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First puppy first few days(4 Posts)
Leony pup is joining us in a couple of weeks. Puppy will be 8 weeks old and we will crate her.
I have read the units on FB. It's all fine in theory but what did your reality with a brand new pup look like? How are the first couple of weeks likely to play out?
What did your puppy do during the first few days (and nights) at their new home?
Should the crate be in the bedroom or downstairs where we have my office with a sleeping sofa
where dh can sleep for a week or 2? Also, I hear it's best to get puppy used to the crate first but what if puppy joins us in the afternoon, there isn't going to be lots of time to get her trained before bedtime?
How did you pick up your puppy, did you go as a family or did one person pick him/her up? What do I need to consider for the car journey (3 hours)?
Tia for your thoughts!
Here's how it went for me:
Car journey home was about 2.5 hours. I took my mum and she had a few old towels and a little tupperware tub of treats. She cuddled Battendog when we first got into the car (while I drove) and made coo-ey soothing noises. He cried like a nashee for about 5-10 mins and then fell fast asleep at which point she gently slipped him down into the footwell with the towels. He woke up halfway home and she distracted him with the tub of treats (not eating them, just playing with the tub) until he fell asleep again about 10 mins later. Slept until home.
Crate: I used one at night and didn't get battendog used to it but popped it next to my bed. The first night I popped him in there and then sat outside the crate with my arm in through the slightly open door. I sat there for about 20 mins saying "hush now, settle down" in a gentle voice. Once he was sleepy I slowly moved into bed, shutting the crate door by dangling my arm nearby. When he woke in the night I took him outside for a wee (no fuss or attention) and then repeated the crate routine again. Each time/night therein it was quicker and quicker before he settled and fell asleep. After a few nights he was fine going in his crate without soothing. At that point I started to inch it away from my bed (an inch per night) until it was the other side of the room. He never liked going in during the day and it wasn't that important to me so I never forced it. He always went in willingly at night.
First few days: basically one endless round of feeding, toileting, checking he wasn't getting into trouble, watching him, cuddling him, playing, vet checks, taking him out in a sling to get him used to the world etc.
How will the puppy travel in the car? I would have at least 2 people in the car, 1 driving and 1 able to concentrate on the puppy if she needs reassurance etc.
We picked up the puppy as a family, he traveled in the foot well of the front passenger seat so I could give him reassurance but he just slept! We were only 20 mins from home though.
You'll need to think about pee and poo stops for the puppy, safe places where she can go to the toilet on the way home. Have supplies in the car for accidents. We had puppy pads in the foot well, plastic bags for soiled pads, spare pads, baby wipes etc.
You also want to think about offering the puppy water when you do pee/poo stops, so you'll need a bottle of water and a bowl.
I'd left a blanket with the breeder that was left in the puppy crate so it smelt of mum/siblings when we took it home but the breeder also gave us a toy that the puppies had been playing with.
When you do get home, let the puppy explore if she wants to. Don't crowd her or make her sit on peoples laps if she doesnt want to.
My pup took himself off under the kitchen table and went to sleep for a couple of hours.
You'll get to know your puppys signals but make sure you take them out whenever they wake up. You might need to stay outside for a while with them. If you leave a door to outside open, make sure it is propped open so it can't close on the puppy in wind etc. But bear in mind that just because the door is open, the puppy will still need to be taken out to learn where to go to the toilet.
The other thing, the first few weeks are tough. My puppy only wanted to sleep on my lap (dont fall into this trap!!) and if left for 30 seconds got into mischief. I think DP would have sent him back for the first 2 months if he could.
Dont let them do anything that you won't want them to do when they are older, it might be cute as a puppy but just annoying when they are older.
Remember it gets easier. The more hard work you put in when they are little, the better behaved they'll be when they are older.
Oh, and always supervise the kids with the puppy.
We have a car seat but it looks like dh will have to go by himself. How can he make the relatively long car journey work? Car seat will go on passenger seat.
I might try crating downstairs and see how that goes.
Thank you for your insights blue and miss.