How to care for a black terrier puppy?

The first days of puppy in the new house is a very difficult period, both for the puppy and for the owner. It is easy at this time to make mistakes that can have unpleasant consequences.

Astra Fidelis ALEXANDER, age 4 months. Author: Carmel Patterson, Ireland.

The first moments - distrust.

Your black Russian terrier puppy has just arrived at his new home. What to do next?

First of all, remember that the black terrier is inherently distrustful of strangers. At first you will be a stranger to your puppy, this is normal. This is not a Labrador, which immediately wolf down everyone it meets.

Black Russian Terrier is a working dog, created to work with a man and to guard. Already as a puppy he shows the characteristics of a guarding dog - he doesn't trust strangers and keeps his distance from people he doesn't know. Let's not try to forcefully embrace the puppy, if we see that he feels uncomfortable with this. Let's give him time to get to know us. Sometimes it happens that a black terrier puppy will like us at once and will demand petting from the first moment. There is no rule here and it does not have much influence on our future relationship with the dog. It's just that some puppies need some time to accept a new owner and others accept him right away. That's just the way it is and we have to accept it.

The puppy meets his new home.

Immediately after arriving home give the puppy water and then go outside "for a toilet". If we live in a house with a garden, let's take this opportunity to walk slowly around the garden so that the puppy has a chance to get to know his new property. Let's not rush, give the puppy time to get familiar with the new place and to thoroughly sniff everything. Sniffing is very important for a dog, this is how the dog gets information about the place.

If during a walk outside we go with the puppy outside the area of our property we must constantly watch that the dog does not take something into the mouth and if it takes it immediately we have to pull it out of the mouth.

After the first walk we come back home and after a moment's rest let's familiarize the puppy with the house. But nothing by force, if the puppy will not feel like visiting the house is not to force him to do it, everything will come in time. It often happens that the puppy lies down in one quiet place, often in a corner and just watches. When it is ready, it will come to us or will start to explore the house.

Food and drink.

The puppy's first meal upon arrival at its new home should not be lavish. Half of a single dose is enough (that is, about 60-80 grams). If the puppy does not want to eat immediately after arrival, do not insist. Puppy may feel the stress of changing homes and then will not want to eat. We must provide a bowl with fresh water.

The next meals follow the pattern below:

A Russian terrier puppy eats 4 times a day:

  • After first going to the toilet, about 6-7 a.m.
  • About 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • About 5 p.m.
  • Before bedtime, usually about 8-9 p.m.

The puppy has a week's supply of existing food. Do not change to another food right away. A sudden change in diet usually causes stomach problems and diarrhea.

What food do we give a black Russian terrier puppy?

Proper feeding of puppies and juniors is essential. It's very easy to make many mistakes here, for example, disturb the proportions of calcium and phosphorus in the diet which can cause bone decalcification resulting in brittleness or the other way round - excessive calcification which inhibits the growth of the puppy.

If we want our Russian terrier puppy to grow properly we can not feed him poor quality food. Best at the very beginning to use food that we get from the breeder, which is accustomed to his stomach.

If you change the food for some reason, remember to use only premium or super premium food. Russian Terrier is a heavy dog, puppy in the growth period needs a very good quality food with a whole range of nutrients, trace elements and vitamins. If we use food of low quality which does not contain all the necessary ingredients, we can lead to various health problems.

Breeder knows what works with his puppies and will advise the correct feeding at puppy stage as well as junior so that, among other things, thanks to a balanced diet (which changes with the subsequent stages of growth because at each stage of growth the dog will need different ingredients in different proportions) the puppy grew up to be a handsome and healthy dog.

Feeding a puppy - how much and how often?

A Russian terrier puppy eats four times a day. If we can't provide four meals a day, we can feed the kid three times a day.

Daily dose.

In general, we follow the nutritional chart that you will find on the package of food. In the case of a bitch, we look at the target weight of 50 kg, and in the case of a dog - 60 kg. Divide the given daily amount of food into four. The food should be given in equal amounts four times a day.

However, the nutritional table from the bag of food is only a reference point. Every puppy is different. Some are very active, constantly willing to play, while others like Garfield from the cartoon prefer to lie down most of the time. This translates to the need for energy, which provides food.

If we will feed the same, recommended in the table amount of food both types of puppies, both the active and the quiet ones, the effect will be easy to predict, those overactive will be undernourished, with protruding spine and ribs, the average active will have the correct weight and the calmest will be obese.

So how to choose the correct individual dose for a Russian terrier puppy? The starting point is a nutritional chart with manufacturer's recommendations, which should be corrected for our black Russian terrier puppy.

How to do it? Once a week you should check if our Russian terrier puppy is not obese or too skinny. The best indicator is our dog's ribs. In order to check we run our fingers over the ribs of our puppy. The ribs should be clearly felt. Our fingers should jump slightly when sliding over the ribs. But be careful - your fingers should jump minimally, if the ribs are felt too much and additionally the spine starts to be felt clearly, it means that the puppy is too thin and we need to increase the dose of food immediately.

If during the weekly check it turns out that we are not able to feel the ribs of the dog, or we feel them weakly it means that our dog is overweight.

And here is an important note. Obesity in a black Russian terrier puppy or junior is a simple recipe for joint damage and dysplasia. Black Russian Terrier is a wide and strongly built dog (at least it should be...). His heavy body puts a lot of strain on his joints. If we add extra kilograms by being overweight, it increases the load on the joints very much.

During puppyhood, it often happens that the body grows at an uneven pace, e.g. the muscular system doesn't keep up with the rapidly growing skeletal system.

Of course, not every obese black Russian terrier puppy will have problems walking in the future. Just as not every puppy running up and down stairs, running on slippery surfaces, or rampaging with adult Labradors will become crippled. But all these factors influence very negatively on joints of young Russian terriers, especially the biggest and the widest ones and due to accumulation of factors negatively influencing joints, unfortunate accident or coincidence, acquired dysplasia (not genetically determined) may appear in the future. So let's be careful on opinions like "my puppy was fat, he was running on stairs like crazy and he was playing all day with neighbor's sheepdogs and nothing happened to him". On the same principle you can say "and my grandmother smoked cigarettes like a locomotive and lived to be 100 years old".

So let's take care of our terriers diet, especially when they are puppies or youngsters if we care about their health and good condition in later years.

New food.

If we want to change the food we have to do it gradually. The transition should take 10 days. The change to the new food is done by mixing the old and new food according to the following scheme:

  1. day 90 % of the current food mixed with 10 % of the new food.
  2. day 80 % of the current food and 20 % of the new food.
  3. day 70 % of the current food and 30 % of the new food.
  4. day 60 % of the current food and 40 % of the new food.
  5. day 50 % of the current food and 50 % of the new food.
  6. day 40 % of the current food and 60 % of the new food.
  7. day 30 % of the current food and 70 % of the new food.
  8. day 20 % of the current food and 80 % of the new food.
  9. day 10 % of the current food and 90 % of the new food.
  10. day only the new food.

Safe haven.

Black Russian terrier puppy, despite the fact that he is a sociable dog loving to be with his family, still needs a safe asylum, a place where he can rest in peace.

Young puppy for a large part of the day is sleeping or resting. The younger the puppy, the greater part of a day is occupied by sleep.

A puppy needs his "asylum", a safe place to go when he feels like taking a nap. It must be a place out of the way, but not in total distance. Place from which the puppy will be able to observe or hear what is happening in the house, but not in a place where there is all the time traffic. This can be for example a compartment under the stairs or a small room. However, it is best to buy a large cage with a comfortable bed inside. The cage does not close, it should be only a separate place where the puppy will feel "at home", where children will not bother him when the puppy wants to nap.

First nights in the new house.

A puppy usually does not sleep the first nights after moving to a new home. Sometimes he will wake up several times during the night "for the toilet". Stressed puppy may have diarrhea, so he will squeal signaling that he wants to go outside

The first nights are the most stressful for the puppy so we should not leave him alone at night. Dog from the first day should know his place in the house and should also know where he can enter and where not. If we don't want the dog to enter the bedroom in the future we shouldn't let him into our bedroom even at the very beginning so that he won't be confused why sometimes he can enter the bedroom and sometimes not. If ultimately we want the dog to stay for example on the ground floor of a two-storey house, the puppy should be there from the first day. So to save the puppy stress during the first nights it's best if for those few nights we move to that part of the house or to the room where the dog is supposed to stay.

We can lie down on a mattress, on the floor next to the puppy. Puppy will feel safe if after every waking up he will feel our presence and we will hear when the dog wakes up and react.

After the first few nights, usually no more than three, our puppy should start sleeping through the night.