Your Pet and Me Professional Pet Sitting Service
  Puppy's Pen
Cushioned Crate, Washable Bed, Water Bowl and lots of newspaper.
Congratulations!  You just brought home your new puppy.

I can't tell you how much pleasure it is to add a puppy to the family.  If you have had dogs in the family before you know what I'm talking about.  If you haven't, get ready for one of the greatest experiences of your life. 

You will sit there watching some of the silly and awkward things that he will do.  You will see him learning to go up and down steps and then falling with a quizzical look on his face wondering what just happened.  You will have a warm cuddly bundle of fur laying in your lap feeling as safe and content as anything you can imagine.  Am I prejudiced?  Absolutely!

But, let's get down to reality.

A new puppy is a lot of work, however, if you start out doing it correctly, you will be rewarded a thousandfold and tremendously reduce the frustrating part of raising your new addition to the family.  He is going to do just about everything that you don't want him to do, so be prepared and you can't get angry at him.  He just doesn't know the rules of the house, and that's where you come in.

Make your preparations.

Before you actually bring your puppy home, do your homework and puppy proof the house.  Set aside an area that will act as a mini home and play pen for him.  As you can see in this picture, we have a gated area that contains a crate large enough for him to grow into (get a crate that he will be able to stand up in when he is grown).  Put an old bath towel, or something similar, in the crate so that he is not laying on a cold hard surface.  The reason for the "old towel" is because he will probably have accidents and you won't have to panic that he has ruined your new bath towel.

In an opposite corner of the pen lay enough newspapers on the floor so that they will absorb urine when he does have an accident.  Give him a bowl, with a little water and next to his crate place an inexpensive and easily washable doggy bed.  The reason I say inexpensive and washable, is because he will have accidents here too, and may possibly chew it up.

Get enough different types of toys to keep him occupied.  You will be experimenting here until you find out what the most durable type of toys are for him.  He may destroy some plushy toys, so you may need to use something stronger. 

Definitely get some chew toys.  Preferably, something like Nylabones as opposed to rawhides (rawhides should be used under supervision in case a piece gets caught in his throat).  Kong type toys, that can be stuffed with treats, are also a must.  These will help keep him occupied so that he doesn't get too bored and start chewing up his bed, or wanting to jump out of his pen.  (See more on Chewing in Part 2)

Leave the "Crate Door" open.

The crate in the pen or confined area is going to act as your puppy's den.  That will be his home within the home and is where he will sleep and go in and out of at will.  But, he doesn't know that yet.  You don't want to create the illusion that the crate is like a jail and that's where he goes for punishment.  Leave the crate door open whether he is in or out of it.  You could also put a towel or cover over the top creating the illusion of privacy.  He must consider that as his own private property. 

For him to learn that, anytime you are going to give him a toy, a treat, or a stuffed toy put it in the crate and let him go in to get it.  Initially, it's not a bad idea to put a treat, or kibble in the crate and close the door, with him outside, of course.  He will try to get into the crate to get at the food.  What you are creating is a desire for him to "want" to go in so that you are not, in essence, forcing him to go in.  

Take him out every hour.

Your little puppy, is an experienced "Pee & Poop Factory."  He will pee & poop all over the place.  Don't get angry, it's only natural, he can't help it and so far, nobody taught him the rules of the house.

The best thing that you can do, if you work, is to take at least days off and devote those days to your puppy.  Take him out every hour to hour and a half.  If you do this now,  believe me, you will, shorten the time for housebreaking, save yourself a lot of anguish about his peeing and pooping all over the house, as well as saving your carpets and furniture from pee stains.

Using the above schedule, put his leash on and walk him outside.  Go to a specific area and stand there while he sniffs around and does his business.  Give him about three to five minutes and don't take him for a walk beyond that particular area unless he eliminates.  When he does, make a big deal out of it, "Gooood Boooy" or Gooood Giiirl", pet him, play with him, etc., then take him for a walk.  If he doesn't do anything, you don't do anything.  Take him right back in.

By following this schedule for a few days, you will teach him that outside is where you go to pee and poop.   You will find that gradually, he won't do anything every hour and at that point you can extend the length of time between potty trips.  This doesn't mean that he won't have accidents.  Just like a human child, he has to learn how to control his bladder and that takes time.

Hopefully, by the time you go back to work, he will be better able to control himself, but more than likely, he will have accidents.  It is a good idea to have someone come in to take him out, in order to maintain some sort of schedule.
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