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Last Wednesday my little pupster was born. It is eight weeks until I retire and the timing couldn’t be better. I’m so excited. I’ve got a couple of questions that I’d like to ask to help me get ready for the big event. Firstly, for the first 4 weeks or so I can’t take him, (possibly Freddy, but his name may change when we meet) out for a walk unless I carry him. I understand why that is but I have a problem. We have the occasional fox that passes through our garden and on occasions, leaves his calling card. With this in mind, it doesn’t seem safe for Freddy’s potty area to be in the back garden. From the patio there are three steps down to the garden. I could fence that off for now and rig something up on the patio but I’d like to start training him to use his special place. What do you advise?
Secondly, are half choke collars good for 8 week old puppies? I’ve read that they are the easiest to slip over their heads. If not, what would you suggest?
I really appreciate your help.
 

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A penned outdoor & clean area would be best.............common sense applies as you don't want dog licking cleaning products from a recently cleaned area for example.
 

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Foxes get into many if not most gardens. I know there is at least one gets into mine. There is really nothing you can do about it. Although not impossible, it's unlikely to cause any problems.

Regards, John
 

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Thanks Coaster.
I had my garden puppy proofed at the beginning of the year - five foot chicken wire against the hedges and a new secure fence at the bottom. That should deter the foxes and I haven't seen any signs for many months. The parvovirus remains for up to six months but it'll only be 4 1/2 months when I bring my puppy home. If I pen an area off, how can I be sure that it is virus free? Is it possible to disinfect a small part of the garden? I've never seen foxes or any signs of them on the patio so I thought I'd clean and disinfect that before my pup comes. At the moment it seems best to use the patio and retrain him later - to me anyway but I'm not an experienced lab owner just a first timer who wants to do the best thing but very unsure.
 

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I was reluctant to post prior to reading Johns post, he is very experienced.
I have to prefix my reply with I'm a pet owner and not an expert so my opinion is only just my personal thoughts and I am aware I'm more relaxed than some.

My initial response would have been unless you are in a hugely densely populated area with lots of foxes you would be very unlucky to have a fox visit that was infected. They tend to be territorial and don't mingle with other foxes very often. You would obviously need to pick up their calling cards but even if you fence off an area of your garden you can't be sure the fox won't jump or dig underneath. I know I have foxes in my garden and have never worried about the dogs catching lepra??? tosis ( from a foxes, urine) or parvo. The only time I've honestly worried was when my extremely elderly small terrier went out late at night, I would go out with her just incase. If you chatted with your vet they should be able to tell you whether there have been any outbreaks of parvo in your area. They are going to air on the side of caution incase you were extremely unlucky and your pup did become infected though so bare that in mind when you talk to them. They would be scared of being sued. I tend to weigh up the risks of things with the quality of life. I want my puppies to run, dig, sniff and smell the grass and chase bugs and blowing leaves in the garden exploring their new home. This is why I choose to let them have their freedom more than keeping them in a sterile but albeit totally safe area. We all have to decide ultimately which sits best with us . I'm looking forward to seeing all your puppy photos. :0)

Amanda
 

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The problem these days, with all the urban foxes they are everywhere! I doubt there is a garden in the country where they have not been. My back garden I would have sworn was 100% secure, the south is house and brick outbuilding, west is 4 foot larchlap panels, north is 6 foot larchlap panels and east is 4 foot chainlink. Yet my neighbour phoned me only 3 days ago to say that as she went up her garden to hang washing on her line she saw a fox in my garden! You cannot keep them out so don't worry about them.

Yes there are a few things they can pass on, fox mange is the obvious, round worms is another, Lepto certainly. I don't know about parvo, personally I doubt it or when it first occurred we would have found many dead foxes, which we did not. But when there are things you cannot control sometimes you have to be a fatalist and say, "Whatever will be will be!"

Regards, John
 

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Just to put my initial post into context......my advice was in relation to bringing home a new pup , non vaccinated and wanting to reduce risk if likely to be toileting in a garden area known to be within a relatively high fox traffic area.

We have 6ft high fence enclosed rear garden but accept foxes may still pass through.....our dog runs free in back garden when we let him out and without us worrying

Granted, what will be will be, albeit owners can still have some influence re risk in earliest weeks home.

Fwiw we were more concerned re Harley eating stones or slugs!

Happy to confess to not having owned as many dogs as others on here.
 

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For a first collar I wouldn't use a half choke.

Get a small soft collar so the little fella can get used to wearing one in the house before he enters the big wide world. You can always keep his first collar and when he is fully grown think "was his neck really that 'icle"!! :D



Chel and Dilys xxx
 

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I know foxes have been in my garden occasionally - as PP said, they are everywhere now!

Already having a dog I always kept the garden free of 'deposits', I have noticed the very occasional 'non dog one', not sure if it was foxes, could quite easily have been a cat.

I would say the risks of letting your new pup in your garden would be minimal compared to the benefits.

And I followed the advice in the 'sticky' thread someone linked to, about the importance of socialising. Can never say for sure that doing that is the reason, but Maisie is certainly not nervous, but always excited to explore new places/meet new people/dogs.
 
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