You Can't Buy Happiness... But An Aussie Comes Pretty Darn Close!
All of our Dogs are our Family. They go on trips with us, Trick or Treating, Holiday Parades, Fairs, Anywhere we can take them, one of the dogs likes to go! I will admit, Tazie usually gets to go more places. She is more calm natured, she will sit patently waiting for someone to pet her. So sitting waiting for the Parade to drive by, the kids sit and relax petting the doggie. Where as Tux is more go go go.. He is much better for Trick or Treating, All the different people, pet and go, pet and go.
When our girls are ready for those little puppies to come, They want to be close by! I use small 3 foot kids Wading Pools for my dogs. I use 2 pools. While one is in use, I can pop the other one in the tub for a good cleaning!! I use Fleece covers for the pools so puppies don't get lost under blankets. Easy to wash, change, and soft and snugly for babies!
Over top the pool, I have a table, covered with a light sheet. Table serves great for holding puppy supplies for easy access to important items. Also gives the girls and her pups a quiet/secure place to be. The sheet hangs off the front of the table almost to the top of the pool. The side near my bed is open, stays this way till the pups are about a week old, then sheet is lifted. The Girls can easily go in and out. Our girls love their pool and will start hiding out there during the end of her pregnancy to have a quiet place to rest from the other dogs. Once the pups are born, If not in with the pups, they will lay on my bed watching down over their pups.
Australian Shepherd Puppies
Puppies stay in their area next to my bed for about 3 weeks. Now don't get me wrong, My bedroom is not a quiet room! I don't have kennels, my dogs have free roam of my home. My bedroom is THEIR room! If it wasn't for my bed & dresser, you would think its a dogs room!
The dogs all learned, leave momma and pups alone till she lets you see them. After about 3 weeks she starts greeting them at the edge of the Xpen like..., *Look and see what I have!!*
Another thing we add with our newborns is a Rattle! Sounds strange, Right? We take old aspirin hard plastic bottles that roll easy. Fill them & super glue the tops on! We use 3 of them. 1 is filled with 4 pennies, 1 is filled with 4 rocks, 1 is filled with 2 tiny bells. They are not very loud noises, but each make a different noise. Every day these bottles are swapped for a new one. They stay in with the puppies till they leave. This desensitizes the pups to noise/vibrations. I find they are not as easily startled when I use these rattles. One puppy or the other crawls into the bottle at some point or another, by 3-4 weeks the puppies start rolling them around to play with them!
After pups are up walking & eyes open, They get moved into our dining room. Its dead center of the house, You really cant walk anywhere with out walking past the puppies! Their pool is placed in the X Pen where they will now grow up. They have a large area to learn about potty training, playing, eating, sleeping and begging for attention!
X Pen is open for the girls till the pups start climbing out (Usually 5-6 weeks) Tazie likes to steal our bean bag chair to watch the pups first few days :) Once puppies try to climb out of the pool, Pool is removed and replaced with a dog crate.
For the first few days its constant watching the puppies. Teaching them where to sleep, go to the bathroom, eat and play.
Their area has 4 parts..
#1. Bathroom area.
#2. The Dog Crate is for sleeping.
#3. Feeding area.
#4. Playing area.
We see a little one trying to, as we call it.. Getting Busy (Going to the bathroom) We quickly pick them up and place them in the correct area on the papers. I use *Get Busy* for all my dogs. This command comes in handy when out and about with your dogs. Get them to go, before you are surrounded by a bunch of people or in a place that not convenient and they decide they *have* to go. Not much different than having a child try to go before a trip in the car
We see a sleepy puppy, we bring him/her over into the Crate. Give him/her soft petting and they are fast asleep in their crate. Puppies soon learn its comfortable in their crate to sleep, Nice soft blanket, quiet. Keeping up with Crate Training is very important!
Feeding is done with either My 14yr old Daughter or I involved. Soft food is fed at first, we sit next to the dishes and pet the puppies as they eat. Any fighting at food time, that pup is redirected, then taken back to food. Last thing anyone wants is a food aggressive dog!
As puppies grow so do their need for play! We first sit in their X Pen playing with them. Rolling balls, letting them come for pets, or tug of war. By 4-5 weeks puppies have the basics learned. Where to use the bathroom, where to sleep and now they get to start free roaming on short periods around the house! Before feeding times, we open the flood gates on the X Pen! This is when they get more interaction with the other Dogs, Cats, Bird, or any other animal we have. They start running, jumping, sniffing, pouncing, figuring out where that noise is coming from. We all have a ball chasing after 6-7 puppies! While puppies are out, we place a litter box out in the middle of the floor so they have easy access to a bathroom. This also helps teach them where its allowed. If a puppy doesn't go to the litter, we quickly pick up puppy and place in the litter . If you watch your puppies, you know before they have an accident they have to go. Catching them right before, and putting them in the correct spot to go teaches them easier than getting upset with them for the wrong area! Remember, its a puppy! They don't have accidents, if YOU watch them!
When all tuckered out, we go back in the X Pen, have something to eat, then bathroom, then off to bed. They are so worn out, full, and resting like babies.
I have been grooming for over 20 years. I received my Grooming License from a wonderful private school in R.I. I had 1 yr of hands on One on One Training with a wonderful teacher that also showed dogs. Over my years of grooming, I would see puppies come in scared to death to be groomed! These young puppies never once had a bath, or brushed.
From about 1 week old, and every week after, puppies nails are clipped & Filed. This gets them used to nail clipping from early on. They see it as attention time not something to be scared of. This also helps with keeping their little claws from getting snagged on blankets, and helps mom's belly from getting scratched up!
We start at 4 weeks old when puppies get their first bath. (unless needed earlier, but mom usually keeps them super clean!)
We use *Earthbath Hypo-Allergenic Totally Natural Puppy Shampoo*. We mix a tiny bit of shampoo in a tub of water. You don't want to over wash your puppies coats, a little goes a long way!
8 Weeks: PUPPIES GET A BATH the day you pick them up!
By the time pups leave here they are ready to go and be groomed with out hating it.
Please do not bring new puppies into grooming shops to get groomed on your way home!
Puppies leave here with a bath and age appropriate shots, but that does not mean they are ready to go into places like Pet Shops, Grooming Shops, Vets, Dog parks, Puppy Classes, Or other places people bring dogs and allow them to roam around. Visitation to these places should be very limited and only if needed! *Bring puppy to vet, keep in carrier or hold at all times till you get to the vet table!* Puppies are not fully immune till ALL puppy shots are given!
I suggest a Dog Crate for all puppies! A Crate is not a place for a *Bad Dog!* A Crate is a safe place! Dogs love their crate! Its a safe place to sleep, or if they need some alone time, they have a place. Never use your dogs crate as a punishment! Its their home!
I Use and Suggest:
Amazon has them
If you have a puppy and you have to leave them home alone inside... Get an Xpen! It will be one of the best investments you will make for your puppy! I have tried LOTS and this is by far the best and for the quality, you can't get better. Go with the 40 inch or taller.
I Use and Suggest:
Heavy Duty Exercise Pen
Amazon has them
I do litter box train puppies. This helps new owners also. Your puppy is in a new place! A litter box is something he/she knows is allowed to go on. So use that litter box at first. Put it on the floor next to the door, if you see the pup going for the litter box, quickly bring it outside! Your new puppy learns very quickly, going to the door = going out to potty! Keep up with the *Get Busy* command. When your puppy is actually going to the bathroom, repeat the word WHILE he/she is going to the bathroom, not before or after, This teaches the puppy what the word means.
I strongly suggest all new owners do puppy classes once they are done with shots!
We start simple training while here. I do both verbal & hand signals. My old Border Collie/Aussie mix is partially Deaf/Blind. So he was trained more with hand signals. All my dogs learn them! I find using both hand and verbal commands makes things easier for both the dogs and myself! Sometimes you cant voice the command, so a hand signal comes in handy.
Example: You are on an important phone call, Your dogs comes in playing, making noise/barking. You don't want to stop your call to tell them to settle down do you??
Snap or Clap (Gets their attention)
Settle (Sign ok, my dogs usually will sit or lay down)
Good Dog (Thumbs up)
Release (Point away)
In a matter of seconds with out disrupting your phone call, You stopped your dogs from being disruptive!
Simple Hand Commands..
These are *MY* Basic hand commands, If you do puppy classes they may use something different. There is no WRONG way to use hand signals. As long as you consistent with using the same one for each command.
There are many more signs! Most food based training uses sign language to teach. People tend to stop using those hand signals and just use voice commands.
Hand commands come in very handy! I suggest you keep using them.
Snap your fingers twice .. Get their Attention. (I snap and it gets my dogs instant attention, every time!)
There are many more signs! Most food based training uses hand signals to teach. People tend to stop using those hand signals and just use voice commands.
Hand commands come in very handy! I suggest you keep using them.
AKC has a wonderful site filled with so much information. From fleas and ticks to training!
Here is more information about teaching hand signals with training.