Tag Archives: useful tips

Things to do for Puppy Prep

With the impending new arrival only a few weeks away, I thought it only fitting to write a list of things to do before your new puppy arrives at your doorstep. This list assumes you’ve already done the research on the breedthe breeder and picked out a puppy.

The first weeks are crucial for a puppies development and relationship with you and it’s environment. There are some things you will want to do right away, and some training that you need to get right in this important time.

Take time off

Make sure that you will have time to dedicate exclusively to the puppy. Depending on the type of dog this could be anywhere from three to four days up to a few weeks. With Huskies it is generally recommended to have a few weeks to get your dog settled and comfortable. In this time you can start the toilet training and start setting boundaries. Young pups also need to have three meals a day, so you will need to be home to do this.

When Tayla arrives I am taking 2 weeks holidays, and Andrew is taking 3 weeks.

Pick a name

Decide on a name for the new puppy so that you can start using immediately. Try to decide on this a few weeks before the puppy arrives. This will give you plenty of time to mull it over, and think of a new one if you change your mind.

Buy food

Huskies are notoriously fussy eaters. Try to find out from the breeder what they have been feeding the puppy, and do your best to prepare the same. Once you have the puppy you can start to transition it to different food, but it is important not to drastically change it’s food without any transition.

Put some thought into what the treats you will get, what they are made of and what they are going to be used for (training, walking, day to day treats, etc).

For puppies, nutrition is very important. Find out what ingredients are in the treats and, if possible, keep it all natural and highly nutritional. There are specialist stores around, like The Woofery in Adelaide, that make all natural dog treats that would be great for growing puppies and their delicate stomachs. Just be sure to give the puppy a small tester to make sure that; A: they will like the treat and B: the treat won’t mess with their stomach.

Puppy proof the house and yard

You can be guaranteed that your puppy will get into every nook and cranny of the house and yard. This means that anything you don’t want your dog to get needs to be put into a cupboard, or up on a shelf far out of their reach.

Logan has stolen dishcloths from the sink, socks from the bedroom, towels, vacuum attachments, remote controls, and the list goes on. We hear Logan run outside, look out the back door and he is standing in the middle of the yard, staring back at us, with a fishbowl in his mouth.

The backyard can also be a dangerous place for dogs. Ensure that any plants you have are not poisonous if eaten, make sure there are no weeds with prickles or thorns and clear the yard of any spiders and other dangerous insects.

Decide the house rules

Decide where the puppy will be sleeping, what he will be eating, where the puppy is allowed to go in the house, what commands you are going to use for sit, no, drop, etc.

Puppies need consistency in these matters. Make sure that you make these decisions and make sure everyone in the household knows the rules. Children are far more likely to slip food off of the table for dogs, let them on the couch, etc. Make sure you explain the importance of these rules to everyone in the house.

Pick a vet

Find a vet in your neighborhood. Go and talk to them before your puppy arrives. This vet will be an important part of raising your dog, so make sure you talk to them and make sure they know their stuff.

It’s best to also find a vet that also runs Puppy Preschool classes, as this is a great way to get your puppy to enjoy going to the vet. Logan went to Puppy Preschool at our local vet, and now he loves going there. Find out when the classes are being held and, if possible, reserve a spot.

Toys

First up, don’t be disappointed if you buy the puppy a toy and they sniff it and walk away. Puppies, and more specifically Husky puppies, can be very picky. For no apparent reason they may fall in love with one toy, and completely ignore another.

Try to find some stronger toys that won’t fall apart as soon as your puppy gets their teeth into them. Unless you are sure that the toy will last, I wouldn’t bother spending a lot of money on them. Check out our post on the lifespan of toys to see what Huskies usually do to toys.

Keep in mind that while the toys need to be strong enough to withstand the puppy, they still need to be soft enough that they won’t damage the puppy’s teeth. Some toy brands, like Kong, have specialised puppy ranges with toys specifically designed for puppies.

For more detail about preparing for the new puppy, check out the page in our Husky Guide.

Anyone else expecting new puppies soon?

Guidelines for Dog Parks

First up, when I talk about dog parks here I am talking to the fenced off areas in parks where dogs are allowed to go off leash at any time. I make this distinction because when I search for a list of dog parks on the internet I get all sorts of results.

We’ve only recently started taking Logan to dog parks. There is one next to Logan’s obedience school, which is a great reward for him after a good class.

Dog parks are a great way to relieve a dog’s energy. Even high-energy dogs like Logan are worn out after half an hour of running around with other dogs in a park.

But on the flip side, if done improperly dog parks can also be a bad experience for a dog. Because of this, there  some guidelines that you really should follow when going to a dog park.

Ensure your dog has been socialised, and is friendly with other dogs

You can be sure that within seconds of entering a dog park your dog will be sniffed all over by a variety of different dogs and breeds. If you have a scared or timid dog, that isn’t use to being examined in this way, they may bark or snap at the dogs.

Being let off leash at a dog park is not a good way of socialising your dog. It may traumatise your dog and ruin future visits. Better ways to socialise your dog include:

  • Being kept on leash for short periods of time at a dog park
  • Obedience school
  • Doggy Daycare
  • Puppy Preschool

If your dog is overly dominant, aggressive, or fearful of other dogs, do not take your dog to an off-leash park.

Be active with your dog

Attending dog parks are a great way to bond with your dog. Don’t just take your dog into the park and then sit on a bench. Play with the dog, run around the park, be active and bond with your dog.

Be aware of what your dog is doing

Watch your dog. Try to stay close to your dog. If anything occurs between yours and another dog you will need to be close to break it up.

It’s easy to get distracted socialising with other dog owners, but you still need to stay aware of what your dog is doing.

Keep an eye on other dogs

Sorry, but it’s not just your dog that you need to keep an eye on. If other dogs seem aggressive, overly dominant or fearful then it may be a good idea to keep your dog on a leash. If you think it is best then do not be afraid to leaving the park.

Do not correct other people’s dogs

Is it acceptable to tell off another persons child in a school? In the same fashion, it is not acceptable to correct another persons dog in a dog park. There are many reasons for this:

  • You do not know how the dog will react to your correction. It could react aggressively and you could make matters worse.
  • You do not know how the dog has been trained. Your correction could have an adverse effect on it’s training.
  • The owner of the dog could react badly and take offense to your correction.

Below are some of the photos of Logan’s dog park time today. Anyone else take their dogs to parks like these?

3 tips for feeding

Feeding is really something that you need to get right from the start.

I’ve seen far too many dogs that get aggressive at feeding times. When I was young our family dog would growl and snap at anyone that came within a metre of her food at tea time. This is an easy thing to avoid if behaviour is set right while they are puppies.

These tips are most effective if they are enacted from a young age. Use caution if you are going to start trying to reduce aggressive feeding behaviour for grown dogs.

And this isn’t just for huskies either, these tips are useful for most breeds of dogs.

Before giving the dog food

Before you give your dog the bowl, or at least before you allow the dog to start eating, make him sit and look at you. Sitting will start to enforce the command from a young age, and make the dog learn some patience instead of going crazy for the food.

Looking at you creates a better connection between you and the dog. This puts you into the relationship between the dog and the food. This helps to keep the dog from getting territorial around food time and helps to increase the relationship between you and the dog.

Sitting with the dog

Every time you feed the dog, sit with them while they are eating. Pat them, talk to them, play with their paws, pretty much just annoy them.

This will keep the dog from getting to focussed on their food, which will keep them from getting surprised or startled when people are nearby and helps to decrease any territorial behaviour later in life.

Play with the food

Sounds a bit gross, especially depending on what the dog eats for dinner, but this is a great tip to avoid snapping later in life. When you are sitting with the dog, put your hand over parts of their dinner, pick a bit up and hand feed it to them, take the bowl away from them briefly and give it back to them.

This will keep the dog from getting territorial with their food. Let them know that they don’t need to guard the food, that if you take the food it doesn’t mean they’ve lost it and that the you are the boss.

Anyone else have any good tips? Let me know.