sassenach logo
dog reflection


What type of play should I expect from a puppy?

Stimulating play is important, especially during the first few days.  Stalking and pouncing are important play behaviours and there is nothing more rewarding that a good game of hide and seek with your dog.  It also helps develop proper muscle development.  The best toys are lightwieght and movable.  Make sure they are large enough that the puppy can't swallow them.

Can I discipline a puppy?

Hand clapping and using shaker bottles can be intimidating enough to deter a puppy from a wrongful action.  However, harsh punishment should be avoided. Remote punishment is the preferred method, using something that is not connected to you such as a spray bottle or throwing a light object to startle (but not to hit) and making loud noises. Puppy then associates the undesirable act with the punishment rather than you.

How often should I feed my puppy?

I recommend feeding a puppy at scheduled times thoughout the day.  A measured amount should be offerred the puppy three to four times per day from arrival at home. Refer to the puppy manual that was sent home with your puppy. Leave the food down for 30 minutes after that take the dish up, if puppy has cleaned up in less than a couple of minutes it probably needs a little more than you are giving it.  Puppies will generally cut out a meal themselves as they get older, watch which meal the puppy is leaving and then cut out that meal.  Eventually as an adult they will be eating one or two meals a day.

Toenails - How often should I trim them?

Since birth Sassenach puppies have had their toenails trimmed once per week.  At first I just use a finger nail clipper and take the tips off the end, be careful not to take off to much and cut the quick. With puppy's black nails it is much easier to take off just a small amount. Make sure your clippers are sharp. Another method is to grind the nail using a small dremel.

Crate Training

Crate training is not cruel or unfair.  It's a safe place to leave puppy when you can't supervise them.  You must make sure that puppy has had excercise, and the opportunity to use the bathroom before being confined to a crate.  The crate provides a place of security and comfort for the puppy where it can relax, it also makes a good "time out" place. Make sure the crate is placed in an area where the family spends time rather than being isolated in the laundry or furnace room.   Dogs that are used to using a crate are more likely to feel secure when traveling and far less stressed.