Home of Havapoos, Portipoos and Ragdoll/Himalayans

Taking Your Southern Paws and Claws Puppy Home

Here are some suggestions/recommendations for caring for your new PUPPY:

  • If going forward, you choose to feed your puppy a different food than what is currently being fed by Southern Paws and Claws, you need to ease them into the new food. This is done by mixing your preferred food with the food we have been feeding to alleviate any digestion or intestine issues.
  • If you are having trouble getting them used to the hard food, it is okay to supplement their eating with some soft, canned puppy food. It is important to keep your puppy eating.
  • Do not resort to giving your puppy milk…your new bundle of joy is fully weaned.
  • Keep fresh water and a-little dry food available at all times (until approximately 4 months of age) at which time you can try to schedule feeding times. The fresh water should continue to be available always.
  • If your veterinarian agrees with this practice, you can add ½ teaspoon of “Karo” syrup to 8 oz. of water, or use the same amount of ‘honey’ over their food to protect against Hypo-Glycemia. We do this until 4 months of age. By that time, they have had their drinking and eating routine coordinated for their system.
  • We do not recommend feeding your puppies prepared, store-bought treats. However, if you decide to, please make sure they are prepared in the United States.
  • Your puppy will be well started into potty-training. We take them out every 2 hours at this age. Up the amount of time as they continue to age, for example – take out every 3 hours once they reach 3 weeks and so on. This is the ‘rule-of-thumb’; but you need to be watching them, and if for some reason they look like they may need to go outside sooner (due to for example, drinking a lot of water after playtime) than be sure to accommodate that as you won’t like the consequences for not paying attention. Also, be sure to take them out every-time the puppy wakes up.
  • As you take them outside, be sure you are saying your puppies name along with saying outside. For example, “Rover, outside?”  Also, as they do ‘pee’ or ‘poop’, say “Go potty, Rover” and praise them as they finish.
  • At home, you should use other exits as well. You don’t want your puppy growing into a dog that will only eliminate when taken out of a specific door.
  • Southern Paws and Claws are not believers of the ‘puppy piddle-pad’ training as it can cause other issues down the road. However, we do realize that there are specific situations [for example, certain housing] where it may be necessary to use them. Our suggestion for training toward that method is the pad should be close to his sleeping area, and then gradually ‘inch’ it toward where you would like it to be permanently.
  • Southern Paws and Claws believes in crate training as was discussed under the “Puppy Start” section.
  • Your puppy is very comfortable in a crate and will come to believe it their own ‘place’.
  • EVERY TIME you leave the house or can’t keep your pup in eye-sight, he/she should be in the crate. This routine is for everyone’s protection – your new companion as well as you – so they do not get behind appliances, chew electrical cords or destroy any home décor.
  • Puppies have a lot of energy but need to sleep/rest often. They will be playing, and then curl up and go to sleep. This does not mean there is anything wrong…they just eat/drink, play, sleep, and it starts over again. It is not our recommendation to try to keep them playing, when they wish to sleep [because you think they won’t sleep at night, then], as they need lots of sleep as a puppy.
  • Even though all of our puppies are in the hypo-allergenic non-shedding group, you do need to comb/brush your puppies [eventually, dog’s] coat regularly to keep it healthy. This removes the dead-hair that these dogs don’t shed on their own and improves their circulation. It is always our recommendation to put your puppy/dog on something stable at your height and not do this grooming process on the floor.
  • These puppies/dogs love water, so the bathing process should be a ‘cinch’. When bathing, make sure the water is just slightly (lightly) warm. Too cold nor hot is NOT comfortable for your pet. Remember their normal body temperature is 102 degrees.
  • Ears should be cleaned by using a dog ear wash on cotton balls. Also, check their ears for excessive hair growth inside the ear. This inner ear hair should be pulled [plucked] out to avoid ear infections. This can be done with your fingers or  tweezers, but be carefully not to go to far down in the ear canal.
  • Follow your veterinarian’s recommendation for your puppies/dog’s teeth. They should be examined by your vet twice yearly, which is normally done when they are in for vaccinations.


  • As mentioned in the ‘Puppy Start’ section, Southern Paws and Claws will have begun to work with all the puppies on commands. We believe the most important command is the word, “come”. You will ultimately want your adult companion to ‘come’ to you under every condition…good, bad or indifferent situations. The biggest mistake inexperienced puppy/dog owners make [in puppy training] is to call a puppy to you when they have made a mistake. They quickly learn – why should I ‘come’ to them to be punished. So, do not use the word ‘come’ in these instances – but you go to the puppy to make them aware of their mistake.
  • Always make coming to you a pleasant time with lots of praise – praise is a reward to them.
  • Southern Paws and Claws will have been socializing your puppy to all sorts of things – from sounds, smells, and events, to people of all ages and appearances. This needs to continue or your puppy will grow into an unsocial dog.
  • Part of the training of your puppy is that you should continue to handle your companion on all parts of their body. Your groomer [could be you] and your veterinarian will appreciate you for this.
  • You do not want your puppy growing up to be aggressive, so when your puppy is playing with a toy or eating food, take the time to say “ Let me see” and take the toy and food away for a moment. Then, give it back and praise him. If you do this practice with items your puppy ‘values’, this will be a meaningful exercise toward avoiding aggressive behavior.

Items we suggest for you to have on hand prior to your puppy coming home are:

  • Soft cuddly washable dog bed. These do not have to be the size of your puppy and they can be larger as your puppy will like the roominess to drag all of his/her toys into
  • A wire crate – medium size is good
  • If you do not have a fenced yard, a puppy playpen would be a good investment
  • Food and water dishes – do NOT purchase plastic dishes
  • A soft collar which needs to be size appropriate – with a 6’ leash
  • A metal comb that is fine to medium in spacing.
  • TEARLESS aloe/oatmeal shampoo – some brands are specific to puppies
  • And, of course some toys [non-plastic] as all ‘kids’ like to play