The breeder will often give you some food to last you the first few days until you get a chance to buy your own. What you choose to feed your dog is a difficult choice. There are a million brands and several different types of diet. I used to feed my dogs a dry biscuit diet brand name 'Eagle Pack' but changed about 6 months ago to a raw food diet of ground up human grade turkey or lamb, ground bones seaweed/kelp, butternut squash, apples, carrots, wheatgrass, spiralina and bilberries (high anti-oxidant berries) and last but not least some salmon oil. There is obviously a lot of price difference between the cheapest and the best dog foods. In my opinion feeding a dog a biologically appropriate diet instead of some dry biscuit that has been sat in a warehouse for 6 months is a no brainer now.
There are two issues with feeding a raw diet, firstly is that of course it’s more expensive it costs about $5-6 per day per dog for my two they both weigh about 25 kilos obviously larger or smaller dogs would cost more or less respectively. The second issue is that the company that makes this food deliver it frozen to your door once a fortnight and you have to remember to take the next day’s food out to defrost. In my opinion these are just minor inconveniences that our vastly outweighed by the benefits. My dogs just love their raw food the second they hear me open the food pack they come bolting into the kitchen and are sitting ready for their meal before I've even got the lid off.
A good dry biscuit on the other hand is roughly $1-$2 per dog per day from memory and you can store month’s worth of food in your house if necessary. If you do decide to use a dry biscuit please don't just get some crap from your local supermarket. Pay the extra money and get a good brand in my opinion Eagle Pack and Ziwi Peak are the two best but there are many others that are probably just as good.
I'd like to make it clear to anyone who was wondering, I have no affiliation with any company or website I mention in this post and all opinions are my own, that have been formed after extensive research.
This website is American based and has a lot of good info on feeding a raw diet to your dogs.
For any of you who live in the U.K. this is the website I get my food from
For treats I recommend dried apricots, almonds, brazil nuts, berries and peanut butter(low or no salt variety), I think you should avoid the treats that you tend to find in supermarkets, anything with strange colours, salt or additives I do not want to feed to my dogs. Essentially if I won't eat it then neither do my dogs.
Usually puppies need two sets of vaccinations the breeder will often have the first set done for you, but you will need to find a local vet to get the second set done and get a microchip fitted so your dog can be identified as your if he/she ever escapes, after the second set of shots you can start taking your puppy outside and begin training him/her.
Training has two main categories;
Socialising - a puppy needs to learn how to interact with other dogs, people and children. A great way to do this is by attending a puppy school; classes are very cheap and usually run for 1-2 hours a week for 6-12 weeks.
One-one training - you need to teach your puppy where you want him/her to go to the toilet, and the basic commands sit, stay and heel. Many people with much more experience have written numerous books on training and there are a million videos on you tube.
The only thing I will say about training a dog is that you should NEVER under any circumstances hit, strike or kick your dog. They simply do not learn this way. Training is about building a mutual respect, not about making your dog fearful of you. You should try to do 3-4 10-15 minute training sessions with your puppy every day for the first 6 months, basically the more the better but try to keep the sessions short and fun.
What I really want to get across to you as readers is that there is a dog that will fit your lifestyle and if you put the time and effort in when they are young you will get more than a decade of happiness in return. I once posted on 2+2 that the hour or so a day I spend with my dogs exercising them, is often the most enjoyable hour of my day. Dogs have no concept of money, they don't judge you based on how many Benjamins are in your clip, they don't lie to you and if you treat them with dignity and respect they will be loyal for life. These are the characteristics I look for in people, and sadly too often I find them lacking. Owning a dog is a lot like poker in the sense that invariably in the long run you get back what you put in.
If any of you have any questions I would be happy to point you in the right direction just shoot me a PM on 2+2.
[Thanks for those great dog tips. I knew last year's Xmas present was the right call.]