What to Expect in Your
Pup's First Year
we were Westie breeders, our
moms received tremendous care every day, but especially during the days
before and after whelping a litter of pups. We were with them every
step of the way. For the first few weeks the pup's whole world
consists of his mom's quite, nurturing warmth and the close comfort of
littermates. Eyes normally open around two weeks and hearing begins
shortly thereafter. His world begins to broaden, he begins wabbly
walking, and he begins to wrestle with his littermates. He learns some
very important lessons during this time. He soon learns that there are
limitations. If he bites his little brother or sister, he gets bitten
back. His mom corrects him by nipping him on the neck. It is
this correction that will follow him for a lifetime and it becomes your
responsibility to be sure he learns these lessons well. Staying in our
home with his littermates, learning from his mom and brothers and sisters,
the first 8 weeks is crucial in helping your pup develop a healthy, secure
Going home, it is up to you to give
him the care he needs everyday. There is a lot involved -- and we
always encouraged families to never get a Westie unless they are absolutely sure a
Westie fits their lifestyle.
Be sure a Westie is right for you!
There is a lot involved. He needs expensive food, plenty of
attention, gentle training, safe toys, comfortable home, and proper
veterinary care. A Westie will give boundless love in return.
Understanding your pup's needs in the months ahead will help you give him
the right start as your healthy, happy companion for life.
Be sure to stock up on the
Feed your Westie a diet that
contains no wheat, corn, or beef. Many Westies are allergic to these
food items. Be sure your treats do not contain those products.
We feed our dogs Hill's Science Diet d/d Potato and Venison along
with Stella & Chewy Freeze Dried Meal Mixers. For treats,
we use Nudges Jerky Cuts made with real chicken and in the USA!.
Feed you pup 3 times daily.
At 6 months, feed 2 times daily.
You will need to decide how
to groom your pup. Will you do it or take him to a groomer?
Follow this link for some suggestions:
techniques are very important. He needs to be taken out every two
hours for the first few weeks, then the time can be increased. He
should be taken out on leash to the same place. Say, "Potty, potty,
potty". As soon as he does potty, praise him and give him a treat.
Don't take him in immediately because he will soon discover that if he
waits to potty, he will have more time to play. Follow this link for
more info on
Be sure to keep him away
from other dogs until 3 months of age, and his vaccines are
Be sure he has safe toys
like Nylabones, balls and chew toys made of hard rubber, and knots of
No people food.
Heart worm prevention begins
at about 3 months of age.
From 7 weeks through 4
months of age, your pup goes through a socialization period that
permanently shapes his future personality and how he will react to things
in his environment as an adult. See this
about socializing your pup.
Expose your pup to as much
stimuli as possible. Meet new friends, take him on car trips, walks,
sounds, sights, etc.
Puppy kindergarten is very
important. It will help you and your pup understand each other
Westies need plenty of
At 5 1/2 to 6 months, it is
time to spay or neuter.
By this age, you should have
already established the pack leader position. If not, you are in
trouble. Your Westie will be in charge of the household.