Puppy's First Year

puppy gsvrCaring for your new puppy should be an enjoyable, but thoughtful experience. How he develops depends a great deal upon the care he receives when very young. One of the first things to remember is to make him feel secure and comfortable with his new family. Confidence in his owner will bring with it pleasure and a devoted friend, as the Affen develops a very strong attachment to his master.

A reputable breeder or seller will provide you with a health certificate or a health record showing all immunization vaccinations given to the puppy prior to sale. Some states (California, Florida and Texas) require breeders to provide veterinarian-certified proof of health on sale of a dog.

Your new puppy should be examined by a veterinarian and given a series of shots, if he has not already received them. They consist of, and are generally combined, for infectious hepatitis, distemper, leptospirosis parainfluenza and parvovirus. The frequency and combination of vaccines is a matter of veterinarian preference. Rabies vaccinations generally are given when the puppy is older. Some veterinarians want to provide immunization against bordatella (kennel cough) and corona, particularly if the puppy is to be entered in shows or to mingle with many other dogs. Check with your veterinarian and follow his or her advice.

Also a stool sample should be checked for worms. If you live in a warm climate where mosquitoes are a year-around threat, consult with your veterinarian on heartworm preventative. Generally the monthly heartworm preventative also prevents other parasite infestations.

Now that you have ensured your little Affen is protected from disease and content in his new home, a regular diet and schedule should be kept. The breeder may have provided you a small supply of food or told you what the puppy has been eating. Making a sudden change in puppy diet sometimes can result in diarrhea or the puppy's refusal to eat. Vitamins and calcium can be prescribed by your vet. He should be fed four meals a day until six months old, small amounts at a time. After that, reduce it to three meals a day, increasing the amount. After the tenth month, two meals will be enough. When he reaches one year, one meal will be sufficient.

puppiesWhile an increasing number of exhibitors now are showing Affens with natural ears and tails, others prefer cropped ears. If you choose to crop the ears of a show quality Affen, the cropping should be performed by a qualified veterinarian or an individual recommended by your breeder. All breeders have their preference as to the age of the animal when this operation should be done. The ears usually are cropped when the Affen is anywhere from eight weeks to four or five months.

Crate training is strongly recommended for young Affenpinschers. Crate training simply means purchasing a small airline kennel or similar crate, providing soft clean bedding in the crate, as well as drinking water if the puppy is crated for lengthy daytime periods, and encouraging the puppy to spend the night in the crate. A puppy should be confined in a crate when there is no one home to watch him. Crating a dog is not cruel. Dogs by nature are den animals and a dog who is accustomed to a crate sees that crate as a safe and secure haven. A dog who has been crate trained can be housebroken more quickly and also will travel happily (and more safely) in a crate.

Training your Affenpinscher should start early, as they are much happier when they know what is expected of them. Generally a scolding is all that is needed in disciplining the little fellow, a spanking seldom is needed. Another aspect in the training of your Affen is called "socializing". This refers to getting your puppy used to situations and people outside the home.

Many times we hear of dogs who perform and behave beautifully at home, but fall apart in strange surroundings. Take your puppy for rides in the car, preferably on an empty stomach. Let strangers pet him and make a fuss over him. Shopping centers are excellent for this, as well as school yards and playgrounds. If you plan to show your Affen, this will help him accept the noise and confusion of a dog show. Take him to a handling class, if your local kennel club sponsors such classes. Puppy kindergarten classes also help in socializing a young puppy.

You will be happier with a well adjusted, well socialized little creature living in your home and your Affenpinscher also will be happier knowing what is expected of him. knowing how to please you.