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Thread: Getting a puppy for the first time: Help!

  1. #1
    Elite Member cherrypye's Avatar
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    Default Getting a puppy for the first time: Help!

    We're picking up our puppy in 4 weeks and there is so much to consider. You guys seem to really love animals and certainly will have some good advice.

    My husband and I recently moved to Texas from California and bought a house with a huge backyard. I'm no longer working, so this gives me the time needed to train and care for a little puppy for the first time in my adult life! I'm so excited, and also freaked out about making the right choices for her.

    So a little bit about our new friend: She's a Siberian Husky. When I bring her home, she'll be 8 weeks old. She'll be staying in the house while she's a youngin', but the ultimate goal is to let her have free roam of the backyard (which is huge) and let her come in and out via a doggie door. There's certain training like snake avoidance training (WTF) that has to be done before we can let her outdoors alone.

    I plan on crating her during the evening hours and to help potty-train her. The idea of it really upsets me, but I've heard from many husky owners that it really is necessary, so I'm prepared to spend a few nights laying on the tiled floor next to her crate to combat the loneliness while she adjusts. Has anyone crate-trained before, and if so, any best tips that worked well for you?

    I'm also looking for recommendations for a good, natural, non-filler based food.

    Any advice will help so much. I'm reading books and online articles like crazy, but there's nothing like advice from real animal lovers.

    Sorry, can't figure out how to insert a pic. Argh.

  2. #2
    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
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    Raising a puppy is like raising a baby..everyone is going to give you a ton of advice and think their way is the best, so be prepared for that

    As for my two cents, I find crating is great for any time they are going to be left alone. They aren't able to get in trouble or get hurt. A puppy will do both. It's true, most dogs like (if not love) their crate. Provided you don't leave them in there constantly. We put a washable bed in there and a safe toy. Give them the chance to go to the bathroom immediately before and after you crate them. I also put the crate in the room where we would be the most. We ended up choosing the bedroom. It helps because it makes them feel like part of the pack.

    As for the food, there are a couple that I like a lot. Merrick and Natural Balance. Both are really good and my dogs loves them. I also have used Halo. The woman that makes Halo wrote a book on cooking for your dog. I do that on occasion and mix it with the kibble. I did it for months after the dog food scare a couple years ago.

    The best advice is just to love her and spend a lot of time with her. Make her feel like part of the family and she'll be a great dog. Congrats and enjoy her.

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    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    We got a puppy for the first time in November 2010. Never knew that raising a puppy would be harder than raising kids!
    Anyway, crate training is a great help in potty training your dog, and also to give them a safe "retreat" when they're tired or in case you have visitors and the little one gets too many impressions at one time.
    Most important rule: be consistent.
    Food: we give "real meat burgers", they're like miniature hamburgers made up of real meat. It's good to regulate their stool. Also dry food (kibble, although she isn't too fond of that ).

    Enjoy your puppy!
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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Dogs love crates. That is their safety zone. Mine nap in theirs sometime.
    This took 5 trys with my poodle as a puppy. I put him on the leash & would say "Go get in your house", walk him to the crate & put him in, wait a minute then say "Good boy! Out". That is all it took. Just be sure you get a big crate! She will grow into it.
    Socialize a lot. As soon as the vet says she can, start taking her to the pet store,etc.
    This will be so much fun!
    I live in Texas but we have never had a snake problem.
    Oh! Get her micochipped!!
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    Re: crate size: yeah, get a crate big enough for your dog at its adult size, but fill it up when it is still a puppy. If you don't do that, it may pee and poo inside the crate. When you make it just big enough for the size it is at that particular time, it regards it as its nest and dogs only soil their nest when they are unwell, otherwise they will keep it clean.
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    Elite Member cherrypye's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice! Regarding the crate size, I saw one yesterday that has a little divider, so I can partition part of it while she's a puppy and increase the size by moving the partition back as she grows, so that seems perfect. My ultimate goal is to have her crate downstairs, but while she's a puppy, I wanted her crate close to me, ie in our bedroom. That's a bad idea, isn't it, moving her crate from one location to another?

    Regarding her food, I've heard great things about both of those foods, Krisnine. Thanks, I look more into both of them. The occasional puppy burger sounds like a good addition.

    Anyone have opinions on wet food? I'm reading it's not very good for their teeth.

    Regarding socialization - That's one thing that really worried me, since it's only my husband and I in this state. The breeder suggested training classes to expose Cali to lots of different people and other puppies, so I think that's what will do.

    Thanks for the advice regarding getting her chipped. I'll look into that!

    We live in a newly developed area outside of Austin, and our neighbors have already warned us about snakes about. One reason why I still haven't walked the entire backyard. Yuck.

    Thanks for the advice. It's much appreciated. I bought another book on the breed yesterday, but it gives general rules and not very much specific real-world advice.

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    fgg
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    congratulations!

    i want a puppy so bad! i don't have a yard and i work a lot of hours (not that it seems like it based on my GR usage...) so i've been putting it off. i want a puppy to love so maybe i need to just suck it up!

    the smell of wet dog food makes me want to barf, really.
    can't post pics because my computer's broken and i'm stupid

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    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    Our girl at 6 weeks at the breeder (left) and now at 10 months.
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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    ^^^^
    sooo cute!
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    Elite Member cherrypye's Avatar
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    Thanks FGG! There are lots of breeds that would fit in with your lifestyle, or even an older dog maybe. I'm gonna be stuck at home for a couple months with this little one for a while, although I'm a homebody and sorta looking forward to it. PS - I love the smell of wet dog food -- and fish food!!! Totally weird, huh?

    HWBL - absolutely gorgeous!!! She has such a sweet little face!

    Once I figure out how to post a pic, I'll post one of Cali.

  11. #11
    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post
    ^^^^
    sooo cute!
    Quote Originally Posted by cherrypye View Post
    Thanks FGG! There are lots of breeds that would fit in with your lifestyle, or even an older dog maybe. I'm gonna be stuck at home for a couple months with this little one for a while, although I'm a homebody and sorta looking forward to it. PS - I love the smell of wet dog food -- and fish food!!! Totally weird, huh?

    HWBL - absolutely gorgeous!!! She has such a sweet little face!

    Once I figure out how to post a pic, I'll post one of Cali.
    Thank you. She's part Diva and part Muppet (a cross between Fozzie Bear and Animal)
    To post a pic, upload it to an account like Photobucket. Then when you post it here, click on the yellow, square icon at the top of the message and insert the URL to your pic on your photobucket account. Can't wait to see the little one!
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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    HWBL-what a sweetiekins! Let me guess. Is her name Annette or did you go with Warrenita?

    Cherrypye- put the crate in your bedroom at least while she is little. I don't crate mine at night, but my big poodle has his own posh bed in our room. He spends half the night in that ,then moves to his crate. My little one sleeps right on our bed.

    We are forgetting to mention chew toys! Lots. And if you are leaving any shoes on the floor, stop now! They tend to love the taste, especially if they are expensive.

    Yes, classes, but dog parks and pet stores,too. Get her out and around all kinds of people.

    Have you considered putting edging at the bottom of your fence? That might cut down the number of snakes gettin in. We had to do that for rabbits. I loved the bunnies, but the dogs would go wild over the scent and run roughshod over the flowers.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McJag View Post
    HWBL-what a sweetiekins! Let me guess. Is her name Annette or did you go with Warrenita?

    Cherrypye- put the crate in your bedroom at least while she is little. I don't crate mine at night, but my big poodle has his own posh bed in our room. He spends half the night in that ,then moves to his crate. My little one sleeps right on our bed.

    We are forgetting to mention chew toys! Lots. And if you are leaving any shoes on the floor, stop now! They tend to love the taste, especially if they are expensive.

    Yes, classes, but dog parks and pet stores,too. Get her out and around all kinds of people.

    Have you considered putting edging at the bottom of your fence? That might cut down the number of snakes gettin in. We had to do that for rabbits. I loved the bunnies, but the dogs would go wild over the scent and run roughshod over the flowers.
    Her name is Bailey and she has no interest in our shoes or anything we leave on the floor, after we tell her to leave it the hell alone!
    She isn't allowed on the furniture or beds, although she tries from time to time. She's a dog, not a human being, period. She "helps" with our routines, though: first we have dinner, then she helps getting the beds ready for the night, water the plants, close the blinds etc. She knows the order of the rooms, lol. If one of us forgets to water the plants, she'll deliberately stare at the watering can "Ain't ya forgetting something?"
    When all chores are done, it's her turn to eat after which she usually takes a nap: in her crate!
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    Elite Member cherrypye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McJag View Post
    HWBL-what a sweetiekins! Let me guess. Is her name Annette or did you go with Warrenita?

    Cherrypye- put the crate in your bedroom at least while she is little. I don't crate mine at night, but my big poodle has his own posh bed in our room. He spends half the night in that ,then moves to his crate. My little one sleeps right on our bed.

    We are forgetting to mention chew toys! Lots. And if you are leaving any shoes on the floor, stop now! They tend to love the taste, especially if they are expensive.

    Yes, classes, but dog parks and pet stores,too. Get her out and around all kinds of people.

    Have you considered putting edging at the bottom of your fence? That might cut down the number of snakes gettin in. We had to do that for rabbits. I loved the bunnies, but the dogs would go wild over the scent and run roughshod over the flowers.
    Thanks so much for the recommendations. My hubby and I agreed her crate will be in our room until she's a little bigger. I don't want her to feel too lonely and my back can't really take a night on a tiled floor, LOL.

    Great idea about the grating. We have a serious problem with bunnies in our backyard, and this can serve two purposes. Our home was a foreclosure and empty for some time and the animals (bunnies, birds...please God, not snakes) took over the back yard, in addition to the family of robins that built a nest above our front door. My husband calls our house the animal kingdom and he ain't lying!

    I bought Cali a Kong chew toy and kong frisbee. I'm trying to find other toys that are safe and fun for her to play with. Our breeder also recommended a plastic kiddie pool for her to cool off in, which seems like fun for both of us.

    I'm so excited to bring her home, but I know my new-found relaxin' days are over. Here's hoping the heat lets up so we can have some fun outdoors without melting.

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    Elite Member cherrypye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HWBL View Post
    She isn't allowed on the furniture or beds, although she tries from time to time. She's a dog, not a human being, period.
    That's how I feel too, but I think it's gonna be hard for me to stick to it. We were chatting about it last night, and hubby reminded me that it's not fair to let her in our bed when we want her there and refuse to let her in at other times. It's all about consistency, I guess.

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