Join Date: Nov 2017
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My advice is just based on hindsight, not expertise. I wish I would have done a puppy class earlier, but we had some scheduling issues. I completely agree about the handling!
I was also a little hesitant about things he was afraid of, like baths, because it was my first puppy. While I don’t suggest completely ignoring fears (I personally don’t believe every acknowledgment of fear is reinforcing, I think it’s more complicated than that) I waited longer between baths at first because they made him nervous, and then when we started doing baths more often he was great. I didn’t realize I was sort of avoiding things that might make him anxious, but when they’re little is the best time.
Also, however you want it to be later, start it now. Where you want him to sleep, if you’re crate training, etc.
You might want to read about indoor potty training if you live in an area with snow or harsh winters. There are a lot of threads about it here on the forum. I have to admit, I’d never heard of it and thought it sounded a little strange at first, but it’s a completely underutilized skill that is so easy for a small breed puppy to learn but nearly impossible for an adult dog to learn, so you can’t change your mind later. You don’t have to use smelly pee pads or anything to indoor potty train, either, there are all kinds of enclosed systems that basically look like a boot tray with a grated and you can fill them with the material you prefer. Dogs and puppies who use indoor potty training do not have any problem at all going outside, it’s just more convenient in the winter, early morning, and when they’re left home alone.
Schedule as many doggy play dates with friends with healthy dogs and have as many friends over as you can. It’s a great excuse to spend the next few weeks catching up with friends and family before the socialization window begins to close.
Last edited by EvaE1izabeth; 04-13-2019 at 01:31 PM.