So we're about to take the plunge (I think, we have to decide tonight!) on a little puppy. He's almost 8 weeks old and is a chihuahua and american eskimo mix. About 3 lbs, and he comes from a great rescue. We've been home visited and approved and met him tonight and are making our final decisions/preparations!
I liked the way the rescue director had him set up. She uses a puppy play pen covered in potty pads to keep him contained when needed and a small carrier/crate at night. They she starts to make the area with potty pads smaller until he knows just to go on one. We would not be able to bring him outside to walk train for a little while since we live in nyc and he's so tiny and we need to wait a but until he can tolerate the bacteria out there, so we'll be doing the potty pads inside for the time being. I'm wondering if using a used pack and play for the puppy play pen is equal to using the wooden play yard she did, or is it better to have him on the floor? I feel like the pack and play might be too soft and he wouldn't be getting good exercise.
I'm a cat person and my partner is the dog person so you can see my ignorance clearly here.
She said he wakes up once a night to use the bathroom now. He sleeps in the carrier and yelps to be let out once a night and pees and going back in. He's on wet food, I'd probably eventually wean him to raw food like my cats are (when I'm being good and on top of things).
Advice? What do feeding schedules look like, bathroom schedules, introduction to cats and toddler, etc. Luckily, we're able to be home a lot and can be consistent and he won't be left alone for longer than short trips in the neighborhood. When he's out of the play yard and we're playing with him do we keep a potty pad out so he sees he can go there if need be? I'm a little confused at all the basics, we'll be getting a trainer to come in and set us up but I'm betting that won't be until after the holidays.
And please no "it sounds like you're not ready for a puppy" posts. I can handle having another baby at this point, and I'm a quick learner and hard worker.
My only advise would be to clarify how long this "night" thing means to the rescue worker. You may be thinking of six hours of sleep, then potty break, then six more hours and she may mean "we put him to bed at midnight, he needs to potty three hours later and then we all wake up at six".
You can do it, but I could see getting frustrated if you were not on the same page about just how long he sleeps per stretch at night.
Regarding introducing cats to new pets, I have always followed the separate for a few days or weeks and introduce very slowly through scents, sight through gates and really give your cats the space they need to get used to the "intruder" so that they don't start peeing everywhere :-) Don't know what you are doing now, or what your space issue are like but that is the best way to go, IMO. There is tons of info. on the internet about this.
About toddlers and small dogs/ puppies--WAY HARD. Baby will be too rough, puppy will start to chase and nip and will even draw blood if you are not RIGHT THERE and in direct control with your full attention on both baby and dog. Having puppy trail a leash will help with this. Good luck, and good for you for recognizing how hard this will be and still wanting to do it! :-)
Hope that helps :-)
My first thought when I saw the breed mix......puppy classes.
IME both breeds are ones I dislike working with....because so often they are super babied and not well trained....Big breed dogs I trust more than little chihuahua mixes and Am Eskimo mixes.
That said.....get into a good puppy class. Get a great vet and ask lots of questions....at our hospital our vaccine protocol is 8w, 12w, 16wks...then annual (rabies every 3) checkups. Spay/neuter at 6ish months.
I would recommend "My Smart Puppy." It is a great book-very positive leaning but also practical.
Are you planning on only using puppy pads? Or do you want him to learn to go outside? If so, I would start working on that immediately.
And yes if you have a toddler they will need to be kept separate unless you are actively supervising-puppies and toddlers really don't mix well.
He's home! After my partner convinced me that we shouldn't do it, and I cried all day, and he was lying to me all along and brought him home tonight to surprise me. :-)
We're going to have a trainer come to the house to teach us how to help him and our son have positive interactions. He's been going on the wee wee pads all night easily. We will be bringing him out to walk, but not yet our vet says he's too young and could get sick from being on nyc streets, so he'll be wee wee pad trained for awhile an then we'll start that transition.
During the day we're keeping them separated unless we're on top of them, but I'd love advice on teaching him to be gentle with my son. We redirect him to chew his toy every time he mouths us and that seems to be working. But I'm still scared to let him too close to my son!
I'm trying to work on keeping my son from feeling jealous too. He is so excited about him, but seems nervous about me giving him attention. So I'm trying to fill up his cup with Mommy love.
Oh he's such a sweet baby! Though he has already picked a favorite and it's my partner, he's obsessed with him!
Congratulations on your new puppy! It will be challenging for a while, but things will get better. I think it is wonderful that you are getting in a trainer. Have you looked at Ian Dunbar's website Dog Star Daily? It is loaded with information and he has a free ebook on puppies well worth downloading Before You Get Your Puppy and tons of information in his Textbook Training section. He has sound techniques for bite inhibition which worked extremely well for our puppy, now 20 weeks old.