Last Minute Puppy Questions!
I'm getting my first GS puppy tomorrow. She'll be 8 weeks old. And I'm a little bit nervous.
I read "The Art of Raising a Puppy" by the Monks of New Skete as a primer and really enjoyed the book.
It states that for the first night, the puppy may want to sleep next to your bed. It also states that I should leash the puppy next to my bed (for house training purposes) for the first night. And to hush the puppy if she starts to cry in the middle of the night.
1. But how can I tell whether she's crying because it's her first night away from her mother and litter, or if she's crying because she needs to go pee/poo? :confused:
2. I also got a transport crate which the book recommends for house training --the Gulliver 7 (Dog Kennel Gulliver: Great Deals on Dog Carriers at zooplus) I put a dog blanket in there. Its size is 104 x 73 x 75 cm.
However, I read that having such a big crate may prevent house training as the puppy will just poo/pee in the corner and still sleep inside it.
Is this size too big for a 8 week old puppy? Should I try to block off half of it with a box or some other type of big object?
Any thoughts and tips on the first 1-2 weeks would be greatly appreciated!
I have always had their beds next to ours when they were puppies, I didn't leash them though, just closed the bedroom door so they can't leave. In terms of crying because they can no longer feel and be around their litter mates, I would just reach down and and give them a neck massage of a stroke and tell them to 'go sleep', they usually settle down. In terms of crying for toilet, make sure they go just before you go to bed and then if they wake up a few hours later, take them outside.
I'm not sure if I should start her crate training from the first night or let her sleep on a blanket for the first night out of a crate (next to my bed), then transition her to crate training overnight once she gets over being away from her mother and litter.
They probably won't be crying to go to the washroom at 8 weeks. You have a tough couple months ahead with house training the dog so start rewarding them early. So make sure you bring the dog outside before you put him/her to bed. I would keep it with you for the first nights. Thats what I did and sometimes my dogs now sleep in there crate or in my room or anywhere in the house. Also I got a puppy 2 months ago and she has been growing insanely and a XL Cage was never a problem. She has never gone to the bathroom inside of it. Hope this helped!
I've never crate trained as so many do....Harry and Lola's advice is good regarding calming them...
I am pretty sure the first nights with the three GSD pups I have had over the years were all pretty much without much if any sleep....some may have been better than others. I just let them sleep on the floor next to the bed with the door closed...I'm pretty sure I spent a few hours on the floor "sleeping" with them as well...until they were asleep. However, if they ever woke up and seemed the least bit active...outside with them ASAP...I assumed every time they were up..they needed to take a squirt...so I'd take them outside...too many trips outside is better than too few....in the beginning.
I would think you could make the crate smaller if you feel it is too big..maybe folding up some towels and filling the crate a bit or something to that effect.
I read all the Monks of New Skete books and felt they were helpful...understand there are many in this forum who might differ with this opinion however.
Anyway, you're getting your pup very soon and I can appreciate how excited you must be.
First couple weeks will be incredible....a lot of effort perhaps but simply an amazing time as you start to bond with this little fur ball...make the best of it even if it turns your normal routine upside down.
I would also keep your pup away from any places where she could contract Parvo until her vaccinations are completed....Petco, PetSmarts any of those places where you have no control over what infected dogs may have been there. The vet office unfortunately may be a spot for this as well...I'd carry my pup into the vet and go early in the morning before a whole day of sick dogs have been there. I'd even be as thorough and leave shoes outside if you or any guests may have been in areas where the Parvo virus could be....like dog parks ....besides the pet stores which allow dogs. I know I might sound a bit paranoid about the parvo thing but if you read some of the threads in this forum by folks who have had a pup with parvo...it's absolutely no way to start a puppy's life. If you haven't read up on Parvo and how to do your best to prevent it..it might be a good idea.
One other thought...you get one shot at indoctrinating your pup to this world in which she will grow up in...do your level best to act the role of guardian and introduce her in the best way possible...mainly where YOU control the variables...I'm not suggesting to isolate her from the world as socialization is integral in a pup's development but just be one if not two steps ahead of any and all situations where an event could take place which might make a negative impression on your girl going forward. Believe me, this forum is full of folks who are having to "untrain" certain behavioral issues due to situations which took place to their GSDs when they were pups.
Your new adventure is about to begin and what you do in the coming months will make for the most wonderful loyal companion for many years to come.
Enjoy...and post some pics of your pup when you have the chance.
Sure they will be!
Hans was 10 lbs-- small enough to be in a little crate on my night stand :wub: I used a couple sizes of crates, starting with a medium size.
He whined a couple of times each night for a week or two, I took him out, he did his business, then he was put right back in his crate, lights out, night-night. :) Otherwise, not a peep out of him.
I would not put a blanket in there, the pup could chew it and swallow pieces.
Thank you for the comments.
Do most of you have your crates in your bedroom (so they can sleep next to you at night) or in the living room (where I spend most of the day working)?
I'm assuming the puppy will like sleeping near me, even if in a crate.
But I spend much more time in the living room during the day so I'm not sure if I should move the crate for day-time crate training, or just keep it in the bedroom at all times.
I kept the crate in the livingroom but slept in the livingroom on the floor next to him for the first week. Then started gradually sleeping further away (moved to couch for a few days, then downstairs room, eventually to my bedroom upstairs). He has adjusted nicely to sleeping in his crate downstairs alone.
I am very far from being a professional trainer but i am going to tell you my experience just in case it could help you.
What i did to avoid separation anxiety and crying noise when i am not at home.
What worked with my dog was to show her that nothing happens when she is alone, so for the three first nights at her new home we left the crate in a separate room and close the door, we needed to be hard because she cried like if it was the end of the world for these three nights but by the fourth day she calmed down and slept all night long without any noise. The next day we showed her the small wooden house where she sleeps nowadays.
I dont know if this is the best way but i have friends that went to the puppie´s room any time they heard it crying and now they have a lot of anxiety problems.
I brought her home today. She has pee'd three times in my house already. The breeder kept her outdoors with her mother and litter mates so she doesn't really have house training.
She did go poo outside twice so I was able to get lucky on that front so far.
She seems to only be able to sleep on or next to my feet.
And she has a mouthing issue, trying to bite/play with my fingers. I tried to Monks of New Skete suggestion (putting fingers slightly into her mouth) but that doesn't really seem to work. It just gets her more worked up. I just say no in a stern voice and a few times, she seemed to lick my fingers instead. But it's just the first day so I suppose it'll take time.
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