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Bringing Home Puppy

Sunday, March 19, 2017 5:41 PM

Bringing home a new puppy is exciting…much like bringing home a baby.  Puppies are like newborns…the care is very intense at first.  Thankfully, puppy phases pass much quicker than baby phases!   Moyen Poodles thrive with consistency and known boundaries.  The first major phase for every puppy is establishing the proper place to use the bathroom in the new home.  My puppies start using the bathroom inside on artificial turf and washable potty pads.  When weather permits, they are also taken outside to use the bathroom on grass as they mature.  I have a doggy door in my puppy room that my puppies start using to go outside to use the bathroom.  Eight week old puppies require consistency with house training in their new homes.  They require frequent trips outside and supervision when they are loose in the house.  As long as they are transitioned properly into their new homes, my puppies have minimal accidents.  

In the beginning, I always recommend that families take Puppy outside at least once an hour when they are awake and playing.  It is best NOT to wait for the puppy to signal or start acting like they need to use the bathroom…just take them outside regularly.  This helps to establish the proper bathroom area in the new home.  Puppy bladders are very small, so they have to urinate very frequently when they are awake.  If sixty minutes is too long to prevent accidents, it may be necessary to go more often in the very beginning.  The goal is to give Puppy the chance to use the bathroom outside often enough to prevent accidents in the house.  Puppies do their fastest growing during the first six months.  The bladder strength and capacity becomes noticeably better as each week passes, and the frequency of trips outside decreases as Puppy grows.  

During times that a responsible person can not supervise Puppy, I recommend Puppy be kept in a crate or exercise pen.  Restricted freedom helps to prevent unwanted accidents and bad behaviors like improper chewing.  Exercise pens are nice in the main living area of the house.  They offer room for puppy to play, but restrict their freedom.  Puppy Culture recommends having a crate connected to an exercise pen.  Lennypads, artificial turf, and Fresh Patch are options to use inside the exercise pen area for young puppies.  I recommend puppy sleeping in a crate/exercise pen at night for at least the first six months.  Puppy Culture gives excellent advice about crating and potty training.

Families that take the time to give Puppy their full attention in the beginning quickly fall into a rythmn that helps Puppy establish good habits in his new home.  When bad bathroom and chewing habits are avoided, life with a growing puppy is easy and enjoyable.  Puppy classes are an excellent tool for molding behavior as Puppy grows, and I am always happy to offer support and direction.  The key to initial success is found in limiting unsupervised freedom until Puppy is a trustworthy and well-behaved adult.