5 weeks to D day!(20 Posts)
We have a lab x collie puppy joining our family in 5 weeks and we're novice puppy owners.
I'm trying to write a list of what needs doing. So far I have:
Puppy proof house (I assume this is much the same as baby proofing? Moving anything chewable, no food low down, remove nice rugs, ect)
Puppy proof garden (quite a big job that will involve new fencing)
Buying puppy bits- crate, baby gates, toys, lead, collar, blankets, bowls
Read as much as poss and decide on ground rules
Have I missed anything else obvious?
Take a look at the puppy survival threads on here for hints and tips and just to see what others have battled with
Work out which vets you want to go to and get a check up ASAP after the pup arrives to give them a once over and to discuss vaccinations, worm and flea treatments.
Check out insurance. Most insurance companies have a clause where illnesses in the first two weeks when you take the policy out are not covered so get them insured as soon as possible (this is a big one from me as I have just put in a claim of over £2000 for my puppy in his first year).
Get 'Total Recall' by Pippa Mattinson and some matched dog whistles
Buy lots and lots and lots of Simple Solution pet accident spray and kitchen roll.
Crocs and a very warm dressing down and a waterproof you can throw on easily (standing freezing at 2am while puppy decides where it needs to have a wee isn't fun, esp in the rain)
Training treats (not ones like boring biscuits, dried sprats, dried liver, and other super tasty things) and a bag that you can carry round poo bags, treats etc and have free access to the treats.
Practice leaping up from the sofa at high speed to catch the puppy as they think about having a wee and getting your crocs on and puppies lead on in one swift motion.
Absorbent, washable mat for the back door as you'll be traipsing in and out a million times a day
Lots, and lots, and lots of patience. You are setting up the next 15 years of this dogs life, and they are tiny and need a huge amount of guidance.
If you have dc, you'll do a lot of reminding them that a) puppy is not a toy b)they stay utterly out of the crate c) letting the puppy bite their finger/shoes is funny now, but not when they are an adult
A puppy for christmas? How nice? [hmmm]
Excellent advice already. Where is the pup coming from?
5 weeks to start pouring cups of water on all types of flooring to practice cleaning up then op!!
Oh yes, I hope you aren't planning on having a tree, presents under the tree or any decorations below about 5ft.
And get used to not leaving any food out at any time - no boxes of chocs on the side, fruit bowls, things on the side in the kitchen etc etc
Great tips so far - especially getting crocs etc ready (include a torch in that to find him in he dark).
Always my Top Tip is to get all the housey-type jobs you plan to do over the next six months done before puppy arrives. Something about puppies makes them a complete time-sink and so everything non-puppy stands still for months once a pup arrives.
In my experience, you also need way more spare bedding and mats than you think
If you're buying the puppy (which I presume you are as it would be extremely unusual for a rescue to let a puppy go so close to Xmas) I'd also suggest reading through the stuff about finding a decent breeder. Although in some circumstances good breeders do have puppies ready around that time of year it certainly warrants being very careful, especially if you have anything other than a very quiet and child free Christmas.
Have a good read through the various resources on this thread, there's all sorts of useful stuff on there. This collection of articles (from the FB group Dog Training Advice and Support which is well worth joining, especially as they can offer recommendations for puppy classes) should be particularly helpful.
Start looking into insurance now. If the puppy is coming from a breeder they should provide a period (usually four or five weeks) of free insurance but it's a good idea to know who you want to insure the puppy with long term so you can easily make sure the cover doesn't lapse.
Also start looking for puppy classes now. Don't just find your closest one and get booked in, either look for a local trainer who is a member of one of these organisations or ask for specific recommendations on the aforementioned FB group. Go along to watch a class before booking your puppy on a course, a decent trainer should be perfectly happy for you to pop along and see what their classes are like before committing.
I'm place-marking. DPuppy arrives in a few days. Mexican street puppy. I think we are vaguely prepared.
I definitely need puppy classes. DD is quite horribly excited so managing hr expectations is going to be important.
Thank you for the tips, lots to add to the list. It did make me smile, thinking about doing wee drills.
The puppy is coming from a friend of a friend so mum and dad are known and good, family pets. The mum had an unexpected litter that the vet insisted was a phantom pregnancy. Therefore, no, we are not buying it, just paying for vet bills ect..
It's bad timing that it's ready in the Christmas week and we will wait for a couple of days after, when the tree has gone, although we're having a very quiet Christmas anyway with no visitors. I can assure you all that it is not a Christmas present and we are not entering in to this without a lot of thought and care. I didn't want to go down the breeder route, and I can't get a rescue with children so this seems like a good compromise.
MrsTerryPratchett good luck with the pup and keep us updated. My children aren't in the least bit excited yet, however they haven't met the pup yet as they're still so little and I know that will change when they do.
Read the links in the useful resources thread pinned at the top of doghouse.
Be prepared for a LOT of time, exercise and training. That mix will be hard work.
Yes. That mix will be VERY hard work. Not for now but worth looking into agility or flyball etc for when it's older. You will likely have a bright dog that needs a lot of mental and physical stimulation
I would add torch to the list! Remember puppy must be microchipped and wear a dog tag by law (KC give details of what must be on the tag.)
I actually went to my first training class before the pup came home. I wanted to see the trainer at work. You want positive and reward based training. Run a mile from any talk of dominance or pack theory.
Buy a cordless vac! Anything with lab in it has the potential to be a full time moulting machine!
another thing, start bugging the children now that they must pick up everything and put it away. Especially shoes and toys (my 11 year old kicked his shoes off and latest foster puppy ate the straps off one in under 10 minutes of him staring at a screen and me being out of the room). If your children have soft toys, they need to be put well out of puppy reach otherwise they will be destuffed in seconds.
If you have hard floors, the Lakeland spray mop is great for a fast whizz round to remove muddy paw prints and post wee mopping up
So much to think of! I have started training the children (and my husband about shoes and toys. I'm going to buy some plastic boxes so things can be stored up high. My poor, beautiful open shelves will be no more.
I'm also going to put catches on the bedroom doors at the tops so when we're out, if pup manages to get upstairs then it can't get in the bedrooms. I remember the fate of my barbies at the hand of a lab puppy when I was little.
Lakeland mop is a good call. We do have hard floors, with gaps! I wonder if some cheap lino offcuts are a good idea in the kitchen for a while?
Stairgates are great. I crate puppies when going out, or if I will be out of their sight for more than 5 minutes, but they need to be kept to small areas so you can see what they are up to, swap things being chewed quickly, anticipate wees etc.
There are also times that the puppies need to be separated from children and a stairgate lets you see both at the same time in adjacent rooms
I also have a stairgate permanently on the kitchen to stop theiving and protect the cats food.
Our stairgate prevents our dog getting upstairs, dashing out the front door when we take rubbish out, eating cat food etc. great.
I used a crate when she was little and now she has a pen. Just for overnight and if I have to leave her. No danger of chewing the house!
Presumably as the mating wasn't intentional neither parents have had any health testing? Definitely make sure you have a good level of insurance as both breeds can be affected by some of the same hereditary conditions. Both breeds can suffer from hip dysplasia and labs are particularly prone to elbow dysplasia, both can also suffer from a number of eye issues )including hereditary cataracts and primary glaucoma) and both can be affected by Degenerative Myelopathy. Border collies can have something called MDR1 which is a defective gene that affects how they react to certain common medications. It's not present in labs, so a lab x BC mating can't produce affected pups, but carriers can also show some degree of sensitivity to the same drugs. Although it's less common in BCs than some other herding breeds (it's estimated that 1-5% of the breed are carriers) it is something to be aware of.
A cross like that is likely to be fairly high energy (although you'll need to restrict their exercise somewhat whilst they're growing) and will also need plenty of mental stimulation to keep them from finding their own entertainment. There's a couple of FB groups, Canine Enrichment and Beyond the Bowl, which I'd highly recommend joining as they're packed with loads of great ideas. It's also worth looking for local agility clubs that run puppy classes. They can't do any obstacles or anything until they're at least 18 months to 2 years old but puppy classes focus on impulse control, directional commands, etc. and can be a great activity for a young dog that needs a job.
Make sure it's life insurance too!
Some vets only deal direct with certain companies. Worth checking.
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