First Couple of Weeks at Forever Home
So you make your selection, everything worked out and you are taking puppy home!
This is just the beginning of your wonderful years together: full of joy and hard work! And you probably will need some tips how to raise a little creature. 🙂
The first few days are difficult for the pup because it is the first time they are away from their mom and their other siblings. It is very frequent for the puppy to cry out or whine throughout the night. This behavior will stop, and better you are prepared for it-sooner it will stop.
Your new baby will need a nice safe place to sleep where it is warm and dry. It is essential to let them sleep with a cloth or a soft toy that has the mother’s or other littler mate’s scent on it. This should help to calm the puppy and allow them to sleep better.
When the puppy cries- do not run and rescue him or her. Usually, when they have a toy from the breeder’s house, that usually does not happen. I have given new puppy owners blankets or toys and then they have been reporting to crying incidents later.
If you give in and run and rescue your whining puppy -this will reinforce the behavior . First, you ignore the behavior, but in case, the baby continues to whine for extended period of time, then you have to do something, because letting them cry to hard and too long can potentially lead to hernia, especially bulldogs. It happens extremely rare, when the abdominal muscles are weak, but it does happen. So if you feel that your puppy has a screaming fit, and fit lasts for a long time-then you firmly say “Stop” . Just be firm and in charge! Usually after couple of firm “stops” this behavior really stops!
Puppies are curious, and have a tendency to want to explore everything. Be sure hazardous items like marbles, wires, rocks, chemicals, household cleansers and any type of harmful plants are far out of the puppy’s way. In California, there are quite a few poisonous plants. And over the years, I had two people who lost their dogs due to eating them, and these plants can be right in your backyard. I had a couple, who lost their dog, and they had a tree right in the backyard, and they did not know about it. Took the dog 10 minutes to eat it, and they rushed her to the hospital, was too late. The plant acted fast and the dog has passed away. So the best solution- start teaching your puppy not to pick up anything from the ground!
Scolding your pup should be just like scolding a child. However, when you tell him NO, you should show him the correct behavior. For example, if he is chewing up something which is not supposed to be chewed- take it away and replace it with one of his toys. Praise him for chewing the toy or the chew. Reprimands should be sharp and short. Hitting or spanking may create more problems down the road. The pup can become fearful or it can go another way is to become aggressive. Always reward for proper behaviors. Treats make a great reinforcer. Food does magic. Small pieces of cheese or hot dog work like a charm.
Feed him a dry food which is recommended by the breeder, but also do your own research about it. Make sure you pay attention to ingredients list and what is in your food. that is a whole separate discussion.
Feed the puppy three times a day. Usually after fifteen minutes, the pup will have eaten all they want, so you can remove the dish. As they grow, at about 16-17 weeks of age, switch to twice a day feeding. I feed my adults twice a day and it works really well, because they do not go 24 hours with no food. I am really against once a day feeding, I think it is too reckless and just not right.
All of these should help your new pup get through those first most difficult weeks away from his family. The bond forming between you will last forever. And nothing can change that….