"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better." - Maya Angelou
Here you will find all of the information for my puppy packet as well as some common questions from people that are preparing to bring their puppy home.
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Can I get two puppies at the same time?
It is not recommended by most Vets or Trainers. I have heard of people taking siblings and the pups not developing a relationship with the people because they had each other but I've never seen it first hand. I've raised siblings and even multiple pairs of siblings at the same time with no adverse reaction. Miniature Schnauzers are extremely people oriented so I would be surprised if it would ever happen in this breed. The key is making sure there is plenty of one on one time between you and the puppies. If your main reason in getting two puppies is so that they can play together and you don't have to, then that's a bad reason. Plus, one puppy is a lot of work, let alone two at once. If this is the first puppy you have raised in a long time, I suggest starting with one. If you get through the first 3-6 months with the first puppy and are happy and want another, we can get you back on the list for a second. Search Google for "littermate syndrome" to research why many people do not recommend getting two puppies at once. Also, keep in mind that if you get two dogs close in age, it is more likely that they will pass away in a close time period. Getting two puppies from the same parentage, if there ends up being an inherited issue, both puppies could be affected causing twice the heartache at once.
Should my puppy be crated in the car?
Yes, it is recommended that he be crated. First and foremost, it is safer for him in the event of an accident. Secondly, if he is crated, he will be less likely to distract you and be the cause of an accident. And third, in my experience puppies seem to attach more to whoever holds them on the car ride to their new home. My husband equates it to Stockholm Syndrome where a kidnappee loves their kidnapper! (he's a bit weird). So, if you and your family come together and want to take turns holding and driving that might work out fine but if you come alone and hold him all the way home, he may not have much affinity for the rest of the family. I have seen many instances where a puppy was supposed to be for the husband but the wife held the puppy all the way home and within a few weeks it is reported with some chagrin that it is the wife's dog. If the puppy is crated, he won't get the chance to attach to someone on the car ride home and everyone will have an equal opportunity once you reach your destination. Most puppies whine for 5-10 minutes and then quiet and sleep the whole way home. If you need to stop somewhere to potty, than you can potty your puppy but if the puppy is riding quietly, you do not need to make special stops to potty the puppy.
What specific food are they eating now? Should that be maintained?
Muenster Milling Company Perfect Balance Chicken is what I'm feeding my puppies and all puppies will go home with a small bag to get them started. If you are a new customer to Muenster, use coupon code robison35 for 30% off of your first order or robison50 for 50% off your first order of customized food. Overall, use your best judgement and don't get sucked in to advertising or a food that is super expensive because you think the more you pay means the better the food. I would recommend trying to get a meat based food but not grain free unless he shows a sensitivity to grain (not something I have experienced in these bloodlines so far). While I raise my pups on chicken based food and all of my adults are on chicken and never seemed to have an issue, I have had a few puppy buyers over the years report a chicken sensitivity that caused GI upset in their dogs. Once they switched away from chicken the issues went away.
How do I take junior out for a rest stop?
I would recommend using a leash. He may not be leash trained but as long as you just use it to keep him close to you and don't actually use it to try to lead him anywhere, it should work fine. Plus, his rest stops are actually a good time to start his leash training because everything will be scary and he will most likely want to stick close to you. You can walk with him while he learns to accept the tether between you. Most often they will run to you if they are scared but in the event they would run the other direction it is best to have the leash.
Do you dissuade against an underground fence?
I think a lot of it depends on your situation. I actually had an underground fence for several years and really liked it. However, I was out in the country away from most neighbors and I never left a dog outside unattended. The problem with the underground fence is that it will keep your dog in but won't keep other dogs or animals out. So, another dog, coyote, etc. could come in your yard and injure/kill your dog.
Where should the puppy stay at night?
Preferably in a crate and not in someone's bed. Dogs are not made to be alone and before your puppy leaves here, he is always sleeping with his siblings at night or at the very least is in a crate that is directly next to another crate where he can see/hear/smell at least one other dog. So, the first few nights in a new situation, I would suggest keeping him in his crate in your bedroom where he knows he is not alone and you can easily be woken if he needs a late night potty break. However, if your bedroom is not the ultimate goal of where you want him to stay, I would move it to your permanent spot after a few days. Keep in mind that if your dog ever needs to be boarded for a vacation or would have to stay at a vet's office for any reason, they will be crated and if not already crate trained, it will make an already stressful situation even more stressful. You are doing everyone, including the dog, a favor by making sure it is crate trained. You will find that as your puppy grows, he will enjoy having his own private space and many dogs will go in the crate on their own for naps and quiet time. Once a dog is crate trained and readily accepts spending time in the crate, than having the occasional sleep over with your buddy in bed with you should not be a problem as long as it is interspersed with some nights in the crate to keep the habit reinforced.
What do you think of Dog Parks?
I detest them for several reasons and would not recommend taking a puppy or young dog to them. First off, in a dog park situation, you have no idea if others that take their dogs there follow proper deworming and vaccination protocols. I have seen reports of several dog parks being shut down for periods of time due to a dog that recently visited that park being diagnosed with a highly contagious issue. Whether the dog picked it up at the park, or was already harboring it and possibly left the disease behind is never quite sure but it is a higher risk area than some others. Secondly, I see too many people that take their dog to the dog park because they are out of control and they want a place their dog can burn off some energy so that he is somewhat manageable at home. The dogs are not trained well, have owners that sit back and play on their phone without monitoring their dog at all or if they do watch them, they have no control or idea how to diffuse a bad situation. A poorly trained dog is a danger to your dog and a poorly trained dog that lacks proper doggy social skills is even worse. Several years ago I read a Reader's Digest article about "50 Things Your Vet Won't Tell You" and one of them was that dog parks are pretty awful. The vets interviewed stated that a majority of their dog fight injuries came from dog park situations.
Why do you recommend my puppy be seen by my vet within 3 days? Didn't your vet just look at him?
Yes, they have just been seen by my vet. The #1 reason I want them examined by your vet sooner than later is so that your vet, being an unbiased party, can concur with my vet that I sent you home with a healthy puppy before there is a chance that they are exposed to too many sources outside my home environment. If for some reason my vet missed something and it's enough of a problem to warrant returning the puppy, you might not be as attached to it in 3 days as you would be in 14 days. The other reason is so that the puppy can be introduced to their vet and the hospital in a very laid back, happy way with only a regular physical and lots of love and attention and no needle jabs so that their first experience is all positive.
These photos and text were taken from someone else's Facebook post. According to that, this is a baby puppy who had a knock to his elbow and wasn't using it properly, so he was taken to the vet. There is nothing wrong in these x-rays, thankfully it is a soft tissue injury and he is expected to be fine.
When you get your 8/10 week old puppies, please keep this image in mind. Their bones do not even touch yet. They plod around so cutely with big floppy paws and wobbly movement because their joints are entirely made up of muscle, tendons, ligaments with skin covering. Nothing is fitting tightly together or has a true socket yet.
When you run them excessively or don't restrict their exercise to stop them from overdoing it during this period you don't give them a chance to grow properly. Every big jump or excited bouncing run causes impacts between the bones. In reasonable amounts this is not problematic and is the normal wear and tear that every animal will engage in.
But when you're letting puppy jump up and down off the lounge or bed, take them for long walks/hikes, you are damaging that forming joint. When you let the puppy scramble on tile with no traction you are damaging the joint.
You only get the chance to grow them once. A well built body is something that comes from excellent breeding and a great upbringing-BOTH, not just one.
Once grown you will have the rest of their life to spend playing and engaging in higher impact exercise. So keep it calm while they're still little baby puppies and give the gift that can only be given once. For more information in regards to puppy exercise I suggest checking out these resources:
Heimlich Maneuver for Dogs