Bringing home new puppy

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from minipup. Show minipup's posts

    Bringing home new puppy

    Hi Everyone,
    I am bringing home a new puppy in 2 weeks and am feeling a little anxious about it. I am absolutely ready for this and am extremely excited about this new adventure, but this is my first dog (my husbands 4th). He will be 9 weeks when he comes home, so he will need A LOT of training in the next months ahead. I think I am mostly nervous about training him to be a well-rounded, well-behaved, obedient dog who is enjoyable and is happy and healthy. I have never trained a dog before and want to do the right thing from the start. Can anyone give me any advice? I plan on signing him up for classes asap. Any advice is much appreciated!

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from ambergirl. Show ambergirl's posts

    Re: Bringing home new puppy

    Congratulations on your new fur baby!  I highly recommend going in the old pet posts to see Kargiver experiences with her black lab Gracie who she got as a puppy too.  Lots of valuable tips and advice from Kar.  Good luck and keep us posted.  Pictures are very much like too : )
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Bringing home new puppy

    First, yes, sign up right away for classes because they fill up in advance.  HOWEVER, do NOT try to get your pup in there asap.  A dog needs to be old enough, and good trainers will not allow you to waste money on classes too early.  I can't remember how old our trainer said Gracie had to be.

    Also, before a dog is 12 weeks old, their mind-body connection is very weak.  They don't feel that they have to go until they are actually going.  Not a good recipe for housebreaking.  So, before they are 12 weeks old, you have to do all the work of it.  Keep a diary of when they eat, drink, peee, and pooo.  Then, you can preemptively take them out to minimize (not completely prevent) accidents.  We got our pup at 8 weeks old, and I learned the hard way that it is not the same as training an older puppy.  People expect too much before 12 weeks and get frustrated.  Just remember, they CAN'T feel that they have to go so they CAN'T tell you they have to go out.  And, this doesn't mean that magically at 12 weeks old they'll suddenly get it and be all done.  It took about 3 months for Gracie to start signalling consistently, and I learned from my vet and other training professionals that she was right on track with that timeframe.  It was another 4 months of being very vigilant about noticing her VERY subtle signs.  Like sudden disinterest in being with us, for instance.  It was months before we could count on her to go to the door and whine.  And, usually, she just turns around and looks at us.  No whining.

    CRATE TRAIN immediately.  Put the puppy in the crate the first night, and teach them "settle down."  Make sure they go to #1 right before bed and that they've gone #2 after they had their evening meal.  Then, expect to be waked up those first few months in the night to let them out to go #1.  Do NOT give any special attention.  Just open crate, put on leash, take to spot where you want them to go, and return to crate with a treat.  No talking or petting except to praise for going peee outside and for going back in their crate.  Soon, when your puppy's bladder is big enough, he'll sleep through the night.  Get a baby monitor if you can't put the crate close enough to your room to hear.  Put the crate where it's going to be right off the bat.  Ours is in the living room so she feels a part of things even when she's in her own space.  The crate is as wonderful for your dog as it will be for you.  It gives you freedom (to go to the bathroom, shower, etc., as well as leave the house) and them comfort and security.  There are tons of articles and training info on crates out there and how to make the training process go smoothly.  The key is to not cave to the cries to come out at first - similar to a baby and the CIO method.  It works.  Trust me.  I cried to hear her in there wanting to come out, but we stayed strong, and now we have a dog who loves her crate and still sleeps in there every night.

    Socialize at every store that allows dogs in your area.  Of course, before they are housebroken you must make sure the pup has gone to the bathroom right beforehand. 

    Get a harness or crate for the car.

    Have people come to the house and ring the bell.  Neighbors, friends, whomever.  Teach your dog good manners by using a training collar/leash at the door.  No jumping on guests.  Barking OK until you say "It's OK, thank you."  Spray with water to stop bad behavior or shake a can of coins.  Our lab responded well to the coins.

    Keep training treats in your back pocket at all times so you can reward good behavior as soon as it happens (no need to run to the treat closet).  You must be instantaneous with praise or they don't associate the treat with the good thing they did.

    Same with negative behavior.  You must correct it while they are in the act.  Like peeeing inside.  If you catch them, say "NO!" and scoop them up and take them outside (even if they are "done").  If, on the other hand, you see a puddle, it's too late.  You can't punish them for an earlier act because they don't understand what you are saying "NO" about even if you point and walk them over to the puddle.  They just don't get it.  Clean it up and let it go.  Let it serve as an indication that you might not be paying close enough attention.  Note the accident in the diary.  If you see the dog digging in the flower bed, you can correct with firm "NO!" and "Leave it."  Reward the dog's turning it's attention from the hole.  However, if you see where the dog dug a big hole and is now in the house...too late.  Fill it in, let it go.

    It took about a year for me to ENJOY having a dog.  Before then, I did not have any fun at all.  It was hard work, very frustrating, and frankly awful.  Be prepared for this and maybe it won't be a double whammy of being all those things PLUS a surprise.

    Good luck and keep posting.  You'll need help, and we'll be here.

    ~kar

    P.S.  Biggest piece of advice?  BE CONSISTENT and STRONG.  If you put the puppy in its crate and you say "Settle down," don't let it out because you can't stand to hear him cry.   Give him the chance to actually settle himself down by keeping him in there.  Now, if after he falls aleep he wakes up and whines, let him out to go to the bathroom.  Oh, that's another thing, they have to peee immediately after a nap.  Take them out right away when they wake up, and they sleep a lot when they are that little.

    ETA:  Oh, yeah, the reason you don't want to give any lovey dovey attention when they get up to peee in the middle of the night is that you want them to understand that nighttime is sleep time, NOT play time.  Otherwise, they'll wake up, want to play, and whine even if they don't have to go.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from ambergirl. Show ambergirl's posts

    Re: Bringing home new puppy

    That was beyond freaking impressive Kar! 
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Bringing home new puppy

    In Response to Re: Bringing home new puppy:
    [QUOTE]That was beyond freaking impressive Kar! 
    Posted by ambergirl[/QUOTE]

    Thanks - you remember how I learned it all. ;) 

    Those old posts are gone; they were lost in the switch to the new Pets section.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from ambergirl. Show ambergirl's posts

    Re: Bringing home new puppy

    I didn't realize that!  Sorry minipup!  But Kar gave you the best advice ever... with more to come if needed.  She really is a bundle of knowledge on this..
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Bringing home new puppy


    Here's the little one that taught me all I know about raising puppies. :) Here she is at 15, 50, and 85 lbs.




     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from ambergirl. Show ambergirl's posts

    Re: Bringing home new puppy

    I love how she looks straight at the camera, like she's saying "yeah, I know I look good, take my picture"  LOL!  Crazy to see how fast she grew up though...
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Bringing home new puppy

    In Response to Re: Bringing home new puppy:
    [QUOTE]I love how she looks straight at the camera, like she's saying "yeah, I know I look good, take my picture"  LOL!  Crazy to see how fast she grew up though...
    Posted by ambergirl[/QUOTE]

    I know, nuts isn't it?  But, that's another lesson.  No matter how long the days seem while everything is a frustrating chore (when you literally can't take your eyes off your puppy unless they are in the crate, the whole thing goes by really fast, and all the hard work DOES pay off.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Bringing home new puppy

    Oh, I meant to say to use the crate throughout the day while you are home.  Not only can you take a shower without worrying about your puppy having an accident or chewing something up, your pup will not associate it with your leaving him alone in the house so it won't be a cause of separation anxiety.  Just make sure he peees first.  Their natural instinct is to not make a mess of their sleeping quarters.  The crate should be nothing other than a safe, happy place for your pup.  Of course, they whine at first, but if you're strong and don't let them out because they whine, the number of minutes they try to be let out goes down daily, and they come to enjoy being in their little dens.  They need their space from you, too.  Gracie goes in there on her own and naps with the door wide open quite often and has done that for a long time.  Make sure you get one with a puppy divider so it won't be so big that they peee on one side and go back to sleep on the other.  Like I said, there's TONS of literature out there.  I learned from online info so we didn't have any problems with the crate.  It was the easiest part of her puppyhood.

    As a rule of thumb, a puppy can hold its bladder for one hour per month of age plus one.  So, at 9 weeks, it can hold it 3 hours (hence the getting up in the night to peee).

    Don't let your puppy socialize in full out play on leash.  They can get hurt very badly (or hurt the other dog or owner).  Sniffing is OK, wrestling is not.  Take the puppy to an off leash dog park to play (and kindergarten should allow for 15 - 20 minutes of off leash supervised play).

    Was this more advice than you bargained for?!  Maybe print it for later.  It's probably too much right now...
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Bringing home new puppy

    wow, Kar! You covered it all, I just want to echo a few things.

    Bring the puppy outside right after meals and right after it wakes up from a nap, that is almost always when they have to go to the bathroom. For other times: get a timer and set it to go off every 4 hours to remind you to bring the puppy outside.

    When you're home with your puppy, and it's not sleeping, keep the leash on and clip it to yourself. That way, the puppy can't sneak off, learns to stay by your side, and you'll know if he/she has an accident.

    Be patient. Your puppy wants to make you happy, but sometimes it takes them a while to figure out whatyou want.

    Be prepared for the teething phase. If the puppy chews ons omething it's not supposed to, redirect it by giving it something it CAN chew on. Rope toys and old washcloths soaked in water or chicken broth and frozen are great for helping soothe sore gums.

    If you plan on leaving your dog home alone while you work, start that schedule right away when you bring him/her home. Puppies thrive on routine.

    Never ever let the puppy out of its crate if it's whining or barking. That only reinforces bad behavior. Never go back in the house if you hear the puppy whining or barking, same thing.

    in addition to training classes, find a dog meetup or dog park nearby where your dog can get used to meeting new dogs and new people.

    when people are at your house, or you have your puppy at someone else's house, take the opportunity to have the other person give him/her commands and treat her for good behavior. this helps their confidence.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Bringing home new puppy

    Great additions, Pink!

    About the chewing - I totally missed that one.  Yes, the stuffingless animals are Gracie's favorites and last the longest.  I cut out the squeaker from the head before I give them to her.  She HATES squeakers (they make her very anxious).  She always has plenty of her own things to chew, and now that she's older she only goes for them in the first place.

    I definitely should have tethered her to me.  But, at the same time, I wouldn't over-tether and would also incorporate the crate during the day.  Good point about NEVER letting the dog out of the crate while whining or barking (except after a whine in the night to be let out to peee).
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Bringing home new puppy

    the tethering only needs to happen for a few weeks, the crate is for always!

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Bringing home new puppy

    Indeed -  I was just thinking that if the puppy is tethered, one might forget to purposely use the crate now and then while you're home.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from volleyrca. Show volleyrca's posts

    Re: Bringing home new puppy

    I recommend the book "Before and After Getting Your Puppy" by Dr. Ian Dunbar. It covers a lot of what people have mentioned in previous posts and much more. Although, there is no one book that will cover all the good advice and training methods, it's a great place to start. Some of the things described may seem like overkill, but it's all designed to maximize the opportunities you have to train your dog good behavior and minimize the opportunities to let them develop bad habits.

    Training a puppy is a challenge. You have to be patient and calm and consistent. They don't know what we expect of them, and they don't understand English, but they react to everything we do. So forget about everything you expect them to do, and instead think about how to teach them even the simplest things and consider how they might be reacting to what you're doing. The more patient and calm you are the more opportunities you'll have to teach them, and the more consistent you are the quicker they'll learn.

    Every time your puppy has to pee or p00p (funny Boston.com won't let me submit a post with the word p00p with o's)  is an opportunity for training - you can be vigilant and take them outside and immediately reward them with praise and a treat, or be inattentive and miss an opportunity. Every meal is an opportunity to teach them a command - you can give them half their kibble as rewards for responding to their name, coming, sitting, etc..., or you can dump it all in a bowl and they'll learn nothing. You can be patient when they cry in their crate at night and let them learn to settle down, or bring them into bed with you after 15 minutes and let them very quickly _train you_ to give them whatever they want when they cry.

    And take lots of pictures because they grow up quick!
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from RebeccaTeck. Show RebeccaTeck's posts

    Re: Bringing home new puppy

    I agree with all of the advice! We brought home our puppy in January, and he just turned 1 this week. I love him to pieces but it was hard the first couple of months. He needed constant attention for the first few months.
    We signed him up for Puppy 101 at Bark Place and it was awesome! Best thing ever.
    And we crated him from the beginning- sleeping and when we weren't home. He has a dog walker come and socialize him every day. Also a great thing.
    I agree that it is all about positive reinforcement- treats and pets and happy voices. Negativity doesn't work at all! Take that folded up newspaper and hit yourself on the head for not taking the puppy out soon enough.
    Make the puppy a part of your life, he'll join your 'pack' and want to please you.
    Puppies are awesome.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Bringing home new puppy

    All good advice!  It reminded me of our trainer's advice to reward for a puppy's attentiveness to it's name.  Just call it's name, and when it turns it's head/attention to you, reward with a treat.  Getting your dog's attention with its name seems like it would just "happen," but NOTHING just happens. 

    Yes, be vigilant and constantly aware of things from your puppy's perspective - everything, indeed, is a training opportunity.

    And, remember how black and white things are to a dog.  My DH doesn't seem to understand this (yes, I used the present tense, lol).  We were trying to train her to not chew shoes.  What did I see her with?  His shoes, chewing happily away, and he was RIGHT THERE!  I (not so calmly) asked him what he was thinking, and he said, "These are old shoes I don't care about so it's OK."  I promptly explained the dichotomy from the DOG'S perspective, "Sometimes it's OK to chew shoes, and sometimes it's not.  I'm totally confused.  Why am I ever punished for something I'm clearly allowed to do?"   No matter how smart a dog is, they are always very black and white thinkers.  Anything remotely contradictory completely confuses them.

    A book to stay away from is Katz on Dogs.  It was terrible.

    ETA:  Good dogs are awesome.  Puppies...not sure I agree.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Bringing home new puppy

    Didn't intend to be so domineering on this thread - everything anyone posted, though, reminded me of something else!  And, I had such a hard time for the first 6 months there were days DH would come and ask, "Did you have fun with the puppy today?!"  And, I'd respond by breaking down in tears, "No.  No, I didn't."  So, if anyone asks for help before bringing home a first time pup, I can't help but ramble with all I learned.  Everyone has great advice here!!!  And, it was the help of the Pets community that got me through those puppy months with my sanity and a good dog that I love soooo much. 
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from minipup. Show minipup's posts

    Re: Bringing home new puppy

    Wow, thank you all SO MUCH. I sure have a lot of work ahead of me. I am planning on crate training and there will be absolutely no sleeping in our bed, as I have heard that can cause confusion to the dog on who is the dominant one in the household. I am getting a miniature schnauzer, which is a terrier breed, and they are known to be extremely stubborn is training is not started right away. However, they are known to want to please their owners to the best of their abilities, and they are very intelligent dogs. I am hoping that I know what I am doing and with help from this board, books, trainers and friends with dogs, I will have a great dog.

    One thing I know that will be hard for me is hearing him whining/crying in his crate when he is upset. How did you guys get thru that? I know I can not run to him and comfort him when he does this. I also know that the first couple of months is going to be really hard, especially at night and when I leave him, because he will be upset, scared, confused, etc. When they are left alone in their crate, do they eventually know how to calm themselves down? I really don't want to have a constant guilt feeling. Any advice on this would be extremely helpful.

    Also, about food. I am very, very adamant about NO table scraps and healthy dog food. What brands do you all recommend? I've heard good things about Blue Buffalo. Miniature schnauzer's need a diet that consists of low fat and low protein due to cysts that can build up in their liver.

    This has been beyond helpful, and Kargiver, I actually did print out your advice, in case I am ever freaking out and need a quick run to. And Gracie is just gorgeous!
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Bringing home new puppy

    About the whining in the crate.  First of all, believe me, if you do it RIGHT the whining to attempt to imediately be let out will only last a short time because your little pup will come to appreciate his den.

    How to get through it while it does last?  Well, I have to admit, I actually cried and am seriously getting choked up now thinking about it.  BUT, she never knew it.  I calmly and gently (not a "correction") said, "Settle down" on the advice of our trainer so that Gracie would understand we heard her.  After 3 times of saying "Settle down," go about your business letting it whine if it wants.  Eventually, he'll give up and learn what "Settle down" means. 

    Yes, it broke my heart, but I stayed strong and learned to ignore her because I KNEW that if I caved and let her out I'd have one of those dogs that hates their crate, whining and crying until they are let out FOREVER.

    If you can picture your dog happy and comfortable, even taking naps on their own with the door open someday (soon), you can be strong through the intial whining phase.  Also, picturing the opposite - a constantly whining, miserable dog - for caving, you can also be strong.  We all know people whose dogs hate their crates, and it's actually instinctually something they should be driven genetically to love.

    Letting them whine and allowing them to emotionally work it out for themselves and actually settle themselves down all by themselves is a GIFT you will be giving your dog to be able to self calm.  You will not always be there to comfort or play with them, and if you thwart their learning process regarding how to deal with that you'll have a neurotic dog that needs you every waking moment.  Which, you might think is cute, but the fact is your dog is going to live 12 - 18 years.  You don't want them so dependent on you and your attention that they are miserable and unable to be content by themselves.

    Knowing this stuff is what got us through that first difficult month when I was sobbing quietly to do what had to be done.  We noticed a decrease in the whine time every week.  Soon, she would come look for me when she was tired so I'd put her in her crate and "tuck her in" by putting her towel over it (making the wire crate more den like).

    Does that help?  You can do it; the stakes are too high to fail.  Here she is having outgrown her wire crate, and here's the big permanent one DH built to replace it.  I don't think she looks abused, do you?  :)







     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Bringing home new puppy

    Dumb BDC shifts the photos to the right, but what can ya do.  I think you, uh, get the picture. ;)

    Oh, about food, sorry - got so wrapped up with the crate issue I forgot about the rest.  There's another recent thread about a new dog owner researching food, and she has an excellent list of healthy brands.  You can't go wrong with any of those, but be watchful for allergies.  Itchy paws and/or ears can indicate a problem with the food.  (Gracie is allergic to duck.)  Stay away from anything with corn in it.  Most well known brands have it as the first ingredient.  It's a cheap filler that is bad for dogs.

    Thanks for the compliments on Gracie.  She is the apple of our eye, but it WAS a hard road even though we started off with a great puppy with an amazing personality.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from revdani. Show revdani's posts

    Re: Bringing home new puppy

    I hope I'm not repeating anything.  Here goes:  If you're not "eyeballing" your puppy, he/she should be in the crate. That way there are fewer "accidents" and he/she can't get into too much trouble. I often would keep my pup on a lead tied around my waist so pup didn't have to spend too much time in the crate.

    Also, every time the pup comes out of the crate, he/she goes outside to take care of business. I never let my pup back in until he did something.  I also trained two dogs, including my current Wheaten Terrier to "go" on command. "Get busy!" gets Spenser busy.  Also, when I'm housebreaking, I treat the dog every time he goes outside....praising all the time....as if he'd just found the cure for cancer!

    And....take him everywhere you go to meet as many people and other dogs as possible.  And I agree about having people come to the door.

    And....consistency is the key. Everyone in the family should use the same commands and should have the expectations.

    And....if you call your pup to you, never call him to scold him. Every time he comes to you, again praise like crazy.

    Have fun!!! I love having puppies and training them. Some say that the first 16 weeks are the best times to train pups because they're so open to it. But don't expect complex knowledge.

    RevDani
     
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    Re: Bringing home new puppy

    In Response to Re: Bringing home new puppy:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Bringing home new puppy : I know, nuts isn't it?  But, that's another lesson.  No matter how long the days seem while everything is a frustrating chore (when you literally can't take your eyes off your puppy unless they are in the crate, the whole thing goes by really fast, and all the hard work DOES pay off.
    Posted by kargiver[/QUOTE]
    Gracie is beautiful!
    RevDani
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Bringing home new puppy

    Thanks, RevDani! :)  Great additional points.  So glad you remembered to tell her to never call the dog and to scold them.  In the same vein, never call the dog for anything unpleasant, like cleaning the ears or giving medicine they don't like.  It's hard to get a dog to "come" consistently and if you ever make it a negative experience you'll have a big problelm.  We also taught Gracie to "go" on command. She knows "Go pee" and "Go pooo." It's helpful before car rides. 
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from Novembride. Show Novembride's posts

    Re: Bringing home new puppy

    This thread is quite a recap of the last 10 months of my life!  I want to add something for YOU, not the dog.  This took me a little while, but realize that no matter how prepared you think you are, you will be tired, you will be frustrated and you will get overwhelmed.  Its OK.  It pays off pretty quickly.  I did months of research and prep work and still ended up in tears more than once.  I wouldn't trade him, or that experience, for the world though.
     

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