Care of the Mother-dog - The Housing and Feeding of Puppies - How to Groom a Puppy - Points to Observe in Training Puppies

To secure a healthy puppy, it is Well to begin, if possible, a little before the beginning. That is, to ensure that the dam is well-fed, properly exercised, and provided with a warm and quiet place for her puppies. This point of warmth is one that cannot be over-estimated. Sometimes a winter litter proves more successful than a spring or summer one, merely because the owner has to provide due warmth for the pups. So, with all breeds of pups, see that mother and family are warmly housed, in the case of toys and house dogs in a room, and if, as with larger breeds, outside, then in a place absolutely draught-proof and with as much warmth as is possible, 8o° the first two days and 60° after that being about the right temperature.

Early Care

For the first five or six weeks the mother will feed the pups, but it is well to teach them to lap as soon as possible, usually about the third week. Of course, all this time the mother must be Well fed, given gentle exercise, and carefully groomed, and her puppies kept clean and dry, for dirty pups are not only unpleasant, but, as a rule, unhealthy and sickly.

It is useless and unfair to leave this matter to servants; the owner should attend to it personally. If, as is best, a covered puppy-run is used, the sawdust should be constantly changed. And at a month or six weeks it is well to groom gently once a day.

If dew claws are to be removed, the operation should be done before weaning. Docking must be done before the first week is over.

How to Feed a Puppy

The period of weaning puppies varies; some mothers will feed their pups up to six weeks old, but it is well to accustom them to lap for themselves as above stated. The milk of the mother is best replaced by goat's milk, but if that is unobtainable, then either absolutely pure cow's milk, with three tablespoonfuls of cream and 1 1/4 oz. of one of the preparations of dried milk now on the market, in the proportions given in the directions. In any case, do not stint a puppy's food, even under the mistaken idea of keeping it small. You may get an undersized dog later, but you will get rickets into the bargain, together with miserable bone and a poor coat. Of course, a puppy should not be overfed, but by taking away at once all that is not eaten, and being regular in the time of feeding, an average pup will eat sufficient and not more, as a rule.

At about five or six weeks - this is most important - the milk diet must be supplemented by a little meat. Personally, I feed with scraped raw beef, a tablespoonful twice a day. This is for Scottish terriers; for other larger or smaller breeds the proportions are less or more. Note, the beef must be scraped, not minced, to avoid any fibre, which is indigestible at this age. Gradual additions of well-cooked tender meat or tripe can be made at this time. The pups should be fed five times a day when newly weaned. "Little and often" is the motto to observe, and this, together with warmth and cleanliness, is the secret of rearing good puppies. I see that each puppy has his own dish, for otherwise the stronger usurp an undue share. All meals should be superintended. Food must not be given hot, but the chill should be taken off it; nothing more. To avoid diarrhoea, see that the dishes are quite clean, and that the food is never "sloppy" or watery. You will have, too, cleaner mannered puppies if this counsel is followed.

Exercise And Grooming

The value of your dog, physically, depends upon the first six months of his life. At three months, four meals a day are enough; at four months, three; and at eight months and upwards, two. As regards quantity, the safe rule is as much as the puppy will eat heartily. Vary the food as much as is possible, thus, puppy biscuit, broken small, with a little gravy, well-boiled rice (the rice must be absolutely soft), stale brown bread, hound meal, and tablespoonful of the scraped raw beef. This last I find best to give before bedtime. A large bone is a good toothbrush, as also, later on, are dry biscuits. Access to oft-renewed drinking water is essential. So much depends upon the condition of the mouth, that I see that my dogs' teeth are kept clean, and if necessary brush them or remove any tartar. Of course, a puppy does not need this attention.

Plenty of exercise is essential for your puppy. This he takes when first born by means of those curious twitclings which often alarm the novice! Later, he should have all the liberty possible, and a "toy," of a safe nature. Nothing that will splinter, such as chicken bones - always bad for dogs of all ages - but a big bone or a rag dolly, for instance. Or a proper dog-ball, though this last is expensive.

Whatever his breed, groom him carefully, a Toy with a special hair-brush, larger and rougher dogs with a dandy-brush, which can be had from any saddler. Wash him at this early age not at all, unless unavoidable, the grooming is better and far safer. If he should be troubled with unwelcome visitors, a little disinfectant can be applied with a sponge, but be sure to avoid chills.

Training

It is never too soon to begin his house training. To do so, much patience and watchfulness is necessary. Lift him as early as possible from his bed in the morning and put him outside. Praise him for all attempts at manners, but up to the age of five or six months do not whip him A gentle smack on the loins with the hand and a severe scolding are better. Beating would cow and not teach him. On no account leave his education to others, especially servants. If you cannot take the trouble, buy a puppy already trained. But a well-bred pup soon learns, and by six months should be quite clean in the house At that age, too, it is time enough to take him out-of-doors for walks. He will be stronger to resist any infectious germs he, may meet, and his nerves will be steadier. I often begin a little earlier to take a pup on a lead a few yards in a quiet spot, and find that he quickly learns to associate his lead with a pleasure, and is wonderfully little trouble in teaching to follow later. Three things he must learn - to go on a lead, to follow, and to stay where he is told. For all three nothing but infinite patience and firmness is necessary. Some pups are slow, some quick, but all, if normal, will learn. To these three I now add obedience to the words "Off the road!" and so far the motor has spared my puppies and dogs!

When To Teach Tricks

If it is desired to teach tricks, then it is well to wait until about six months, as with heavy breeds the bones are not "set" until then or later, and there is a danger of curvature. Besides, he has other and more important matters to learn. A clever dog can learn at any age. I had an old terrier of ten that could learn anything that was insisted upon, though he much preferred meditating upon his past achievements.

A word of warning should be given against the dangerous and senseless habit of throwing stones for dogs. Nothing more quickly and surely ruins a dog's mouth and teeth, for one thing, while for another, nothing is easier than for him to swallow the object. Many a dog has succumbed after much agony to the effects of swallowing a large pebble thrown for it by a well-meaning friend.

Discourage any dog that shows a desire to carry stones. And if a stick is thrown see that it is not chewed when retrieved. Punishment should promptly follow any disobedience in this matter.

The above remarks apply to puppies of all breeds - commonsense, of course, suggesting any differences that must be made between Toys and St. Bernards. Very delicate puppies in any case would require special care just as would delicate or abnormal children. To sum up, warmth, careful generous feeding, love and infinite patience are the essentials, and, if bestowed freely, will reap their due reward.

A Hint to the Owner

Finally - it is doubtless unnecessary to say this to dog-owners, certainly to dog-lovers - remember that a dog is, as are most human beings, as popular as he deserves to be, and therefore endeavour to make him as acceptable to others as he is to his owner, by sternly repressing any liberties he may wish 1o take with the property and persons of others.

Bead And Loom Work

Bead And Loom Work

The lower necklace shown in this beautiful illustration is made of Napoleonic green beads, the oblong portions showing the loom-work, while a pinchbeck clasp is used as a fastening. The pretty rose-coloured necklet also shows loom-work insertion, an antique gold clasp being used as a fastening. In the centre a pretty design for a bridge purse is done entirely in loom-work, while the green necklace at the top of the picture is finished at the end with bead tassels. How this work is done is explained in the article which follows.