At 6 weeks to 12 weeks puppies eat every twice a day. Estimate 1 ounce of food per pound of body weight or let them eat until full.
I feed 6am/6pm.
Kibble should be soaked with warm water until soft until around 8 weeks old. You can also use goat’s milk or esbilac (puppy milk replacer usually found in pet stores) as a treat now and then.
Use puppy food until around 6 months of age, then phase to adult. 85% of the dog’s growth is complete by 6 months. Puppy formulas tend to be very high in protein and fat; too high for a dog that is not growing like a weed anymore. Detrimental effects can start to occur.
All puppies are weaned to Sport Dog Dog Food: Cub and transitioned to Sport Dog Dog Food Active Series as adults.
Puppy play ‘safe’ area:
From age 6 to 12 weeks it’s going to seem like the puppy potties all the time! I recommend setting up a limited area for puppy to play and sleep in. Use baby gates or a baby play yard or dog exercise pen to isolate around a 6 foot x 6 foot area or larger.
This area should contain:
- A crate. Put nice bedding in it. The dog will go in here to sleep or have quiet time.
- A water bowl (something heavy or secure that won’t tip over if stepped in, nothing too deep). There are ones that screw onto the sides that are wonderful. Beware of buckets, unless you vet wrap over the bent hooks. Dogs have been ‘fish hooked’ on them!
- Toys: small latex squeaks, fleecy toys are favorites, small rope tug toys are also good
- chews – pressed rawhide, rawhide strips, munchee strips, sow ears, ear puffs, bullies, snouts are all good
- A dog donut bed to lie in while outside the crate
As the puppy becomes more reliable in his potty habits, transition this by moving his crate to wherever you want him to sleep. Make sure the crate is close enough to where you sleep so you can hear him cry if he has to go potty. You may want to leave the ‘safe area’ set up with a few toys, water, and donut bed as a place to put puppy while you are busy until the ‘puppy phase’ is completely over and he is reliable with free run of the house. I have found at around 4 months the PH puppies are pretty good at not getting into trouble every minute. I crate dogs while I am out of the house until they are around 1 year to 18 months old. After that, most PH will probably just sleep while you are out!
Look in binder for AKC Crate Training and Housebreaking tips.
Puppy’s favorite things
- Toys, fleece toys, latex toys, rope toys or any toys!
- Rawhide, especially pig noses, bullies, and sow ears (Avoid pig ears, too greasy and cause diarrhea)
- fleece beds and donut beds
- they like to sit in your lap and be petted
- the puppies have been corrected by either verbal (eh eh, no no) or mild scruff shake (like mommy dog does)
- to call puppy, same their name, followed by ‘come’ – ALWAYS praise when they come or even look in your direction! Make coming to you a GOOD thing. Even if you have to walk them down, GENTLY lead them by the collar to the spot you were calling them from, and then praise when you get there. One good way to start recall training is to say, “COME” whenever you put the food dish down. The puppy learns to associate ‘COME’ with good things.
- If puppy chews on the wrong thing, remove it from their mouth and say “no no”, then replace it with something they can chew (rawhide or rope bone). Praise for playing with correct toy
- ALWAYS give a cookie when putting the puppy in their crate; they will learn to run into the crate willingly.
Socialization and training
Refer to your Savvy Socialization handouts.
It’s safe to give your puppy a bath, even at 8 weeks old. I use any gentle, no more tears formula, human baby shampoo from puppyhood through their entire adult life. Pharaohs are a bit different than a lot of other dog breeds in that they have almost no coat oil since they are a desert dog. Most breeds have a rather oily coat, so a stronger shampoo is needed to clean them. A strong shampoo can irritate a Pharaoh’s skin and make them flake. Stick with baby shampoo and only bath when they need it. Towel dry them well and keep them warm until dry.
Ears and taping:
Pharaoh Hound ears generally stand up on their own, but some need support for varying lengths of time.
I have seen some ears pop up at 6 weeks and stay up; others take until 6 months to stand, and sometimes rarely up to 11 months. Some never stand completely erect. The Pharaoh Hound standard calls for a ‘large, fine ear’. The ear needs to be fine or thin so that it is an efficient ‘cooling fin’ in the desert enabling the blood vessels to be as exposed as possible. The truly fine ears are the last to stand. Some Pharaohs with more incorrect ears, that have lots of substance, stand more quickly.
My general rule is that if the ear is continually changing, don’t mess with it! If it gets stuck in one of the following phases for any length of time, support it. If in doubt, call me.
Pharaoh Hound ears all start out with ears folded front which are called ‘button ears’, the type you see on a Dalmatian. As they start to come up, they turn out to the side usually into a perfect ‘rose ear’, which is the type of ear you see on a Whippet or Greyhound. Then the ears start to go up (prick). They are usually still weak and floppy and often as soon as they stand, they tend to flop inwards over the skull. As the base of the ear gains substance, the ear set will correct itself and should wind up with the ears at roughly 11 and 1, or slightly off the side of the skull. If the dog is very warm, from lying in the sun, or being under covers (they love that), the ears may flop! Don’t panic. As soon as they hit the cooler air, they will pop back into shape. However, teething can affect ear progress. The ears tend to become weaker as the puppy starts cutting adult teeth. I would support them during this period if they do and some believe calcium supplements are good at this time.
Now the tricky part is how to support them. Each breeder has their own favorite method.
First clean the inside of the ear with alcohol or an astringent that will remove any waxiness or dirt or your support materials are not going to stick and will fall out within minutes! Wait a few seconds for the ear to dry.
Then open up 2 Breathe Right Nasal strips that will be used as the support. I use small/medium size at first, then the large if supporting a 6+ month old’s ears. But Breathe Right strips are not sticky enough to say in on their own!
(New Tip from a Chinese Crested person: Use Super Glue GEL (IT MUST BE GEL) to affix the nasal strip.)
So to affix them to the inside of the ear I use bandage tape. My favorite is Fixomull from Sweden. I have friends send it from Sweden, and you can find it on the internet, but that is a lot to go through. If you have a connection, get some. You usually only need one package to do one puppy through the whole support period. My second favorite is Kendall Wet Proof which I buy at dog shows. It is an American product and is around $8 a roll. You can get it off the internet or probably from a vet or hospital supply store. I have also used bandage tape from drug stores. As long as they are ones that say ‘maximum hold’ they will work. I like the Kendall tape because it is stiff and also provides its own extra support.
Cut the bandage tape to look like an ear. Cut off the corners so it has an ear tip and an almost straight bottom. Don’t leave any sharp corners.
Like this, but round off the corners:
/\ Lay your Breathe Right nasal strip on it before sticking it in the ear.
/ \ Put the fabric side against the sticky tape side, so the sticky side is towards the ear.
/___\ Position the nasal strip where ever the ear is weakest; usually towards the outside of the ear.
You can even use 2 in a teepee shape for a really weak ear, or just one down the middle for a weak tip.
Now put the whole contraption into the ear. Have someone else hold the puppy. I find it best to put the tip in position first, then run my finger down the middle and smooth out towards the edges. Don’t worry if it is wrinkled or not positioned perfect. It will still do the job. They usually fall out on their own in around 4 to 7 days. I sometimes wait a day before putting in a new one to let the ear breathe a bit. Sometimes the skin is a little red underneath. The ear usually wants to stand for a day or two. Then if it starts to look weak again, put in a new support.
My Pharaohs rarely try to scratch their ear supports out. However my older Pharaohs love to remove tape from puppy ears! If you really have trouble keeping these in, you can use skin glue. I have not tried this, but I know other breeders have used it if needed.
Please see my vaccine chart for my recommended immunization schedule. My approach to vaccines is to not over vaccinate.
A dog's immune system is not mature until 6 months old. Before that their immune system may or may not respond correctly to a vaccine and produce sufficient anti-bodies to the disease. The longer you wait to vaccinate, the better the chance the vaccine works. Puppies do receive some antibodies from mother's milk also and from gradually being exposed to things in their environment.
When you do vaccinate, or give your dogs any medication, give them sufficient time to recover from this stress until you give any other vaccine, medication or ANYTHING that could lower a dog's immunity. This includes going to the dog park, traveling or anything that is potential stress. Give your dog total rest of at least 3 days after any vaccine.
Wait at least 4 weeks between any and all vaccinations! This is extremely important.
Do not give a Pharaoh Hound puppy any more than 2 puppy combo boosters. If you are in a 'low risk' area use only a 2-way booster containing distemper and parvo virus. If you are in an area that is more high risk, you can use a 5-way booster. 5-way boosters are usually called DHPPv (distemper, hepatitis/adenovirus, para-influenza, and parvovirus). Avoid any 6 or 7 way boosters. These are DHPPv plus CvK or 4L, which stand for corona virus and leptospirosis. Normally dogs will only encounter lepto through mice and rats. If you live on a farm, you may need to vaccinate for these. I also recommend asking your vet what they feel is really necessary in your area. If they have not seen a case of corona or lepto in the past year, I feel the risk of vaccinating is greater than the risk of them encountering the disease. The lepto vaccine is one of the most likely vaccines to produce a mild to severe reaction in Pharaohs.
There has been enough studies done that seem to indicate that over vaccination can do more harm than good. When you are administering a vaccine, you are injecting your dog with a killed or modified live virus so that the dog can build immunity to that particular disease. A dog’s immunity level can be measured by testing ‘titers’. Studies indicate these immunity levels remain high enough to prevent diseases for anywhere from 3 years to life. So annual vaccinations for all diseases are most likely overkill. And there have been cases where vaccines have killed the dog!
Dogs can die of allergic reactions to vaccines if too many vaccines are given at one time and some vaccines are just more reaction prone than others. Some studies indicate cancerous tumors are occurring more often at popular injections sites (the nape of neck) and also some auto-immune diseases and hemolytic anemia may be caused by over vaccination. Remember each time you inject your dog with a virus; your dog’s immune system has to respond to it. Some older dogs especially have weakened immune systems and just cannot do this any longer.
I weigh the risk/benefit of each vaccine. I recommend doing your own research on the internet and deciding what is best for you.
Here are my current thoughts.
Rabies vaccination is required by law, and the schedule may also be mandated by law in your area. Wait as long as the law allows in your area before giving the first rabies shot. This is a potent vaccine and quite often causes localized allergic reactions at the injection site. If you are showing your dog, you may want to ask to have this shot in the inner thigh instead of the nape of neck since the lump often persists for up to 4 months. My dog’s often limp for a day or two afterwards. I try to rotate the area this shot is given. I give the first shot at 6 months, then the second 1 year later, then every 3 years after that.
Puppy boosters are combo shots that vaccinate against several diseases. The most common combo is usually called DAPPv – for distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus, Para influenza. Sometimes this shot also contains Coronavirus, and also sometimes Leptospirosis. Some of these diseases only occur in puppies, others can occur into adulthood. Your vet may recommend 3 or even 4 of these vaccines. I prefer to pull a CAVIDS titer to see immunity level.
Leptospirosis is not common in some areas and is one vaccine that I, and probably most other breeders, have had the most reactions to. It often causes hives and swelling in Pharaohs. Sometimes severe enough that I thought the puppy would go into shock and even liver or kidney damage. As the puppy gets older, there is much less risk of severe reaction. Therefore I recommend not giving Lepto until the annual booster, when the puppy is a little over 1 year old. Then assume they are immune for life and do not give it again. Some breeders even give Prednisone or Benadryl before giving any shot containing Lepto to minimize the risk of the allergic reaction.
Parvo is the disease a young puppy is most at risk of and it can be very life threatening. My approach though is not to rush the vaccinations, but limit the puppy’s exposure to other dogs and the outside world until all 3 boosters are complete. Let other people and dogs visit your puppy at your house, but make sure you know the visiting dogs are healthy and have all guests leave their shoes at the door. It is on the bottom of shoe soles that most bacteria and viruses are tracked in. Keep your puppy away from ‘high traffic’ areas in your house at this time. Stay in the ‘safe area’. You can also have visitors wash their hands with anti-bacterial soap before playing with puppy.
Try not to let your puppy eat things off the ground outside. This is where they will come in contact with things like giardia and coccidian.
Bordetella or Kennel Cough
Kennel Cough is usually not serious, except sometimes in small puppies. It is roughly the same as having a cold. The dog coughs. It is self-limiting, which means it goes away on its own without treatment. The vaccine is generally an intra-nasal liquid. This vaccine usually causes no reaction.
Lyme Disease (USA and Canada only)
This is a nasty disease and a nasty vaccine. Even with what I thought was very thorough tick searches, I had 3 dogs come down with Lyme. Once a dog has Lyme, amoxicillin will treat the disease, but nothing can eradicate it. Every time the dog’s immune system is suppressed, the Lyme symptoms could appear again. Affected dogs can acquire almost every problem you can think of with the potential of almost every internal organ affected, plus crippling arthritis.
There are several vaccine makers, and I am currently not sure if anyone is better than another. No Lyme vaccine is guaranteed 100% effective. Talk to your vet about the risk in your area and what they recommend. Some dogs can have severe reactions to the Lyme vaccine including: swelling of lips, complete swelling closure of eyes, shock and death. One vet I talked to was giving Epinephrine before the LymeVax injection and some were giving Prednisone, again to minimize the risk and level of the reaction.
If you decide to vaccinate for Lyme, what I would recommend is to postpone this vaccination until the first chance of ticks in the spring. Give Benadryl or Prednisone before taking this shot.
Regular Tick and Flea medications like Symparica reduce the risk.
Heartworm (USA and Canada only)
Heartworm medication should be started in the spring. I usually do not give it when there are no mosquitoes around.
I recommend Interceptor or Sentinel since there have been no adverse reactions that I know of to these two. Avoid Heart Guard or any medication that contains ivermectin as its active ingredient as that has caused seizures in several Pharaohs.
My personal dogs are on ProHeart injections. (first is the 6mo shot to ensure no reactions then moved to yearly)
Other Worms (pinworms, roundworms, tapeworms, whipworms)
Follow vet's advice for worming schedule.