Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Got Puppy Too Early And I Need Advice

by Kellie
(Winter Garden, Florida)

I was just recently on vacation and got my first Aussie puppy. The breeder had sold all but two pups. She was 5 weeks old when I got her. Now, before everyone has my head, I now realize that was way, way, way too early! I have been feeling so horrible and naive for not researching this issue before I did purchase her, but now I have her and love her so much!

Unfortunately, I can not return her to her mom for the last 3 weeks (like I want to do) as I live in Florida, and the mom is in Tennessee.

I have been doing lots and lots of research. I would really appreciate any advice on how to help my puppy learn the things that she is missing out on by not being with her mom and litter mates.

So far, she has taken to potty training really well and is getting used to being in her crate with little whimpering here and there.

Thanks in advice for all the helpful advice!

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Your 5 week old pup
by: Anonymous

You might want to try human baby formula and baby cereal for food. The kind you mix with water. Since its so early, you didn't say if she is adapting to food. Seems that she would be to young for food yet. Usually that's about 8 weeks.
I did that with my kittens when the mom wouldn't nurse them I went to the store and just bought baby formula and then added cereal to their diet but do it slowly as diarrhea can develop if you switch food too quickly. Try to get a clock that ticks and wrap it in a blanket to simulate a mom's heart beat. You have to have a lot of playtime with it because normally it would be playing with other pups. I know mom's also lick their pups a lot to clean them and that comforts them, you might want to try a warm wash cloth rung out?? And just keep them warm. If you get a chance let us know how you make out with it. Post a pick, I bet its a cutie! Good luck! : ) Nancy

Biting trouble!!
by: Kellie

Thanks Nancy for the advice!

She is actually taking well to puppy food, she has a great appetite for it and no problems with diarrhea or things of that nature. She is getting better with potty training and is doing great in her crate at night!

The only problem that I seem to be having with her is she is biting. I know she is teething and it is normal for them to nip at things, but she is a bit more aggressive some times. She will lung towards hands, feet, and some times my face in effort to bite it. I have been reading and researching and have tried saying "NO", "OUCH", or even squealing and then turning my back to her and then having to eventually leave play time.

She is so sweet and lovable, I just wish I could see some progress on the biting. Any tips on this would be extremely helpful!

Also, I am new to this site and not quite sure how to upload a picture after already submitting my question.

Your nipping pup
by: Anonymous

The nipping and lunging is part of puppy play, I'm sure she will grow out of it. If and when its too aggressive and hurts you, (I'm sure others will all excited about this advice, but it works) just tap her on the nose and tell her "no bite". You don't do it too hard but you do want to make an impact that she understands you don't approve of it. Biting can definitely get you in a jam later if you don't correct them. That's how I've handled it. If you don't like the hand, use something loud such as a rolled up news paper. It doesn't hurt them. Some people use a spray bottle with water. Whatever you think is appropriate. Good luck! Glad she is doing so well! : ) Nancy

your biting puppy
by: Anonymous

It sounds like you have a wonderful little dear but she hasn't learned the biting inhibition yet since she was taken too soon from her liter. You might also try socializing with other puppies her age if you have friends or a dog park that would allow her to come, would be a great way for her to learn that from other puppies around her size as well.

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