There are rarely things as exciting as welcoming a puppy into the family. Personally, it’s on par with not getting the food on your hand when stacking the dishwasher or washing a spoon and it not splashing you!
If you’re already a paw-rent then you know what you’re in for but if this is going to be new for you, then we think it’s appropriate to bring in 2021 with the best advice we at Wyld Cub have up our sleeves.
DISCLAIMER: A puppy has been compared to having a new born baby, which eeek daunting! But we are going to try to make each tip seem as exciting as possible! But trust us, if you stick with these tips your puppy is not only going to transition so well into their new home but they’re going to be the best behaved puppy about! We also want to remind people that there are many ways to bring a dog into your life including adopting or fostering; check out our posts related to these topics here.
1. Vegas Living: early ‘just coming in’ mornings, late ‘party’ nights
Dogs are great at sleeping during the day and then coming alive at night. Just like Vegas where the party never stops and you don’t really know what time it is, or like New York: ‘The City that Never Sleeps’, you may experience this for a little while with your dog. The late nights into early mornings can be the norm for the first new weeks, but replace the dreaded thought with the idea you’re just living a Vegas lifestyle!
Most dogs sleep 12-14 hours a day although it can vary as puppies and older dogs need more sleep, creeping it at a winning 18-20 hours!
So why less sleep?
Well I hope you guessed it but if your dogs are sleeping day and night and a lot of naps are happening then they need to go outside for a tinkle! Trained and adult dogs can often hold their toilet time until they are let out in the morning, but a puppy may need to use the house's facilities a few times until morning arrives.
If you’re lucky, during the day the puppy may cause attention to let you know they need to tinkle but if not, try and establish toilet breaks and overtime reduce the time they go out and ‘toilet’ train them.
What is your advice?
A warm coat, outdoor shoes so your favourite slippers are not ruined and either your phone torch or an actual torch to make sure they just go to the toilet and don’t think it’s playing time!
Puppies are NOT like most humans who need interval alarms to wake up and get out of bed, once your puppy is awake they are AWAKE. It will be explore time and they will not take no for an answer. As soon as they wake up they need to relieve themselves: tinkle time, play time and maybe a bit of barking.
Once your puppy wakes up, so do you. If you have them in a crate or they are just downstairs or separate from your bedroom then you may experience the ‘whimpers’ which is likely one of the worst things to endure. But this is an opportunity to teach them over time (after a few weeks) that you have your own alarm, and they will have to wait for you.
But surely I cannot just let them rule my time?
- To begin with it’s best to let them be your alarm, because they are in a new environment and they miss you
- But once you cut your amount of tentativeness to them down, they will whimper.
- EXAMPLE: If you usually wake up at 6am and wait until 6.30am they may whimper for that time and also may tinkle in their area
- But do not shout at them because they are not used to waiting
- Over time your puppy will realise they have to hold it a bit longer until their paw-rents can take them out
- After you do this for a week or so, if they are still going to the toilet and not waiting, this is where you can enforce a gentle telling off
- Take them straight outside and because they are puppies, they will go again and it is advised, if they do tinkle, to reward them with a small piece of kibble or a really overly dramatic well done
We are not going to lie to you, the amount of times we have heard paw-rents call their dogs to pick up their dropped pieces of food instead of just reaching down to get it, is likely a bit too embarrassing to expose. HOWEVER, it is completely normal, all we need to be aware of is that puppies especially do not know what foods they can and cannot eat. We need to be there to remind them.
What do I need to do?
- Be sure to check what human food your specific breed of dog can and cannot eat
- For example, a large German Shepherd may eat a steak no problem, but a small terrier could throw up and have stomach issues following eating a steak
- It is not ideal to feed your dog people food, but we all give in now and again
- What WE advise is that you try, best you can, to pick up the dropped crisps to establish boundaries
- We also advise that unless your dog is well trained, you put your dog in another room whilst you eat
We don’t expect paw-rents to know it all. For the most part you will learn a lot when you actually get your dog. But there are a good few staples to be aware of.
- Everytime puppies eat, sleep or play, they usually need to go to the bathroom
- If your dog does an accident, do not rub their nose in it, it’s an outdated and borderline cruel method that achieves nothing
- Wait out the howling, whimpering and sobbing. It will stop
- Create a safe space for them when they go to sleep. It’s completely up to you if you want to let your dog sleep with you, have a crate, have a bed or have those within your bedroom - you’re the paw-rent!
- We advise them to have their own space separate from your bedroom though. This can be a place they can nap, chill out and hang with their toys
- Dogs do not like to pee/poop where they sleep and will do anything to stop it from happening, this in itself teaches them to hold it - so if they have their own space, make sure it’s big enough for them to stand up in but not move around too much
- Small puppies will become distressed if they are left for too long and forced to relieve themselves in their safe space - so remember to take them out please! Bathroom breaks are important just like for toddlers - we advise 4-5 months keep giving them bathroom breaks
PAY and GET YOUR CAR INSURANCE but also remember your dog's insurance is just as important. They should visit the vet pretty much as soon as you get them.
Shots, defleaed, dewormed, anal glands (if you know you know, vom!) - these all need to be tended to! You should also get your pet spayed or neutered as soon as they are old enough. Most insurance will not pay for this outright but purchasing quality coverage that spans their life and not just a year is more cost effective and can help in the long run.
If you get a dog that may develop health issues specific to their breed, vet bills will be getting costly rather quickly and you want the reassurance that your insurance covers your dog!
What have I learnt?
- You’ve learnt to establish boundaries
- To wait out the whimpers
- Not to rub your dog's nose in their accidents
- Be patient
- Not to feed them human food
- Get good pet insurance
- Get a good coat, slippers and flashlight
- Appreciate the puppy times because it will go in a flash!