Here are some of the puppy questions, feel free to jump in and add your thoughts.
Could you brush Kira and give me a bag of her fur so I’ll be able to add her scent to his bed?
What I normally do is send a toy home with the puppy that I have rubbed on their mother or one of the other older dogs they have spent time with. Also if your puppy is being shipped I have you send the crate early and I set it up in their area so they can get use to it. Another common thing is to send a blanket that I put in the puppy area, it then goes home, unwashed, with the puppy.
Should I bring his crate into our bedroom at night, so I’ll know if he needs to go out? (I’m going to keep him tethered to me all day.)
Tethering your puppy to you is the thing to do, you will have great success with housebreaking by doing this. I always have the puppy crate in my bedroom next to my bed. If it is possible elevate the crate so the puppy can look out and see you in bed. Before we used dog crates we use to go to bed with the puppy on a leash and fall asleep holding onto the leash. I love dog crates.
Can he sleep in our bed the first night?
I am not a proponent of letting dogs sleep in bed with you. However, the first night away from their litter-mates is a shock, they are used to sleeping with their litter-mates and from birth they have slept touching each other and often cuddled tightly together. The first night I do let the pup cuddle with me until they fall asleep, then I gently set them into their crate which is right next to my bed and let them finish sleeping. The first week, expect the pup to wake up around 2 am to go potty and then 6 am. After about a week they will start sleeping through the 2 am potty call.
How often should we give him a bath, and what type of shampoo is recommended? Baby shampoo?
The secret to bathing your puppy/dog is rinsing them completely and thoroughly. There are many nice shampoos available the premium ones must be diluted or you will end up with an itchy puppy. When they go through a coat change a nice warm bath helps loosen the hair, and using a conditioner really helps get the dead coat out.
Some of the shampoos I like are:
Cloud Star Buddy Wash
Crown Royale Biovite formula 3 for GSD
Chris Christensen Grooming products they have several shampoos I like. they also have color “correcting” shampoos for black coats, red coats, etc. On my black and red dogs I use the white-on-white shampoo…yep it doesn’t change their color but it makes them look really good. I also like their Spectrum One for coarse rough coats.
When should we take him to visit our vet?
You want to take them to your vet the next day or two after you bring your puppy home. When you leave here with your puppy, they have been: vaccinated, microchipped and /or tattoo’d, given heartworm preventive, and wormed; the first visit to your DVM will be a basic exam and a meet-and-greet.