Scully at 8 weeks

Scully at 8 weeksPuppy Care

There are lots of websites with information on how to care for puppies. I am happy to share our experience but I think it is something that is a bit of trial and error and depends on your house, your family and your routines.

We used a crate to help with toilet training and also give Scully a “safe place” to sleep. Crate trained dogs are less stressed if they have to stay overnight at the vets or you need to contain them whilst travelling as crates are seen as safe places. We put a small plastic bed with a vet bed liner on one side and newspaper on the other covered it with a blanket and put it in the kitchen, which is in the centre of the house. The first night she cried all night, the second and third night, in the interests of neighbours, I slept (intermittently) on a sofa in the lounge adjacent to the kitchen so that every time she cried I could reassure her without getting up, each night got easier and by the fourth I was able to go to bed upstairs.IMG_0166

Determined to crack the toilet training I spent the her first two weeks taking her outside every 2 hours for a wee, slowly adding 15 minutes to the time in between. This meant getting up during the night until she was staying clean in her crate from 11 pm until 7 the next morning. During the day she would take herself into her crate if she was tired, but most of the time preferred to stay with us until bedtime.  She had a wee last thing before going in for the night with a couple of treats, having removed her water bowl.

IMG_0201When going out for a wee we didn’t play or engage with her other than to say the key words for have wee ‘be quick’ and give her loads of praise when she did. She learned quite quickly that this was different from play time. We used a baby gate on the stairs, she didn’t attempt to go up there, however if I was spending a few hours in my office which is upstairs, or going out, we would go for a “be quick” and then she would sleep happily in her crate for a 2/3 of hours. Puppies do need downtime. When letting her out of the crate, at anytime, we’d go straight outside to minimise accidents.

When working on the allotment I used a puppy pen , and still do, she eventually settles down but would rather be on my side of the fence.

We decided from the outset that Scully would not be permitted on the furniture, not only for our benefit, but for hers too. We have a reasonably busy social life and enjoy visiting with friends and family, not all of whom welcome dogs on their furniture. We now have a dog who is happy to stay with “four paws on the floor”, even happier if you get down there with her.

The first couple of weeks were really hard work but well worth it, the best advice I can give is stay calm, stay consistent and enjoy your puppy, they grow up very quickly.