Caring for your Puppy


I am your puppy
from Rosaline Pierce at

I am your Puppy, and I will love you until the end of the Earth, but please know a few things about me.
I am a Puppy, this means that my intelligence and capacity for learning are the same as an 8-month-old child. I am a Puppy; I will chew EVERYTHING I can get my teeth on.
This is how I explore and learn about the world. Even HUMAN children put things in their mouths.
It's up to you to guide me to what is mine to chew and what is not.

I am a Puppy; I cannot hold my bladder for longer than 1 - 2 hours.
I cannot "feel" that I need to poop until it is actually beginning to come out.
I cannot vocalize nor tell you that I need to go, and I cannot have "bladder and bowel control" until 6 - 9 months. Do not punish me if you have not let me out for 3 hours and I tinkle.
It is your fault. As a Puppy, it is wise to remember that I NEED to go potty after: Eating, Sleeping, playing, Drinking and around every 2 - 3 hours in addition.
If you want me to sleep through the night, then do not give me water after 8 p.m. A crate will help me learn to housebreak easier, and will avoid you being mad at me.
I am a Puppy, accidents WILL happen, please be patient with me! In time I will learn.

I am a Puppy, I like to play. I will run around, and chase imaginary monsters, and chase your feet and your toes and 'attack' you, and chase fuzz balls, other pets, and small kids.
It is play; it's what I do. Do not be mad at me or expect me to be sedate, mellow and sleep all day. If my high energy level is too much for you, maybe you could consider an older rescue from a shelter or Rescue group.
My play is beneficial, use your wisdom to guide me in my play with appropriate toys, and activities like chasing a rolling ball, or gentle tug games, or plenty of chew toys for me.
If I nip you too hard, talk to me in "dog talk", by giving a loud YELP, I will usually get the message, as this is how dogs communicate with one another.
If I get too rough, simply ignore me for a few moments, or put me in my crate with an appropriate chew toy.

I am a Puppy; hopefully you would not yell, hit, strike, kick or beat a 6-month-old human infant, so please do not do the same to me. I am delicate, and also very impressionable.
If you treat me harshly now, I will grow up learning to fear being hit, spanked, kicked or beat. Instead, please guide me with encouragement and wisdom. For instance, if I am chewing something wrong, say, "No chew!"
and hand me a toy I CAN chew. Better yet, pick up ANYTHING that you do not want me to get into. I can't tell the difference between your old sock and your new sock, or an old sneaker and your $200 Nikes.

I am a Puppy, and I am a creature with feelings and drives much like your own, but yet also very different. Although I am NOT a human in a dog suit, neither am I an unfeeling robot who can instantly obey your every whim.
I truly DO want to please you, and be a part of your family, and your life.
You got me (I hope) because you want a loving partner and companion, so do not relegate me to the backyard when I get bigger,
do not judge me harshly but instead mold me with gentleness and guidelines and training into the kind of family member you want me to be here.

I am a Puppy and I am not perfect, and I know you are not perfect either. I love you anyway.
So please, learn all you can about training, and puppy behaviours and caring for me from your Veterinarian,
books on dog care and even researching on the computer! Learn about my particular breed and it's "characteristics", it will give you understanding and insight into WHY I do all the things I do.
Please teach me with love, patience, the right way to behave and socialize me with training in a puppy class or obedience class, we will BOTH have a lot of fun together.

I am a Puppy and I want more than anything to love you, to be with you, and to please you. Won't you please take time to understand how I work?
We are the same you and I, in that we both feel hunger, pain, thirst, discomfort, fear, but yet we are also very different and must work to understand one another's language, body signals, wants and needs.
Someday I will be a handsome dog, hopefully one you can be proud of and one that you will love as much as I love you.

Love, Your Puppy

Tips to help you have an easier time raising your puppy

Taking Your New Puppy Home

  • Last thing before you leave, put the puppy down in the yard to relieve himself before you go to the car.

  • Unless it is an unusually long trip - longer than 2 or 3 hours, stopping along the way for the puppy to go to the bathroom is neither advisable or necessary. This avoids the risk of contamination in a rest area where many other dogs have been and it also avoids the possibility of the puppy running away or worse yet into traffic if you stop by the side of the road.

  • Remember that the puppy doesn't know you yet and may well not come when you call. Ideally he should not get down on the ground until he is your fenced yard.

  • Let him relieve himself before you take him inside.

  • Find out what the puppy's usual schedule is so that you can help him to adjust to the new schedule in your home.

  • Don't rush the puppy too much give him time to take in all the new sights and smells of his new home.

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Now is when we as little puppies need you to be available to us as much as possible, just the first few weeks.At the very least, little puppies need attention about every three hours.Cuddling and pats on the head are really great. Using our new name a lot during these times of attention teach us who we are. When called for, be tender but firm with us as this will create a loving and respectful relationship that will last a lifetimeBefore (or shortly after) bringing new pup home, ensure you have the following ready:

  1. Food Bowls

  2. Water Bowls

  3. Treats

  4. Dog Food

  5. Nail Clippers

  6. A Brush

  7. Shampoo

  8. Collar & Leash

  9. Tags (a phone # of owners, no address or dog name to protect puppy)

  10. A Crate

  11. Toys

  12. A place to lounge with his people


  • The first two days are really important in starting to train a puppy.

  • You need a nutritious diet. I feed Tuffy"s Gold Premium Puppy food and when they are 4 - 7 weeks old they also get a Chicken rice diet that I make myself if they need extra calories.

  • A regular training schedule so as not to confuse puppy by always changing things…And a very happy house to live in.

  • Always pick up one of us by having one hand under the rump (how embarrassing!) and another hand around the chest- as puppy's tummies are still so delicate that it can be injured. Always keep your hand under the rump to support the weight.

  • As babies when we come to your house for the first few days, we are very confused and upset. We really shouldn't be brought around to different places, we wouldn't know where we would really be going.

  • Our new parents should sit on the floor with us to be at the same level and speak loving and softly.

  • As a new puppy we should be allowed to discover our new house, and explore everything.

  • Handling a new puppy too much isn't really good the first day as we usually have just had shots a short time before coming home.


Where to Sleep
  • One of the biggest decisions humans have to make is "Where are we going to sleep!" Of course we puppies love to sleep with our humans in the bedroom. But some humans do not like that idea. So you should start puppy out sleeping where he is going to stay.

  • If you decide to let puppy sleep in your bedroom, put puppy's box near your bed with lots of news paper around it. If puppy cries, you can reach down to give puppy a touch to let him know he is not alone.

  • Remember, puppies are used to having their litter mates around them and the first few nights will be hard.If you decide that puppy will be sleeping all by himself, put a wind up ticking clock (Wrapped in a blanket) near puppy's bed. The ticking sound will act as mommy's heartbeat and sooth puppy to sleep. But do be prepared for whimpering or even barking as this will be a strange place, away from mommy and litter mates and this is a very hard time for puppy.

  • Try to resist going over and picking him up. If you start this he will expect this from you at all times. Try to be patient, eventually puppy will fall asleep.

Going Potty

  • When you are a puppy their muscles haven't developed enough to have strong bladders or bowel control.

  • When you are a puppy, wetting takes place around every 3 to 4 hours. And a bowel movement happens right after a meal. So we should be taken out right after eating so we don't have an accident.

  • Eventually we learn to wait 6 hours, and longer as we get older.

  • If you see puppy getting ready to go, take her out right away or put her on the newspaper. Then give lavish praises when  it has been done in the right place.

  • Never spank or punish puppy for having an accident, it could break that bond you are trying to create between the both of you.

  • When puppy has gone in the wrong place, use a strong voice and tell her "NO". After a few times she will start to learn the meaning of this.

  • It is very common for new pet owners to expect way too much from the new puppies. Remember they have to be taught just like we had to be taught.

  • Puppies are not Robots and cannot be programmed to do as told. We do learn to hold it until we are let outdoors.  

Puppy Crates
  • First, choose a crate that puppy can grow into! Don't buy for her size now as it only lasts a couple weeks.

  • A wire crate is best so she can see what is going on. The dog should be able to sit, stand up, turn around and lie down with some extra room.

  • Just think, if you had to be in the crate you would want to be able to move around. We feel the same way.

  • Always take puppy's collar off to avoid choking while inside the crate!

  • Just like a cave to a wild dog, crates provide puppy's own special place where she can relax, feel safe and secure.

  • In the wild, dog's feel most secure by keeping their backs against the wall part of their den so they can always see what's going on outside their hideout.

  • Always leave the door open so we may go in & out as we feel.

  • Keep the crate puppy's private place, don't let little children play in or around the crate.

  • Never pull puppy out of the crate, call her by her name and give her cuddles when she comes to you.

  • Never use the crate as a form of punishment as you want puppy to feel safe and loved.

  • Please do not leave puppy in the crate for more than 3 hours at a time with the door closed. Introducing puppy to her new crate may take some time and coaxing.

  • Try putting a treat inside the crate. Soon she will learn that this is her own private space and will love going into it, even if it looks like a metal cage to you. Put a soft towel on the bottom with some chew toys while you are away as this will give puppy something to do while you are gone.

  • Crates or kennels are not cages in which the dog is to be in all the time but they can be very valuable to you and your dog.

  • The crate, when lined with a comfortable, washable blanket becomes his den, a haven where he can escape the outside world. It becomes his room.

  • Although wire kennels can be obtained and are convenient because they fold flat, they are harder to clean and do not afford the same protection as the fibreglass or plastic style crates.

  • The plastic crate can eventually be separated and the bottom half used as a bed when it is no longer necessary to confine you pet.

  • As an adult your puppy will require a 400 or 500 size Vari-Kennel (or comparable brand).

  • Crates are a great asset in housebreaking since most puppies won't soil their sleeping area.

  • He can be safely exercised last thing at night, then put in his crate for the night and then first thing in the morning taken to his exercise area.

  • This crate should be set up in a living area so that the dog is not completely isolated, e.g. basement.

  • This is especially important for the new puppy. You may want to consider keeping the crate in the bedroom at least for the first few nights due to the trauma of leaving his litter mates and coming to a new environment (a 400 size crate will probably be adequate for your puppy as an adult).

  • A dog biscuit and a toy thrown into the crate will help encourage the puppy to enter the crate and to enjoy his time in the crate.

  • A special toy or treat such as a liver bar which he gets only when he goes into his crate will make the process more enjoyable.

  • The crate is also useful for traveling as the dog uses the crate instead of a seat belt, and will be more welcome in motels or other places.

  • Having a crate trained dog is of great assistance in preventing paw prints on newly waxed floors.

  • Since the crate is a place of refuge, children should be taught not to disturb the dog if he goes into his crate for a rest after a play session.

Crate Training
  • Although crate training seems rather cruel if you are not familiar with their use, you must remember that dogs are naturally a den animal as well as a social animal.

  • So in addition to their pack they also need a den.

  • Now while they would be quite comfortable sharing your bed or your couch there may be times when you are not willing to share.

  • Particularly if you are letting them in with muddy feet or if you are entertaining.

  • A small puppy can fall off a couch or a bed and injure himself if you should happen to turn abruptly or if he should try to jump down.


As humans you are always ready for some of our puppy puddles. But it is nothing compared to the damage that our puppy teeth can do! Our teeth can rip up news paper, tear furniture and we love shoes. All of this happens because of being a baby and our milk (baby) teeth hurt as the adult teeth are coming in underneath them! Chewing is a need to relieve the pain more than it is to destroy something. All too often this is mistaken for a puppy being a bad dog. Up until 6 months of age the milk teeth must be replaced with 42 adult teeth! This does hurt as they start to come in, so the chewing is a way to alleviate the pain. Chew Toys are allot better than my fingers. Plenty of chew toys such as rawhide can keep puppy busy so she will not even think of things such as furniture or shoes!Anger does not help, only understanding and patience is best for a new puppy that's going through teething pain.Here are a few ways to prevent chewing:

  • Put her in the crate when you cant watch her. Puppy will go to sleep and nothing will be in danger.

  • Give puppy her very own chew toys. Don't encourage puppy by giving her an old shoe.

  • Move any valued furniture, pillows, plants or books.

  • Check for any dangerous things such as pins, needles, pencils, pens, balloons, lamp cords or anything small enough to cause choking!

  • When puppy goes towards something off limits, a strong "NO" should be given. Puppy will soon get the idea.

  • If puppy is stubborn (selective hearing) a slap on the humans hand with rolled up newspaper will also get the point across!It definitely works with me!

  • You can try sprays from the local pet store to make things such as furniture legs unattractive to puppy. Listerine can also be used as a spray, YUCK!!!

The Food Your Puppy Eats
  • Your puppy should be fed a high quality dog food throughout his life.

  • Your puppy is currently being fed Tuffy's Gold Premium Puppy Food.  

  • Some Vet's will recommend one of theirs, which is fine... If you are changing the type of puppy food it might be easier for the puppy to adjust if you slowly mix it in with the new food.

  • Bones, especially chicken and pork can be dangerous for your dog as he can splinter them and the sharp splinters can puncture an intestine. The need to chew can be satisfied with snacks of good, hard dog biscuits and nylon chew bones. There are now available smoked bones (large knuckle bones) which may be used but monitor your dog while he chews if you hear the sound of crackling bones remove the bone.

  • If you change brands of food, change over gradually, mixing in first a quarter of his normal food ration then a third, then a half, then two-thirds and so on so that change occurs over a period of 5-7 days. You may use any good quality brand you wish .

  • I leave free choice for my Puppies till they are a year old. But puppies should be fed at least 3 times a day until about at 3 - 4 months, 2 times a day at 6 months.

  • A little snack of dog biscuits in the afternoon can be used to bring the gap as he gets used to skipping the middle meal.

  • Your puppy will probably let you know when it is time to cut out the middle meal as he will not eat as much at that time.

  • I prefer to continue to feed the adults twice a day. A light breakfast and a heavier supper. But you can establish your own feeding program.

  • Your puppy should have a supply of fresh clean drinking water at all times. On hot days, check the water bowl frequently to see that it is still full.

CAUTION!!! Never leave your dog in the car on a hot summer day. The temperature can rise very quickly (even on a warm day) and your dog will very quickly suffer from heat exhaustion. (10 minutes may be too long.)

Health Care

  • Make sure your puppy's shots are kept up to date. Remember that once the initial shots and boosters are given she will still need yearly boosters. Your veterinarian will help you with this. Many vets send out yearly reminders. They will also give you a health card which you should keep current and keep handy. The folder that you received with the pedigree and registration is a good place.

  • Medications and vaccinations received by your puppy so far are listed on the health card which should be in your puppy folder.

Symptoms of Bloat
  • Distended abdomen may or may not be clearly present. General discomfort, refusing food, belching, passing gas, panting, restlessness - not able to find a comfortable position., arching the back, vomiting. Tummy sounding like a drum.

  • The presence of some or all of these symptoms means that immediate veterinary care is required as the situation is life threatening.

Travel Sickness
  • Car sickness may be an effect of motion sickness which your puppy may soon out grow or it may arise from a sense of nervousness or both.

  • Gradually introducing your puppy to pleasant travel experiences may help. Start out just staying with him and playing with him in the car when it is not moving.


Leashes and Collars
  • Choke chains are for training only and should never be left on the dog when he is unattended. There are a number of nylon collars which you can purchase.

  • Be very careful with those that come with the snap on type of plastic collar as these can break and this could have tragic repercussions if you should be walking by a busy street.

  • You can buy a variety of leashes in leather and nylon. You do not need a chain leash. It is very ineffective for training purposes and you don't need a logging chain for a leash. This is a poodle not a pit bull.


  • As you know poodles are one of the more intelligent breeds and it will be to your advantage to bring out the best in your puppy.

  • Training is best done with positive rewards and of course will start as soon as your puppy arrives.

  • Training can be done in subtle and obvious ways depending on the personality of your dog.

  • This applies to almost anything you want the dog to do. If he does something automatically give it a name and then praise him every time he repeats the required action.

  • Use positive rewards

  • Rules be consistent - everyone should agree on what the house rules for the dog will be and everyone should be consistent.

  • On the bed or not? Position of dominance? 60 lb. dog lying between you and your mate.

  • Not out the door ahead

  • Don't get into the car without permission

  • A great exerciser

  • Use the natural retrieving talents of your dog by teaching him to play fetch.

  • Start with a soft toy or ball. Throw it a short distance and encourage your dog to bring it back to you. If he goes and picks up the ball and starts to run away, don't chase him. Call him and encourage him to bring it back. When she brings it back take it from him and praise him. Do not play tug of war with any item you that you have asked him to retrieve.

House Breaking
  • House breaking is similar to toilet training your child. As with the children part of the problem is that the muscle and nerve development may not be present to let them know until just before they get the urge, that they need to go.

  • As with children accidents may happen. Some authorities state that a dog does not actually have full control until they are 4 months old so they should not be expected to wait more than 3 hours. Until 3 months every 2 hours may be too long when they are up and playing.

  • Prime times for elimination are within 20 minutes of eating, immediately upon awakening from night or naps and after strenuous exercise.

  • Go out with your dog and praise him when he does the right thing. If you have a particular area you wish him to learn to use take him to that spot.

  • Put a name to the elimination process such as "do your duty" Later it may be very convenient to have him "go" on command.

  • Your house may be a very large place to a small puppy and she may well not be able to find the door at first. So limit her access to certain areas preferably where you are or by his crate until he learns his way around.

  • Remember to praise your puppy when he does his duty in the proper place. This is much more effective than punishing accidents.

  • If your dog has asked to go out and you either missed his signal or ignored it you should not blame your puppy but remember next time that he has asked.

  • There are a number of good books on house breaking which you can obtain for further reference.

Emotional Health
  • Poodles are very much a people dog and in order to develop their charming personality you should take care of their emotional health.

  • Poodles will relate to humans very well and are sometimes more dependent on human company than other breeds, therefore, you puppy will want to be close to you and if not allowed to spend sufficient time in human company will not develop into a happy, contented dog. As one bumper sticker asks, "Have you hugged your dog today?"

  • Your poodle will always be ready for play. Make sure your play does not become teasing.

  • If you are playing catch make sure she is allowed to catch the ball or whatever. If she has to work at finding something don't make her work too long before she has success.

  • Poodles can play well with children. However, they must be taught not to jump upon them when they are very little. They must be taught not to close their mouths hard on someone.

  • If you puppy has a tendency to chew on you it is best to stop it when he is young, as he is going to grow bigger and his little playful nips might become painful.

  • If your puppy bites too hard, do not slap him, rather take a piece of loose his skin and pinch it gently increasing your pressure as he increases his and decreasing accordingly.

Puppy Toys
  • Puppies and young children also explore their world in similar ways since the edibility test seems to be their most used form of exploration.

  • You need to puppy proof your him in much the same way as you baby proof by removing dangerous objects and noxious materials from reach. Provide him with toys that are safe and chewable.

  • Watch for squeakers and eyes that come out. Remember that puppies often are attracted by shoes and love to chew on them so keep them out of reach.

  • If you give him an old shoe to play with don't expect him to know the difference between the older shoe and your expensive new shoes.

  • Raw hide chews should be avoided as should the "chew hoofs" that are sometimes sold for dogs.

  • A standard poodle can easily splinter these like a bone with the same disastrous effect.

  • Many poodles like stuffed toys to play with and to cuddle with and will carry them around even as adults. Foam stuffed toys are best as the material is non-toxic and the toy can easily be cleaned in the washing machine.

  • Be sure and remove eyes and sew up all small holes as they occur or else they will quickly be expanded.

  • Introducing your puppy to new places, things, other pets, and people

Kids and Puppies
  • Children should not be allowed to pick the puppy up. The puppy may jump out of their arms and hurt himself or may scratch your child in the process.

  • Kids may squeeze too hard. Puppies should be taught not to jump up or mouth the children.

  • Children must be taught not to tease the puppy. The children should be taught how to train the puppy.

  • Children will need to learn how to approach the puppy. High voices, jumping, flapping hands

  • and arms and other sudden movements are difficult for the puppy to understand and these common actions by children often bring out the chase instinct in a puppy..

Documents and Other Stuff

  • Each purebred dog has a tattoo number or a Microchip.

  • (The Canadian Livestock Act considers only those dogs registered with C.K.C. (Canadian Kennel Club) or with certain other foreign Kennel Clubs such as A.K.C. to be purebred.)

  • If your puppy is registered he will have a microchip or a tattoo in the inside of his ear. The Tattoo is unique to him.

  • The number is made up of 5 or more digits. The first three letters are assigned to the breeder, the next is the number of puppy in that year

  • so if your puppy has a number 3 he is the third puppy registered in that year, the last letter is the year letter.

  • 1997 dogs have letter G, 1998 letter H. Each subsequent year has a specific letter of the alphabet.

Registered Pup's Name
  • Your puppy will have a kennel name or registered name which appears on his registration certificate.

  • Obviously this name is too long for everyday use so your dog needs a call name (i.e. the name you use when you call him).

  • This can be abbreviated from his registered name or you can use an entirely different name.

  • Depending on the litter I may have already selected a name for the dog as I may have decided on a theme for the litter and wish all

  • the dog names in the litter to reflect this theme. If I have not chosen a name I will provide with a sheet with spaces

  • so that you can choose an name which fits into 30 letters and spaces. More information will be provided on that sheet.

  • If you have purchased a dog on a non-breeding contact, your registration certificate will have "non-breeding" written across it.

  • That means that even though your dog is purebred it is not intended for breeding and if the dog is bred the litter cannot be registered.


  • The pedigree is simply a listing of the ancestors of your dog.

  • They will be listed by name, title and colour.

  • The pedigree is read from left to right. Your dog is the dog in the middle on the left.

  • The dogs listed on the top lines are the sire (father) and his parents, grand parents and great grand parts.

  • The dogs appearing on the lower lines are your doggies dam (mother) and her parents grandparents and great grand parents.

More information

For more information there are many books available on general dog care and training and books especially written for poodle owners. Here are some titles which you may find of interest to you:

  • How to Raise a Puppy You Can Live With - Rutherford and Neil, Alpine Publications 1981 contains a description of puppy development and discusses methods of initial training and treatment for your puppy.
  • The New Complete Poodle - by Lydia Hopkins revised by Mackey J. Irick . Howell Book House 1976. For the show oriented reader discusses origin and breed standards for all sizes of poodles and covers the development and pedigrees of some of the more important poodle kennels. You will be able to find some of the ancestors of your poodle (from the names on the pedigree) listed and pictures in this book.
  • The Pearsall Guide to Successful Dog Training by Margaret E. Pearsall Howell Book House 1980 covers training methods from Puppy Kindergarten to advanced obedience work and trials. If you take your dog to obedience classes you may see your instructor using somewhat different methods however this will give you the basics.