This post brought to you by American Kennel Club. All opinions are 100% mine.
Hubby and I noticed that our long-haired chihuahua, Milo, is extremely social but has lost a little spunk this past year. We don’t think it’s because he’s getting older (he still acts like a puppy around other dogs), but rather that he’s at home by himself all day. He needed a friend…I mean, look how high-strung he was?
We’re excited to announce that we adopted another furry friend this past weekend. Meet Charlie Bear.
Charlie is a purebred AKC registered long-haired chihuahua, just like his soon-to-be brother Milo. When researching, I found great resources on the AKC website that can definitely help anyone interested in finding a dog. For example, they have this tool where you can search for breeds to get info on each kind such as grooming details, temperament, size, and where you kind find breeders. We figured going with the same breed would probably make the most sense for us, since we are familiar with long-haired chihuahuas and hoped they would bond quicker. I also liked that they have an AKC Rescue Network, where you can find dogs that need a new home.
Whether you’re getting your new furbaby from a breeder or a shelter, of course you’ll want to do your research. Getting a dog is a major life decision, so here are a few tips/questions I found to think about when making your choice.
1.) If working with a breeder, make sure the breeder is responsible. You should ask to see the puppy, the parents (or at least one of them so you can get an idea of what your puppy’s future may hold), and the premises where the puppy is being cared for. It should be clean and odor free, and the puppy should be well fed and not appear sickly.
2.) Pay attention to how the pup interacts with the breeder. Does it shy away from the breeder? Does the breeder seem to genuinely care about the puppy?
3.) Don’t expect to bring the puppy home until it is 8-12 weeks old. The puppy needs that time with it’s mom and littermates for socialization and to grow strong.
4.) Don’t be afraid to ask questions! The breeder should want to answer all of your questions, and likewise want the puppy to go to a good home. Good questions to ask would be about the breed’s strengths/weaknesses, any knowledge of genetic diseases, and documents. The breeder should be able to share proof of health and make sure the pup is up-to-date on it’s shots/vet visits while still under their care.
Below is a great example of responsible breeders…and seriously, can we talk about how cute these mini wirehaired dachshund puppies are?!
1.) Don’t be afraid to ask why the dog is in a shelter. Was it rescued, a stray, surrendered by the previous owner (and if so, why)? That knowledge may help determine what kind of care the dog will need.
2.) What was the health condition of the dog when he came to the shelter, and what kind of vet care has the dog received since? Are there any special medical conditions or dietary needs you should know about?
3.) Training – is the dog housebroken, good around kids, other pets, strangers, etc?
Of course Milo will always hold a special place in my heart, and I’ll never forget the first day I brought him home.
We read a lot on how to introduce your new puppy to your resident dog, and went with these steps. It went flawless, so I wanted to share!
Tips on Introducing your New Puppy to your Resident Dog
- Introduce your dog to the puppy on neutral ground, that way he won’t get territorial. Avoid your house and yard. We let them meet at a school playground down the road so there was a lot of open space, and did this on the weekend so there wasn’t anyone else around.
- Ideally you should put them both on the ground, and stand with your legs apart in case the puppy gets scared and wants to seek refuge under you. Avoid holding the puppy and letting the dog smell him because he will feel trapped.
- Keep a CLOSE eye on them, and if any fights break out of course separate them. Luckily Milo is a little lover, so I didn’t have to worry about fights.
- Bring them back to your home, and let them start out in your yard before bringing them inside. Baby steps. I let them both hang out on our back porch too, then finally brought them inside.
- From here, try to keep your schedule that you had with the resident dog the same. You don’t want him to resent the puppy, and of course always keep an eye on them when together until they are very comfortable around each other.
I admit I was nervous for the transition and having to train a puppy again, but I just know once they get comfortable they will be best buds. Charlie already seems pretty comfortable himself.
They really are so much more than just pets, aren’t they?
Do you have any tips or ideas on introducing a new puppy to your resident dog? I’d love to hear them, so leave me a comment below!