It's Friday . . . Eliot here & its time for our second post from our guest blogger Cecilia, dog trainer and owner of . . .
CeCe's Kool K-9. . .
Last week we went over choosing the right breed for your family and slightly touched on when it is ok to start training your puppy. Today I am going to go more into when to start training your puppy and what to train them when you first bring them home.
Last week I had mentioned that the time to start training your new puppy is right when you walk into the door of your home! It is important to start setting boundaries for your new puppy as soon as you bring him/her home. If you do not set the boundaries and let your puppy get away with things they normally wouldn't get away with when they are bigger it will be more difficult for you to break them of it! For example, if you bring your new puppy home and it has been a day since they have been in their new house and they begin chewing on your nice shoes that are sitting at the front door it may seem cute at first but not correcting that behavior right when it happens will let them know that it's ok to chew on shoes. Instead, correct it with a vocal correction such as (ah ah) and then hand them an acceptable toy to chew on. It will save your shoes later on when they really start teething and tearing things up. And that goes for anything you do not want your puppy chewing on. Rule of thumb is practice makes perfect so if you allow them to practice bad behaviors chances are they will get really good at it thus making it hard for you to break. So set your boundaries early with your pups!
Next, there are a few methods of potty training your puppy. My favorite method and the most affective method is crate training. Not only are you potty training your also allowing them to get used to being in their crate when you are not home so that later on they won't have a hard time going into their crate when they are told to do so! The crate will become their safe zone and feel comforted inside of the crate. When potty training your puppy it is important to really use that crate and set a schedule that will work for you and your family. For example, you have an 8 week old puppy and their bladder isn't fully developed yet which means more potty breaks. An 8 week old puppy should be taken out to potty every hour & a half to 2 hours no longer than that otherwise you will end up cleaning a lot of messes. So, make sure you can work your schedule to fit that. In the AM as soon as you wake up make sure your puppy immediately goes out to go potty. I would recommend picking them up and taking them outside to the area you want them to go to so that there are no accidents inside the house before they can make it outside! Once they have gone outside they can have 15 min to eat and drink water and once that 15 min is up the food gets picked up and they go right back outside to use the bathroom again. Let them stay outside for at least 20 min because that is about how long it takes for them to go after they have had their meal. If you have to go to work put them in their crate. If you can't take a lunch break to let your puppy out be sure you have a plan so that they can get let out after 2 hours. Once you get home they should immediately go outside again. If they have not gone potty after being taken outside then they have to go back to their crate until the next time they get let out. Then you can allow them to play outside or inside the house, but make sure you are always watching them when they are not in their crate so that there no mistakes being made when your not watching. If you can not watch them because you have things to do it's ok to put them in their crate during that time. In the PM when they get fed again their food gets put down for at least 15 min just like the AM. It's important to know that at bedtime before going to bed they should not have food or water at least 2 hours before bed. That will reduce the amount of times they will have to go potty at night giving you more time to sleep and then water can resume in the AM. Keeping track of the puppies food and water intake will make it easier for you to control their potty habits making it easier for them to learn to go outside when it's time to go potty. Once they get older the amount of times they need to be let outside will become greater. For example: 8 weeks they need to be let out every 2 hours, when they are at 10 weeks 2 & a half to 3 hours, 15 weeks 3 to 4 hours and so on. Eventually they will be able to hold their potty for 8 hours. Crate training your puppy also teaches them independence so that they do not develop separation anxiety so it is ok for them to be in their crate even when you are home. A lot of people ask me how will they bond with their puppy if they are in their crate. The answer: keep their crate in the room that you're in most of the time i.e. your living room. Dogs are pack animals and need to be with their pack so keeping your puppies crate where you are at most of the time so they can see and hear you will still allow them to bond with you. You can even keep them in your bedroom inside their crate and still bond with them while you sleep. Your puppy will fall asleep listening to you breathing and they will bond with you that way as well! Just make sure your puppy is getting plenty of exercise and play time with you as well. Going on walks is a great way to bond with your puppy while also teaching them to walk nicely on a leash!
During your playtime with your new puppy you can use that time to teach them new commands such as sit, down, stay. Puppies can learn those commands as early as 5 weeks. So don't be afraid to begin teaching them when you bring them home!
Well that's it for this week! Next week I will talk about the importance of diet and what foods to look out for when feeding your puppy or your adult dog. I hope you have enjoyed this weeks information and be sure to tune in next week.
CeCe's Kool K-9
Rosehall Shepherds has been given permission by CeCe's Kool K-9 to post to their websites.