New Puppy Tips


DO NOT BUY ANY TREATS OR FOOD MADE IN CHINA!!!!!  These items have caused the death of many pets in America.  They contain a chemical that is toxic to our animals.


Crate train your puppy.  It saves the pup from punishment for chewing or wetting in the house while you are distracted or away.  It also helps the pup learn to hold their pee, as they usually won’t go where they sleep if they can possibly prevent it.  Make sure the crate is just big enough for the pup to stand and turn around.  Any bigger, and they will mess in one end and sleep in the other.  Don’t take your puppy out of the crate while it is barking or whining, you will teach it to bark and whine while in the crate.  Wait until it is quiet to take your puppy out. (This does not apply when you just get home)


Don’t put anything in the crate except newspaper to absorb a mess, and a chew toy or bully stick.  They can ingest parts of blankets or towels that will block their intestines. Do not leave their collar on in a wire crate!!!


Puppies can hold their urine for the number of months old they are plus one.  So if your puppy is three months old, they can only hold for up to 4 hours.  You can’t expect more.


If you are working up to 8 hours a day, our puppies are litter trained to help.  Instead of using a crate, purchase an x-pen and put a litter box into the pen, as well as toys and food/water.  The pup will use the litter box.  We use Yesterdays News litter.  Do not use clay litter for cats.   


Feed at least twice a day letting them eat as much as they want for 20 minutes, including water.  Then pick up the food and water.  If you can feed three times a day, that is even better.  Make the last feeding near to 5:00 in the afternoon, and then nothing after that to help with overnight messes.


Give your puppy cow hooves, bully sticks or other buffalo items to chew on all the time.  That keeps them from chewing on other things.  If they do take something else in their mouth, simply take it away, say no, and give them a bully stick.  We recommend Canine Caviar bully sticks.  You can order them on or Amazon.


If your puppy insists on getting into your face, or licking, just rap your open palm against their nose and say “no lick”.  Not hard, just enough to get their attention.


If (when) your puppy barks you need to allow them to alert, but not to bark constantly or to the level of irritation.  Use the term “quiet” (it does not sound like any other command).  You can whack a rolled newspaper or flyswatter on something hard near them to get the point across. (never hit the puppy).


Good treats for training are the little bits of cheese or deli meat.  I also use Wellness Soft puppy treats.  If you want to make your own, beef liver, boiled, cut into pieces and baked until dry are great.  You can freeze them too.  If you buy treats be sure they are not from China


House training is always a challenge.  These are my suggestions.  Do not give your pup the run of the house until they are trained.  If you can’t watch them continuously leave them in their crate or tie them to you by a leash.  Take your pup out the minute he/she wakes up from a nap.  Be patient.  Sometimes it takes 10 or 15 minutes for them to go.  Take them to the same place in the yard each time, and use a term like “go potty” so they know what to do.  If you want, take a treat to give them when they go.  Take them out about 15 to 20 minutes after eating, also 15 to 20 minutes after they begin to play hard if they didn’t go when they woke up.  Consistency is the key.  Punishing them for going in the house is usually counterproductive, praise and treats when they are good work better. Puppies do not need the run of the house.  If you aren’t watching them, crate them.  Best case is to leash them to you so you know where they are.  The more room they have to play the easier it is for them to hide and potty.


Aussies, especially miniature and toy aussies are very susceptible to becoming submissive.  For that reason, we try to avoid hitting them.  Try everything before you strike your dog, as once they are scared of you, it is really hard to undo the damage.


Keep your puppy on puppy food for at least the first full year.  I recommend 1/2 Fromm Heartland Puppy mixed with 1/2 Sport Dog Cub.  At 6 months I go to 50/50 puppy and Fromm Salmon A La Veg.   At 9 to 12 months I switch the puppy to 1/3 Fromm Whitefish and Potato, 1/3 Sport Dog Dock Dog and 1/3 Salmon.  You can order it through and Sportdog.


Do NOT use Heartguard for your puppy.  Aussies, as well as Collies, Border Collies, and other breeds have been found to occasionally be sensitive to the amount of ivermectin in Heartguard.  We recommend Interceptor or Revolution.  If your puppy requires surgery, please discuss the sensitivities of dogs with the MDR1 gene factor before treatment.  You can see more information on this on our website.


Drugs Affected by the MDR1 Gene Mutation:

Acepromazine  Butorphanol  Doxorubicin
Erythromycin Ivermectin Loperamide
Milbemycin Moxidectin Rifampin
Selamectin Vinblastine Vincristine


Neutering your puppy has now become a harder decision.  It is now felt that neutering before growth plates are closed can cause problems with tendons and ligaments.  It is now suggested that you neuter your puppy around a year, or after an xray shows the growth plates are closed.  If you aren’t sure you can keep your puppy from breeding please be responsible and neuter/spay by 6 months.   Females may be spayed any time after 8 months. You do not have to wait for a first heat prior to spaying.


Feel free to contact us any time for advice or commiseration.  We love to hear from our puppy families.