New puppies need a strict puppy care routine, so if you've recently given a loving home to a cute little puppy, I recommend you establish a strict care routine for him - in fact, the earlier, the better!
Your Cocker Spaniel care routine will be centred around the following activities:
Very young puppies will often take lots of 'power naps' during the day - these power naps are essential to your pup's development.
During those first few months, sleeping is an important part of his puppy care routine.
However, as they grow older, they'll need less sleep in the daytime, and will soon be doing what puppies do best - exploring and getting up to mischief!
So make the most of it - enjoy watching your little cherub sleeping quietly while you can!
I recommend you get into the routine of putting your pup into his crate after he's been groomed, or after playtime, or gentle, soothing cuddles, as this will help to calm him down.
He may fall asleep in your lap but if he doesn't, gently place him in his crate and leave him; it won't be long before he drops off.
I recommend that all new pet owners crate train their puppy as it has many benefits for both dog and owner.
Check your puppy frequently, especially when toilet training. The first thing he'll want to do when he wakes is pee so take him outside to his toilet area, and praise him if he does the business!
Visitors frequently ask for help and advice during their puppy's first few nights. This article about bringing your puppy home offers essential advice for his first night and will almost certainly answer any questions you may have.
As I mentioned earlier, as soon as puppies wake they usually need to pee so make sure you take him outside as soon as he wakes.
Your pup will probably try to hold it in, but at this young age his bladder is likely be too weak.
If he's already wet or soiled his crate, please don't scold him - you weren't there to let him out.
Stay outside with him until he's done his toilet, praise him, and then bring him back inside.
You will need to do this several times a day, at least hourly, whilst potty training your Cocker Spaniel.
Incorporate regular feeding times into your puppy care routine and don't be tempted to feed him in between meals - a few treats given as a reward for successful obedience training should be the only exception here.
If his bones are to grow strong and he's to develop into a fit and healthy adult dog, we need understand the importance of dog nutrition and how it plays a large part in your puppy's development.
Always follow the breeder's feeding instructions, and make sure your puppy has plenty of fresh water available in his bowl each day.
Feeding usually stimulates your puppy's bowels, so you'll probably need to take him outside again after he's finished eating.
Puppies who are handled often will be better socialised than those that are not and are less likely to develop behavioural problems later in life.
It's very important that you (and other family members and friends - the more the better!) pick up and cuddle your puppy every opportunity so that he becomes used to being handled by people.
While you're handling your pup, talk to him - stroke him and say his name to familiarize him with the sound of your voice and his own name.
Examine and touch all areas of him regularly; his eyes, ears, mouth, teeth, bottom and 'boy bits', tummy button, and paws.
Frequent handling of these areas will help him to become accustomed to touch which will pay dividends when your groomer needs to work on him or when your vet needs to examine him.
I can't stress enough that socializing your puppy is a very important part of your puppy's care routine.
All puppies need the mental stimulation that play-time offers, otherwise they may get bored and begin to chew and destroy objects around the house.
If you catch your puppy chewing on something you don't want him to chew, simply exchange it for one of his chew toys.
Don't scold your puppy - he's too young and won't understand your change in tone.
If your pet confuses chewing on things he shouldn't, (your new shoes, for example) with his playtime, you may find these top 10 tips on how to stop him chewing things he shouldn't, very helpful!
After playing puppy games with your Cocker Spaniel, you'll need to take him to his toilet area once again - stay with him for a few minutes until he 'does the business' or that you're certain he's not going to do anything.
I recommend you begin grooming your puppy from day one.
When setting up a puppy care routine for your Cocker Spaniel, care should be taken to ensure that a gentle grooming regime is started as soon as possible to begin acclimatising your Cocker Spaniel puppy to the grooming process.
This way your puppy will get used to the feel of the brushes and combs, to being handled, and it will ensure his coat stays clean, tangle-free, and shining!
Your puppy will need to be bathed from time to time, depending upon where he plays, where he's walked, and how dirty he gets.
It's best to acclimatise him to this too, while he's still a young pup.
If you leave it until he's a fully grown dog before bathing him, you may be in for a difficult time!
Learn more about bathing a puppy to ensure you both enjoy his bath-time!
Whilst it's important to keep your puppy's teeth clean, the practicality of brushing his teeth may not always be straight forward - anyone who's ever tried to brush their dog's teeth will know what I mean!
However, if you take a gentle approach to cleaning puppy teeth your Cocker Spaniel will gradually become accustomed to having his teeth brushed and will soon learn to sit quietly while you brush.
There are a selection of soft puppy toothbrushes and specially formulated puppy toothpastes, available in most good pet stores.
Don't consider using a toothbrush meant for humans as the bristle may be too hard, unless it's a toothbrush meant for very young toddlers.
I recommend you start as early as possible so that he gets used to his teeth being brushed as part of his normal routine.
There are other alternatives to brushing your dog's teeth, but I recommend that you use them to supplement your dog's dental care.
You can buy toothpaste that only needs to be put into the dog's mouth; no need for brushing - although I'm not sure how effective it is.
Dry dog food is kinder to their teeth, and there are dental sticks and chews available which are designed to keep your dog's teeth clean and healthy. Our Cocker Spaniel has one a day; he loves them and his teeth are still looking pristine!
I really recommend you begin brushing your puppy's teeth as early as possible. At first, you may need to persevere, but once you and your pup get used to it, you'll wonder what all the fuss was about!
It's very important that Cocker Spaniel puppies are socialised from birth - I cannot stress how important socialisation is for your puppy.
Your breeder will have already begun to socialize your puppy and you should continue with this as soon as you can.
Puppies that have been properly socialised will grow up to be well-adjusted and happy dogs.
Puppies who've not been properly socialised may become very timid or aggressive, and may develop behavioural problems later in life.
Cocker Spaniel puppies grow and develop quite quickly between six and eight weeks; their little personalities are beginning to show through, and they're beginning to explore their surroundings with confidence.
At this age, you should also be seeing how they are going to look when they're fully grown.
Encourage your pup to explore his environment. He should be exposed to everyday household appliances such as vacuum cleaners, hair-dryers, washing machines, coffee grinders, and other domestic appliances, to help them get used to sudden noise, light and vibration.
As part of his puppy care routine, your Cocker should be meeting many different kinds of people, such as small children, crying babies, men and women in uniforms, men with beards, people with umbrellas - the list is almost endless.
If you'd like to learn more about socializing your Cocker Spaniel you can do so here.
The above Cocker Spaniel puppy care routine should be repeated three or four times each day, but as he grows and becomes fully potty trained, he'll still need a regular routine, but it won't be as 'busy'.
You'll need to use your own judgement on this one as puppies are individuals and have different rates of development.
I hope you've found these puppy and dog care tips useful, but if you're in any doubt about your puppy care routine, you should contact your veterinary or veterinary nurse.
Photo Credits - In
order of viewing:
1. Jeff Dutton at http://www.sxc.hu/photo/824025
2. Xandert at Flickr.com
3. Willeecole at http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-puppy-eating-dog-food-image7070021
4. Cynoclub at http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-puppies-cockers-spaniel-image10324386
5. Erik Lam at http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-cocker-spaniel-image9145715
6. Photographer unknown
7. Debbi Smirnoff at http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-17030543-bath-time.php?st=e41b8a0
8. JulesInky at Morguefile.com
9. Liliya Kulianionak at http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-puppy-english-cocker-spaniel-image23622039