What is First Night?
First night is the time when your puppies are completely dependent on you. They don’t have their own territory yet but they will soon start doing so. You need to take care of them right from the beginning or else it could lead to problems later on.
The first day of life for a puppy starts out very promisingly as they get used to their surroundings and you start getting comfortable with them too. However, it doesn’t last long before things go wrong.
You see a dog that looks like yours walking around outside, but you don’t know if its one of your dogs or not. Your puppy is very friendly towards other dogs, but you’re still worried about him being aggressive towards humans.
You want to make sure he’s safe and happy during the first few days of his life!
How To Bring Home A New Puppy At 8 Weeks Old?
It takes some effort to bring home a puppy at 8 weeks old. But, it’s worth every minute spent since it’ll definitely make your life easier in the future. Here are some tips:
Get A Crate For Your Puppy Right Away! (At Least Until You Get Used To It!)
A crate is essential for any dog. It functions as a “den” or a safe place for them to hide whenever they want to.
It’ll take some effort but you should get your puppy used to getting inside the crate as soon as possible. This is especially true for a new puppy since they’re still dependent on you for everything.
Start by placing the crate in a busy, well-lit area of your home. Right now, it should be just large enough for your puppy to stand up and turn around in.
You want your puppy to feel like it has plenty of room even if it really doesn’t.
Just put some toys and treats inside the crate to begin with. Don’t seal the door shut yet.
Let your puppy explore the new space. If they start to go inside, praise them and give them a treat through the bars. Keep this up until they start to go inside on their own accord. At that point, you can put the door on a latch so it stays open. They should be comfortable going inside and out at this point.
After they’re used to going in and out of the crate, you can start to seal the door closed but only when you’re around to supervise. You want to make sure they don’t get stuck inside and panic.
If they do start to get stressed out, just open the door right away. Don’t use a lock at this point.
At this point, your puppy should be going inside the crate on their own accord and not just when you put treats inside. Once that happens, you can start shutting the door every now and then to see how they react.
If they start to whine or bark, don’t let them out until they calm down. You want them to learn that when they go inside the crate, good things happen but if they bark or whine nothing will happen.
Finally, once they’re calm when inside the crate you can give them longer periods of time in there. Don’t just open the door as soon as they start to whine or bark; this teaches them that their behavior was successful and they need to keep doing it in order to get your attention.
Instead, wait until they calm down before you let them out. If they start up again, just ignore them. Do this until they stop whining or barking and then let them out.
At this point, your puppy should be going into the crate on their own accord without you needing to do anything. They shouldn’t be able to just push open the door yet because you’ve been keeping it on a latch which only opens towards you.
You can remove the latch now and just keep the door shut most of the time. Now they can go inside and relax anytime they want but can’t get out. Each time you let them out, just praise them and give them a treat when they come back out. This will reinforce the behavior of going into the crate when they want to relax or sleep.
Remember To Reinforce The Crate As A Good Place!
Once your puppy is used to the crate, you need to start reinforcing the idea that it’s a good place rather than something that causes them stress.
You can do this by feeding them in their crate or giving them a treat when they go inside on their own accord. It’s also a good idea to spend time near the crate so they start seeing it as a good place and something they prefer over other parts of the house.
If you do this consistently, your puppy should happily go into their crate whenever you tell them to without any fuss or moping around. The next step is training them to stay inside it.
Teaching Your Dog To Stay In The Crate
Now that your dog is comfortable both entering and staying inside their crate, you need to teach them to stay inside it even when the door is open. This is a very important step in house training because if they can exit the crate at will, they’ll be more likely to potty in it as well.
There are several ways to do this. The first one is the most common and that’s keeping them confined to a single room, usually the one you’re in, while you’re watching them.
As mentioned before, set up the crate so it’s right next to you. When they go inside, praise them and give them a treat as a reward. Now close the door. They’re going to want to come right back out but you must make them stay inside. If they fuss, you’ll have to lightly push their rear end back inside with your foot.
If they stay in the crate for a minute or two without fussing, let them out and give them a treat. Then repeat.
Do this until they can stay inside for 5-10 minutes at a time without trying to get out. Once they can do this, you’ve mastered keeping them in the crate while you’re watching them. Now you just have to extend that ability to whenever you’re in the house.
A good way to do this is to put them in the crate and then go do something else for a few minutes. Then, return and keep them inside until they’re comfortable with you coming and going regularly.
This will take more than a day so you’ll have to continue building up your dog’s stay in the crate skills during the day and practicing this several times a day.
Eventually, your dog will be able to stay inside the crate while you’re around or away without issue. Now you’ve got a useful tool to keep them from eliminating in the house and you won’t need to tie them up outside anymore!
You May Also Like: How To House Train A Puppy
House training a puppy can be a trying experience, here’s a quick and easy guide to get your pup not just using the bathroom outside but also when and where you want him to!
How To Crate Train A Dog
Crate training is an excellent way to house train your dog as well as giving you a tool to keep him safe and secure when you cannot directly supervise him.
How To Prevent Destructive Behavior In Dogs
Dogs will chew, dig, and destroy anything they can get their teeth into when they’re bored. This can be avoided by providing them with proper chew toys and activities.
Sources & references used in this article:
- How to Raise Your New Puppy in a Cat Family: The Complete Guide to a Happy Pet-Filled Home (J Sonnenberg – 2010 – books.google.com)
- Jekyll and Cumberland Islands: Sea Kayak Surf Workshop With Geneva Kayak (M Fairchild, D Langowski, S Beach, C Island – mfairlady.com)
- Puppies for dummies (S Hodgson – 2019 – books.google.com)
- How to survive a robot uprising: tips on defending yourself against the coming rebellion (B Pleasant – 2005 – Storey Publishing)
- CultureShock! Malaysia: A survival guide to customs and etiquette (MB Duberman – 2019 – Plume)