First let us say, we STRONGLY urge crate training! It provides security for the puppy (they are den animals) and safety from household things that could harm the puppy. In addition, it protects your stuff from damage and keeps the puppy out of trouble. These babies want to please you, they respond well to praise. In the beginning, if you receive them around 8 weeks, let them out to potty every couple of hours to reinforce that they potty outside. The general rule of thumb is that for every month of age, a puppy can “hold it” one hour. Praise them when they “go.” Use the same word to encourage them each time you take them to go. I use “potty.” They soon learn what they are supposed to do when they hear the word. If you are busy and can not keep an eye on them, crate them. In a few months the training will be complete and your puppy will know what is off limits and where to go potty! We prefer wire crates so the puppy can see his surrounds and will feel included while protected.
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Pets want to know what to expect — it makes them feel secure. Yours will be happiest if they are fed at the same time every day, sleep in the same spot at night, and can count on you to always come home at a certain time. They’ll get by if the routine occasionally changes, but keeping their day predictable keeps them predictable, and happy. Below is an approximate schedule they are on when they are with us, you should adjust your puppy to YOUR schedule. If you are an early riser, the puppy should be as well, if you are a night owl, your puppy should be too. That way you can rest knowing the puppy’s needs are taken care of. Below is a Sample Schedule.
Sample Morning Schedule
|6:30 AM||Let puppy out first thing to potty. Tell them to “go potty” and praise them when they do. Bring them in to eat.|
|6:40 AM||Feed puppy and offer water|
|7:00 AM||Take puppy outside tell them “go potty. Praise them when they go. Offer water when the puppy is going outside. For the younger puppies, if possible, let them out again in an hour or so after eating.|
|9:00 AM||Follow the rule of “holding it” one hour for every month of age. Let a 2 month old out every 2 hours if possible. Offer water every time they go out.|
Sample Evening Schedule
|5:30 PM||Feed puppy and offer water|
|5:45-6:00 PM||Take puppy outside and tell them “go potty.”|
|8:00 PM||PottyTime again, but don’t offer water.|
|10:00 PM||Potty right before going to bed, no water.|
We recommend you do not free feed a puppy while potty training. If you control the food and water intake you can control when the puppy eliminates. Before you know it, your puppy will be telling you when they need to go outside.
Puppy Growth Stages
Click the picture below for the stages of development your puppy will go through. This is very insightful information for the first year of puppyhood.
Click here for potty training tips.
Treats, Food and Toys
Recommended toys and treats:
- Kongs (puppy size)
- Balls (various sizes)
- Fetch Toys
- Chew Bones
- Crunchy Biscuits
- Plain, unsweetened yogurt and/or cans of pure pumpkin (not pie mix); couple of tablespoons will help with loose or too firm stools
- Water and food bowls
Things to avoid:
- No laser pointers! They can be dangerous to the dogs’ eyes and some dogs can also develop an obsession of chasing lights and shadows.
- Don’t over play with balls to avoid an obsession. Select balls that do not have the fuzz.
Things that are generally a waste of time and/or money:
- Dog beds may be treated like a giant chew toy for many puppies.
Rally the Family
Discussing the “rules of the house” with all family members should be done prior to bringing home the puppy. Make sure that everyone is consistent with the training and procedures. The following is a list of things to consider:
- Determine where will the puppy sleep
- Decide who, when and where the puppy will be fed
- Identify where the puppy’s “potty spot” will be
- Establish where the puppy will stay during the day
- Determine the “off limits” area of the house for the puppy
- Select who will provide the formal training
- Have a clear understanding on how to correct the puppy
- Work with the children NOW about proper handling and play
- Get to know things that are toxic to dogs such as plants like sago palms and oleander bushes and foods such as onions, chocolate, grapes and raisins
- Get in the habit of picking up clothes, shoes, toys or valuable items
Tidbit: Primary items a dog will chew up are socks, shoes (especially flip-flops) and underwear.
Prepare the House
- If you have a fence – walk it and check to make sure that it does not have any gaps or holes where a puppy could crawl under.
- Secure all doors and gates.
- Identify your puppy’s potty spot and the door you will use to take the puppy out to potty.
- Decorative rocks can be dangerous, don’t allow a puppy to play with them.
- Have a bucket or water container for your puppy to get a drink. Refresh water often.
- Make sure that cars do not have antifreeze leaking.
- Check garage for toxic products and move out of harms way.
- Clear the yard of any hazardous plants.
Good Hint: Yew bushes and sago palms are toxic! Many dogs will not chew them when older because they taste awful (which is why we rarely hear about them being toxic), but to a puppy the desire to play is much greater.
- Move litter box and cat food to an area off limits to the puppy
- Make power cords inaccessible
- Block off stairs and rooms the puppy shouldn’t have free access to
- Secure all cleaning products away from the puppy
- Remove area rugs (will become a potty spot target)
- Remove decorative pillows (may be mistaken for a toy)
Good Hint: Get a laundry hamper for toys. It has a lid and airflow holes, which permits the air to travel around the toys and avoids musty smells.
If you decide to get some professional training, may we make a suggestion? We’ve heard some great things about Sit-Means-Sit dog training. Look for one in your area. Kindly tell them that Labradoodles of Logan Ranch sent you.