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Old 01-26-2011, 06:31 PM
 
Location: Up on the moon laughing down on you
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don't forget to keep wires from his reach. when my pup's teeth started coming in he chewed through 2 of my computer cords
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Stuck in NE GA right now
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There's also some very good books on training your puppy. I'd get with your puppy class trainer to find out what they recommend. Puppies take a lot of time and effort to turn them in to good dog citizens and since your children are so young it will be up to you. I'd also join the local breed club, they'll help you along with breed specific training issues.
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:49 PM
 
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Be prepared for your life to get a lot more hectic!

And, enjoy your dog's puppy days, because even though it will seem like forever while you're in the middle of them it really does go by very quickly and you'll look back fondly at them later on.
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:02 PM
 
Location: San Diego
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Oh yea, I know it can be overwhelming having a new puppy and trying to figure out all the right things to do. But, take lots and lots of pictures. If I can go back 2 years and take some more pictures of my Bulldog when he was a tiny, tiny puppy I so would! I have a ton of pics of him when he was older, but I was so preoccupied with making sure I'm doing everything right that I totally did not whip out the camera enough. The few tiny puppy pics I have are cherished and hanging on our walls! So yea, take lots and lots and lots of pictures, you will love looking back at that tiny bundle a year from now!
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:45 AM
 
Location: Mountains of middle TN
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Don't know if vaccs were covered, but DON'T take him out and put him down anyplace until at least ten days after his second set of vaccines. You want to make sure those vaccines have had time to prevent him from catching any diseases. A puppy with parvo is a heartbreaking thing.

Also, have you contacted vets if you don't have one yet? You'll want to talk to plenty and make sure you choose one that you're comfy with. Talk to them about spay / neuter of your puppy and the age they suggest. I hate juvi spay / neuter - the chances of complications are just too high. I shoot for six to nine months of age, usually closer to nine months for those smaller breeds.

And as horrible as it is to think of, start making plans for what happens to puppy if there is ever any life changing events - or life taking events - and puppy needs a new home. This is just like having a child so make sure you've got a good 20 year plan mapped out.
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:42 AM
 
Location: San Diego
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Check out this awesome article from the American Veterniary Society of Animal Behavior. Their position on puppy socialization states that it is far more important to socialize your puppy very early (first 3 months of life are crucial) than it is to wait for all vaccines to be done.

We were given this link by our breeder and followed it. Before he received all vaccines, we took him everywhere with us and carried him. Allowed all kinds of people to pet him (wasn't hard, they came from all directions!), and took him to puppy classes with other young dog.

What we have now is a very well-socialized dog that is good in all situations, good with people, can be off-leash anywhere and comes back when called 100% of the time. Our 2nd dog never received that training as a puppy (we got him at 11 months), and is a nightmare to train at this age (we keep trying different trainers) and can't be off-leash in public places or around people. I couldn't encourage you to socialize and train as early as possible. There is nothing more rewarding than having a dog that is great in public and listens to you, I'm very glad to have done it! Find a local puppy school and secure your spot now, it is by far the best thing we could have done.

http://www.avsabonline.org/avsabonline/images/stories/Position_Statements/puppy%20socialization.pdf (broken link)
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:46 PM
 
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We got a puppy for the family a few months ago and although the experience has been great overall and she is a part of the family it was very frustrating at times. One of the BEST things we did was enroll in a puppy class at the local PetSmart. For $100 we got 8 one hour sessions with a trainer and there were several other dogs in the class as well. The trainer went over everything and even got the kids involved with how best to help and train the puppy. The tips and tricks she gave us helped turn what was becoming a somewhat frustrating experience with housebreaking and other issues into an overall positive thing.

Do I think that the trainer told/did anything we couldn't on our own, no. However, having an "expert" to talk to really helped us out. Overall, it is a rather minor expense and is an investment in the dog. One thing we found is that it wasn't always about us training the dog as it was about the dog training us. By that, I mean a lot of what we were doing wrong was tied to us failing to pick up on the dogs signals.
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:09 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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First and foremost, establish a relationship with a veterinarian. If the breeder is in your area, he/she might be able to recommend a vet. You should make an appointment as soon as possible for the pup to go through a routine physical so that the vet can inform you of any possible health issues. Puppy will also need to be wormed regularly and, eventually, will need vaccs; you can discuss all of that with your vet.

As for training, I second all the recs from the above posters. Being patient is key. Puppies have very little control (they're very similar to babies and children) and getting angry at them really isn't fair nor very effectual.

Moreover, spend as much time as possible with the puppy. Just as with kids, you should plan on spending many nights in for the next few months. There's nothing worse than leaving a puppy alone; maybe in a few months but, for now, treat the dog as you would a small child: would you leave one of your children home alone before they were ready? Fortunately, you will have a small dog that you can take many places, and I suggest doing that as much as possible. If everyone in the home is gone during the day, I would suggest doggy day care or, if possible, taking pup to work with you (that's the best, most enviable situation but, obviously, not a possibility for everyone).

Furthermore, the time spent together will "educate" your puppy re: your likes and dislikes re: their behavior (and vice-versa!) Essentially, the more time you spend with your puppy, the stronger the bond and ease of understanding one another. I think that the one mistake people make in getting a dog--especially a puppy--is treating it more as an accessory than as a member of the family. Dogs are very pack oriented and suffer when left alone, at least until they are old enough to feel secure that you are coming back or know how to handle being by themselves, something which can be challenging for a young dog.

Also, I was reading that Bichon Frise's tend to be "one-person" dogs. Honestly, I know few dogs that aren't "one-person" dogs. However, this can be an issue if the entire family is expecting to be best friends with your pup. I have noticed that successful households/families with puppies--while showering the pup with love and attention--designate one person as the sort of "main caretaker," which can prevent confusion. Just as with kids, everyone needs to be on the same page re: training; if everyone in the household is trying to tell the dog what to do, pup will easily become confused and, then, unhappy. Training should always be simple and consistent, and that usually requires that it comes (mainly) from one person.

Best of luck to you, and please post pics as soon as you get a chance (:
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Old 02-01-2011, 06:55 PM
 
Location: 500 miles from home
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Wow; you got a lot of great advice. Congratulations on your new puppy!

I would add that 8 weeks is very young for a small dog to come home. If he weighs under 3-4 lbs, be sure that he eats and drinks regularly and does not get dehydrated. Consider having some Karo syrup on hand if he is tiny as hypoglycemia can be a concern for a young and small puppy.

At 8 weeks he is still a baby and will need lots of time to sleep and rest in between playtime.

You will have to take the place of his Mother and littermates so I echo all the socialization recommendations.

Enjoy and have so much fun.
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Old 02-05-2011, 08:02 AM
 
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As early as your pup is young, start to train him/her. At
this age, they are easy to learn and understand.

Better if you don't have skills to train pup bring his/her
to dog training courses.
Good luck to your new pup.
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