PUPPIES ARE A LOT OF WORK! It will be harder than youthink and will require a substantial commitment from you. By investing your time and patience now, they will become the amazing adult dogs they are destine to be!
Our hope and our expectation is that your puppy is going to be a valued member of your family. You are going to treasure them as much as you do the human members of your family. They will rely on you for love, their health, behavior and overall well being for the rest of their life. Please do not adopt a puppy or dog if you are not willing to make a lifetime commitment no matter what life circumstances may come along.
A puppy cannot learn living outside in a yard or by living with a family that is gone from home for long periods of time during the day. They need to be exposed to your lifestyle, require a lot of human interaction, and supervised at all times in order to learn. SOCIALIZE your puppy with other dogs, people and places, inside and outside of your home in order for them to grow into an adult dog everyone will love and enjoy being around. If you do not have children SOCIALIZE your dog around CHILDREN anyway. Don't wait until you're expecting a child or have an incident. Do it now! If you move to a new location, the dog moves with you. If you your relationship ends, please do not make the dog suffer. Know now who will always love and care for the dog.
SOCIALIZE... SOCIALIZE... SOCIALIZE
No matter what your lifestyle is, where you live, how many people are in your family, what other dogs may be in the puppy's life, you cannot miss out on this extremely crucial element of raising a happy, well-adjusted dog. Use the rule, 3 new people, 3 new places every week! We HIGHLY recommend you enroll your puppy in a puppy class. If you enroll them in a "big box store" training class, it is VERY IMPORTANT that they have received three DHPP vaccinations.
HOME LIFE FOR A PUPPY
If one of our puppies is under the age of 6/8 months, we will only adopt to home where someone is home most of the time. Examples would be; works from home, does not work outside of the home, or is a stay-at-home parent. Puppies cannot be left alone not only for house training and crate training purposes, but also because puppies require a substantial amount of human contact.
Puppies "go" A LOT. Up until they are about 5-6 months old, they usually have 2 bowel movements after each meal. They urinate at least twice for every drink of water they get. During the day, puppies under the age of 4 months cannot "hold it" in a crate for more than a 3-4 hours. (1 hour for every month old they are plus 1 hour is the max.)
Nighttime can be different depending on the puppies past experiences, age/weight and size (larger breed puppies can hold it longer!) One of the key things we have learned is if you feed them at least 4-5 hours before bedtime and restrict (take away) any water intake 3 hours before bedtime and give them several potty breaks during that time, many puppies will sleep 6-8 hours at night.
Getting Off to a Good Start House Training Your Puppy
If you keep a close eye on your puppy and watch for signals, in most cases they will indicate when they need to go outside. Look for sniffing, circling, digging and whining. Most will eliminate within 5-10 MINUTES of EATING, DRINKING, AS SOON as they WAKE UP and after PLAYING.
If you cannot watch your puppy, place the puppy in their crate or tether them to you by their leash where they will be with you at all times. Remember... anytime a puppy has an accident inside, it's your fault and not the puppy's. They are still learning! Even though they may have learned where to go at their foster home, they have to learn where it is appropriate to go at YOUR home all over again.
The average time a puppy can be crated is one hour for every month old they are, plus one hour (Example: 3 month + 1 Hour = 4 hours.) Having them on a regular schedule for drinking water and potty breaks increased the chances of success. Until your puppy is older and completely house trained, do not leave water out all the time. Provide them with a drink every couple of hours (be sure and give them a drink after playing and after being outside).
- Go out the same door every time to take the puppy out
- For dogs living without a fenced in yard, take them on leash (this is one of the RARE situations when a "flexi-lead" can be useful)
- Take them to the exact same spot every time
- No playing or fun time until after they've eliminated
- Praise and offer a high value food reward after they've gone
- NEVER scold or punish for mistakes after the fact... the mistakes are yours.
- After they eliminate, don't take the puppy inside immediately. Reward them with just a few minutes of playtime before going back inside.
- Remove the water 3-4 hours before going to bed at night and take them out at least 2-3 times before bedtime.
- In the morning or during the night, take them out as soon as you hear them stirring in their crate.
- If you choose to confine your puppy to a bathroom, laundry room, etc. BEFORE they are completely house broken, expect them to use the floor as a place to go to the bathroom. If there is enough room for them to go in one corner and sleep in the other... they will. It may take several months or up to 2 years for your puppy/dog to become trustworthy.
Chewing is a natural and normal behavior and it is up to YOU to PREVENT them from chewing on inappropriate things. ALL puppies CHEW (which for some can last up to 6 - 18 months of age!) You should have many safe and appropriate toys for them to chew on. Have several and rotate them out each day to keep them interested. If the puppy is chewing on something inappropriate or dangerous, redirect them by giving them something appropriate to chew on. Remember... teeth NEVER touch human skin. SUPERVISE them and contact a trainer if you need help.
All puppies go through periodic fear stages throughout the first 18 months of their life. You can comfort them without coddling them or making a big deal out of it. That will only give them a better reason to fear something.
GREETING NEW PEOPLE
It's always best to let your puppy approach new people in their own time. Have visitors ignore the puppy and the puppy will become curious and approach them. Have plenty of treats by the front door so that you can hand a few to your guest to give to the puppy (as long as the puppy is behaving itself and NOT jumping, mouthing, etc. your guest.)
Teaching the command to "sit" is the best way to teach a dog NOT to jump on guest.Do not allow jumping sometimes and not others. CONSISTENCY is the keyEven if the visitor tells you "it's all right" tell them the puppy is learning to be a polite adult dog.Do not touch the puppy (touching0 is a "reward") to stop them from jumping on your or to prevent them from jumping on you. Turn your head and completely ignore them, no matter how long it takes and then reward them for "four on the floor."
CRATING AND CONFINEMENT
Most Puppies are easily crate trained, some are not. The puppy's foster family has worked hard at crate training them and there are resources on our website to help you continue their success. If you have problems, contact a trainer for help.
DO NOT leave your puppy outside unattended no matter how secure your yard is. They are still babies and need supervision at all times. Puppy's can get through very small holes or gaps and could get stuck and be injured or sadly kill themselves trying to break free. Other dogs maybe not as friendly as your puppy and could dig their way into your yard and harm your puppy. Most dogs and puppies become bored, lonely and destructive if left outdoors alone for long periods of time. Children can sometimes be cruel or open your gate (you need an inside lock!) and let them out. It is not unheard of for dogs and puppies to be stolen from people's yards to sell as "bait dogs" to those that fight dogs or to keep as their own. These things are not to scare you but to help you realize that these things do happen every day and it's up to you to keep your puppy safe.
Your puppy is fed twice a day. If your puppy is going to be crated, feed them at least 1-2 hours prior to crating and take them to go potty TWICE before leaving them. If fed and taken outside at specific times on a REGULAR SCHEDULE, your puppy will learn to go at the times you set for them to. The quality of food you feed will directly relate to the puppies overall health, their stool and how frequent they eliminate. Feed the highest quality food you can possibly afford. (See your Adoption Guide for food recommendations).
Exercise, attention and play time is a MUST regardless of how high or low you puppy's activity level is. A dog that is not getting enough attention and exercise WILL become bored and destructive. Most puppies will sometimes eliminate during or right after exercise or hard playing. Be sure you have a "cool down" time outside after playing and give them time to potty before calling it a day.
We HIGHLY recommend you enroll your puppy in a puppy training class. Visit our website for referrals and discounts. At any time your dog develops a behavior you are not able to work with and correct, contact a professional BEFORE you become frustrated and are at a loss on what to do. Very few issues cannot be resolved by working with a trainer as long as there is a commitment from you to follow their advice.
REMEMBER... IT IS A DOG
Even though your puppy is a "baby," remember it is NOT a human baby ... it's a DOG so try not to "humanize" your dog, its emotions or its behavior (We know! It's hard not to but do what's right for your puppy!) Purchase books on dog behavior and learn how a dog really views humans. This will help you understand your dog, training your dog and why sometimes we have to approach them in a "dog" way instead of a "human" way.