The first 3 nights are always the hardest especially if your puppy has never been in a crate. There are many options for housebreaking but I prefer a regular routine of the puppy being told “kennel” and then placed into the crate. If they have not been exposed to a crate they will often cry for the first 10 minutes before settling down to sleep. The most important part of crate training is responding when they cry in the middle of the night. If they start to whine or bark I take them outside for a potty break and always reinforcing how good they are when they go outside. BUT, the most important part of crate training is that you don’t reinforce the fact they are barking but rather that they need to go out. Once they do their business you put them back into the crate. You can expect your puppy only to sleep 2-3 hours at most for the first few nights.
Our first night went like this: in crate at 9:30 out at 10:30 to pee and poop. 12:30 back outside to pee and poop. 3am back outside to pee and poop. 4am back outside to pee. Esme then decided she wanted to play, I put her back into the crate and she did bark for 15 minutes before settling down. 6am is the time all dogs are let out and breakfast is served!
We were lucky enough to be able to meet the parents of our new puppy. I always advised new owners to meet the parents as this will give you the best idea of what your puppy will be like when they grow up. Is the mother friendly? Can children pet her? Is she well kept? Are the puppies playful? Do they have clean coats? Do they enjoy being held?
Esme is a border collie. She was in a X-pen with her five other siblings. When we walked over to the pen she promptly jumped up on the gate and wanted to be petted as did her other litter mates. They all liked to be held and they smelled clean. We had the chance to watch her interact with her mother and litter mates. We also were able to play with the mother before we picked up our puppy.
This would be a long ride home 6+ hours, but we were prepared, we had blankets, a water bowl, some cooked chicken and plastic baggies if needed. The owner of the puppies did not feed Esme per our request so that her first car ride would be a pleasant experience.
This diary will be used to show what to do and NOT to do when you bring home your new puppy. If you have any training questions please use the form on the Contact page to send us a note.
It was decided that we would bring a new puppy into our already full household. We have now one year old boxer who we rescued from the Cumberland Animal Shelter when she was six weeks old, and a five month old bull terrier/tavern mix who we adopted from Loiselle Animal Rescue. Each one of these rescues presented with different training issues. Because Dory was removed from her mother at such a young age she has issues with separation anxiety and also destroys toys from excessive chewing. Here is Dory then and now:
Charlie was hit by an automobile at 8 weeks and surrendered to animal rescue. He will always have a limp and as he gets older he will have arthritis in the leg that was broken. He also had issues with submissive urination whenever he was touched.
Finally, Tuscon is our resident cat who believes he is a dog stuck in a cat's body. He was also adopted from Cumberland Animal Shelter. He gets along with all the dogs that have visited our house.