Home - Helpful Suggestions
Puppy Items
For the new owner

Crate - If your pup is being shipped, the crate is yours to keep. You can always buy or use a larger one if you have it. I start crate training all my pups at 5 weeks old.

Collars and Leashes -

Food and water bowls -

Toys! Tug toys, balls, squeaky toys, items that the pup chew, such as Pig Skin Twists. Toys to keep them busy, like a Kong stuffed with good tasting items, or an Everlasting Treat Ball, etc.

A good place to get toys for cheap is a Salvation Army, Good Will or other "Thrift shop." Of course, there are always yard sales too! Make sure you remove the eye buttons from any kids toys you buy. (Choking danger.) Stay away from beanie babies. If they rip them open, they might eat the insides or just make a mess!

Dremel and/or Nail clippers, I will use a dremel on the pups before they leave here.

Heartworm prevention. I recommend starting your pup on Interceptor as soon as possible. If your pup has been given a pill already, it will be listed on your shot record with the date given. Frontline or Advantix. If your pup has had one of these flea/tick prevention products applied already, it will be listed on your shot record with the date given.

Shipping via airplane:

Humans tend to be afraid of flying and so they think the pup will be, but in fact, the lull of the engines puts the pup right to sleep. Just like a baby in a car seat.

I ship pups all year round with American Airlines, Delta and Continental Airlines. Continental Airlines has a pet safe program for shipping in hot or cold temps. At 7 weeks old, if you are having your pup shipped to you, I will make all the flight arrangements. If you would like to check possible flights your pup will be on, go to www.aacargo.com and click on "Schedules" (Top right) Then go to: Priority Parcel Service Flight Schedules. Origin City: Fayetteville, AR (XNA) to Destination City (Your nearest airport) and click "SEARCH" This will bring up the flight schedule. You can also track your pup after it leaves here using the Air Way Bill number that I give you when the pup leaves the airport. If there are days you can't pick up your pup at the airport, please let me know. Normally they arrive in the early to mid afternoon. In the winter I may ship a few hours later when it's warmer, in the summer, earlier because it's cooler. I have shipped pups for 17 years now and there have only been a handful of problems. Most of the problems have been weather related and all were solvable.

Before you go the airport to pick up your pup, call them and ask for directions to where you will pick up live animals. Sometimes it is in a separate building (Cargo) from the regular airport. Other places you will possibly pick up your pup are at the ticket counter or the baggage claim area. That is why it's important to call them a few days before your pup is to fly to you!

TAKE to the airport, a leash, water and a bowl. Also, you will need a pocket knife or small scissors for the zip ties on the kennel door! Wet ones or a damp towel may be needed, (just in case). If you know you are going to an airport without any natural grass for the pup to potty, then take newspapers. Your pup will have to potty when it arrives, so DO NOT let it out of the crate inside the airport! Take it outside to some grass if you can find it. The long leash is useful for a pup that doesn't want to potty right at your feet. Make sure the collar is tight enough so that it can't slip over the pup's head. If there is no grass, go to your car and set the papers down in front of your pup. Make sure the pup is on a leash!

When the pup follows you, you can give it a piece of the food. When you see that the pup is running to you as soon as you step away, add the cue Come just before you walk away, then treat as soon as the pup catches you! This will help create a bond with your pup fast! Some people have the mistaken idea that they shouldn't do any training with the pup for a few days. Your pup arrives already to Come, and to walk on a leash. Donít feed too much or you may have a sick pup on the way home.

Picking up your puppy in person:

If you live close enough to drive here to pick up your pup, we welcome you to visit and see your pup's parents and other ancestors. If you live very far away, I don't recommend driving to pick up your pup. When flying your pup to you, it's in the crate maybe 7 hours tops. If you drive 10 or 20 hours to pick up your pup, it will end up spending way to much time in a crate on the way back to your home and it's more stressful on the pup in that situation. Unless you plan on stopping a lot and holding the puppy for trip. You could fly into XNA (Fayetteville, AR) airport, rent a car and drive out to our farm (35 minutes away) and then take your pup back with you IN CABIN in a Sherpa bag. (Soft sided crate) You must make arrangements with the airport and pay an extra fee of usually under $100 for the pup traveling with you. Most airlines only allow one or two animals in cabin, so it's important to reserve your pup's spot early. If you want to fly in and not come out for a visit, (perhaps you have already been here) I can drive to the airport with your pup and meet your plane so you don't have to rent a car.

Benefits to crating:
1. Providing a place of safety and security for the dog.
2. Prevention of costly damage (due to chewing and eliminating).
3. Help with the training of proper chewing and eliminating.
4. An improved relationship with the owner and the dog (fewer problems means less discipline and less frustration for both the dog and the owner).
5. Aids in preparing the dog for travel or boarding.
6. Prepares the dog for “forced bed rest” in case of illness or injury.

Who should be crated?
1. Suitable for puppies, adolescents and adult dogs (adult dogs with cases of separation anxiety should not be crated without seeking professional help from a behaviorist).
2. Puppies or dogs that are not housebroken.
3. Puppies or dogs that are destructive when left home alone and cannot safely be left outdoors.

House Training
    If you follow this basic program carefully, your puppy should be obeying the house rules in a short period of time with minimum wear and tear on all concerned. Naturally it is easier to train the pup to use the out-of-doors in warm weather, though nothing is to be gained in the winter by teaching it to use paper inside if your ultimate goal is outdoor elimination. You will only have to start all over and it is possible your pup will not be reliably housebroken. The only equipment needed is a crate, obtainable from Halbert's, Wal-Mart or a catalog (this should be in a size your adult dog will be able to use) and a collar and leash, obtainable from Halbert's, the Canine College, Wal-Mart, or a catalog. This should be in a size appropriate to the current size of your pup.
    A word about crates, they are a blessing to you and your dog, they are not cruel. Yes, they can be misused, but there are many instances where a crate would have saved an awful amount of damage to the home and a lot of heartache when the dog has to be "gotten rid of" because it was simply being a dog. There are several styles but basically two kinds, plastic and wire. Some dogs prefer one to the other, though they don't always feel strongly about it. Get whichever you can afford or like best. The plastic can get too hot even indoors so is not appropriate for bracheocephalic dogs.
    You should begin housetraining as soon as the pup moves in with you at a minimum of seven weeks of age. A pup any younger should not be away from its littermates and mother. Remember that very young pups have little control over their bodily functions——when ya gotta go, ya gotta go!!
    STEP ONE: Scheduling—the "trick" of successful housebreaking is to make a schedule and STICK TO IT. As you adapt the following schedule to your routine, keep in mind that a young puppy should not be expected to last more than six to eight hours at night without a potty break or for more than three or four hours any other time. Individuals vary, your pup may require even more frequent outings than suggested. Remain flexible until you discover what his needs are. You may find that your pup gets along well on three feedings a day instead of the four outlined in the plan. Adjust according to your schedule of work etc. You can easily eliminate a meal without affecting the exercise-confinement routine. In fact, somewhere around twelve weeks or so you will be down to two meals a day for many puppies.
    Stick to your schedule even on the weekends. This means no more sleeping in on Saturday and Sunday. At least get up and potty the pup, reward him and put him back in his crate until you get up for real! Otherwise you will be teaching him bad crate habits. If you want to play with your pup or show him off between scheduled outings, take him out to potty first, then walk him again every 20 minutes or so until he is returned to his crate.
    To help the pup understand the purpose of the outside time, walk him on his collar and leash to the same area each time. NEVER just put him outside, ALWAYS WALK HIM ON COLLAR AND LEASH, PRAISE LAVISHLY AND COME IN IMMEDIATELY!!!! Always go out the same door.
    Find and use a “potty” word. I use “hurry-up” because when it's cold and rainy, that's exactly what I want the little monster to do. He will shortly know what is meant and as an adult will do his best to oblige, a blessing when traveling. Bear in mind that young puppies have very distractible minds, keep the kids and other pets inside until your mission is accomplished. Otherwise, Baby will forget he has to go until he is back inside and on the carpet. Bet this has already happened at least once. It is not deliberate malice on puppy's part. This was YOUR mistake. Potty time is separate from walk time. By all means go for walks, the more the better. For potty training purposes, they MUST be separate events if you expect your pup to catch on in this lifetime. Reward the puppy for using it outside with a "cookie" and lavish praise. Reward the puppy for going into its crate ("kennel up") also with a cookie. Leave some safe toys in the crate, do not leave food in the crate. Be sure water is available to the puppy every time he comes out of the crate. You may or may not wish to leave water in the crate. Some puppies play in it and total their bedding.
    STEP TWO: Correction and praise—there will be accidents from time to time. They will usually be your fault. If you catch him in the act, scold him and take him outside to the potty place. If you discover the accident after the fact, just clean it up and resolve to monitor the puppy more closely. A lot of verbal praise is called for when the pup does well and treats are always welcome. Your puppy will respond to the treats and praise much more quickly than he will to scolding. Always remember, he is just a baby and doesn't know the rules yet.
    STEP THREE: Working toward the run of the house...As the pup catches on, he'll relieve himself efficiently outdoors and stay dry while in his crate and during playtime. He will start indicating that he needs to go out. This can be, and often is, very subtle!! He may stop what he is doing, get a funny expression on his face and start toward the door (this is why you always use the same door, he cannot possibly remember several ways out in time) and then squat and go. You must watch him carefully and help him be successful when he indicates. Pick him up and carry him outside quickly and praise him to the skies.
    After a few accident free weeks, try leaving him alone in the kitchen outside his crate, starting with a few minutes at a time and after puppy-proofing the room. Of course, barricade the entrance so he STAYS in the kitchen! If his good behavior continues, gradually increase his out of the crate time, both when you are in and out of the room. Always praise the pup when you return and find the room the way you left it. This doesn't mean you go off the store for a couple of hours and expect him to have behaved the whole period of time! You would surely not go off and leave a two year old human baby to his own devices. Crate him when you leave the house, being sure to have pottied him before you do so. If you are going to be totally distracted such as cooking dinner or taking a shower (or on the phone!), CRATE HIM!! A private client had her seven month old puppy do over $500 worth of damage while she took a quick shower. Remember, prevention is better than scolding your baby after the fact, he has NO concept of what set you off and you will be damaging his faith in you.
    If your pup slips up, return to a tight schedule for a few days. You will be gradually working toward complete freedom of the house. Or as complete as you wish, you may wish to have some areas off limits. For a few months you will need to keep doors closed or install some baby gates. Remember, praise, reward, and prevention will have a much better effect than punishment. Continue to accompany your pet on the potty breaks for several months to ensure that he has done what he was sent to do. If for some reason, such as distractions (leaves blowing, butterflies, birds, squirrels, etc.), he doesn't do the job, back to the crate for a short period, and then try again. You must be extremely watchful during this training period. After a period of a week or two or three (depending on your puppy's aptitude and your consistency) he may walk to the door, stand there for a moment and then unload. He tried to tell you, you just didn't notice or weren't fast enough. Again, this is why you use the same door, he won't have time to try and figure out which exit to use.
    It only feels like this training period will last forever, the results will last a lifetime and are well worth the trouble and nuisance. One more thing- do NOT feed free choice!! You will have no hope of establishing a routine for elimination. Also, if pup has trouble staying dry overnight, do not feed or water after 6 PM (or as close to it as your personal schedule allows). Remember not to play so hard that puppy will badly need water. If you do, water lightly, no tanking up.
    Well, you've read all this and it doesn't help since you are at work all day! OK...plan B. Much of what you’ve just read is still applicable to your situation. After all, you are home SOME of the time! When you are not, if you have a safe place outdoors for your puppy, that would make it a lot easier, making sure he has ample protection from the elements and an un-dump-able source of water. If this is not the case, dedicate a room as the puppy room. Tile floors are a must. This generally means the kitchen, bathroom or utility room. Those few souls with uncluttered garages can use them. Confine your puppy to a relatively small area of the room, covering the floor with papers. As he gets a little older, you can make his area larger and shrink the area covered in papers. Setting a portion of his play area aside, with cement blocks for instance, as a potty place will help him keep neat. If you can come home at lunch or have a trusted friend that can come by to potty him outside you will find he is more likely to try to hold it until he is allowed out. As he matures, hopefully he will be trying very hard to stay neat and clean. Do not let his area be so large that he can pretend it's ok to potty in there.
    If you have a very small dog that will not be able to go outdoors when the weather is inclement, you might want to consider paper training or training him to use a large cat box with papers. There is a product made for indoor use that is very absorbent. Check the pet stores or dog stuff catalogs. The training process is the same minus the outdoors and the collar and leash. Though you may want to keep a light line on your toy dog so you will be able to collect him to take him to the potty pen! They are reaaalllly fast!

    A lot of opinions have been written about acquiring a dog or puppy. Many by so called “experts” and some are simply old wives tales. I don’t believe there are any absolute rules that haven’t been proven wrong. Dogs are as different as night and day, just as people are. How can anyone make absolute statements that will cover all puppies, all dogs, and all the people who will own them? Kind of silly actually.
    First let me address the “leftover puppy”. This is the puppy that is not sold by eight weeks. Or the one in the litter that isn’t spoken for. I can’t tell you how many times a caller has asked with a suspicious tone, “is it the leftover puppy?” That is often followed by, “I will wait or look around”. So let’s look at why one or two puppies would be left unsold? A litter of mostly boys when the demand at the time is for girls (or vice versa) will leave a guy or two waiting for a new home. I have often had deposits on several puppies with some people specifying a color and sex. A rush of callers looking for reds when the litter is mostly blues and blacks can leave a breeder with a puppy or two unsold. But somehow the suspicion remains regarding the “leftover puppy”. People seem so sure that they missed the “best one”. Having observed people’s reasons and methods for choosing puppies over the years, they don’t have much to worry about. The last puppy has just as much chance of being that “dynamic working dog” and that “companion of a lifetime” as the first one chosen.
    This discussion is about working or companion dogs of course and not conformation show dogs. Since conformation puppies are at least partially purchased based on their structure and cosmetic appearance, an educated guess can be made on whether or not a puppy will mature into a show quality dog. The first puppies taken may be the “best prospects” since some of the traits important to his purpose are visible to the eye. Less visible are traits like working instinct and trainability There are times when a breeder has held back what they considered the “pick puppy” and then decide to sell it at a later date. This delayed decision to sell is not necessarily because the dog is no longer good quality. Many breeders would rather end up raising and caring for their favorite pup if they are going to keep one to an older age. It isn’t uncommon to hold back a pup to train, but if the right home comes along it is available.
    What about the theory that you must take your new puppy home at 7 or 8 weeks. Will the entire personality will be formed before you enter it’s life? And the older puppy will never bond to you. How ridiculous! If it were true I suppose all dog breeders should euthanize all puppies that are not sold by the age of 8 weeks because they are doomed to failure. That, of course, makes about as much sense as the original theory.
    Puppies have successfully gone to new homes at 7 weeks, 10 weeks, 16 weeks and later. Older puppies will conform to their new home, take training and turn into outstanding dogs if the genetic potential was there in the first place. An older puppy may take a few weeks to adjust to a new home while an 8 week old pup is less aware of his surroundings, but what are a few weeks to the total of a dog’s life? Puppies, of course, do not all mature at exactly the same pace. Absolute statements about puppies make about as much sense as absolute statements about children. Some folks feel it is terribly important to get that cute fuzzy little puppy because he is, of course, so cute. The three month old puppy is probably gangly, not fuzzy any more, and sure not as cute. On the other hand three or four month old puppies don’t need as much constant supervision, are less delicate, and are getting to an age where they are more naturally housebroken. That little puppy requires a lot of attention and before you know it, he isn’t cute and fuzzy any more either!

Special thanks to:
Terry Martin, Slash V Australian Shepherds



HELP my puppy has hiccups!

This will be the shortest article at this website, but it is a question that I get asked at least once a day. "Help, my puppy has hiccups, is this normal?"

Yes, this is very normal and they happen frequently from 6 weeks - 20 months of age, sometimes later. This happens because your large or giant breed puppy is growing very fast and he is having muscle spasms, that's all. Relax, they will out grow it in time (and can happen to smaller breeds as well).

But, it is important that they are on a food that will allow them to grow slow and even to avoid growth problems such as HOD, OCD or Pano.

I have provided you with Feed Programs for Giant, Large, Med-Small and Toy breeds, at this website.s