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  • Writer's pictureVanessa O'Carroll

Puppy Tails-Preparing for my puppy

The first thing I considered was where I was going to make her den area. I wanted an area where I could separate her from my other dogs, an easily cleaned floor and quick access to the garden. In the end I decided on the far corner of the kitchen which would give her a little privacy without her being cut off from the family.

I put up a pen and within the pen put a small crate. I fastened the crate door open so I could work on getting her to love the crate before closing the door. The pen gives a safe space where the puppy can rest when they are not being watched.

Inside the pen was a water bowl fixed to the side. The crate itself had a piece of vetbed, a heartbeat sheep(!), and would also hold her scent teddy from the breeder.

For the crate I decided not to use one of my many wire crates, but instead opted for a plastic airline carrier which is less awkward to carry and more den-like having a lid.

I don't put any paper or puppy pads down because I prefer to train puppies to toilet outside from the start, and I knew that the breeder had already started this process. Consider how you would feel if you were suddenly told that you had to stop using your indoor bathroom and needed to go out into the drizzle to use the garden! Habits are hard to break, so the sooner your puppy gets into the habit of toileting outside the easier it will be to toilet train them. This does mean that your will need to watch them very closely when they are away for a couple of weeks

I also booked my puppy into training classes (yes even trainers take their puppies and dogs to training classes!). In fact I actually booked a place soon after the puppies were born because I wanted to be sure I could go to my favourite trainer!

I registered my new puppy with my vet and booked her in for her first vaccination 3 days after I was due to collect her

Make sure that the breeder is giving you a decent amount of food to get you started, you really don't want to change this suddenly, as they can get an upset stomach.

The Big Day

Pick up day checklist:

1. Sort the payment (make sure your breeder is happy with the method)

(You don't want to be in the embarrassing position I found myself in 15 years ago when I offered the breeder a cheque and was asked if I could please go to a cash point!)

2. Bag for the car, containing: a couple of old towels, a roll of kitchen paper, poo bags, baby wipes, a couple of plastic bags for soiled towels, bottle of water and bowl for drinking, I also did put in a puppy pad in case we got held up and I needed to get her to pee. The intention was to lay the puppy pad out in the boot of the car so she didn't touch possibly contaminated ground

When we picked her up we also got some paperwork and her insurance cover for the next 4 weeks.

We took a few photos of her with her littermates and then hit the road back home. I had family with me so it was easy for them to hold her on their laps in the back of the car and after a little bit of squeaking, she quickly fell asleep for the two hour drive. I had put a travel box in the car just in case she was very wriggly, but it wasn't needed.

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