Before you get your puppy
Should we find a vet before or after we get our puppy?
Before. Your sales agreement will require that you have your puppy examined by your veterinarian in the first 2 days you are home. Always consult with your vet if your puppy is not acting normal, their appetite is unusual and/or they have a stool change. These are the first indications that something is wrong.
Are Puppy Vaccines the same as those for adult dogs?
No. Have your vet order puppy vaccinations. Puppy vaccinations are different than the adult combination shot, which includes Lepto. Puppies should not be vaccinated with Lepto prior to 13 weeks of age. I have already used Nobiac Puppy DPV (Distemper and Parvovirus) for your puppy’s first shots at 6 to 7 weeks of age.
Will our puppy already have a name?
No, you can have fun thinking about what you will name your puppy. Each litter has a theme for the names; we will let you know what the theme to your litter is as soon as we can. An example of a past theme is “city names”, and its owners choose names like SilverHill’s Ogden, and SilverHill’s Jackson, and SilverHill’s Sierra.
Once you have your puppy
What should I know about puppies right away?
Puppies, like babies, have sensitive systems. They can not take a lot of change in diet or schedule. They don’t really travel very well. The sooner you get the home and on a regular schedule for eating and eliminating, playing and sleeping the better of your puppy (and you) will be.
Having stated that, puppies — like babies, have off days. Sometimes puppies eat like little piglets and some days they won’t touch their food. Sometimes puppies get too excited, or eat something that disagrees with them, causing them to vomit or have a loose stool. All that is normal and you shouldn’t worry or try to force the puppy to eat, or become too concerned over a single incident of vomiting.
What should I do if my puppy shows signs like sustained appetite loss, continuous vomiting or diarrhea?
A sustained lack of interest in eating, or repeated or continuous vomiting or diarrhea could be a sign of something serious, and you should take your dog to your vet or contact the vet for instructions. Continuous vomiting or diarrhea can cause dehydration and is very serious!
What should I do if my dog shows some other symptoms or behaviors that are unusual?
Your vet can generally tell you over the phone if your situation warrants bringing your puppy for an office visit. It is better to be safe than sorry, if you are in doubt, please call your vet.
Will my dog need to be treated for worms (intestinal parasites) ?
Yes Roundworms and Hookworms should be treated with a good medicine recommended by your vet. I have already used pyrantel pamoate at 2 and 4 weeks for your puppy. The Heartworm medications, you get from your vet, are given monthly all year round and most treat for common intestinal parasites. There are some new medications that also keep ticks and fleas off your dog and out of your house.
When and how are dogs given Heartworm medicines?
At three months of age, heartworm preventative treatment should begin and continue monthly, without fai,l for the life of the dog. As mentioned above, many of the new heartworm medications also eliminate intestinal parasites. Consult with your vet to determine what works best in your area of the country.
What about Rabies Vaccinations?
Rabies is required by each state. Your vet knows the laws within your state. Usually, puppies are vaccinated at 16 weeks and then at 1 year of age. Following that, the dog is vaccinated every 3 years. When traveling across state lines, you will need to comply with what is required in those states.
How do I care for my puppy’s/dog’s nails and feet?
The pups nails have been trimmed approximately weekly for the first few months. Once the puppies are a little older I have found its easiest to use a small rotary grinding tool (such as a Dremmel brand tool) to trim their nails. There is a wonderful article by Dawn “DoberDawn” Garrett entitled How I Dremel Dog Nails describes how to do this in quite some detail.
How do I go about housebreaking?
A wonderful site that has instructions and many problem solving ideas regarding housebreaking is a good reference that uses the bell hanging from the door. I have used this with great success, but currently have doggie doors throughout my house as the number of ringing bells here.
When should I start my puppy in classes?
Because of their sensitive immune systems we don’t let puppies start puppy class until they are at least 12-14 weeks of age. As soon as you can after that you must begin to socialize your puppy. In the mean time, you could review the podcast training on line and/or work with a trainer where other dogs do not go.
How do I begin leash training until I get to my puppy training class?
Your puppy will never have been accustomed to a collar when you get it and has never been on a leash. So don’t bring a leash to take them home. PBS gives a great little video for the beginner that is also great for the person that has not had a puppy for some time. See how to begin to leash break your dog, as captured on video with Uncle Matty and get enrolled in Obedience classes with an instructor. The new science of training is so much easier! Remember: Puppies cannot navigate steps! They have little depth perception so cannot see how far down it is so will likely try to leap to the bottom regardless of the distance. They are clumsy and will tumble down stairs and fall from decks. So put up the baby gates at the stairs and remove all chewing and falling. Think: 1 year old baby crawling.
Why do you want me to get a crate? Will my puppy be crate trained.
Crates are a dog’s den and their own space as well as being the best tool for keeping your pet safe at home and on the road. Many questions regarding crates are answered on the Dog Owners Guide. Depending on your puppy’s age, we acclimate them to a crate with the door open in an indoor play yard (see the book After You Get Your Puppy link below for example) and get them used to being in a crate, but they are not used to spending hours in one as it is unfeasible to do this with an entire litter.
Are training sites online and enough information in books so that I can train my puppy without classes?
No. There is no substitute for interactions with other people and dogs under the controlled supervision of a professional trainer. Ask any trainer, such as Rabekah James, who have been training and writing for years. Having a trained professional evaluate body language and timing is a must.
How can I do make the home safe for children?
Dogs and children can be great, or it can be a disaster, mostly depending on your child and you. From the WSAVA (World Small Animal Veterinary Association) web site there is an interactive program for children and parents called The Blue Dog that will help your family learn to interact with a dog in the home.
Can we call you for advice too?
We love to hear from our extended family from time to time and are happy to discuss any issues you have being a good SilverHill’s Rottweiler owner. Please call us or write with your questions. If we can’t talk when you call, we will get back to you as soon as we can. We are committed to the success of every SilverHill Parent, as well as their puppy!
What is it about the ears folding? Seems to happen occasionally with puppies.
After years of trying to explain how to tape ears, someone was kind enough to prepare a YouTube video to make it much simpler: They produced 2 videos so Click here or Here to see the How to Tape a Rottweiler ear.
What is the current science around neutering, at what age should this be done?
The current science says to wait until 4 years for bitches and this fall we should have the age for males. Read links below. For you and your vet the following articles are posted here:
- Longevity and Cancer Avoidance
- Longevity linked to keeping ovaries
- Long Term Health Effects of Spay and Neuter in Dogs
- In search of a strategic disturbance: some thoughts on the timing of spaying
Cathy’s Top Ten things to get for your new Rottweiler Puppy
- Puppy and dog training books – note that this is plural. Purchase and read these books before you pick up your puppy. My favorite is “Mother Knows Best”.
- Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy food (if you don’t want to feed this, get enough to slowly change over to what you want to feed)
- Stainless steel bowls for food and water
- Toys that are large enough not to be swallowed and soft enough to be safe
- Baby gates – for rooms and any stairs to be blocked from your puppy
- A bell to hang from the door you are going to train him/her to in and out of
- Newspapers for times you cannot be there to hear the bell
- A crate with divider for when the pup is changing sizes so you can use when older
- An area that is safe for your pup to play in when you are busy. No electrical cords within reach!
- For extra special treats, I use lean cooked meat or cheese.
What information should I know about my puppy that is provided by you?
I will supply my puppy manual and the material listed below. In addition, I strongly urge you to read Mother Knows Best which is a great training book, and anything you can get your hands on. The internet is a great source, also; but what is written is not always gospel.