Puppy Care

By the time your puppy goes home with you, she will be weaned and used to eating regular puppy kibble. Your puppy will come with a small bag of the kibble she has been eating.

We recommend not restricting your puppyʻs food intake while she is young and rapidly growing. The only exception to this will be if you choose to take the positive-training approach of giving all her food as treats in the course of training. This is a great approach if you are at home all the time and plan to train all day long. It will keep your puppy from getting full on treats and ignoring her kibble. It is not going to work if you are away from home for longer periods of time.

Ideally you will be able to take a couple of weeks off when you first take your puppy home. This will give you an excellent head-start on potty training. If this is not possible, there should at least be someone available to check in on your young puppy at least every few hours for a potty break. Slowly as your puppy gains better bladder control, you will be able to space the visits out.

If alone-time will be short (2 hours or less) leave your puppy in a crate that is big enough for her to stand up and turn around in, but not much larger than that. A puppy will naturally try to hold her bladder when in her “den.” When you come home, immediately take her outside and she will naturally relieve herself. Act like she just did the most amazing thing and give her treats every time she goes outside.

If alone-time has to be longer than that initially, it would be a good idea to keep her confined to an area in the kitchen or bathroom with her crate, food, water, and a puppy training pad. She will already be used to a pad, and fairly reliable in using it when you take her home. Still, when you are at home during the day take her outside every couple of hours and stay until she relieves herself. Celebrate and give her treats when she does.

At night, we strongly recommend keeping puppy in her crate in your bedroom. She might cry at first, but know she is safe and ok in there, and knows you are nearby. Usually, she will settle down after a little while if you leave her be. If she has been quiet and starts crying a few hours later, she might need to relieve herself. Take her outside until she does, and then put right back into her crate until you are ready to get up in the morning.

If crate-training is not going well – refer to a positive dog training book. You donʻt want her to develop fear of her crate. While in our home, we will have already started positive crate training.