|01-29-2009, 01:04 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Everything you wanted to know about raising your boxer puppy
So, now that you have found that perfect little bundle of joy, what else could you possibly need? Lots of things actually..First of all, make sure you and your breeder are in agreement about paperwork, shots and when the new baby will be coming home...Many states have regulations regarding minimum age, the minimum age should be 8 wks, your puppy needs that time to socialize and learn behaviors with his littermates...When you pick up your new puppy, this is the information your breeder should provide to you:
Papers the Seller Should Furnish:
a. A three or four generation pedigree signed by the seller. There should be no extra charge for this. The pedigree preferably gives the color of the sire and dam, and the AKC registration numbers of each.
b. The registration from the AKC, which is an official document identifying your puppy's individual registration number, sex, birth date, sire and dam, and name of the breeder(s). There are two ways to register puppies for the first time:
(1) Limited Registration
If the puppy is not to be bred, and is being purchased only as a companion pet, the breeder may check off the Limited Registration option. This does register the puppy with the AKC. However, it does not allow any registration of offspring from the mature dog. The breeder (and only the breeder) can cancel the limited registration should the puppy at maturity be considered of breeding quality.
(2) Full Registration
If the puppy is considered to be of breeding quality, the seller will check off the full registration option.
Records the Breeder Should Furnish:
a. Date and type of vaccines given. Depending on the type of vaccination program started, your veterinarian will advise you on following through. Vaccination protocols are evolving even among the medical professionals.
b. Date and agent used for worming, if done. Do not worm your puppy without consulting your veterinarian. Avoid store-bought preparations which can be dangerous.
c. Diet your puppy has been receiving. It is well to maintain the regimen begun by the breeder, especially while the puppy is adjusting to his new home. If changes are to be made, do so very gradually, so as not to upset his system. When he is an adult it will be wise to maintain your Boxer on two smaller meals a day.
How often should I feed my puppy?
A puppy should eat a minimum of three meals a day until about six months old, when you can reduce to two meals a day if you choose. Baby puppies (8-16 weeks) will usually do better on four or even five small meals a day.
Puppies can be fed a high quality kibble (dry food) or raised on a natural raw diet.
Exercise, how much and what?
Boxers do not fully develop until 18 mos, so extremes in exercise need to be avoided, this includes, running with your Boxer, excessive jumping, agility, flyball, even excessive walking at a young age should be avoided..General rule is 5 minutes of walking time for each month of age, so a 3 mo old pup should get no more than 15 minutes walks..Avoid hard pavement if you can, try to walk on grass, dirt or sand...Especially in the summer, the hot concrete could burn the paw pads...Puppies will generally get plenty of exercise just running and playing in their own yard...
When can I start training my puppy?
Right away! An 8 week old puppy is quite capable of starting to learn basic commands such as sit, down, come, and to fetch. Remember to keep training sessions very short though, as puppy attention spans are fleeting, and to use only positive reward-based training methods. Training should be fun, for you and your puppy! By 10-16 weeks, your puppy is ready to attend his first puppy kindergarten class and every attempt should be made to do so – it is a great socialisation and learning opportunity for your puppy.
What should my puppy weigh, how big will he get, and when will he finish growing?
In general, boxers will grow in height until around 12-15 months of age and then continue to fill out until they are two or three years old. The growth plates will not fully close until 18 months though, so be very careful to avoid over-exercising your puppy until this age.
Boxer puppies grow at remarkably varying rates, so it is impossible (or at least meaningless) to try to estimate what a puppy should weigh at any given age. Bigger puppies don't always mean bigger adults though. Remember the big kid in nursery school who towered over everyone else, but suddenly stopped growing midway through high school? Well, it's the same with boxer puppies. The final size a dog will reach is determined by genetics, so the best indication of how large any particular puppy will become is the size of his parents, any older siblings, and other close relatives.
My puppy needs something to chew on, what's safe?
Puppies do need to chew. From about 4 1/2 months, you puppy will begin teething and will have a serious need to chew. The best thing you can give your puppy is raw bones - preferably the slightly soft brisket (sternum) bones that a puppy can chew right through, but any recreational raw bone will do. NEVER give your puppy cooked bones (that includes smoked, sterilized and boiled bones) as dried out bones like these can splinter. If you can't bear the thought of raw bones, then buy a non-edible nylabone instead. Chewing is a great stress reliever for dogs, and an activity they will enjoy throughout their lives - so don't stop giving bones just because your pup has finished teething!
Dogs should not be given rawhides, pigs ears or any other dried body part to chew on. These are a terrible choking hazard and many dogs have choked to death on raw hides. Rawhide has to go through several rounds of chemical cleanings in order to remove all the hair from the hide. These tend to not be rinsed off fully and the chemicals thus get ingested by the dog. Dried body parts (essentially leather) are also a bacteria hazard. Dogs' digestion systems are designed for fast processing of meat and bones, and that speed is their natural defence against bacteria. But dogs don't digest rawhide, it sits around in their stomach for some time before being passed in the same state as it went in. This can result in food poisoning, the mildest symptom of which is diarrhea and vomitting.
Most importantly, enjoy!! Boxers are a joy and they stay little for such a short period of time..Best to take as many pictures as you can to capture the silliness of your Boxer baby