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Taking your puppy home - The First Day

Chocolate Puppy
Lemon Puppy

Today, keep the pup quiet, don’t introduce him/her to every one you know. It is a big change for the little person. Let the dog get used to it’s new surroundings, show him/her the area you have decided is the toilet area. Stand there with pup and praise when it has performed. A titbit hidden in your pocket and given as a reward is the fastest way to toilet train. Every time it wakes up, carry it to the garden and wait with it. Liquid takes roughly a minute to arrive, big stuff around 3 minutes. Don’t do anything, just stand and keep pup close by, either by fencing in ‘poo corner’ or keeping puppy on a lead.

You should have a crate to keep the dog safe in. Use it from the first day, and IGNORE any screaming the first few days! If pup has gone to sleep any where else, pick up gently and place in crate to sleep. Soon pup will take itself off to its own bed when tired. Never go to the crate while Pup is making a noise!!! Wait until it catches its breath, then quickly go to it. As the pup is trying to toilet train itself it will shout to be let out... this is difficult to distinguish from screaming to be out and having fun with you... so be aware that pups can train their owners to recall to them in about 3 attempts... Take the view that if pup was out for a pee half an hour ago then the shouting is for attention. IGNORE it. Err on the side of letting it make a few more messes in it’s crate rather than teaching it that it can get you to come calling whenever it wants! Make sure it has plenty of toys to chew and play with as well as a bowl of water. You can buy a metal cradle for the bowl to sit in... as my pups are quite keen on playing in their bowl and often tip it over - blame their grandfather. I have recently found a fabulous bowl that seems puppy and adult proof - the Road Refresher non-spill by Staywell. Expensive, but worth it.

I have started toilet training with them. It should make it easier for you. EVERY time pup wakes up take it to where you want it to do it’s stuff and put it down. Wait by it, not interacting with it in any way. It will pee within a minute, and big ones come a few minutes after that. Each time pup performs praise it with the word you want to use to tell it to do it on command. I use ‘be clean’, guide dogs use ’get busy’, and some of my friends say; ‘go pee pee’ You choose what you will feel ok saying in the park! It can be a really handy command to have while on holiday or in unfamiliar settings. Bitches, in particular, don’t like going to the loo away from home. Once pup has done the stuff give a small treat and praise. Very soon you will have a pup racing to his/her toilet and peeing and then sitting waiting for treat. Do NOT leave pup outside on its own expecting it to do it while you make tea. Stay with it but don’t play with it, just be a calm presence. Games can start as soon as the important stuff is over. If you do this consistently you can have a housetrained pup in a weekend. Just remember its bladder is small, so needs lots of pee breaks. If it starts walking round in circles sniffing the floor (carpet or expensive rug is favourite!) lift and take outside. Early on don’t expect pup to be able to run with you to toilet area. DO NOT EVER RUB ITS NOSE IN IT!!!! This is an old wives tale and rubbish. Think of the pup as a small child; would you do this to a small human? No, well then, don’t do it to a pup.

At night you can either get up once in the middle of the night to take pup out for a pee or put some newspaper at one end of crate and clear up in the morning. A very young pup cannot be dry for 7 hours! Don’t expect pup to be dry at night for at least 2 months. If you feed dry food you must leave water in the crate but if you feed meals and leave water available for 3 hour after last feed, then take water away for the night as this helps a little. I don’t bother, I think they can drink when thirsty. If pup is noisy in crate sometimes covering the crate with a blanket convinces pup that it is night time!!!

All other bits of advice are in your puppy bags or at the end of a phone line!!! Please keep in touch!!

Phone 0118 931 3442 or 07973 400042 - any silly stories that have happened are great to hear. Good Luck with your new family member.