Written by Miranda
*Disclaimer: I’m not a dog trainer or professional by any means, these are just some tips I’ve found that worked with my 10-week old puppy.*
Sleep and Crate Training
Encourage your pup to view their crate as a “den.” Make it comfortable, quiet, and safe. The first few days our puppy was not willing to sleep on her own but we used a snuggle puppy toy, a blanket over her crate to block out light, and treats when she stayed in the crate quietly. Our trick is to keep the puppy awake two hours before bedtime by playing with her, training her, and walking her. Sometimes giving a big treat or flavored bone to chew on will help keep them occupied and awake. After two hours of being awake our pup willingly goes into the crate and sleeps through the night. If your puppy cries in the crate, try to ignore it for 10-15 minutes (as long as all their needs are met). Saying “hush” or getting them out of the crate will encourage them to whine for attention in the future. Usually puppies will settle down after about 15 minutes of whining and fall asleep.
Chewing and Biting
I am fortunate that because of COVID, I’m able to work and study from home and can be with my dog during the entire day. Since she is either with me or in her crate, I usually don’t have to worry about her chewing cords or furniture. For the spots where she loves to bite, I have sour apple spray that is safe but tastes bad to deter chewing. As far as biting, I always try to redirect her biting me toward a chew toy. If she presents purposeful biting or aggression I either redirect it or give her a tap on the nose and a firm “no.” So far she is getting a little better about it, but don’t fret, most puppies will grow out of by six months.
I live in an apartment and I’m not on the ground floor, so instead of needing to take my puppy outside every hour, I use pee pads. I created a small, secluded part of my living room that she can access by herself whenever she needs to. During times where I can’t take her outside, like in the middle of the night, I place her there and let her pee. I always give her a treat after she uses it. I also make sure she doesn’t have accidents whenever possible by sticking to a regular walking schedule. I take her outside after sleeping and napping, before and after meals, and after playtime. Whenever puppies are sniffing the floor or walking around aimlessly, that’s a sign they probably need to use the bathroom. Generally puppies younger than three months need to go out at least every two hours. If you are taking them outside enough, they will have dramatically less accidents. So far house training has been a slow process but we’ve seen a lot of progress by giving her treats every time she uses the bathroom outside or on the puppy pads and making sure she gets enough chances to go outside.
These are the main things I’ve learned recently that have been helpful while navigating having a new puppy or dog. Happy training!