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puppylovefor3

New puppy arriving in 10 days - Would love advice on managing first night

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Hi, we are first time dog owners and looking forward to the arrival of our first puppy in about 10 days. This puppy has been over an year in the planning and in that time we've done LOTS of research, I have already joined a puppy preschool and even attended the first session (without puppy). All the crates, equipment, toys you name have been bought, play pens set up everything done. 

 

But having never owned a dog before I'm a bit nervous about how to manage the first night, so was hoping for some advice. I've looked at all the posts in the forum relating to this topic and read them carefully.

 

My plan is to have the crate near my bed, (I usually go to bed around 11...take it to the toilet before sleep time) then just respond when puppy stirs in the night? Or should I specifically take the puppy out every few hours? Puppy will be 8 weeks plus a few days when we get it. 

 

On the first day after it arrives (coming from interstate) we just do some gentle interaction with it (I've got 3 kids aged 9, 7 and 4) and let the puppy settle in? During the day keep it in the play pen downstairs in the family room with another crate attached to the pen but leave the crate door open so it can go in and out within the pen as it pleases? We're all usually around in the family room, kitchen most of the time. My plan is to take it out for toileting in the backyard every couple of hours during the day. I don't work so am home all the time except when I go to drop the kids off/pick them up at school, or run errands for a bit here and there.

 

My question is how do I get it to go into the crate at bedtime? Just plonk it in with a biscuit or something then lights out, close the crate door and then just soothe with my hands through the crate if it whines? what should I do if it starts playing up? 

 

I also have an intention of getting the puppy used to being on his own for periods of time during the day from the beginning while we may be in another part of the house, keep it busy with stuffed kongs, chew toys etc. So it can cope with being alone as well. After the first few days I also plan to take the puppy out with me wherever I go so it gets used to life outside (socialisation, sports games with the kids, school, shops etc) but carry it if its going to come in contact with areas where other dogs may have been till it's fully vaccinated.

 

Well, these are my intentions but having had no experience in actually doing these things I'm apprehensive! So would greatly appreciate any help or advice in the next few weeks :) Especially about what to do on the first day and night :confused: as it's drawing closer. We're excited as anything, but I'm also nervous about stuffing it up!  

 

 

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Good on you for taking the time to do your research. I know too many people who didn't! 

Sounds like you know what you're doing but just a couple things I noticed....

 

I've only ever had one puppy from 8 week (rest have been adults when we got them) but what we have done worked so well for us.

If I took our girl out any less than every hour in the first few weeks, she would be peeing and pooing everywhere. We found a strict schedule with toileting really helped. Every hour during the day. Every 2 hours during the night (super annoying I know). It wasn't long until we could extend the night time visits to 3-4 hours but kept the hourly visits during the day for quite a while (maybe around a month). Oh and no matter how recently she had gone, always toilet time after she'd been particularly excited (playing, visitor etc etc). The times we didn't follow these rules we created were the times we had accidents. 

 

Another thing, i wouldn't be soothing with pats for whining. That's rewarding the whining, therefore it will probably not stop, at least not as quickly as it could. Reward silence and calmness. In the beginning we would reward even 20 seconds of silence (with pats and attention). It didn't take long until we were able to extend this time, and within a few days she had stopped whining.  The first 2-3 nights were a nightmare. But well worth it now we have a dog who VERY rarely whines for any reason (I like this because it means that if she is whining, we can bet that it's actually for a good reason). :) May feel terrible (it did for me), but ignoring behaviour like whining, or jumping up on people is really what worked for us. Side note: same deal with barking, barking unnecessarily should never get her what she wants this will also result in a dog that only barks for good reasons, not just that she wants a toy or piece of food that she's not allowed. When you get in your PJs for the night, you can pop your shirt you were wearing that day in her bed, we found this really comforted our girl. 

 

Also, start training straight away. Whatever behaviour you hold important, teach it straight away and be consistent with it. If you want her to sit for her food, start that from the beginning. If you don't want her to beg at the dinner table, never feed her from the dinner table from the very beginning. 

 

Our girl is only 6 months and her good behaviour for the most part far exceeds most adult dogs we come across. Although the "teenager" phase is due to hit so I may be taking that back soon :laugh:

 

Most of all, don't be too hard on yourself, just keep consistent, stand your ground with any behaviours you want to teach and do training sessions daily and in ALL situations! :) I hope your new puppy brings you just as much joy as our girl has brought to us! Honestly getting this puppy has been the most rewarding and fun thing I've ever done. GOOD LUCK!

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karen15   

You'll find everyone has their own way. Listen to suggestions and try what works for you. My westie was in a crate beside the bed. If he was upset, I'd put my fingers in and stroke him. As it was winter, he had a hot water bottle in a soft turtle cover to keep him warm. Night time toilet was when I'd get up to go myself. As he got a few weeks older (nearly 10 weeks old when he came home) if he needed to go out he would growl and if it was an emergency, one single bark.

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Dogsfevr   

Pup will be exposed to a crate as that is what it will fly in .
Dont pander to your pup & most importantly don't overwhelm it on the first day or so & that does include the kids .Whilst everyone wants to touch,cuddle not all pups cope with this when they go to there new homes .Don't have visitors over for the first week we suggest to our new owners.Your priority is for this pup to trust you & your family .It has no clue who you are,where things in your home is & not all cope with the flight & come out bounding there other end ,some just need a little more time to get over the flight  ,Just take pup home (depending on what time it arrives ) & just start with 1 person outside with it giving encouragement ,if it looks happy bring one child out at a time BUT they musn't dive bomb ,squeal or act like an over excited idiot .I know its hard but the pups needs come first calm & quiet ,sit kid on a blanket * let pup feel the confidence from each person .Even if pup is uber excited just go with the calm approach .Keep in mind it will be hungry depending on how long the flight is as there lodged 9o mins or more prior & take up to 30 mins to offload .Let it toilet ,all be calm,give a small snake & make sure it has a drink 


Puppy schools personally not a fan unless its one that sets your pup up for good life skills.Most just do free for all playing & no life skills ,how to cope with self control & sit quietly ,focus skills etc etc .
If your puppy school teaches nothing of importance then don't bother .
Other factors can depend on the breed

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Tassie   

 Love the thinking and planning you've done already.    First day/night depends a bit on what time you pick pup up from the airport, and what time you get home.  But definitely, crate beside your bed is a great option.   I usually wait till pup is getting a bit sleepy, then out to toilet, back inside, straight to bed - you can start introducing the word bedtime, though it won't mean anything at first, and pop into crate, with some treats.  Cover crate at least partly, and then you head for bed.   I certainly do respond if my pup less, even now .. just stick my fingers through the crate .. it's quite sweet, she will suck on them for a little while I talk soothing talk., then she settles.    You'll likely need to take her out to toilet after a while .. but I'd wait till she lets you know ..  then she will learn that letting you know she needs to go will get a response.      Again, pop a light lead on her and be ready to tell her how wonderful she is when she toilets ... then back inside and calmly back to bed, with a treat again.      Setting up a nice routine.    My two gallop through the house and dive into their bed crates as soon as they hear "Bedtime".   My 9 year old boy's crate hasn't had a door on it for years .. but it's still his bedtime place.

 

Mine are on lead for toileting outside right from the start .. can save a lot of problems.   Otherwise they can get precious and decide they can't possibly toilet on lead.    That can be a pain if you travel a bit as I do.       My 14.5 month old BC is still on lead for toilet trips from dusk onwards, because of pademelons  in my place.  

 

Talk to your breeder about whether the pup can be crate apart from the litter for a night or two before she comes.  That can often be useful.   And also ask if either the breeder can send an old blanket or towel with the litter smell on it over with the pup, or whether you can send something over to be put in with them for a day or so, and then have it come back,.

I would be taking the pup, in a small crate maybe, with you on short car trips  -  so school drop off,  and similar things.    It's really good to   get them out and about and seeing the world they're going to be living in ... just not on the ground in places where a lot of unknown dogs have been, but in your arms is fine .. or in a carry pack.   I particularly like to take pups to say hi to the vet officer .. when the office isn't busy of course.    Sets them up for lovely experiences ... and it can sometimes make a really hard day for the staff much happier.  I actually also take youngsters in for a well puppy consult with my main vet within the first week ... again .. sets up a happy association between puppy and vet.        (With pup in car, just bear in mind the air bag weight rules apply to animals as well as kids.

 

 Puppy pre-schools can be fine, but make sure they don't have puppy free for alls which can frighten a small pup.  If you have friends or family with well trained friendly fully vaccinated dogs, puppy play dates can be great after the first few settling in days.   Just make sure that the interactions are monitored .. on lead is best if there's an age/size difference.    And quite while everything is still happy.

 

A lovely game for the family to play once pup has had a quiet day to settle in, is a round robin recall game.  Family sits in a circle.  each person a little bit apart.  Each one has treats.   One person starts .. holding the puppy gently .. says "Go see X" at which X starts calling puppy's name excitedly.   Person holding puppy releases, and X encourages pup to run to get the treats s/he has.    Then X holds puppy,  says "Go see Y"  ... and so it goes on.   Fun game .. everyone gets a turn, and really cement s puppy's understanding of name, and the idea of running to someone calling that name.

 

Oh .. and photos of puppy are obligatory!

Edited by Tassie

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karen15   

Like that last game Tassie. My staffy was very clever and would associate names with people without specific training to do so. I could send him off to find anyone, as long as he'd met them previously. He was such a super cool dog :)

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Such great advice! Thanks SO much everyone, it really helped calm my nerves down a bit! I like the idea of taking puppy to the toilet on a lead..our backyard would be way too big for a little puppy if it decides it wants to explore at night instead of pee. (especially with winter coming up!)

 

IN terms of the puppy preschool, I looked around carefully and I think (and hope!) I have made the right choice. There were so many around,  the one I chose only enforces positive training, and it's a very carefully monitored environment with only another 3 or 4 puppies in total. The instructor's emphasis is on teaching the puppy to settle after a play, and she specifically enforced bringing the puppy on a lead, along with a training mat and a kong or other chew toys. and told everyone that although the pups will be allowed to play with each other the primary focus of the first few lessons, is learning how to stop playing and settle on a mat with a chew, then learning the basic skills and reinforcing calm behaviour. So fingers xx it's a good experience for puppy.

 

I guess one other thing I was unsure about was during the day, should I put the puppy in the crate with the door closed at all for a rest, or just set it up in the playpen with the door open so that it can go in and rest if needed then come back out? I'm planning to set up the play pen in the family room, but am in two minds about that as well. There's always something going on in the background in the family room, kids playing, talking, cooking noises So would that be too much for the puppy to take in in the first few days? Or should I set up the play pen and crate in a section of corridor off the family room, which has doors that can be closed if need to give the puppy quite time. Don't know whether the puppy would be overwhelmed with the constant bustling around right in the middle of the family room or feel isolated if left in the corridor area (which is still very close by but not in the middle of the action),

 

The breeder has said that the puppy will come with some of the dry bed covering and a blanket that it's been used to. My biggest concern is how the little thing is going to cope with the flight :( poor little tyke might get quite scared. Has anyone used or had experience with Adaptil? I have read that can help a new puppy settle into its new environment. Wasn't sure whether it was needed or not.

 

The kids have all been instructed to leave the puppy severely alone for the first day and just let it settle in slowly. They seem to be understanding about that and have promised to obey!!

 

Picking it up from the airport...what should the strategy be? I go alone and pick it up to avoid overexcitement about meeting too many people at once, (but if that happens then I might need to keep it in a foldable crate or something in front with me as I'll be alone driving with the puppy). If everyone goes then I can at least hold the puppy in my lap while my husband drives perhaps..? Any thoughts or suggestions?

 

I really like the idea of that game Tassie, bet the kids will love that one!

 

Thanks again all, really appreciate the advice. Sorry about the newbie questions! 

 

p.s will definitely post pics of puppy :)

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Dogsfevr   

My dogs are frequent flyers and all my pups fly from the East .

Some pups come out bounding others more reserved .

I see new owners collecting there pup going hysterical,taking photos and they don’t see the fear in there pup during the process .

Nothing wrong with the whole family going as long as they understand the airport isn’t the crazy spot ,it’s loud ,busy and you just need to get pup safely into its crate .Its not a safe area and dogs can get lose very easy ,each airport is different ,some have a small fenced in area for collection others don’t 

 

Take a garbage bag,spare towel,wet ones or clothe wipes in case pup has messed itself .

 

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Tassie   

Newbie questions are awesome .. especially when someone has already done the research and preparation you have!!!

 

As far as the pen location for daytime goes .. that's probably trial and error.   Just see what you think would work best for the pup and the family.   Crate available in an x pen is probably the way to go .. and remember a small pup will need frequent toilet opportunities .. immediately after waking up, after playing (and watch for signs while playing), after eating ...

 

Airport pick up ... assuming Adelaide .. I think it's likely to be the airline freight area.   Probably easier if you can take a friend, or if everyone goes, as long as the children are capable of being nice and quiet .. that could be a game.   Like the just in case list that Dogsfevr suggests .. Take a lead and harness as well, and make sure that is on pup before pup gets out of the crate.  The freight guys are usually super helpful .. I've only met one who wasn't.           Check Flighttracker to see how your pup's flight is going .. especially if there are connections.   My current youngster was delayed by late arrival of a plane into Melbourne for her second leg.   Most pups seem to be totally unfazed by the experience ... I've flown 8 week old ones .. single leg, and my current two were 10 weeks ... one flew the redeye Perth to Melbourne then A 2 hour stopover, then and hour onward flight ... perfectly happy when he arrived.   The young one .. 3 hour car trip, then Adelaide/Melbourne, delay, Melb Hobart .. all day travelling ... one happy puppy on arrival .. dry crate, no problems.

 

I wouldn't put a crate in the front of the car .. airbags could be dangerous.

 

I love the sound of your breeder's preparations, and I really like the sound of your puppy preschool ... perfect!!!!

 

 

 

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Phew! that's good to know that you have had positive experiences with pups flying. I didn't even think of the gear that I might need to take as Dogsfevr suggested. Thanks for thinking about that :) 

 

So I'm assuming the crate they travel in on the plane you don't get to take them home in that? Do you have to return that to the airport or something? I'm sure my breeder will tell me more about which specific section of the airport I will need to go to...but yes it's Adelaide airport. When you say airline freight area that's on the ground somewhere with all the luggage, that area? 

 

I'll experiment with the play pen arrangement. For now think I'll leave it in the family room area, but if it's getting too much in there for the puppy I"ll move it to the corridor probably. In terms of signs for toileting - usually sniffing around, circling and starting to squat is that right? But I"ll probably just take it out every hour initially for the toilet,

 

In the first couple of days when I need to leave the house for school or the shops etc, I'm planning to leave the puppy in the pen with the crate door open (I've got a setup from vebopets with the crate and the hexagonal pen attached to it) but leave it indoors. Super annoying timing, but our fence joining the neighbours house came down just last week..grrrrr. They're rebuilding and had to redo the fence as advised by the council, and of course it had to come down last week!

 

Anyway the fence guy knows (I've been pestering him all week!) I'm on a tight schedule and that the back part of the fence which adjoins our house NEEDS to be up by this week. But knowing them just in case it rains or they don't finish in time, I would not be happy leaving the puppy outside even if it's in the pen. 

 

so back to my question, if I need to leave puppy alone in the pen when no one is home...should I use a pee pad in the  far corner of the pen? Or perhaps one of those grass cover indoor toilets? The breeder said the puppies have used pee pads before. 

 

It wouldn't be for very long but the puppy may need to use the toilet while I'm gone. 

 

So many questions...they just keep coming to my mind constantly! 

 

Thanks again for all your help :) 

 

 

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We've had a recent litter of 9 pups and 6 of them have been flown interstate - they all cope pretty well (I'm sure they cope better than I do - worried grandma, all the time!).

With the crate, you would normally have the option of a hire crate or outright purchase of the crate when the travel is organised - but it will depend on who is organising the transport and through which company.   If you want to purchase a crate to keep and your breeder is arranging the transport, then make sure that they know to organise transport with a purchase crate instead of a hire crate.

If you are going with the hire crate option, then you will remove your puppy and any toy/bedding that belongs to him from the crate and leave the crate at the freight location where you pickup the pup  - you won't take it with you at all :)

Location will depend on who is flying the pup - Virgin or Qantas - each will have their own freight depots at the airport where you will pickup the pup.  Once the flight lands, the pup will be unloaded with the rest of the cargo and then delivered over to the appropriate freight depot for collection by you :)

Yes, when your puppy is home along and in his pen, setup a toilet area in the pen for him - if he's used to pee pads, then I would (at least initially) stick to doing the same thing.  He might not always get it right to start with, but if he's already trained to pee pads, then you should find that he will mostly toilet in his little pee pad toilet area that you make for him :)

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Thanks for the detailed info on the crate Allerzeit! Helpful to know what to discuss with the breeder regarding crates.

 

Time is drawing closer, I will need to work out flight details etc with the breeder this week before the weekend I'm sure.

 

Thanks again :) 

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Dogsfevr   

The problem with buying the crate is the size is generally useless when an adult .

Some will charge you for the crate in the fee others hire ,depending on your breed will determine whether the crate is of any use,granted you can often sell them or if you have a cat can be used .

If it’s a small breed and travelling in a pp20 it’s hard to get the lead on .

Generally speaking it’s easier to just get the pup out if a small breed and carry or place into a washing basket or similar .if a bigger breed a lead allows you to have it secure ,just depends if it’s been lead trained 

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Tassie   

Your breeder will probably be organizing all the transport, since most freight companies give a breeder's discount - which makes it cheaper for you.   Just don't do what I did with my pup flying from WA .. I was so excited to get him, that I forgot to pick up and take the towel which the breeder had put in the crate with him.    Although it's a bit of a risk, I usually give the pup a chance to toilet before we leave the airport .. on lead of course.  (Bearing in mind my two most recent arrivals have had long travel times.)

 

Your breeder will no doubt give you feeding instructions, so maybe ask for those ahead of time, so that you have some of the food that the puppy is used to, already on hand.

 

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I was in contact with the breeder today. She suggested I organise the times to suit us on the weekend, and gave me names of a contact of the animal travel company that they've been using to transport the dogs for ages. So I will ring them tomorrow to work out the details on that and that should give me a chance to sort out issues such as crate hire, sizing etc. 

 

For what it's worth I bought a cheap $20 foldable soft crate from Kmart to just have on hand in case I need to deploy it. Should fit a puppy easily in the beginning at least, given once it settles down I'll eventually be carting it up and down from school and all the kids activities and so on. 

 

Regarding the food, I have already purchased the exact same food the puppies have been eating and have it all ready to go :)

 

I was actually thinking of what to do regarding the toilet break, once I pick it up before we head home. I don't think it's lead trained yet. I"m still planning to put a collar and lead on though as suggested just to be on the safe side.

 

 

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Thanks for the tip Dogsfevr :) 

 

Found out today the puppy will be coming in a crate that I actually get to keep. So that makes things a bit easier! Just pick it up in the crate itself and head straight home. 

 

Can I also ask - should I keep a bowl of water in the crate for the puppy at night? Like in one of those hanging food bowls I;ve see you can hang off the crate bars? Or would that make it need to go to the toilet more in the night...just wondering what everyone does with regards to water before bedtime, or at night for an 8 week old puppy. 

 

Thanks again!

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Tassie   

I don't have water in my dogs' crates overnight.  They have the chance to have a drink in the evening, and then seem fine to go all night .. no rushing to get water in the morning.  I do give them a reasonable size treat when they go to bed .. they like getting it, and I think it helps settle them.

 

That's good about the crate.   Makes pick up easy.

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Hey puppylove3, you have asked the perfects questions for our family too. We are hoping our puppy will be home in 17 days (visiting for the first time this weekend). There is so much information on the net it seems so overwhelming. This is our second dog but after many years. We have two kids 7 and 10 and plan on doing many things similarly to you (pen, crate, quiet kids etc etc). I guess the only thing I wanted to say was I think consistency is the key. And the question I had was which puppy school you found, as you described, I have not really been able to find one that isn't just puppies playing randomly (which is not ideal!). We are in SA (Adelaide). Also what type of puppy are you getting? We are getting a Miniature Schnauzer : )

 

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Thanks Tassie :) I think I'll try that as well. As BlackAsBandit, hello ! That's so exciting to hear, and thanks for your suggestion about consistency. That seems to be the key message. I"ll PM you about the puppy preschools I found and where they're located. We're getting a Portuguese water dog. Can't believe it's another day before she's here! 

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