(and last-second bits of advice)
Hello! Ok so this is it!! You’re going home with one of my babies. So here it is. All my hard work is over (mostly) and now it becomes your responsibility to pick up where I left off! That can feel a little overwhelming so I just want to tell you that:
- You’re getting off to an amazing start. Anytime you feel stressed just remember that if you were bringing home a cockapoo puppy from any other breeder it would be way, way harder. And don’t get me going on the real, often professional work needed to help a shelter animal. So, try to keep in mind that you are totally going to get past the puppy stage and remember that you can do this! Perspective helps a lot when you feel frustrated. Deep breaths!
- The puppy stage is hard! But you really, truly are going to be just fine. In one year’s time, you will be telling me how you can’t even imagine your life without this dog as a part of your family. Trust me (after all, that’s why you have one of my puppies- because you trust me!) and I won’t lead you astray. The puppy phase passes and your little bundle of fluff will learn to communicate with you!
- If you’re feeling stuck, frustrated, worried or overwhelmed skim through these pages to see if I’ve covered it (I might have) and send me a text. Seriously. Text me. Like 20 times. Don’t hesitate. I know I’m crazy-busy but you are my absolute number one priority right now. No other client could possibly be more important to me the first weeks you have your new baby. You and your puppy are moving through a pretty big transition so I know you are going to have some growing pains and that is what I’m here for: making the process as smooth and fun as possible for you (and the puppy too). So, give me a call, send a text or photo or even just write to vent. I’m here for you.
- You are not going to ruin the puppy. I promise. Really you aren’t. If you make a mistake or do something wrong – even something wrong out of frustration you really, truly aren’t going to ruin the puppy. Raising your puppy is 100% just like parenting or any human-human relationship. It’s a long-term kind of thing. If you ruin this dog it would only be after a long time of intentional and willful ignorance. And if you were a person like that you would have never researched breeders/rescues and found me… or driven so far to get your puppy… or waited so long to get your puppy… right? Trust yourself more. I trust you. Or I wouldn’t have sent you home with one of my babies!
- Your puppy is not all that fragile. He might seem small but he’s way more mighty than you’d think. He is accustomed to being climbed all over by siblings, bitten, chewed, shoved while sleeping, shoved while eating, toys yanked from him and little kids roughly handling him and maybe even hugging a bit too hard here and there. This is normal life for your puppy. He accepts it with patience and a wonderful level of complete comfort. This is a big part of my foundation work. Don’t lose it now by being too concerned over the fragility of the puppy. Handle that puppy!
Yes-monitor your children with the puppy. No-don’t prevent them from bothering the dog when he is playing, chewing, eating or sleeping. Have them pester the heck out of the puppy. Don’t tease, of course, don’t make it unpleasant. But if you play with the puppy (not watch him play by himself) if you put your hands in his food, take it away, give it back and if you randomly prod him or roll him while he is sleeping you will be doing yourself a massive favor. Puppies that grow up being treated as if they were fragile and always being left alone by the kids wind up being super fussy and grumpy if anyone decides to stop treating him that way. Then if the kids pet him one day while he is asleep-BOOM you’ve got a nipped kiddo with some hurt feelings. So lovingly harass the puppy. Give him loads of attention. Make him a part of the family.
- Just bears repeating to treat your puppy now exactly as you want him treated in a year from now. If you want him to go to soccer games, then bring him to soccer games now. If you want him to lay down by the front door during dinner time, then lay him there (with a leash) now. If you want him to willingly give up treats and food to humans whenever it is needed (this is a necessity) then keep him accustomed to giving up that stuff and reward him with something better (bacon! Or a favorite toy!) whenever possible.
- Really read these articles if you can. Give it your best effort. They really will give you good information that will help you understand your dog and help your family members understand him better too. Remember this is “puppy parenting 101” and with this new baby you’ve got a coach (me) and a manual (this packet) so you’re really off to a pretty good start. If you can’t read them all right away then focus on doing your best to make notes on your training charts to get an idea of what your puppy’s natural schedule is so that you can adapt it to fit your schedule, read the crate training paper and try to stick to “sit for please”.
- Enjoy your puppy! That’s pretty much the most important thing of all. Some of my new puppy parents are old hat with this. No worries or stress and if that is you then you’ll be just fine. But many of my new puppy parents are pretty anxious about this. And that is totally normal!! Post on the Facebook page. There is a litter of other new puppy parents out there. A built-in support group. Reach out to me. And don’t beat yourself up for being stressed. Breathe. Relax. Enjoy your fluffy baby!!
- Don’t stress the vet stuff. Puppies pretty much all have parasites despite a really rather intense regimen here (although I’m hopeful that you won’t have any issues). So say yes at the vet to a “fecal” and please pretty please text me the results. It helps all the new puppy parents and helps me treat my adults when something has slipped past my own vet. And it happens. And it is annoying. But it isn’t a big deal. It is expected new puppy stuff. So, you know, expect it.
- Socialize your puppy with dogs and puppies you know are vaccinated and/or healthy. If a new puppy has been with his owner for longer than 10-14 days, you can feel reasonably safe to play with that puppy if you know the owner is being responsible and avoiding dog parks and other potentially contaminated locations. Walk your puppy outside, go to a puppy kindergarten class if possible, meet a ton of people (playgrounds are a great place to walk your puppy to get loads of attention from strangers. Same as the Jersey boardwalks). No dog parks until puppy is about 12 weeks old and always be the most careful when at the veterinary office. Carry your puppy in and make them sanitize your table in front of you and ask the vet to wash his hands in the office room with you. Don’t feel embarrassed. You are doing your job to be a responsible puppy parent. If your vet or vet staff feel irritated or insulted by such a request (they should be doing those things without you asking, by the way) please find a new veterinarian. There are really amazing vets out there but there are some jerks out there too, willing to take your money for nothing and even potentially injure your pet with their carelessness/laziness. So eyes open! You are your pet’s best advocate for health (just as you are for yourself with human doctors.)
- Keep in touch! You have my cell phone number and text messages are the fastest way to get me
Email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Blog is edendog.com
Facebook page for “Eden Orchards American Cockapoos”
And Eden Dog (Annette Wade) has a You Tube channel as well where I’m working on uploading training and other how-to videos.
And whenever (if ever) there is a concern about your dog don’t hesitate to talk to me about it. Regardless of whether it has been six weeks or six years. I’m here and want to know how you are doing!!
Remember I have seen a lot, I know a lot, and I’m the leading expert regarding the cockapoo specifically on the planet. I’m not even an egomaniac. I’m just that confident. And no one knows your dog’s genealogy better!
If it is dog related and learnable then I have studied it. If I don’t know something I have a team of professionals that are personal friends and other experienced high quality breeders that I can ask. I will find the answer! I hope that all our communications will be happy ones and that the only sad one will be a very, very long time from now, at the end of a very wonderful relationship with the “world’s greatest dog” for your family.
“Cherished friendships impact our lives in powerful and meaningful ways. Make no mistake about it, our dogs are some of our closest friends. They love as surely as we do, and often less selfishly. Sharing our lives with a canine may be one of the simplest and most fulfilling relationships we humans can form. Apply gentle effort and consistency to a budding relationship and you’ll create first a connection, then an understanding and finally a bond. An unshakable one.”