Today, on Christmas Eve 2011, the last of this year's Christmas puppies have gone to their new homes. It was bittersweet, because we had gotten so attached to them as we had kept them a few extra weeks while waiting for Christmas. The first puppy was a complete surprise to the little girl shown here holding her puppy, who she immediately named Chloe. Her parents had led her to believe they were coming to a friend's house to look at a four wheeler for sale. Then she found out that a puppy was about to be put in her arms; one of her very own that she had been asking for the past two years.
Christmas puppies are a wonderful treat for the whole family. But we must also be very realistic about the responsibility that comes along with it. Both these lucky dogs were well planned for in advance. They've been reserved here at Dogwood Dachshunds (shameless plug) for weeks, in anticipation of Christmas. And all arrangements have been made for their arrival at home. It is much more difficult for those who make a spur of the moment decision to run out and find a puppy for Christmas, especially if you have never had a puppy or dog before and really don't realize what all is required for a successful addition to the family.
One family just couldn't wait until Christmas to take their puppy home, and he is shown here, a beautiful black/tan fellow named Bandit. He is visiting Santa Claus for the first time. Wonder what he's telling Santa he wants?
1. Try to feed the puppy the same food he was eating at the Breeder's home, and if you want to change, gradually transition to the new food by mixing the original food and the new food by about half/half for at least a week. His stomach doesn't need any additional shock to go along with the stress of moving away from all his siblings and familiar surroundings. It is not unusual for him to experience loose stools the first day or two at a new home, simply from stress.
2. Confine your new puppy to small areas of the home, and introduce him to new areas/rooms slowly. It's all new to him, and you must keep him where you can watch him constantly for his safety as well as the constant necessity of potty training. When you're not actively watching or playing with puppy, I would suggest he be placed in his crate with a soft blanket. He's still a baby, and will need to nap often, anyway. Crates are a very good tool, and appreciated by dogs as they are "den animals"; they feel safe in their den.
I hope if you got a new puppy for Christmas, maybe you saw something here that may help you. If you have questions you'd like to ask, please do, and I will answer as soon as I can. And if I don't know the answer, I'll find it for you!
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HAPPY TAILS, EVERYONE!