The following is an excerpt from "Pomskies: A Complete Guide for the New Owner" by David Anderson and Erin Hotovy. For more information visit the books Amazon Page.
Author Credit: David Anderson and Erin Hotovy
Preparing the Home
So you have picked out your beautiful Pomsky and are excited to bring him home. However, are you ready for your Pomsky to run amok? You want to make sure that you have the proper supplies you need for your young puppy.
First, you will need puppy gates and playpens to keep your dog contained. You want to be able to keep your puppy out of areas that can be dangerous to him or your belongings. A lot of puppies are curious and need to be kept in areas that will keep them out of trouble, especially when they are not supervised. As your dog grows, you can increase the space in which he is allowed to roam.
You will also need dog bowls for food and water. If you get stainless steel bowls, it will keep your puppy from chewing through the bowls. They are also durable and easy to clean. Heavy bottoms to the bowls will also help by making it difficult for the puppy to knock over the bowls, spilling food and water everywhere.
You will want to have the right leash and collar before you bring your dog home. A four-foot leash is a good length to start with. Choose one that is durable so it will last the life of your pet. Retractable leashes are popular, but they make it hard to teach your dog good walking etiquette. You’ll also want to get a flat, buckled collar that is the appropriate size for your dog’s neck. Later on, you may decide you want to get your dog a harness, but until you begin training, a collar will suffice.
Toys are necessary, but must be safe for your puppy. The toys must be durable and nontoxic. All dogs need the ability to play and chew. Otherwise, they will become bored and destructive. You don’t have to buy a whole toy chest, but some variety is good. When starting out, choose just a few toys to see what your dog takes to. For instance, you don’t want to buy a variety of Frisbees, only to find that your dog is not interested in them. A ball, a squeaky stuffed animal, and a rope are safe bets. Also, provide your dog with several different chews. Natural bones and antlers, nylon bones, and rawhides are popular options. When choosing the chews, pick ones that will not splinter or be swallowed quickly. As long as your dog is unable to ingest the thing they’re chewing on, most commercial dog chews are generally safe.
You will want a crate for your Pomsky as well. You will be able to use it for crate training in the house and as a travel crate. Any crate that you purchase for your Pomsky must be big enough for your puppy to turn around in. Depending on how large your dog will become, you may need to start with a little puppy crate and later upgrade to an adult dog crate.
There is a lot going on the first few days with your new puppy. You will want to be mindful of the fact that, while it is an exciting day for you, it will be a very stressful day for your Pomsky. Your puppy has been brought to a new environment, new people, and new smells, without his mother or any of his littermates.
To help your puppy with the transition to his new home, you will need to set rules for your puppy and the rest of your family. Your puppy has a new family or a new pack, therefore, he has to learn a new set of rules and expectations. If you notice behaviors that will not work in your home, be quick to gently correct them before bad habits set in. At the same time, be quick to reward your pup for good behavior.
Be mindful of the fact that your puppy will be nervous. You will need to demonstrate a lot of patience with your young puppy. He will also need to learn to trust you as he finds a place in his new pack. If your dog behaves as though he needs a little space, give him room. Everyone will want to hold the new puppy, but if the puppy does not want to be held, he may react poorly. If your dog squirms from your grasp or hides from people, respect his wishes. When he’s ready to socialize, welcome him back into the family with tasty treats.
You can also help your puppy by separating areas for specific needs. You need to provide an area for your Pomsky puppy to sleep. This can include a dog bed, crate, and a toy. You want your puppy to feel comfortable and cozy in his new home from day one. You will also want to have a separate area for your puppy to eat. An area for the puppy to use the bathroom is also important, especially when beginning potty training.
You also want to have an area that is safe to keep your Pomsky when supervision is not readily available. This area could be a crate, large enough for him to move around freely, or a play pen or baby gates. Avoid shutting your dog in a room where he cannot see other people. Pomskies are social dogs that just want to be where their people are. If you’re in the kitchen and unable to keep an eye on your pup while you’re cooking, a pen will allow your dog to watch you and feel involved, while staying out of trouble.
In preparing your home for your new family member, you will want to create an environment for your puppy that is warm, welcoming, comfortable, and safe. Bringing your puppy home for the first time is exciting for you and the other members of your family. At the same time, it is a stressful time for your Pomsky puppy. You will need to be patient with him as he adjusts to his new surroundings and learns to trust you and the rest of his new pack. It will be worth it in the long run.
If you have children, you know how excited they will be when they learn that a new puppy will be joining their family. It is important that you properly prepare your children for how to care for a puppy without overwhelming the puppy. You want to always supervise your children around your Pomsky, especially as some Pomskies can tend to be anxious around younger children. This will take continuous socialization, but we will discuss that in later chapters.
One way to help teach your children responsibility in taking care of a puppy is by setting a schedule with your dog and your children. A schedule helps your children understand expectations. A schedule helps the puppy to relax as he learns the routine. He will understand how his new pack runs, and his place in the new pack. A routine helps to teach your children what to do to properly care for your puppy.
You will want to schedule how often your puppy is fed. Puppies younger than six months should be fed about three times a day. Older dogs should be fed two times per day. Scheduled bathroom breaks will be based off the feeding schedule. You will also want to work with your children to schedule walking times.
Playtime must also be structured as to where the puppy can play and for how long. Playtime should be at least 20 minutes per day. The playtime can also include training. You will want your children involved in the training sessions. This will help them learn how to work with the new puppy, and the puppy will learn that he needs to listen to all of the humans in the pack. Remember, you should always supervise your children while they spend time with the new puppy.
In preparing your children, you will want to teach your children how to respect dogs. You want to warn children against being too rough with your puppy. Such roughness can include rough play, allowing the children to pull the dog’s ears, smothering the puppy with hugs, poking at the puppy, or climbing on the puppy. These actions can scare the puppy, hurt the puppy, or the puppy can end up unintentionally hurting your child because he is agitated or injured.
Before your puppy comes home, preview good interactive behaviors. You can sometimes demonstrate polite behaviors with a stuffed toy so your child knows how to interact with the puppy before it comes home and feels welcome. Teach your children the signs a dog shows when upset. Dogs do not bite or nip for no reason, and they often show clear warning signs. Growling and baring teeth are obvious signs that you should back away from a dog and give him space. Less obvious signs that your dog is upset include tucking the tail between the legs, a lowered head, and panting. A dog does not want to have to snap at someone, but it will if it feels like it is in danger. Teach your children to recognize these signs and allow your dog to cool down before they try to play again.
Some basic rules that you will want to teach your children are to never take an object from a dog. You want the child to know to not disturb a dog while he is sleeping or eating. Encourage your child to avoid sneaking up on the dog. A dog should be allowed to smell the hand of the child, or anyone, before being petted. You should warn your child that growling, barking, or staring into a dog’s eyes can be seen as a threat. You want to also encourage your child to not be afraid of telling a parent or trusted adult if the puppy shows any aggressive tendencies.
You have done your research, you have picked out your puppy, and you have prepped your home and family to welcome the new addition to your pack. Now you need to pick him up to bring him home.
In your car, you will want to bring some treats, a toy, and a spare towel. You might want to bring some cleaning supplies in case the puppy gets car sick or has an accident on the ride home. You may also want to bring another adult with you to drive the car. This will give you the opportunity to comfort and bond with the puppy on the ride home. You can talk to the puppy in a soothing voice and stick your fingers through the crate for him to sniff. You want to make the puppy feel as safe as possible because this is a stressful time and huge change in environment for him. It is good to comfort him, but if he is excessively whining and seems overly nervous, comforting this behavior can actually make the puppy more nervous. Sensitive dogs know when something’s not right, and if you make too big of a deal out of the car ride, he’ll fear that he’s in danger. A calm owner helps the dog stay calm.
You want your puppy safe and secure in the car. Avoid cuddling the puppy in the car. Your arms are not as safe as a well-secured crate. While it is secured in the crate, provide your puppy with treats and toys to keep him occupied and comforted. You will also want to avoid holding your puppy during that first car ride home because you will want to train your puppy about proper car riding etiquette in the future.
The first few days with your new Pomsky are sometimes referred to as the honeymoon period. Eventually, with all the excitement and initial training, you will get tired, but that does not mean you should relax on training your Pomsky from day one.
From day one, you will want to set ground rules and maintain consistency. For example, if you do not want to have your puppy on the furniture later, you should not allow your puppy on the furniture from the beginning. Inconsistency can cause confusion for your dog. Dogs do not understand conditions, so if you’re fine with your dog sitting on one couch, but not another, your dog may not be able to understand the difference.
Additionally, you want to have a set schedule that you keep consistent. If you get your dog over a weekend, you will want to schedule his bathroom breaks for times that are consistent with your work schedule during the week. For instance, if you bring your dog home on a Friday night, you won’t want to teach your dog that it’s normal to stay up late every night. At your normal bedtime, take your dog outside to go potty and put him in his crate. While you crate train, you may want to practice being away from your dog for short periods of time. While going on short errands, leave your puppy in the crate. This will help him get used to being in the crate or being confined to another safe area for times that you are away, especially when you get ready to go back to work.
In preparing for the first night and the first few days with your new Pomsky puppy, keep in mind that all puppies are different. Some puppies will waltz into your home as if they own the place and it was their home from the very start. Others may be very nervous. Some puppies will be okay and energetic during the day, however, as night falls, they may cry all night long. It is important that you practice patience with your puppy. He will need time to adjust to his new environment and new pack. It can be very stressful for him, and he needs your support from day one. If your puppy seems more hesitant or shy or nervous around you, especially if he is growling, you may want to seek special help.
It’s normal for your Pomsky to cry at night, so don’t be too worried if your dog is having a hard time settling down. This is his first time away from his mother and siblings. If possible, try to take an old shirt or blanket with you when you pick up your pup so you can transfer some comforting smells home. Also, it helps if your puppy can see you at nighttime. For at least a week or two, move its crate into your bedroom so it can hear, smell, and see you. That way, it won’t feel so abandoned and alone. Over time, you may want to move the crate into another room so your dog does not disrupt your sleep.
The first few days, and especially the first night in his new home, can be more than stressful for a young Pomsky puppy. It is important as his new pack leader and new dog owner that you make him feel comfortable, happy, and safe. You need to give him time to adjust to his new pack. Once he is settled and comfortable, your Pomsky will soon run around the house as if he owns the place, but hopefully within the guidelines you set for him.
A trip to the veterinarian is one of the first trips you want to take with your new Pomsky puppy. A veterinarian trip should be done soon after you bring your dog home, within the first week of having your Pomsky puppy.
In preparation for your first trip to the veterinarian, you will want to bring any and all paperwork that your puppy came with. If you went through a reputable breeder, you should have all the paperwork required. Some breeders actually already do the vaccinations or deworming needed before letting the puppy go home with their new family.
The first trip to the veterinarian is normally a basic checkup. The veterinarian performs a physical examination. The veterinarian will do a basic go over, checking the puppy’s skin, body, coat, ears, nose, and mouth. The veterinarian will check your puppy’s vision, hearing, and alertness.
The initial exam also includes vaccinations, if not already taken care of by the breeder. There are four core recommended vaccines for puppies. These vaccines are for distemper, canine hepatitis, canine parvovirus, and rabies. The rabies vaccine is usually required by law. There are other vaccines needed based on your location and the common diseases in the area.
The initial exam may also include a fecal exam and deworming. Many puppies are actually born with roundworm, and deworming medication will be given at home or during the first vet visit if he has roundworm. The veterinarian will also help with flea and tick prevention. Fleas and ticks can be annoying to dogs, but more importantly, can carry diseases. Your veterinarian will prescribe the necessary medication to protect your pet from these parasites.
Microchipping can be a very important part of your puppy’s first trip to the veterinarian. Microchipping is a process in which a small identification tag is inserted into the dog. The microchip itself is really small, about the size of a grain of rice. It has the dog’s information and your contact information. If you ever lose your dog and your dog is found, his chip can be scanned. It helps to bring your dog home. Microchipping is a low-cost, simple procedure. The chip is simply injected between the shoulder blades of your dog. Even with the microchip, you will want to have a collar and identification tag on your dog at all times. You also want to be sure to register all of your information with your dog’s microchip to ensure that he finds his way home to you.
During your first vet visit you will want to ask plenty of questions. Your vet will be able to give you answers and help you feel more confident as a new dog owner. The first visit to your veterinarian can be hectic. There are a lot of noises, distractions, and smells. It can be stressful for you and your puppy. To alleviate that stress on your new puppy, stay calm. You should realize that your puppy feeds off your energy. Your calm energy will help to relax your puppy. Allow the visit to the veterinarian to be a relaxing and informative experience. The trip to the veterinarian should not be a scary experience for your puppy. Try and help your puppy to realize that it is something that will make him feel better or keep him healthy. It is important to visit your veterinarian on a regular basis, so it’s best if you can teach your dog that it has nothing to fear. A calm attitude and lots of yummy treats can help you do this.
When training your Pomsky, you may want to consider enrolling him in a puppy class. Puppy classes and training in general should be started at a young age for your Pomsky. The purpose of these puppy classes is to help teach your Pomsky proper puppy manners. The training portions should be short and quick as there is a lot of information for Pomsky puppies to retain and they can easily become distracted by the other puppies around them.
These puppy classes can teach your puppy a lot. Many lessons taught during puppy classes include lessons on giving your puppy confidence in himself, lessons on not biting, lessons on socialization with other dogs and other people, and lessons on being comfortable with being handled by strangers. When your puppy is comfortable with being handled by strangers, visits to the veterinarian will become much easier. Puppy classes also work on your new Pomsky’s ability to respond to different verbal cues such as sit, come, lie down, stand, stay, and others, without being distracted and without being given a reward all the time.
It is important that you carefully research the type of puppy class that you are planning to sign your Pomsky up for. Some puppy classes are not as beneficial or helpful as advertised. Select your puppy class carefully and make sure the trainer’s values match your own.
There are some characteristics of a good puppy class that you will want to look for when doing your research and making a final decision. The most important characteristic of a good trainer and class is positivity. Your trainer should not use intimidation or fear tactics in training. Positive reinforcement is a must, and your trainer should be knowledgeable in different types of reward systems.
A lot of the time during these puppy classes should be spent with the puppies learning by playing. It is great for their socialization and provides a lot of supervision. Puppies have short attention spans, so the playtime and training should be frequently interrupted. When playtime and training are combined, training becomes enjoyable for your Pomsky. When your puppy enjoys his training lessons, he is able to retain more of the information.
Furthermore, interrupting the continuous playtime to work on different commands can oftentimes help to teach the puppies to focus on when it is time to listen to their owners. This can come in handy when you take your Pomsky on playdates or to the dog park. When it is time to go or you need to pull your dog away for whatever reason, it is important that your dog listen to you regardless of what he is currently focused on.
You also want to have a trainer that is able to resolve any sort of fearfulness and bullying that may come up in the class. Because the puppy classes involve puppies of all different breeds, sizes, personalities, and play styles, there can be some puppies who try to dominate the play and other puppies who are fearful of the other, more dominant puppies. The trainer running the puppy classes should be knowledgeable enough to stop any sort of bullying or overly rough play during the puppy classes.
Puppy classes are great experiences for you and your puppy. They can help with early socialization skills. These classes can also help to teach your Pomsky puppy basic obedience. You will want to enroll your Pomsky early and start from day one. Find a puppy class that is well organized and run by a trainer who is competent in running a class filled with young puppies. And remember, these classes should be fun for your dog. If the training is fun, your Pomsky will tend to absorb more of the information.
To read more from "Pomskies: A complete Guide for the New Owner" by David Anderson and Erin Hotovy, or purchase on Amazon, visit the link below: