And so it begins…
Taking your puppy home is stressful for both of you. We aim to alleviate some of that anxiety and answer some of the common questions we receive about those first few months. I am sure we don’t have a complete list of tips and tricks that fits every situation but we are always learning as well! Our goal is for the partnership between you and your dog to be successful.
Here is a quick checklist of things that may happen with your puppy. They are not unusual:
Eat cat food (it is like crack to them)
Bark at unfamiliar other animals
Hide in a dark, low place
Cry for the first couple nights
Have accidents (if you take them in the house)
Get car sick
Bark during the night
Chase another animal if not properly introduced and supervised
Bite/Nip (especially when teething)
Poop out worm fragments (we worm them a few days before they go home so sometimes dead worms are visible. This is a good thing!
Please remember that this breed:
Are very independent thinkers
Should be spayed/neutered between 18 months - 2 years if possible
Should not be shaved (If for some reason they have a big mat, then just brush or cut that small chunk out. Ex. mat behind the ear)
Puppy will be large but will still think like a puppy!
They are not fully grown until 2-3 years old
Can go through growing spurts that cause them to limp as they are growing tall very quickly
The First Few Days
You have just rocked this puppy’s world. Imagine that you are taking a toddler and putting it on the subway alone. That would freak that kid out! Well, that is similar to how the puppy feels in the beginning. Everything that the puppy knows as comfortable including other dogs, livestock, people, landscape, den, scents, etc, are gone. There are new people, dogs, livestock, beds, fences, noises, smells, etc, and the puppy will adjust but some do it quicker than others. Patience and consistency are the keys to getting through this transition.
Livestock Guardian Dog
Contain the pup either in a dog run or other safe fenced area. The puppy does not yet know that this is its new home so you have to make sure it doesn’t find a way out. This is also for the safety of the puppy and the livestock. Some livestock and very nervous around canines and need time to adjust to the puppy just like the puppy needs time to adjust to the new livestock. Separating them when unsupervised keeps everyone safe but does allow for some interaction all while they can smell and hear each other.
Give the puppy a meaty bone or antler to distract and keep him busy when he is feeling anxious.
Give the puppy the towel we sent some that has Mom’s scent on it. This helps relieve some of the anxiety as well.
Give pup plenty of exercise before crating or locking in the kennel for the night. This way puppy is exhausted and will sleep better.
Depending on your situation, allow puppy to sleep in an area where it can see and smell the livestock or other LGD.
If you do not want your puppy to be in your home area, do not let it go there. If you keep the puppy in the house for a few nights or on a long zip line in your yard, chances are when you decide to put the puppy in the pasture, it will not want to stay there all the time and that’s when you start running into some issues like digging and climbing fences. The general rule is that the dog is going to want to be wherever you let its feet touch. If you don’t want the puppy to walk out on the road, then never take it for a walk on the road. When you want to leave the house with the puppy just say to go to the vet, put the puppy in a crate, in a vehicle and drive your puppy off of the property.
Train your puppy to be comfortable in a crate as soon as possible.