We’ve been preparing all week for this pup and yesterday Andrew made the drive to go get him. He’s here at his forever home and SO cute. Since we’ve had a dog before, we thought we were prepared. Fencing went up in the back yard for puppy proofing. Already had dog bowls, leash, toys, crate. Picked up some puppy food, new collar that will fit him, puppy treats AND have training lessons booked. Yep, prepared is our middle name…. Or so we thought.
What did we forget? Oh yeah. It’s a puppy, which seems to be equal to a newborn child. We had forgotten about sleepless nights. Having him whine and cry in his crate all night, and getting up 3 times to go take him to the bathroom. Think I made the mistake the first time (at 1am) of rewarding him too much. He instantly assumed it was play-time and started to jump around. Quickly I picked him up and put him back in his crate, which resulted in those puppy eyes and whining. 15 minutes later and it was still continuing, I decided to see what I could do to help him (and us) have an easier time tomorrow.
i. Having the crate by your bed at night should help. If you put him somewhere else in your house, a sweater/blanket with your scent on it should help calm his nerves. If your pup has been sleeping soundly for a couple hours and then starts to whine, he probably has to tinkle. Carry him to his designated bathroom spot, and once he’s finished, put him straight back in the crate, no rewards or treats. Puppies have very small bladders, and usually have to go ever 2-3 hours. (Can’t wait till he’s a bit older and can take advantage of the pet access door!)
ii. Give a stuffed animal for him to snuggle with! He’s been able to cuddle with his litter mates every night for at least 8 weeks, he could just be missing that. Even better, if you buy the toy before you get the dog, rub the new toy on his litter mates/mom before you bring him home. Do this with his blanket too.
iii. DO NOT bring him into bed with you. This can create huge problems later on, with him expecting to be allowed in bed all the time. Be strong and let him whine it out. A low “Shhh” might help.
It seems like we’re going to have our hands full for the next while. And I’m sure there are plenty of other things we’ve forgotten about having a puppy.
Anything anyone cares to remind me about? Any and all suggestions welcome.