Welcome to OrlandoCockers.Com    AKC_Logo

All our Dogs and Puppies are AKC Registered.

New Puppy Helpful Hints
Bringing home a new dog is a big adjustment for any family. But with a little preparation and patience, starting that everlasting bond with your canine companion can be a lot easier. “Today” pet contributor Tamar Geller gives tips on how to get adjusted to the new member of the family.
When you bring your new dog home, remember that initially he or she will be a bit disoriented. The dog doesn’t know you, your family or your home. It’s similar to when you start a new job. This adjustment period rarely lasts for more than two weeks. Here are a few things you’ll need to know to welcome the latest addition to your family.
Be patient - Please be patient with your dog. Most of us have an idea of some ideal dog in our mind and when reality doesn’t match the dream, we can lose our patience. Just like building on the talent that a child has in sports, your dog needs to have a good coach in order to become that ideal dog.  
Take your dog to the vet immediately - Take him to the vet right away to check that he’s healthy and to microchip him. The microchip is inserted with a needle in the back of his neck and is no big deal. This can be a lifesaver by helping you locate your dog in case he gets lost.  There is a small charge at the vet to put the chip in, and another small fee for the company that records the chip information.  It is for the life of your dog and assures that if he is ever lost, someone will find out where he belongs.  I have chips in all my dogs.
Be consistent when training - Make sure that as his coach, you give him clear and consistent messages. Determine the dog rules and make sure that ALL family members are consistent with enforcing them — such as what rooms are okay for him to use, if he’s allowed on the furniture and where he’s allowed to sleep. The key is that any time you catch your dog in behavior you don’t like, use a disapproving tone of voice and then show him what you would like him to do instead. Do not hit or use physical abuse to correct your dog. This can cause him to become nervous aggressive, which means he could bite to defend himself.
Keep to a schedule - Dogs like routine. Have a schedule that he can get used to — when he gets fed, bathroom breaks, walks — and then stick to it.
Consider crating - Crates are a great way to house-train your dog. They should be a size that allows him to stand up, turn around and lay down, but no bigger. Because you’re teaching him to hold it, you don’t want it big enough for him to pee on one side and then lay down on the other.  If you’re completely adverse to using one, consider a puppy play pen.  One of my clients even used a small shower as the dog’s room — it was very easy to clean!  To clean accidents, use paper towels to thoroughly absorb the liquid, then spray with a neutralizing cleanser.
Sleeptime – some dogs do not like to sleep thru the night, and worse, some do not want to go back to bed (preferable in their crate).  This can leave a new owner exhausted night after night.  Here are some tips you might find helpful if you are ever in this jam.  First, limit the amount of food and water the dog has before going to bed.  Unless it is a newborn pups that eats round the clock, your pup can go without food and water for several hours.  Put the food down, give the dog a set time to eat, then pick it up.  Eventually the dog will realize that their food is only there for a limited time and will eat when it is available.  As for water, best rule of thumb is to have fresh water available all the time, unless the night wakings are occurring.  Then start to also pick up the water several hours before bedtime.  If you feel very bad about this, invest in a waterbottle for their crate, similar to one for a hamster only larger.  Petsmart carries them.  This will allow the pup to lick a bit of water at night, without gulping it and needing to go during the night hours. 
If your pup howls when put in their night crate, put a blanket over it.  Of course ensure adequate air flow, but cover it so the dogs view is obstructed as much as possible, and keep the lights off around the crate.  Like a newborn baby, they will learn that when it is dark, it is time to sleep and they will adjust to it.  (It is hard to let them howl at first, but as long as the dog doesn’t need to use the bathroom, it is best for all for it to learn it is sleep time!)
One more thing that works is having a constant sound by the dog.  We use baby monitors and have the receiver turned out, without having the other end on which results in constant static.  The static will help block much of the noise the dogs hear and it help aid in a more continued, peaceful sleep for everyone!
Scare tatic – if your pup starts to do something they shouldn’t (ie chew on something, relieve themselves in doors, dig thru the trash etc.), hitting the dog does very little good.  What does work best is changing your tone of voice to deep tone with obvious displeasure for the dog.  And scaring it.  Great idea is an empty soda can, with some pennies in it, and tape the hole back up.  Keep it handy.  When you catch the pup about to do something bad, grab the can and shake it to make a loud sound.  It will scare the pup, and then use your displeasure voice to tell him No, Bad.  If you use this consistently, the dog will learn and eventually stop the bad behavior as it matures.

Heartworm – This is a deadly disease that can easily be prevented.  The heartworm medication also keeps other parasites like hookworms away.  It is given once a month and will have to be dispensed by the vet.
Flea Medication -  In Florida you need flea medication every day.  Best on the market is either frontline or advantage.  Some also kill mosquitoes.  It is important that the dog not get very wet with some of the flea medications.  Read them carefully to choose the best for you.  Can be bought at the vet or even on ebay.
Ears – Cockers ears get infected very easily.  They should be cleaned at least once a month with special cleaner you can get at the vet.  Use a q-tip carefully to remove the wax.  Their ear canal curves, so it won’t hurt them.

Have the basics
Collar and leash - You’ll need a collar and leash before you bring your dog home. Puppies are constantly growing, so don’t invest in an expensive collar until they’re fully grown. Instead, purchase a simple, flat nylon collar that you can adjust or replace as he grows out of it. Periodically check to see if the collar is too small — you should be able to fit two fingers under the collar at all times.  Small breeds should wear a harness when walking. Attaching the leash to a collar can put undo pressure on the neck and result in a collapsed trachea. If your new puppy is too small for even the smallest dog collar or harness, get one designed for a cat.
Get a four- or six-foot leash for walking. DO NOT use a retractable one, as this will teach him that the more he pulls on the leash, the more he is able to pull, simply reinforcing your dog’s pulling behavior when you walk.
I am against using a choke chain or prong collar, particularly when starting a new relationship with your dog. My personal opinion is that using this equipment causes pain that will not strengthen the loving relationship and may actually do just the opposite.
Food and water bowls - The best food and water bowls are Pyrex, glass or white ceramic that have been certified for human use. Do not use stainless steel bowls, as they often cause the nose color to change from black to pink. The problem with most ceramic dog bowls is that they are not regulated and may contain lead, which is potentially very harmful to dogs.
Treats - The best yummy treats should be used when your dog has gone to the bathroom outside. Generally speaking, give treats to reinforce your dog's good behavior. Try not to give your dog treats for free — for just being cute.
Exercise and games - Dogs learn through games, so don’t teach your dog biting games or games where he runs away from you. Games are also the way your dog will bond with you. He should think, “Wow, this person is really cool!” Games and exercise also help make sure your dog isn’t bored. Dogs come up with naughty behaviors — such as archeological digging in the yard, redecorating your house by chewing up the furniture or barking — to alleviate boredom.
Toys - Have at least five or six Kongs on hand since you don’t have to replace them as you do with other toys. You can make them interesting and different by stuffing them with a variety of treats, so it’s always new and exciting for your dog. And they’re dishwasher safe.
There’s a great plush toy you can play tug-of-war with called Dr. Noy’s that doesn’t have messy stuffing that your dog can choke on, and has a hidden compartment so that you can remove or replace the squeaker after your dog has “killed” the squeak (as most dogs do within seconds). Bully sticks and tennis balls, particularly the squeaky kind, are also great toys to keep your dog occupied.
 Investing the time now to coach your dog and help him be the best dog he can be will only strengthen your bond. In time, you will come to the point when all you have to do to communicate with your dog is look at him a certain way, and he will know what you want. In turn, you will learn to read his looks and body language to know what he wants.  If you follow this, I'm sure you will have a rewarding and beautiful relationship to look forward to.


Back to Top | Back to Info Page

Please contact sandy@orlandocockers.com for more information