Bringing a new puppy home is an exciting yet tiring time, puppies really do require alot of attention, very much like a new baby in a family does.
Lacey, was just a little over 8 weeks old when we brought her home, the perfect age to bring a pup into your new home, but at this age they need toilet training, and teaching the house rules, they sleep lots, but when they are awake they like to chew, and will do so on most things.
Having had Jackson as a pup a few years ago we have been through the training stage before, but I didn't blog much when we first got Jackson, so I hope to make sure I keep a running blog of training Lacey, and the fun and mischief she gets upto, as its surprising how quickly you forget, I can't really remember how we went from a mischievous puppy boxer full of boundless energy to the mature boxer we have today, trusting him to be left home alone all day and know he won't put a thing out of place, or how we taught him to walk off his lead, or sit and stay or any of the other things Jackson seems to just naturally do. I hope to record life with Lacey so that its a record for us, but maybe be of help for others who want tips and tricks on puppy training.
So this is Week 1.
On the day we brought Lacey home we introduced her to Jackson, and she initially was not at all impressed with this huge dog she was greeted with in a new and strange environment, away from her mum and brothers and sisters. She whined when we put her on the floor and ran to hide behind the children away from Jackson, who thankfully just sat and watched her as she slowly built up enough courage to explore the room. Slowly she started creeping out and sniffing Jackson and within a hour or so she was confidently sniffing around the room, she had fully settled in and made herself part of the family within a couple of days, and now is best buddies with Jackson and they play together so well. I think training Lacey will be alot easier having Jackson to lead her by example.
Here's a video of the two of them, having a mad half hour (shame Lacey wakes up and wants to play around midnight tho!)
Vet check, worms and vaccinations
The first thing we wanted to do once we had Lacey at home, after the introductions to Jackson, was to get her registered and checked over by a vet, the people we brought her from were lovely but we didn't really have much background information about Lacey, so we took her along to the vets for her first vaccination and check up. Pups need two vaccination injections roughly 2 weeks apart, then a single booster once a year after that. Our local vets run a puppy pack style system where you can have all your flea and worm treatment for a year, the full course of vaccinations and a microchip for £55 this is a great price and means you have everything covered for your new pet.
One thing that initially bothered us was that Lacey had a slightly bloated tummy, and was otherwise quite slim, her previous owner had told us she had wormed the pups, but you never know if to trust the information they give you, or what style wormer they have used, quite often breeders will use shop brought wormers instead of the stronger variety you get directly from a vet, so the breeder may believe they have wormed the pups but there still might be worms there,so it was something we mentioned to the vet, who said a bloated tummy in puppies can be a sign of worms, or also due to the fact they simply have ate too much in one go, the vet gave us some strong worming tablets to be on the safe side and other than that said Lacey was in good shape.
|First Day home, you can see her slightly bloated tummy|
A couple of days after the worming tablet, Lacey passed some worms in her poop. Her poo was then abit runny for a few days, which the vet said was normal after worming, but she was eating well, otherwise lively and happy, the bloated tummy disappeared and she is gaining weight much better now and is due her second vaccination next week, when we will also get her micro chipped.
The worms in Laceys Poo were long, white, abit like beansprouts or noodles, which we were told are Roundworms, it is quite common for dogs to get worms, especially dogs such as springer spaniels who love to run around in the bushes and fields amongst wildlife, and pups will pick up worms from their mum if she has them. However by keeping ontop of your worming treatment your dog should stay healthy and worm free. Here's a great resource for identifying worms if you think your puppy has them. : 5 ways to identify worms
Worms may sound horrible and look even worse, but as long as you treat them your pet will be fine, and good hygiene keeps everyone else in the family safe, thankfully we were sent some Zoflora Disinfectant to review the other week, perfect timing and this has been well used, it smells really strong which is great for eliminating odours, the lavender scent really did last much longer than other disinfectant I have used, when diluted correctly it is safe to use on areas where you pet resides, and you can even use it on their plastic bowls and toys, just rinse with water after you have cleaned them, killing 99.9% of bacteria it is just what you need when you have a new pup to house train!
Obviously the main thing we have been focusing on in the time since bringing the puppy home, is toilet training, so our week has been spent training her to go outside to do her business, when we first got Lacey it was so cold and snowy and so for the first few days no one wanted to stand outside for too long, which meant things didn't initially go that well, as its hard to get the pup to understand what you want them to do, until they have done their business outside and you have rewarded them.
Thankfully the snow has gone and so for the past few days we have just about masted the toilet training, we did this by simply standing outside with Lacey until she had done her business and then rewarding her with fuss and bringing her inside, Keeping to a routine and putting her outside straight after she woke up and after she ate or drank or had been playing for any duration, if she did her business inside where we didn't want, we would quickly place her outside with a firm 'no' This has worked really well, and she now goes to the back door unprompted when she needs the toilet.
Not bad at all in only a week!
We have a small crate, which my mum gave us to transport Lacey home in, but we have never used a crate for Jackson or our old dog Dennis, so we didn't want Lacey to use a crate either, I am a believer in teaching the dog to do as you expect rather than just crating them so they can't do something wrong, so other than coming home in the car we have not used the crate, however for some families it is simple a must have item.
Puppies naturally like to be close to people and whine and cry if you leave them alone,after all they have spent their whole live so far with their mum, so it is scary for them to not only be in a new place, but to also be left alone in a bed is often why they will cry and chew and scratch, we haven't yet left Lacey alone in the house, but she happily sleeps in her bed when someone is here with her, when we're downstairs she likes to lie behind the sofa, or under the coffee table so that is where we have placed her bed, she is also good in the car and comes with us when we go out, at night tie she comes to our room and is happy to sleep in her bed on the floor, (or on our bed!) Jackson did the same for the first year or so but now he chooses to sleep under Chloes bed, because he is too big to share with us!
If however you are getting a puppy and don't want them upstairs then it is best not to start this habit as it would be a tough one to break once they are no longer a cute little puppy but a fully grown dog!
Start as you mean to go on, and leave your puppy where you know it is safe, with nothing too valuable in reach that your puppy can chew and give your puppy lots of cuddly toys and maybe a hotwater bottle to snuggle up with, this will remind them of their mum and hopefully lessen the whining. teach the to go into their bed when you are in the same room and hopefully they will then be happier when you are not in the same room.
Lacey has been pretty good with regards to chewing and has only chewed one thing she shouldn't so far (Jakes xbox headset!) Mainly she entertains herself with Jackson, who thankfully doesn't seem to mind!