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Survival tips please - puppy arrives on Thursday

(9 Posts)
minifingerz Sun 19-Mar-17 17:53:37

Can I have your best puppy tips please - our last puppy was more than 12 years ago and I can't remember what we did (though that whatever we did it must have been roughly OK I suppose - she grew up into a very loving, well behaved and well socialised dog).

We kept her in a crate in the kitchen at night last time and I came down and comforted her when she cried. She stopped quite soon and we had no more disrupted nights.

Our new puppy is another Labrador and she'll be 8.5 weeks when she comes to us.

I'm reading the puppy thread and a bit worried by stories of people taking their puppy to bed with them - wondering how likely it is we'll have prolonged night waking? I want her to be a downstairs dog like our last dog as this worked best for us.

Really grateful for any tips especially about sleep!

BiteyShark Sun 19-Mar-17 18:13:48

My puppy sleeps in the kitchen and I did do the ignoring the crying when it was obvious that he did not need the toilet. However, you will get a lot of people saying this leads to seperation anxiety but I don't agree with that so you have to decide what you think about that yourself.

I did however have to get up frequently to let my puppy out at night to pee as he was not one of those that slept through the night. I have a baby monitor to watch him at night so I can see if he is ok without me having to go into the room which was invaluable.

My best advice is that if a technique is not working for you then don't be afraid to investigate different ones as everyone has an opinion which tends to be black and white on bringing up puppies but there are so many different ones you just have to find the one that works for you and your dog.

Good luck with your new puppy.

CornflakeHomunculus Sun 19-Mar-17 18:32:10

The FB group Dog Training Advice and Support is well worth joining if you're on FB, it's an absolute goldmine of good advice run by very highly respected professionals. The Congratulations on Your New Puppy entry in their Files section has links to all their relevant articles for puppy owners, covering toilet training, how to deal with night times, play bitings, crate training, pretty much everything you could possibly need.

I do not believe in leaving puppies to cry either at night or when they're learning to be happy alone during the day. They're still very tiny babies when we bring them home and it's a huge upheaval to go from being with mum and their litter mates pretty much 24/7 (even if the breeder has started getting them used to brief periods away from each other, which they really should have been doing) to being completely alone in a strange place.

Whilst plenty of people do leave their puppies to cry and suffer no major fallout it does risk creating separation issues further down the line. For the sake of a bit of extra effort in the early weeks/months I think it's preferable to minimise the risk of the puppy associating being alone with being distressed.

Back when DH and I got our first puppy (DDog2) we were advised to ignore her crying at night if we were sure she didn't need to go out. It took us a long time (several years in fact) to fully undo the damage we did by leaving her in distress.

Wolfiefan Sun 19-Mar-17 18:36:00

The group cornflake refers to is fab.
I slept downstairs with pup for the first three weeks. After that she would settle at night in her crate very happily.
I also found their toilet training advice helpful. We didn't use puppy pads but rather just kept taking her out and praising her when she did go.
Socialisation is key so take puppy out as soon as possible. Before that you can carry pup.
Stair gates are useful.
Stuffed kongs and frozen carrot are ace for teething!

No1HolidayPlanner Sun 19-Mar-17 19:43:57

Our pup is 5 months.. Her crate is in the kitchen.. I spent first 2 nights downstairs.. Left her alone the third night and she was fine.. So not too bad at all!!😊 The hardest thing for me was the puppy biting but that phase has more or less passes..I'm loving our puppy.. Much less hard work than I expected.. Enjoy🐶😊

SkeletonSkins Sun 19-Mar-17 20:18:59

My advice would be do what's right and what works for you. BiteyShark has given me lots of good advice with our puppy. Our puppy sleeps upstairs but that's because I have always had our dogs upstairs with us. It's hard because they are so little when you get them, it's such a shock to be alone and then even then when they're used to it so they can't get through the night without a wee. If you want them downstairs it might take a few broken nights to get them settled. Alternatively would you consider a crate in your room for the first few nights which you move downstairs when he's a little bit older? I also found a microwave pad thing that you can microwave to heat up on amazon and I popped that in his bed.

People will tell you 'don't do this, don't do that' but you have to do what works for you. For example, we had to leave our pup for a couple of hours after having him 4 weeks and to begin with he cried all the time if even in a different room. Lots said to build up, going back with treats but tbh we found he anticipated our return more, so we just bit the bullet and left him for 30 mins or so regularly and he settled no problem. What works for you might not work for others, don't feel guilty.

minifingerz Sun 19-Mar-17 21:05:11

Brilliant! Thanks all. And I've joined that FB group.

It's not my parenting style to ignore crying. Co-slept and breastfed my own babies for a long time. Obviously not planning to co-sleep or breastfeed this time but I'm expecting to respond kindly in the night if puppy is lonely/scared/needs a wee or poo.

I CAN'T WAIT to get her. Annoyingly I'm traveling overnight the night we get her and working Friday/Saturday/Sunday but DH is taking several days off to settle puppy in, and I'm at home all day every day for the next few weeks from next week onwards.

I'm just hoping the kids will fall in line with us when it comes to training her up. They're 11,13 and 17 and can be a bit undisciplined with giving dogs snacks and letting them jump up/beg at the table etc. Going to get them to participate in puppy training classes to help with consistency.

My problem will be disciplining myself not to kiss the puppy too much. blush

If you look at my photo of her you'll understand that might be quite difficult.. grin

Noitsnotteatimeyet Mon 20-Mar-17 07:20:07

She is gorgeous smile

We took turns to sleep on the sofa downstairs next to our pup's crate. The first night he was up twice (and then up for good at 5am), second and third nights he only needed to go out once and then after that all it took was a bit of shushing and stroking to get him back to sleep when he started stirring. He was sleeping through after a week - midnight to 5 - and over the next few weeks gradually stretched that out at either end of the night and soon was conked out from 10 to whenever we go downstairs in the morning

LionSock Mon 20-Mar-17 10:20:53

She might surprise you and sleep all night straight away. There no way I could leave my puppy to cry and was fully expecing to be up all night the first night. We got our puppy Saturday and he's slept through the night both nights. Last night he went to sleep at 8pm and woke up when DH got up at 5am!shock

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