Thought I’ll do a bit of a different post today, dedicated all to my lovely little batpig Archie. He is a beautiful 18 months old french bulldog If you have read my posts before you already ‘met’ him when we celebrated his birthday. If you are new, head over to my previous post by clicking here.
Having a puppy is very close to having a new member in your family. If you are thinking of getting a pet you MUST research about the type of pet you can handle, and if it is a dog then the breed is extremely important. You need to make sure he/she gets enough exercise everyday as you want them to be healthy. Now I wanted a french bulldog for about 6 years before we got Archie. I have researched everything about the breed over the few years but really spent a lot of time researching after we have spoken to the breeder.
I wanted to be 1000% sure that we were ready to welcome him to the family and that we had enough time for him.
The ultimate number one priority for you should be finding a reputable breeder. Ask questions, join pages, go to the park and ask other dog owners, but please never use a puppy farm as those people will only take your money and perhaps give you a sick little puppy who will no doubt steal your heart but may end up with a very short life expectancy.
The other main things to consider in my opinion are:
Do you work full-time? Do you love going out everyday after work for meals, and get home really late? If so you would probably leave the pup at home for the majority of the day which is not good for them and will make the toilet training a nightmare. – you can’t expect them to hold everything in all day.
Are you a patient person? You really need to be calm and patient when it comes to training your puppy. This is important especially when you are training them to walk well on a lead, as this may take a while, and they will be able to feel your frustration.
What do you want to feed your puppy? You may think this is a silly question, but until I started researching I didn’t know there was so many different things. Obviously human food is not suitable for dogs therefore I will not even mention that. You can get ‘normal’ dry dog kibble which is what I thought we were going to feed Archie, until I read more about how much crap is in them. Now you can get some great grain free ones which are the ones I would recommend, but we still opted for another option. Second main type is the wet food that comes in little trays or tins. Now these I always thought were like junk food for dogs with all the gravy and juice. yuck! Lastly its is raw food. Now this is what we feed Archie. There is a lot of argument for and against why you should and shouldn’t feed your dog on raw, but for us this is definitely the best type. It is great for dogs with allergies, and its is natural and the ideal food for a dog in the wild. (Frenchies are very prone to having skin allergies) – If you do a little bit of extra work and figure out how to feed raw I guarantee you will have a healthy puppy. We found a great supplier who does the hard work for us and I just need to defrost his daily portions. We are happy with it but its your dog, your choice.
Crate or no crate
Now this is, like the food situation, a very controversial topic. Many dog owners think and feel cruel for leaving the dog, especially their cute little puppies in a crate. However please as I’ve said it many times, have a quick search and you will find the benefits of the crate. We opted FOR crate training. At the start we separated his crate off so he only had enough space for his little blanket to sleep on. Dogs don’t tend to shit where they sleep basically , and this way he knew to only do his business once the crate door was open. We lived in a flat then so it was a bit hard to get him to go outside all the time, but we used his puppy pads and they worked a treat (until Archie decided they are great to chew). I must say you need to have some ear plugs when it comes to crate training as (at least with Archie) they scream when left alone. I am not joking Archie SCREAMED like mad for weeks and weeks and weeks. This was especially bad since we were renting a flat where we were not supposed to have him (we were in the process of moving anyway). I felt so cruel leaving him there, but if I took him to bed for one night he would NEVER have left. That is bad for the dog and for us as a couple. If you want to find out more information why they scream and cry, it’s a good idea to read about separation anxiety. Many dogs have it, and you have to find the trick that helps your puppy settle. What we found worked the best was taking the cage in the bedroom and so he can see us over night. We slowly started covering it with a blanket (be careful not to make it too hot in there) and then one day we moved him back to the livingroom and he has been fine since. He goes to bed on his own these days. We don’t have to keep it small either, Archie’s cage is pretty big actually. Took a few weeks but it is much worth it. I can leave him in or out for the majority of the day and he is fine, no accidents no mess.
You may ask water?surely you give water to the dog. YES you are right we certainly do, but at the training stage we never left water in the cage for him as it encourages him to wee. As long as we made sure he drank enough I knew he would be fine. He also didn’t have any during night-time until he was completely trained. (French bulldogs, and most bulldog types are prone to overheating therefore we make sure he has enough cold water in hot days. ) Ice cubes are your best friend when travelling in the car- cheeky McDonald’s on the motorway stop and ask for a glass off ice. Archie is so happy chewing on them for the journey that he is not bothered about the car or the heat. SCORE
Now we have heard a lot of bad stuff about dogs chewing things when left alone. Thankfully I cannot really comment on this as due to him being Crate trained and having enough toys he has been a good boy and hardly chewed anything. Definitely not chewed the furniture or shoes so we ARE lucky. You can however get some sprays or rub some orange peel on the corners and legs of the sofa which apparently helps a lot.
Harness or collar
Now I do believe teaching a pup to walk is supposedly better on a collar rather than a harness, but don’t you just love how cute harnesses look on puppies 🙂 We got Archie a Julius K9 IDC harness in black. These are absolutely fantastic. Not only are they super strong with a handle, they really do fit Frenchies well. They sit nicely on their front so it is not uncomfortable for them and the handle is so good when Archie gets into a bit of a mess, I just lift him right out of the situation, whatever it may be 🙂 I am not going to lie, they are on the pricey side of things but you can find them on sale on Zooplus quite often. In my opinion it is a great investment for any type of dog.
Also make sure your puppy has enough toys, and treats as they are great when it comes to training. It’s such a great feeling when they learn something new. Our little man can sit, wait for his food, give you paw and high-five, lay down, fetch his toys by name usually etc.
There is many more things you should research about the specific breed, but I think if you know and plan the above, the breeder will be happy to let you have one of their little puppies.
Choosing a good vet is definitely a priority especially if you have a less common breed. The vet needs to know what allergies and injuries they are prone to as this can help fasten their recovery. Quite a lot of vets offer puppy packs, training classes and will help you with all of your questions. Make sure to keep all of their vaccines up to date and flea and worm them often to insure no illness.
Hope this ‘quick’ list was helpful if you are thinking of getting a puppy. I absolutely love Archie and couldn’t image our life without him anymore.
Love, Fil x
Please let me know if you enjoyed reading this and link below some posts of your pets I would love to meet them all.