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Basic Puppy Care 101

  • Owning a puppy is a big commitment for all family members, especially in the first few days and weeks.
  • Puppy potty training is not a race, the key is to prevent mistakes and establish good habits early - dogs are creatures of habit.
  • From your dogs point of view there is no right or wrong place to go to the toilet, they feel like going and just do it. It is our job to clearly communicate and reinforce where it is acceptable to eliminate and also where it is not acceptable.
  • Opening your back door every couple of hours to let your puppy out will not house train your puppy.
  • A puppy's natural instinct is to keep their bedding/sleeping area clean - the potty training method outlined below utilizes this knowledge to our advantage.
  • No matter how attentive and diligent you are in the house training process there is bound to be the odd slip up. Don't worry about it just ensure that you clean mistakes up thoroughly, including the use of an odor neutralizer to take away any lingering smell.
  • My puppy house training strategy involves close supervision and confinement to start with but only so we can allow our puppies greater freedom and much sooner.
  • Understand your puppy's capabilities and be realistic, keep in mind you are dealing with a very young animal. Young puppies can only hold on for so long before they need to go, they don't have much control early on. As a general rule a puppy can hold on an hour for every month of his/her age, plus another hour. This means that a 2 month old puppy can be expected to hold on for three hours and at 3 months old this same pup could be expected to hold on for four hours at a time.
  • Develop a food and water schedule. Each day feed at the same time (never close to bed time) and take away your dogs water bowl before you go to bed (don't forget to put it back first thing in the morning!). You'll develop a routine this way and "what goes in on schedule comes out on schedule", if you know what we mean...