Rothrock Farm Corgis
 

Bringing Puppy Home

How do I prepare for my new puppy?  Do I need certain supplies?  How and what will I feed him?

We have gathered valuable information about preparing for your new puppy, feeding him, training him, and just plain lovin' him!  Information has come from our experience and that of other breeders, dog owners, and helpful articles we've run across on the internet and from AKC and club publications.

  Food and Supplies

The AKC recommends the following items to "stock up" on for the arrival of your new puppy:

  • Puppy food (You will receive a sample of 4 Health Puppy, available at Tractor Supply.  Any premium dog food is fine--be sure to gradually introduce new food, mixing with the sample food over a few days -- this will help puppy's immature digestive system adjust to the new food.)
  • Treats for training (I use premium treats for puppies made by Science Diet, 4Health, Eukanuba, etc.)
  • Dishes for food and water
  • Crate and bedding (I use towels just for puppy and wash regularly)
  • Puppy housetraining pads (or a good supply of newspapers)
  • Gates (to protect puppy from wandering the house)
  • Soft, adjustable collar (you'll need new ones as your puppy grows); beginner collar provided by breeder
  • Leash (4 - 6 feet) - beginner lead provided by breeder
  • Chew toys (5 to 6; be sure to purchase toys designed and sold for use by dogs -- do not substitute "child" toys)
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Gentle puppy shampoo
  • Nail trimmer

  Socializing Your Puppy

From seven weeks to four months of age, your puppy will go through a socialization period that permanently shapes his future personality and how he will react to his environment as an adult.  Now is the time to gently expose him to a wide variety of people, places, and situations. Proper socialization can prevent a dog from becoming fearful of children, humans entering his "space," riding in a car, and other situations which can cause stress.  You can help your new puppy develop into a well-mannered and happy companion.

     Obedience Training

Corgis are in the herder class of canines and rank 11th in intelligence among the AKC breeds. Their behavior to "guard hearth and home" and be the loyal companion you desire will delight you; however, the instinct to herd is strong in the corgi.  While this herding instinct is welcome and necessary to farm/ranch owners, it may be a bother to a household with children, cats, etc.

For example, herding behavior includes nips at hands and ankles in an attempt to "round up" or "drive." Your puppy's favorite family members to herd will be your young children who squeal and run and play, play, play with the pup.  Your puppy will love and lick your children, then attempt to "drive" them.  This behavior is cute, but those little ankle and hand nips from sharp puppy teeth must be controlled and stopped early-on.  Behavior and obedience training is begun with the litter during the developing process of the puppies while here at Rothrock Farm.  New owners should be committed to continuing the training as the puppy grows.  A trained puppy is a joy and great addition to the family, but an untrained pup who is not integrated into the family, can quickly become a nuisance. 

When your puppy is delivered, he will be familiar with his crate and started on paper training.  He will have been started on the "sit" and "come" commands, accustomed to activity periods outdoors, and going in and out to eliminate.  Much more work in the house-training "department" will be continued by you as he becomes acquainted with his new home. 

The AKC Good Citizen Obedience training steps are excellent for use in basic obedience training.  A copy will be included in your New Owner Packet from Rothrock Farm Corgis.  In addition, many training aids, including video/DVD products are available through AKC.  For extra help for owners new to raising a puppy, PetSmart offers great puppy obedience classes nationwide at a reasonable cost. PLEASE look into enrolling in a training class if you're not sure of your ability to train your puppy.

  House Training

House "breaking" your new puppy need not "break" you.  With patience, diligence, and a calm, authoritative manner, you can teach your dog exactly where (and where not) to eliminate. Here's a play-by-play of how to housebreak your puppy.

  • The key to success is simple:  TIMING IS EVERYTHING!

  • Take your puppy outside IMMEDIATELY after eating, playing, or napping (approximately every two hours).  Keeping this rigid schedule will prevent him from making "mistakes" in the house.

  • Some trainers recommend giving your puppy a command like "potty time!" or "go to the bathroom!" at the moment your puppy is correctly doing his business outside.  Eventually, whenever you say that phrase, the puppy will eliminate on cue.

  • Much like a little boy who dances up and down when he has to go to the bathroom, a puppy's behavior will let you know that he needs to go outside.  If he whines, paces, or runs in a circle, grab the leash (or the puppy) and get out the door.

  • Mistakes happen.  If you catch your puppy eliminating in the house--and he will--correct him with a firm, gentle "No." Take him for a walk and praise him lavishly when he does his business outside.

 Quick Tips

Keep this number in mind:  15 minutes after your puppy eats or plays vigorously, he will need to eliminate.  As he   gets older, he will be able to wait longer.  An adult dog eliminates two to three times a day and will learn to hold it--within reason.

Always feed and water your puppy at the same time every day.  If he eats at regular intervals, he will relieve himself at regular intervals, too.

Even if you're in a hurry, don't bring the puppy back inside as soon as he does his business.  If you do, he will learn that once he eliminates, the fun walk is over and he'll start to "hold it" for longer periods.

  Should I Paper-Train?

City dwellers who do not have easy access to outdoors or a backyard usually paper train their puppy inside the home.  Here's how:

  • Choose an enclosed area in the kitchen or bathroom (anywhere with a floor that is easy to clean) and cover the entire floor first with a vinyl shower curtain, and then with newspaper or puppy house-training pads (available at your pet store).
  • When the puppy eliminates, replace the dirty paper or pads with clean paper or pads.
  • In a few days, take away some of the paper or pads and leave part of the floor bare.  If he eliminates on the bare floor in front of you, correct him gently and put him on the paper and praise him.
  • Gradually remove more and more paper until you have just a small spot for elimination.  Then, as he learns to hold it longer, take him outside three or four times a day to conclude his housetraining.

   What About Crate Training?

Dogs like crates since they mimic the close quarters of a wolf's den, so never think that crating your dog is cruel or unusual.  It is what the pros do.  Here's how crate training simplifies housebreaking and give the puppy much needed room of his own.

You'll need a crate sized to fit your puppy.  He should be able to stand and turn around.  Crates are available that divide to make a smaller space for puppies and expand as the puppy grows to full size.  You will also need a mat sized to fit the crate, soft bedding, and a crate cover.

Here's the information you need to crate train your puppy:

Crating your dog several times a day is an excellent way to housebreak him.  This is because dogs will try not to soil their "home."

Line the crate with blankets (or towels) to make it cozy.  You can also cover the top of the crate with a blanket or purchased crate cover.  This mimics the "den" atmosphere.

Use the crate for naps, nighttime slumber, and quiet-time breaks for the puppy to "unwind" from family chaos.

Buy a well-ventilated crate (again, large enough for him to stand up, lie down, and turn around).  If the puppy has a lot of growing ahead of him, use a larger crate, but section off half of it with a divider.

Every time you take the puppy out of the crate, take him outside so he can eliminate.

Never leave a puppy in his crate all day; he needs several bathroom breaks and play and feeding times.  Even though he won't want to soil his sleeping area, if he's in the crate for extremely long stretches of time, he just might do so -- he can't help it! 

Never use the crate as punishment.  It should always be a haven for your puppy -- not a jail cell!

Tip:  When you first bring your puppy home, he'll wake during the night and cry or whine.  I suggest you listen for him, get up immediately, remove him from the crate, and take him outside to eliminate.  Allow him time to do so, then take him straight back to bed with hugs and a sweet goodnight.  He'll soon be sleeping through the night and you will not have reinforced his waking and crying by allowing him to play and receive positive attention from you in the middle of the night!

      Related Resources

There are many books about raising Pembroke Welsh Corgis available. The books listed below will help increase your knowledge and confidence as you bring your new Rothrock Farm puppy into your home:

  • Your Happy Healthy Pet, Pembroke Welsh Corgi; 2nd Edition; by Debra M. Eldredge, DVM

  • Pembroke Welsh Corgi, A Comprehensive Guide to Owning and Caring for Your Dog; A Kennel Club Book

  • The New Complete Pembroke Welsh Corgi, by Deborah S. Harper

  • The Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Family Friend and Farmhand, Howell Best of Breed Book, by Susan M. Ewing