Poodle Puppy Care & Diet
Vaccinations and socialisation
Your puppy will need vaccinating against common canine diseases at the age of 9 weeks. He will then need a follow up injection at 12 weeks. Two weeks later, at the age of 14 weeks, your puppy will be immune and safe to venture out into the world.
Until your puppy is immune be careful not to let him come into contact with places where other dogs have been. Note that this doesn't prevent you from taking your puppy out into public places within days of collecting him. Just make sure that he stays in your arms where he is safely protected from infection.
Take him out in the car as much as possible. This will get your puppy used to the car and enable him to get over any car sickness problems he may have. He will soon learn to enjoy car journeys.
It is very important that your puppy meets as many people as possible and has as many experiences of normal life as possible, particularly before the age of 14 weeks. A puppy of under 14 weeks of age has very little fear and finds it much easier to accept things during this time. The first weeks and months of early ‘socialising’ of your puppy is crucial to its future character and temperament.
Your puppy has been wormed regularly over the last few weeks, but he will need worming again at around 12 weeks of age. Worm again at 6, 9 & 12 months. Thereafter four times per year. We strongly recommend DRONTAL PLUS Worming Tablets.
House training a puppy is relatively easy, as long as you are prepared to take your puppy out into the garden fairly frequently in the first few weeks. Frequent opportunities to toilet and being praised for 'getting it right' help your puppy to establish a clear idea of what is expected of him. Take him into the garden every 30 minutes at least, as well as directly after each meal, upon waking and before bedtime. Whenever your puppy pees or poos praise him and begin to use a word or phrase which will your puppy will learn to associate with toiletting. This word or phrase will later become your toiletting command.
If your puppy has a mistake and toilets in the house do not smack or 'punish' him. Instead say a firm 'No!' gently pick him up and take him to the garden. He will soon get the idea. Toiletting in the house is not a question of your puppy being naughty, but more a case of him not understanding what you require of him.
If your puppy is female and you have not yet had her spayed, she may have her first season sometime between 6 and 14 months of age. The season will last for 3 to 4 weeks, during which time you must keep your bitch under strict supervision in order to prevent an accidental mating.
When You First Arrive Home With Your Puppy
When you first arrive home with your puppy allow him to wander around and explore at his leisure. Everything will be strange to him, so give him lots of attention and ensure he is not lonely. During the first night or maybe few nights, your puppy will miss his litter mates and he is very likely to cry. Unless you want to make a habit of sleeping with your puppy do not succumb to allowing him to sleep with you. Make sure he is warm and comfortable and leave the room. Leaving a radio on sometimes helps, as does providing a well wrapped hot water bottle for something warm to cuddle up to, or an old cuddly toy.
In the first few weeks your puppy will spend a great deal of time either sleeping or playing. When he is asleep, leave him to sleep and allow him to wake in his own time.
You will have been given a diet sheet at the time you paid the deposit for your puppy. Make sure you stock up with the necessary food prior to collecting him. To avoid upset tummies and health problems ensure that you stick to the diet for at least the first four weeks of caring for your puppy. Thereafter, any changes are to be implemented slowly.
Do's and Don't's
DO provide your puppy with a quiet, private place to sleep. This should be either a crate or a bed which is warm and draught free.
DO give your puppy toys of its own to play with. These will help to stop him from playing with things he shouldn’t.
DO give plenty of bones and chews etc. to cut his baby teeth on. Giving him these will help your puppy to resist the temptation of chewing things he shouldn’t.
DO ensure that your puppy understands that commands are to be obeyed. To do this ensure you make a big fuss of the puppy when it does things right.
DO get your puppy used to a collar and lead as soon as possible. The best way is to put them on and let them run around the garden freely whilst they are on, after ten minutes pick the lead up and they usually accept it. It may take two or three attempts to teach your puppy to walk reasonably calmly.
DO take your puppy to your local dog training classes, once inoculated. These will not only teach your puppy to be sociable and well behaved, but will also enable you to own a dog which can go out and about with your family in most situations.
DO teach your puppy the commands, NO, LEAVE, COME & SIT. With these four commands you can deal with most situations and enjoy a well behaved companion.
DO NOT ever give cooked poultry, lamb, rabbit or chop bones, because they splinter easily and can cut the dog’s throat or cause internal damage. Always ensure that your puppy allows you to take bones or food from them without too much fuss.
DO NOT let your puppy leap in or out of the back of your car, or from steps, stairs or chairs as he could easily injure himself. After he reaches 10 months of age he will be more resilient.
DO NOT punish your puppy by hitting him with your hand, newspaper or anything else. A light shake and scolding voice may be necessary occasionally. On a more headstrong puppy a stronger shake holding onto the scruff of its neck and a scolding voice may be necessary. Then walk away from the puppy ignoring him, as his mother would do. Only do this at the TIME of the problem, NOT later, because after the event your puppy will not understand why he is being scolded.
DO NOT shut your puppy away when you have visitors to your home, allow your puppy to meet them and your puppy will learn to accept them as part of the family and learn to welcome visitors, as you do.
Do NOT worry about your puppy becoming too friendly, he will still guard his house and family should the need arise.
REMEMBER, the habits you allow your puppy to develop while he is a puppy must be habits that you are happy to live with when he is older. A puppy on your lap or your sofa for cuddles is great when he is tiny, but imagine a fully grown standard poodle jumping on your lap!
Most importantly have fun! Enjoy your puppy and we are sure you will gain a valuable and loyal family friend.