Comments and questions after first week home *long*

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Boxer Buddy
So I survived my first week with the new puppy. And it turns out I did my math wrong (and I'm a math major :LOL:) and I got him at *9* weeks, he just turned 10 weeks yesterday. Just want to take the time to brag on my smart little guy and reflect on how I'm doing so far... this is my first dog!

The second day we (boyfriend and I) both had to go to school at the same time, and I was going to be gone for more than three hours so we had to hastily set up a long term confinement space. Unfortunately we hadn't gotten a baby gate yet. So we set him up at the entryway of the door and blocked the rest of the apartment off with his crate open and turned sideways--it's a two door crate. Gave him some water and a puppy pad and some chew toys. I was a nervous WRECK at school and ended up going home early. When I get home, Bowser comes up wagging his tail...on the OTHER side of the confinement area. Coy and I still can't figure out how he did that because he couldn't even get on the couch, which is MUCH lower than the top of his crate. So we decided after that a baby gate will probably not work! We'll have to figure something else for the long term confinement days (Tuesdays & Thursdays). :LOL:

We went from thinking we'd use puppy pads by the door (because it's so cold! although really "only" between 25-35 with windchill making it colder -- everytime we took him outside he would just shiver up a storm), but that didn't work because he was more interested in eating/playing with the pads (I had NEVER considered that could happen) or he would want to play with us because we'd sit there for so long waiting for him to potty. We thought maybe he associated the area with playing and didn't want to potty there, cause as soon as we relented and let him explore the hallway a bit, he'd squat and go. We also had no idea about his schedule, as well as he was coming off free feeding.

But now we are taking him outside and he's having a blast. Doesn't mind the snow and now he knows everytime he goes potty he gets a yummy treat (and he looks at me expectantly for it too!). We've also seen him pawing at/going to the door a couple times, so it looks like he's well on the way to being a good potty trained boy!

Crate training is going over OK. He doesn't seem to like his crate very much but we are trying to be stern with it. However sometimes he'll just fall asleep on my lap, the floor, or the couch (it didn't take him long to learn how to JUMP to get onto it) and he looks so sweet. I feel bad taking him to his crate so yesterday I just let him sleep where he was. I would really like to sleep with him on the couch, too, (his crate is out there) but I'm worried that he won't wake me up to let me know he's got to potty and that he'll just get up and potty wherever. Has anyone else had a good experience with letting their puppy sleep with them and the puppy letting you know he's got to go?

As for training, he's doing REALLY good with sit. Boyfriend's trying to teach him shake, and I am going over sit/stay during our treat sessions. I don't think I even had to teach him stay, he already knew it or something, because he stays really well! Then I tried to teach him "come" and would encourage him to come get the treat after staying...which only seemed to confuse him. Maybe he thought it was a trick, cause he stayed where he was! What a smart boy!

Lastly, a touch on the nipping at the heels and when he gets REALLY excited and barks/wants to play rough. We don't want to encourage this because although he's learning to have a soft mouth when he's calm, when he's excited his bites HURT and saying "OW!!" only excites him more. However we're split with how to deal with this- I would prefer to say "No bite!" or "No rough!" and then take his leash and tether him somewhere and leave him alone for five minutes. Before I was just turning my back on him, and although that would stop the nipping after a few seconds, he would get bored and go do something else. My thinking, which I've read here or other places, is it says, "Do that and we don't play anymore." However, the other way we've been dealing with it is to restrain him around the shoulders so he can't jump around and tell him to sit til he does. I don't think this will work because he just gets back up again and I think it redirects this behavior rather than letting him know it's wrong. What happens if we aren't there to "redirect"? So, what do y'all think?

Thanks :)


Super Boxer

Sounds like you have had a busy week! Congratulations on your first puppy.. I think at 10 or 11 weeks if you do allow the puppy to sleep with you I would expect an accident when you wake up.
As for the biting thing it is of course as I am sure you know very common for puppies they are exploring what the reaction will be so by ignoring it and saying something like No, Gentle or No bite and stop playing with the puppy this teaches the puppy that it is not fun to bite and I have always had good responses. I also have small children so I can not allow biting and even my children have learned that they can not hit the dog or scream and cry when a puppy is doing that they need to be firm and say "no" The puppies get very bored. Luckily they tend to grow out of this stage rather quickly if you are consistant with your behavior.
Good luck...


Boxer Pal
Crate Training

We crate trained Sookie late, and I was worried she would hate it, but she loves it actually! What I did was got her to associate the word "crate" with a treat. It really only took 5-10 minutes to do, and was just like training her for "sit". The whole time we were next to the crate. After she figured out that she'd get a treat every time she touched my hand when I said "crate" I moved the behavior to her touching the crate with her nose. Once she'd picked up on that, I lead her into the crate with a treat, said "crate" and gave her one. She picked that up really quickly, and figured out to go inside would get her a treat. Your baby is still young, but I bet if you work with him, he'll figure it out quickly. Now she loves her crate, and will even go fall asleep in it when she's exhausted when we're home. Another good tip? Use old, clean bathmats and blankets with your scent on them for bedding. Much easier to clean up if they have an accident! Good luck, and congrats on a sweet baby!


Boxer Insane
Bayleigh was crate trained. She stayed in her crate when we were gone but slept in our room with us at night. She has a nice comfy bed on the floor beside our bed. As a pup, we would tether her to the leg of the bed to prevent her from wandering around while we slept. She took to that right away! And the sound of her tags clicking together would always wake me up. She didn't have a single accident at night. Now Bayleigh is 5 years old and is no longer crated when we leave. Her crate is still set up in a quiet corner and when things get too loud and crazy in the house, she will retreat to her crate for a nap. She still sleeps on her bed on the floor at night but has always snuck into our bed around 2am...under the blankets with her head on my pillow, of course!

Good luck with your pup! Patience and consistency.
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