Image by Gabriela Torzsa

TAKE HOME INFORMATION

Congratulations on taking home a new member of your family! Here is the information you'll need to know about your new loved one and how to take care of them.

 

Puppy Pads and Paper Training

If we all lived in an ideal situation, pups would learn to hold it indoors and only eliminate at specific spots outdoors. But some cases may require a bit of creative  thought that's why I teach puppies how to use them. There are situations such as a person who has a job that makes it impossible to get home several times a day, or for a tiny dog living where the winters are brutal. Puppy pads give a dog the option of relieving herself in an approved spot at home.. I have used them successfully for years

 

POTTY TRAINING

Intro

Before your puppy has left my home we have been working on potty training. I keep a tight schedule (Schedule listed below) with my babies and I have found over the years it is the best way to train your puppy.  When they go potty they either get a treat or if they are too young they get praises and kisses. Both rewards puppies love, treats are not always the only way to reward a puppy or dog.  If Teaching your new puppy to potty at the right time and place is one of the most important first steps you can take for a long, happy life together. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that you do some research in advance, decide what will work best for your own situation, and make a plan. PLEASE REMEMBER IT TAKE TIME AND PATIENCE, IT TAKES THE BLADDER AND BOWELS TIME TO FULLY STRENGTHEN AND DEVELOP.

 

Make a Schedule

This is vital to house training success. Puppies have tiny bladders, and water just runs right through them. The same holds true for solid matter. Goes in. Goes out. You have to make sure you are giving your puppy ample opportunity to do the right thing.

A good guide is that dogs can control their bladders for the number of hours corresponding to their age in months up to about nine months to a year. (Remember, though, that 10 to 12 hours is a long time for anyone to hold it!) A 6-month-old pup can reasonably be expected to hold it for about 6 hours. Never forget that all puppies are individuals and the timing will differ for each.

Monitor daily events and your puppy’s individual habits when setting up a schedule. With very young puppies, you should expect to take the puppy out:

  • First thing in the morning

  • Last thing at night

  • After playing

  • After spending time in a crate

  • Upon waking up from a nap

  • After chewing a toy or bone

  • After eating

  • After drinking

This could have you running for the piddle pad, backyard, or street a dozen times or more in a 24-hour period. If you work, make some kind of arrangement (bringing your pup to the office, hiring a dog walker) to keep that schedule. The quicker you convey the idea that there is an approved place to potty and places that are off limits, the quicker you’ll be able to put this messy chapter behind you.

 

Observation and Supervision

You have to watch your puppy carefully to learn her individual signals and rhythms. Some puppies may be able to hold it longer than others. Some will have to go out every time they play or get excited. Some will stop in the middle of a play session, pee, and play on. As with human babies, canine potty habits are highly idiosyncratic. Puppies often start sniffing the ground and walking in circles looking for the perfect spot to go. Some will go and hid behind something , so it is important to keep your eye on them and learn their pattern of behavior. 

 

Praise

Scolding a puppy for soiling your rug, especially after the fact, isn’t going to do anything except make her think you’re a nut. Likewise, some old methods of punishment, like rubbing a dog’s nose in her poop, are so bizarre that it’s hard to imagine how they came to be and if they ever worked for anyone. On the other hand, praising a puppy for doing the right thing works best for everything you will do in your life together. Make her think that she is a little canine Einstein every time she performs this simple, natural act. Be effusive in your praise—cheer, clap, throw cookies. Let her know that no other accomplishment, ever—not going to the moon, not splitting the atom, not inventing coffee—has been as important as this pee..
If your dog has an accident, don’t make a fuss, just clean up the mess. A cleaner that also kills odors will remove the scent so the dog will not use it in the future. Blot up liquid on the carpet before cleaning the rug.
If you catch the dog starting to squat to urinate or defecate, pick her up and immediately rush outside. If she does the job outdoors, give her praise and attention. Remember that when it comes to housetraining, prevention is the key.

 

CRATE TRAINING

How and Why to Crate Train

Left to their own devices, young puppies can get in a lot of trouble, from soiling the carpet to chewing your favorite pair of shoes. That’s why it’s important to start training early and keep a close eye on them, especially when they’re still learning what’s expected of them. One way is to crate train.
For thousands of years, dogs in the wild have sought out small “dens,” where they can feel safe and sheltered while resting, caring for puppies, or recovering from an injury or illness. Giving your puppy his own personal bedroom can help him feel more secure.
This method is also extremely effective for house training while you’re not keeping a hawk eye on them—dogs won’t want to soil their bed, but will have little issue with sneaking into another room of the house to go if they’re not yet fully trained.
Finally, crate training can help prevent anxiety. For puppies, overseeing a big house when no one is with them can be overwhelming. When they feel like they have a smaller place they need to “protect,” it’s much more manageable. CRATES ARE NOT MEANT TO  "STORE" YOUR PUPPY IN FOR HOURS! I only use them for short periods of time.

 

Choosing The Best Dog Crate

So now that we’ve sold you on crate training, here’s how to get started:
Choose a well-ventilated crate that is large enough for your puppy to stand up, lie down, and turn around. Remember that your puppy’s crate will have to grow as he does, so purchase a crate that is appropriate for your dog’s expected full-grown size, and use a divider to make the crate smaller for the time being. Many crates available at pet-supply stores include dividers.
Why size matters: A crate that’s too small will be uncomfortable for your dog, but a crate that’s too large may give your dog the space he needs to have an accident without it ruining his bedding. This behavior might encourage future accidents in the crate and around the home.

 

How To Teach Your Puppy To Like The Crate

The most important part of crate training is making sure your puppy always associates it with a positive experience.
Start by lining it with blankets and place a few toys inside to make it cozy. You can also cover it with a lightweight blanket to mimic a “den” environment. Make sure it is still ventilated and not too hot if you do this.
Bring your puppy to the crate for naps and quiet-time breaks so that he can “unwind” from family chaos. Start in increments of 10 minutes and work up to longer periods. Offer treats when he goes inside, and distraction toys, like a stuffed KONG. For years, this author has been giving her Yorkie a treat every day as soon as he goes into his crate and sits. Now as an adult dog, he runs to his crate each morning in anticipation of the goodie.
Every time you take the puppy out of the crate, take him for a walk so he can eliminate. He’ll get used to the idea that potty time comes after crate time. Remember to praise him after he goes to the bathroom outside.
It’s also helpful to keep puppies in the crate overnight. They may cry the first night or two—in most cases, they are simply adjusting to home without their mom and littermates. Most puppies should be able to sleep through the night without a potty break by 4 months of age, but if you’re in doubt, take him outside.

 

FEEDING

Your puppy is growing fast right now however, it is normal, in the beginning for your puppy to not eat well as he/she adjusts to their new home. It is a bit trial and error in the beginning as the puppy adjusts to their new home. Drinking is especially important, so I encourage giving them goats milk (NOT cow’s milk) for a bit of nutrition value as well as water. Powder goats’ milk (see photo page 6) or liquid which is available in the dairy section of your grocery store. I put about 1/4 of the canned puppy food, if they gobble it up that is great. However, if they do not eat much try offering it to them in about an hour or so. If it is conducive to leave it down for them to come back to that is also good. Throughout the day I would offer a little more food to see if they will eat. Do not worry about over feeding right now as they do not overeat this young and they are continually active, once they have adjusted to their new home you can set their eating schedule for what works best for you. If you are wanting to change your puppy food to another brand, simply slowly merge to the new food by adding a little of the new food and decreasing the old food until you are only giving your puppy all the new food. It should be done slowly over a few days. If you puppy gets diarrhea just give him a little powered or raw pumpkin.

 

TUMMY ACHES

Raw pumpkin is good for tummy problems. I give my puppies a half tablespoon or so of canned pumpkin like you make pumpkin pie with or powdered pumpkin (see page 6, available on Amazon) if they have soft stools. You can do it once or twice a day until they feel better.

 

CLEANING

Unless your baby gets into something stinky your puppy does not need a bath. If you must give them a bath, try not to get water in their ears.

For normal cleaning use a warm soft cloth and soap for sensitive skin, wipe out the wrinkles on their face, wipe off their mouth and chin and pat dry. If the wrinkles seem to be getting crusty or raw, I use antifungal wipes available on Amazon (see picture of products below on page 6) To clean tear stains I use tear wipes (see picture of products below) When cleaning wrinkles make sure they are dry as possible after you are finished cleaning them. Puppy acne is completely normal. Just keep it clean and if it is persistent, I use cleaning pads (see picture of products below) they help a lot. If your dog’s nose or paws get dry you can apply bag balm, nose butter or a nice moisturizing balm, there are several moisturizers available. I like wiping my dog’s paws down with paw wipes to nourish the pads (see picture of products below on page 6) If you have a dog who is licking their paws a lot it could be several things. Allergies, or they have walked in something that is irritating their skin.  Put enough warm water in the bottom of the bathtub and put a good amount of Epson Salts in the water and dissolve it well. Put peanut butter on clean sides of the tub, this will give your baby something to distract them as they soak their paws, soak for 10 minutes, remove from tub and dry paws well. Do this a couple of times a day. If this does not relieve your babies’ paws after a couple treatments, I would recommend you check in with your Veterinarian.

Tail Pocket

Make sure that you keep your dog’s tail pocket (under the base of the tail) clean, You can use a baby wipe or a warm wash cloth. Some tails cover the anus more tightly than others so to prevent infection make sure that area is kept clean. lean their tail pocket (under their tail) and anus then rinse and dry them well.


Ears

You can clean their ears with soft Qtip. If the ears have a lot of black icky gunk day after day and you cannot keep the ear(s) clean and or your dog keeps shaking their head it is possible your dog have ear mites or a yeast infection, you will need to call your Veterinarian and get a prescription.

French Bulldog have great ears! From time to time when your dog is still a puppy your puppy’s ears might start to flop over. This can happen if your puppy is teething or has experienced something traumatic or something is or has upset them. In order to perk those ears up simple feed them some goats milk, cottage cheese or plain yogurt. 


Teeth

Talk to you Veterinarian about cleaning their teeth and what to do in between their teeth cleaning. When they cut teeth, their eyes might water more, and their ears might flop down a bit as well, but they will perk up again. I always wipe their chins and face after they eat to help prevent puppy ache. Puppy ache is normal, and it helps to as clean. Trim nails often.

 

SUMMERTIME HEAT

During warm times take extra special care to protect them from heat stroke as they have a hard time cooling off. If your dog is overheating make sure you get them out of the heat, give cool water and place cool towels on your baby. They need to rest until they are fully recovered. Make sure he is getting enough oxygen; you can do this by looking at their gums. If the gums are pink, they are doing good. If they are pasty white they need to go to the Vet. Immediately!

 

NO SWIMMING

Because of the build of the French Bulldog, squat build and heavy head, they cannot swim well and if they end up in water they will drown. If you take your puppy on a boat please use a life jacket.

 

FOODS TO AVOID

Although there are many foods dogs and human have in common, there are also many foods dogs cannot eat that humans can. Here is a list of foods to avoid completely:

  • Grapes, Raisins and Wine

  • Onions, Chives and Garlic

  • Chocolate

  • Caffeinated Items

  • Macadamia Nuts

  • Xylitol (most often found in chewing gum and candy)

  • Alcohol and Yeast Dough

  • Fruit Pits and Seeds

  • Rotten or Moldy Foods

Certain foods, while not considered toxic, can still be unhealthy for your dog:

  • Foods that are high in fat, sugar, or sodium (can contribute to indigestion, obesity, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and more)

  • Dairy products (difficult to digest)

  • Corncobs (cause GI obstruction)

  • Cooked bones (may splinter and break easily, risking GI damage.)

  • Too much junk food (can lead to poor health and decreased energy, just like for people)

  • Tomatoes and certain other plants and stems

 

CPR

We recommend all new owners learn CPR as outlined here.

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Image by Karsten Winegeart