Come join us on the puppy mummies thread, there's loads of advice and support to be had .
My cocker spaniel is now 22 weeks old. Before I got him I studied books, websites, forums to make sure I was up to date, and spent the first few days with him stressing about doing things the 'right' way.
Then I had a word with myself, and relaxed. Yes, you need to train your puppy (another vote for kikopup on YouTube) but there's no need to make things harder than they need to be.
Sleeping wise, we put our pup in his crate in our bedroom for the first night, thought sod that the second, and he's slept downstairs since then with no problems. He now has the run of downstairs during the night, although for the first few weeks we used a puppy play pen.
Most importantly of all, enjoy your puppy. It's bloody hard work having a young puppy, but as I sit here with 10kg of snoring spaniel on my lap, I wouldn't swap him for the world.
For training purposes, the very best info I've got hasn't been from a book at all. It's been the videos posted by 'kikopup' on you tube. For everything else, the forum www.petforums.co.uk has been my most useful source of information.
The best puppy book around IMO is a very new one called Life Skills for Puppies. It's written by two extremely well qualified professional behaviourists who work in academia. It's a beautiful book and focuses much more on teaching your puppy to be resilient and to cope with the world we need them to live in than on teaching commands etc, which think is really important. You wouldn't teach your child to do maths before teaching them not to touch hot thngs, would you?
It's my new go to book which I recommend to owners all the time. For training techniques Pamela Dennison's Idiot's Guide to Dog Training is very good.
I've been leant a lot of books on the subject and Ive been haunting this topics for tips and all the stuff about pack theory being wrong. Im a bit concerned Im going to go a little mad like with my first baby and veer wildly between various books and the advice of friends/medical people. So does anyone have any favourites or one to avoid out of this list?
Perfect puppy Gwen Bailey (I have looked at this one the most its seems quite do-able) It's me or the Dog Victoria Sitwell. (Just got leant this one today so not looked at yet.) Before and After getting your puppy - Dr Ian Dunbar. A friend was raving about this when he leant it to me. But having a flick through there seem to be a lot of crate time. Also the negative review on Amazon put me off a bit as one said he was the Gina Ford of the puppy world and that was one book I never bought. I also have a specific Cocker Spaniel book by Jane Simmonds
We have a crate and also an area of the kitchen that is puppy proofed and enclosed to use as play pen.
I'm particularly concerned about the nighttimes. So far Ive read - ignore them completely, sleep on the near them where they will sleep (easy access to garden or for reassurance) or put crate in bedroom. I feel in general Im not an ultra soft or ultra authoritarian type parent so want to tread a middle ground if it works!
I have had a dog before but it was 20 years ago and now reading up all I keep thinking - so we never did that with ours! I feel like someone who had a baby in the 1940s reading up on what modern motherhood is all about!