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your new puppy

Maltipoo and proud new parentYou've done all your research, selected your breed and found a nice breeder that you feel comfortable with and you are ready to bring home your new puppy. Here is our personal take on what to expect next.

Select a veterinarian

When you take your new puppy home one of the first things to do is go to your vet, or find a reputable one in your area. The sooner you get started with the vaccinations, the sooner you can get to the park! If you live in the Abbotsford area we recommend Allwest Animal Hospital, visit online at www.allwestvet.ca

Empathic Puppy Teaching

It is most important to your new puppy to know their place in your home. They must know that you are the parent, the boss, the protector, the provider, first and foremost. If your puppy does not know that you are “higher in command” they will not always respect what you have to say and will be difficult to train.

It is imperative that your puppy acts when you indicate it is time to act, not the other way around. A human who consistently acts whenever a dog demands it is no longer the owner. The dog becomes the owner, barking to feed it, barking in their crate, barking at visitors and generally becoming the "yappy little dog" we've all heard of. The way to let a puppy know when to act appropriately is by showing a predictable routine and follow through with crate training, providing a consistent area to potty, providing routine times for feeding and interaction when it’s biologically conducive to forming good behavioral habits. Remember that dogs respond best to love and do not react well to anger or violence.

Be sure to browse our puppy training section for the complete rundown on training.

Crate Training

 The time to sort through any reservations you may have about crate training your new puppy is before you bring your puppy home. Ask yourself the following question and see what comes up for you.

Do you feel like crate training your puppy is caging your baby?

If you answered yes, it’s probably because you’re mentally equating a puppy to a human baby. Naturally we would cringe at the thought of containing our human baby in such a small space. For safety reasons we put them in cribs and playpens etc, but we would never dream of providing such a small playpen or crib.

It’s different for small puppies and even adult dogs. Wild canines instinctively choose small places to whelp and nurse their young. They also chose these same small places to sleep and thus feel protected from predators during the night. While your puppy of course does not need protection from predators, they will still enjoy the small confines of a properly sized crate, or kennel. And of course, safety reasons still prevail as your puppy unsupervised is in far more danger from chewing computer wires than from crying in the crate for a bit before falling asleep in it.

Not only is crate training providing a safe and secure place for your puppy to call their “home inside their home”, but it is the first step in teaching your puppy how to hold in bladder and bowels. Dogs naturally are clean animals that do not wish to dirty the area where they sleep in. So the first thing you do when you let puppy out of the crate is to put them on the papers, and the last thing you do before putting puppy back in the crate is also to put them on the papers, establishing that they keep their den nice and clean.

Potty Teaching

Puppies don’t need to be trained to go to the potty; they do that naturally. Humans on the other hand, need to teach themselves a bit about when puppies will need to go to the potty, and be there to show them the area we have designated to do their business. This is where crate training and potty training go hand in hand. The minute a puppy comes out the crate, they should be placed on the potty area, whether that is on papers, puppy pee pads, or inside litter box, in an outside area that is fenced, or on a leash.

Always praise the good, and ignore the bad when it comes to potty teaching. Use minimal praise (over-excitement can be interpreted as fear) though, a simple “good pee” when your puppy goes where they should is sufficient. When you get a puppy from Puppy Love Connection we have already started their training as written above and will adapt to your routine easily.

Feeding

We recommend that you feed your new puppy four times per day initially, with the intention to move to two main meal times. Provide one quarter of the daily recommended amount for your puppy’s weight and age for each meal. Time the 2 main meals so that 12 and 24 hours from the meals, your puppy will have the opportunity to be taken to their potty area to have bowel movements. If you feed your puppy at 7:00 am and 7:00pm daily, they can then be expected to have bowel movements around those same times. This way you know approximately when your puppy is going to need to go and can take them to their potty area. Make sure to schedule it so that the timing coincides appropriately with crate training.

Socializing and Sleeping

Don’t make the mistake of over handling really young puppies. When they are tired they need the opportunity to sleep uninterrupted. This not only helps them develop properly, but it also helps the puppy feel safe and secure knowing that when they need to meet their biological need for sleep, that need will be met. Young pups up to about 16 weeks of age need a lot of sleep. They have a distinct pattern of potty, eat, play, drink, potty, sleep that repeats itself. While the puppy is eating, drinking, pottying and sleeping, do not interact other than to guide the puppy or keep them safe. This means do not hand feed your puppy (unless for treats/tricks), and do not interfere with your puppy’s sleep. When you play with your puppy it is important to have toys on hand, you do not want your puppy to think it is ok to growl and bite at your hand, foot, shoe or whatever else you happen to be using. Toys that bounce and squeak are always best.

A young puppy should have a time and place to eat, and a time and place to sleep; just like human children they need to be able to rely on a routine in order to predict what will happen next in their world and to then behave appropriately. Make sure your children especially don’t interfere with puppy’s sleeping and eating. Those two activities are sacred and necessary for your puppy’s normal development and if threatened can incur behavioral changes. It’s best for new puppies to sleep in their crates, not in children’s (or adults) beds, arms or in laps etc. This can begin a habit that the dog wants to continue, but the human does not. The time to play with your puppy is when she is naturally in the play phase of her waking routine. It’s better to establish a healthy routine at the outset where the dog always knows exactly where, and how, she will meet these needs without upset.

Loving your puppy

Last but not least is loving your puppy. The good news is that by following the above directions when you first bring your puppy home and establishing a consistent routine for crate training, potty teaching, feeding, socializing and sleeping early on, your puppy will respect you and will thank you for showing them the way. They will love you for giving them order in their life because that’s what they need to best know how to please their master. We wish you all the best in bringing home your new puppy. Happy wagging!

   
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