SOME TIPS FOR YOUR NEW CARDI PUPPY
1. Keep nails trimmed as short as possible. This ensures a proper, tight Cardi foot.
2. Since they're built so differently from other dogs, how do you pick one up?
The Cardigans center of balance is just under the chest. Put one hand under the chest behind the front legs, with the other hand supporting the hindquarters. Never let young puppies jump off furniture or go down large flights of stairs. Teach the pup to go up and down a short flight of stairs in the beginning. Remember going downstairs is harder for this long-bodied dog in the beginning.
Never let a puppy jump off furniture, or go up and down stairs until 5 months or so. The Cardigan front is of unusual construction, with its bowed front. An injury can hurt the bone growth plates and ruin what was a perfectly beautiful and proper front assembly. For the same reason, always place a pup down on the floor REAR first, not front first.
3. Ears should come up by 8 - 12 weeks. Sometime the breeder will tape them. This is not uncommon. Also, when a pup starts teething, the ears will weaken a bit. Calcium is going straight to teeth production rather than the ears at this time.
4. On the subject of teeth, keep checking pup's bite, making sure the adult teeth are coming in right, and that baby teeth are coming out. Any questions, ask your breeder or your vet.
5. Puppies may show some dry skin with flakes. This is normal and will disappear shortly after leaving "mom". A warm wet cloth will assist with this situation.
6. To help in housetraining, we recommend the use of a metal or Sky-kennel for crate training (see brochures). This provides a home/bed for the pup, and thus, a sense of security. Also, leave the pup in it overnight, or when you must leave the house (short intervals at first). A pup won't mess where he sleeps. We don't approve of tying a pup when left alone. There have been too many cases of a pup getting choked. A crate is the only answer. Remove collars when pup is in the crate. The "crate method" makes housebreaking much easier.
7. Basic training starts immediately. Get pup used to having its bite checked and by getting handled often and handled by strangers. Get pup used to standing on a table - always under supervision, of course! This prepares pup for grooming on a table, examination on table by judge for show dogs and even exam by the veterinarian. At first, just get pup used to being on the table, petting and talking to him/her. Then progress to making the pup stand still on the table while handled and bite is checked. Run your hand over topline and talk to the pup. Develope eye contact by telling the pup to "Watch me". Teach the pup to catch treats or bait to develop showmanship. Never let the pup take the food off the floor. Remember to praise your pups lots while learning.
8. Begin basic obedience training early. Call pup's name often and teach it to COME, SIT, etc. Teach pup to follow along on leash. Check with your local obedience school about enrolling the pup in classes. You will need a 6 foot leather or cotton web leash (not chain leash!) and a choke collar. This metal collar is used only when training, and is NOT left on the dog all the time.
9. We do not recommend the use of tying out the puppy on a rope or chain to a stake in the yard. This is very dangerous. We have heard horror stories of how dogs strangle themselves fatally. This is a companion breed and should be outside with supervision. Walk the dog on a leash for exercise or keep in fenced-in yard, then bring in for socialization with the family.
10. Grooming equipment: slicker or wire pin brush, Shed N'blade, Nail clippers and Quik Stop.
11. Puppies love to chew so provide squeeky toys, rawhides, Nylabones and bisquits. Never give bones from scraps, except maybe marrow bones. If you catch pup chewing something he/she shouldn't be chewing, tell them firmly, "NO, bad dog". Then find one of their toys and give it to the pup, with a soothing, pleasing voice, tell them, "Good puppy".
12. Best of all, enjoy your new pup. With love and attention and care, your pup will return the same with total devotion. Best of luck with your new little companion, and remember to keep in touch with your breeder!