You’ve probably done your research about the process of bringing home a puppy and decided what that preparation looks like for you. However, we’ve compiled a list below to ensure you feel confident in what the next steps will look like.
Ensure you have your puppy go home package filled with food, treats, and toys. This package also contains important health information that you need to bring to your Vet to ensure good continuity of health care.
As per our Contract of Sale, it is recommended that you bring your puppy to the Vet within the first week of bringing them home. Before sending puppy home with you, puppies are seen by a Vet, received their initial health screen, deworming, vaccines, and microchipping. However, having your vet assess your new puppy once adopted may give you peace of mind with an unbiased assessment, confirming that you purchased a puppy in good health. This appointment is also important for your Vet to review puppy’s health documents and continue them on the appropriate vaccine, deworming and flea/tic schedule appropriate for your geographical location and exposure risk. You can also have them check their microchip as a baseline so you feel confident it is working appropriately.
Introduce your puppy to your family. This should be accomplished in a calm and loving environment. If you can, limit exposure to other dogs outside of their home are at a higher risk for contracting illness as their vaccine schedule will not be completed for a few months.
Start a routine. This includes mealtime, potty breaks, playtime, and naptime. Structure helps puppies feel secure and understand expectations. Enforce rules and stick to them—consistency is key in puppy learning good verse bad behaviours.
Consider a grooming schedule. A GSPs coat is short and easy to clean, requiring a brush once in a while to help remove the loose hairs. An occasional bath can help their coat stay nice and shiny. Their nails should be trimmed once every 1 – 2 weeks and their ears regular inspected and cleaned.
A GSP requires a high-quality dog food appropriate for its age and activity level. Because a GSP is such an active dog, it requires a diet higher in protein and fat than the average dog. We recommend speaking with a Vet regarding the appropriate nutrition for a GSP. For reference, we feed our dogs Purina Pro Plan Sport Dog 30/20. It is important to be aware of bloat – a gastrointestinal condition that can happen to GSPs or other dogs with deep narrow chests. If you notice any early signs such as restlessness, stretching of the abdomen, rapid shallow breathing, non productive dry heaving, thick hanging saliva from the mouth, visually swollen and hard belly sensitive to touch, seek emergency medical treatment. In order to prevent this from occurring, do not feed a GSP immediately after exercise or exercise immediately after feeding.
A GSP requires hours of physical exercise per day such as running and swimming, or anything outdoors that can help burn off their energy. We recommend creating a fixed exercise routine in order to ensure your GSP is meeting its daily exercise demands. If your GSP is not adequately exercised, it will expend its energy any possible way which often results in unwanted and destructive behaviours inside the home.
A GSP is a very intelligent dog and requires routine mental stimulation. If they are under stimulated, this will also result in destructive behaviours inside the home. Each dog has its own personality and experience which shapes how they understand and react to their environment. We believe in the importance of allowing a puppy to be a puppy in order to learn and develop its personality as well as their natural instincts, confidence, versatility and drive. A GSP owner will quickly see how these known GSP characteristics will rapidly present themselves in a young puppy often showing the need for early environment socialization and basic obedience training. A GSP can be extremely challenging in the first few years of its life, and because of this we encourage professional training for basic obedience as well as basic and advanced bird dog training. Basic obedience will help the puppy be a successful member of a family, as well as create a solid foundation before progressing into basic and advanced level bird dog training – the fun and favored activities in which the GSP was bred for!