New Puppy: Week One
Her name is Meeko and even though she is a lot of work, we love her so much! This last week has had A LOT of learning, so I wanted to compile what I have learned to help when YOU get a new puppy! We got Meeko at 12 Weeks old, we are not sure what breed she is because she is a rescue but we did get a DNA test so we will find out in a few weeks. She was sick with parvovirus when she arrived in MN from KY, she had to be fed out of a syringe for a couple weeks to help her heal and get better! As a result of being a rescue and with being sick, she has a lot of separation anxiety and needs to have Jonah or me in sight at all times.. this is the biggest issue that we have and we are still working on that. BUT we have made tons of progress over week one by sticking to some of these training tips & tricks.
I watched a lot of YouTube videos on puppy training... like a lot. One of my favorite tips I found in the videos was to train your pup with a "high currency" treat like real chicken instead of normal treats. I tried normal treats and she was catching on decently well, but when we switch to little chicken pieces she was able to get tricks down pat in like 10 minutes AND be able to recall the trick hours later. They LOVE the real meat and that helps them pay attention more and learn more. This guy's video are cheesy... but they are loaded with great info! You can watch them here.
Get a puppy pen and a crate. They need to have a space to call their own and a place where they feel safe to sleep soundly. The puppy pen has been my favorite purchase for her because I work from home so it would be absolutely impossible for me to get up every 30 seconds to stop her from chewing something! The one that we got was from Amazon and it was very affordable.
For potty training, try to forgo puppy pads. Every article and every video I watched said to ditch them unless you had a really unique situation like being on the 10th floor of an apartment building. Puppy pads are very confusing for them because then they think it is OK to go potty inside, which is the opposite of the goal. Reward the heck out of them when they go potty outside, we reward Meeko with a treat and verbal praise every time she goes potty outside. If they go potty inside, don't acknowledge them and DO NOT punish them. Dogs think you are punishing them for going potty itself, which could lead to issues down the road. They will make the connection that going outside leads to treats and going inside leads to no treats!
Stick to a routine, especially when they are getting comfortable. Consistency is key to creating good behaviors. Obviously, I am not the expert and I am taking wisdom from the people that are the expert :)