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New 12 week old puppy cocker spaniel(5 Posts)
Hi We are picking up our new cocker spaniel puppy soon, please can you tell me the essentials we should get for when he arrives? Also, he is not cage trained and so I'm not sure whether we should introduce a crate and crate training when we get him or not? I've read that the crate can give them a safe space..? Any help/advice appreciated
There are plenty of on-line resources for this sort of stuff, so I'm assuming you want to know what the bare essentials actually are (rather than what you might be guilt-tripped into buying).
Basket/bed and bedding (preferably smelling of mum and litter)
Collar with tag (there are legal requirements re contact details)
Bowl for water
Bowl for food
Some of whatever food the puppy has been on - you can swap to your own choice gradually over a few days
Some way of securing the dog in the car (travel crate or harness)
Contact details for a good local vet (for vaccinations ongoing care)
A few toys are also handy
A copy of a training book like 'The Pet Gundog'
Some shampoo and a towel would also be useful. You do not need special dog shampoo. I use whatever is going in Poundland.
You don't need training pads - just spend some newspaper out at night, and take the puppy out regularly during the day and evening.
Have a think about pet insurance. I have third party for my dogs, in case they cause an accident, but we have enough savings that we could afford a large vet bill in a crisis. If you don't have 5k in the bank, you might want to consider insurance.
Other people will be along to advise on crate training. I don't do it myself: I just puppy-proof part of the house.
You will also need a lot of energy and massive reserves of patience: those first puppy weeks are lovely but also hard work (as you trot down at 1am because pup is crying again, to take it out for a wee, give it a quick tummy rub and put it back to bed).
SLightly different view point
No bowls for food I use all food during training sessions- so no need for training treats just use chicken or a small amount of cheese on occasions.
No to slip lead
The training book best puppy book on the market by far
I do like crates but they are easy to clean and you can keep the door open and do give a clear indication for the puppy where it can chill out - it will need encouragement to do this
toys - these can be t towels tied into knots or old socks so nothing expensive to start with.
Chew toys are good to have not raw hide
brush to start getting used to grooming - you will need to keep those ears sorted!
Crate training was fantastic with both of our English cocker spaniels when they were pups. They never peed/pooed in their crates (instinctively a puppy will not want to mess in their sleeping area) which made toilet training them much easier, and they were always clean overnight. Puppies will spend a lot of the day sleeping so having a secure 'den' that you can pop them in as and when is great. Be sure the crate isn't too large, as I've heard that some puppies will poo/wee in crates that are too big. They should regard the entire crate as their sleeping quarters. I had their crate next to my bed as puppies - they didn't cry and howl at all knowing I was close by, and when they'd wake up during the night wanting to go out to the toilet, I'd be there to get them out and avoid any accidents.
We bought a ton of puppy pads in anticipation for the new arrival but ended up not using them at all! You won't need them if you have a solid toilet routine - taking the puppy out every half hour to an hour and give them plenty of praise when they do poo/wee outside.
Definitely have some chew toys in preparation - they don't call them Cockerdiles for no reason! Antlers were a lifesaver with my first very bitey cocker pup. You can also get chewroots, buffalo horns, Yakers chews, Plutos bones and Whimzees. I would avoid the plastic type chews and rawhide as I've heard some horror stories about dogs who've swallowed a chunk of these and they've gotten stuck in their digestive tracts. Watch your skirting boards, table legs and cables and don't leave any items of high value around the puppy - I've seen plenty of designer shoes and sunglasses that have been destroyed by the new addition!
Grooming wise - cockers will need regular grooming to keep them mat-free. A good slicker brush, a metal-tooth comb and some doggy detangling spray would be a good start. Get them used to being handled early - brushing all over the body, having their mouth and teeth touched, paws handled. Some grooming salons offer puppy sessions to get them used to the groom experience. My cockers are clipped every 2-3 months with a professional, with a regular grooming routine at home.
Thanks so much for your responses - that's all really helpful !