Frequently Asked Questions
What do you feed? We feed Purina Pro Plan puppy food and get it from Amazon, Petco or Petsmart. I use the dry food as the staple, and then give variety by using different types of canned wet puppy food, salmon oil, and probiotics. For the litters of puppies, while they are with me, we feed three times a day, roughly at 8am, 1pm, and 6pm. Our grown dogs also enjoy kibble toppers such as peanut butter, eggs, Greek yogurt, frozen blueberries, green beans, salmon oil, meat, etc.
Will they love the water? Always keep their drinking water clean.. that isn't as easy as it sounds when they're so little since they'll want to splash around in it. While they're small, it's good to use a bowl they can't fit into if you don't want to have to clean it as often. It's good to have a small kid pool to introduce them to swimming in water so that they can build confidence while they are little. Taking them to the water as often and soon as possible is the best way to ensure they'll love the water.
Will they chew everything as a puppy? I like to keep a basket of toys around because as puppies, they are teething and always need something to chew on. If you don't want them chewing on your shoes or cell phone chargers, it will be helpful to have toys on hand so that you can stop them from chewing on your items, and give them a chew toy instead. Toys are fun to shop for! I like having some safe and sturdy toys that they can chew on all around! Toys, such as a Kong, that you can put treats inside are also fun for them! Don't forget the good old fashion meat bones as well.
How should I train my puppy? This is so important! I really enjoy watching Caesar Milan on Netflix or YouTube. There are tons of people who post training videos on YouTube that are very insightful! The most important thing is to choose the method that you can be consistent with. Consistency is the key so that they can get into a routine. Sometimes consistency is hard.. especially when you just sat down and don't want to get back up, but it's crucial to power through in the beginning. The more consistent you are, the faster they will learn, and the sooner you'll have a well trained pup! Potty training needs consistency as well. Just remember that their bladders aren't super strong until about 12 weeks, so if you want to keep messes to a minimum, take them outside often so that they have plenty of chances. I also don't give them free reign of the house until they are nearly potty trained. I like to keep them on a leash near me and only take them off when I will be paying attention to them.. otherwise, they'll potty and you won't even notice. Do your best to not let them potty inside, the less they potty inside, the sooner they'll be potty trained.. so give them plenty of chances to go outside and praise them when they do. You can also look for puppy training classes.. they are very helpful! It's funny though, because realistically, we have to be trained to be the "pack leader" just as much as they need to be trained. Good times! :)
How will I make sure I get a well behaved puppy with a good personality? We will give you information on each puppy before you select one. Our dogs have great temperaments and personalities which help, but doesn't necessarily guarantee the puppies' outcomes. Personally, I believe the outcome of the dog is determined by socialization and consistent training. While at our home we do our best to socialize them with people of all ages, our dogs and cat and by utilizing curriculum. Then we encourage people to be consistent in training and giving them opportunities to socialize with other people and animals once you bring them home. If you want a great dog, just decide to be consistent with training and socialization and you will be very pleased.
Should I buy a crate? I definitely encourage crate training. If you choose to crate train, start that early as well. Crates are really helpful for potty training because puppies don't like to potty where they sleep. I have large crates so that there is space for them to stand and move around. I like it big enough so that the dog bed can be on one end, and the other end is free. When potty training though, it's good to block part of it with a divider (scroll down to see my product recommendation list) off so that they don't have as much space or they'll go potty in the corner. Crates are also a great safety tool. When you can't supervise, especially in the puppy stage, it's a safe spot where they can't get into cleaning chemicals, electric wires, or anything that could put them in danger. Once out of the puppy stage, you can loosen their restrictions, but it's easier to give more freedom later then to take it away because you later realized you want to utilize a crate.
What gear should I get? Body harnesses are a great option when training, but collars will do the trick as well. Just be sure to put a name tag with your phone number on it - just in case! I also like choosing a leash that will be comfortable in your hand.. I like the nice and thick ones. It's also helpful to get the potty pick-up bags dispenser that you can connect to the leash so you're ready for potty breaks on the go.
When do they need their next vaccine? They will be up to date on their shots and de-wormer when you pick up, so just be sure to keep them up to date, and all will be well. They'll need their next shot at 12 weeks of age, but your vet will be sure to get you on their schedule. The first three months of their life are extra important when it comes to keeping up to date on it since they're more susceptible to worms and parasites. If you don't already have brands that you like for wormer, you can ask the vet what they recommend for your area when they give the puppy his/her shots. Different communities have different worms/parasites that are common there, so I think checking with your vet is the best bet.
How often do you take them to the groomer? We like to keep our dogs hair between 1-3 inches so that grooming is easier. I take them to the groomer every 3-4 months from spring to fall, but not in the winter since it's cold out. Between haircuts we just bathe them as needed. The longer hair looks amazing and gets a lot of compliments, so when you have the time and willingness to brush them daily it's worth it!
How much exercise do they need? It's important to make sure they get chances to let their energy out each day. Make sure they have time to run and cruise around each day so they stay healthy and happy. This breed loves to play hard and then rest and cuddle after. They make such great companions. Once they have their puppy shots you can take them hiking, swimming, or whatever you like to do. Until the shots are done, I like to keep them home or only take them places that don't have much (if any) dog traffic. Sports parks are nice because they are generally just filled with people playing sports and usually don't have other pets playing on them. When driving around, I give them potty breaks on little strips of grass in parking lots since most people wouldn't take their dogs there. I try to limit having them go at the rest stops, as they are where many pet owners give their dogs the chance to potty there. Just be creative - once the shots are finished, you won't need to bother and can just take them wherever you like to go.
Are the parents health tested? Absolutely! In fact, their health tests are uploaded on the OFA.org website for easy viewing. You can find the links to their OFA profiles under each of our dog's pictures on the "About Us" page. Thankfully this is a pretty healthy breed in general. It's important to test for the well known problems though so that we can help better the breed and give the dogs the best life possible.
What paperwork is involved? When you pick your puppy up, I'll have your bill of sale ready, a copy of their litter certificate, the AKC registration paperwork, and a list of what/when de-wormer and vaccines were given. You can pay the remaining balance by cash or a cashiers check when you pick up.
Shopping list please? Crate, dog bed, food/water bowls, collar, name tag, leash, bones, chew toys, and food.
Here are some of my preferred items: