|Gus' future collar|
This is what I wrote about Taz when she was a pup:
What I've learnt about puppies
Dog years and Puppy months - Training Taz
And here's a few things that we've learnt from Gus, who came to us at 7 weeks old, compared to Taz, who was already 12 weeks old when we got her:
The puppy box works, even though there was crying at first
Poor Gus did not like being in his box at first, but now he is used to it, he will hop in there anytime he needs a break. For the first few days we put Gus in his box anytime we were away and overnight. After that he made himself at home in Taz' bed overnight, so I left him there. The first morning that I had to leave for work, I had given them a bone each, but still Gus was crying so much that Taz just stood and barked at him! I had to leave them to it (sorry neighbours!). Fortunately things have improved, and although he may still whinge a little, I think he's pretty happy in there now.
Having an older dog around helps with puppy entertainment and discipline
Taz has been a great source of babysitting and they will play endlessly. If Gus can't get the toy he will leap of Taz and bite her neck. She then has to drop the toy to bite him back. So far its all been good fun, but I'm relying on her to teach him some doggy manners if he starts to bite too hard. Its better coming from her than from us. A friend also suggested that teaching him to play ball will help to focus his "prey drive" so he might leave the chickens alone (as Taz does).
Younger puppies can't hold their bladder as long
One of the books we have said that puppies can only hold their bladders for as many hours as they are weeks old (therefore at 7 weeks, he could hold it for 7 hours). For the first week, he wet his bed every day, and there were a few accidents on the veranda (he hasn't been coming inside at all). We didn't get mad, it wasn't his fault. We have a system now where we feed the dogs as soon as we get up. Then we have breakfast and take the dogs for a walk, in which time they will both relieve themselves. Then Gus goes in his box for the day. When we get home from work Gus has a "snack" of puppy biscuits and then I make sure that they both run around for a while so that he goes on the grass (and not the veranda!). This seems to be working and I think it will get better as he gets older.
Having a puppy is hard work. He's very cute, but I'm just waiting for him to start chewing and destroying things. Do you have any tips to share? Does anyone else have a BIG dog?