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18 Podcast – Advice on Puppies, What To Look For and How To Prepare At Home.

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If you have ever picked up a puppy, you have more than likely been subjected to unsolicited advice from your family and friends, but deciphering the good from the bad is not always easily done! In this episode Rowan, Mark and Caroline discuss what to look for when meeting a breeder, how to prepare your home for the puppies arrival, the proper behaviour for your puppy (and you!) and the best diet to feed your pup on! Join the conversation on Instagram and Twitter @BellaAndDuke and make sure to join our growing Facebook community! – https://www.facebook.com/groups/bella…

For more information check out our handy puppy blog! https://www.bellaandduke.com/2018/05/…

“Whatever a puppy does, he’s not being naughty, he’s just being a puppy!” – Caroline Spencer (Dog Behaviour and Canine Training Specialist).

0:04 – Maxwell’s Introduction 0:45 – Greetings/Welcome 1:26 – Rundown of Topics 1:57 – What to look for when buying a puppy 5:34 – Preparing your house for the puppies arrival 8:15 – Behaviour to avoid for you and the puppy 10:15 – Is the puppy ‘nibbly’? What does this mean? 11:50 – What to feed your puppy 12:38 – Rowan’s Recap 15:50 – What to feed your new puppy. 20:14 – ‘Parenting Your New Puppy’ 22:11 – Sign Off

Maxwell:  Hiya, it’s Maxwell here and this week on the podcast Rowan, Wendy and Mark talk about puppies, nice puppies. And if you’re watching this on YouTube or on the Facebook with the video, there’s a little out-take that I’ve left, you know, because I thought, well you might find it a wee bit amusing. Anyway, enjoy this week’s podcast. Maxwell out. Your loving pug.

Rowan:   Awesome.

Caroline: That would have been hilarious.

Rowan: How are you? Well done. Well first of all kudos to Mark Scott for spotting the essential recording error. And welcome to you both to yet another podcast with all three of us on the tricycle of positivity from Bella and Duke, welcome, welcome.

Caroline: Absolutement.

Mark: Lovely Caroline with us who’s the behaviorist of dogs and CEOs, so it’s quite useful.

Rowan: Do you get made to sit in the office Mark?

Mark: And she doesn’t give me any treats, she doesn’t believe in treats.

Caroline: Yeah, not allowed to eat treats. Yeah, you behave well [inaudible] . . . at the end of the day.

Mark: OK guys, topic this week, one that I really wanted to delve into is puppies. Lovely puppies.

Rowan:          Awesome.

Mark:             We get often customers coming to us, there’s a lot of misinformation, which we’ll go through as well out there, what about puppies, how to feed them. Everything like, I’ve read somewhere you can’t feed puppies raw until they’re 12 months old.

Rowan:          What?

Mark:             Best tell the wolves that then. And all the rest of the stuff that’s out there. So Caroline obviously she does a lot of work with dogs and puppies alike. So Caroline, dive right into it. When you are looking for a puppy, what’s the things that you need to look for?

Caroline:        You need to find a puppy that has been bred from a nice relaxed bitch. Ideally you want to see the father as well. That the puppy has been born in a… What are you laughing at you two?

Girl dog, a lady dog. What do you want me to say? Look we’ve got 20 minutes to do this one and you’re pissing about.

Rown:          [laughs] Just the idea. Just the idea of Caroline rocking up to somebody’s house with a microphone, shoving it in this dog’s face — “are you a nice relaxed bitch?” Absolutely terrified. “Are you used to being handled?” “Are you socially attuned.” This dog’s like, what?

Mark:             Give me your puppies then. [laughter]

Rowan:          I’ve got a litter of seven, I’ve just been through a traumatic time and now I’m being interviewed by a MIss Behaviorist, who’s calling me a biatch. I mean, check out the mouth on her.

Mark:             After the relaxed bitch what else do we [inaudible]

Rowan:          Yeah, nice work.

Caroline:        Puppy’s actually been born in the home rather than a shed…

Mark:             In a tree…

Rowan:          Or in a manger.

Caroline: What the puppy’s like. Can you hold them and don’t nibble. Do the same thing when you go to a rescue, if you can hold the puppy, it’s not all over the place and doesn’t wriggle, it’s going to hopefully a fairly plain sale.

Mark: So you’d go and see the litter, you’d sit down maybe she holds them so you’re more relaxed.

Caroline: And you’re just watching the litter, maybe talking to the owner.

Mark: One comes over to you maybe. If you pick it up and it settles in you that’s a good indication of being loved and assuming all the… If one’s going to be like that, hopefully the majority are and that means it’s an indicator it’s been brought up correctly, in the correct environment without [inaudible] And then if the owners… How about the owners, if they’re asking you specific questions, is that a good sign?

Caroline: Yeah. I want the owners to interview you, so they care. You want to be interviewed so you know the owners care about where the puppy’s going.

Rowan: Good. I like that. This is what I found with this . . . when I was buying Kismet. Was that he was really — do you have a garden? Have you had a dog before? Do you have any convictions?

Caroline: Well, we won’t go into those though will we.

Rowan: No, no I’m a man of convictions. Don’t eat kibble.

Mark: Absolutely.

Rowan: He was actually really excited when I told him that I worked with a fast growing raw dog food company and we’re all about dogs health. He was super excited. So I did send him a couple of videos of things I was doing about dog blogs and they were really, really happy to give me the doggy based on that.

Mark: So when you’ve gone and picked this puppy up, you’ve done your research on it it, you’ve met the breeder, hopefully they’ve asked you sensible questions that gives you confidence that they care about the dog. You’ve sat with the dogs, you’ve seen how they interact with each other. I guess obviously then the next stage is getting the house prepared?

Caroline: Yeah, absolutely. You want a nice little dome bed so the puppy can go in there and feel really safe. It’s nice to take a little jumper or a little bit of cloth that the puppy’s had with mum so you’ve got some familiar smells when it gets there. Because it’s also . . . from there to home as well that’s very important, how you do that. But get the bowls ready, got a bed ready, you’ve done your research on the food. You’ve gone Bella and Duke, one for me. So get every thing prepared way before time. Mark you were saying get down low, make sure there’s no little kiddie Lego anywhere or any little plants that puppies can go and grab onto. If you live in a house with stairs, you may be wise to get a stairgate because you don’t want puppies going up and down the stairs, at this stage anyway.

Mark: And limit the rooms that they can actually go into.

Caroline: Absolutely, because they’re going to be peeing all over the place to start with. But having said that, if you’ve got a really good breeder they would have actually gone through the stage and your puppy could really be near enough house trained when you get it. But I’m not a fan of putting puppy pads down, so don’t waste your money getting those. But what you can do is every time it wakes, when it’s had a feed, when it’s had a big play, take it outside, it has a pee and a pooh, just go — good dog, and give it a little bit of…

Mark: Loving.

Caroline: Chicken or something like that. And when it does inside, don’t worry about it, just mop it up.

Rowan: That’s a really good attitude. I like that. I’m sorry if that sounded remotely patronizing. What I mean is that’s a really good attitude to dealing with it all, because I know some people get themselves super bent out of shape. [inaudible] couple of builders coming around just as Kismet had arrived and they kept saying, yeah, if the puppy does a pooh inside, you have to rub its face in it repeatedly. And I was like, I really don’t want to do that, that’s somebody in my family. My dad annoys me, I wouldn’t go and do that and flush his head down the toilet, repeatedly. Maybe just the once. He is a bit deaf, so maybe I’d have to do it twice so he realized it was happening.

Caroline:  Whatever a puppy does, he’s not been naughty, he’s just being a puppy and we’ve got to guide him, educate him and point him in the right direction of how to fit into our world.

Mark: So how do we prepare family and friends then on that, because having a dog jump up and somebody say, oh that’s alright. That’s not…

Caroline: It’s not really, because it’s going to be huge within sort of three or four months. A cute puppy jumping up when it’s like that big is like, oh lovely. But it’s not learning any manners, it’s not learning any respect of your space. So if the puppy jumps up, just literally pop his paws down and then stroke him when he’s on the floor, so he gets you when he’s down there.

Mark: So do we have to educate the other people who are coming to your house as well — if he jumps up, please follow this procedure.

Rowan: Yes.

Caroline: Yes, absolutely, you have to train everybody that’s coming in. And you get lots of next door neighbors — oh I’ve had dogs before. I’ll come in and they tell your puppy to sit down, don’t do this and don’t do that. Well everybody else is an expert when you have a baby as well and you just get so confused about what you should be doing. Just do what comes naturally and don’t try and do too much too soon. The puppy’s got to learn that home is safe, the garden is safe and you can do the right thing by it. So don’t go and get every friend round within the first 24 hours — look at my gorgeous puppy. And you’re having the puppy around and so many times I hear that puppy’s been dropped or puppy’s been… And people hold puppy’s up right to their eyes and make the puppy stare at them — oh you’re so cute. Well you’ve got really round eyes and that is really a threatening pose and the puppy is dangling midair, so it feels so unsafe. So always think, how would I feel if this was happening to me?

Mark: I will.

Caroline: You look very thoughtful, what’s going on in your head Rowan?

Rowan: Probably best not to say out loud.

Caroline: Is that what happened with yours?

Rowan: No, not at all. [inaudible] You did say something earlier, which was quite interesting when it was about selecting a dog and you were saying if they’re too nibbly. What does that mean?

Caroline:  It means they haven’t been handled gently when they were with their birth mother and birth home. If they’re handled very gently… Again dogs are dogs, people are people. If we’re gentle with dogs they love us. If we’re rough with dogs they fear us. So it’s very important from day one that they get literally just a couple of minutes of hold near to their mother every couple of times a day. So it’s something that they learn to enjoy. If they start nibbling and wriggling it means they haven’t actually had a lot of that. It’s strange. It’s not comfortable. I don’t get this.

Mark: You know when people put their hand in a puppy’s mouth, that’s a bad thing, isn’t it?

Caroline: Yeah.

Mark:  Like you’re telling the dog…

Caroline:  What they’re trying… Trying to stop the puppy nibbling, well actually just walk away from the situation. People will say, shout at a puppy and all the rest of it, but I don’t sound like a bitch that does that to their puppies. The best thing, if a puppy’s doing something wrong and you don’t want it to, you just pop it’s paws down it It’s jumping up. If it’s nibbling and trying to get your sleeves and your arms, then just guide away, stand away, you can walk out of the room if you have to, just for 30 seconds. Because if the puppy loses you then it goes, that didn’t work, I didn’t get you. But if you start screaming, shouting, no, don’t do this and all the rest of it, puppy’s got your attention. It’s like naughty children. If they get their attention for being naughty, they’ll do it again.

Mark:  And does that come down to when you’re obviously feeding, obviously people have a choice about what they’re going to feed. I think I’ve learned over the last two years, obviously raw, massive advocate. You can start a puppy raw from straight.

Caroline:  Absolutely.

Mark:  But often I think I feel that firstly dogs or fussy eaters start at this age when people panic.

Caroline: You can make a dog fussy. The puppy might’ve been weaned onto a dried food, it might’ve with any luck been weaned onto a raw food diet. But literally, don’t make a big deal. If your puppy is just going — oh, I don’t know about this. Just leave it, just don’t put any extra pressure on a puppy to eat, to do stuff.

Rowan:  OK. Can we recap, because we’ve covered quite a few things here, all of which are really valuable I think. So, firstly we’ve got a couple of routes we can go down when it comes to pre puppy selection and really that depends where we are. So that is, are we actually going to get a puppy from a breeder, in which case we need to be super assiduous that we avoid going into the whole puppy farming and supporting it accidentally by buying something or a puppy just because it’s cute because you’ve seen the picture on Facebook or whichever. What we’re going to do is do some homework, find out exactly what kind of home it’s been brought into and ideally meet at least the mother, preferably both parents and see how they’ve been brought up. Alternatively, we go to a rescue center. Similar drill, we want to see that the puppy’s used to being handled and has being treated gently.

Then when we get the puppy home, we’re going to need a few things. So far I’ve got like a safe doggy dome bed set up, something that’s covered.

Caroline: Or a crate.

Rowan: Or a crate.

Caroline: Or both.

Rowan: Water and food, newspaper if required, but really puppy pads…

Caroline: People in flats are going to have to. If you live in a house with a garden then it’s plain sailing. But if you live in a flat of course you’re going to have to have some paper down.

Rowan: OK. Things to avoid are making it stressful for the puppy, obviously with showboating it with a zillion other people and picking it, just get the puppy lots of space. Let the puppy feel feel super, super secure around you. Handle gently, you be calm, the dog will be calm.

The other points that we talked about were if the puppy starts doing anything which you wish to discourage, rather than giving the dog a long monologue, which is going to make no sense to it whatsoever, walk away or stop giving encouragement to that. And normally this sorts itself out. Have we covered all those points?

Caroline: Well yeah. What point we have is if it’s chewing on some cables or something don’t make a big deal about it, just remove the puppy and give it something it can chew like little chew, little toy or something.

Rowan: Yeah, replace that.

Caroline: They will be teething and they do need something fairly hard. So we’ve got a split answer haven’t we, which is really good.

Rowan: [inaudible] — toy is a good idea.

Now raw, we’ve talk about this a lot. I know where I am on it. I know where you are on it, Caroline. I know where you are on it. Mark. However, our listeners might like to understand why. There are some farcical reasons out there which we’re going to avoid being cynical about as to why you can’t feed a puppy raw or you can’t this. Mark, if you were to go out and buy a new puppy for your kids right now, would you be feeding it raw, cooked or kibble?

Mark: Straight raw, because that’s what they do in nature, that’s what most, 8.7 million of species on the planet actually do. It’s more natural than cooked. So absolutely 1000%.

Caroline: By cooking you kill huge amount of nutrients anyway, don’t you.

Mark: Yeah.

Caroline:  Is that correct?

Rowan: Well you don’t necessarily kill all the nutrients. You do kill the enzymes. You do denature some of the vitamins. You could argue that sometimes cooking makes some of the elements more bio available, but generally we’ve all evolved, dogs particularly to actually eat raw food. So I personally would go straight onto raw. Why? Because whichever bacteria is there is going to help their immune systems develop. Typically raw’s been frozen anyway, so if there’s any major parasites or major cell organisms they’re dead if they were present or any of the eggs they’re gone. I can’t possibly think of why you wouldn’t give your puppy the very best start in life with what we believe to be the very best food.

Mark: And I think also you then start to realize that because fussy eaters become fussy because we panic about it and because we worry that they’re not eating enough and stuff like that and they maybe leave the food. I made the fatal mistake of just putting kibble down for my dogs when they were puppies and I never took any notice at all or when they ate or when they didn’t eat. So they could have fasted a day or two days, I wouldn’t even know because I had three dogs. When you do raw feeding and put the food down you actually notice whether they eat or not. So you’re much more aware of what’s going on with it. But also you’re training the dog that — hey, if you don’t eat the food within 15 minutes, I’m going to pick it up and take it away. So it’s like a . . . boss to the dog, training the dog to eat at the right times.

Now, if a dog doesn’t eat for 24 hours, OK puppy’s a little bit different, but as long as it’s drinking, as long as it looks healthy as long as it’s got energy, you can always take them to the vet, but don’t panic if a dog doesn’t eat. It’s never going to starve itself to death.

Caroline:A lot of non-eating [inaudible] . . . anxiety, anxiety issues around food, because we make it an anxious thing. And also we have to be very aware not to make puppies food aggressive. People say, oh, I can take away food away from my puppy, I’m getting it so that I can do anything with the food. Now If I gave you something to eat, say a lush carrot and you were about to tuck into that and then whipped it away from you, you’d probably not be terribly happy with me? So you actually make a puppy food aggressive by trying to do the trick, like, here’s the food, no food, here’s the food, no food. You just get a certain personalities will go, yeah, whatever, but there are personalities out there will go — you do that once more, I’ll have you.

Rowan: Especially if you’ve not met the mother.

Caroline: So what you need to rather than take food away while the puppy’s eating and he’s just finished his food, put some more in and more in, so you give, give, give, you’re not a taker.

Mark: Because quite often it’s the fussy eaters we have the issues with. Like they’re the ones that will jump from one brand to another brand to another brand.

Caroline: Absolutely, but that’s only because, it’s like children, if they won’t eat something and then you give them another option, they know they can manipulate you. So you have so stand firm.

Mark: My kids won’t eat their dinner properly and then half an hour later they’re going — oh dad, oh mum, I’m hungry. Why didn’t you eat your dinner? You know what they want, they want all the crap and processed stuff, that’s what they want.

Rowan: Yeah, yeah. OK. Cool. Guys, I think we’ve covered a lot of good points there.

Mark: Yeah, absolutely.

Caroline: Indeed.

Mark: Is there anything that we should be adding to this?

Caroline: Ooh yes there is. I’ve written a book with my colleague, Leslie Harris, called “Parenting Your New Puppy.”

Rowan: Oh nice.

Caroline: Yeah. Which goes on how to find the right puppy, food to eat, preparing for the puppy and how to bring the puppy up to about 18 months old.

Mark: [inaudible][20:28]

Caroline: What the puppy or the book?

Mark: The puppy and the book.

Rowan: Then you moved on to why does my dog do that? One thing I would like to throw into the mix please is I think it’s super critical for helping the puppy’s brain to develop is ensuring it gets an additional amount of fat, of the right fats. Now 60% of the human brain by weight is fat, 40% water, 60% fat.

Caroline: So it’s true when people call you fathead.

Rowan: Of that 60% of fat is cholesterol and it’s really important we feed these with good fats to be able to create new networks. So as a puppy is learning and we want to be facilitating all these new cool behaviors and their ability to respond, I think it’s a really good idea to add some additional coconut oil and a little bit of olive oil and you can alternate. I’ve been experimenting with this young lady doing that and in fact it was a tip I picked up off Rodney Habib. All hail Rodney. It’s a really good one. I think we should actually look at maybe a puppy range where we add in some more things like that, Mark for cerebral development.

Mark: Well we are in the new . . . aren’t we? We’ve got that.

Caroline: Is that an adult food?

Mark:  It is but we can do puppy range of it.

Rowan: Et voila. OK lovely people. Well I think we can maybe wrap that up here can’t we?

Mark:  Absolutely. I think we covered a lot there. There’s loads more we can do, but I think that’s the basics of finding your puppy.

Caroline: Yeah, good start anyway.

Rowan: Absolutely. And if people want to know more then we’re here and we want to help.

Mark: Loads of blogs, loads of stuff.

Rowan: Yeah, OK. Well I’m going to stop recording now.


Caroline: So that the puppy has actually been born and brought up in someone’s home. Stop it. Just go and take some deep breaths outside will you.


Rowan: My face hurts.

Caroline: It’s not going to happen today, is it.

Rowan: Come on, let’s make this happen.

So Caroline, assuming that people are not necessarily going down the rescue route —


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