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Top tips on training a puppy.

(30 Posts)
aGalChangedHerName Wed 08-Jul-09 08:07:35

We have reserved our puppy (Bichon Frise) and will get her on the 8th/9th of August after we return from our holiday. She will be 13 weeks. We will have a full week at home with her with neither of us working. I will then be able to be at home as much as i need to be (am a CM) during the day and there will be someone there every evening too.

Haven't ever had a dog before and really really want to have a 'happy good' dog but also want to be a 'good' owner.

Planning to go to dog training class but wondered if any of you experienced doggy folks had any words of wisdom,or any do's and dont's for us?

Would be very much appreciated smile

bella21 Wed 08-Jul-09 09:06:29

Congrats wink

Get a crate.

Get a good book (eg Gwen Bailey Perfect Puppy).

Get lots of sleep now <cackles>

hatwoman Wed 08-Jul-09 09:10:04

this is a good book too.

also - rest assured that having a "happy good dog" and being a "good" owner go hand in hand

MummyElk Wed 08-Jul-09 09:12:26

be firm and don't go back on anything you tell it off for. it's hard telling off such a cute puppy (esp a bichon frise!) but you are the boss and don't ever forget it.
and yes - get a good book now and get your head around how you are going to bring it up.
and DON'T go to the puppy those first couple of nights when she's crying - rod for back otherwise! it's horrible but she'll soon settle.
but you'll be fine - enjoy!!

HarlotOTara Wed 08-Jul-09 09:18:46

Get a crate and puppy training, agree with ignoring crying - hard but it should only take a night or two. Also feed puppy in crate as this helps with poo training. Did this with both my dogs so they never messed their crate/bed and both went all night without needing to be taken outside (11-6). Didn't use newspaper in kitchen either but was very vigilant about taking puppy into the garden for toileting, after sleep, feeding and every couple of hours. Have fun!

MadameCastafiore Wed 08-Jul-09 09:24:08

Get a crate

Do not let them upstairs or on the furniture

When they start going to the door to go out to the toilet take them to one place in the garden on their lead and wait until they go there (our dog has a toileting area on the other side of the garages in our garden so far away from the play area from doing this)

Get a box and put treats in it so she will equate the noise of the treats rattling with you calling her back when she is off the lead

Make her sit and wait when you feed her - and I would only feed her dry food - this stops them being grabby with the children and their food.

aGalChangedHerName Wed 08-Jul-09 11:47:57

Thanks everyone

Signed up for a basic dog training/obedience class this morning.

Checked bits with vet/groomer this morning too.

Good to know about the toilet training too Madame. I had wondered if it was possible to train her to do the toilet in one place away from where the dc and mindees will be in the garden. DH thought not but will be trying to do that also.

Had also planned to get a crate although DH thinks it's cruel.

So no getting up to cuddle her if she cries sad Will have to be very firm with myself then!!! wink

hullygully Wed 08-Jul-09 12:04:36

Don't get a crate. You can get a smelly stick thing to put in the garden so they learn to poo/wee in one place.

bella21 Wed 08-Jul-09 12:41:14

Crates are not cruel. They provide a safe secure den for your pup. Many advantages - pup can't electrocute itself chewing through a cable etc. House training is quicker and easier. Plus pups love their crates - my new girl takes herself in there when she wants a rest - I only close the door on it overnight. In fact in my house it is a scramble between the older dogs to get in there first grin Crates are also vital to give young pups a break from small children, and should your dog ever have to stay at the vets it will be less upset by having to stay in a kennel there.

JFly Wed 08-Jul-09 12:48:48

Crate is essential and not cruel. Especially if you are going to be out - ever. Seriously, puppies can do a lot of damage to your house and themselves in a very short period of time. Also, it is good for them to have a place to go when they need a break. Or, if you need to give them a little time out.

Also, I recommend puppy socialisation. Although your pup will be a bit older than ours were, still a good idea. Not training per se, but just a way of getting them used to other pups before you take them to a proper class. I found it useful as you can ask all your questions.

aGalChangedHerName Wed 08-Jul-09 12:49:23

A crate i thought would be good as i have a 3 year old a 5 year old and i am a CM too. It would give her somewhere to go if she wants a break/sleep away from all the dc?

I wouldn't use it as a prison or anything like that.

The smelly stick thing sounds good.

aGalChangedHerName Wed 08-Jul-09 12:51:57

The dog class is just basic commands the girl said. You know sit/catch/leave etc. Socialisation is something different then?

The class is run by the local rescue place,so it's at least reputable.

hatwoman Wed 08-Jul-09 13:13:43

as others have said crates aren't cruel. but neither are they essential - as long as you can find an alternative. when our 14-month old was a pup we essentially used the kitchen as a giant crate - ie we made it dog proof - never left anything he could chew within his reach (including cables) and sprayed the kitchen units next to his bed with anti-chew spray.

toilet training wasn't difficult - we took him out into the garden every hour or so and heaped praise on him for going.

one thing about crates is that in most cases they mean you need to get up in the middle of the night to take them to the loo. without a crate, if they need to go in the night, they'll go on paper by the door. so it's slightly a case of weighing up whether you prefer 3 am poo trips or 7 am poo-clearing up. either way it doesn't last for long.

[waves at bella - the new one has arrived then? are there pictures??]

bella21 Wed 08-Jul-09 14:06:03

[waves back at hatwoman - piccies on profile. She's doing really well wink ]

I'm using a crate but not getting up - I've put some incontinence bed pads in the pup's crate with her (buy them from Boots - much cheaper than the doggy ones, as long as you can handle being seen in the incontinence section grin ). If she needs to go she just goes on them, and already she's had a couple of dry nights (well, 11pm until 6am anyway grin ).

hatwoman Wed 08-Jul-09 14:10:15

oh she's beautiful. black dogs look so lovely and sleek and shiney.

bella21 Wed 08-Jul-09 14:12:23

How's your (black?!) lab, hatwoman?

hatwoman Wed 08-Jul-09 14:23:18

lovely thanks. he's having a love affair with the labradoodle across the road. an innocent-young-love-running-around-having-fun thing, not a messy humping thing. if you say her name he goes to the door to look for her.

bella21 Wed 08-Jul-09 14:27:06

Aw, how sweet! My lab is enamoured of my new pup (again, platonic) who, in turn is enamoured of my cat (sadly that is a messy puppy humping cat type thing, but both seem to enjoy it grin ).

spugs Wed 08-Jul-09 17:26:17

Get her used to being brushed straight away, brushing, having feet touched, ears poked and teeth cleaned grin bichons take a fair bit of grooming and its a lot easier if they behave while you do it.

Also get some simple solution from pets at home to clean up any accidents so she doesn't go back to the same spot.

Have a nice big supply of various toys and encourage her o chew them instead of the children's. Teaching the command 'leave it' early on also helps.

grin have fun grin

aGalChangedHerName Wed 08-Jul-09 17:29:50

The groomer i saw today has offered to show me how to brush/groom her which i thought was lovely of her.

Yes will take all suggestions gratefully.

Thanks all of you!!!

TwoIfBySea Wed 08-Jul-09 20:17:12

We just got our second Guide Dog pup a couple of weeks ago.

A good tip, which works for most dogs: to stop chewing dab on some Vicks Vaporub. They hate the feel of it and won't chew whatever it is on. It doesn't make the place stink if you are worried about that and means the dog has more freedom around the house without you worrying about it chewing something you don't want it to.

Also crates; it doesn't have to be forever but for tinies it offers a safe place. I put an old duvet cover over ours to create a dark, quiet place for him to sleep. Our last pup would go there quite often just to escape the noise of the house and in this weather it is nice a cool for them. By about 6 months or so you can remove the crate and replace it with a bed if you wish.

Oh and if you can, get a scrap of blanket or something with the mother and sibling's smell on it. Put it in the crate and it helps them settle.

TwoIfBySea Wed 08-Jul-09 20:21:28

Oh and if he/she cries at night.

Take him/her out of the crate, do not make eye contact, do not speak*. Let them outside to do their business saying only whatever command you want for that. They quickly learn that at night no one will interact with them and get bored, and sleep through!

*yes I am aware that certain gurus use this for human babies, but it works for dogs as that is the emotional level you are dealing with. And I never would keep babies in a crate either, often wondered if one of them would eventually suggest that. There you go - lol!

rupertsabear Wed 08-Jul-09 22:24:19

A cot is a bit like a crate. So's a playpen.

spugs Wed 08-Jul-09 22:50:12

Crate is a good idea, I used one for a while and it did help with house breaking if i couldn't watch him for a while. Unfortunately he had major issues settling with it and it was easier for us not to use it with the door closed, but he did like it as a den.

Alambil Thu 09-Jul-09 01:35:25

get a blanket NOW and take it to the breeder - they'll put it in the place the dog sleeps / it's companions are so when you collect it, it'll smell familiar and be a "grounding" for the dog

When taking dog to loo in garden, on lead - repeat "hurry up" until it performs, repeat again and go OTT with praise (hands, not food!) - dog will learn then, in winter at 10pm when it's blowing a gale, snowing and really horrific weather where you don't want to wait for it to decide to go - to go on demand. A neat trick, on those hideous weather nights as you're dying to go to bed!!

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