So here you are waiting for a puppy from the breeder you have developed a relationship with after a lengthy search. You both have agreed that your expectations and theirs are a good match. You have passed the breeders detailed interviews, home checks, reference checks and enjoyed many lengthy conversations over the last few months or years possibly. Now what?
Now is the time for you, and your family, to continue the education you began when you first researched the breed you were seeking. Does your breeder offer mentoring and education materials? If so take advantage of these! I cannot stress enough that NOW is the time to immerse yourselves in any and all education materials offered to you.
Now is also the time to be proactive – reach out to your breeder and talk about questions, concerns you may have. Now is the time for all adults to speak to the breeder. Now is the time to discuss your childrens puppy experience. If they have none or only a little – educate your children now! Do NOT wait to bring a puppy home to teach your kids the correct and safe way to interact with puppies and adult dogs. Now is also not the time for bravado and machismo to take over. Your kids do not know everything you think they know. Explain to them the importance of being safe, gentle and kind to dogs. No screaming, sudden wild movements, no loud noises, no jerking, poking, pulling. Sit down to hold puppies. Be gentle with puppies. Teach your kids to be patient. A little good parenting now will pay off later. Your breeder is more concerned about the puppies experiences than your kids, trust me on that.
For our new owners, we have this incredibly detailed website chock full of articles, blog posts, book lists, puppy raising protocols, nutritional and natural rearing information, essential oils, health, exercise and training advice and more! Read about Breed Specific Legislation and Breed Bans. They exist and are very real. We give everyone a copy of the suggested exercise schedule written by Puppy Culture. We also upload 100’s of files pertaining to the breed, the litter, health testing documents, history and advice for our buyers to print, download and read on a FB group they have the link to. We have The Stafford Knot , rescue fund raiser pages and SBT Mentor websites and FB pages. These are excellent places to learn more about the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. We post a book list we suggest new owners to read from. We make suggestions on safe breed appropriate toys and warnings about those that can be ingested causing obstructions or broken teeth. We are here to answer any and all questions for the life of your dog so please – take advantage of this!
We suggest they join other groups on FB as well. Examples of these groups include a debates page where you can follow along with many topics pertaining to the breed from fellow owners in America. There is a page for Stafford Rescue and Re-homing which all SBT owners need to participate in. We need help with transport, breed ID and foster care. There are fun pages such as Stafford Ink where you can show off your SBT related tattoos.
Do it! Now. Now, before you take home a puppy.
We ask that all buyers purchase and watch Puppy Culture – you can live stream so its super convenient to watch anytime you have free time. You will want to follow along each week with your puppies PC experiences and by watching the videos it will make more sense to you and make it easy to continue when you bring home your new puppy. We ask buyers to go online and read past issues of The Stafford Knot online magazine to see photos and read about the history of this breed. The more you know now, the easier it will be later. I cannot repeat this advice strongly or often enough.
Never. Stop. Learning.