Where is he used to sleeping?
Our babies are born with lots of hands on assistance. They stay under controlled temperature and environment until they are about 5 weeks of age and just introduced outside in short spurts beginning at 4 weeks (weather permitting) to get used to the sunshine, sounds and smells of the grass and atmosphere. They are used to sleeping together on soft, clean, fuzzy blankets piled up on each other. There are 2 ways to simulate this depending on your preference of the habits that you want to instill in your puppy for the long term:
1) One method is for if you plan for your puppy to sleep with you in your bed:
Start with a small soft-sided pet carrier with a soft blanket inside. After the last potty period for the evening, place you new baby in the carrier on the bed with you where he can see you. This way, you are alerted in the night if the baby rustles because he has to go potty. Get up and place him where you want him to learn to go (pee-pad or lawn.) He will usually settle right back down for the rest of the night until morning and you won’t wake up to any bad surprises in bed.
2) If you want to train your puppy for his own bed/ carrier: Set up a puppy corral near your bed where your puppy can see you. Place his carrier, complete with soft blanket, on one end with door tied open. Place pee-pad on the other end. Puppies naturally sleep in a den type of enclosure where they feel safe and go to the end furthest from their bedding to eliminate. This establishes his carrier as his “safe place” as well as beginning his pee-pad training within his corral.
What has been his schedule up to now?
Our day begins usually at around 7:00 when the young babies are fed a mash of soaked kibble. (By the time you get him/her, they will not need soaked kibble but will be weaned onto and used to completely dry kibble.) The dry kibble is left out all the time for snacking and then dinner is at 5:00. For dinner they get their canned food or fresh meat and their daily vitamins. Fresh water is also left out at all times.
It’s important to know that your new puppy easily adapts to your schedule and is egger to please. Gradually change their feeding, sleeping and play times to yours with patience.
Is he house trained or paper trained at all?
They start out in a whelping box and at 3 weeks they naturally begin to try to move off of the bedding blanket to eliminate. We encourage this by placing the blanket on one side of the large corral area and the pee-pad on the other. By the time they are 4-5 weeks old, they all go to the same area to eliminate. It’s not totally house trained but it’s a start. There are good you-tube videos on house training weather you choose to train to pee-pads or to your lawn. If it’s to the lawn, crate training is a great tool…just please don’t ever leave your puppy enclosed in a crate for too long!!
What is his favorite toy?
At this point they have been given many stuffed animals and soft squeaky toys to play with. Anything new and moving is an attention getter. Moving is the best! A stuffed animal with a leash or string around it’s neck can be great interaction for you and your puppy as he chases the moving animal. It sparks his predator drive and is cute to watch. Even plastic empty water bottles excite a new puppy as they pounce on them and hear the crackling noise. Soft rubber treat balls are also a favorite, especially for fetching and packing treats like soft chews or knotted small ropes.
Remember, they are at their teething stage so Greenies, rope toys and safe chewing toys are always appreciated. (Please don’t feed rawhide from China. There have been many deaths from contaminated chews on the newsfeeds.) Soft frozen beef is also a great way to give your puppy something to chew while soothing his gums during the teething process. Please feed this only while supervised to avoid choking!!
Dr. Becker has a great article on bones for your dog. If you can’t find it on her website, ask me and I will email it to you.
Has he had all his shots to be around other dogs and people?
Our puppies have been vaccinated at 6 weeks with Vanguard Plus 5 way. This 5-Way vaccine is recommended for puppies at six, nine and twelve weeks old. It protects against Canine Distemper, Adenovirus type 1 (hepatitis), Adenovirus type 2 (respiratory disease), Para influenza and Parvovirus. (The additional vaccination schedule is printed at the top of your medical sheet that comes in your puppy kit for you to take to your vet.)
Your puppy has only has one of three in the initial set recommended for puppies to build their immunity. Therefore, you should be cautious about other people touching your baby, taking him to public places or any exposure to other people and dogs before he has the full 3 vaccines in his system. Many of these viruses are airborne and transmit easily among puppies. This is why we do not allow visitors around our babies while unprotected. You should extend that caution until your baby is12 weeks old and fully vaccinated to be on the safe side.
What about worms and other parasites?
Babies are wormed at 2, 4, 6 weeks and again before they leave for their new home. Fecals are done by our vet to determine that they are clear of any parasites (worms, coccidia). The buyer should take their puppy again to the vet for a fecal and address any residual parasite that may exist. Worming a puppy is no big deal if caught early and followed through. Be aware that dogs can pick up worms from the ground so worms in puppies is not uncommon and a worming regimen should be part of the maintenance of your dog. Worming every 3 months is commonly recommended.
What about flea treatment?
Your baby has been too young to administer flea treatment up to this point but at 8 weeks you can begin a topical like Advantage or whatever your vet recommends. We have no flea/tick issue because we give our dogs Bravecto but you can’t give that until the puppy is 6 month of age.
Have you given him a name? Does he respond to it?
Only if you give us the name ahead of time! Otherwise we color code them until we learn their new name from you. At this age, they adapt easily to their long term name; their reaction to come relies more on the inflection in your voice when calling your puppy. They respond very favorably to higher pitched, excited, happy tones.
How early do you feel male dogs should be neutered?
That’s more of a question for your vet, but studies show (per Dr. Becker’s newsletter) that spay/neutering too soon can lead to poor health (Cancers) in the long run and too late can make housetraining difficult especially in males. The general rule is neutering at 6 months and spaying at 8 months, but your vet can best answer that. Remember to send a copy of the reciept to recieve your AKC registration paperwork.
Can we come to visit to meet the puppies and parents before the time to pick up?
We cannot allow visits to the property for several reasons, including:
Transmition of air-borne diseases like Parvovirus, Distemper and other bio-hazard diseases that are too easily transferred to puppies who are yet too young to have vaccinations to protect them. In fact, this is such a hazard that when one partners with companies like PuppySpot, they have included in their contracts that visitors not be allowed on the premises. (They guarantee our babies for 10 years against genetic deficiencies and we guarantee for 1 year.) It would only take one breech of this precaution to totally wipe out our entire population and we simply cannot take that chance. We care about your future puppies’ health and you should, too. (Just so you know… We are inspected annually by AKC, USDA and other institutions of which we are affiliated and are 100% compliant. We are NOT a puppy mill but we are also not open to the public.) We take ample pictures and videos (weekly) of each puppy and keep in constant communication with customers to aid in the choosing process, and then we meet at a convenient location for pickup.
What is the average size of your adult dogs? Are males larger than females? What about temperaments of the two?
Our males are 16-18 pounds and females are 15-17 pounds. Both genders are equally loving and affectionate when raised with plenty of affection. Males should be neutered by 8 months of age to avoid fights or dominate behavior to other house dogs. Westies are extremely intelligent and can be easily trained. There are some great videos on YouTube.com (Enter “Westie puppy training” on the search bar.)
What kind of shampoo do you recommend?
We use Fresh & Clean on the body (we recommend doing the body first to keep the puppy calm). Then we use only Johnson’s No More Tears Baby on the head so that it is safe for the eyes in the event that you get it in their eyes. We save the head for last and try and hurry so the puppy will not HATE baths. (You can buy Fresh & Clean from REVIVALANIMAL.com or Amazon.com)
What are some additional items to keep on hand?
We use Colloidal Silver (Amazon) for the occasional booboo/ scratches. It works wonders.
Coconut oil is a great supplement for your dogs overall health and especially the coat and joints. Just a half of a teaspoon daily on food or from hand is a healthy treat.