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Dear New Family:

Listed below are a few things you will need to take proper care of me.

An Igloo dog house is my preference to keep me warm in winter. You can find one for sale on craigslist that cost less than a new one as long as there are no pieces missing & it is not cracked or damaged. Be sure to bleach & rinse it when you bring it home for me. I will need a size Large or XL to be sure I have plenty of room to stretch out. I prefer this type of dog house because wood dog houses harbor bacteria & could make me sick. The Igloo dog house can be santized monthly to keep it clean & keep me healthy.

A fenced yard will keep me safe & secure while you are away from home working during the day. It doesn't have to be a big yard. If you live in a neighborhood in the city, a standard city sized yard is adequate room for me to have exercise, sunshine, fresh air, & potty time. Any type of fencing will work ... chainlink, privacy, 2"x4" no climb wire, rod iron, etc at least 4' tall. Remember, I was raised in a fenced yard so I already know & respect fences & can be safely left unattended. 

I will very much enjoy being inside with my family when you are home. If you choose for me to sleep inside with you at night in a crate, I prefer the big black wire crates because they get much better airflow than the hard plastic shipping crates. I can also see you when I am inside. I will like a size large or extra large so you only need to buy one & I can grow into it. It is a myth to only give a puppy enough room adquate for his size for potty training. Remember, I will already know to "go" outside when I arrive at your home. If I potty in my crate, it will be YOUR fault for not taking me out when I need to go. I need lots of room to stand up & turn around, move about, & stretch to take a nap. I will enjoy a bigger size crate as much as you enjoy your queen or king size bed. As long as you do your part & take me outside frequently to potty, I will not potty in my crate. Please do not lock me inside a crate for 8-12 hours per day while you are at work. I will become restless & could develop some very bad habits. You can find these crates on craigslist at a reduced price. Be sure the tray is not cracked or broken as this may cause injury to me & sanitize it often to keep me healthy. I prefer to be cooler than warmer so please don't turn your heat up too high if I am indoors with you in the winter. I may also enjoy laying in front of a fan in warmer weather if I am in my crate.

When I am teething you may find it helpful to remember me at the grocery store. I may enjoy an apple, raw red potato, or raw carrot to teeth on. I may also enjoy these foods as a special treat while you are away to keep me busy & out of trouble. You may also roll up an old washcloth into a log, soak it in chicken broth, place in a baggie in the freezer, then give that to me for a frozen treat to teeth on.

Please choose a quality food for me. My breeder feeds and recommends Nutrisource, Bil-Jac, & Holistic Select. All of these foods are MADE IN USA. If you choose another brand of food be sure to first check the label. The first ingredient should be nothing other than quail, duck, bison, lamb, chicken, beef, or turkey .... NOT corn. The first ingredient listed is the bulk of what is in the bag & is the most important. Do not buy foods like Purina Puppy Chow, Beneful, or Pedigree. That's like feeding your kids Trix Cereal every morning for breakfast & Twinkie's every night for dinner. Those foods contain yellow #7 & orange 22 & are corn based. Corn based foods are not adequate for dogs. Have you ever seen a dog in a cornfield eating?

Remember that dogs & people can have personality clashes to so it is extremely important for you to share your expectations of a new dog with my breeder so she can help you choose the right puppy for your family. If there is ever a time you no longer want me because we cannot get along, or if you experience life changes that prevent you from keeping & caring for me, you signed a contract at time of purchase that states my breeder is always available to take me back. Please return me to my breeder so I don't end up at the pound, rescue, or shelter.

I will need a shade tree to stay out of the sun so I don't get too hot.

I LOVE to play in the water & will need a pool or 15-25 gallon tub to splash around in so I don't run out of water on hot summer days. This needs to be in the shade so the water doesn't get too hot. I will also enjoy playing in the sprinkler with the children.

If your yard is not fenced, please consider one of these chainlink kennels available on craigslist at minimal cost for me to stay in while you are gone during the day so I can still have outdoor time, freshair, sunshine, & pottytime. Please make sure you set it in the shade. Invisible fencing works well to because I am highly intelligent & learn very quickly.

I will need lots of toys to keep me busy & out of trouble. The safest toys for me are made from hard plastic. The best doggy toy companies are Kong, Toy Shoppe, & Orka. You can find these toys at Petsmart or Petco or order them online from Amazon.com. I really like the large size toys & can already roll a ball, fetch & squeak a toy, & play tug of war when I go home with you. The toys labeled xs, sm, or med may be a choking hazard for me so please buy me the size lg & xl toys. If you buy me a toy with stuffing you will likely find it ripped apart & the stuffing all over the yard or stuck in my throat so please only purchase the hard plastic chew toys.

This training tool is called a pig bat. When I go to live at your home, I will have already been taught manners & discipline from my breeder. I will also be able to walk on a leash, sit, shake, down, rollover, & wait at the gate. It is your job to continue on with my training. You may find it necessary to show your authority & remind me you are the alpha dog in our relationship if I am doing things that are unacceptable. It is not appropriate behavior for me to jump on people, especially older folks that live in or visit your home & small children as I may knock them down & cause injury. A good swat on the hiney will remind me I am not suppose to behave that way. You may also find a swat necessary if I am digging, irritating you or your neighbors with excessive unnecesary barking, or chewing on things that are not allowed ... but please give me things that ARE allowed & praise me with positive reinforcement when I am not barking, not chewing up your things, & not digging. You can say things like "thank you for not digging in my yard, thank you for not barking, thank you for not chewing up my things, & thank you for not jumping on people". Positive reinforcement will go a long way in my training & I will understand what you are saying to me. If you spank me for barking, especially at night, please check my area for snakes, predator's, strangers, &, of course, the boogie man first as I may be trying to warn you of danger. This training tool does not give you permission to whip me repeatedly & unnecessarily. You may only give me one swat on the meaty part of my rump ... not on the spine ... accompanied by a firm "no". This is a manner of discipline I am already accustomed to & will respect your authority & reminding me that you are the alpha dog in our relationship & there are certain behaviors at your home that are not allowed. As soon as I stop the behavior I am being disciplined for, remember to praise me by changing your tone of voice to a happy one & telling me what a good dog I am with lots of love. You may also find this training tool helpful if I am to be a sibling to a dog you already have to teach them some manners if you, or their breeder, have failed to do your part in their training. Please take the time to teach them acceptable behavior BEFORE I arrive at your home so I don't get blamed for bad behavior they may teach me. Your goal should be to have well mannered dogs who are able to greet you, your neighbors, & any guests that may visit your home respectfully. This will only be achieved by doing your part & being consistent with my training. You may find puppy kindergarten classes helpful but I can't learn if you don't take me so please be committed to our training sessions. Remember, an unruly dog is worse than an unruly child but be sure to teach your child(ren) manners & discipline as well. It is not appropriate behavior for your child to hit me, pull my hair, throw things at me, or run into me with their pedal car or bicycle. If you need additional training idea's remember to email or call my breeder.