Experiences during the first year of a dog’s life can make all the difference to their future temperament and character. Taking the time to socialise your puppy can result in a friendly, well-adjusted adult dog who enjoys the company of people, can be taken anywhere and lives life to the full!
A puppy who lacks experience with the world will find many things that we take for granted scary and is very likely to grow up to be a worried dog. A frightened and anxious dog is more likely to develop behaviour problems than a dog who has had a rich, varied and positive puppyhood.
Puppy parties, often arranged by your local vet surgery, are a great start. This may include a quick health check that reinforces the idea that a visit to the vet needn’t be an unpleasant experience.
This should be done in stages – too much, too soon can cause long lasting anxiety issues. Try to expose them one stage at a time. A handy list is worth keeping to hand, so you can see what he has copedwith e.g. traffic noise etc. before moving on to something else such as a children’s playground.
The younger your puppy, the easier it will be to socialise them. This is because, as puppies get older, they become more cautious when faced with new experiences. The early weeks are particularly important because most puppies will approach anything or anybody willingly and without fear.
By the time your puppy reaches about 12 weeks of age, anything not yet encountered is likely to be approached with caution.
Therefore it is vital that, between three and 12 weeks of age, a puppy meets a wide variety of people, situations and other animals.
How much socialisation is done at this early age will often determine how confident your puppy is around people, other dogs and new environments later in life.
Puppies usually go to new homes from the age of about six to eight weeks. This is a perfect time to introduce your new puppy to the world as they will be particularly receptive to new experiences. It’s important to build on and continue this as your puppy gets older as if socialisation stops, they may become worried or fearful. Continue to make a real effort, especially in the first year and you should be rewarded with a friendly and steady dog that can be taken anywhere!
Bath time can be fun as long as you are prepared to get wet alongside your pet. Keeping your puppy clean with regular brushing and the occasional wash is an important part of the bonding process, as well as a necessary hygiene measure.
Don’t leave it too long, the sooner it starts the more readily he will accept it.
Puppies that have been raised by an attentive mother enjoy being stroked and massaged. As well as being a pleasant way to spend some time, it gives you the chance to feel for any lumps and bumps, as well looking for sores that might lurk beneath his coat.
The frequency and thoroughness of the process depends in large part by the length and type of coat you are dealing with. Some require more care than others, but whatever length and thickness of coat, a quick daily brush is a useful habit to get into. While there are owners who are happy to trim stray hairs and even attempt cutting, professional groomers are on hand for more tricky tasks. Costs vary, so shop around.
A combined bristle and pin brush will deal with most short-haired varieties. While a wire slicker brush is best suited to removing dead hairs from dense short coats. Mitts are handy for an all over rub, while a good comb should untangle most long coats, avoiding unnecessary haircuts. The occasional use of a specialist flea comb will pick out any unwanted insects.
Nail clipping is probably best left to the experts. Your local vet practice or groomer will have the right equipment to make sure the job is done in complete safety.
A good bath is unavoidable if your dog becomes particularly dirty, or has a condition such as flea infestation or flaky skin. Wherever you chose to bath him, remember that once wet, your dog will naturally shake vigorously to remove excess water. You can always try to beat him to it by having a towel handy, but chances are that you and anyone else in the room are likely to get wet too.
With puppies in particular, make sure the water is tepid and support his body with one hand so he feels safe throughout.
Use a specialist dog shampoo designed to clean the hair and skin while leaving natural oils intact. Apart for exceptional circumstances, bathing with soaps should be restricted to a couple of times a year. More frequent than that and you could be stripping away his natural waterproof and leaving unduly dry skin behind. When washing, avoid eyes, ears and mouth and make sure you rinse thoroughly, removing all traces of shampoo or soap. If using a hair dryer to finish off, check the setting is cool.
When you bring a new puppy home, there’s nothing you want to do more than shower her with affection.
This is quite wordy, so get your focus glasses on!
But the little ball of energy is more vulnerable to illness than vaccinated dogs with mature immune systems. As a new dog owner or a pet sitter, you may not yet know the signs that you have a sick puppy on your hands. However, there are about seven common puppy illnesses to look out for, including: intestinal parasites, Parvovirus, Coccidia, Canine Distemper, Heartworm Disease, Kennel Cough and Hypoglycemia.
Many puppies get intestinal parasites, such as roundworms or hookworms, early in life. Symptoms include loose stool and an upset stomach. The vet can offer an oral drug to paralyse the worms and enable your puppy to pass them in his poop.
The virus is highly contagious and can be caught from direct or indirect contact with contaminated feces. Look for bloody diarrhea, vomiting and a loss of appetite. If you notice those symptoms, offer comfort care and get antibiotics to prevent secondary infections.
This parasite, which is usually found in standing water, can infest your puppy’s gastrointestinal tract and the cells inside. Symptoms include diarrhea, blood in the stool or dehydration. The vet can offer a drug to kill the parasite. Looking to avoid this illness altogether? Keep your puppy’s water and environment sanitary and squeaky clean.
If a pesky mosquito bites a dog with heartworm several houses down, it can pass the worm on to your pet if the bug then bites your dog. It takes up to six or seven months before your puppy shows signs of illness. Heartworms can cause heart failure and lung disease and are potentially deadly.
Your dog will have a persistent dry, honking cough. See your veterinarian for an antibiotic, offer supportive care (no stress or junk food for your little guy!) and keep your sick dog away from his puppy friends until he’s better. A vaccination is available.
Small dogs can end up with low blood sugar if they don’t eat enough. If your dog has hypoglycemia, she may show signs of lethargy and possibly have seizures. When caring for your suffering dog, offer a proper diet and possibly diabetes medication provided by a vet.
As you can see in the photo above, Douglas is a very beautiful looking Dog. His owners really do spoil him! He gets groomed once every 6 weeks, having the full spa treatment!
His long hair often gets knotted so he has to be regularly brushed to remove them from his long flowing fur. If you haven’t got the perfect dog brush for your own Old English you can purchase yours Here!
He also has a full body wash including a full shampoo treatment to keep his coat clean from bacteria!
Douglas is very affectionate. He loves cuddles with his Dad, especially on the sofa! be careful though, he gets jealous when you pet other dogs and not him!
His favourite place to snuggle up and rest is in his dad’s bed, or on the floor next to it. He is a very caring and protective dog, always making sure his owners are safe!You can also find him comfortable on the Sofa, if you do happen to leave the sofa, be quick as Douglas be up on it within seconds!
He has fairly large exercise requirements, going on hourly walks each day with his parents. Alongside the walks, he loves to play games. So, what is Douglas’ favourite toy?
He has taken to a squeaky ferret. It’s very long and fluffy so he carries it around with him everywhere he goes! If you’re lucky enough to grab hold of it, throw it and he’ll race after it at the speed of sound.
This is Douglas’ best friend. It’s a miniature Schnauzer! His name is Buster. There he is above standing next to Douglas.
When Doug was a puppy, he used to fall over his own head!! his head was too big for his own body so he ended up doing front flips whenever he got super excited ! (bless)
He also got into Trouble when he ate a whole Toblerone!! including the packaging from under the Christmas tree! (I’m lifting my presents up this year).
If you have loved Douglas a much as we have then you can follow his own Instagram Page. He has pretty of amazing stories from his walks and you can catch him stealing spaces on the sofa!