Taking Your Llewellin Setter Puppy Home
There is as much information published on how to nurture and raise your Llewellin puppy, as there is information of caring for a human baby. Frankly, some of the published information appears to be theoretical and much of it does not match our own experience. We thought we would therefore pass on our actual experience in a few areas in no particular order.
Road Trip or Air-ship?
We must say that even if it involves giving up a weekend and driving a few hundred miles, there is no substitute for giving the pup the attention it deserves at this time of departure from its siblings and entry into its new life style.
If possible, plan to have two persons in the car and hold the pup some of the time at least, on the lap, using a towel under him. He may throw up and that is to be expected on first car rides. Have a puppy crate along as well so you have a place to put him if you have to leave the vehicle or as an option. Here is another article with more information on car sickness.
Air-shipping your Llewellin pup may be your only option. If so, make it as easy on the little guy as you can. Ship him “Counter to Counter” and not airfreight. This costs $100 more but it’s the way to go. Some airlines will not take live animals (i.e. US Airways). Of those airlines that will ship puppies, some are better than others. Some are very marginal. Our best experiences by far have been with Continental and Delta. Both get our 5 star rating.
Get the dog breeder to give you a small sample of the puppy food he has been getting. You can mix this food 50/50 with your food of choice for a few days to avoid upset. Or of course feed the same feed he has been eating. Plan to stay with puppy food for the first year of the pup’s life.
The Pup’s First Days at Home
Once you get the puppy home, especially if he is to live in the house, a number of issues arise. The first one usually being house breaking. As an experienced Llewellin Setter breeder, here is how we handle this:
- Do not start out by allowing pup run of the house. This will compound the problem to no end. He will sneak into rooms and corners unseen to do his thing. Confine him to an assigned area–maybe the kitchen, the laundry room, an enclosed porch or whatever.
- Use baby toddler gates to keep pup where you want him.
- Get pup a wire crate to sleep and hang out in. This is his special space. We prefer not to use a plastic shipping crate, as they are too confining. He needs to be able to see around him.
- You can start by using newspaper as a place to “go.” Best, however, is to establish a routine of putting pup outside as soon as he wakes from snoozing or right after eating. Most pups will get the idea quickly but expect some “accidents” for a while, of course
Keeping Your Llewellin Setter Puppy Healthy
The change of water and environment and possibly the pup’s food may result in some diarrhea. This affliction can also be the result of an infection he picked up before you got him. If there is blood or mucus present in the stool he could have coccidia. This infection is fairly common in litters of pups and good breeders are mindful of it and know how to treat for it. Nevertheless, it can reappear and is not a big deal if taken care of promptly. The treatment for coccidia is a medication called Albon; given per your vet’s instructions the problem will clear up in a day or two.
Simple diarrhea in your Llewellin pup can be treated effectively with this home remedy: Buy a can of pumpkin, (just plain pumpkin, not pie-filling that contains spices) at your grocer. Mix a few spoonfuls of the pumpkin with plain yogurt at about a 50/50 ratio and feed to the pup a couple of times a day. This usually takes care of diarrhea and loose stools from food changes and minor upsets very quickly. Persistent diarrhea in your pup is reason to consult your vet without delay.
Feeding Your Llewellin Setter Pup
You can feed your pup free-choice if no other animals are around by just keeping the food dish full of dry food. Otherwise, feeding your pup twice a day will be fine. Use a high-quality puppy food and do not add anything. Never add milk, scraps, etc.,–nothing to your pup’s food. Dry puppy food is best. It helps with the pup teething, keeps tarter down, and you can serve it again if not eaten immediately.
The Safety and Discipline of Your New Llewellin Pup
Put a collar on your pup right away and get him used to it (we sell very fine, Amish-made leather puppy collars at Hunting Dog Gear). Get a name tag for his collar, also, as he may wander off. Get your pup an implanted microchip at your vet. We like the “Avid” brand.
What to do About Pup’s Biting Problem
As the pup grows he will enter into the dog-equivalent of the teenage period and you can expect a few issues; chewing and biting being foremost. Do not accept your puppy biting at all. Stomp on it right away. Do not be afraid to discipline your dog. If you observe the mother with the pups she will not hesitate to growl, bark and bite them if appropriate. You need to do the equivalent of this also as now you are the pack leader.
When the pup bites you grab him by the scruff of the neck and say loudly and clearly, “NO”! If pup persists in biting, grab his ear and dig your thumb into the flap repeating, “NO!” If this makes him cry out, that’s fine. At least you know you are giving him feed-back he can understand. Don’t try to reason with pup. Don’t give him a lecture. Punish him. That’s how the animal world works.
Be the Pack Leader
We can highly recommend the writings and videos of Cesar Millan. Especially, “Be the Pack Leader”. You may have seen Cesar on the National Geographic channel with his Dog Whisperer series. This is terrific information and it works. At the end of the day, your success with training your bird dog puppy lies to a large extent with your ability to become the “Pack Leader” up front.
What to do About Pup’s Chewing Problem
As for the pup chewing, he needs to do this; he will do this no matter what. So give him something he’s allowed to chew on. There’s no shortage of puppy-products in the stores, but we favor the” Nylabone”. It is a good product with no danger to the pup.
Let Your Bird Dog Puppy be a Puppy!
You don’t have to be concerned about the bird part of it very much. Your Llewellin puppy already knows all that stuff from the day it is born. That’s what you paid the breeder for. Over 100 years of selective breeding to do one thing comes right along with the genes!
Let your puppy be a puppy… sounds logical, I know. But, when given a smart, quick learner, there is a temptation to move too fast. How do I know? Well, we get the e-mails, photos, and so on showing the 5-month old pups retrieving and journals on the 6-month old pup who put up 100 Pheasants and so on. It is very tempting to have a braggin’ dog that’s only a year old and so on. Some of these dogs turn out fine and some crash along the way. They stop retrieving and become sour or won’t handle or won’t back or you name it. The gun dog pup folds to the pressure because they are not mature until 2 years old. Take it easy. Take the steps one at a time, don’t rush things. Let the dog communicate to you when he’s ready for the next step–they have a way of doing that. Never go forward on sketchy groundwork. Spend lots of time on the basic yard work. Heel, Whoa and Come must be firmly established before you go onto birds. Better look for the dog to be finished at 2 years than pressure him at 9 months.