Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of a very special Miniature Schnauzer puppy. I am personally pleased that he is going to such a wonderful home as yours. Your life will never be the same again! Just like a new baby, there is work to be done so your lifestyle isn't totally upset. You must remember, this is a baby who is going to be full grown in just a few months, so you only have weeks to establish your ground rules. If you don't work daily with your new puppy, you will have an ill-mannered spoiled brat by the time he is six months old. You are the adult - puppy is the child - you are the boss! Integrating your new little bundle of joy into your family will take patience and commitment (and a good sense of humor!). There is so much he needs to learn and discover; and how successful he is at adapting to your lifestyle and his new environment will depend on you. Here are a few things that I hope will help you along the way.
There are as many ways to housebreak a puppy as there are books on the subject. However, in my opinion, your success depends solely on your ability to predict the call of nature. Watch your pup. He will tell you when it's time. After playtime, when he awakens, and after mealtime, take him outside. The more times he eliminates outside, the fewer accidents you will have in the house and the quicker he will be housebroken.
While you are at home try and take your pup out every half to one hour. Don't talk to him until he has gone to the bathroom. If he has success, praise him and pet him. If he doesn't go, take him back in the house and resume your normal activities. A young puppy can "hold it" about 1 hour at the most while he is out of his crate.
Take your puppy out the minute he wakes up day or night, after every meal, as soon as you get up in the morning, and just before you go to bed at night. Watch your puppy! Most accidents in the house are people accidents, not puppy accidents. When a puppy goes to the door, whimpers to go out, and you say "In a minute." and take him out 5 minutes later, you will have to clean your accident up off the floor.
To be a good canine citizen and an ideal pet, your puppy needs to meet new people, dogs, and other animals. This gives him self-confidence. Puppy kindergarten is wonderful. I recommend socializing him in earnest after his second puppy shot at about 11 weeks of age. New experiences are stimulating to your new puppy and can be quite educational for you. It's a great way to get to know your pup.
There are many wonderful activities you and your puppy can get involved in such as agility, obedience, flyball and therapy work. Schnauzers are happiest when they have a "job" to do, so go out and have some FUN!!
DAYTIME - a exercise-pen for longer than three hours or crate if less than three hours during the day. Don't lock your puppy up in a kitchen, bathroom or utility room, Keep him in a exercise-pen or crate.
When you let your puppy out of the ex-pen/crate, this is his time to be with you and your family. This is the time to play and interact and to learn the boundaries of your home.
This is not the time for him to go exploring on his own. Paper, books, Kleenex, toilet paper and all reading material can become confetti in less than five minutes. They are not referred to as "Paper Schnauzers" for no reason!!!
Cover the bottom of the crate with a soft, absorbent material such as a small towel, add a toy, and perhaps a bully stick to the crate, then place puppy in the crate. If he begins to cry, go over to the cage, clap your hands and firmly GROWL NO!!! Usually this only has to be done a couple of times for the first few days, then when you clap your hands and firmly say NO, he will settle right down.
As you probably know, Schnauzers sometimes get overly excited when meeting other dogs, and people, and may show a streak of stubbornness, and have devious ideas on getting their own way. Schnauzers are very intelligent dogs, and that means they need to learn very early on who's boss. Simply learning the sit, stay, come, commands teaches them that you are in control.
I urge you to enroll in a basic obedience class. Not only will your puppy be better behaved, he will develop a special bond with you and his self-esteem will soar. Choose an instructor who is big on positive reinforcement and respects a dog's sensitivity. The time you invest in training your puppy should be enjoyable for both of you.
Do not play rough with your puppy! Don’t let the puppy develop bad habits such as jumping up on you, biting at clothing, etc. Some of the bad habits that he develops as a small puppy will certainly not be desirable when he grows older. Don’t let him get by with anything as a puppy that you won’t want him to do when he is older!
Puppies explore the world with their mouths. Unfortunately, this can also mean biting/chewing on things such as your furniture, rugs, shoes, hands, etc. Puppies must NEVER, EVER, be allowed to bite you, not even in "play"!!!! This behavior must be EXTINGUISHED right away. At first you may think it is "cute", and really does not hurt, but if you do not stop it the first time it happens, you will have a problem later. When the puppy bites you, IMMEDIATELY GROWL "OUCH" in a high pitched voice as if he hurt you, and then say "NO BITE"..........mama dogs and litter mates do the same thing to each other when one of the litter mates get out of hand. It is their way of saying, "back off, you're playing too rough". Continue this as often, and EVERY time the puppy bites. Normally it only takes a few times and the puppy understands that biting is not acceptable behavior. Always redirect the puppy to an acceptable chew item such as a rope bone, Kong toy, or hard bone. Puppies need to chew and their chewing desire must be satisfied with acceptable items, and YOU are not one of them!!!.
To maintain healthy coat and skin, your puppy should be brushed and combed out at least every 2 or 3 days. I bathe mine about every four weeks in the Summer, and every six weeks in the Winter months. Brushing frequently will help keep the coat's natural oils distributed throughout his coat. Miniature Schnauzers should be trimmed (groomed) every 4-8 weeks by a professional groomer who is knowledgeable with the proper grooming of the Miniature Schnauzer. You can also learn to groom your own Schnauzer. There are many good grooming books and charts available to teach you how.
FEEDING Puppies should be fed three meals per day. If you have a Miniature Schnauzer puppy, this will equal about 8 ozs of food per day, total. You can adjust the amount up or down depending on if your puppy seems too fat or too thin, etc, but this formula works well for most pups. Feed him three small meals a day until he is about 4 months old, and after that, two smaller meals a day. My dogs as adults eat once a day in the morning. You will have to learn what suits your pup and your lifestyle the best. My dogs eat their food with a small bowl of water beside it in case they need a drink.
Make sure to check the ingredients on your doggy treats, Don't feed your puppy or adult Schnauzer what I call "grocery store garbage" such as "Beggin Strips", "Snauzages", Etc. These are just like feeding your human children "Twinkies" every day. They are full of sugar, corn, and artificial colors/flavors. Stick to the more "natural" type of treats.
Although your puppy has been wormed, I suggest you take a sample of his stool to your vet on your first vet visit. Your puppy has had at least its first vaccine as well. You will recieve a health record (refer to puppy manual that went home with your new pup) with your new puppy, please take this with you to your vet on your first visit.
Runny or soft stools can be common the first couple days, due to change of surroundings, but be sure to call your vet if this persists. If puppy is eating fine, drinking plenty of water, and acting alert and playful, there should be no reason for alarm.
RECOMMENDED PUPPY SUPPLY LIST
I am always being asked what supplies to buy for the new arrival. Below I've put together a list of the things that you should purchase for your new addition. Happy Shopping!!!
Amazon sells a Med. crate that is great, you can check it out on my Links page
Stoneware or stainlees steel Food & Water Dishes
Nylon Collars, Leashes
Premium Plush Toys, Rope Bone, Tennis Balls, Kongs & Dental Kongs
I DO NOT SUGGEST RAWHIDE OF ANY KIND OR PIGS EARS OR ANTLERS!!!
I find that Bully Sticks are the best for your Schnauzer 6"oderless thick are just fine, they are great during teething and they are just a great all around chewy for your dog, great for cleaning the teeth. I do have a link for odorless BULLY STICKS ON MY links PAGE. Adult Schnauzers should only have them for 20 minute intervals and then take it away and store in freezer, three times a week is great for teeth cleaning. Puppies can have it at all times until their adult teeth are in.
Other items you will need:
* Doggy Toothpaste & Toothbrush *
* Nail Clippers *
* Sherpa or Lambswool Crate Pads (At Least Two) *
* Comb (You will find that on my LINKS page) *
These items can also be purchased on-line at the following pet supply stores:
Pet Edge Supply
or you can check out your local Pet Store
Give lots of love and praise. Your puppy really wants to please you and make you proud of him. A little love goes a long way.
Well, now, that's about it, easy right? If you ever have any questions, comments or need any help, please feel free to contact me. The only stupid questions are the ones that go unasked!!! Good luck with your puppy. I am here if you should need any help.