The First Night
Your home is a “strange new world” for your puppy. You will want to give him/her time to explore this final frontier. This exploration time should be more of a guided tour in order to protect puppy form unknown dangers, like electric cords, stairs, & pools! Knowing the locations of their bed, bathroom, food, & play area is essential for development. Chew toys in every area of the home will be appreciated by both your puppy and checkbook! Also, your new addition to your life may be nervous at first, be patient and show lots of love and affection to insure his/her comfort.
Chew toys are great for a new puppy, treats are not. Maintain a healthy diet to keep your puppy regular. Puppies should be weaned from one food to the next. Your puppy has been eating Purina Puppy Chow which is readily available at most retail outlets. Puppies get excited and can wear themselves out easily, please keep a spoonful of syrup or honey in their water or food at all times until they are at least 6 months of age- remember they are small and are babies ( 10 steps for you is like 50 steps for them ). The average 8-12 week old puppy sleep on average 18 hours a day.
Since it is based on their natural instincts, Crate Training is the most effective method used today to potty train puppies. Below you will find an outline on how to perform this technique. Be consistent, follow the rules, and remember if you break the rules, resulting in the puppy having an “accident” its not their fault, it is your fault. Punish yourself, not the baby! Always have your puppy on lead when venturing outside of the home. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE SPANK YOUR DOG.
The puppy should have a crate just big enough for them to stand, lay down and stretch out. If the crate is big enough for the puppy to use the bathroom, but not have to lay in it, they will. The bottom should be padded to ensure comfort, chew toys should be available at all times.
Put your puppy on a schedule! Food and water should be given twice daily at a specific time, consistently seven days a week. Breakfast and dinner are served at the same time everyday. Puppies should eat and drink all they can for 15 minutes at a time in their crate. After 15 minutes take up all leftovers. Within 10-15 minutes most puppies will be ready to make a bowel movement, make sure they are in the designated area to do so. When puppy uses the bathroom in the correct area show excitement and praise, clap your hands, talk in a high pitched voice saying “good boy” or “good girl”.
If the puppy goes to the bathroom outside (or in the designated area) then they are OK to come into the home and play. If they hold it, and refuse to make the movement, then they must return to their crate for 5-10 minutes after which time you will take them back to the bathroom area. Repeat as often as needed until you are able to praise the puppy for making the movement in the correct area.
Whining. If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether he's whining to be let out of the crate, or whether he needs to be let outside to potty. If the whining continues after you've ignored him for several minutes, use the phrase he associates with going outside to potty. If he responds and becomes excited, take him outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to potty, the best response is to ignore him until he stops whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your puppy to whine loud and long to get what he wants. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again.
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown. ~ Shakespeare's Henry IV. Part II, 1597
Dogs are pack animals and every pack needs a leader. This roll of “Pack Master” or "Alpha" should be assumed by you, the human. Your puppy will grow to fill this roll if it is not demonstrated that the roll is already filled by you. A dog that assumes this roll will be stressed, aggressive, and ultimately a problem child. Here are a few easy steps to show you have assumed the role.
When leaving or entering then home make sure the person goes first & the puppy follows. Remember you are holding the lead, not the puppy.
Use a command word for everything, followed by positive reinforcement.
When you see your puppy start to use the bathroom (in the correct area), tell them “potty” then give positive reinforcement when they do.
When putting them in their crate, tell them “Kennel Up” or “Bed”, then give positive reinforcement when they do.
Touch your puppy! Check your puppies ears, feet, teeth and mouth, belly, & chest. This will help your puppy be use to a friendly touch from others, like your veterinarian, not to mention house guests. Belly rubs are a fun thing for puppies, it allows them to be docile and submissive, once trust is earned.
YouTube.com has a lot of useful training videos, and some that aren't! Type in the search bar "Teach my puppy to (what do you want them to do?)" I will update this page with some of my favorite links ASAP.
Your puppy is up to date on their shots, Yeah Yeah! It is now up to you to continue the vaccination process, which is never over. Even after a puppy has had all their “puppy shots”, yearly booster vaccination must be administered for the rest of their life. This makes having a family veterinarian very important. Most clinics will notify you when vaccinations are coming due.
Do not take your puppy to PetSmart, parks, pavement, or gardens where other animals may have soiled, this is a very bad risk to your puppies health. Make sure all “puppy shots” are completed before engaging in these activities.