New Pup - New Home


 New Pup - New Home

Taking your new puppy home for the first time will be exciting, but can also be somewhat daunting for not only for new dog owners but also those of you who have owned cockers or other breeds before; so here are some tips and reminders .....

Whitneys 2012 pup 4.1

Your Withiflor puppy has been carefully bred to meet the Kennel Club standard of a show-type Cocker, but ultimately to fulfil his potential as your family pet.   At  Withiflor we carry out the necessary health tests on breeding stock both required and recommended by the Kennel Club.  We make every effort to ensure that you take away a healthy and happy puppy that has had the best start possible and will continue to blossom and enjoy the next 12 to 15 years of his life.

Puppy’s needs     Collar and lead – bed – blanket - toys – grooming kit – feed and water bowls    
Leaving the nest at eight weeks is somewhat traumatic for your pup and you should decide where he can have his own secure space in the house.   This could be the corner of the kitchen and you could make up a pen with a cosy bed, where he can feel safe and out of the way of the general bustle of the family.
To begin with, while your pup is growing up,  a strong cardboard box slightly raised up off the floor out of draughts would make a suitable bed.    The strong plastic bed (with a soft blanket for comfort), available from most pet stores is very good, being  washable and less likely to be destroyed than a basket.    You may also consider  a crate.   Most breeders use crates both for travelling and to provide the dog with his own  permanent space for life; a crate covered with a blanket will provide an excellent place of security for your pup to sleep in and retreat to when he needs some peace !   Give him something warm to snuggle in to and a toy to chew and play with - he may become bored and find something of his own ! 

Your puppy should have his ownfood and water bowls. A suitable diet must be palatable and nutritious.   Puppies thrive on the same basic nutrients as adult dogs - protein fat, carbohydrate, minerals and vitamins.
It is important to feed a puppy little and often.   Puppies obviously have smaller stomachs and they will need four meals a day whilst growing.   Although individuals differ, as a rule the following applies:
                        2 - 3 months   :   4 meals per day
3 - 6 months   :   3 meals per day
                        6 months  onwards   :   2 meals per day
Your puppy will have been weaned from his mother when you collect him and reared on quality complete feed.   You will receive a feed chart taylored specifically to your pup's needs.    

When he first arrives home, your pup may be excited by his new surroundings and too distracted to eat.   However, he should soon calm down and when he realises that he is actually hungry, all will be well.    If your puppy shows signs of stomach upset, it may be due to the stress of the journey, leaving home and new surroundings.   Make him comfortable and ensure there is a supply of clean water available to him – he should sleep it off and wake to get on with life.    However, if symptoms persist or become more severe, you must immediately seek advice from your vet.
If you wish to change your pups’ diet, do so over a period of a few days.   A drastic change may have drastic results.
The well being of your puppy is the best indicator as to whether you are feeding the correct diet.   On branded food, follow manufacturers directions for the best guidelines.   Remove any food your pup leaves and feed fresh at each meal.
Remember, when feeding a dried, complete, feed to make sure he always has fresh  drinking water available.

Worming:  It is recommended that your pup is wormed regularly and throughout his life.   He will already have been treated with Panacur/Drontal liquid wormer  and Advantagecomprehensive spot-on treatment for fleas and lice.
He should be wormed again at twelve weeks, six months and thereafter every six months.  
Your vet will be able to advise on brand and dosage.

Vaccinations:  At eight weeks old your pup may begin his course of vaccination.
It is important that he is vaccinated against Distemper, Virus Hepetitis, Leptospirosis and Parvo Virus.  The treatment usually takes the form of two vaccinations, first at eight weeks and the second at ten weeks.   Until this is done and he is given the “all clear” by your Vet, he should be kept away from public places and not allowed to mix with other dogs.

Microchipping:   The Government has recently announced that with effect from 2016 all dogs in England must carry a Microchip.     Microchipping may be included in the price you are paying for the puppy and you should check when collecting him. 

Bathing:   Every effort has been made to ensure that you receive your new puppy free from fleas, lice or mites.   He will have been bathed to control any infestation but it is an unfortunate fact that pups do attract unwanted visitors.   However they are relatively easy to control and, again, your Vet will advise should a problem arise.

House training:   All depends upon your approach.   Puppies obviously vary.   Some are naturally clean, whilst others take a little time to grasp the idea.  Basically, observation and patience are the rules.   However, a rough guide could be:-

Put your pup outside - first thing in the morning;immediately after his naps;immediately after meals;last thing at night;

There will, of course, be accidents - be firm, but not too hard, with him - and Good Luck !

The Cocker is not low maintenance, so far as coat is concerned.    They do vary,  but most puppies will have a profuse puppy coat  until about a year old when the adult coat has grown through becoming more manageable.    Cocker Spaniels need to be groomed regularly and the sooner your pup becomes used to the procedure the better.     You will need a metal comb, wire brush (Slicker) for the ears and feathers;  and a good bristle brush to form the basic grooming kit.
The Cocker is a breed which is normally hand stripped and trimmed to keep his long coat in order.   Unless you intend to learn how to groom your dog  yourself, this should be done by a professional groomer.   An adult will probably need to visit the grooming parlour at least every two months, depending on his type of coat.   Grooming once a day, to keep his coat free from knots and dead hair will make life easier for the groomer and also more comfortable for the dog.   He will also need his nails trimmed unless he gets regular road walks, which will help to keep nails short.
Your Cocker will enjoy grooming as part of his daily routine and it also contributes a great deal toward his general health and well being.

Health check:   Whilst carrying out your daily grooming  you may take the opportunity to check your pup from head to toe, including nails and teeth, so that you will pick up anything which might need attention at the earliest stage..    Accustomising your pup to a mouth and foot inspection is something you should establish from the start – this will make life so much easier for you vet and your groomer.    

Nails - With regular road work the nails should be worn naturally and kept trim but it is not uncommon for the nails to require trimming and this may be carried out by your Vet or Veterinary Nurse, if you are unable to this yourself.  

Teeth – making sure your dogs’ teeth and gums are clean and healthy is extremely important ; regular cleaning should form part of his grooming routine.     In an extreme case, gum infection caused by a build up of plaque on the teeth can result in septicaemia with serious consequences.

Socialisation is probably the most important part of early puppy development.    Your pups’ early experiences are critical in forming a well adjusted adult dog.    Your pup has spent the first weeks of his life within the home environment and will have been introduced to general household noise and comings and goings.     As he grows he will need to become aware of the wider social aspects of living as a member of your family.
Your pup needs to be taught manners; including responding to your commands: how to behave around people and other animals;  and also to respond in the various situations he will encounter throughout his life both in the home, town or countryside.    He needs to be taught to have confidence but remain in control.    
The Kennel Club website provides detailed advice on socialising your pup and there are training groups operating in most parts of the Country which can be a useful and fun way of “socialising” a youngster:  puppy classes are often run by local vets, so ask your practice nurse/vet when you take him for his first health check.

Exercise is, of course, essential to the health and happiness of every dog.   However, playing in the garden and very short walks are quite enough, until your pup is at least twelve months old and his bones are fully formed.   At about a year your Cocker will begin to appreciate longer periods of exercise.
Pups enjoy play, fetching and carrying.    Do not allow him to toys that are small, or may disintegrate enough to become stuck in either his mouth or throat. 
Lead and other basic training of your pup should begin as soon as you get him home and the process of house-training will have set the pattern.    Cockers are keen to learn and appreciate a regular routine.     Use positive methods of training; teach them gently but firmly.   The contact and learning process involved in a daily lead training and grooming session will both keep the pup occupied and develop a strong relationship bond between you.  

 As your dog develops in his learning process you may like to explore the various fields of activity available.    There are many activity Dog Training Clubs and the Kennel Club Website holds the details of all those in your area – Good Citizens and Obedience training; Agility and other competitive activities.

 Finally, if you experience any difficulties, ask for advice.          Problems are easily solved sooner rather than later. 


Useful Contact Addresses:-   There are many useful websites on the Internet that will provide information about the Cocker Spaniel, so far as general advice, temperament or health issues are concerned.  

The Cocker Spaniel Club is regarded as the “parent club” and there are various regional clubs throughout the country some of whom have their own websites - here are some useful links:

The Cocker Spaniel Breed Council website –

Socializing tips:­­_SocializationPup.php    

Cocker Spaniel: An Owner’s Guide (all you need to know about your Cocker) by Jane Simmonds
Pet Owners Guide to Cocker Spaniels by Frank Kane
Cocker Spaniel (Best of Breed) by Derek Shapland
Cocker Spaniel (Pet Love) by Haja Van Wessem

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