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Advice on preparing for puppy

Discussion in 'Puppies 101' started by Bailey's Mom, Jan 13, 2023.

  1. Bailey's Mom

    Bailey's Mom Forums Enthusiast

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    I read the Puppy 101 thread and didn't want to repeat previously asked questions

    I reserved Dr. Dunbar's Book Before and After Getting Your Puppy and a DVD he has on training
    I wasn't able to get Sophia Yin's DVD but I did get the book by the same name from our local library. DH and I will both be studying as we have experience with adult shelties but our time with a puppy was long ago and I realized in talking with DH he has very rosy remembrances of the chewing and puppy habits that we will need to be proactive about preventing. It is best to do your refreshing before you have a little one on hand.

    DH and I have had Shelties for a number of years. Our only puppy came to us from rescue at 4 months housebroken so we've never had this challenge. We are keeping our options for finding another dog with Katy passing as Annie is not suited to being an only dog. We may find a rescue which likely won't be a puppy, but we are finding a puppy might be a better option and with that is the realization that despite having raised two dogs from early years to senior years and another one in mid life the early puppy stage is something of a new thing we will need to research and understand before we move forward.

    I would appreciate any current references anyone has to offer on house training, crate training, etc. We have been the beneficiaries of others hard work in these areas it is now our turn to learn.

    Another question I have is anyone familiar with trainers in the Massachusetts area? We did take Bailey to training. Katy and Annie were old enough that they had basic skills when they came to us so we didn't pursue formal training we worked on their skills at home and they did well. I would like to find some good options as I we didn't find a great option years ago for Bailey because we had no idea how to find one. I suspect post COVID things have also changed in how one finds training.
     
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  2. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Moderator

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    The one thing I’d suggest is getting the book The Art of Raising a Puppy by the Monks of New Skete. This book was instrumental in the housebreaking. I had the book for Piper and it was very helpful as it’d been 14 years since I’d had a puppy. By the time I got Blueberry I’d forgotten about this book and I played it by ear…that was a mistake so I bought the book (again…this time on kindle lol) and it made such a difference! Aside from accidents when she was 1 1/2 she was pretty much trained at 4 months. At least until the teenager phase:ROFLMAO:.
    Good luck with whatever you get, whether it’s a puppy or a young dog!
     
  3. Sharon7

    Sharon7 Moderator

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    If you have washable flooring in your home this won't apply, but we have quite a bit of carpet. We ended up putting down a tarp in the living room (it's not a huge room) and then covering that with cheap indoor/outdoor type carpet that you can get at Home Depot or Lowe's. Best decision ever, because no matter how vigilant, accidents do happen and in my experience it's ALWAYS on the carpet! So I did not have the stress of having my carpeting peed on. Just rolled it all up when Meadow was about 6 - 7 months old. Saved my sanity. :)

    Whatever method/author/book advice you use, just be prepared to take an 8 week old puppy out constantly. They just pee a LOT. Sometimes it was every 1/2 hour when Meadow was first home. And of course, tons of socialization, carry pup in your arms everywhere so they see/hear/smell/meet lots of things and people. Once the shots are done it's easier. And introduce early to a friendly big dog if you can. It seems like a lot, but they grow up so fast, and you set the foundation for the rest of their lives. Lastly, just enjoy the puppy! The pup will make you laugh and smile and bring lots of joy.
     
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  4. Ron Atkinson

    Ron Atkinson Premium Member

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    You can also baby proof your home again. Anything bad for a baby is bad for a puppy. We put in baby latches on cabinets and that gave me piece of mind. Most importantly don't forget to enjoy your pup they grow up so fast :)
     
    woof, Piper's mom, Sharon7 and 2 others like this.
  5. Sandy in CT

    Sandy in CT Premium Member

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    We bought baby gates off Facebook marketplace. We started with just a small area (downstairs powder-room) with all the comforts of home and a small wire crate. As puppy 'owned' the space, we moved the gates down the hall, then opened up the kitchen/dinette area to him - we took baby steps increasing the space he was allowed. The longest gated area was our family room which has carpet. We cheated and used male wraps on both our boys when they were puppies for a LONG time to protect the carpet at night. Night-time was the hardest for potty training because playtime always erupted once we got into the family room. When play-time erupts, all thoughts of being good with potty training fly out the window - play makes it too hard to concentrate on the bladder!

    Puppies do pee ALOT as mentioned before, sometimes every 10 - 15 mins. Be patient! They are like kids, some learn early, some learn late, but they will learn. I took the attitude with one of my kids 'well he won't wear diapers to college!' and he didn't - same thing applies to puppies, they'll get it... eventually. I bought a puppy kit off Amazon that came with a stuffed dog that had heat packs and a beating heart. Deacon, our youngest, slept with his puppy - no heat pack then and no heart beating at that point - until he was over a year old. Great thing for comforting a scared puppy those first few days without momma.

    Potty training really isn't set in stone until they're about a year old though, around 8 - 9 months you can expect (and be prepared for...) a 'teenage' stage. This may involve peeing or pooping in the house - with my boys it was pooping for both. It may also involve having everything they know up to that point as far as training be totally forgotten. It may also involve a 'fear stage'. Some of any of that may happen again around 14 - 16 months. Both my boys are November babies (same birthday) and were both trained during two of the coldest winters we've had recently in CT. By the time spring came around, they were both at a point with shots where we could take them out in public and enjoy better weather.

    Training and socializing are not a one and done type of thing, it's lifelong. Boredom creates issues and shelties have a ton of energy. You can do nosework games inside which make them use their brains and tires them out.

    And finally, get yourself a solid leash, a microchip, a well-fitting harness and work constantly on your recall. You never know when it might be needed, but the day it is you don't want to realize you let that part of training slip. Most of all, HAVE FUN!!!!
     
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  6. Ann

    Ann Moderator

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    Depending on what age you get your puppy, you may be pleasantly surprised. All the breeders I know begin crate training puppies around 7 weeks overnight, so when they go to homes they sleep through the night in a crate with no accidents. You do have to wake up and immediately take them out of the crate and carry them outside. And then any time they wake up from napping or right after eating or playing, take them outside.

    The very best method I've found for house training is to get one or two ex pens and set them up in your yard close to the door so it's convenient. I connect two ex pens together for a bit more space. When you take the puppy out, plop them in the ex pen, give the cue you choose for them to perform, and wait. There's no endless walking on leash this way or chasing them around the yard (a favorite puppy game is "Chase Me!") and when they perform, heap LOTS of praise on them and treat. Always use high value treats you don't use for anything else.

    As others have said, don't give puppy free access to the house. Baby gates are great, keep him in the room you're in if he's loose so you can watch him. Gradually increase the amount of freedom as you can trust him. Always structure nap time...I use a playpen for puppies or a crate if I'm going out. Puppies play hard and sleep a lot.
     
  7. Bailey's Mom

    Bailey's Mom Forums Enthusiast

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    Thank you so much. I really appreciate the advice.

    Is there a "better" choice for ex pen than another? In the north east the snow can be hard on outdoor stuff and I'd like to be able to set one up and leave it outside so its available for those as needed trips. Dh has been shoveling paths for the dogs for years so a path and clean out for the ex pen so we can carry the dog out to use the facilities shouldn't be an issue for snow storms. However, if I can't leave one outside setting it up and carrying the dog could get to be a catastrophe waiting to happen.

    It's not something we are going to need forever as we hope once the dog is trained that he/she will have full used of the fenced in yard but I do want it to last for the potty training journey.

    I remember Bailey loving the chase me game as a puppy and dog school was such a welcome gift to teach him recall.
     
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  8. Sharon7

    Sharon7 Moderator

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    You could just rig something up with wire and some stakes. There are plastic type Xpens also, don't know how they'd hold up to snow.
     
  9. Ann

    Ann Moderator

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    I use plain old wire ex pens and have for years. I have one on my back deck that gates off the steps down so if a dog gets out there they can't escape. The wire pens stay outside through all kinds of weather, including winter and snow with no problem. I like them because if you need to, you can pick them up, fold them (to mow, shovel etc) and put them right back. These are the ones I use. They're the three-foot tall size. Puppies can't jump over them. If you have a climber, some can get out of the two-foot size. I've had some that can escape anything.

    I don't advise leaving puppies alone outside in them, they can catch paws or noses in the openings. Also never leave a collar on a puppy in a wire crate or ex pen, tags can get caught, and I know people that's happened to.
     
  10. Margi

    Margi Premium Member

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    Fillion was so small I used tomato plant stakes, chicken wire and stapled the wire to the patio posts to rig up a puppy area right off the patio. It held him just fine till he was big enough to handle the yard. He wasn't the type to try to climb over the wire so I got lucky there...
     

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