Your new puppy should come to Parkside for a free first check as soon as you have the pup. Your pup will receive a full clinical examination and this ensures all is well with the new family member.  You will receive good guidance on general care, feeding, deworming, fleas and lots more. Also, pick up a free Puppy Pack, with food sample and lots more. For unbiased advice, see this video puppy care and training.

We recommend the Parkside VIP pet health plan for dogs, to allow you spread over 12 months, the cost of vaccinations, flea prevention and worming. Your dog will receive 2 Vet examinations per year, extra special offers for VIP dogs as well as 10% OFF neutering, dentals, acupuncture, 25% off kennel cough vaccine and half-price microchips. Pick up a brochure, with costs at any surgery. If you start this at first vaccinations, the second dose will be half-price!

We recommend the booklet "Good Puppy" by Erica Peachey for sound advice and good common sense for training and rearing a puppy - don't wait for a problem - read this first! (sold at cost price at all surgeries)

De-worm pups every 2 weeks (from 2-3 weeks of age) until 12 weeks of age - use something from us - it will be cheaper than pet-shops and much more effective.

Vaccinate at 8 and 10 weeks (or as soon as possible if older) - see vaccinations for details. If older, you still need 2 weeks between vaccinations. Dogs need vaccinated every year thereafter to maintain their proyection. See notes on Parvovirus infection HERE.

SO -  have first vaccination done at 8 weeks old or soon after and it is worth giving kennel cough vaccine at this time too. This is in the form of nasal drops. Second vaccination is 2 weeks after the first, also a good time to microchip your pup. Remember that all dogs must have this done in Scotland. Pups can go out for walks 1 week after the second jab, though playing in your garden or where no other dogs have access, is fine when younger.Attend FREE Parkside Puppy Parties after vaccinations for advice and leaflets on canine care - great for early puppy socialisation. We can advise on where to go to keep this going.

Vet Check at 6 months to ensure development is normal.

De-worm again at 6 months - use a complete, one-dose wormer, which covers all tapeworms and roundworms in one effective tablet. This is usually crushed, in food. Read more about worming HERE. You must de-worm every 4 months after 6 months of age especially if you have a young family and if your dog scavenges when out. Some pups have the bad habit of eating other dogs faeces when out and if your pup does this, you should deworm every month. Look out for Parkside offers on wormers! Our wormers are always cheaper than in big pet shops.

Arrange neutering around 6 months of age too, if you wish this done. Most dogs are neutered. This involves arranging a suitable day when your dog comes to surgery between 8.30 and 9am and can be picked up, same day, mid to late afternoon. Sutures are removed 10 days later. Pain relief is included. Occasionally we may recommend to wait a bit longer, but please allow us to advise.

At 10-12 months of age make a FREE nurse's appointment for a health check. Good to weigh and check weight at this time, when growth has finished. Pick up wormers at same time.

Vet check at 15 months and annual Vaccination Booster.

Yearly checks and vaccinations thereafter.

When your dog is elderly, we may recommend 6-monthly senior health checks, with free urine test - if you bring the sample!



New pups should always be fed the same food as they were eating before purchased. After five to seven days, if preferred, you can change over gradually to a new food you may prefer. Avoid finishing one brand and then starting a different one. Change over gradually by mixing the two foods together for 5-7 days. Dry or Moist is your choice. One is not any better than the other, though dry (complete) is more convenient. Do not feed a complete food with meat. If you feed meat (moist food) you should use a plain mixer biscuit to balance the meat and not a complete (already balanced) food.

A young puppy should be fed 4 times daily till 12 weeks of age, then down to 3 meals (as they are bigger, they can eat more in one go) then at 5 months down to 2 meals daily and at a year down to one, or you can stay on two smaller meals. When a puppy, you can feed "to appetite" - i.e. as much as they can eat in one sitting! Best NOT to leave food down after a meal as your dog will become picky and eat less at a time, which is not best for their tummies in the long term. If they leave food, take it away. From 5 months of age you cannot continue to feed to appetite as growth is slowing down and they will tend to become overweight, so you must "feed to effect" i.e. feed enough to keep the correct weight. Because they are growing and becoming heavier, weighing is not very informative, so you need to go "by feel". You should always easily feel their ribs and you should feel the tips of the spine when you stroke down their lower back. If you cannot, then they are too fat! 

TRAINING club is always recommended. Mainly to train you to train your pup, which gives a well behaved dog who is an even bigger pleasure to have around! Read more below.

The first night and overnight

It is recommended that you use a puppy crate for your puppy that is the puppy’s safe area. Place the puppy bed at the back of the crate with a puppy pad in front of it in case of accidents. You can spray the bed with Adaptil (a pheromone spray with anti-anxiety effects, designed to replace pheromones that mum would have produced) which will help make the puppy feel  more secure and happier. A little jumper can also give the puppy a sense of security as can a T-shirt or blanket with your scent on it.

A safe/recognised heat pad is also a good idea if you get your puppy in the winter time. Always ensure no heated pad is too warm.

Have the crate in a place where the puppy can see you and cover three sides of it. Keep the lights on for a short while and ‘sshh’ the puppy if  he/she fusses but don’t talk to him/her. Once the lights are off, continue to make the same noises and gently tap the side of the cage. Most puppies will quickly settle as they know you are close by. Whilst having puppies in the bedroom can be controversial, there are several main advantages:

• A crying puppy alone in the kitchen is stressful for everyone – especially the puppy. Generally interactions with sleep deprived owners/crying puppies aren’t a particularly positive experience. Puppies are like babies and need to know they are safe and secure. They are generally crying because they are missing their mum and siblings, they are apprehensive and need comfort.

• Having the puppy in the bedroom means that the second the puppy begins to move around/whine means you can take them straight outside for the toilet and go back to bed – preferably without bright lights on. You may need to do more ‘sshh-ing’ to get them back to sleep.


This method means that you will have broken sleep for the first while – however, your puppy will toilet train much quicker and it’s a lot less stressful for all concerned to not open the kitchen door to lots of pee/poo in the morning. 

A 7 week old puppy will awaken 3-4 times every night to toilet. After a week or so the puppy will be able to go longer.

By 9/10 weeks old most pups are sleeping from 11pm – 7am.

If you do not want the puppy in the bedroom, set up the same crate/puppy pen in a warm room such as the kitchen/family room. You can set an alarm to get up at regular intervals to let the puppy toilet outside. The puppy will most likely cry but will settle alone eventually.

Toilet training

Keep the puppy in a small area with a washable floor. No newspapers or puppy pads, this only teaches them to toilet indoors, something you will then need to un-teach.

At 8 weeks old it is a good idea to take the puppy outside every 20mins or so. Stay with them and to begin with it will be hit and miss but as they do toilet say a special word such as ‘busy or ‘quickly’. Use this word every time the puppy is taken outside.

Puppies are easily distracted so no games when they are outside for the toilet. If they toilet outside while playing, give lots of praise and use your toilet ‘word’. Eventually as the puppy matures, you can use the word before car journeys etc. and they will toilet. Very handy! Learn your puppies body language, they are all different, but many pups will walk backwards prior to pooing and some will run in circles.  Before peeing, most puppies will begin to sniff the floor.

Unless you catch the puppy toileting in the house, quietly clean up the mess and say nothing. There is no point in pointing at the accident and being angry. The puppy will look ‘guilty’ because you look angry, not because they know what they done wrong. If you catch the puppy toileting, say ‘NO’ and take them straight outside. This may seem futile as the deed is done but they do quickly begin to learn that all toileting must be done outside.

Day to day

Puppies require a lot of sleep. They should have a large cate or puppy pen to rest in through the day. Until they are fully toilet trained a plastic bed with a vetbed type insert is usually the easiest to wash.


Puppy pens should have a bed, safe toys, puppy nylabones and water. They are a place of calm and safety for the puppy that it’s ok to be left alone.  Gradually begin to leave the puppy alone for a few minutes at a time, starting on day 1. Come and go to begin with and most puppies will cry when left but do not give in to this, just carry on with what you are doing. Most puppies get over this within a week or so, some longer. They do quickly realise that you leaving the room is not a big deal.


All puppies ‘mouth’, some more than others. Grabbing, squeezing or holding the mouth of the puppy does not work, it teaches the puppy you are hurting them and they will learn to grab back. High pitched yelping generally isn’t the best way with terrier breeds as they can become over excited by high pitched noises. The best way to address this behaviour is with a deep ‘NO’ and immediately removing feet/hands/dressing gowns from their reach. Call the puppy to you and give them something appropriate to mouth such as a Nylabone or a safe, soft toy. KONG toys are the recommended. Bite inhibition should be taught right from the start. Human body parts are not to be mouthed. Always remove loops and washing instruction tags on toys. Little teeth and claws are easily caught in these things.  


It is advisable to remove bags/shoes etc. from lying around to prevent puppies from chewing things they shouldn’t. If you see your puppy steal something, do not grab or chase after them, instead call the puppy to you whilst turning your back and in a high pitched light hearted voice say ‘what’s this . . . . Oh look’, ask the puppy to ‘give’ the second he/ she does reward immediately with a food or toy reward.

What you have is always better than what they have! 


Lots of dogs hate having their feet touched. It is advisable to handle their feet regularly and clips the claws if required. When puppy is relaxed, gently massage the toes and webbing of the feet. This ensures having their feet touched is a positive experience if done from day one.

General Examination/brushing

Get your puppies used to having all parts of his/her anatomy looked at. This is easiest on a table or work top. Make sure the puppy is standing on a non-slip surface, such as a car mat, and use treats as a reward for accepting /good behaviour.

Introduce mouths being examined from 10 weeks of age; you can say ‘teeth’ as you gently lift the lips. Look inside the ears and make sure your puppy learns to accept a brush; you can begin this by using your hands to stroke. Allow the puppy to look at the brush/comb but no mouthing. It must be clear to the puppy that this is not a toy.


One of the most common things is to over use the puppy’s name. These pups tend to ‘shut down’ or ignore all attempts by the owner to get their attention. Try to use the name to certain commands, and always positive such as ‘Fido, come’. A lot of people would just say ‘Fido’ and then nothing. The dog becomes so used to the overuse of its name that it loses its impact. Never use your dog’s name in a negative way.


Recall is probably the most important thing you will ever teach your pup and it could potentially save their life. Recall training should start when your pup is eight weeks old. So this begins in the house and should be richly rewarded with praise, treats or even a special toy. You can also introduce a whistle to aid recall training. YOU always have to be more exciting to return to rather than something on the horizon. Make sure you always look inviting to return to. Make sure your pockets contain a favourite toy or a treat as a reward. On a walk, recall your dog and put the lead on sometimes but at other times gently hold and then release them. Lots of dogs when recalled then placed immediately on the lead and the walk ends, will quickly learn to avoid coming back.

A whistle is the easiest way to train a dog to recall. A whistle will be heard by the dog much more clearly and easily over your voice, especially if your dog has gone some distance away. It’s important to remember that your voice will also purvey panic, anger, annoyance and frustration, your whistle doesn’t. 

Overuse of your dog’s name is one of the main reasons dogs ignore their owners.

Very young puppies should be called with a gentle ‘peep, peep, peep’ you may have to pat the floor in front of you so they get the idea. This is best done in a hallway where the puppy cannot fail.

Keep training sessions short, around 2 minutes at 8 weeks old and slowly increase as the puppy ages. Huge praise should be given when the puppy comes to you. Alternate your methods of praise, sometimes offer a treat, a toy or a big fuss; this keeps your puppy interested.

Extend the game as the weeks go by, make it more fun by hiding and whistling so the puppy ‘finds’ you. Wait until your puppy is engrossed in playing with a toy or family member, whistle him/her to you and offer HUGE praise.

If your puppy is playing with your friend’s or relative’s dog, get him/her used to stopping and returning to you by the whistle.

Every session ends with the puppy coming to you. Never end on a negative!

When puppies begin going out a week after their second vaccination, call your dog to you several times throughout the walk. Hold their collar, reward with a treat and release.

Other times call them, clip their lead on for 10 steps then release again. Use treats, toys and praise to ensure you are always more interesting than anything else.

If your dog does not come back to you during recall, pretend to carry on and call him/ her in happily, clip the lead on and treat.

Recall on an older rescued dog can be more challenging. As with a puppy begin training in the house and garden. A long trailing line can be very useful when training the recall in adult dogs.

We recommend training classes for all puppies – see attached list for local classes.


Make sure everyone in the house uses the same command.

Sit – Many people say sit down. If you’re going to teach a down command, this is   confusing. It is either ‘sit’ OR ‘down’. 

Off – when jumping up

Give – when the puppy has something it shouldn’t.

A rule of thumb is not to let your puppy away with anything as a pup that you don’t want him/her to do as an adult.

Be consistent! Frustration can occur with a lack of consistency and confusion regarding commands between a dog and its owner. They need to learn manners, a badly behaved dog is not pleasure for anyone.

Outside of the home teach your dog to greet people by asking them to sit. Don’t allow rewards to be inadvertently given to bouncing/ jumping dogs. No attention or treats should be given until all four paws are grounded. 


Dogs by their very nature are opportunists. If something works once and delivers they will keep trying it until their demands are met.

Dogs use their eyes and body language to manipulate, in the nicest possible way, but will eventually realise that begging is not rewarded.

It is important as with all behaviours that all members of the family don’t give in to begging.

Dogs can be taught a ‘bed’ command during mealtimes or distracted by a toy they can play with whilst food is being eaten. It is unwise to reward with a food treat.

Attention based barking

A very common problem for dog owners, dogs learn very quickly how to get what they want, this usually starts when the dog is young.

Ignore all barking, whining and demanding behaviour. Don’t say a word, simply turn away and only speak to the dog once the noise has stopped.

Don’t give the dog what he/she wants i.e. biscuits, walk or fuss as this will compound the problems along with the noise which will increase.

Once the dog has stopped barking etc. call the dog to you and ask for a positive behaviour, this can be sit, down, stay, paw etc. Reward this behaviour you have just asked for with what your dog originally wanted, treat, fuss, food etc.


Before your pup is vaccinated you can carry them places, introducing them to everything and anything, making a puppy’s new adventure fun. Puppies go through many phases such as fear, it is important to socialise a puppy to ‘Scary’ noises, don’t buy into the fear walk them past matter of factly and don’t reassure. Provide a distraction with a toy or treat can help. Well socialised puppies become ‘happy go lucky’ adult dogs.


We recommend Hills Vet Essentials.

To begin with you can soak puppy kibble in warm water (check temperature before feeding) put the meal down for ten minutes then lift – Don’t feed more until the next mealtime.

Always offer fresh kibble. Puppies should be fed on average;

  • 8 weeks old = 5 to 6 times a day
  • 12 weeks old = 4 times a day
  • 20 weeks to Adulthood = Breakfast, Tea and a handful of kibble at bedtime.

All dogs are different however and this is just an example of how to feed.

When offering treats, offer the treat at the dogs nose level, keep the treat hidden in your hand and only relinquish it when all four paws are firmly on the floor.  When a puppy, you can feed "to appetite" - i.e. as much as they can eat in one sitting! Best NOT to leave food down after a meal as your dog will become picky and eat less at a time, which is not best for their tummies in the long term. If they leave food, take it away. From 5 months of age you cannot continue to feed to appetite as growth is slowing down and they will tend to become overweight, so you must "feed to effect" i.e. feed enough to keep the correct weight. Because they are growing and becoming heavier, weighing is not very informative, so you need to go "by feel". You should always easily feel their ribs and you should feel the tips of the spine when you stroke down their lower back. If you cannot, then they are too fat!

Training classes you can attend locally :- 




Training classes are on a Tuesday evening from 6.30pm at the current location which is –

Coldside Parish Church, at the junction of Isla St and Main St, Dundee, DD 3 7HN.

More club information can be found on our website at

Contact – Sandra Boe KCAI (CD) – 01382 360266

Wilma Fleming – 01382 774016





PUPPY FOUNDATION CLASSES – 6.00pm – 7.00pm (3 – 12 MONTHS)


Classes are held on a Thursday evenings at Bullionfield Recreation Hall, Invergowrie.

Contact Pam Duncan – 01382 776378 / 07717153763





Classes are held every Thursday Evening at 7.30pm in Fintry Parish Church Hall, 

Fintry Drive, Dundee, DD4 7AW.

Contact Irene –  07512786289.




In the Barnhill Community Centre, Campfield Square, Broughty Ferry, Dundee, DD5 2PU.


In Tealing Hall, Inveraldie, Tealing, Dundee, DD4 0QZ.


Contact Kay Kelly – 01382 477611.





PUPPY CLASSES – 6pm – 7pm OR 7pm – 8pm

ADVANCE CLASS – 8pm – 9pm

Classes are held on a Monday Evening in Tealing Hall,

 Inveraldie, Tealing, Dundee, DD4 0QZ.

Contact Margaret Thomson – 01382 380322 / 07778678101






ADULT CLASS – WEDNESDAY EVENING 7pm – 8pm or 8pm-9pm

Classes are held in Padanaram Village Hall,

Strathview, 26 Redford Road, Padanaram, Forfar, DD8 1PZ.

One to one training also available.

Contact Senga Thorpe – 07788708708













A great source of advice for buying a pup can be found in this downloadable booklet. CLICK HERE


Dogs are domesticated mammals that are descended from the wolf. Dogs are omnivores (can eat meat and veg) and in the wild usually hunt in packs. There are large numbers of breeds of dogs as well as crossbred animals (mongrels). Because of this, there are a tremendous variety of physical features to be seen across the breeds. Size can vary from the small Chihuahua (approx. 15cm tall) to the huge Irish Wolfhound (up to 100cm tall). Correspondingly, weight too can vary enormously, with the St. Bernard being one of the heaviest (approx. 75kg).

Ears may be pointed and erect or drooping. As most dogs are covered in hair and they have no sweat glands, they can only keep cool by panting, losing heat through their throat and tongue. Dogs' coats may be of various lengths and textures and most have two coats, an outercoat and undercoat. However, all dogs in the wild shed their coat (moult) twice a year, triggered by daylight hours and temperature. Animals that live indoors may moult all year, as these two factors are more constant.

Dogs are one of the most intelligent of domestic animals and can be readily trained - as well trained as you train them. Different breeds have different natural instincts e.g. herding, hunting, and guarding. Dogs also have very acute senses of hearing and smell. All these specific traits are used to train working dogs - guide dogs, sniffer dogs, helping dogs, hearing dogs, even therapy dogs, whose job is to go round hospitals and homes and be stroked. Now there's a niche! 

The breed of a dog is most important when choosing one for a pet. Feeding and exercise requirements vary along with temperament and a lot of thought is needed to find one to suit the individual's needs. A dog is not suitable if no-one is home during the day all week-days. Do not get a St Bernard if you have a 2-room flat. Call us if you would like advice. Allow us to check your new pup for free as soon as you have bought it - just to ensure all is well. This is free!