Fostering puppies for the first time: any help/info appreciated! <3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-06-2010, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone - we get to foster two 8 week old puppies on the weekend, for the first time. I'm trying to read up stuff on the web around basic care, but for those of you who have BTDT I'd LOVE some basic information/tips/advice. They were rescued from a puppy mill.

Is there lots of crying at night? Do they pee/poop right after they eat/drink? Do they need to be left to sleep or need lots of interaction at this age? etc.

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Old 10-06-2010, 09:00 PM
 
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Wow! Sounds like you're in for some fun. I would definitely plan on crate training them. Puppies pee and/or poop a lot, so I would take them out as much as possible. Give them time out of the crate after they've gone potty. Interact with them at that time. Honestly, when we've had pups, we've taken them out every 15 minutes (sometimes more frequently) when they weren't crated. Definitely plan to take them out to potty after eating, drinking, active time, and crate time. I don't know whether to crate them together or in separate crates. I'm sure someone here will know the answer to that!

They probably will cry some at night. Definitely be prepared to take them out a couple times during the night! They will sleep a lot.

Good luck!
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:45 PM
 
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I am no puppy expert, but we did recently get a puppy, now 13 weeks old. Our puppy was not a puppy mill puppy however; he was raised in the breeders home with his 8 siblings. Crate training seems the obvious thing to do, but thinking aloud here, I wonder if it works for puppy mill puppies, who have been used to soiling their cages? I am thinking doing something along the lines of Ian Dunbar's puppy playroom would be better, so that they have room to roam a bit. I would also think your first priority along with house training would be to get them socialized.

This looks like a good article of raising a puppy from a puppy mill:

Rehabilitation of a Puppy Mill Dog

Good luck with your new charges.

t
 
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Old 10-06-2010, 10:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mirzam View Post
training seems the obvious thing to do, but thinking aloud here, I wonder if it works for puppy mill puppies, who have been used to soiling their cages?

Good point! I didn't even think of that. They may be young enough, that if they were in small enough crates it would work. The thing I don't like about Ian Dunbar's puppy playroom is that it makes it "okay" for the puppy to go potty inside. I know there is a special place designated for it, but it isn't something I'd want to do. I would feel like my dog would never be fully housetrained.
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Old 10-06-2010, 10:28 PM
 
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Good point! I didn't even think of that. They may be young enough, that if they were in small enough crates it would work. The thing I don't like about Ian Dunbar's puppy playroom is that it makes it "okay" for the puppy to go potty inside. I know there is a special place designated for it, but it isn't something I'd want to do. I would feel like my dog would never be fully housetrained.
I agree with you about the puppy playroom. It isn't something I would have done with our puppy, but he was very quick at house training. He also had the benefit of being with mama in a house and had is den cleaned up after him and his brothers and sisters. I doubt puppy mill puppies have the benefit of a mama that knows to clean up after her babies so they learn not to soil the "den". It was just a thought. Also I wonder if the puppies need to feel less confined to help with socialization/acclimatization to a home?

t
 
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Old 10-06-2010, 11:03 PM
 
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Also I wonder if the puppies need to feel less confined to help with socialization/acclimatization to a home?
I bet that's definitely an issue with puppy mill puppies and dogs. I'm guessing that the younger the pups get out, the less of an issue it is.
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:16 AM
 
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A modification of Dunbar's pen is often used to rehab puppymill adults - it does a reat job of encouraging a dog to potty in one space and not where they sleep.

OP, there was a pretty thorough thread on housetraining a while back - you might want to check that out.

You'll also want to make sure you keep the pups on a good schedule, if you're changing their food, do so slowly, and provide lots of interaction and playtime.

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Old 10-07-2010, 12:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all so very much! It's overwhelming in that I don't even know where to start (although I have lots of experience with animals/dogs/puppies, just not in a North American context - different standards in different countries). It's been fascinating reading up on the issues of dogs from puppy mills. So incredibly sad.

Because the puppies are at the SPCA, we will be given everything from their food to their toys to their crate. Not much thinking to be done there, other than the actual care and handling.

Thanks again..
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