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Old 12-19-2015, 11:16 PM   #1
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Default New puppy - advice please

Hi everyone
we might be bringing home a new puppy in the next week or so, a 7 week lab.
I have very little puppy experience, save for the last time when we were new at pets altogether, got lousy advice (not here) and basically did everything wrong.
so this time, I'd like to get off on the right foot and I'm hoping for some pointers. specifically, what kind of books/websites on training do you guys like?
and whats the most important thing to know/do for a new puppy? (just so you have a bit of our situation, we're a family with a bunch of kids ranging from 6-16 and we homeschool so we will be home a LOT. in fact, I'm trying to get my pantry stocked and pre empt errands and appointments so our calendar will be pretty clear for the first few weeks. and we have no other pets)

thanks!

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Old 12-20-2015, 02:39 AM   #2
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Definitely make sure that the puppy is at least 8 weeks before you bring it home, it's very important to wait until the puppy is at least that age to bring it home.

Set ground rules before you bring the puppy home and make sure everyone is on the same page and will be following them. Remember that this puppy will become an adult and become big, so any behavior you don't want from a big adult dog, you don't want this puppy to have. So make sure you aren't encouraging bad behavior(begging, jumping up on people, etc)

Start house training right away. Don't use pee pads at all. You'll have to take the pup out immediately in the morning, before/after meals*don't free feed, feed the pup meals three times a day*, after play/naps and right before bed. You should be taking it out at least every hour, and for the next few months you'll have to take it out every few hours through the night until it has better bladder control. Be persistent and be patient.

Enroll in a puppy obedience class as soon as you can.

look into crate training, it's something i'd really recommend. It helps with house-training and will also help if you ever travel with the pup(most hotels require the pup to be in a crate if it will be left in the room by itself) and will also help if it ever goes to the groomer or needs to be in one at the vet. This way it won't be stressed by being placed in a crate in those situations.

Make sure to gently message it's paws, calmly touch and feel it's paws/mouth/ears/tail. This will get it use to having those areas touched.

Keep everything of value out of reach and have toys available for it to chew on.

Good luck!

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Old 12-20-2015, 08:36 AM   #3
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Yes Good advice From Ama Setting the ground rules from day 1 is so important, too many people think a puppy is just cuteness well it's not And oh they are too young to do any training this is incorrect how ever keep training sessions (10-15 mins) short and as the puppy grows then these can be increased! What to train well there are several good things that every dog should learn. a sit, lie down, wait, come here, and this one I believe is a absolute 'life' saver 'Leave it'/;Don't touch' Also when feeding your pup for eg the food is not theirs till you say so, so important so what I did with Nipper was to get ger to sit/wait and while she was waiting I would put my hand in her bowl and stir the dry dog (kibble) food and take a piece out and pretend to eat it then put it back in the bowl. It wasn't always easy and she would lose concertration and come over to the bowl so you have to start over again this is where repetition and consistancy come in eventualy the penny drops and the puppy begins to learn! This above thing I have gone through helps towards the puppy not resource guarding their food which is not
to be tolerated same with their toys you start play, you end play it's as simple as that Bringing a puppy up to be well balanced, obedient,sociable etc is not easy but so rewarding in the long term

Your children to can help with training too (under supervision!) even a 6 year old can help on certain aspects of the training. Many do crate train how ever some don't (this is a personal choice) check out the breed of pup through many dog breed sites for eg: www.dogbreeds.com to check on characteristics etc and what a particular breed will need in training, etc ,etc You could invest in a play pen (X Pen) or simply have a area of your home exculsively for the pup as they are growing up!!

Early socialisation of your pup is essential with other people/dogs (so obedience classes could help) also try and expose the puppy to many new sights and sounds so fear behavioural problems don't happen! Well by no means is this exhaustive but I HTH!!! Good luck
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Old 12-20-2015, 11:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ama View Post
Definitely make sure that the puppy is at least 8 weeks before you bring it home, it's very important to wait until the puppy is at least that age to bring it home.

Set ground rules before you bring the puppy home and make sure everyone is on the same page and will be following them. Remember that this puppy will become an adult and become big, so any behavior you don't want from a big adult dog, you don't want this puppy to have. So make sure you aren't encouraging bad behavior(begging, jumping up on people, etc)

Start house training right away. Don't use pee pads at all. You'll have to take the pup out immediately in the morning, before/after meals*don't free feed, feed the pup meals three times a day*, after play/naps and right before bed. You should be taking it out at least every hour, and for the next few months you'll have to take it out every few hours through the night until it has better bladder control. Be persistent and be patient.

Enroll in a puppy obedience class as soon as you can.

look into crate training, it's something i'd really recommend. It helps with house-training and will also help if you ever travel with the pup(most hotels require the pup to be in a crate if it will be left in the room by itself) and will also help if it ever goes to the groomer or needs to be in one at the vet. This way it won't be stressed by being placed in a crate in those situations.

Make sure to gently message it's paws, calmly touch and feel it's paws/mouth/ears/tail. This will get it use to having those areas touched.

Keep everything of value out of reach and have toys available for it to chew on.

Good luck!

thanks ama, for your response

puppy will be just a day shy of 8 weeks when we bring him home. vet said that's ok.


I have a question about pee pads.... do you mean not to first paper train prior to moving towards housetraining? because we were thinking of papering the pen or room where puppy would be hanging out most of the day just incase we dont get to him in time (we were planning to carry him outside every 45 min/hr or so in the beginning but realistically, I will probably miss it every so often). the breeder suggested paper training first so we wouldnt have to go out so often in the cold. but I will just keep my boots on all day
unless there's a good reason to paper train first.

next question.... how often would you take such a small puppy out at night?

we are planning to crate train, our last dog was crate trained and it did make life much easier. he liked his crate too

massage/gentle touch to sensitive areas from the start is a very good idea. thank you.

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Old 12-20-2015, 11:44 AM   #5
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Yes Good advice From Ama Setting the ground rules from day 1 is so important, too many people think a puppy is just cuteness well it's not And oh they are too young to do any training this is incorrect how ever keep training sessions (10-15 mins) short and as the puppy grows then these can be increased! What to train well there are several good things that every dog should learn. a sit, lie down, wait, come here, and this one I believe is a absolute 'life' saver 'Leave it'/;Don't touch' Also when feeding your pup for eg the food is not theirs till you say so, so important so what I did with Nipper was to get ger to sit/wait and while she was waiting I would put my hand in her bowl and stir the dry dog (kibble) food and take a piece out and pretend to eat it then put it back in the bowl. It wasn't always easy and she would lose concertration and come over to the bowl so you have to start over again this is where repetition and consistancy come in eventualy the penny drops and the puppy begins to learn! This above thing I have gone through helps towards the puppy not resource guarding their food which is not
to be tolerated same with their toys you start play, you end play it's as simple as that Bringing a puppy up to be well balanced, obedient,sociable etc is not easy but so rewarding in the long term

Your children to can help with training too (under supervision!) even a 6 year old can help on certain aspects of the training. Many do crate train how ever some don't (this is a personal choice) check out the breed of pup through many dog breed sites for eg: www.dogbreeds.com to check on characteristics etc and what a particular breed will need in training, etc ,etc You could invest in a play pen (X Pen) or simply have a area of your home exculsively for the pup as they are growing up!!

Early socialisation of your pup is essential with other people/dogs (so obedience classes could help) also try and expose the puppy to many new sights and sounds so fear behavioural problems don't happen! Well by no means is this exhaustive but I HTH!!! Good luck
hi bigboy, thanks for taking the time to write all that up.

would you work on all of those commands at once? or just focus on house training/crate training and then move on? or maybe just add 'sit' to that? seems that it might be overwhelming to work on so much at once (both for me and for the puppy!)

I'm not sure what you meant about 'This above thing I have gone through helps towards the puppy not resource guarding their food which is not
to be tolerated same with their toys you start play, you end play it's as simple as that'. I understood the food guarding thing, we did something that with our last dog as well, but what do you mean about toys? that puppy shouldnt have his toy until I give it to him? and I should take it away after a time?

I absolutely do expect the kids to help out with training. last time, they came along to classes and later were around when we worked with a private trainer. obviously they will need me to keep an eye on them (believe it or not, my 6 yo was totally awesome training our last guy to 'leave it' and 'stay'. she's no nonsense and used to getting her way ) at least until I'm confident they're ready to go it alone. since we homeschool, I'm thinking that we will take shifts watching puppy, we will have his pen in the den where we do most of our school work, while I work with one kid, another can be watching incase puppy wants to pee/poo. I usually teach in 30-45 min shifts which works out perfectly, I will take puppy out between each shift and work in a training or playtime session right after he goes out. also planning to get alot less schoolwork done!


early socialization was our big downfall last time. or lack thereof, I should say. our last dog was older when he came to us and he had apparently not had any socialization with people. he never did get over his skittishness.
can I start bringing people to see him as soon as we get him? other dogs, I thought I should wait until he's had all of his shots? once he's had his shots, should I be careful to have him around only pups his own size/age or are older dogs ok too? there's a bunch of neighbor dogs here, most are in the 2-6 year range with a range of temperaments but not aggressive-types. and my friend has a huge but friendly goldendoodle...is that an ok playmate for a 3 month old puppy?

we will sign up for an obedience class too


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Old 12-20-2015, 01:05 PM   #6
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thanks ama, for your response

puppy will be just a day shy of 8 weeks when we bring him home. vet said that's ok.


I have a question about pee pads.... do you mean not to first paper train prior to moving towards housetraining? because we were thinking of papering the pen or room where puppy would be hanging out most of the day just incase we dont get to him in time (we were planning to carry him outside every 45 min/hr or so in the beginning but realistically, I will probably miss it every so often). the breeder suggested paper training first so we wouldnt have to go out so often in the cold. but I will just keep my boots on all day
unless there's a good reason to paper train first.

next question.... how often would you take such a small puppy out at night?

we are planning to crate train, our last dog was crate trained and it did make life much easier. he liked his crate too

massage/gentle touch to sensitive areas from the start is a very good idea. thank you.
Using pee pads delays the house-training progress, they teach the dog it's okay to go inside. Which is what you don't want. So I'd recommend you just start taking the pup outside from the beginning to go. It can be hard in the winter time, I had to do it with my dog when she was a puppy, but it's worth it.

I'd suggest taking the puppy out at least twice through the night. some people recommend taking them out every two hours through the night at least.

On a side note*and answering one question you had for big boy* For basic obedience training you can start that right away too, but don't try and teach the pup five different commands on one day. Pick one command you want to work on*sit, etc* and work on that in different sessions through out the day*the sessions only need to last like 5 mins* and do that for a week(or less) and then the next week add another command on top of what you're currently working on. For some commands you probably could do two a week, but you don't want to overwhelm the dog by trying too much too fast. You generally don't want to start another command until you think it has the basics for the first one down. If that makes any sense? Dogs are smart creatures, so they can learn a lot. so it should be fine. Just remember, don't move forward too fast. I had that problem when I was training my dog.

I'd also recommend looking up NILIF and doing that with your dog.

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Old 12-20-2015, 01:27 PM   #7
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My Golden Doodle puppy, I kept in a pen at night with newspaper down when I got her at 8 weeks old. By the time she was 11 weeks old, she did not go at all during the night. Went outside first thing in the morning and whenever she was not sleeping or stopped playing and has only had a couple of pees in the house when I was not paying attention. She is four months old now and has not had an accident in the house for the past three weeks. She heads for the door when she has to go out. I don't use puppy pads as they always seem to think they are play toys and rip them up.

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Old 12-20-2015, 01:35 PM   #8
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Hi What I am sayng about the toys is you call the shot so for eg you are playing but want to end play (which is your right then you shouldn't have to through a struggle to get the toy of him!) As for letting other dogs be around him don't over do it have one or 2 come round but they should be known friendly dogs or even friendly pups As for training yes don't over whelm the pup but there's nothing wrong with throwing a sit or lie down in to the daily routine too, but you can have a specific training session in just one area like a sit/stay!

As for paper training in a pen you obviously want the area to be easily cleaned up A pups bladder etc is so tiny and will need regular trips out side accidents will happen at first! But over the months less frequent trips will be needed as soon as the pup goes 'outside' for the first time
you will be over joyed share that joy with the pup plenty of praise is definately the way forward each and every time they go out side As with any training praise is so important along with occasional treats
How ever to stop te pup being reliant on food rewards as each command gets learned 100% when the treats off but never stop the praise!!!

Your young daughter sounds as though she knows what to do, this is music to my ears so utilise this 100% Personaly 8 weeks old is the miniumum time the pup should leave it's mother and litter mates if it's 9+ weeks even better, did you see the mother/father? There is a small window for training (the optimum time) up to 16 weeks but don't worry if you are still training after 16 weeks the dog will still learn it may just take a little longer to reach your goal. Sounds like you will do just fine. Looking foward to hearing more about your pups progress and some pics!!!!
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Old 12-20-2015, 02:53 PM   #9
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Obedience training can be done at any stage, it's really socialisation that has an optimum window prior to 16 weeks. Adult dogs are actually ideal as long as you know them to be of sound temperament and healthy. Remember socialisation is about providing positive experiences, not any old experiences. You can take the pup out in the car and carry him places prior to completing vaccination protocols.

I would suggest you start your reading here:

BEFORE You Get Your Puppy | Dog Star Daily

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Old 12-20-2015, 10:47 PM   #10
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Obedience training can be done at any stage, it's really socialisation that has an optimum window prior to 16 weeks. Adult dogs are actually ideal as long as you know them to be of sound temperament and healthy. Remember socialisation is about providing positive experiences, not any old experiences. You can take the pup out in the car and carry him places prior to completing vaccination protocols.

I would suggest you start your reading here:

BEFORE You Get Your Puppy | Dog Star Daily

thank you kaos, that was a very helpful link. my head is spinning right now, I think I will give it another read tomorrow morning.
One question about his chewtoy training technique.... he suggests feeding the puppy solely by hand as lures/rewards or by stuffed chewtoys such as the kong. the rationale makes sense but it seems that the overwhelmingly common advice is not to allow the dog to free feed all day long and that by establishing a set feeding schedule it will be easier to predict the elimination schedule.
what is your take on that?

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