Springdale Collies and Goldens
This page is directed primarily at the new puppy owner. It is meant to be a simple overview on the care your new family
member will require.


Caring for a puppy is very much like caring for a child. Your pet is dependent on you for all of its' basic needs. As a pet
owner, it is your responsibility to oversee your puppy's development. There are many excellent books on caring for your pet.  
Numerous web sites offer very good advice on various subjects of pet care. On our Resources page we have listed some of
these sites.

Proper care of your pet includes, but is not limited to:

Proper Diet and Nutrition
It is said, "We are what we eat."... that applies to our dogs as well. Puppies especially, need proper nutrition in order to grow
strong bones and mature into healthy adult dogs. There are many good quality dog foods on the market today. Do some
research and find a brand that you can trust. Keep in mind, that a puppy food should offer a high percent of protein, and an
adult dog may need either a regular or a performance type of food, depending on the activity level of the dog.  As a dog
reaches the older years in their life, their activity may be reduced, and as such, they may require fewer calories. Most
companies offer a Senior variety of their product.
It is not a good idea to offer your dinner scraps to your pet. While an occasional treat is okay, getting the dog in the habit of
eating "people" food will only lead to problems. Even offering  dog snack products found on the grocery store shelves should
be kept to a minimum. Feeding too many snacks can lead to your dog depending on the treats to supplement its' nutritional
needs, instead of deriving most of their diet from a balanced dog food.

Exercise
Diet and exercise books for humans are always on the best seller lists. Americans seem obsessed with finding that easy way
to stay trim and fit. Well, dogs of all ages require exercise to keep them at their best too!  Exercise should be geared to the
age and health of the dog. Do not expect your young puppy or your aging pet to accompany you in an extensive exercise
program the same as your normal healthy adult dog. Exercising your dog, whether it's going for a hike, swimming, or any
other sport that you and your dog enjoy, can be a wonderful and healthy experience. Who knows ?.... You may even lose
those few extra pounds you have been wanting to shed!


Regular Veterinarian Care
Puppies, like all family members, need daily care, including a good healthcare program. The first step is to find a respected
veterinarian you like and trust. If you are not familiar with veterinarians in your area, ask fellow dog owners for
recommendations. Word-of-mouth can be one of the most effective ways to find respected vets.
Your pet needs and deserves regular professional health care, including annual vaccinations and checkups.

Grooming
Depending on which breed of dog you have chosen, the time you spend grooming your pet may vary from a few minutes,
once a week, to as much as an hour or so a day. This is one of the reasons that choosing the breed that is right for you is
important. If you have a very busy schedule, then your choice of dog should be one that has little upkeep in the way of
grooming.
Brushing, bathing, nail care, etc. can all be done by a professional groomer, however, this can be quite expensive. Having
someone else take care of all your dog's grooming needs, can also deprive you of the opportunity to spend some quality time
with your pet. While many breeds require clipping, and you may not have the time or desire to learn how to do it yourself, in
this instance a professional groomer is certainly a plus.
If your dog is an indoor pet, then your grooming chores will be much less time consuming.  We here at Springdale, have
always kept our dogs inside our home. We have two acres fenced for our dogs to romp and exercise in, but when they are
not playing outdoors, they are delighted to be inside, out of the elements!
Regular brushing of your pet, provides a perfect time to spend bonding with your furry friend. It can be a relaxing time for
both you and your pet. Start early in your pup's life getting it used to the feel of the brush, and you will find that it will come to
enjoy this time with you, instead of dreading it.


Basic Training
A well trained dog is a joy to own. Teaching your dog the basic simple commands of sit...stay....down... stand... off... come...
are the essentials to keeping the peace in your home. No one wants to call their dog,  then have the dog refuse to come, and
you end up having to spend ten minutes or more chasing the dog around the yard.
A well mannered dog is a pleasure to take out in public. No one wants to be constantly correcting their dog for jumping on
and barking at others. Training your dog to walk on a loose leash is a major priority, if you want to be able to enjoy long walks
in the park, or go to the vet, without being worn to a frazzle.
Common sense and true consistency are the keys to successful obedience training. Most owners that apply these principles
will see favorable results with their pet in a fairly short time. Our resources page will provide you with links on this subject.
There are many advantages to taking your new pet to a reputable trainer. We feel that it is especially beneficial to train in a
class situation. By
you learning from the trainer, and then you teaching your dog in a class with other dogs, you are teaching
the dog to mind
you, even in distracting circumstances. Teaching your dog this valuable lesson, may one day even save its'
life.
At Springdale, we offer obedience training classes on a semi-regular basis. If you are interested and from our area,  please
contact us in this regard.


Being a good neighbor
Certainly, a key part of your responsibility as a dog owner is making your pet a good neighbor. Your dog is part of your
neighborhood's society, and should be properly trained and supervised. Never let your dog roam indiscriminately. It not only
annoys your neighbors...it puts your dog in danger of everything from being attacked by other animals, to being hit by
vehicles; and is illegal in many communities.
Always keep your dog on lead when exercising, curb and pick up after it in urban and suburban areas, and control excess
barking.
These few simple and courteous practices will keep you and your neighbor happy.
When traveling, make sure to clean up after your pet, and let your dog be a shining ambassador of its' breed.
"I think perhaps that God, in His infinite wisdom, created dogs to be an
example of how we should live our lives. Oh, if only we humans could have the
same unshakable faith in our Deity, that our dogs have in us. If we could just be
satisfied with the simplicity of only requiring that our basic needs be met.....
asking only for food when hungry, a drink of water to ease our thirst, and be
perfectly content with a word of praise and a gentle pat on the head!"  


DL Boes