(Closed) Getting a new puppy tomorrow… tips/advice/lessons learned?

posted 7 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
147 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

We were in the same boat. Both grew up with dogs all our life but never responsible for a real live puppy ourselves! It was the hardest 3-6 months I’ve ever gone through. Pups are a lot of work — until they can hold their bladder, they need to go out multiple times per night — be prepared to be exhausted but try not to get too frustrated. Also don’t do any renos (seems obvious in hindsight) because puppy will have accidents on your carpets, chew baseboards and furniture, etc. We tried to crate train but our Winston wasn’t having any of it – good luck! Basically the way to make your life the easiest is to tucker puppy out as much as possible. A sleepy/sleeping puppy is a well behaved puppy 🙂

Post # 4
8738 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

@All In: How old is the puppy?

Depending on the puppy’s age you may also need to take her out in the middle of the night for a while until her bladder grows and she learns bladder control.

Crating at night is a great thing to do, especially during house training. Most dogs will come to see their crate as a “safe” place where they want to spend time.

For house training purposes you want to make sure the crate is only big enough for her to stand up, sit down and turn around to deter her from peeing in the crate. 

The first few nights/weeks she probably will cry and whine. It may be easier to put the crate in a room where she can’t see you until the crying stops and then you can move it into the bedroom if you want. 

As for house training, make sure she is supervised at ALL times. A good way to do this is to have her on a leash attached to your belt loop when she’s out of her crate so you can watch for any signs she has to potty. 

Take her out after she eats, wakes up, drinks, comes out of her crate, plays, etc. If you spend a while outside playing, make sure she goes again before coming inside as playing can help move things through the system.

Finally, until she is done with all her vaccinations (esp Parvo) don’t take her to places where other unkown dogs have been (i.e. Petco, dog parks, etc). If you can find a puppy class somewhere it’s great to get her started in that. They should require proof of vaccination to start the class so you should be protected from Parvo. Puppy classes will help with her socialization with other dogs and people from an early age which is really important.

Post # 5
913 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

My #1 tip is to POST PICTURES ON WEDDINGBEE when you get her!

As for crating–every dog I’ve known who’s crate-trained loves the crate. My GSD/collie mix used to hang out in hers all the time with the door open, to nap and stuff. Dogs are den animals so they like to be in a safe, enclosed space.

Post # 6
929 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012 - Sunset Harbour

The first few months can be really hard with crating a new puppy. Mine woke up three times a night needing to go out.

To get them used to the crate, I would do my best to make sure the puppy walks into the crate on their own – so they dont see it as a punishment and they are forced. Throw a treat or something into the crate to have them go in after it so they see that going inside the crate is a good thing.

After the appropriate shots – introduce the pup to as many other dogs and people as possible. The more social they are as a puppy the better!!

Leash train EARLY. Even if it’s just walking araound the yard for a few minutes a day, it will save you trouble later on from the pup hating/being afraid of the leash.

Decide house rules now and stick to it. If you dont want pup on furniture, you need to do that immedietly and stick to it. It’s near impossible to break habits learned early.

Puppy proof your home! Anything on the floor WILL go into the pups mouth.

Post # 7
94 posts
Worker bee

My SO and I got a eight-week old puppy in September, and it is the best!

Okay, it’s actually a lot of work, but so worth it! We have a large, hyper breed too (like the boxer), and the key is exercise! All of their pent-up puppy energy usually gets channeled into chewing things, so it really helps us to take him roller blading, running, or just talking long walks. The dog park (once they are fully vaccinated) is GREAT. Tires them out, they get socialized, and sleep for hours. It’s also free!

Socialization is also really important, and for that we go to the dog park, and enrolled in puppy kindergarten classes. It teaches them obedience as well as social skills, so they will be comfortable and behave well in all situations.

Housebreaking can be really hard, but they best way is to crate train them, and make sure they are on a schedule (we crate while we are at work during the day, but he sleeps in bed with us. Like you, I couldn’t crate at night). Feed them at the same times every day, and always take them out right after. You will learn your puppie’s habits, and when they usually go, but the schedule always helps. I can tell when my SO doesn’t feed him at the right time, because that’s when he has to go out in the middle of the night!

I would also look at Ceasar Milan’s books, he has several. We are avid watchers of the Dog Whisperer, and I can say that his tactics really work. With a large breed especially, it is important that you set boundaries and limitations so that they know you are the boss. Anything you allow as a puppy will carry into adulthood!

Getting a puppy is really like adopting a baby. It will change your life, but as long as you are prepared, you will end up with the most loving dog in the end 🙂

Good luck!

Post # 8
14661 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

A great piece of advice we got was to bug the hell out of the puppy and pick her up or hold her down lots.  Bug her while she’s eating, put your hand in her food.  That way she is used to whatever anyone, especially kids, will do at her and not snap or be surprised.  We’ve done that from 8 weeks old, and my pup is  4.5 months, and anyone can just pick him up and he’ll just flop into your arms like jello, move him around, flip him over, hold his feet, anything.

I crate trained overnight also.  Luckily we only had to get up once during the night for about 2 weeks, but he did wake up very early.  We found that if we had him sleep in his crate downstairs, he’d cry for us when he woke up.  But once we moved the crate up to our room, he’d let us sleep in as long as we wated.  Guess he just didnt like being alone down there.

Post # 9
8738 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

@readynwaiting58: I’d be careful with too much running on hard surfaces until all growth plates fuse.

Also, some of Ceaser Milan’s books can be dangerous (such as alpha rolling). I’d suggest Victoria Stillwell’s training methods (watch “It’s Me or the Dog”) as she’s much more positive reinforcement focused.

Also, as far as potty training goes, never “punish” your puppy by showing her the accident and scolding her. Unless you catch her in the act, the time for training is missed. 

Also, invest in a good enzyme cleaner (such as nature’s miracle) to clean up any accidents to the scent of past accidents won’t entice her to go in that same spot again.

Post # 10
491 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

We have a boxer puppy too! She is six months old today =]

Definitely crate her at night. She will whine and cry the first few nights, I remember Darling Husband and I just laying in bed cringing while she did it the first night. After that she would whine for a little bit and then go to sleep. She would wake up maybe twice during the night needing to potty, which lasted about a month. She has been potty trained for about two solid months now though, yay! =] Oh also it may sound bad but we just couldn’t afford to have a puppy walker come let her out during the day. She learned to hold it, and I’m pretty sure she just sleeps while we’re gone. We make up for it by playing with her and letting her be very active when we get home.

ETA: We have let her sleep in bed with us for the last two months, since she’s potty trained and crate trained. Crate training overnight may seem harsh/hard but it doesn’t have to be for long! pinkshoes we did that too. Our friends have a puppy who they never messed with while he ate and now he nips at our puppy if she even gets close to him while he’s eating or chewing on a toy. Also “desensitize” them to not liking their ears being touched because it’s a popular petting place for people who don’t know any better!

Post # 11
3482 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

Crate training is your best friend. You may have to spend a few nights agonizing in bed as you hear pathetic little puppy yips from another room, but she’ll get used to it really quickly and soon she’ll see her crate as a safe haven. Heck, my parents’ dog even puts herself to bed now! You can tell when she thinks everyone’s up too late, because she’ll stand up, let out a loud sigh, plod into the next room and thump down in her crate, like “Come on, guys, let a gal get some shut-eye!”

Take her outside super often and make the biggest fuss in the world when she goes potty. All the dogs I had growing up were housebroken in mere days because we took them out constantly and celebrated like they had just achieved world peace when they squatted. Doubly so when they “asked” to go out.

Socialization is very important. As soon as your vet clears her to be out around other dogs and people, get her used to being out and about. My parents’ current dog is super skittish because she needed surgery when she was little, so she rarely saw anyone other than us, and now she’s terrified of strangers. It took her months to warm up to my husband enough to let him pet her.

Finally, CONSISTENCY. Make sure everyone uses the same commands and signals around the dog. My dad is notorious for just shouting “Down!” for everything, and since he’s the big scary one, our dogs always got confused because “down” was the command to lie down, while “off” was the command to get off something or stay away from something. If they get muddled, they’ll be lax with commands. So make sure everyone uses the same words and gestures.

So excited for you! I can’t wait until Darling Husband and I can buy a place so I can own dogs again…IMO a house is not a home without a dog in it 🙂

Post # 12
689 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Its exactly like bringing home a baby that you can’t put diapers on. Take the puppy out every two hours (don’t play with him/her outside until AFTER he (Im just going with a he) goes potty). Its a big mistake I made because he would potty right after we got in when I played with him outside. Just like a baby you will quickly learn which bark is a “I want OUT!” bark and a “I have to go potty NOW” bark. My Cairn would quietly mess her cage and sit in it until we got her out which was nice for sleeping, not so nice to have to clean up, whereas my Scottie would regularly wake us up at 4am. The smaller the dog, the longer house training will take, just because they have smaller bladders. Take him out about 20 minutes after feeding. Four to five times a day take a 10-15 minute break to really wear out the puppy and immediately follow that with a potty break. If you’re having trouble with him controlling his bladder at night you can just toss a few ice cubes in his water dish and that should last him the night. Males will take 1-2 months longer than female to potty train, just because they always keep a bit back to mark.

Most definitely crate overnight until your puppy is 100% potty trained- in and out of the crate. Trust me, you do not want to wake up to a bed soaked in pee and your comforter ripped to pieces. Also, when you have company the crate will be a safe place, not a punishment.

Post # 13
94 posts
Worker bee

@KatNYC2011: Yes, I am aware that the long distance running, etc. should be avoided until their growth plates fuse, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with taking a 5-month-old puppy on a one mile run. It does wonders for their behavior.

Also, I know there is some debate about Ceasar Milan’s methods, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion. We do not practice Alpha Rolling, but do incorporate his feeding techniques and other pieces of advice while raising our puppy. We practice positive reinforcement primarily, but if he is acting dominant or misbehaving I am not opposed to a light tap on the shoulder and a firm “no”. Like parenting, everyone has their own methods. I’m happy to say that ours is a happy-go-lucky, loving and well-trained pitbull puppy, and I would not change a thing about how we have raised him.

I will take a look at the book you reccommended, as I am always open to new opinions. Thank you for your advice.

Post # 14
568 posts
Busy bee

i got my first dog when i was 22 :). it’s the best having doggies and i wish i had grown up w/them!


puppies are the best. they grow up big, fast, so take tons of pics while theyre teeny tiny.

@All In: you can crate her overnight BUT she wont sleep the whole entire night. new puppies poop and pee A LOT!!! so youll have to wake up throughout the night to take her out.

you HAVE to put them on a poop/pee schedule that is the same everyday. this way theyll trust you and know when theyre going to go out. theyll think “yip yip yip! okay it’s 3:20am, im not going to poop in my crate, ill just keep yipping so she’ll WAKE UP cause i know she’s going to take me out at 3:30am just like she does everyday. yip yip wake up.”

having a crate doesnt guarantee she wont go in there. their bladders are too teeny tiny when theyre new! so accept accidents.

during the first week they flip out if you’re not by their side 24/7–theyll yip yip yip yip yip. just be prepared! in the crate at night, my new puppies would yip, cry, bark and THEN fall asleep.

new puppies poop weird looking stuff. if it looks like grains of rice, it means they have a worm.

most new puppies will have something theyll need meds for so you didnt do anything wrong. my first puppy needed ear drops. my second puppy had the worm.

get puppy pads—buy them in bulk. 

socialize her! have different types of people meet her and hold her. both of my puppies are brats cause we didnt socialize them enough. so now when new people are around they bark and hop on them.

with my puppies i would have her dish on the floor and a cup of food in my hand. i would take pieces of food one by one and put them in her dish, and id also have her eat from my hand. this way she wouldnt be too posessive with her dish and she’d know not to bite or nip when food is out. some dogs will bite you if you touch their dish. my dogs dont have this problem.



Post # 15
568 posts
Busy bee

hey this is a good lesson too:

no gum!

my one and only EMERGENCY vet visit:

i left my purse out on the couch. left the room. i came back in and my dog had gone into my purse and ate an entire pack of gum. 

i immediately googled “my dog ate gum what do i do”. i read all these posts about how xylitol kills dogs! it’s the sugar they use in sugarless gum like trident.

one stick of gum can kill a huge dog, and my small 10lb dog ate a whole pack.

so we rush to the vet, on the car ride over she barfs. we get to the vet, they pump her stomach. they also gave me meds to coat her stomach and pills too. 

she’s totally fine. but it was REALLY scary and i was crying as all those posts popped up during my google search!!!


anyways FYI because not a lot of people know about this!

Post # 16
2493 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

First, congratuations because I KNOW you will love your puppy! That being said, after three puppies I can confidently give the following advice:

1. Anything you love needs to be 3 ft higher than where you think the dog can get to. They can always reach things you think they can’t (like the back of the counter where cupcakes are cooling!)

2. Protect your furniture! Something will, inevitably, be chewed at some point. Because furniture can’t be picked up from the floor, the furniture is usually first.

3. Dedicate a set amount of time each day for walking and training. If you get in the routine now, it will make a well-behaved and happy dog for the future.

4. Get your dog spayed or neutered. I’m totally gonna pull that line because, frankly, the last thing this world needs is more unwanted puppies or mensturating dogs.

5. Whatever you do for your dog, picture it bigger. So, for example, allowing my 75lb Shephard to sleep in my bed as a 10lb puppy was cute. Now it is annoying kicking her off the bed all night.

As for crate training… I got my current pup too young (she was seperated from her mother at 5 weeks and should have been 8-10 weeks). As a result she has all sorts of weird seperation problems. I tried crate training her for the first 3 weeks and after 3 weeks of NO sleep (she cried ALL EFFING NIGHT) I gave up. I also have to admit I resorted to all sorts of horrible things to get her to shut up including screaming at her in deperation and throwing a cup of water over the crate when she howled. I also tried nice things like having her sleep with a hot water bottle and a ticking clock, but she didn’t care. I tried having the crate in my friggen bed and she STILL WHINED. She stopped when she slept with me though. I continue to crate her during the day but my neighbours complained because she barked for hours on end, so that stopped after 6 weeks.

Fast forward 2 years and I moved in with my parents for a year. She ate a hole in their wall when she was bored one day (wasn’t the first time, but was the first time at their house…). Anyways, after that we crate trained again and she was fine! I was so suprised! She had no problem staying in her crate from 8am until 4pm and would actually run into the crate when I went to work. Maybe maturity helped?

If I were to go back with crate training, I would crate train with a professional to guide me and help me, rather than just internet help and a few books. I think that it would have been a lot easier on the two of us if she had been properly crate trained as a pup.

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