So – we just returned from a fabulous time on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. We rented a rustic cottage right on the ocean with a hot tub, bald eagles, hawks, seals, shells, starfish and more! It was delightful.
It was also a challenge with our 6 month old puppy Ava. She was so worked up by the sounds of the waves crashing, wind blowing in the cedar tree’s, starfish, ocean water etc that she was almost impossible to handle. Although we had a delightful time it really did bring up some concerns for us with Ava (who is a Golden Doodle) who was very nippy with the kids and jumpy.
I have done some poking around in Pet Place.com and found the following info helpful as a starting point for me – hope it helps you as well!
Rani & Ava
At about 5 to 6 months, if you have more than one pup, you may find that play becomes more aggressive and exhibits some nipping, growling, and other general displays of dominance. Many males, and some females, will begin humping each other at this stage as they rehearse for their adult roles. Such behavior is acceptable as long as it is not directed towards you.
Puppies can be taught to sit, lie down, wait, stay, leave it, and other such useful commands that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Once these behaviors have been learned they should be reinforced periodically throughout life. This is the usual time for formal puppy training classes outside the home. Such classes are extremely helpful as long as they are conducted in a non-confrontational way.
The following list will help you know what to expect from your puppy has he develops.
Most 6-month-old puppies are approximately 75 % of their adult body weight. Most puppies will gain or grow each week until they attain their adult size which occurs between 9 and 16 months of age. However, there is a range of maturity between the different breeds. Small dogs mature faster and reach their adult size and body weight faster than large and giant breeds of dog.
Teething – By 6 months, the permanent canines erupt. Permanent premolars erupt at 4 to 6 months and the molars erupt at 5 to 7 months of age. Most breeds will show all their permanent teeth between the ages of 6 to 7 months of age. Although dogs this age have all their adult teeth and are not actively “teething”, chewing may peak at this stage. Make sure they have safe and approved chew toys. This is a great age to be on a regular tooth brushing schedule as these are the teeth they will have for the rest of their life so it is important to care for them properly.
- Senses – By 6 months of age, most dogs have a very keen sense of hearing, vision, taste and smell. At this age, dogs are learning to differentiate one dog (and human) smell from another.
- Ability to Hold Urine – 6-month-old puppies can generally hold their urine for about 7 hours. This means you will need to take them out at least every 7 hours if you expect them to not have an accident. They should be able to sleep through the night without having to go out.
- Intelligence – 6-month-old puppies are on beginning of their adolescence. They are smart, curious, strong, willful, and very playful. They also may take more risks by eating things that younger puppies may not. It is important to ensure that your puppy does not have exposure to trash cans, dirty clothes, and other objects he may want to eat.
- Agility – Most puppies that are 6 months old are becoming very strong and coordinated. They can generally romp, play, fetch, jump, and run with very good accuracy. This is a time they have lots of energy and some of the fetch type toys can be a good release.
- Sleep – Puppies that are 6 months old sleep approximately 16 to 18 hours per day.
- Puberty – Be aware that by the time most puppies are 6 to 8 months of age, puberty has set in and unplanned pregnancies are possible, so be ready to take precautions or consider spaying or neutering as soon as possible.
- Physical Appearance & Hair Coat- Your puppy will begin some changes from a puppy to an adult haircoat. Most puppies begin to shed some of their puppy coat. Get your dog used to being brushed as the shedding will get worse as they full loose their puppy coat. Your puppy will appear much more like an adult at this stage, starting to grow in height and length and fill out with developing muscle.
Tips on Best Ways to Raise Your 6-month-old Old Puppy
- Consider that crate training is for life
- Take him out at least every 7 hours
- Make sure he gets plenty of exercise!
- Brush and comb daily
- Brush teeth daily
- Feed twice a day
- Switch out safe chew toys
- Don’t let your puppy chew on anything he can swallow
- If he is at risk for heartworm disease, make sure he is on preventative!
- Get your puppy spayed or neutered
- Give positive reinforcement for work well done
These wheat free spring bones are a really easy dog treat to make – with only three ingredients. My puppy Ava loves these cookies, and it’s even better when it’s spring! Which is right around the corner.
Enjoy making these healthy and tasty treats for your pup!
Rani and Ava
This is also a wheat-free recipe! Using rice flour means that even dogs allergic to wheat can enjoy it. If your dog isn’t allergic to wheat then you can use all-purpose/plain flour instead of rice flour.
I hope your dog enjoys this simple tasty treat.
I use these cookies for clicker training and agility. They hold together well – and Ava will do anything for one! I make some small sized ones that are good to take on walks. They don’t break up in your pocket and make a big mess!
- 1+1/2 cups white rice flour.
- 1+1/4 cups grated cheddar cheese.
- 100 grams (3 1/2 ounces) margarine (or butter)
- Milk – you may need a little to help form the dough.
How to make these dog treats:
Turn oven on at 180/325 degrees.
- Let the grated cheese stand until it’s room temperature .
- Using a fork, cream the cheese and margarine together.
- Add rice flour
- Add some milk if needed and knead until it forms a ball.
- Chill for half an hour.
- Roll out on floured surface until about 1/2 inch thick.
- Use your knife or cookie cutter to make shapes.
- Place on a non-stick baking tray and put into the oven for 15 minutes.
- Leave to cool.
Ava, our sweet yet slightly diabolical puppy, is a funny eater. Go figure! Our old lab was an eater – anything, anytime and anywhere. Ava on the other hand is kinda picky, fussy and sensitive. She even went on a hunger strike for a week or so which had us and the vet very worried as she became really boney.
She finally decided to start eating now and we cant tear her away from her food.
But the hard part for us was what on earth do we feed her that is healthy, how much do we feed her and how often. One vet said twice a day and another said three. The breeder said three. Ava in the beginning was saying one – only at dinner! It was hard and of course concerning.
We have finally had success getting her on a regular routine and habit and quantity and she is doing great. No more bones just growing like a very cute, yet as I said, diabolical puppy.
I hope the following article from Pet Education.com will be a great guide for those of you starting out or are contemplating this rewarding journey.
Rani & Ava
Puppy-hood is a time of rapid growth and development. Puppies require different levels of nutrients than do older dogs. Because of their special nutritional needs, your puppy should only receive puppy food for the first year (giant breeds, several months longer). Many dog food manufacturers offer a special formula for puppies and sometimes, large breed puppies, for whom the protein, calcium, and phosphorus levels may be more critical.
Feeding the first few days
For the first few days you have your new puppy home, it is a good idea to continue feeding the same type and brand of puppy food and use the same feeding schedule the puppy was on before he came to you. Then you can slowly start using the food you have chosen based on information you received from the breeder and veterinarian. A pet needs to be switched to a new food slowly to prevent intestinal upset. By ‘slowly’ we mean over the course of 7-10 days go from feeding 100% of the previous food to 100% of the new food. For example, make a mixture that contains 25% of the new food and 75% of the old food and feed that for several days. Then make it 50-50 for several days, then 75% new food to 25% old food for several days. Then you can start feeding 100% new food. If at any time your puppy starts vomiting, or has loose stools or appears constipated, slow the rate at which you are switching him over.
Type of food
There are three forms of commercially produced dog foods: dry kibble, semi-moist (sealed packages), and moist (canned). Most trainers and veterinarians recommend dry kibble food. We rarely recommend canned or the semi-moist foods. Canned foods are typically higher in fat and are usually 80 to 83 percent water. That makes them pretty expensive if you squeeze out the top 4/5 of the can. The semi-moist foods are about 55% water and use high salt or sugar levels for preservation. Again, you are paying too much for water and puppies do not need the salt and sugar. Dry foods are only 9 to 11 percent water and are made of the same quality ingredients as the other types. They are more economical, easier to use, and in our opinion, better for your dog.
With dog food, you pretty much get what you pay for. Economy brands are cheap and are made of the cheapest ingredients available. As such, their energy values are lower, and most importantly they often use poorer-grade proteins with lower digestibility, which means much of the food passes right through their system and is not absorbed. Premium brands, which include those classified as Super Premium and Performance, use higher quality ingredients from sources with higher biological values. Because better quality ingredients mean better digestibility, your puppy does not need to eat as much and less waste is produced (which means less to pick up in the yard). Regular brands, as you could guess, fall somewhere in between.
Remember, the back of the dog food bag does not tell the entire story, including important information like percent digestibility – how much of the food your puppy’s body will actually use. Talk to your veterinarian about the best food for your dog.
Table scraps are a No-No
The only thing we dislike more than canned or pre-moistened foods for dogs is table scraps. We strongly recommend never starting because once you do, it never stops. Most nutritionists believe that dogs that are on a good quality commercially prepared dry food are nutritionally better off than their owners are. This has been shown in many studies. Table scraps are usually higher in calories and certainly are not balanced. Neither are they fortified with the vitamins and minerals that dogs require. Table scraps could cause diarrhea or other gastrointestinal problems. Table scraps fill them up, but do not provide the nutrients their rapidly-growing bodies need. Feeding them from the table teaches them the bad habit of begging and may make housetraining more difficult for you.
The puppy’s feeding schedule will be somewhat dictated by your own personal schedule. We do not want to leave food out for the puppy so that he can eat it whenever he wants. You need to be there for the feedings because you want the puppy and his entire body on a set schedule. This is best accomplished by feeding the pup what he will eat at specific times on a specific schedule. Puppies under six months of age should be fed three times daily; after 6 months they may be fed twice daily.
By feeding on a set schedule, the dog will then go to the bathroom on a more set schedule and make housetraining easier and faster.
Make it a habit to give the puppy some quiet time after the meal. Do not let the children romp and play with him for the first hour to an hour and a half after eating. This can lead to some stomach upsets that can sometimes be very serious. The puppy will probably need to go to the bathroom, however.
Amount to feed
The amount of food given with each meal should never be dictated by what is on the back of the puppy food bag. That is a good place to start, but from our experience, many puppies need less than what is on the bag, and a few may need more. Adjust the amount fed to maintain your puppy at an optimal weight. Your veterinarian can help you determine the proper amount to feed to keep your puppy at optimal condition. Remember to have water available with or immediately following the meal.
One of the common complaints that veterinarians hear from dog owners, especially those with animals less than 18 months of age, is that they never eat enough. The owners feel the dog is not putting on weight or growing as fast as they think she should. They are tempted to somehow encourage their animals to eat more. Do not do it. The growth rates and appetites of young animals on a good quality food are primarily dictated by their genetics. Do not try to make your dog grow faster than she should or into something she is not. This will only cause problems. Artificially accelerated growth leads to bone and joint disorders. Feed them the amounts they want and let their bodies dictate their needs.
Treats should never account for more than 10% of your puppy’s caloric intake (which is not much in Toy breeds). Your puppy’s food is his sole source for the nutrition he needs, so do not ‘fill up’ your puppy on treats before meal time.
Hard chew treats keep your puppy entertained and may improve dental health by exercising the gums and scraping the teeth. It also satisfies your teething pup’s need to chew.
Treats can be used during training to reward good behavior, but be careful not to overdo it.
Puppies may seem to drink large quantities of water. They need water and cannot be deprived of it. A dog or cat can lose almost all of his body fat and half of his protein mass (muscle) and still survive. However, if this same animal loses 15% of his body water, he will die. Water is the most important nutrient of all.
For dogs of any age that eat dry food, water will be needed to rehydrate it in their stomachs for digestion. Puppies also need more water per pound than adults do because they are growing. Growth comes through very active metabolism at the cellular level. These processes produce many wastes and by-products that are excreted into the blood. It requires plenty of water to carry these substances to and be flushed through the kidneys. It is okay to schedule when your puppy drinks, but on a daily basis you must allow her to consume what she wants and needs.
Providing fresh, clean water is important. Infectious agents and diseases such as leptospirosis, Giardia, E. coli, and Cryptosporidium can be transmitted through contaminated water sources. Providing fresh, clean water greatly reduces the risk of disease and therefore keeps your pet happy and healthy.
Our puppy Ava is almost 4 months old now and is growing so fast. She is around 25lbs now and will most likely grow to 60lbs when full grown. When we brought her home from the breeder we were given a bag of anonymous kibble that apparently you cannot buy in the store – so we went to the vet straight away to get a recommendation on a healthy food for her. The Vet recommended and sells ‘Medi-Cal’.
Medi-Cal seems ok but had a few drawbacks:
- it had corn as a filler which can be difficult to digest and could be a large percentage of the bulk of the food
- you can only purchase at the vet’s
- is expensive
So I have been poking around trying to determine what I need to look for – hope the following helps!
HOW TO READ A PET FOOD LABEL
The list of ingredients printed by law on every bag of pet food is the best source of information about a food. Ingredients are listed in order of their volume percentages. Compare the ingredients and decide for yourself. Look for a natural pet food that contains the hallmarks of a high-quality food and none of the hallmarks of a low-quality food. A good pet food will contribute to a healthy coat, good energy level, balanced temperament, and flawless health.
High quality food should contain the following:
Superior sources of protein. This means either whole, fresh meats, or single source meat meal. (For example chicken meal rather than chicken by-products.)
A whole-meat source as one of the first two ingredients. Meat is the most natural source of protein for cats and dogs and contains the amino acids most important to pet health. A mix of meat proteins (such as chicken and fish) helps round out the amino acid profile of the proteins included in the food. If a list of ingredients begins with whole chicken followed by three or more grains and no other meat proteins, it is likely that the food contains considerably more grain than meat.
Whole, unprocessed grains, vegetables, and other foods. A previously unprocessed food has the best chance of surviving the food-making process with some of its nutrients intact.
High-quality food should not contain the following:
Food fragments. Fragments are lower-cost by-products of another food manufacturing process such as brewer’s rice (a waste product of the alcohol industry), wheat flour, and rice flour. Most foods contain at least one fragment as makers attempt to keep the food affordable. Beware of a product that contains several fragments of a single food or is the main ingredient.
Meat by-products. Using an animal by-product (or more than one animal by-product) for a food’s main protein source is indicative of a low-quality product. (i.e. chicken by-product). Animal by-products are any part of an animal not acceptable for human consumption. Ingredients listed as by-products are not required to include actual meat.
Corn products in dog food. The presence of corn products – particularly if they are high on the list of ingredients – may indicate that corn has been used instead of a more expensive alternative. About 25% of the corn produced in the U.S. today is genetically modified. Corn is more difficult to digest either by humans or dogs.
Corn gluten meal in dog food. Corn gluten meal is a concentrated source of protein that can be substituted for costlier animal protein. In many bargain dry dog foods, corn gluten meal provides a large proportion or the total protein in the food rather than more digestible forms of protein such as meat.
INDICATORS OF A LOW-QUALITY FOOD
Generic fats or proteins. Animal fat can be just about anything; recycled grease from restaurants or an unwholesome “mystery mix” of fats. Animal protein is far inferior to beef protein or chicken protein.
Artificial preservatives. BHA, BHT, Ethoxyquin, and propylene glycol.
Artificial colors. Your pet doesn’t care what color his food is and doesn’t need daily – lifetime – exposure to these unnecessary chemicals.
Sweeteners. Corn syrup, sucrose, sugar, ammoniated glycyrrhizin, and other sweeteners are sometimes added to lower-quality foods to increase their appeal. Dietary sugar can aggravate health problems in pets including diabetes.
Flavors. A high-quality food does not require flavoring to be palatable.
We just got a Golden Doodle puppy and she is sweet and full of puppy energy. We called our new dog Ava – actually my four year old son named her after the movie Wall-E.
We were pretty prepared and it made the transition t much easier. We did our research and had our home and children prepared. Of course you can not totally prepare yourself for the joy and madness a puppy brings but you can work on the foundations like a crate, collar, dishes, toys, pen, vet, etc.
The following is from BC Rescue and has some great points for you to consider. Good luck if you are starting down this rewarding path.
Rani and her new pup Ava! That is her in the picture ;]
You should be familiar with all of the possible stresses involved with the changes of going home. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. This is a very important time in your puppy’s life and it is vital that you make its transition as smooth as possible.
Picking Up the Puppy
Go straight home. Do not take the puppy to visit friends, relatives or neighbors en route. Do not allow visitors to the house for several days. Lock away all other household pets, particularly adult dogs. The puppy will be going through a traumatic experience. It has never been away from its mother, littermates, prior owner, or its house. Keep the confusion and distraction to a minimum. The first few days are crucial to a puppy’s emotional stability and can have a strong bearing on how it behaves in your family. I will also try to send you home with a piece of cloth with the mother’s scent still on it. This should help comfort the puppy in its new home. Puppy-proof your entire home before you come to pick up the puppy. It only takes a brief moment for tragedy to strike. Do not place your puppy up on a sofa, bed, or chair. Dislocated or broken bones may result from even very low falls to the floor.
Purchase a leash and a collar in advance. They are not needed for the ride home but once there, they are essential items for any outside excursions. Bring three towels when you come to pick up the puppy. Keep one dampened in a plastic bag for any accidents during the car ride home. The puppy should be snuggled all the way home, offering reassurance all day and for the next few days. The air conditioner in the car should be kept as low as possible and windows should remain up.
Bring one or two empty gallon jugs when you pick up the puppy. I will fill them with water from my home to which the puppy has grown accustomed. Put the water in the puppy’s dish upon arrival at your home. Immediately refill the water jug with water from your own tap. After several days of this the puppy will be entirely weaned onto your own local tap water. Do not assume that your tap water is the same. Puppy’s systems are very sensitive at this time and will show you the folly of your way by voiding their upset stomachs onto your floor.
Waiting At Home
Already you should have purchased the following items and set up the house to ensure that your puppy is well cared for right from the start:
- Leash and collar
- Food and water dishes
- Blanket and/or basket for sleeping
- Training crate
- Dog food
- Canned dog food (for those that refuse to eat)
- Several stuffed toys (semi-replacements for its lost littermates)
- Puppy gate (if it is desired to confine the puppy to certain areas)
- Lots of newspapers (no colored print)
Bring the puppy into the house and place it in a semi-darkened and quiet room. Stay with the puppy. One or two people is plenty. Allow the puppy to roam and explore its new surroundings. Show it its food and water dishes, allowing it to drink as much as it wants. Kids will want to play and lavish attention on the puppy. They should be discouraged from doing so during the initial hours. There will be plenty of days and years of that ahead. Explain to them the frightened state of the puppy and the need to maintain a quiet and peaceful environment at first. Continually reassure the puppy but do not “overdo it”. The puppy may or may not go to the bathroom soon after its arrival. Each puppy will be different but it is something to be aware of. A small radio turned low will help the puppy feel comforted when it is left alone. If your puppy cries when left alone, do not respond to him unless it is an obvious emergency. Cries for attention should be ignored. It will only encourage him to cry when he wants attention and this is an awfully hard habit to break.
The puppy should be fed “Brand X” for the first several weeks. Your puppy has been fed this since it first started eating solids and any change in diet will surely bring on severe cases of diarrhea. If, after two or three weeks, you wish to switch to another brand of puppy food, you can start mixing it in to the Brand X diet in ever-increasing proportions, until the Brand X is eliminated. I, however, would recommend keeping the puppy on this brand until it is an adult. It is expensive but is one of, if not the best, popular brands on the market.
Border Collies are notoriously finicky eaters. Their caloric output is usually quite high and yet they do not “wolf down” their food like so many other breeds. Do not fear. Some people simply leave their food out all day and allow them to eat as they wish, rather like a cat. Others prefer to feed at regimented times and remove the food after a sufficient time span. Whatever works best for you is fine. It is generally a battle to get Border Collie to eat and is simply a quirk of their breed.
- Diarrhea – generally caused by environmental change (normally water or food supplies). Ensure that the puppy is on the “home” supply. High levels of stress also may induce an upset stomach. If it persists past two days, see your veterinarian immediately.
- Coughs – the puppy is susceptible to coughs because of changes in its environment. The changes cause stress which in turn, lowers your puppy’s resistance to colds.
- Worms - your puppy has been wormed several times already. Its mother was free from worms when she gave birth and was worm-free during the puppy’s entire first months. Your puppy should be free from worms but repeat wormings are a must, in order to kill any remaining or newly introduced live worms. Remember, you cannot kill the eggs, only the hatched live worm. This is why you must continue the wormings. The puppy should be wormed at nine weeks and at twelve weeks. Thereafter, fecal exams to check for worm infestation should be done by your veterinarian at his/her recommended scheduling.
Additionally, your puppy has been started on heartworm preventative. Its first dose was at six weeks of age. Its next dose should be given at ten weeks and further doses every month for the puppy’s entire lifetime. Your puppy has been given Interceptor.
Do’s and Dont’s
- Do not expose your puppy to “outside” animals until its immunity is fully up and running (at about 16 weeks).
- Don’t bathe him until he is four or five months old, unless he is entirely filthy. Puppy’s skin is very sensitive and dries out quite easily.
- Do not pick the puppy up by the scruff of the neck.
- Do not allow children to roughhouse or maul the puppy. You wouldn’t let the neighborhood kids do so with your ten-week old baby. Puppies aren’t any different.
- Do continue his vaccinations and heartworm medicine.
- Don’t forget to get rabies shots as required by law.
- Don’t let the puppy near stairs until he has entirely mastered them under strict supervision.
- Do keep the puppy well confined during the first several weeks home. A puppy that gets loose may wander away and forget, or not know, where home is.
- Do housebreak and train your dog with kindness and attention to detail.
- Do give your puppy all the love and attention you can possibly spare. He is going to need it and will return it to you, with interest.