Puppy Basics for New Owner – TRM Issue 2 of 2014

Puppy BasicsWhen preparing your home for your new puppy, you will need to think of the puppy as a new child. You should clean your entire home to make sure it is clean of any bacteria and virus. A good cleaning agent, or even bleach, will disinfect your home. Be very careful not to have cleaners around with your new puppy. You need to be very careful since your puppy will lick areas of your home that you do not expect.

The puppy will do a lot of chewing since they use their mouths for feeling and they are very playful with a lot of energy. So you must make an area for the puppy where he is free from destroying an area when a family member is not able to be there to monitor the puppy. Keep all clothing, shoes and anything of value away from the puppy as puppies chew on everything! Toys to chew on are the best thing to keep their attention away from chewing on the things you do not want them to chew on. Make sure they are toys that the puppy cannot destroy, or chew off pieces and swallow. The best thing to keep your puppy away from destroying the house is an x- pen. This is a folding metal play pen. It should be tall enough where the puppy cannot get over and hopefully you will not have a puppy who figures out how to climb. You can take the x-pen and clip it to an open crate. This way, the puppy will have a rest area inside the crate, a place to eat, a place to go to the bathroom and an area to play. Most breeders start the puppies off on going to the bathroom on newspaper. If your puppy has been paper trained, then you can put newspaper on the corner of the x-pen. There are puppy pads that companies make which is helpful also but this is only when they are young.

When your puppy arrives at your home, you need to teach him/her to go outside to potty. Remember to try and take the puppy out the same door! By doing so, when the puppy needs to go potty, the puppy will go to the door. It is even a good idea to put a bell on the handle of the door and teach the puppy to ring the bell when he has to go potty. This will take a lot of repetitive practice. Your puppy will go potty often so watch to see your puppy’s signal and body movement as they will see when they will signal when he needs to go potty. If your puppy potties indoors, this is a sign that you have not taken him out enough. It takes a few months of watching. As your puppy gets older, he will have to go outside to potty less. If you have a large family, then you can take turns watching and taking you r puppy out to potty whenever your puppy gives the sign that he needs to take outside to potty. A great invention is a doggy door. If your home is equipped with an outside area that your puppy cannot ever get out of, then a doggy door will be a life saver. A puppy can learn in a few days how to use the doggy door and that you want them to go outside to go potty and not indoors. One very important thing to remember if the area has a gate is to make sure the gate is locked so no one can ever leave the gate open where your puppy can escape.

There is a lot of controversy on the correct feeding for a puppy. As a breeder, I know the Rottweiler cannot have as high protein diet when they are young as other breeds. This is something you will need to research more and then test what you feel is the best for  your puppy. Your breeder can assist you in what they have been successful in for the puppy’s diet. I suggest to my puppy owners that they purchase a good dog food that is free of chemicals and to avoid any company who purchases some of the ingredients from China. All dog food made in USA is safe because the USA Department of Agriculture has strict regulations of what is allowed in dog food made in USA. I always supplement the puppy’s diet with regular “people” food. Oils are necessary in a puppy’s diet as it is on ours. A cold pressed olive oil is the best for us and the puppy. You can go on line and see what foods are toxic to dogs and make sure you never feed the puppy a toxic food.

When you purchase from a breeder, the puppy should be accompanied with a health certificate. The veterinarian will do a full fecal exam and check for heart problems and any worms or other infections. If the breeder does not supply this, then I would question the reputation of the breeder. In Florida, it is a requirement that the puppy have a health certificate in order for the puppy to be sold.  As your puppy will end up being a large dog, there will be growth spurts. It is important that your puppy does not get overweight as this can cause soft tissue damage which, in turn, can cause joint damage. Make sure the parents of your puppy have passing certifications on hips, elbows, heart, eyes and anything else that you may think is an issue with a large breed dog. Since there are breeders throughout the world, you should study and understand the health certifications from other countries that your puppy’s family tree is from. It is important that your puppy is vaccinated for all viruses and diseases that they can be exposed to . Please know that your  puppy will not be fully vaccinated when you take them home if you acquire them when they are young. They need to be vaccinated through the age of six months old and then when they are a year old and every year after. There is controversy about whether to vaccinate or not but breeder veterinarians (who are the most qualified vets to give out advice) recommend to always vaccinate a puppy! Make sure your breeder gives you the shot record of your puppy and the suggested remainder of the vaccines until they are 6 months of age. If you are doubtful of the breeders suggestions, you can call the vaccine companies or go online to research.

Remember, the internet has so much information on everything so you have all knowledge you need to know; it just take a little research and a computer! Research all about the Rottweiler breed, the breeder, the best care, training, feeding, etc!

Download the PDF: Puppy Basics for New Owner – Issue 2 of 2014

Article written by Evie Lynn
Published in Total Rottweiler Magazine, Issue 2 of 2014