Congratulations on your new family member! At 7-8 weeks old pups are ready for their next adventures in life. Your puppy's medical and deworming schedule is on the last page of your contract. Please bring this with you to your veterinarian. Your puppy will be very curious to learn about their new home and humans. It is extremely important to start right from the beginning with boundaries and rules. Socialization is very important. Pups that I am keeping are introduced to my older dogs, friends, and family at age 7-8 weeks old. When introducing them to another canine keep in mind your pup has to learn the do’s and dont’s so as long as you are confident that the other canine is vaccinated and a kind dog, let them figure it out under your close supervision.
Crate training ensures safety and starts your puppy off with a good routine. The crate should be used at bed time and for short stays. It is not recommended that you leave a puppy in a crate for more than four hours. A 36-inch high exercise pen with toys, water, and a relief station is also suggested. A faux grass pan when inside is a great way to start to teach the pup that they have a safe place to potty when you cannot get them out quickly enough. They are available by “Pet Maker” on Amazon. These dogs are active and curious and love to play hard!
Feeding & Bedtime
Your puppy has been fed 4health, a grain free puppy kibble available at Tractor Supply. Kibble will be sent home with you should you choose to feed another brand. Your pup has been fed breakfast, a small lunch, and dinner. By week 9 breakfast and dinner is sufficient. Your puppy’s bladder is not fully developed until about 16 weeks of age, so it is important that they be taken out 20-30 minutes after eating. After dinner remove water, play with them, and let them nap for a while. Wake them at 7:30-8:00 p.m. to go out one last time before bed. At this point when you send them to bed, that’s it … it’s bed time. They may cry themselves to sleep while sometimes (on rare occasions) they want to go to bed after a long day. Take them out first thing in the in the morning then feed breakfast. Routine is very important with this very smart breed. (I have mine sleeping through the night by 9-10 weeks of age.)
Leash training should be started with a harness. Small training treats or a loving pat should be offered. Let them know that they should follow by your side (heal), sit, and give paw. I make them focus on me before they get their pat or treat. Once your puppy understands this, you can transition to a collar. They generally have this mastered by 9-10 weeks of age — that’s how smart this breed is! Several 15-minute training sessions a day is recommended. I have videos of young pups from the past if anyone would like to see them as a reference.
Breed specific puppy behavior
Puppies begin to develop and discover their inherent herding drive at age 9-10 weeks. Even if you have established yourself as an authority figure, puppies will begin to nip and try to herd you. Teaching your puppy boundaries and respect with leash training and a few small commands before this stage will help to curb this behavior. Hold your puppy’s snout and firmly tell them “leave it,” and redirect with a teething toy. This is a very important behavior modification — especially with a herding dog.
Please do not shave your Aussie! Their undercoats keep them cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Trimming their pantaloons and leg feathers as well as “hygiene trims” help to keep their coats looking beautiful. The Australian Shepherd Club of America offers these helpful grooming tips.
Enjoy your Awesome Aussie!
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