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Thread summary:

Shelter: puppy, vet, animal control, dog food, crate-training.

Old 12-17-2008, 06:29 PM
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Hi - I just got a new puppy, about 3 mos old or so (we will go to the vet this week and hopefully he will help us determine the age). He was an unclaimed stray picked up by our town animal control.

I have a basic book on training, and understand the basics of establishing a pecking order, and training commands. I know he needs a regular schedule for feeding, elimination, play, and rest.

I am hoping that someone could point me to a resource (book or website) to help me understand the developmental stages of a puppy, and basic physical needs and scheduling for certain ages. What I am looking for is basic information on how many times per day the feedings should be, how many hours of sleep/how often they should nap in each day, etc...I know about the months of age plus one formula for the maximum time to hold urine.

My husband, who has previously owned dogs, thinks I am worrying too much, but I just want to make sure I am meeting his physical needs appropriately.

Thanks for any information you can give me.
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Old 12-17-2008, 11:02 PM
Location: Some place very cold
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You can probably feed a baby 3x a day.

He'll take naps as needed and sleep through the night.
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Old 12-17-2008, 11:10 PM
Location: Denver 'burbs
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I can't remember everything this book goes over. Lent it to someone who never returned it. But I really liked this book: The Perfect Puppy: How to Raise a Well-behaved Dog.
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Old 12-18-2008, 04:53 AM
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Congratulations! You sound like you will be a great Mom. Please send pictures when you can.

I agree about "The Perfect Puppy" - good beginner book. Are you planning on crate-training? There are a lot of helpful threads here about crating. I would definitely suggest it as it can be an essential part of house-training as well as general safety and comfort for many, many years.

Again - congratulations and don't forget to just enjoy your new friend!
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Old 12-18-2008, 05:54 AM
Location: United Kingdom
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Best schedule for play:

If the dog is not asleep and you have 5 spare minutes, do some basic commands, like, sit, stay etc. Do this randomly throughout the day, but keep the sessions short and exciting.

Fetch is also a good training aid as well as exercise, as it teaches the dog to listen to you and to surrender anything in it's mouth to you.

Take the dog out for elimination after every meal, and any time you take the dog out to eliminate, put the dog on a lead (leash), and walk to where you want the dog to go, and stand still. Be as boring as possible as you are outside to allow the dog to eliminate, not play. As soon as the dog has finished, praise it a lot and give it a special treat. You have to be quick to get the dog to associate treats with elimination.

Note: Dogs do rank their treats in the order they favour them, so use a really nice one for special events.

If the dog does go indoors, then just clean up the mess with very little fuss.
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Old 12-18-2008, 05:59 AM
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I absolutely LOVE, LOVE Pat Miller's book, 'The Power of Positive Dog Training.' Things have changed, most likely, since your husband last owned a dog - positive training, especially clicker training (which is discussed in the book) is absolutely wonderful. When I brought my puppy home, at the age of 14 weeks, using clicker training he was able to learn his name and to give me his paw on that SAME DAY!!!! Ms. Miller does go into socialization stages and development in puppies.

And positive training is FUN. You and your pup will love it: no 'pops' on the leash, no 'corrections,' it's all positive. No screaming, no pushing down the rump.

And DO enroll in a class - they're a LOT of fun. Make sure the trainer uses ONLY positive methods (none of the negative stuff, like leash pops and corrections and most DEFINITELY NO ALPHA ROLL) and you'll have lots of fun. Your pup will also get socialized. I also recommend puppy kindergarten!
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Old 12-18-2008, 06:12 AM
Location: California
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Congrats on the new furbaby! Both books mentioned above are good ones...until you can run out to get them...
Puppies will need to be fed 3x a day. As much as he can eat in 25=30 mins. and then pick it up.
He should then go out immeadiately! On a leash, and stay out with him(yes, even in your yard) until he produces...then praise the heck out of him and come right back in. Play time outdoors and doing his business, should be separate until he learns the difference of why he is outside.
Water should be available at all times. I usually pick it up after 7:00pm or so, just so it makes it easier for him to make it all the way thru the night without having to get you up.
Crate training is wonderful.... a safe haven for the pup, to sleep, to rest..to get away from the rest of the family for a few minutes. Pups usually will not mess where they sleep...Plus, it gives you time in the day(or night) to get 15 minutes to yourself! Never, ever make it a punishment.
As mentioned above, training can be fun and used in almost every aspect during the day...re sitting for his food before you place it down, use his name constantly...make it all positive. If he does have an accident on the floor, no yelling, no pushing his nose in it, no rolled up newspaper....clean it up and resolve yourself to getting him out quicker next time. He should be taken out every 20-30 minutes until you can gage how long he can hold it. Remember, he is a baby...you wouldn't expect a baby not to soil his diaper.
OK...I realize I'm rambling....brain working as fast as my fingers can type...You've got a good start! Good luck and feel free to ask any questions. I'm sure all the expierenced others will have things to add!
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Old 12-18-2008, 06:26 AM
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Here's my housetraining post. Follow this TO THE LETTER (and EVERYONE in the home needs to do this!) and you'll have a trained dog. Not right away, but in a while:

Housetraining your dog (puppy or adult!)

The first thing you need to do is to remember that you’re trying to reinforce a new behavior. That means that the rewards for this behavior must be WONDERFUL. NOT crap from the store. Wonderful treats are poached chicken breast/turkey breast, cheese and steak. And you don’t have to use big pieces. Tiny pieces (about 3mm cubes) are just fine! I poach a whole turkey breast every few weeks, cut it into hunks when it’s cool enough to handle, wrap them well and store them in the freezer. When I need some, I’ll thaw a hunk overnight and cut off pieces and dice finely, storing them in a plastic bag in the fridge. One hunk will last about five days. Cheese is also popular, so variety is fine.

I carry these plastic bags in my jacket pockets in the winter and in a fanny pack in warmer weather. You HAVE to have these with you, or this method won’t work, because you need to reward as soon as the dog finishes pooping or peeing. It’s not going to work if the rewards are in the house.

Remember that you’re trying to change a very ingrained behavior. Some dogs like to feel certain things under their feet when they eliminate, like fabric, or newspaper. This is called a ‘substrate preference.’ What you’re trying to do is change this substrate preference, and to do that you have to make the treats SO wonderful that the dog will change this very well-entrenched behavior. Thus the chicken, cheese, steak.

I love clicker training, but this can be done without clickers. You just need a way to ‘mark’ the behavior you want to reinforce. Use the word ‘YESSSSS!!!!’ very enthusiastically – that works for some.

You’re going to need to GO OUTSIDE WITH your dog and the dog needs to be on a leash. Yes, even in winter. If you don’t reward IMMEDIATELY after the event (when dog immediately finishes pooping or peeing) and wait inside, the dog is going to be reinforced for coming inside, not for doing its business. So, leash up your dog. STAND IN ONE PLACE. Be boring. Bring a book or magazine for yourself.

Eventually, the dog will do what you’re waiting for. The NANOSECOND that the dog is finished, HAVE A PARTY – lots of loud, high-pitched praise, treats and running around. You want to make this memorable for your dog! You’ll find that once the first event is achieved, the others will come more quickly. Keep on treating (you don’t have to throw a party except for milestones – a milestone = if he only pooped outside but now peed, too, or something equivalent to that) until he’s good and used to peeing/pooping outside. Before you know it, you have a trained dog.

Regarding accidents in the house: NO SCOLDING. Just clean them up. If you scold you’ll get the dog to think it’s bad to pee or poop and he’ll do it in places you won’t see. Until you step in it. Invest in a big bottle of Nature’s Miracle or Simple Solution and use it liberally on accidents.

With young puppies, remember they have little control of the muscle that holds the bladder closed. This is something they grow into. Just as it’s not expected that a human baby is toilet trained at six months, don’t expect much from a puppy. Patience, patience, patience!!!! The nervous system in a puppy has to mature, and it won’t have much control over the sphincter (closing muscle) at the neck of the bladder until six or seven months. The same goes for the anal sphincter. Until control is achieved, both of these muscles operate on reflex: there are stretch receptors in the bladder wall. When the bladder is full, it sends impulses to the spinal cord and these, in turn, send signals to the sphincter to open and the dog pees.

In the stomach wall, there are also stretch receptors. So when the dog eats and the stomach is stretched, the impulses again go to the spinal cord, but this time the reflex, outgoing, nerve signals are sent to the anal sphincter, so the dog defecates. This operates in people, too – which is why some people rush to the ‘reading room’ after a meal – especially breakfast.
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Old 12-22-2008, 07:01 AM
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Thanks everyone. I haven't been back because, well, we are training a new pup, in addition to having four kids 10 and under (who are also learning the training). Its nonstop around here.

He is indeed 3 mos old - he's a big boy - 30 lbs - so we weren't 100% sure but the vet confirmed.

We are doing lots of trips outside on the leash to his elimination spot and learning is taking place on both sides of the leash.

My mil is visiting, and has two 4y old dogs that went through a lot of positive obedience training so we are getting good, if way too frequent (LOL) tips from her as well.

I appreciate all of the replies. Thanks!
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Old 12-22-2008, 11:03 AM
Location: Living on 10 acres in Oklahoma
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Congratulations on the new furry baby! Way to go adopting a shelter baby too!!!!

I'm so with you on being prepared. It was with our first dog (I owed as an adult) that I read books, read websites, took in all the obedience classes I could, etc. I think being prepared and willing to learn makes you one of the elite pet owners! Please post some pictures soon!
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