Hello! Below you'll find A LOT of information that I've found many new puppy owners tend to ask us about. Some of you already have a dog or have had experience so you may not need all these details but here it is if you feel like you need a refresher. I've divided it into sections so it's easier to read.
First night: The first night is always challenging so prepare for the worse and if your puppy does amazing then great! Some puppies need more time than others to adjust and that is OK! They have been sleeping, eating, playing, snuggling and pottying with their siblings so when you take your puppy home…newsflash: they feel sad! You are the new family, the new mom, brother, sister – you are EVERYTHING to this puppy! Some puppies will cry one or two nights while others will cry a lot more.So what can you do?
- Take your puppy outside and let him/her run around! Throw the toy for the puppy, let him chase you and just tired him/her out. If you have kids, even better! A tired puppy will also mean a tired child.
- Set up obstacle courses. There are some fun tunnels and other obstacles you can get at Amazon or pet stores, that are easy and fun for puppies to do.
- Cover the crate at night with a blanket so the puppy knows it’s sleep time and it usually helps to have someone sleeping near the puppy (next to your bed) but if you don't plan to do this then do not do it the first few nights and then take the puppy to another room. Consistency is key and it will just make things a little harder so try to stick to the plan. It will get better.
- DO NOT TAKE THE PUPPY OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT! If you do so, then plan to do it day after day after day.
- Every time the puppy wakes up from a nap or from sleeping during the night they will pee. So as soon as they are up, do not talk to them, and do not let them walk out! Pick pup up and take outside to pee and possibly wait a bit for them to poop as well first thing in the morning. It make take a little longer for them to find a spot to poop so if you're in a rush, you'll want to schedule your time accordingly.
7 am Take out to potty and then feed
12 pm feed 2nd meal
5-6 pm feed 3rd meal
7-8 pm remove water and food bowl. Take out to potty and put pup in crate
10 pm wake up and take out to potty before you go to sleep so puppy can last all night without needing to go out..
You'll want to make a schedule that works for you. Right now they should eat 3 times a day because they are small and will likely be distracted by all the new and fun things to do so they may not eat everything at once - nor should they as they are small. You'll want to look at the back of the bag for the portion for each of your pups as they all vary in weight. It's okay if they don't eat all of the food at first, as that is normal due to change.
For crate training, it’s good to leave them crated for short periods of time and slowly increase the amount of time you are leaving your puppy crated. Puppies are unable to hold for very long so if you are leaving the puppy at home to go to work, it’s best if you have a puppy pen with a potty area, and toys.
It is not uncommon for puppies to cry through the night when they are first placed in their crate. Many new puppy parents find it hard to ignore the cries and decide to take the puppy out of the pen/crate. Responding immediately to your puppy’s cries when they are unhappy in their crate will let your dog know that they can cry and have a tantrum and you’ll let them out. This behavior may make you feel needed but believe me it’s not cute when they are adult dogs and still throwing a fit. Give them treats and make it a happy place.
When you come back from being away and your puppy is ready to come out of the crate or pen, take him/her outside to potty. Play it cool and do not make a huge deal that you’ve arrived home. Even if your puppy is super excited and is throwing a party – you need to play it cool. Otherwise, you are acknowledging that you left him/her and it was indeed a big deal.
- Has your puppy just woken up? Take him out to potty.
- Has your puppy just finished eating? Take him out to potty within 15 minutes.
- If your puppy has had an accident CLEAN the area very well. Dogs will go potty wherever they smell the scent of another pee/poop.
- Consistency is the key. In order for your puppy to understand that outside is the place to potty you need to let him out like clockwork. When he/she has relieved itself then you make a huge deal and praise the puppy. Even offer a kibble of food as a treat (or an actual treat).
- Take the puppy out to potty every 30 minutes to an hour. As the puppy grows older they’ll be able to hold longer periods of time.
- Most dogs will potty in the same place as the time before so you may want to go to the same spot.
- Have a confined area for your puppy as you’ll be able to control the area in case of an accident.
- Accidents DO HAPPEN. It’s a puppy and accidents are bound to happen. IF you catch your puppy going potty where it’s not supposed to do so, just startle him/her and say “NO!”. It’s best not to scare the puppy as they may just do it in secret because they are scared of you and not because they realize it’s wrong but you also want to let them know it's not okay to go inside.
- Remove the water bowl from your puppy at around 7:00-8 p.m (depending at what time you’ll be crating him/her to sleep). Make sure the puppy goes out to potty and empties its bladder before you crate him/her. If you don’t take the water away then you’ll need to get up a few times during the night to take the puppy out.
- Lastly, have lots of patience!
Teething: They will loose puppy teeth anywhere around 3-6 months so during this time they will be wanting to chew and massage their gums. They also want to explore and taste everything so they will be little sharks. What can you do?
- Pick after yourself. Do you usually leave your shoes or items laying around? You'll want to pick them up because you never know if your favorite shoes will look like the perfect toy.
- Whenever your pup is chewing something that he/she shouldn’t be chewing, replace the item with a toy that interest your puppy. If you notice that your puppy prefers a certain kind of toy more than another kind, then you may need to stock up with similar kind of toys that grab his attention.
- Do you leave your pup to roam wherever he/she wants to go? If yes, it’s time to use a puppy pen when you leave your home. This is not only good for your items but for your puppy’s own saftey.
- Give your puppy plenty of exercise. A tired puppy will be less driven to destroy things.
- Start training – sit, down, leave it, stay, fetch, come…these are a few that you can start working towards. You want to make it fun so be sure to have treats.
- Know why your puppy is chewing. Is your puppy bored? Have you been outside and exercised him? Have you done any training? Remember that poodles are VERY smart. They need to be stimulated and will learn rapidly. It’s all about consistency on your part.
- If your puppy is constantly biting your hands or feet then you can try to yelp or clap loudly and say no. Your puppy is not trying to be mean or showing aggression, it’s just part of the puppy stage to bite. If you have small children in your home please educate them beforehand so that they are aware of this fact.
Get toys that are easy to distinguish so that your puppy knows which items are his toys. You could get a box with easy access for your pup to get his toys from. At our home we have a box with all the toys and our dogs will just go and grab their choice of toy. Puppies don’t know better so its YOUR job to teach the puppy.
- Bathing – This is not a human baby so you do NOT need to bath every day or every few days. If you do bathe often, your puppy will have dry skin and have flaky skin. You can bathe once a week if you feel the need or for adults every 4-6 weeks. Remember to use soft and safe shampoo.
- Socializing – If your puppy has not received its final set of vaccines then you SHOULD NOT be going out with your puppy to parks, stores or even walking around the block. You never know what’s around the air and parvo stays in the ground for up to a year in soil. If you have friends that you know have not had any problems with their pets lately then you can have them visit your puppy. Puppies are susceptible to diseases, parasites/worms, and infections so don’t be surprised if fecal test comes positive because just by contact to dirt/grass/water they’ll become positive in the fecal test and need deworming.
- Deworming – We deworm our puppies while they are at our home and do a fecal test at the vet. If the fecal test is positive for parasite then we’ll give them the appropriate deworming. It’s not uncommon for pups to test positive sometime in their life. If your puppy has loose stool you should get a fecal test. If you’ve recently changed your puppy’s food then that could be why the puppy is having an upset stomach. Be sure to continue deworming even when they've reached adulthood.
- Brushing – Be sure you’re brushing your puppy so that once he/she’s older it won’t be a struggle. Make it pleasant! Give treats and praises.
- Basic Training – As the puppies don’t have all their vaccines you probably haven’t started puppy classes but you can start training at home. Teaching your puppy how to sit is easy to teach. It’s all about consistency. Look at some videos and/or read books that may help you train your pup.