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Discussion Starter #1
I've got my puppy coming friday and I just want to be ready. Here are the questions:

1. I'm going to be leaving it in a crate during the day and coming home at lunch to let her out, when should it be able to hold it through a normal work day?

2. I want to start a feeding schedule in which she gets food at specific times a day, what are the best times to feed her? The evening is the obvious choice, but should I do it in the morning as well?

3. When would it be appropriate to go running with her? There is also a beach at my house and I thought it would be a good idea to go running/swimming at the beach, what would be a good age to start that?

4. What is a good way to teach her not to chew on things? I've heard of catching her when she's doing it and calmly going over and replacing the item she's not supposed to chew on with one she is, does this really work?

5. What are some good high value treats to feed her when training?

6. Any good tips or advice I should know before I get her?

Thanks in advance everybody! I'll be sure to post up the pics when I get her!
 

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1. The gerneral rule of thumb is that the age in months is the number of hours a puppy can hold their bladder and bowels. So, if the pup is 2 months old they should be able to hold it for 2 hours.

2. Yes - puppies should be fed at LEASt twice a day.

3. Running as in miles? Not until she is fully grown. Running as in running around and playing - you can do that now just watch her for signs of fatigue.

4. Redirection works very well.

5. I use pieces of kibble for training treats. My dogs don't eat kibble so they think it's a GREAT treat.
 

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1. I'm going to be leaving it in a crate during the day and coming home at lunch to let her out, when should it be able to hold it through a normal work day?

This varies puppy to puppy. A good way to judge is by your evening/night schedule. When are you putting the puppy to bed? How often and when are you getting up to let her out? Extend the time at night until she is sleeping through the night. Start listening for when she gets restless-that’s a good indicator that she needs to go out. You may start taking her out frequently when she first comes home. Switch to letting her tell you. You may be awake a while but you will probably get to a confidence level quicker.

2. I want to start a feeding schedule in which she gets food at specific times a day, what are the best times to feed her? The evening is the obvious choice, but should I do it in the morning as well?

I feed Lancer once in the morning and once in the evening. Getting on a set schedule is great-it gives you a little more knowledge on the potty schedule as well. One thing to think about-I always do a little work with Lancer just prior to feeding and around the food dish as those two times are pretty regular. Start working on sits and downs and wait commands with the meals.

3. When would it be appropriate to go running with her? There is also a beach at my house and I thought it would be a good idea to go running/swimming at the beach, what would be a good age to start that?

I would caution you to consider waiting to go out to public areas with your pup until after her shot regime is completed. Running on the beach would not be too bad but I would restrict it to maybe tossing toys (maybe working on retrieves) and letting her blow off some steam early on. You have plenty of time to run with her later on. If you can find an area that is not frequented by other dogs/wildlife, that would be a great place to introduce and play.
4. What is a good way to teach her not to chew on things? I've heard of catching her when she's doing it and calmly going over and replacing the item she's not supposed to chew on with one she is, does this really work?

Avoid the “no” word at this stage. Redirection to a more appropriate chew item as you describe is the way to go. Lots of praise when she turns her attention to the more appropriate item.

5. What are some good high value treats to feed her when training?

I use baked chicken breast, cheese, meatballs. Dog treats I use Billy Jack Liver and peanut butter treats. Try to keep it with relatively soft treats that are quick for the pup to take and swallow. If you get treats that require a bit of chewing, you could lose attention during exercises while they stop to chew. And keep the pieces relatively small- pea size.
6. Any good tips or advice I should know before I get her?

HAVE FUN and MAKE IT FUN in everything you do. There will be times when you feel frustration coming on. Step back and breathe!

And take lots of pictures – this time goes way too fast and we want to see her!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks a lot for all the advice, I'll give it a shot.

The potty thing I'm really worried about because I'd just hate to make her hold it all day at that age, but I'll work with her. Guess I'll have to get myself up every 3 hours or so through the night to let her out and gradually ween her off that. Then for work I can come home at lunch and let her out for a few weeks, then slowly get her off of that too.

I'm going to have lots of fun and lots of pictures to share
 

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The thing with potty training is...don't make her hold it. They can get UTI's and don't enjoy eliminating in their living quarters(crate).

If you need for someone to come over lunch, if you are unable to make it home on a certain day, by all means do that. Your new pup will thank you for that down the road.

Good luck and get her in to a puppy class ASAP also!
 

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Originally Posted By: bdavis86Guess I'll have to get myself up every 3 hours or so through the night to let her out and gradually ween her off that.
Not necessarily. I keep the crate right next to the bed so I can hear if the pup wakes up and fusses, and then I take him/her out. Some people prefer to set an alarm and then wake the puppy up to take it out, but I like my sleep!

I got both Dena & Keefer at 9 weeks old, and Dena only woke me up to go outside at night 3 times, including her first night home after a 10 hour drive. She had dinner as soon as we got home between 8:30 and 9:00, so it was a given that she would need to go out during the night. Another time I accidentally let her tank down a bunch of water right before bed at 11:00. Usually I'd let her drink her fill up until 7:30 or 8:00 and then pick up the water for the evening.

Keefer got me up for weeks, sometimes more than once a night. He was perennially thirsty, so I had to let him have water before bed or he'd just fuss and fuss and fuss and not go to sleep. I can't remember how old he was before he was consistently sleeping through the night, but it was much later than Dena was.

So rather than set a schedule to get up at night you could just wait and see what your puppy's requirements are. If she'll sleep most of the night, why get yourself up every 3 hours?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I guess it's more of a preventive measure. Better safe than sorry kind of thing. I'm a deep sleeper. It takes a lot to wake me, so a puppy stirring in a crate probably wont do the trick. That's the reasoning behind it. Do you have any other ideas? I'd really hate for her to get a UTI, so unless someone else has any ideas, I'll probably have to get up at several intervals and gradually increase the time to 4 hrs, 5 hrs, etc until she gets to the point where all night isnt a problem.
 

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Originally Posted By: bdavis86I'm a deep sleeper. It takes a lot to wake me, so a puppy stirring in a crate probably wont do the trick. That's the reasoning behind it. Do you have any other ideas?
Yeah - sleep lighter!


Sounds like you may have the right idea. It would be nice if you could wake and check on the puppy to see if she is stirring before waking her. Hopefully, if you use an alarm, it won't become a trigger for her. But I'm willing to wager that you won' sleep as deep as before tghe puppy comes home!

Are you putting the crate right next to your bed?
 

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I had the crate right next to my bed. I'd take Brady out at 10 pm and he would wake me up at 4 am which is pretty good for a pup.

yes you will have to come home for lunch or have someone come over it isn't fair to a pup to have to hold it for 8+ hours.
 

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I'll answer #4 with my overall theory about puppies and freedom: Do not let her chew anything ever. Do not give her freedom to get into anything. Freedom has to be earned. If she chews the wrong thing, she could either 1) hurt herself 2) poison herself 3) damage something you truly value. Puppies must be contained in a crate, an ex-pen, or on a tether whenever you cannot be watching her closely enough to immediately "upgrade" (give her something better than what she just picked up. This usually is a high-grade treat). When you have a puppy, you should always have treats in your pocket or a bait bag on your belt so you can immediately offer an upgrade for such things.

BTW, unless the item the pup has TRULY can hurt her, do not chase the puppy. You're making a game of it. Just wait her out. If she will come to you when you call her, do that the upgrade the high-grade snack for the item she has. But don't chase her. If it's a dangerous item, don't call her. Just go get her and get the item asap.

Puppies that don't learn to pick up stuff on the floor don't have to be retrained. They just assume that unless you hand it to them, it's off limits. This sounds utopian, but it's very possible. I know I sound like a control freak, but my motto is that I only set my puppies up to succeed. Giving a puppy too much freedom is a recipe for too much chewing as well as difficulties housebreaking.

It sounds like you have a crate. That’s kind of just the beginning though. Exercise pens are great. You can set one up in a kitchen or other room where she can be safe (and many pups won't potty in them. Some will, but many won't). Set up an area where she cannot damage anything within a certain radius, about 3-4 feet, but where you can tether her (I use the supports to my fireplace hearth, and I put a dog bed there). I tether her. I hand her several toys and two chews. This way, she knows they are hers to do whatever she wants to. She's safe (I check on her VERY frequently since she's tied up). My stuff is safe. She can't cause damage. She's guaranteed to succeed.

Finally, you can tether her to yourself. Attach a leash to your belt, or set up carabiners to places you frequent a lot - kitchen cabinets, the computer desk, and the arm of the sofa. Bring her through the house throughout the day with you. When you stop, give her two toys, one soft, one hard, and a chew. Expect her to hang out quietly.

THAT is how you keep a dog from chewing your stuff. She never learns it's an option. She has her stuff. You have yours. You get her new interesting toys every so often. She thinks her stuff is great. She gets to hang out in different places (my pup spends some time in one of her two crates -- one in the bedroom, one in the living room -- or in the x-pen in the kitchen, or tethered to me, or on her main tether in the family room when we're watching TV.). She has NO idea that she's missing out on anything. Other than grabbing a sock from laundry basket on her way out of the back door (going from the x-pen to the back yard) a couple times (which I calmly upgraded with a snack), she's never touched anything of ours.

When she gave me the sock, I told her "mine." The world for my pups is segregated into two parts. Toy vs. Mine. Toy -- meaning everything that belongs to them (when I give them a toy, I tell them "toy.") And "mine" is anything they should happen to pick up that isn't theirs (A sock. The little piece of paper in the driveway. The stick at the park that you don't want them chewing on. It's everything you don't want them to have. After a while, you can be across the yard, see them pick up a pine cone, shout "mine," watch them spit it out and run to you for the "upgrade" snack)

My GSD is an adult. The only thing he has ever chewed was a stuffed animal that I had (a gift from a friend). It had fallen on the floor in the spare bedroom. It looked just like his toys. It's hard to fault him. He has never chewed anything else of ours.

If they never learn that touching your stuff is an option, they just don’t realize it is. It’s all about managing your pup upfront. Freedom is earned. It’s better for your material things. But most of all, it’s the only way I know to be 100% sure that my puppy is safe at all times.

For #5, this thread has lots of great ideas for high-value treats:

http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=763415&page=1#Post763415
 
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