Frequently Asked Questions from New Puppy Owners
Will my puppy sleep through the night? Probably not, although maybe. To get the longest night, feed the last snack about 7:00 pm, then let him out right before you go to bed (or about 10:30 to 11). If there is no crying, then let him out as soon as you wake up (or 5:30 to 6:00 am). This is the general schedule that we are following and what your puppy will be used to. If your puppy is crying in the night, then let him out and go outside with him and cheer for a good dog going potty when and where you want him to go. You can also give a small treat if you are trying to teach him to go in a specific spot. Dogs will sleep through the night better if they are tired. So, an afternoon or evening walk or playing catch, or even a 15 minute training period of “sits”, “stays “or “leave it” tires them out. An exercised, trained puppy is a happy puppy!
When should I feed my puppy and how much? They are used to eating about 7:30-8:30 in the morning, about ¾ cup of food (I feed the litter together so it is hard to tell how much each is actually getting but this is a good guess). Puppies are fed again between 2-4 and again at 5-8. The 2nd and 3rd feedings are always smaller. There is research done that says feeding them at different times and not on a strict schedule will help your puppy stay calm longer. My dogs all wake me up at 7:30 no matter what because that is the time I almost always get up. Same with food, if they always get it at 8:00, then at 8:05 they are going to start salivating and crying and begging for food.
What treats do you use for training? I use the same food for training. If they sit quietly, they get a piece of dry dog food. I throw a small handful of dog food into the crate every time I want them to go into the crate. (I need to video this since it is funny to see the mad rush to get into the crate.) Another training tip. If you ALWAYS reward a “come” command you will be able to teach and have them come every time. But the reward needs to be a really good one. So I whistle and call every time they get fed. Starting at about 3 weeks old.
Will my puppy chew my stuff? Yes. They will need to be taught not to chew things you don’t want them to chew. Teaching “leave it” and trading the chewed item with something else to chew will help. But, the best answer is always watch your puppy; I would NEVER leave an under 1 year old puppy in the house alone. Mine are always crated when they are home alone. Not only because of the potty issue, which they usually learn really quickly but mainly because of the chewing. They need to learn what is and isn’t allowed to be chewed.
Crating? What is it? How do I do it? We have wire crates in the room we spend the most time in. You can have two if you want, one in the main room and one in the bedroom. This will be your puppy’s home and bed. If you have little children they should not be allowed to pull the puppy out of the crate (sure they can sit outside with treats and try to beg your puppy out). This is the only timeout place a dog can go to have some peace; let the puppy have it. Every time you let your puppy out she should go to the potty area and do her business. If you put her back in and 5 minutes later she starts crying again, let her out again. Some puppies will urinate and wait 5 to 10 minutes before defecating. If you want to house train your dog quick and easy. Your puppy should NOT be left unattended outside of the crate. EVER! ... okay for at least the first year of life!
Is walking your dog really important? Yes! Most importantly, don’t ever let your puppy pull on the leash. He should walk next to you with a loose leash. If you lead, he will get more out of the walk and be much better all around pets. It takes energy for your dog to walk next to you, he is thinking about you and where you plan to go. At the same time, he is exploring a new place. This is very good for your puppy. IF your dog starts to pull, STOP walking, make him come and sit next to you before you take another step. Or if your puppy goes in front of you. Give him a tsk and then turn around and walk the other way. Yes, you could be doing lots of circles and not getting far in your walk, but after about 5 minutes you will have an amazing walker.