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Caring for Your Puppy - Puppy Care Advice from Flat-Coats.co.uk

Care of your new dog or puppy including advice on diet, vaccinations, worming, settling your puppy into the new home and coping with night crying

Caring Puppy Care Advice

The puppy will be used to living in his or her pack from even a few weeks old. When you take ownership of your puppy, usually from 8 weeks old, they will miss the pack and look to you for pack leadership.

The best caring for your puppy advice is to heed any advice from the breeder. Most will give you a diet and puppy care advice information sheet - please do follow this, as it will provide the puppy with some stability and help settle it to its new surroundings and new family. You should also ensure you have the signed certificate of pedigree, especially if you intend to exhibit the dog in shows.

Most puppies will need to eat four or five small meals a day. At six months you should reduce this down to two meals a day, then at a year old the dog should need just one meal a day. However, some owners prefer to give their dog two meals a day. We give Lucy her big meal in the morning and then she gets a wee treat of a biscuit or doggie chocolate drops in the evening after her nightly brush and groom.

The Drummer Boy
Whilst my four legged companion sat beside me I wrote a book which tells the story of The Drummer Boy. This novel is about the ghost of a Gordon Highlander Drummer Boy from the Battle of Waterloo who haunts a modern day army nurse.

Chapters take place in modern day Aberdeen, at the Noose & Monkey bar and restaurant as well as His Majesty's Theatre and Garthdee. Other scenes take place at Tidworth and during the Napoleonic War.

Read the first three chapters for free on most devices.

Flat Coated Retrievers Book

Flat-Coated Retriever (Comprehensive Owner's Guide) is a detailed flat coated retrievers book, published by Kennel Club Books, which will prove useful to any owner. Chapters include the history of the Flat Coat dog, advice on choosing a puppy, health care and training tips.

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Before taking your puppy home, check with the breeder or kennel the dog's vaccination and worming status. Puppies need to be vaccinated against canine distemper and parvo virus and then the adult dog needs to have yearly vaccinations against these.


Make time to collect your puppy in the morning. It can then wander around your home and garden finding its way in the daytime. During the drive home you can transfer the puppy home with puppy or dog carriers otherwise you could ask a passenger to firmly hold the puppy in their lap. A supply of paper towels will prove handy in case it is travel sick or nervously soils. You may want to think about fitting a dog guard into your car to prevent the dog distracting you and wandering around the car. Once home allow the puppy time to wander round the garden for toileting and to familiarise itself with the new surroundings. Allow the puppy to wander around the home. It is normal for a puppy newly separated from its mother not to eat heartily for a day or two - place its food down and if it is not touched during a 15 minute period then lift up - dogs should not get into the habit of having a bowl of food they can snack on whenever they like.

Dogs are territorial and like familiar surroundings. Your puppy will feel more secure if it knows it has its own bed, water bowl and feeding bowl. Avoid plastic bowls and buy metal bowls instead, buying a separate one for its water and food. Washing these daily and providing a fresh supply of clean water several times a day with maintain your puppy's health. It should have ready access to the water throughout the day and at night.


The puppies bed need not be too fancy at this stage - it'll enjoy chewing whatever you buy - some people use cardboard boxes with the front cut off for access. This can be lined with newspaper and then with its blanket or bed. I wouldn't advise buying a fancy duvet or blanket either - that'll get chewed too! As the puppy ages you can replace this with nicer bedding. I favour plastic baskets as they are so easy to wash out after any vomiting or toiletry accidents. For the same reason you should choose machine washable bedding, unless you really want to pamper you dog and treat it to a fun beds! Alternatively, you may wish to buy a kennel or run if you wish to keep your puppy/dog outside. Modern kennels are insulated and rainproof and have the advantage of keeping your dog safe with an exercise area whilst you are out.


For the first few weeks the puppy may cry at night - it's just come from a pack and now is on its own. It's crying for attention - to be with you. If you don't want the dog to sleep in your home and has its own room at night then I'm afraid your going to have to set the boundaries early on and ignore its crying and whimpering. It'll soon learn - just make sure your neighbours know what your doing! Some puppies and dogs find the security of a cage reassuring and familiar each night, so they learn that when they are in it with their blankets and bedding that it's a place to sleep. It's also reassuring for owners - you know the puppy isn't busy destroying something. We used one for Lucy when she ate through the skirting boards, now we use it after finding she preferred sleeping on our sofa and armchairs and no door could keep her away from her favourite night time furniture!


Buying a range of toys for your puppy will stimulate it and keep it out of mischief - and stop it eating your woodwork. Lucy chewed though a live electrical cable when she was a puppy and to this day, I'll never know why she didn't get electrocuted!


Get your puppy used to wearing a collar at an early age and please do go to your local engraver and get an identity disc made with the puppy's name and your telephone number. Some breeder will identichip your puppy for you or tattoo their ears with identity numbers, both of which will be recognised by the police/dog wardens in the event of straying. By keeping your registration active and your details updated then you'll be reunited quickly in the event of loosing your dog.

Once your puppy has had all the vaccinations it can go out for walks with you, so do buy a quality leash. Your puppy should also be introduced to as many animals and fellow dogs as possible - especially well behaved older dogs who will act as role models.

Advice on introducing a puppy or new dog to your older dog.

You may wish to read the Training Tips Section - early training will help you form a close relationship with your dog who will learn to obey your commands and be a valuable part of the family.

Dog Portraits from Karla's Creative Capers

Free UK Delivery on Pet Portraits from photographs at Karla's Creative Capers who did the portrait on the left from a photo of my Lucy. The portraits are ready to hang on the wall and are of a high quality canvas. For full details see www.karlascreativecapers.co.uk

Crate Training Your Puppy

Crate training your puppy information is often asked of Flat-Coats and below are some common questions and answers about crate training your puppy:

I've just been reading your very interesting web page about Caring for your puppy. We have now found a flatcoat puppy and are very excited to be picking her up at the beginning of July, and I have heard from a few people including yourself, that a crate is a very good idea.

Is this something that we should have as soon as she arrives, or should we just have her in a cardboard box for the early weeks? Also I'd appreciate your views on advantages and disadvantages of having one, and if we decide on one what type and size to get please? Look forward to hearing back from you soon.

Congratulations on your new companion, I hope she brings you many years of joy. From our experience it saves a lot of work if you can get your new puppy used to a crate or cage as soon as possible. Most puppies like the comfort of being enclosed in a crate and the sense of security and personal space it affords. By introducing the crate or cage to the puppy as early as possible it will soon learn that this is it's home and safe place. If you have a large enough car it would be ideal to put your flat coated retriever puppy straight into the crate when picking her up from the breeder. This means that any toilet or sickness accidents can be easily cleaned and your new puppy will be safe and secure. Though many new owners want to cuddle and hold their new puppy during the car journey home this is a new and probably scary experience for you puppy who is not only leaving the security of her mum and siblings but may never have been in a vehicle. Lining the crate with a blanket or bedding which can be continued to be used by your new puppy can offer some comfort and further security.

The crate and bedding can then be cleaned if needed when you get home and placed where a traditional puppy basket would go. Your new flat coat puppy will then know that this is her personal space. As you toilet train your puppy you will avoid accidents around the home and during its teething and chewing stage you will avoid damage to your home and ensure the safety of your puppy. As it grows older the crate door can gradually be left open and unlocked at night or when you go out so that it is simply used as a place for peace from the household and an area to sleep.

A crate is also a great way to settle a new puppy to a new home and stop it trying to get to its new owners bedroom for comfort and company at night. Many owners report a quicker period of settling into a new environment when using a crate.

Though using a large crate initially may seem too large an area for a small dog it will grow quickly. So you could buy different sizes of crates as your flat-coat grows or buy one for an adult sized flat-coat - ideal weights and expected sizes of adult flat-coats can be found on the Breed Standard page.

A crate should be easy to clean, with a removable tray to mop up urine puddles which your puppy will inevitably leave in the first few weeks. Most have handles to make carrying round the house easier and some fold down and are easy to erect. Most dog crates are wire meshed so that the puppy has a 360 degree vision and cover are available to shut out stimuli and light. Some puppy crates have made to measure bedding and mattresses available as optional extras and these are generally machine washable. Pets at Home is a super shop with well trained and helpful staff who can help in your decisions.

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How To Work Out A Dogs Age

Introducing a New Puppy to an Older Dog

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