I have every finger crossed in the world as I am contending for a puppy right now. It's not for sure yet but just figured I would ask all of you while I don't have the puppy yet and I am just too excited and can't stop thinking about it.
What are the things you wish you had known or done while enjoying the puppy years? Anything is welcomed! Collar types, walking tips, balancing socialization before vaccinations, training, book recommendations, flea regiments recommended, NAME IT!
Throw your wisdom at me!
As you've already seen, there is lots of great information on here. I am also one to say obedience training is one of the best things you can do with your dog. If you can't do a one on one trainer then look into a dog club in your area, most have training sessions. I have trained all my dogs for the past 33 years with our local club. It's a great socialization tool and promotes bonding between you and your dog.
But most of all....enjoy your puppy. Like kids, they don't stay little long.
I am looking into classes now. Hesitant to do it before all the shots since I have well vaccinated adult dogs around to socialize with until then.
Love that last tip ;)
My best piece of advice is patience, patience, patience. There were days when I thought I would pull my hair out but those days pass and you'll have a best friend for life. I agree with getting into obedience classes.
Here are some ideas that I wish I had known about when we got our fist corgi pup 20+ years ago:
Brush its coat and teeth right away and play with its feet and ears a lot so it gets used to being handled and used to the tools used for grooming.
Measure the amount of food you give. Corgis are prone to back problems anyhow with their long backs and being overweight is especially bad for them. Plus, they are masters at "sad eyes" when you are eating and will con you out of treats if you are not careful!
Invite friends who have vaccinated dogs over to play with it to socialize in a safe environment before it has all its shots, or go to their houses.
Start teaching a potty command right away. Pick a word that you aren't embarrassed to say in public (my husband refuses to say "potty" so we chose "squat") and say it to the pup each time it starts to do its thing. As it grows, it associated the word with the action and will go when you say that word. It's a big help in rainy or cold weather or when you are in a rush running late in the morning. Start housebreaking where you want the dog to eventually go, not on papers or pads, if you can.
Remember that the pup is just a baby and will make mistakes (chewing, toileting, etc.) and so will you. You are both doing your best! Keep training session short, but repeat them frequently throughout the day.
I like martingale collars --- it's hard for the pup (and older dog if it gets spooked by something) to pull out of but isn't as harsh as a chain.
Take tons of pix and enjoy your puppy! Rub that little belly and kiss those toes! It won't stay little very long. I'm jealous of you - a new corgi puppy! What could be better!
I'd love to know where you're finding the martingales to fit a small dog. Ordered one online for Cassie from someone who makes them for larger dogs. This one, which was made to measure, fits around her head and neck OK but it's too wide and so looks pretty silly on her.
I have a martingale for my pup that fits pretty well. I got it at our local pet store. For smaller pups though I used loop collars. Now that we're in full blown training mode we use easy walk harness.
Thanks for the collar tip! I have a friend with a puppy who is using an easy walk harness. I lean away from harnesses though usually...
Thanks for the 'mistakes' comment. Im sure it will be much consolation at some point in the next few months haha.
If I ever have another puppy, I will be MUCH more thoroughly organized about training. I'll make a list of every command, keep a logbook, a training calendar, make sure everybody in the family is involved and on the same page. I'll do my homework better -- it's training ME tobe a handler, more than it's training the dog.
Don't miss my "Food Bags Kill!" link on the homepage.
I really like our modified Martingale collars, see the FAQ.
Get a dog-dedicated fannypack for dog gear. A prescription pill bottle is good for treats -- they should be tiny, and odor-proof.
John! It's funny you say all that. Your hikers are my go to example whenever they doubt me saying my corgi will hike with me. They assume those legs mean not athletic!!!
I was telling my sister about your 'venite' command being different than 'come' I have friends that use 'in' when hiking with their dogs instead of 'come' when they want them to just stick closer. She told me I should probably make a cheat sheet of commands to stick on the fridge. Other than the basic commands I am going to stick with these words so far -
- “Leave it” --- say this about anything, other dogs, food, things he cant have.
- “Easy” --- Calm down, slow down, chill out.
- “In” --- Come closer, not directly to me, but closer.
- “Come” --- To me directly – don’t use this unless you can guarantee he will.
I love the idea of doing a training calendar. I have another friend who got a puppy and we decided to do training classes with eachother once a week once the dogs have their shots. (He isn't doing puppy classes though I likely will still) Also good tip on pill bottle because of scents.
I've heavily lurked the FAQ in all elements, I love this website, and all of you!
I have 2 recalls. "come" means "come" but "Come Front" means run fast and plop you butt right between my legs RIGHT NOW!!!!!