Butterfly Ridge Mastiff Puppy Manual
Shots: Your puppy was up-to-date on all shots when you received it. Puppies get their puppy shots at 5, 8, 11, and 14 weeks of age. Depending on how old the puppy was when you received it, you may need to finish its shots. The puppy should be given a 5-Way puppy shot, not a 7-Way puppy shot. Please REQUEST that the vet does NOT give your puppy the Lepto vaccine. The Lepto vaccine kills more puppies than the actual virus. Lepto can be given after the puppy is one year old.
Worming: I use Equimax and Safeguard to worm my dogs. Equimax contains both tape-wormer and Ivermectin so you won't have to give them a separate dose of heartworm medicine. You can worm your dog monthly with both. For Safeguard give 1cc per 5 lbs each month for 3 days in a row. After the puppy is 12 weeks old you can start giving them 1cc per 100 lbs of Equimax once a month. You can buy Equimax and Safeguard at your local feed store.
Feeding: Feed your puppy a good quality dog food that is high in protein and fat. Check the first ingredient on the dog food bag. Make sure a meat is listed first. I recommend Victor Select Hi-Pro Plus in the teal bag until your puppy is 3 months old. Then switch to a high quality food with around 24% protein and 20% fat. I feed Victor Select High Energy in the red bag. I like to free-feed. Fill up the bowl and let your puppy eat as much as it wants but as soon as its done take it outside to potty. Immediately. Allow your puppy to eat as much as it wants. It is easier to feed on a schedule while potty training. Once potty training is well established then you can move to free-feeding.
Vitamins and Supplements: NEVER give your puppy any vitamins or supplements without discussing with me first. Mastiffs grow extremely fast already, if you try to alter that, you will end up with an adult dog with HUGE problems. Heart and joint problems can occur very easily when you "hot feed" a mastiff. If you feel as if your puppy is growing weird, such as bowed legs, crooked toes, splayed feet, or flat toes please contact me immediately to discuss treatment - which could be as simple as switching dog food. The only supplement I recommend is Cran-Tri-C and you can purchase that at www.naturesfarmacy.com.
Training: Your puppy will grow to be a very big dog. You will want to start training the puppy as soon as possible to establish yourself as the leader. Leash training is very important at this age. You don’t want a 200 pound dog that won’t listen to you. Start early, start young. Also, I recommend not letting your puppy get on your bed or on your furniture. Once you start allowing that to happen, your dog will start to see you as equal. You don't want that to happen. You need to remain the alpha to the dog. If he/she thinks that you aren't his boss, then that's when behavior problems such as biting, growling, bullying, etc start. Once the puppy is older you can introduce a pinch collar to it. Those collars are great for dogs who pull.
Crate Training: In my opinion, this is the best way to potty train your puppy. Purchase a crate that will be large enough for your puppy when it gets full grown, an XL crate. Make sure this crate comes with a divider. If not, you may need to purchase or make one. Put the divider in the crate so that there's only room enough for your puppy to turn around and lay down. If you make it much bigger than that the puppy will go to the back of the crate and use the bathroom. Dogs instinctively know not to potty in their bed. Their mothers teach this at a young age. Take your puppy out every two hours and/or immediately after finishing a meal. It is helpful to take your puppy to the same spot each time to potty. Keep it on a leash and don't allow it to play until it has used the bathroom. Once your puppy does its business praise it! Puppies love high voices so get very excited and silly! Say, "Good puppy! Yay!" etc. You may also give it a treat if you wish.
At 8 weeks old a puppy is still an infant. It may take up to the time the puppy is 12 or even 16 weeks of age to completely housebreak it. At 8 weeks old the puppy is not mentally or physically able to grasp the concept of potty training. As the puppy gets older, you can put more time in between each time of taking it out of the crate to potty. For at least the first few weeks only take your puppy out of the crate to take it to potty, feed it, and play with it. I do not recommend letting it roam the house. The very first thing when you take it out is to take it outside to potty, then feed it, then outside again, and then play. When you are playing with it, don't put it down on the floor unless you are supervising 100%. If you witness your puppy start to squat to pee, say a loud and firm NO! and pick it up and carry it outside. Puppies do give you warning before they poop, you just have to watch for the signs. The puppy will start sniffing the ground and walking in circles with purpose. Its tail will be high and its back legs somewhat stiff. You have about a 5 second window to get your puppy outside NOW or you will be cleaning up tootsie rolls.
By crate training you are teaching two important things to your puppy - 1. Don't potty in your house/bed and 2. The crate is your safe place to go when you're scared or tired. This will also come in handy once the puppy starts teething and wants to chew on everything! Puppies can be very destructive. If you work or if you leave for any period of time, please crate your puppy. It's for his safety as well as the safety of your furniture, shoes, walls, etc. As he grows, the crate will be his home/bed and place of refuge. The crate should NEVER be used as punishment.
Do all this while your puppy is young because you will need to crate him when he starts puberty. See the Mastiff Puberty page for more information.
Exercise: You need to be very careful how much exercise your puppy gets. Mastiff puppies need so much energy to grow, that they don't need very much exercise. A small fenced in yard is plenty of room for it to run around in. If you walk your puppy, please don't go far, or you will be carrying back a 50 lb puppy. They tire very easily and love to take naps!
Socialization: This is probably the most important part of raising your puppy! The more your puppy is exposed to new environments, the better he will act. If you go somewhere that allows dogs, please take your puppy! Let him meet all kinds of new people and animals, hear many different noises, see lots of different things. The more he is exposed to, the better! However, always read his body language before you let someone pet him. Watch for body stiffness, rolling eyes, nostril flaring, ears held back, cowering, tail tucking, growling, and quick motions as all these are warning signs! Also, make sure the person petting him is not rough or fast moving. You want as many GOOD experiences as possible for your puppy!
Please remember to send in your AKC Registration papers! If you wait until the puppy is a year old, you will pay high penalty fines!
Enjoy your puppy!!!
1503 CR 602
Berryville, AR 72616
870-423-7484 / 870-423-7666
*Attention Breeders: Please do not copy this and use it on your own website without my consent and permission.
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