I would not take the puppy to classes until it has had its second set of puppy shots, and then wait a few more days for the antibodies to build up. Waiting for the puppy to be 10 or 12 weeks old is perfectly fine before starting classes.
Yes, your puppy is a baby. She has just been removed from her dam and littermates, where she ran and played with them and interacted with them all day long. And except for the breeder, who several times a day, came along with food and water and toys and good stuff, they were her whole life.
Suddenly she has had her whole life severed from her and she is finding herself all alone in a dark basement, stuck in a crate, away from everything. She is not used to being alone at all. She is used to sleeping with her head up against another puppies bum, and alongside her dam.
Furthermore, when she cried, her mother came to her immediately and made sure she was not in trouble or hurting or hungry. Baby puppies cannot see or hear for the first week or so, but they do cry and squeak from birth. And dams are amazingly attentive to those sounds, and ALL the bitches want to go and make sure those squeaky puppies are taken care of. They squeak when they have to potty, for the dam must stimulate this to make it happen. And they squeak when they are hungry. They will squeak if they are in trouble, or if they are dropped roughly off of a teet.
As the weeks go by, the squeaks change, but Mom is still there and she still protects, and comforts the babies.
At eight weeks, babies go off to their new families, and it is a sink or swim experience. There is so much to get used to. And being away from their dam and littermates is one thing. To make this easier, crating the puppy in your bedroom, where she can hear you snore and breathe, will make a world of difference. She still may cry for her losses are real, and this is all very new. But she will settle much faster.
As for pottying, you need to follow a strict schedule and get her outside after she wakes up, after she eats, after she plays hard. You must not make negative music when she potties because that will scare her into not pottying when you are around and it will make potty training much more difficult. You must be patient, and wait, and wait, and wait until she does potty outside, and then you have to make your happy noises so she knows she did good and you are pleased. Use the words "potty" and "good" a lot. I use "pee pee" and "poopie" too. "Go poopie too." I use Good pee pee, after the pee comes, and do not use the word good until the pottying happens. But I stay happy the whole time.
Right now, do not use a lot of negative markers. Instead when she starts putting her teeth on something inappropriate, grab something appropriate and re-direct, use the word, "yours." After a while you might say "eh eh, mine." And then give her the thing that is hers, and say "yours" or "your tug", "your chewie", etc. At some point you should be able to tell her, "Go get your chewie."
Teach her to take treats from your hand gently. Use the word GENTLE, before she takes it and Good Gentle when she takes it nicely. Start with the treat in your open palm.
Take time with it. Use the words a lot. Use "Gentle" a lot. Make it tougher and put your thumb on the treat in your palm and give it to her if she licks and takes it gently. But not if she snatches. Say "Good Gentle."
After some time, make it tougher and close your fist. Tell her gentle and open if she licks but does not gnaw on your fist. Good Gentle.
Make it tougher, and offer the treat between your index finger and your thumb. Remind with the word, Gentle, and tell her good gentle for being careful.
Take your time. Take days, even weeks with this. Yes, you can train it quicker, but you want it to be solidly learned, and not a quick trick. Because you will want to use that word Gentle, later on with other things, like Gentle with the baby. Gentle with my fingers. Gentle with Grandma. So you are actually teaching her to associate the word Gentle with how she uses her mouth and teeth. Don't try to do this fast. There is no hurry.
Jenna, RN CGC & Babs, CD RA CGC HIC
Heidi, RA CGC
SG3 Odessa, SchH1, Kkl1, AD
Ninja, RN CGC & Milla, RN CGC
Joy, Star Puppy, RN CGC
Dolly CGC & Bear CGC
Last edited by selzer; 04-14-2014 at 09:29 PM.