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Here are my answers to some Frequently Asked Questions to help you and your new puppy adjust to a new life together

Q: At what age do you sell puppies?                                                                           A: Regardless of whether it is a pom or mini aussie All puppies must be 8 weeks old. (I consider their body mass and ability to recover quickly if they stress and don't eat properly for a couple days.) Some puppies may be required to stay longer depending on how far they need to travel and what kind of environment they will be going to ie, high energy children or quiet adults.
Q: Why 8 weeks?                                                                                         
A:  They will receive their 1st vaccination at 7 weeks of age. After they receive their first combo shot. Given by my vet, they need a minimum of 3 days for any reaction to that vaccine to show, and for the vaccine to actually become effective protection for the puppy. No matter the age of the puppy when they receive subsequent vaccinations (12 weeks and 16 weeks for the combo shot) there is an automatic 3 day waiting period before they can be released to a new owner. All Puppies will be kept current on Vaccination until they leave my home. 
FOR YOUR PUPPIES HEALTH AND PROTECTION, DO NOT LET YOUR PUPPY PLAY OUTDOORS OR BE EXPOSED TO OTHER DOGS OR EVEN PEOPLE UNTIL IT’S VACCINATION PROGRAM IS COMPLETE. 
This will be around 16 weeks old. Google and read about Parvo and just how dangerous it is to your puppy. Even puppies current on vaccinations can still get parvo. Vaccinations are only a “boost” to their individual immune system and not a guarantee they won’t get the virus. Your vet will need to administer a Rabies Vaccination at 3-6 months depending on local requirements.




Hello Cindy;
   Gringo continues to do better and 
better. Thanks for trusting him with 
me, he has been a pleasure to have 
here. (Gringo is a Parvo Survivor 
proving that no matter how diligent 
your vaccination program is there 
are no guarantees on protection! 
Thanks to being vaccinated he was able 
to fight off the virus and survive with 
minimal illness.)
   I just want to clarify some principles
 of canine immunology that may help you
 in designing vaccination protocols for your puppies. First, I think the vaccine 
you are using is great! Especially when used in the young pups. Around here, dogs should also have lepto in the vaccine, but that is best given annually starting at 16 weeks of age. Secondly,  
my experience has been that people get hung 
up on the fact that we give 3 puppy shots 
before we assume that they have protective immunity against the diseases for which we are vaccinating for. It really isn't the number of shots that gets the immunity where we want it, so much as it is vaccinating after protective maternal antibodies (immunity they got from mom) have waned from the puppies system.

Let me explain:

   The pup receives maternal antibodies (passive immunity) passed from the mother that protect against infection. Somewhere between 6 and 16 weeks of age, these antibodies disappear from the puppies system. In order for them to be protected, they need to make their own. Therefore, we have a 10 week period (from 6 to 16 weeks of age) that we know any given puppy will lose their passive immunity. The problem is that we don't know when in that 10 week period any given pup will lose his passive immunity. Some do at 6 weeks, some at 10, some at 15.5 weeks. As long as the passive immunity is present it interferes with an effective response to vaccination and effectively cancels it out. We give multiple shots in an attempt to shorten the time period between the loss of passive immunity and the onset of active immunity created by our vaccine. Therefore, the risk of contracting parvo would be reduced if we gave more shots, but then we are running the risk of causing more hypersensitivity reactions to vaccine. By convention, we have just established 3 as the number of puppy shots that are given. The most important thing is that their last shot is given at, or after 16 weeks.

  I hope this helps. Probably stuff you already know. Good luck!

   Matt Kerns

A great BIG thank-you goes out to Dr. Matt for taking the time from his busy schedule to advise me on a vaccination protocal! I've read and been advised on different schedules (breeders, veterinarians, vaccine lables, and articles) but none has offered reason's why in such easy to understand language! 
Thanks again Dr. Matt, Cindy


Here is a bit of advice from my veterinarian , Dr. Matt Kerns of the Baker Veterinary Clinic
Q: What is your worming program?                                                                               A: Moms get wormed with Fenbendazole 1 week before whelping and every 2 weeks after whelping as long as she is nursing puppies. Usually by 6 weeks puppies are weaned from moms. They will be dewormed every 2 weeks (starting at 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks with Nemex, then Safeguard along w/mom every 4 weeks until 16 weeks of age. Then they can go on the adult rotation. Depending on what wormer you and/or your vet choose.  I use fenbendazole (Safe-Guard) every other month. (Fenbendazole is a 3 day treatment)
 Q: What is Coccidia or Coccidiosis?  
 A: Coccidiosis is a parasitic type of infection. Stress, as from moving, travel and weather changes, and being in an environment with other infected animals are the most common causes of this parasitic infection to develop. It is spread through fecal matter, and is most commonly found in puppies that have contracted the parasite from an adult dogs' feces. The coccidiosis infection is of particular danger for young dogs, since their immune systems are still underdeveloped. Click to see full article.
It's a fact that puppies eat poop! No one really knows why! There are theories out there tho. 
Q: What food do you feed?                                                                                       A: I’m not locked into any single brand. I try to stay away from canned  or soft food except in times of stress when appetite needs a boost. (Science Diet Gourmet Chicken Entree Puppy is what I recommend if needed) I tend to lean toward boiled chicken as a substitute protein source in that case. They really like that and will readily eat it. If they aren’t tempted by that they should probably see a vet! I advise grinding the chicken and mixing it with the kibbles to encourage kibble consumption. This can be used in the case of  young and/or very small puppies to increase food intake for rapidly developing systems and to help maintain appropriate blood sugar levels (See Q on Hypoglycemia).  I do feed high quality food. My choice is Diamond Naturals Chicken and Rice dry kibbles for the adults and puppies. Although labeled as adult but, because it is corn/wheat/soy free it is suitable for all ages. Diamond Naturals offers pet owners who value a natural diet for their pets a holistic pet food with all-natural ingredients. Each formula is corn-free, soy-free and wheat-free.
   My Choices are based on Nutritional value, Dog preference, Availability and cost. I avoid soy (Can create allergy issues), corn/grain, (basically are fillers so just end up on the ground for you to clean up) or animal by-product (Particularly chicken by-produts which are high protein, but non-digestible beaks, feathers. Hooves are high in protein but they aren't very nutritious!) Pay attention to the ingredients especially if it is listed in the first 4 ingredients on the label. I recommend feeding free choice until 16 weeks of age, Then you can start a regular schedule to help with more formal potty training.
Q: What Kind of Treats do you Recommend?                                                            A: First and Foremost Make NO CANDY a rule! NEVER give your puppy/dog Chocolate, it can be fatal. I use a wide variety of treats. Again I stay away from soy and top ingredient grain treats. There is a wide variety of wholesome treats out there!  My dogs seem to enjoy just about anything natural like jerky treats! They especially like the Chicken Jerky (½-1 per day max or you will have an addicted dog that won‘t eat his food!)Treats can be found at many stores. Crunchy treats like Science Diet T/D  (I use the Large breed Food) kibbles. 1-2 a day. They are great for tooth health because of the way it is made they must really work the kibble which in turn helps keep tarter from building up on teeth! 
Rawhide twist are good but once they get down to shorter than the dogs mouth is wide (able to get the whole thing in their mouth) I replace it. Rawhide rolls stuffed w/sweet potato, liver or even plain are also good. Same rule when they get down to small enough to fit in the dogs mouth and become a choking hazard. These are great for Crate time.
I never use the chopped/pressed/formed Rawhide treats. There is no nutritional value and the minimal chewing value is not worth the risk of intestinal irritation from ingesting high volume of Non-digestible protein. Some large cooked knuckle bones are excellent time passers! 
Even tho it’s hard try not to feed your puppy from your table! First it can lead to rude behvior especially if you have company over! Second if you just HAVE to give the beggar a morsel, only small bites of fully cooked meat or fat. (too much fat will leave you with an unpleasant “gift” later on!) Pet obesity starts at the “human” table!  No people treats!!! (Candy, Chicken Bones,etc.) 
Q: What is Hypoglycemia?                                                                                         A: Hypoglycemia is a condition known as low blood sugar. This is when the puppy's blood glucose level drops below a safe range. All toy breeds are at risk of this happening to them especially as young pups. The smaller the puppy the higher the risk. It can generally happen when the dog is under stress, food change, medication change, shots or wormer is given. It can happen when the dog is tired from exhaustion induced from playing, not eating right, flying or traveling. It can also happen if the puppy for what ever reason didn't eat as much as he/she usually does. It can happen to anyone and is easily remedied if caught right away and dealt with correctly. As you can see many things can bring on these symptoms. Being very aware of your puppy and his/her normal behavior will help you immensely in figuring out what the problem is. It is crucial that you act quickly as your puppy's life could be in jeopardy.  Some of the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia are as follows:  Tired or lethargic ~ Listlessness ~ Weakness ~  Depression ~  A change in sleep habits ~  A change in eating habits   * These symptoms are often followed by: ~ Muscle weakness ~ Tremors ~ Convulsions ~ Wobbly ~ Jerky ~  Coma  
*What to do if you suspect hypoglycemia: If you see one or more of these symptoms you must act quickly! If the puppy is still conscious give Nutrical (Fortical) or Karo syrup. This should help within 15 minutes, often sooner. If the puppy will not take the Nutrical/Fortical or Karo syrup, rub a small amount on his/her gums with your finger. You can continue doing this until you see the puppy wake up and exhibit more energy. If the puppy is unconscious contact your vet immediately. To avoid hypoglycemia in your young pup, only feed good quality dog food and only allow hard play for no more than 20 minutes. Make sure your baby gets plenty of rest and eats regularly. I suggest leaving dry food available at all times and plenty of fresh water. If you are not going to be leaving food out, feed him/her at least 4 times a day. (see feeding suggestions) You can also give Nutrical/Fortical or karo syrup 2 x day for the first week to get through the big change of moving. (Be careful not to let your puppy get addicted to the stuff! They love it! Only about as much as you put on a childs toothbrush is adequate! Don't give in to "demands"!) You can buy Nutrical/Forti-Cal and any other pet supplies at any petco or petmart and most feed supply stores. You can also get it on line at Revival Animal Health. (I get a lot of my pet supplies from there)
Q: Why is crate training important?                                                                           A: When you get your puppy from me it will already be familiar with a crate.  Your puppy has grown up in a “den” (Pet carrier attached to a wire crate) where the puppy is free to come and go. They will begin to venture out of the “den” at about 3 weeks of age. They begin to eliminate outside the “den” onpapers in the larger area. This is a natural way to start paper training that leads to house training. Make your puppy’s “den” a safe place and it will go there on it’s own. Provide a chewy (good for quiet entertainment as opposed to a squeaky toy for active entertainment) and a blanket for crate time. A crate trained dog can go nearly anywhere and still feel at home!
Q: What are your recommendations for Potty training?                                          A: Back to the crate, When your puppy has been in his/her crate for a substantial amount of time, 1 hour to start, it will begin to whine. Immediately take your puppy to where you want it to do it’s “job” Do not pet or cater to any antics. You are a post until it does it’s job! Just repeat your “command” (I use “Go Pee” , you can say Potatoes and Gravy or Big Job, or Fred Flintstone it doesn’t matter as long as you use the same command every time!)  When your puppy does the required task, Praise him/her profusely! Let him/her play and or eat then nap. As soon as your puppy wakes up, repeat the above. It doesn’t matter if you use papers/wee pads, litter box, or doggie door to outside, It’s all about consistency on your part!
Q: What about my puppy chewing on things?                                                            A: All puppies NEED to chew. It is up to you what is allowed! Provide Chew toys for both both playtime and quiet time. Some examples of playtime chew toys are old socks with a knot in the middle (To identify it as a toy and not yours!) Squeaky toys are good for active chew/play time, balls etc. Quiet time Chewies are the Rawhide twists and rolls and large knuckle bones (precooked) previously mentioned in the Treats section.  Pig Ears are not the best for your dog even tho they love them! They can lead to obesity and yet another addiction!
Q: How often does my puppy need groomed?                                                          A: Your puppy may or may not enjoy it’s brushing or bath. Both Poms and mini aussies are relatively easy to groom (yes poms are easy!) Aussies have minimal requirements are relatively odor free, even if kept outdoors! Other than paying attention to the back of the ears for possible matting of the longer hair due to natural oil secretions from the ears on both breeds, you can brush them how ever often you want to. Aussies shed their winter coats.  Poms will “blow their coat twice a year for females (about 2 months after heat cycle, bred or not they will start to lose their under coat)  and at least once a year for males and spayed females. Your puppy (eiter breed) will begin to lose their puppy coat at about 8-12 weeks of age. The poms will go through what is known as “The Puppy Uglies” (Click for some entertaining pictures!)  Don’t panic! You really did purchase a pom and it’s beautiful coat will come back! As an adult you will see the undercoat loosen and begin to hang in big “wads” about the rear and shoulders. Use a “dog rake” (wide tooth comb) to gently remove the loose hair. It usually takes 20-30 minutes to get the majority of it pulled out. You may have a pile bigger than the dog it came off of and your dog may look rather naked! (This fluff can be used by spinners as soft fiber if you know anyone who does that!) Baths are not recommended very often for either breeds. Regular brushing will distribute the natural oils and keep your dogs coat healthy. Use a mild shampoo and if you live in an area where fleas are a problem, use a vet recommended flea shampoo. Keep their nails trimmed to avoid getting scratched accidentally and to prevent nails from hooking in carpet and other things. 
Q: Do you ship and how much extra do you charge. 
     A: No I do not ship. I or someone acting on my behalf may be willing to fly with the puppy on a RT ticket at your cost. (Occasionally timing works out so that the only cost is the carry on for the puppy depending on travel plans of myself or trusted individual) Costs will be added to the purchase price of the puppy. They will be flown out of the Boise, Idaho airport. I can provide carry on crate if I fly with it. Delta currently charges $125 for the puppy to go as a carry on and must be prearranged because they limit dogs in the cabin to 2. (2 puppies the same age and size in the same carrier that fits under the seat are allowed and counted as 1.) If you choose to fly the puppy yourself I can arrange to pick you up at the airport and transport you to your motel or other local to Boise destination. You will have the option of inspecting the puppy before taking possession, however no costs will be reimbursed should you refuse said puppy for any reason but those covered in my guarantee. Any deposits to hold said puppy can be transferred to another puppy if reason for refusal is within my guarantee criteria
I will be adding more Q n A as I think about them!
Feel Free to ask about anything I may not have covered.