PUPPY INFORMATION

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. The lists below are by no means exhaustive. Their purpose is to get you started in preparation for the big day in bringing a puppy home as well as a few reminders in what to expect when the puppy is home. Needless to say we will be adding to the articles regularly so please check back often. Please note:- some links may be duplicated (primarily for their importance) from the Breed Info page..
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Important Information For Potential Puppy Buyers

Dog Breeders -The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
Household Toxicities (Puppies And Adult)
Parvovirus (Puppies and Adults)
Pet Shop Puppies
Puppies First Few Days
Puppy Questionnaire - Back To Basics Reminders
Responsible Pet Ownership
Why are Registered Breeders Dearer?

Preparing For The Big Day

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 Recommended Reading

 See Details On Bottom Of Page (Coming soon)
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WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE OF YOUR PUPPY (well from us anyway!)
On occasion we are asked why registered breeders often charge more than what is found advertised in the classifieds of various newspapers. Like the majority of other registered breeders we never cut corners with our puppies and we treat every puppy as if it was a puppy we would be keeping ourselves. We have constructed a small list of some of the things we include before our pups go to their loving new home.
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. Vaccinations - Most people vaccinate their dogs. Vaccinations prevent disease and has been proven to protect dogs from catching potentially fatal diseases. In the times before we started to vaccinate our dogs, you would see puppies dying routinely from diseases like Parvovirus and Distemper. Just as vaccinations in the human population act to protect humans from contacting and spreading disease, vaccinating our pet dogs help maintain the health of the general dog population. We guarantee your pups vaccinations will be up-to-date.  
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  Regular Worming - Unfortunately most puppies are born with worms. Fortunately worm infestations are easy to control and treat as long as the condition does not progress too far. The type of worms that most commonly infests the young dog are roundworms and tapeworms (picked up from flea eggs) but hookworms may also be seen. You may actually see worms in your pet's faeces. We guarantee your pups worming regime will be up-to-date before the collection of your pup.  
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  Compulsory Microchipping - The New South Wales Government has introduced a Companion Animals Act, which makes microchipping an integral and mandatory part of the registration process for both dogs and cats. This was done for various reasons however the main reason is proper identification should your pup ever find itself lost and in a shelter. When you get your pup it will come with paperwork about the chip and the paperwork to register your chip.  
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  Dog Registration - A dog registration certificate simply tells you that a puppy is the offspring of a particular sire (father) and dam (mother) and the date on which the puppy was born. Registration in no way guarantees the quality of the puppy nor does it mean that the puppy is healthy and well-bred. If you're wondering how to get papers for your puppy it's fairly simple. When you buy a purebred puppy, the breeder MUST give you a registration application that must be completed with the puppy's registered name and signed by both you and the breeder. Insist on this!  
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Health Testing - Even a puppy from the most popular dog breed has the potential to develop hereditary health problems. To find the right puppy you should be aware of these ailments by researching the breeds you're interested in. While there's no test to detect every genetic disorder there are some conditions for which a good breeder will screen their puppies. If you pick a dog breed and know there's a test for a disorder to which the breed is susceptible, make sure the breeder has done the test. If they haven't or say they don't need to, go somewhere else. Don't let their numerous years in the breed cloud YOUR judgement on this one - normally if breeders refuse to test they have a reason to. We support and endorse health testing and certificates will be provided when you collect your pup.
 
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Food Glorious Food - One of the absolute basic supplies that you will need is food. This should be obvious but you would be surprised at how often this is overlooked. What we have decided, and to save the new puppy owner the hassle (and sometimes frustrating task of finding the exact puppy food that the pups are familiar with) is to provide them with at least 1 month supply of premium high quality puppy kibble. We are firm believers that a healthy balanced diet plays a pivotal role in puppy development.

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Updates - We know first hand the difficulties the waiting process can pose for the expecting "parents". Therefore we do our best to keep you informed on the progress of both the dam's pregnancy as well as the first 8 weeks of your puppy's life. Emails are sent out weekly (at least) from the day the pups are born. We are also always willing to answer emails and phone calls about the puppies progress.

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  Support - After you buy a puppy from it isn't the end of our role. We are just a phone call away (and available 24 hours a day) and are more then willing to help you as much as we can. As part of our extended family we will endeavour to answer all your enquiries (or be here just for a good old fashioned chat). We would appreciate any photos or stories and be updated occasionally on how your little guy / gal is doing. And yes - photos will be uploaded on our website!

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PUPPY QUESTIONNAIRE - BACK TO THE BASIC REMINDERS
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  • I understand that a puppy is a life time commitment.
  • I understand that a puppy must have all shots and see a Vet once a year for an annual examination.
  • I understand that a new puppy must be potty trained, and this can take up to a year if I don't do my part. I also know he will at sometime pee or potty on my floor because it takes time for him to learn to control his bladder.
  • I understand that I should not leave my dog in a car not even for a short time, because it could cost him his life.
  • I understand that a puppy may chew up my belongings if he is not watched, and does not have his own toys.
  • I understand that my new puppy has to be trained to behave in the way that I want him to, and that this will make all of us happier.
  • I understand that a new puppy WILL cry when he is put up for the night or sometimes just because he wants to, and I am ready for that.
  • I understand my puppy will need a lot of rest the first 10 to 20 days.
  • I understand that a puppy/dog needs love FROM ME! just like a child. And I have time and room in my life for this little guy/girl now and when he/she is old.
  • I understand that I must watch the food & water intake of my puppy to prevent any health distresses.
  • I will use common sense and have my puppy checked immediately, anytime he/she is not acting normal or unusually tired.

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PRE PUPPY PREPARATION
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Get everything ready for your puppy before you bring him home.

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You need to provide him with a suitable bed. An old box or basket raised off the floor away from drafts makes an adequate bed while your puppy is growing up. Don't spend too much at this stage on an expensive bed that he is likely to chew. The inside of the bed should be lined with an old blanket so that he can snuggle into something soft and warm.

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The bed should be somewhere that is relatively quiet so that he can sleep undisturbed whenever he is tired. Many people find that a quiet corner of the kitchen or family room is ideal. You may want to partition off an area around his bed for a few days to create a little "den" where he can feel secure and be out of harm's way.

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He should have his own food and water bowls. They should be of a design that allows him to eat and drink comfortably but without submerging his nose or ears. Have a supply of food ready for his arrival. Find out from the breeder what he is used to eating. It is best to maintain the same diet for a few days.

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All puppies like to chew. This is normal behaviour, and it helps with the teething process. Give your puppy some toys of his own to chew to deter him from selecting other contents of your home. Toys don't need to be elaborate, but make sure they are nontoxic, large enough that they cannot be swallowed, and relatively indestructible. Objects that are swallowed may become stuck in the throat, stomach or intestines and can be a serious threat to your puppy's life.
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Although you will not be able to take your new puppy for walks until he has completed his course of vaccinations, you will need a suitable collar and leash for him. The collar should be soft and well-fitting. For the first few days he need only wear it for short periods when you are there to supervise. It must not be too tight, since this is uncomfortable for the puppy, but neither should it be too loose, as it may catch on a protruding object. You may want to consider a collar with a quick-release feature. Check his collar daily and loosen it as his neck increases in size. Don't buy a choke chain for a young puppy. If used incorrectly, it could cause irreparable damage to his neck.

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You also need to buy a brush and comb - the type depends on the hair type of the breed. Ask the breeder to show you how to groom your puppy properly and to recommend some suitable grooming equipment.

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Finally, make sure that you have the name and address of your veterinarian. If you don't have a veterinarian, your breeder or friends will be able to recommend a local hospital or clinic.
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While he is small, keep out of reach everything in your home that might be dangerous to your puppy. He may tug or chew anything he finds, including plants and electrical cords.

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Check your yard to see that the fencing is secure and that there are no small holes through which your puppy could disappear. Make sure that your gate shuts securely and that your puppy won't be able to squeeze through or under it. Pools and ponds should be covered.

Courtesy Pedigree Website

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TOILET TRAINING

Toilet training your puppy to eliminate where you want it to go and not all over the house requires a few basic house rules from the beginning. ACCIDENTS can be expected and may still occur as the puppy is learning where to go.

 

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BE PREPARED for a few mishaps!

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Puppies have a strong urge to eliminate after sleeping, playing, feeding and drinking. This elimination usually occurs within 30 minutes of each activity. BE PREPARED! Most puppies need to eliminate every 3-4 hours, but with every month the puppy grows older its bladder control gets stronger.

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A few tasty treats offered when the puppy eliminates in the right place can encourage good behaviour. This then can be given intermittently and then stopped after the right place has been achieved.

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GO OUTSIDE WITH YOUR PUPPY, praise and a tasty treat can then be given on completion of elimination. Once back inside IT'S TOO LATE!
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The signs a puppy may show when needing the bathroom include ; circling, squatting, whimpering, sniffing the floor, sneaking off and heading for the door. The puppy must be taken outside immediately to perform elimination. If you're not quick enough, the puppy should still be taken outside to finish the act.

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If a puppy s punished for eliminating in the house the dog may then not 'go' in the presence of the owner. Puppies do not associate indoor elimination with punishment.
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THEY ASSOCIATE PUNISHMENT WITH THE PRECENCE OF THE OWNER.
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This in itself can cause behaviour problems such as a fear of the owner. If your puppy has managed to eliminate without you noticing there is no point in dragging the puppy to the spot or punishing the puppy in any way. IT'S TOO LATE!
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The puppy will not associate the behaviour with the punishment. By regularly taking the dog out through the SAME door to the SAME place the puppy will learn, THIS IS THE PLACE TO GO AND I GET A NICE TREAT FOR DOING IT HERE!
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Praise the puppy as it heads towards the door and again for eliminating in the right place.
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Courtesy Burns Pet Nutrition

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INTRODUCING PUPPY TO OTHER PET(S)
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Introduce The Newcomer To One Pet At A Time

You may already have a dog but then you come across that puppy – perhaps a homeless mutt or a purebred beauty - that you simply can't resist. If this happens to you, here are a few suggestions for introducing that irresistible new puppy into your household.
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Make Sure He's Healthy
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Before you take a new puppy home, take him to your veterinarian for a full physical examination. It's important that the newcomer doesn't have any diseases that might affect your other pets. Make sure he has been de-wormed and is up-to-date on his vaccinations before bringing him home. It's also important for your other pets to be healthy and be current on their vaccinations before introducing your new puppy to them.
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Introduce Him Gradually

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Introduce your new puppy to other members of the pet population s-l-o-w-l-y. If there is more than one other animal in your menagerie, introduce the newcomer to one pet at a time, so you don't overwhelm him. Let your new charge and the incumbent(s) sniff and inspect each other. They may growl and bark at first, but this may simply be a sign of insecurity.
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Try reassuring all of your pets that everything's fine. Make sure you don't neglect them as you try to make the new pet welcome. Don't use physical force to put the older animals in their place; this may make them wary of the new arrival. Never leave your new puppy unsupervised with any of your older pets until you're sure they all get along well.

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To cut down on sibling rivalry, let your older pets know they're still an important part of the family and that the new puppy isn't a replacement for them. Spend 10 to 15 minutes alone with each of pet, so that each one gets your undivided attention for a while, at least.

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Puppy-Proof Your Residence
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Your new dog may need to spend some time alone in the house or in a room of his own until all of your other pets have come to accept him. Puppies are very inquisitive and have an insatiable need for mouthing and chewing things. Make sure the pup has his own toys to play with so that he doesn't wind up chewing on electrical cords, etc.
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Be Patient

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Remember to spend lots of time with all your pets – and be patient. They will usually get used to each other – eventually.

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Editors note: If you have any reason to believe that your dog may be aggressive to the new family member, it may be best to conduct the initial introduction on neutral territory. This way, aspects of dominance and territoriality will be minimized or may even be negated. Also, introductions should probably be on leash just in case a fracas should develop.
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Courtesy Dr. Margret Casal and Dr. John Melniczek

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HOUSEHOLD TOXICITIES

You may have some or all of these products in your home and not even be aware they could cause problems for your family pet. Symptoms could be just a skin or eye irritation or a possible fatal reaction if taken internally. Usually if the product label has a warning on it, then it is probably in some way also toxic to your dog. The following will list household products, include possible symptoms if exposed and basic first aid. Always contact your vet IMMEDIATELY if you suspect your dog has come in contact with one of these products. As always this is only a guide and doesn't replace veterinary advice!

 

  • Acetone:  (Vomiting, diarrhea, depression, weak pulse, shock) Induce vomiting give baking soda in water orally.
  • Ammonia:  (Vomiting blood, abdominal pain, skin blisters and burns) Wash skin with water and vinegar, give diluted water and vinegar orally or 3 egg whites.
  • Antifreeze: (Vomiting, coma, kidney failure, death) Induce vomiting, administer 1 oz of vodka orally followed by water (can be repeated).
  • Bleach:  (Burns of skin and mouth, vomiting)  Induce vomiting, give 3 egg whites
  • Charcoal Lighter:  (Vomiting, breathing distress, shock, coma or seizures)  Induce vomiting, give laxatives
  • Chocolate (all varieties):  (Vomiting, diarrhea, depression, heart arrhythmia, muscle twitching, seizures, coma from high levels of caffeine and Theo bromine) Induce vomiting, give laxatives. Lethal does of 1/3 oz per pound. for dark chocolate, and 1 oz per pound for milk chocolate.
  • Deodorants:  (Vomiting)  Induce vomiting
  • Detergents/Soap:  (Vomiting)  Induce vomiting, give 3 egg whites or milk orally, watch breathing.
  • Furniture Polish:  (Vomiting, breathing distress, shock, coma or seizures)  Induce vomiting, give laxatives.
  • Gasoline:  (Skin irritation, weakness, dementia, dilated pupils, vomiting, twitching)  Induce vomiting, give vegetable oil orally to block absorption, get into fresh air.
  • Ibuprofen:  (Vomiting, stomach ulceration, kidney failure)  Induce vomiting, give laxatives, many need IV fluids
  • Kerosene/Fuel Oil:  (Vomiting, breathing distress, shock, coma or seizures) Induce vomiting, give laxatives, give vegetable oil orally to block absorption.
  • Lead:  (Vomiting, diarrhea, anemia, neurological symptoms, blindness, seizures, coma.) Induce vomiting, give laxatives, remove source of lead.
  • Lime:  (Skin irritant, burns) Wash skin with copious soap and water.
  • Organophosphate Insecticides:  (Excess drooling, weakness, seizures, vomiting, dilated pupils)  Wash off insecticide, administer atropine sulfate as the antidote
  • Paint Thinner:  (Vomiting, breathing distress, shock, coma or seizures.)  Induce vomiting, Give laxatives.
  • Phenol Cleaners:  (Nausea, vomiting, shock, liver or kidney failure) Wash off skin, induce vomiting, give 3 egg whites or milk orally.
  • Rat Poison:  (Excess bleeding, anemia, cyanosis) Induce vomiting, requires vitamin K injections
  • Rubbing Alcohol:  (Weakness, in coordination, blindness, coma, dilated pupils, vomiting and diarrhea) Induce vomiting, give baking soda in water to neutralize acidosis.
  • Strychnine:  (Dilated pupils, respiratory distress, rigid muscles, seizures and spasms with loud noises or stimulus, brown urine.)  Induce vomiting, keep dog in a dark quiet room until taking him to the veterinarian.
  • Turpentine:  (Vomiting, diarrhea, bloody urine, neurological disorientation, coma, breathing distress.)  Induce vomiting, give vegetable oil by mouth to block absorption, give laxatives.
  • Tylenol:  (Depression, fast heart rate, brown urine, anemia.)  Induce vomiting give 500 mg vitamin C per 25 pounds, followed by baking soda in water.
  • HOW TO INDUCE VOMITING: Give several teaspoons (for small and medium size dogs) or several tablespoons (for large and giant size dogs) of hydrogen peroxide orally. Repeat as needed to stimulate vomiting, another remedy 1 teaspoon (for small and medium dogs) or 1 table spoon (for large and giant dogs) of Ipecac syrup. Allow the dog to drink 1 cup of water as this will hasten the vomiting. Repeat as needed.
  • HOW TO GIVE A LAXATIVE: Laxatives are used to quickly expel the plant material from the intestines. Mineral oil is safe and effective. Give 1 teaspoon for small dogs under 25 lbs., 1 tablespoon to medium size dogs, 25 - 50 lbs. and 2 tablespoons to large or giant dogs, 50 - 100 lbs.

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PARVOVIRUS
.Canine Parvovirus ("Parvo" or "Parvo Virus") is a viral disease of dogs. It affects puppies much more frequently than it affects adult dogs. Puppy Parvo grows in rapidly dividing cells. The intestinal lining has the biggest concentration of rapidly dividing cells in a puppy's body.
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The Parvo virus in dogs attacks and kills these cells, causing diarrhea (often bloody), depression and suppression of white blood cells - which come from another group of rapidly dividing cells. In very young puppies dog parvo can infect the heart muscle and lead to "sudden" death.
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Canine Parvovirus Transmission
Canine parvovirus is carried by dogs. Adult dogs may be infected carriers without showing any clinical signs or symptoms of Parvo. Dogs with the typical diarrhea that parvovirus causes shed the virus as well. Parvovirus can last a long time in the environment, perhaps as long as 9 months or longer.
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Parvo Symptoms
Generally, it takes 7-10 days from the time of exposure for dogs and puppies to start showing symptoms and to test positive for parvo.
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Parvo Dog Disease
Parvo is highly contagious to unprotected dogs, and the Parvo virus can remain infectious in ground contaminated with fecal material for five months or more if conditions are favorable. Extremely hardy, most disinfectants cannot kill the virus, however chlorine bleach is the most effective and inexpensive agent that works, and is commonly used by veterinarians.
The ease with which infection with Parvo can occur in any unvaccinated dog must be stressed. The virus is extremely hardy in the environment and withstands wide temperature fluctuations and most cleaning agents. Parvo can be brought home to your dog on shoes, hands and even car tires. It can live for many months outside the animal. Any areas that are thought to be contaminated with parvo should be thoroughly washed with chlorine bleach diluted 1 ounce per quart of water.
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Puppy Parvo
Dogs and puppies can contract parvo even if they never leave their yards. Parvo virus, despite what you might hear, is NOT an airborne virus. It is excreted in the feces of infected dogs, and if someone -- human, dog, bird, etc. -- steps in (or otherwise comes in contact with) the excrement, the possibility for contamination is great. Some people speculate that birds invading a dog's food dish can deposit the parvovirus there. If you think you may have come in contact with parvovirus, a strong solution of bleach and water does kill the virus, so you can wash your shoes and clothes, even your hands with it, to reduce the risk of infecting your dog.
Parvovirus Symptoms
Parvo is a virus that attacks the lining of the digestive system. It causes dogs and puppies to be unable to absorb nutrients or liquids. Puppies are especially prone to Parvo because they have an immature immune system. When dogs and puppies contract parvo disease, they often have diarrhea, vomiting and lethargy. Usually they stop eating and develop a bloody, foul-smelling, liquid stool.
Symptoms usually begin with a high fever, lethargy, depression, and loss of appetite. Secondary symptoms appear as severe gastrointestinal distress, such as vomiting and bloody diarrhea. In many cases, dehydration, shock, and death may follow. This is a SERIOUS disease that demands immediate veterinary intervention and care.
Parvovirus is characterized by severe, bloody diarrhea and vomiting, high fever and lethargy. The puppy diarrhea is particularly foul smelling and is sometimes yellow in color. Parvo can also attack a dog's heart causing congestive heart failure. This complication can occur months or years after a seeming recovery from the intestinal form of the parvo disease. Puppies who survive parvo infection usually remain somewhat unhealthy and weak for life.
If you suspect your puppy or dog has Parvo, or has been exposed to it, contact your veterinarian immediately. A clinical evaluation and diagnosis by a qualified veterinary professional, including the standard CITE test for Parvo, will determine if your dog does indeed have Parvovirus and requires urgent veterinary intervention and care.

Courtesy http://www.parvo-virus.com/

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PUPPIES FIRST FEW DAYS
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Puppy training basics during the first week the puppy is home is critical. It is obvious that you need certain physical items such as a dog bed or crate, food and water bowls, puppy chow, collar, leash, toys, etc. Equally as important, all family members must decide and agree on routine, responsibility and rules.  

The first few days are extremely important. Enthusiasm and emotions are up. Everyone wants to feed the puppy, play with the puppy and hold the puppy. Pre-established rules are easily broken. Everyone agreed that puppy will sleep in her crate but as soon as she's home, someone melts and insists that puppy will sleep in bed. Everyone previously agreed not to let puppy jump up on them, but in the excitement, no one even notices that puppy is jumping up. No one sleeps the first night. Puppy wins and gets to sleep in bed.
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The next morning we find puppy has eliminated all over the bed. So the following night puppy is banned to her crate and screams all night. No one sleeps tonight either.
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Grouchiness sets in; enthusiasm is down. No one wants to get up at the pre-agreed upon early morning feeding time. How are we going to housetrain puppy? How are we going to sleep with her constant whining?
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Your new puppy has just been taken away from her mom and littermates. She is vulnerable and impressionable. What she needs now is security and routine. Set up a small room to be her very own special haven for the next couple of months. Paper the entire floor and put her food/water bowls and bed in one corner. Scatter her toys everywhere.
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Play with her quietly and gently. Don't flood her with attention and activity. If she looks like she wants to sleep, leave her alone. Puppies need lots of sleep.
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Decide who is responsible for feeding and cleaning up after her. Don't deviate from the schedule. Routine is especially important for your puppy. Don't spend all your time with her. If she is going to be alone during the day or night, she needs to start getting used to it now. If she wakes up from a nap and whines, resist the urge to run in and comfort her.
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Since puppies are so impressionable, it is important to begin explaining the rules right away. Don't give her special license to get away with anything just because she is a puppy. If you allow her to have her way about certain things now, she will only be confused later when you decide to change the rules. Puppies learn very quickly with proper instruction.
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Never hit your puppy or give harsh reprimands. They don't mean to misbehave - they are just doing whatever comes naturally. Instead, show your puppy what kind of behavior you want. Teach her to play with her toys. Make them fun and exciting. Let her know how happy you are and how good she is when she chews them.
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Then, when you see her chewing your furniture, firmly tell her, "Off!" and immediately show her one of her own toys. Encourage her to play with and chew on it. Praise her profusely when she does so. If you don't catch her in the act, anything you do will confuse her. The only way you can instruct your puppy is to be there. If you can't be there, don't allow her to have access to places where she can get into trouble.
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Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian immediately. Discuss your puppy's vaccination schedule and when she will be allowed outside. Puppies are susceptible to many canine diseases until they are fully vaccinated; so don't take your puppy outside until your veterinarian says it is OK.
Your puppy's emotional and mental health is just as important as her physical health. When your schedule your puppy's first veterinary visit, also schedule her into a puppy socialization class. She may not be able to attend yet, but reserve your place now so you don't miss out. Puppy socialization classes give your puppy an opportunity to meet a variety of people and dogs in a controlled situation.
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If your puppy is to be a well-adjusted adult dog, she needs to learn how to act properly around other dogs and people. Dogs that are not socialized frequently grow up to be aggressive and excessively fearful.

Courtesy http://perfectpaws.com/

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10 REASONS NOT TO BUT A PUPPY FROM A PET SHOP
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As Staffordshire Bull Terriers temperaments and overall appearance can vary greatly, it is important to only buy from registered breeders to increase your chances of purchasing a puppy that adheres to the positive characteristics of the breed. Make sure your puppy has all the required medical checks, and as your Stafford will be living with you for the next 10 - 15 years , take time to find a registered breeder who cares about selling you a good, well socialised healthy pup.
  • Health - That adorable puppy in the window of the pet store is hard to resist, but you may be paying a lot of money for a dog that you know very little about. Pet stores generally rely on impulse buys to sell their "product". There is a good chance that the pet store puppy will develop a health problem sometime in its life that may cost you a lot of money to remedy. When you buy a pet store puppy it is very unlikely that the puppy's parents were screened for genetic diseases that can be passed to their offspring. Every breed of dog has genetic problems that are passed from generation to generation by breeding dogs that carry the flawed gene. Many of these genetic problems can be detected with today's technology, but these tests are expensive. People who are concerned about the welfare and future of their breed will have these tests conducted to preserve and improve in the future quality of their breed. Most good breeders are more concerned about the health of the puppies that they are producing than the money that they will or won't make on the production of a litter.
 
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Typical kennels from commercial breeders. Many of these dogs are whelped, grow up and die in the same crates and are never taken out to be loved, groomed or played with.
  • The Myth About AKC* Papers - Most pet shops would like you to believe that if a puppy is registered by the American Kennel Club, this guarantees the puppy will be healthy and a good example of the breed. This is not so. The only thing that AKC papers certify is that the puppy is a purebred and produced out of AKC registered parents. Even this can be fiction, as some producers register more puppies than are actually born in each litter to receive extra registration slips to pass out with unregisterable puppies. The parents of your puppy may be unhealthy or carriers of crippling or deadly health defects which they may have passed to their offspring ie your puppy. They may also be horrible representations of the breed that you are buying. Often times the parentage of pet store puppies is also questionable due to poor record keeping. In other words, your puppy may not even be a purebred, even though it has AKC papers. Responsible breeders do register their puppies with the AKC, but that is only the beginning.
  • The Pet Shop Guarantee - Many pet stores provide a form of guarantee for people buying puppies from them, but their guarantees may be as bad as none at all. A not-so-uncommon scenario goes something like this: after your family has become attached to your adorable new puppy you find out it is sick. It will cost you several hundred dollars to treat, so you take the puppy back to the store to receive your guarantee. What they will most likely offer to do is trade you puppies- take away your beloved pet and replace it with a new puppy, not necessarily a healthier one, either. They will most likely euthanize the puppy you brought back, because this is cheaper for the store. The other tactic that some stores use is to tell you your puppy will grow out of the problem - until their guarantee has expired.Do you want to take this risk?
  • What Will That Puppy Look Like When It Is Full Grown? - You may have seen specimens of the breed that you are buying, but this does not guarantee that this puppy will fit the breed standard. You do not know if the parents fit the standard either and cannot see the faults that each parent has. There is no perfect dog, but a good breeder will be willing to discuss the faults and strengths that each of their dogs possesses. You should also be able to see at least the mother of the puppy that you are buying if bought from a responsible breeder. Even then you can not tell exactly what the puppy will look like, but you will have a much better idea of what to expect. Why spend so much money without even knowing what the puppy's parents look like?
  • What Do You Know About The Breed? - Employees of pet stores generally know very little about the dogs that are in the store. They can probably tell you a little bit about the breed and then point you to a rack of generic dog books. What do you do after you bring the puppy home, only to find that this breed is not the right one for you and your family? Good breeders are full of information about the breed of puppy that you are considering. They should be able to tell you the general temperament aspects of the breed and help you predict whether this breed of dog will fit into your lifestyle. They will also be able to warn you about specific health problems that the breed is prone to and will be able to tell you what aspects the breed excels in. There is no breed of dog perfect for every person and a good breeder is concerned that their puppy goes to a home that they will fit into.
  • Housebreaking And Training Problems - This puppy that you are buying from a pet store has most likely spent much of its life in a cage. Many pet store puppies have never seen carpet and may never have even seen grass or dirt. Due to the conditions that puppies are kept in at pet stores, they have been forced to eliminate in the same area that they sleep and eat. This goes against the dog's natural instinct, but your puppy has had no choice. This habit may make housebreaking your puppy much more difficult. A good breeder keeps the puppy area very clean and makes sure the puppy has a separate elimination area. By the time the puppies are ready to go to their new homes they will be well on the way to being house trained. Good breeders will often also start teaching their puppies how to walk on a leash and to lie quietly for grooming. A pet store puppy has most likely never walked on a leash or been brushed before. It can be much more difficult to teach a pet store puppy these daily exercises than a puppy that has been brought up properly. Responsible breeders also base their breeding decisions in part on their dogs' temperament and personality, not only on looks or the fact that they are purebred. Most pet store puppies' parents have not been selected for any reason other than they can produce puppies that sell as cute "purebreds" registered by the AKC.
  • How About Socialization? - Your pet store puppy may well have never been in a house before. If this is the case then everything will be new and scary for them. The doorbell, vacuum cleaner, and children playing are all new sensations that can be terrifying to an unsocialized puppy. Good breeders will expose their puppies to many situations so that the puppies are used to them by the time that they go to their new homes. Most responsible breeders have evaluated the temperament of each of their puppies before they are placed in a new home. A good breeder will know, due to hours of observation, which puppies are dominant and which are shy, which are energetic and which are easy going. Then the breeder will be able to match the puppy to the new owner and make sure that energetic pups go to active families and that shy puppies go to a home that can help them overcome their insecurity. This careful evaluation enables a breeder to choose which puppy will fit your household and much of the guesswork is taken out of the selection process. Good breeders can help you make an educated decision about all aspects of your puppy's feeding, training and overall maintenance and care based on your family situation. If you are going to spend so much money on a dog that you plan to keep for its lifetime, why not find one that will fit into your lifestyle well?
  • What Is A Pedigree Worth? - Some pet shops make a big deal out of their puppies' pedigrees. This is interesting, as the pedigree is really just a piece of paper with names on it. Unless you know the dogs behind those names the pedigree is really quite useless to the new owner. Can the pet store tell you what your puppies grand- parents died of, or how long they lived? Do any of the dogs in your pup's pedigree carry genetic diseases? Most pet store employees do not know any more about your puppy's background than you do. A reputable breeder can tell you all of this information about your pup's family tree and more. When you buy a puppy from a reputable breeder you are getting more than a piece of paper, you are getting the important information associated with the names too. Almost all responsible breeders will achieve titles on their dogs by showing them under unbiased judges. They will achieve championships on their dogs, which tells that the dog is a good representation of the breed. Some breeders also obtain obedience, or other titles that relate to the job that their breed of dog was originally bred to perform. Many also achieve canine good citizen titles on their breeding dogs. These titles will be shown on the dog's pedigree before and after the parents' names. Ask the breeder to explain what the letters mean.
  • Do You Want To Support Puppy Mills? - Almost all puppies that are in pet stores come from puppy mills. These operations are exactly what the name implies. Most mass produce puppies with money as the prime motive.  Their breeding dogs are often kept in very poor conditions and are sometimes malnourished. The dogs are almost never tested for genetic diseases and may not receive vaccinations. Puppy mills often obtain their breeding dogs from people in a hurry to get rid of their dogs for some reason, often through "free dog" ads in newspapers or public auctions. Occasionally they are stolen from their owners. Females are generally bred every heat cycle until they are worn out and then they are often sentenced to death. The horror of puppy mills is encouraged every time a puppy is bought from a puppy store. How do you know that your puppy comes from one of these places?  The main reason is that almost no responsible breeders will sell puppies to pet stores. Good breeders want to make sure that their puppies go to good homes and are well cared for. They want to be actively involved in screening the home that their puppies go to. Breeders are also concerned about keeping track of their puppies after they leave the breeder's home. They will know about any health problems that their lines may carry, and will be interested in any health problems that a puppy of their breeding develops. A pet store usually never hears about their puppies once they leave the store, and generally really don't care. Buying from a pet store does not mean that you will save any money in the purchase price of the puppy either. When you buy from a reputable breeder there is no middle man involved who wants to take his share of the profit out of the price of the puppy. Often the price that good breeders charge is no more, and sometimes less, than what you will pay buying a puppy from a pet store.
  • After The Puppy Goes Home - Once you take the puppy home from the pet store they do not generally care what happens to the puppy. Most pet shops do not care if the dog is left to run loose and kill livestock, or if it dies of liver disease at one year old. If you have a training problem they will often be unable or unwilling to give you training advice. Most do not care if you take your dog home and breed it continually. Responsible breeders are more than people who sell puppies, they will also be good friends to you and your puppy. They care what happens to their puppies' once they are sold. Almost all good breeders sell on spay/neuter contracts or limited registration. This practice enables breeders to keep dogs that are not breeding quality out of the breeding population and also monitor what happens to their puppies in their new homes. Some breeders sell show quality puppies on co-ownership, so that they retain a portion of the dog's ownership, for better control of what happens to their dog later in it's life. If you have a health or training problem  a good breeder will generally be able to offer you advice and help you through the ordeal. Most reputable breeder care about each of their puppies' futures and will be concerned about their welfare. They care not only about their own dogs, but also the impact their dogs will make on the breed as a whole.
So please next time you are looking for a new puppy to buy, do your research. One of the best steps toward becoming an educated puppy buyer and dog owner is to attending American Kennel Club sanctioned shows and carefully researching each breed that you are interested in. Once you decide what breed of dog you would like to add to your household, talk to many breeders. Good breeders can inform you about genetic diseases common in the breed you want and are generally happy to share their knowledge. When you are ready to buy a puppy from a particular planned litter ask the breeder for proof of genetic tests specific to the breed and request to see one or both of the parents of your new puppy. A common excuse for buying a puppy from a pet store is that you do not plan to show your puppy, you just want a companion.  
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Out of each litter that a reputable breeder produces there is a good chance that at least a portion of the puppies in each litter will not be show quality, but would make outstanding pets. Not every puppy that a breeder produces is destined for stardom in the show ring, but might well be the next shining star in your household. Please pass up the next puppy you see in the pet store and contact breed organizations. They will be able to match you with a responsible breeder that will help you add a well adjusted and healthy new canine member to your family. Other positive alternatives are adopting a dog from your local humane society or adopting a rescue dog from various rescue organizations located throughout the United States. Every breed of dog registered by the AKC has at least one rescue organization that will take in dogs of that breed and places them in new loving homes. There are endless numbers of dogs of all shapes, sizes, ages and personalities in need of a new loving home. When you obtain a dog from one of these organizations you are more than saving that dogs life. You are also sparing a female dog in some puppy mill from being condemned to produce yet another litter for pet shop sales. So please be rational and thoughtful when you go to get your next dog and help prevent irresponsible pet ownership. A pet store is generally the worst place to buy a puppy. As long as there is a market for pet store puppies, other dogs will be condemned to death by mass breeding only so that a few people can make some money, often with no thought of the welfare of their "product." This is not to say that a good pet has never come out of a pet store, as many have. For each that has, though, many others have not. Remember, when you buy a puppy, you are adding another member to your family, not just another piece of furniture that can be disposed of at the smallest whim. You would not have a child without careful research and planning for the child's future ten or fifteen years down the road. Your new dog should be no different. Adding a dog to the family is a long term commitment and responsibility that should be taken seriously and only acted upon after careful consideration and research.

Visit the Say No To Animals in Pet Shops Website, sign their petition and spread the news.

Graphics courtesy No Puppy Mills Canada

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DOG BREEDERS - THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY
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Dog Breeders - who are they and what do they do? This quick start guide explores the good as well as the bad, and what to look out for when searching for a good dog breeder.  

Good dog breeders are usually dedicated enthusiasts of a particular breed, their only aim in producing a litter being to improve and better their breed in terms of temperament, health and conformation. This is achieved by selecting only the best, most suitable male (stud dog) to mate with the most suitable female of that particular breed. However, it’s not as simple as it may sound and all breeders are not equal. Buying a pup from an unethical breeder can end in tears, so please read on to discover more about the often murky world of dog breeders.
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Dedication
You will find the best dog breeders have spent years upon years studying their chosen breed (normally after years of owning them!) learning about canine genetics, health and behaviour and, when they are confident they are up to the job, researching everything involved with dog breeding from mating and whelping to rearing litters to finding good homes and supporting the new owners should the need arise. Good dog breeders are normally themselves mentored by other good breeders who are often even more experienced and knowledgeable about the chosen breed.
Unethical Dog Breeders
Those who breed dogs purely for financial gain are frowned upon in the dog world, and not without good reason. Most of the time those trying to make a quick buck out of dog breeding are unethical breeders. Unethical breeders care little for the dogs they breed, and they don’t give a hoot about the problems that they ‘pass on’ to the unsuspecting buyer (which may only manifest themselves later in the dog’s life). Some unethical breeders are also referred to as puppy farmers and backyard breeders. Puppy farmer is normally the label given to those breeders whose sole purpose is to produce (farm) as many puppies as they possibly can without a care in the world for the health - present or future - of the pups or that of their studs and bitches. They rarely test their breeding stock for ailments and disease as recommended by the respective breed clubs – meaning pups may be born with certain diseases or have an increased predisposition to such diseases or other illnesses. If you buy from a puppy farmer, they win, you lose - they are happy with the money they make, but you cry the tears when your poorly-bred pup has to be put to sleep 6 months down the line because of a disease it contracted or was born with due to the puppy farmer not bothering to health test the parents. The best way to stop unethical breeders is to not buy from them – if they stop making money they’ll stop breeding and the chain of misery is broken.
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Backyard breeders is the label given to people who know little about dogs (let alone breeding!) and decide to mate their bitch with a convenient stud dog (probably also owned by another unethical dog breeder) in an effort to make a quick buck. They generally use a whole number of excuses to justify the breeding, but these are often just a mask to hide their underlying motive, money. However, what they don’t realize is that a number of complications can lead to them spending more money than they ever imagined or worse, their bitch could die.
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Ethical Dog Breeders
Anyway let’s get back to good dog breeders. Ethical breeders, as they are generally referred to, are the complete opposite of the unethical dog breeders we just talked about. Ethical breeders can invest thousands of dollars acquiring the best possible ‘stock’, sometimes even going to the expense of travelling abroad to view that stock on numerous occasions. They will also spend a great deal of money and time in owning, showing and learning as much as humanly possible about their chosen breed as well as studying all aspects of breeding and taking time off work to look after the litter when they are born. It’s not uncommon to find that the good, ethical dog breeders rarely make much money from breeding, because they generally invest all they have (and sometimes lots they don’t!) in the breeding and bettering of the breed they love.
How To Find A Good Dog Breeder?
So where do you find a good dog breeder? First you should research your chosen breed as much as possible, and pay particular attention to anything which is specific to your breed – especially which illnesses it may be prone to and what health tests are recommended by the breed’s breed club. Having a good background knowledge about your breed will make it easier for you to tell which breeders are devoted experts and which ones are not. Ask lots of questions of any breeder you contact, and don’t be afraid to try to catch them out about health tests etc – the good breeders really won’t mind such questions, in fact they will appreciate the fact that you have gone to the trouble to learn about the breed you are considering bringing into your life.
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Take a look at breeder guidelines set out by dog clubs and societies such as the Kennel Club, and Breeders Charters which sites like Dogsey ask any breeders wishing to list with them to adhere to. You could always print them out and ask the breeder the questions over the phone.
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Most good dog breeders have a waiting list so be prepared to wait for a pup. Consequently you rarely find these dog breeders ‘advertising’ puppies for sale either in free-ad type papers or other printed publications – generally it is sufficient for them to get ‘listed’ as a breeder with their respective breed club and on an all breeds website that has set out a strong and clear code of ethics that those breeders wishing to list their details must agree to adhere to.
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Unfortunately there is little legislation to protect you when buying from unethical breeders, so you really do need to spend that extra bit of time before going out and buying a pup – it may help ensure your dog is healthier and happier in the long run, and could save you a lot of money and heartache too.

Courtesy dogsey.com

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RESPONSIBLE PET OWNERSHIP
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Responsible Pet Ownership means being the best owner/caregiver to your dog that you can be. Much more than "food, water, and shelter", Responsible Dog Ownership is the obligation dog owners have to incorporate their dogs into the community, being a good neighbour, and providing for the needs of their dogs, however varied those needs may be.
  • Take care of your companion animals because they cannot take care of themselves.

  • Spay and neuter your companion animals. It will keep them from creating unwanted babies plus sterilized pets are healthier, live longer and behave better.

  • Treat pets like family members. Let them live indoors. Keep a dog in a puppy-proofed, warm, safe room in the house if he is not yet trained.

  • Always keep an ID tag on your pet.
  • Stay with your animal when she or he is outdoors. Make sure your pets have water and shelter when they're out in the yard.
  • Don't keep dogs outside when you're not home, because they can escape, get hurt or disturb your neighbours. Don't chain up a pet; that is cruel and leads to aggressive behavior. Never be rough or teach dogs to be aggressive. Keep animals away from antifreeze - it's poison. And don't leave pets in a parked car, because they can die from the heat.

  • Keep a leash on your dog when you're not in a fenced area. You'll avoid bites and fights. And clean up after your dog - it's easy.

  • Train your pets so that they will be good in the house - and good with people. Children rely on teachers, and so do pets! Read books about training and talk to experts. After overpopulation, the second biggest reason pets wind up in shelters is that people don't take the time to train them. One study showed that 96% of people who gave up dogs had no obedience training.

  • Exercise your pets every day; they need to work off their energy just like kids. Get safe toys for them. And spend time with them!

  • Keep your furry family members healthy. Have them vaccinated against disease. Go to the vet every year - preventing illness costs less than treating it! Plus illness can cause behavioral problems.
  • Watch your furry companions - if they seem scared or angry, take them to a quiet place. Dogs don't know how to cry, so a frightened dog's instinct is to bite. Never leave a young child alone with a dog.

  • Feed your pets good, healthy food. Always make sure they have clean water to drink.

  • Keep your companion animals for life. 

 Courtesy www.paw-rescue.org

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