So you’ve welcomed a new puppy into your home — congratulations! This is a super exciting time! But, along with all the fun and joy a new puppy brings, the first few days at home with your fur baby can feel overwhelming … to say the least. As a new puppy parent, you’ll be faced with a lot of big decisions and challenges in the upcoming weeks. Chances are, some of these thoughts have already gone through your head:
How the heck do I get this dog to stop peeing all over the house?
Will he ever sleep through the night?
Ouch! Stop biting my fingers!
Darn it … another accident!
To crate or not to crate? That is the question!
What’s in your mouth? Drop it!
Why is walking on a leash so hard?
Yeah — that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I’ve raised dogs for decades and know exactly how you feel. When I was in my pre-teens and teens, I had an active role in raising my family’s 6 poodles. Now, as an adult, I have a Chihuahua and a toy Poodle. So, trust me when I say: I get it!
Since launching this blog four years ago, I’ve created a handful of resources for new puppy parents, like yourself. So you don’t have to scour my site in search of reads that fit your unique needs, I’ve put together a list for you. I hope you find the advice helpful.
One of the best tips I can offer anyone welcoming a young puppy into their home? Immediately implement a schedule! Because all dogs—and dog parents—thrive on consistency. When developing your daily routine, there are a few things you should take into consideration. In this post, I share what to include in your daily schedule. Plus, take a peek at a sample schedule created by the AKC.
Knee deep in urine and feces …. ohhhh the joy of being a dog mom! It typically takes about 4-6 months for a puppy to be fully potty trained. For some puppies, it can take even longer. Usually, it takes smaller breeds a little longer to go accident-free, since they have tiny tanks. Throughout the puppy training process, it’s important to remember that your pooch doesn’t want to be a dirty dog. You just need to be patient and teach him what to do. Check out these tips to help you successfully potty train your puppy.
Throughout my years of potty training dogs, I’ve used pee pads a few times. I personally wouldn’t use them anymore, but I can understand why dog parents do. They can be great for puppies who aren’t fully vaccinated yet, small breeds during harsh winter months, and elder/disabled pooches who have trouble walking. However, one major con that drives me away from them is the fact that dogs get used to them! You essentially have to train your dog twice – once to use the pad and then again to stop using it. If your dog is trained to go on pee pads and you’re ready to take the potty outside, don’t worry! It’s a doable task. It won’t be an overnight fix, but with time and patience, you can do it!
Crates offer a safe and controlled setting when your full attention can’t be on little Fido. And get this: Since dogs are naturally den animals, they actually like confined spaces. So, when introduced properly, the crate will become a secure place for your pooch to rest and relax. In this article, I share the top benefits of crate training, my 5-step crate training plan, and the pros & cons of various crate types.
Training your dog to walk on a leash is the first step toward being able to take him places. Once your pooch gets comfortable with the leash, you can go on walks around your neighborhood, bring him along to local stores, take him on hikes, etc. Mastering leash training is vital!
Both of my dogs are fully grown now, but when I think back to the teething stage, I can still remember the feeling of razorblade-sharp puppy teeth biting into my hand. OUCH! As a puppy loses those sharp baby teeth and his adult teeth start coming in, they will bite down on practically anything they can fit their mouth around. I’m not just talking about dog toys and bones. That “anything” also includes your hands, feet, shoes, furniture, wall molding, etc.
Along with cuddling and playing with your new precious puppy, it’s always a good idea to start teaching commands early. The earlier you start training, the better. In this article, I share the top 4 commands every puppy should know (and training tips).
Getting your dog the proper vaccinations is one of the most important things you can do to keep your fur baby healthy. With that said, there are some shots your vet may push that aren’t absolutely necessary. Let me say, I’m not a believer in pumping medications into my dogs’ little bodies unless it’s absolutely necessary and will have a great benefit to their health. Find out which vaccines are considered “core” and which are “non-core”. Plus, take a look at how vaccines work.
There’s a famous quote that says: “Sometimes the most important lessons are the ones we end up learning the hard way.” Well, if you ask me, truer words have never been spoken! The advice I share in this article is a result of a vet visit gone wrong. My hope? By sharing this experience, I can help someone else avoid the horrible (yet, easily avoidable) mistake that I made!
What your dog learns as a young pup will stick with him for the rest of his life. According to Certified Dog Behavior Consultant Kathy Reilly, the prime socialization period is typically between 6-14 weeks old. During this time, the synapses in the dog’s brain are growing a thousandfold. So it’s important to expose your dog to as many sights, sounds, and experiences as possible. Unfortunately, this is also a time that veterinarians tell us not to take our young puppies out in public because they haven’t finished their first round of vaccinations. So, until your dog is protected, you have to get creative! Here are some tips for new dog mommies looking for ways to socialize their puppy.