New puppy owner help?! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-05-2013, 01:23 AM Thread Starter
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New puppy owner help?!

Today my parents surprised me with a puppy. My family has dealt with a lot these past 6 months and I have lost literally everything I had. I no longer have my horse, my best friend, my dog ran away, we moved, im in a different huge public high school with no friends, and so I haven't had much of anything to keep me motivated and going. They surprised me with this puppy today so I can train him and grow with him and make him my new best friend. I plan on doing everything with him, from sleeping with him in my bed to maybe doing some agility when he grows up. He is a scottish terrier / west highland mix. He is only 5 weeks old, his mom ran out of milk and he was forced to be weened early. I am not new to owning dogs. I had my own dog when I was 8 and he ran away when I was 14 but I've had and been around dogs my whole life. I know in order to create a bond I really just need to spend as much time carrying him around and loving on him and paying attention to him. I need to work on potty training and basic commands soon. I just want to ask everyone what are some tips you can give me? Anything you have learned from raising your own puppy that could be useful to me.

My golden retriever had a litter of 11 puppies when I was about 12 and we took care of them for several months before selling, I just don't fully remember and it wasn't completely my responsibility to take care of them. I want to do the best for this little guy and I really want to have a good bond with him because the one thing I really need right now is love and friendship and nothing could give me more of that than raising my own puppy. So please, anything you can tell me. Any tips and pointers I can use. ^^
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-05-2013, 03:26 AM
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Refrain from carrying your puppy around. It has four legs, and can move around by its own power. Yes, you want to bond with him, but you can do that without making him a furbaby.

Potty training is simple. Go outside 20 minutes after feeding him. If he doesnt go in, bring him in, and put him in his crate, and go back out in 10 minutes. Repeat. Go outside after he wakes up from a nap. Go outside after a big play session. Anytime you put him in his crate and then take him back out, take him outside. NEVER yell at him if you see him making a mess on the floor. Try to interrupt him with a poke in the side, or an uh-uh!, then take him outside to finish his business immediately. When he goes outside, have a puppy party. Lots of praise and rubs. You can give treats immediately after potties as well, but it has to be done pretty much instantly.

Crate train your puppy. It will make your life easier. Put an old blanket over top, and when it is time for him to go in there, say "kennel!' or 'crate!' and put a few kibbles in there. If it is bedtime, let the blanket cover the front and sides (I leave the back open so air can get in, but it is a few inches away from the wall). Walk away. If the puppy whines, let him. DO NOT go and check on him. He will cry himself to sleep, just like a baby would. If he becomes quiet, then whines in an hour (example) he probably has to go do his business. Go take him outside, let him do his job, and put him immediately back to bed. No play time! He will whine again, but after a few nights, he will start to understand that he can go outside if he has to, but he needs to go back to sleep.

To teach sit....grab kibble out of your puppies dish. Let him sniff it. Then slowly move it back over his head until his bum touches the floor. Repeat 20 times. Then start adding the verbal command 'sit', while still using the lure.

To teach down...Show puppy another piece of kibble. From a sit, lure him forwards. If his bum moves, say uh-uh! And move it a bit closer to him, and slowly move it out. Repeat 20 times. Start adding verbal command of 'down'.

I personally use the word "yes" if the dog does its sit/down/stand, as it eventually becomes there treat To get them to realize this, I give them a treat as I say yes about 30 times. After that, they have to work for the treat. I also use "all done" as my release word, and make sure they take a step away from where they were, so they understand that they are done. Try not to repeat commands a million times. Say it once, then give an uh-uh!, then place them in the sit/down/stand. If you repeat it too many times, it becomes nagging.

(I use kibble a lot when I am at home teaching something, because I am not a big fan of treating, but use a good treat when we are in class. It comes in a soft square, that I cut into 6 tasty little pieces, as it keeps from filling up my puppies belly, and it is really all they need.)

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows. --Epictetus

Last edited by VelvetsAB; 01-05-2013 at 03:31 AM.
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post #3 of 8 Old 01-05-2013, 03:41 AM
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Totally agree with the comment about not carrying the dog around. That is a high enough energy mix that you're going to want it to get as much exercise as possible. A tired dog is a happy dog!
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-05-2013, 04:27 PM
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Never carry your puppy. My dog was a purse puppy for 4 years and his feet never touched the ground. He wouldn't walk when I got him and it took WEEKS of dragging and pulling and patience to get him to walk.
Also, crate training is one of the best things you could ever train your dog. It been a couple years since I had to create mine, but he still uses his crate when he needs to calm down. Its his 'safe place' and he goes in it all the time even when I don't ask him too :).
Good luck with your little guy. When are you posting pics? Lol. He sounds like a cute cross!
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-06-2013, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you guys! I have to carry him right now because we are driving home and I really can't have him per on the hotel carpets but I let him run around and get his energy out in the bathroom and on the bed. He has a little crate that he sleeps in and he does whine a bit but he usually falls asleep fairly fast :) I've turned into a mom haha, the past few nights I've only been half asleep to make sure if he whines I take him potty. We have a few potty training pads we are using and so far he hasboonly gone on those and not the carpet. I make sure to praise him but I don't really like giving treats for using the bathroom. I use them for commands but so far he is doing very well. I attached a picture of him laying on his back looking cute haha hopefully it shows up :) again thank you guys for the tips :)
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-06-2013, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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Fail autocorrect sorry guys. I hope you know what I meant lol
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post #7 of 8 Old 01-06-2013, 03:45 PM
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Although the puppy pad might sound like a good idea, but it could potentially confuse your puppy, since he is being allowed to go potty inside.

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows. --Epictetus
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-06-2013, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VelvetsAB View Post
Although the puppy pad might sound like a good idea, but it could potentially confuse your puppy, since he is being allowed to go potty inside.
I have to agree. I had a roommate who had potty trained her dog with puppy pads and it peed on everything that looked like a puppy pad.
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