We know how challenging it can be training a puppy, and adjusting to your new puppies schedule and needs. Below are some tips and suggestions on how to make your puppies first few weeks together with you and family a stress free and exciting time for all involved!
Bring Your New Puppy Home
The first few days home with you, can be overwleming for your new puppy. Everything is a new experience to them. Try to bring the puppy into your home during a time that is slow for you.
Once you arrive home with your puppy, you want to start a routine as quickly as possible. Your puppy will sleep most of the time at first, but you will notice him/her sleeping less and playing more each day. It is quite common for your puppy to get diarrhea when he/she first comes home. This is brought on by stress, and as long as it is not excessive or bloody, it is nothing to be concerned about.
Feeding Your New Puppy
High quality Puppy and Dog foods have all the necessary vitamins and nutrients that your dog needs. If you are changing foods, you want to do it slowly to give them a chance to adjust to the new food. If changed too quickly, the puppy may experience diarrhea.
Your new puppy will need to eat three times a day when he/she first comes home. Continue this for another week or two, and then switch to twice a day. Try to space feedings evenly throughout the day, but do not feed or water within 3 hours of bedtime. It is recommended that you do this until they are around 6 months of age. Remember to offer water every 2 to 4 hours, not just when offering food. As with feeding we don't like to give water too close to bedtime when training a new puppy.
How To House Train Your New Puppy
"The key to housetraining is to prevent accidents from happening in the first place." Prevention means not letting your puppy eliminate in the house, but also giving it every possible opportunity to do its business in an outdoor area you've chosen. Such deterrence may seem impossible if you have a puppy that seems to eliminate every few minutes. But by following a few simple steps, you can teach your canine companion proper potty deportment.
- Pick A Potty Spot - Choose a grassy area that is close to your home and easy to clean up. Whenever your puppy needs to go, take him to this spot and use the same route to get there every time.
- Supervise Your Puppy - To prevent accidents, watch your puppy closely whenever he's not confined. That way, when you see the pup showing signs of needing to go (stopping suddenly, circling, and/or sniffing the floor), you can take it to the potty spot before he makes a mistake.
- Get Him A Den (A Crate, More on that below) - When you can't watch your puppy, put him where accidents are less likely to occur: In a crate. The crate is a safe, enclosed area where your puppy will instinctively refrain from eliminating. Put your puppy in its crate any time you can't watch it every single second, but don't leave your pup there too long. No more than one hour longer than its age in months (four hours for a 3-month-old dog).
- Keep A Schedule - Puppies need to eliminate after sleeping, eating, and playing, and before bedtime. By setting up a schedule for those activities, you can make your puppy's bathroom breaks more predictable and greatly reduce the likelihood of accidents.
- Stick With It - It may take awhile before your puppy becomes trained. If this process sounds like work ,it is, but the better you do it -or in other words, the fewer accidents you have while training-the more quickly your dog will succeed. One thing that you should keep in mind during the whole puppy stage is to be “ Firm, Fair and Consistent”.
I have heard many people say that crate training is mean and only serves as a punishment to the dog. They couldn't be more wrong. These are some of the many benefits of crate training:
Crates are perfect for the dog to sleep in. They give them the “den” feeling that it is safe and secure and that dogs naturally desire.
When a dog is coming into a home where other dogs already live, the crate is a safe place for the new dog. It gives all the dogs a chance to become accustomed to each other’s scent. Here are some of the advantages to crate training;
- House training is easier, as dogs do not like to soil in their “dens”.
- It gives you a place to safely confine your dog when visitors or workers are in your home.
- It gives your untrained puppy a safe place to be when you are not at home.
You should never confine your pet as a form of punishment. Make sure that you invest in a good sturdy crate made either of hard plastic or of heavy steel wire. Cages with rounded edges make it easier to clean them. Make sure the cage is big enough for the dog. He/she needs to be able to stand up and turn around in the cage. Puppies need a cage that is appropriate for their size. They have crates that can be divided so that a large cage can work for a smaller puppy. This eliminates the need to buy several different cages as the puppy grows.