Puppy care

Raising puppies is part of a holistic dog keeping program. We start off by taking good care of our stud dogs. All our dogs are fed Royal Canin, which is supplemented with free range eggs and venison if needed.

Our bitches are put on the high quality Mom and Pup starter of Royal Canin as soon as they are covered to ensure that they have everything they need, especially calcium and protein, to sustain themselves and form the youngsters inside of them. Once the pups are born we add protein to each meal the bitches receive, either in the form of free range eggs, venison or chicken. I also cook bone broth for them for extra minerals. As a mother I understand how draining nursing can be.

We deworm our dogs regularly. We Make sure that all of their injections are up to date and give them Bravecto. Bravecto is a great product that ensures that we NEVER see a tick or a flea on our dogs, despite frequent outings between the cattle, horses and pastures. Our dogs are all microchipped, vet checked and KUSA registered.

Our dogs sleep in our home with us. Once the bitches become broody, we move their bed into a different bedroom so that they have privacy for the last hormonal days of the pregnancy. We set our alarm to do nightly checks once they are close to their due date. If their there are any signs of labour, I stay with them until the last pup is dry and suckling. The dogs find company vastly comforting during this time and often want love and affection between contractions.

I recently hand reared a puppy for a week until he was strong enough to join his brothers with their mother. This was a first for me. He was perfectly healthy, but a little premature. It gave us such joy to save his little life even though it cost a week’s worth of sleep.

Our bitches stay inside with their pups until the puppies start to explore and play. At this point we move them to day pens on the lawn and keep them inside at night. We still spend a lot of time with them and bring them inside for individual play sessions, but they get to benefit from the sunshine, stimulation and freedom of being outdoors. This also has dual potty training purpose. At night they associate newspaper with going to the toilet and during the day the lawn becomes the association. This makes it so much easier for their new families to train them in their new home.

We socialise our puppies with our other dogs, visitors and other farm animals like chickens and rabbits. We make time to carry them around, cuddle them and play so that they leave our kennel confident that humans are trustworthy friends. We expect buyers to live up to the little puppies’ positive expectation.

Our pups are ready to leave from 8 weeks of age, but we happily keep them until 10 weeks for the buyers who prefer. The pups are a joy and we gladly extend the stay before we hit empty nest syndrome. We do not allow puppies to leave earlier. They are fully weaned by 6 weeks, but those last two weeks are valuable. The mother invests all her time into disciplining them and playing with them. She shapes them into well rounded and stable individuals. This time is crucial to ensure a sound puppy in spirit and mind.

Once the puppies have left it is a great joy to keep in touch with their owners and to see how the pups grow and develop. We are grateful to all the owners who include us in their adventures and send photos for us to look at.

We place breeding restrictions on all of our puppies and only send KUSA certificates once we have received a Veterinary certificate of sterilisation. This prevents exploitation of our puppies by unethical breeders.

 

Caring for your puppy at home.

Once you have your puppy in your arms and head for home there are a few things to consider. Even though we have made the best impression of humans on him that we possibly could, he will still miss his canine family for the first few days, especially at night. Some puppies sleep through without a yelp but others cry a bit.

It is important to spend a fair bit of time with your pup on the first day and so we recommend collecting a puppy in the morning. Once home you can try to maintain a feeding routine the puppy is used to and be sure to create a little safe place for them to retreat to if they are tired. This can be as simple as placing their bed under a couch or table where you will be spending a lot of your time at home. Young puppies need a lot of sleep! Once night time comes you can place their bed in their crate in your room. More about crate training later…

Build his/her confidence by showing them around with lots of physical and vocal affirmation. Do not overwhelm them but be gentle. Food treats work wonders for building trust and affection. If you feed them, they trust you as their new pack leader and provider. Be sure to give healthy, tasty snacks for this purpose, chicken is a favourite. Call the puppy and immediately reward with a small piece of food. You can make it a game while familiarising them with the house and garden. This will help them to focus on you, think well of you and respond to their name.

Feeding

Most puppies will do well with three feeds a day once you take them home. Some puppies will still need four feeds. Space the feeds at regular intervals throughout your day and stick to those times as much as possible. Routine is a great training aid. This is also a good time to reinforce good manners. All puppies vary in appetite, but as a general rule they will consume around a 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of pellets per day. (measured out dry) Divide their food into three or four equal portions. 10 min before feed time, cover the pellets with warm water from the kettle, allow to cool to   luke warm before feeding the puppy. Always feed according to appetite. If the puppy does not finish his food, take it away as soon as he leaves his bowl and discard. Adjust the next feed in size accordingly. If he seemed hungry after he finished everything add a little more for the next t feeds.

Never leave food for the puppy to self feed. This causes boredom with food and can lead to underfed or obese obese dogs.

There is a lot of debate about feeding dogs. Generally the commercial dog foods are filled with cheap protein and carbohydrates. This can cause deficiencies and health problems. It is very beneficial for you dog to receive extra nutrients in the form of quality protein, vegetables, fat from animal sources and oils. If you are unable to cook for your dog, make sure you buy the best dog food brand you can afford and add an egg or protein occasionally. Do not give them extra carbohydrates such as rice, pap or bread, as this will only make them fat. Empty calories do not lead to fit and happy dogs.

Potty training

(Lawn can be substituted with newspaper if you do not have access to grass.)

Small puppies have very limited bladder control. Their need your help to establish potty habits. If things start off a bit shaky, don’t despair. A few mishaps will not end all hope of a dog who goes outside for the loo. There are a few key points that will help your puppy. They will associate the lawn with the loo so use that. Take them outside and place them on the lawn

  • every time they have eaten
  • every time they drank
  • every time they wake
  • at every hour if none of the above happened (this does not apply at night)

Reinforce this good habit with a food reward as soon as they have done their job on the lawn. Once you get to know them a little better you can start calling them  to run alongside you as you walk out the door onto the lawn. This will soon be replaced by the puppy going outside himself when he feels an urge. Success depends on:

    • Your consistency
    • Your perseverance
    • Your positive reinforcement
    • You can leave some droppings on the lawn to trigger them next time
    • Most important of all is an open door

It is not the puppy’s fault if you fail to teach them. All puppies can succeed but some might just need a little more effort than others. NEVER discipline them for a mishap. As in humans, fear causes tension and in a young puppy this will instinctively cause them to urinate. Keep some deoderising spray at hand. (We recommend …. see the contact page for the company’s’ details.) If they made a mess inside, quickly clean the area and spray with an oder odour neutraliser . If puppies smell the urine or poo in the future it will trigger them to use the same area again. This is not what you want.

Potty training at night/Crate training

Teaching your puppy to sleep at night is a vital skill as they will be staying with you in your room at night and we all need sleep. Here enters crate training. It is a method we use for our new dogs  that has helped many clients achieve  success.

It is advisable to start your puppy off on a small bed, it should be large enough for him/her to stand up and turn around in, but not larger than 40x40cm. Miniature Schnauzers are clean dogs and do not want to make a mess in their beds. Place the bed in a small crate or boxes so that they cannot get out unless you assist them. If the sleeping space is small enough for them so see all of it as their bed they will rather cry and wake you than make a mess. This provides you with an excellent opportunity to reinforce potty training at night. If your puppy cries, pick him  up and take him  to the lawn. Do not give them excessive attention, but rather be factual as this will discourage them from crying at night because they want company.

This only needs to be done  until you have reinforced the habit, thereafter you can place them in you bed with you if you would like. If they still do not have bladder control or regress, you can return to crate training for as long as needed. Success depends on:

  • feeding their last feed at least an hour before bedtime
  • taking their water away after they drank with their last feed
  • making the last thing you do before bedtime a visit to the lawn
  • taking them out when they cry at night
  • taking them out as soon as they wake in the morning
  • rewarding good behaviour
  • replacing bedding if they accidentally messed in their beds

Congratulations, you will soon have a very obedient and clever potty trained puppy!

Grooming

Schnauzers need to be groomed daily if their coats are cut in Schnauzer fashion and bathed regularly. Those who want an awesome companion for the outdoors and less grooming, might consider clipping all except their beards and eyebrows. Regular bathing helps to keep them fresh, hygienic and happy. It is advisable to wait until they are a few months old before their first clip. You want your puppy to be mature in his views of himself and the humans in his life  so that your puppy is not frightened by the experience.

Further training

The more time, love and training you invest in your puppy, the more you will be rewarded by a well rounded companion for his/her lifetime. Neglect is never an option.

We strongly advise puppy classes for further help and socialisation. This will be fun for both of you and give you inspiration for further training at home.

Vaccinations

Your puppy has been vaccinated at 6 weeks of age. Make sure to take them for their following ones at 9 weeks and 12 weeks of age. Thereafter take them for their annual 5 in one and Rabies vaccines.

All above mentioned information is a general guide and you should always apply your own judgement to a situation. I will not be held accountable for any loss experienced due to the above mentioned information. Follow at own risk.

Puppy Checklist

  • Choose a Veterinarian if you do not have one yet.
  • Book puppy training classes
  • Food: Royal Canin, Small breed, Junior
  • Food and water bowl
  • Prepare a bed
  • Prepare a crate for night time
  • Newspaper (If newspaper is your option for potty training.)
  • Odour neutrilising spray
  • Chew toys
  • Fun play toys
  • Towel and bed in the car for adoption day
  • Good coat brush

 

If you are looking for a puppy or you would like to visit us on the farm…

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