy your new family member once (s)he comes home!

  9. #9
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    Everything sublime said.

    In addition, terriers tend to be high energy. Be prepared for a moment where you say "I give up!" Work through that moment. I'd highly recommend puppy school to get him or her on the right track. We went from saying "Our puppy is crazy and untrainable" to saying "Our dog is such a calm, sweet dog." All for $99.

    We used Nutro Max Puppy formula. It has less fillers than a puppy chow and like brands, so less food needs to be used and less waste. In addition, it costs just a bit more than a Puppy Chow would.

    Anything less than 3 months, my vet said the best is baby shampoo (like J&J No More Tears). After that, we bought an oatmeal tearless puppy shampoo at the groomers.

    Finally, once your puppy is old enough to go on flea prevention, make sure to use Frontline or another prevention you can buy at the vet's. Do NOT use Hartz!

    Good luck!
    May those who love us love us. And for those who don't, may God turn their hearts. And if not, may God turn their ankles so we'll know them by their limping.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for all the help, keep it coming!!

    We didn't end up with the terrier, we have a rot/shephard mix. We won't get her for 1-3 more days, time to get us ready. Tiny size difference, but we are still happy. We don't have any children and the yard will be fenced in the spring time. Our yard is big enough for her, so I'm not worried there either. The lady at HSSM said she feeds hers puppy chow - I think that's what she said - and it's fine.

    She is very timid, and the runt of her litter - that's good news. We are going to do puppy classes at PetSmart, and work on using a kennel for her, especially since she's going to be so big.
    1+1=5! Baby #3, Aug 2012!

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