New puppy “top tips/stuff I wish I’d done”

(22 Posts)
Clappyhapper Fri 19-Apr-19 23:27:45

Hi smile
I’m collecting our new puppy in a couple of weeks, he will be 8 weeks old.
It’s been 10 years since we last had a puppy in the house so I’m hoping for a refresher crash course from the mumsnet wisdom please.
Thanks smile

OP’s posts: |
AvocadosBeforeMortgages Fri 19-Apr-19 23:40:54

From the list of things I wish my dog's previous owners had done (inherited at 14 months old)
- taken him to good quality training classes run by an APDT accredited trainer as a youngster and implemented that at home
- given him sufficient exercise and brought him into contact with sensible well mannered older dogs (as well as allowing him to understand not being able to greet every dog is a fact of life, not a disaster)
- not used an anti bark collar on him (probably a contributing factor to his anxiety)

From the list of things I wish I'd done sooner
- find an APDT trainer, not just the nearest one with convenient class times blush
- switched him to good quality food sooner rather than later
- dealt with pulling on the lead sooner rather than later, when it was an ingrained habit that was messing with my back
- switched from collar to Perfect Fit harness sooner - I'd bought into the myth that a harness would make him pull more but it actually improved matters and meant he wasn't throttling himself daily

FleasAndKeef Sat 20-Apr-19 07:34:21

Yes to above! I also wish we had chosen a puppy class run by an accredited behaviourist (APBC or IMDT) rather than just someone local and convenient. Also, with our second puppy, we were a lot more careful to actively not meet every dog we saw and to praise her for walking calmly past others as she has much nicer manners now. Also, agree perfect fit harnesses are awesome grin

harrypotterfan1604 Sat 20-Apr-19 07:38:33

I wish I’d crate trained my puppy, it’s so handy for them to be happy in a crate for many different reasons.
I also wish I had persevered with her sleeping downstairs at night but the crying got to me 😫

BiteyShark Sat 20-Apr-19 08:33:52

I wish I had realised that puppy blues was normal and didn't beat myself up about that.

I wish I had not gone to the 'socialisation' classes which meant my dog thought you could meet and sniff everydog.

I wish I had let him off the lead as soon as he was able to go out and not waited until around 4.5 months of age.

I wish I had not panicked about all the socialisation stuff everyone said you needed to do in such a small timeframe. It's a marathon not a sprint and honestly he was much more receptive as he got older.

I am glad I kept looking for training classes to finds ones that suited my dogs breed but I wish I had not bothered with the initial group ones and gone straight for 1-1 training.

I am glad I crate trained which meant he was used to them when he had to spend lots of times at the vets.

I wish I had insured for the highest life policy yearly amount as we are stuck with what we have got.

Booboostwo Sat 20-Apr-19 09:12:58

Just like parenting everyone has their own views.

- look now for a good puppy socialization class and a good beginner's training class. The trainer should use positive methods and you should definitely go watch a class before you sign up. For our socialization classes we accept puppies from the first vaccination because socialization is so important. They do get play time, but it is closely supervised so that timid puppies don't get overwhelmed, but we also do a lot of other things like handling, exposing to different things like umbrellas, hats, etc. exposing to different people like children, etc., some basics of training, e.g don't jump up, and advice with common problems like toileting. A beginner's training class starts a few weeks later once vaccination is complete and is more formal - usually there is no play time.

- socialization is crucial, especially until the socialization window closes at 16 weeks. Make a list of different things, experiences and people that your puppy should meet and start ticking them off. You can carry your puppy or pop it in a buggy until it has completed its vaccination.

- train from the first day. Get a fanny pack full of treats and reward all desirable behavior.

- use a crate, but take the time to train the dog to be happy in it. This takes 2-6 weeks depending on the puppy.

RiojaHaze Sat 20-Apr-19 09:15:31

Art from everything above, I wish I'd stopped people letting my dogs jump at them - we always tried to turn away when they jumped up and it's fine when they're small and cute...not so much when they're a bit bigger and muddy!

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Dontgiveamonkeys1350 Sat 20-Apr-19 10:23:19

Socialising. Please do it.

BorderlineExperimental Sat 20-Apr-19 11:59:22

Got them into a proper routine with nail maintenance and teeth brushing right from the start. I was far too timid about clipping nails and wasn’t proactive enough meaning they got too long and the dogs were as worried as I was. I resolved to sort it a few years ago and now everyone has lovely short nails and is is very keen for their weekly Dremel pedicure but it would have been so much easier (and more comfortable for them) if I’d have just done it that way right from day one.

One thing I’m regularly very glad I did do is making sure my pups are completely happy being handled and examined all over. It’s made so many situations (like post-op or injury related wound care, giving medication like eye or ear drops, coping with limbs being in casts, etc.) over the years so much easier than if they weren’t used to it.

Ditto crate training. I don’t use it much these days (though there’s always at least one they have access to) but when one of my dogs knackered his leg and needed to be as still as possible for a while it was a huge relief that he was comfortable in a crate so I could sleep/have a shower/nip out/etc. knowing he was safe and happy.

ALannisterInDebt Sat 20-Apr-19 12:06:10

I wish I'd take more photos and videos, he was a puppy one minute and we were getting to grips with being dog owners....and the next minute he's all grown up. I should've recorded more cuteness!

Addicted89 Sat 20-Apr-19 14:00:27

Hide any shoes that you don’t want chewed.
Crate train, we don’t use it much anymore but our pup still takes her self off to it to have a bit of peace.
Get them used to car journeys.
Play ‘vets’ with them, get them used to being touched and handled.
Expose them to as many new situations as possible, cafes, bikes, children, shops etc

The puppy blues are completely normal, I had major regrets with my pup when she was about 3 month and super hard work. Now I love her and wouldn’t be without her.

Girlintheframe Sat 20-Apr-19 17:54:06

I wish we had gotten him used to being left. He is 9 months and we are still struggling.
I wished we had kept a closer record of him growing. It seems like we’ve blinked and the puppy stage is almost over.

I’m really pleased we crate trained him to sleep overnight.
I also really glad that we started kennel club good citizen puppy training classes at 13 weeks and still religiously go, they have really helped.

Girlintheframe Sat 20-Apr-19 17:54:06

I wish we had gotten him used to being left. He is 9 months and we are still struggling.
I wished we had kept a closer record of him growing. It seems like we’ve blinked and the puppy stage is almost over.

I’m really pleased we crate trained him to sleep overnight.
I also really glad that we started kennel club good citizen puppy training classes at 13 weeks and still religiously go, they have really helped.

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Sat 20-Apr-19 19:03:50

Expose them to as many new situations as possible, cafes, bikes, children, shops etc

YY to this - and include things you doubt pup will see day to day but might come up. For instance, if you live in a rural area go to a town so the dog sees traffic, bikes, cafes and so on. If you live in a town go to a rural area so the pup sees livestock. You may have a car, but go on the train and bus and vice versa.

You never know where life will take you - DDog spent his early years in London where the only horses you'd see were the very occasional police horses. Now we live near a riding school and today gypsies had their horses in the park riding bareback which PestDog could only make worse and meant he had to go on the lead.

Teaching the dog that if you're scared of something the best thing to do is to walk away (ie call the dog away from the scary thing and reward). PestDog believes that the best response to scary things is to bark until it goes away. For instance, today he unexpectedly found a particular dog scary, stood 2m away and barked while the other dog looked bemused. As soon as it took a small step forward he screamed before I managed to get him to come back to me.

PestDog is scared of heights (most problematic when it's a surface with gaps eg between the planks on a pier) and MN tells me that this was yet another missed bit of socialisation.

Nettleskeins Sat 20-Apr-19 22:36:38

I wish I had thought about hazards in the garden, poisonous plants etc as pups eat everything at first, and we spent a lot of time out there with the toilet training! Ditto securing fencing etc.

white vinegar for washing areas which pup has peed/soiled, to eliminate smell

crate training. we used a fabric travel crate. he absolutely loves sleeping in there. I spent loads of time sitting next to him whilst he was in there though, it wasn't magic, but considerable investment of time.

suitable footwear for the bitey ankle phase, especially at breakfast. I had tall slip on fur boots, convenient for morning dew too...

find plenty of nice chewy shoes, and some lovely non squeaky soft dog toys.

Sleep on a cotton or woollen rug, mine hated polyester and overheated on it.

get them used to the sound of telly or the laptop in the background when in their crate.

Doggydoggydoggy Sun 21-Apr-19 11:28:40

The top things I would do with a new pup is teach a solid straightaway in the house and garden then outside never ever giving opportunity to pull and teach a solid place/settle in a designated area when guests arrive

IAmNotPatientOrPregnant Sun 21-Apr-19 11:32:42

Definitely crate train
Definitely leave puppy for a couple hours every couple of days, get him used to being left alone. Nothing worse than a dog with separation anxiety.
Puppy training classes. I've gree up with dogs that have been obedient without classes, but when I moved out and got my own puppy I knew I would meet them and couldn't do it alone

Walney Sun 21-Apr-19 16:14:49

I wish I'd left mine alone more, she gets separation anxiety and really barks. She is a basset hound so is very loud.

Booboostwo Sun 21-Apr-19 16:17:56

Separation anxiety is a really difficult problem and frustratingly difficult to solve but it is not caused by failing to leave the puppy alone. In fact, while the cause is not well understood and may be genetic, it does seem that leaving puppies alone exacerbates the issue. So don’t leave a puppy that is distressed and don’t beat yourself up if your dog has this problem.

Clappyhapper Sun 21-Apr-19 20:16:05

Thanks this is really helpful smile

OP’s posts: |
Cornishqween Sun 21-Apr-19 23:22:25

Always crate train. Having had both dogs we have crate trained, and ones we haven't, the behaviour difference was amazing. I no longer need to shut the door on the crate, I leave it open for my dog to come and go as she chooses but she prefers to be in there.

A complete god send wink

dangermouseisace Mon 22-Apr-19 16:03:38

Watch kikopups videos on YouTube to remind yourself about training.

She’s brilliant, and what she does works.

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