New Puppy Owner with Questions

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New Puppy Owner with Questions

This is a discussion on New Puppy Owner with Questions within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; I have a 14 week old cockapoo named Rudy. We've had him 4 weeks and he is doing really well but I have a few ...

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Old 03-24-2014, 11:46 AM
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Question New Puppy Owner with Questions

I have a 14 week old cockapoo named Rudy. We've had him 4 weeks and he is doing really well but I have a few questions. Let me say that I'm a complete rookie at this so be patient, please

1. We take him outside to go potty and say the same thing every time we take him out. He has occasionally stood by the door and whined and we've taken him and he goes immediately. When should we expect that he'll let us know when he has to go rather than just taking him out because we think it might be time to go?

2. He is usually going in his crate around 10 and up by 6. He usually wakes up once during the night to go out. Will he eventually sleep through the night? When?

3. We have a big fenced back yard but have been hesitant to let him off his leash or be outside on his own because he eats rocks, sticks, and pretty much whatever else he can get in his mouth. This makes me nervous so we take him out on his leash every time. Is he just too young and will eventually be able to take advantage of the big yard to run around in?

4. When do you suggest grooming? I have clipped his nails and bathed him myself but he doesn't seem to be a fan of either one. I am a bit nervous too so he may sense that. Eventually I'll have to get his hair trimmed as sometimes he looks like a big ball of fluff. What's a good age to do that and what is a reasonable price to groom a 6 pound dog?

Lots of questions, I know, but any advice is appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 03-24-2014, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by chaney622 View Post
I have a 14 week old cockapoo named Rudy. We've had him 4 weeks and he is doing really well but I have a few questions. Let me say that I'm a complete rookie at this so be patient, please

1. We take him outside to go potty and say the same thing every time we take him out. He has occasionally stood by the door and whined and we've taken him and he goes immediately. When should we expect that he'll let us know when he has to go rather than just taking him out because we think it might be time to go?

I've read that pups generally develop the ability to know when they need to go around 6 months, some younger, some older. Until then, you're mostly preventing accidents and establishing a habit of going in an appropriate place.

There are dogs that don't necessarily signal that they need to go out, so you can either establish a consistent schedule or teach them to ring bells or alert some other way.


2. He is usually going in his crate around 10 and up by 6. He usually wakes up once during the night to go out. Will he eventually sleep through the night? When?

Yes, in a few more weeks he should be able to sleep through the night. Again, it varies by individual dog, but ours was sleeping through the night around 4 or 5 months (according to her breeder).

3. We have a big fenced back yard but have been hesitant to let him off his leash or be outside on his own because he eats rocks, sticks, and pretty much whatever else he can get in his mouth. This makes me nervous so we take him out on his leash every time. Is he just too young and will eventually be able to take advantage of the big yard to run around in?

Yes, eventually he should be past the put everything in his mouth stage. He's very much like a human baby who explores the world with his mouth.

4. When do you suggest grooming? I have clipped his nails and bathed him myself but he doesn't seem to be a fan of either one. I am a bit nervous too so he may sense that. Eventually I'll have to get his hair trimmed as sometimes he looks like a big ball of fluff. What's a good age to do that and what is a reasonable price to groom a 6 pound dog?

You can work on conditioning him to being touched, brushed, bathed, etc. by progressing slowly and with lots of treats! For example, one swipe of the brush = one super delicious treat.

I'd recommend getting him accustomed to clipping soon. I'm not sure about mixes, but I know that most poodle breeders do at least one face/feet/tail clip before puppies go to their new homes at 8-10 weeks. You might check with a local groomer about a puppy intro appointment. I'm not sure about price - so much depends on area.

Lots of questions, I know, but any advice is appreciated. Thanks!
Welcome! Any pictures of your new pup! I replied above in bold.
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Old 03-24-2014, 01:24 PM
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Some dogs figure out that sitting by the door gets the message across, others need to be taught a signal of some sort. You can probably make him sit every time you take him out and he'll eventually get that sitting by the door is what magically makes the door open for potty time. I prefer using something like a bell simply because I can hear him ring it when I'm not within eyesight of him. It really just depends on your preference. If you're going to teach him to do something to signal, I'd start now.
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Old 03-25-2014, 11:22 AM
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I got Sam groomed for the first time at 4 months when he started to look REALLY shaggy. His double coat was thick by then and he got a partial groom for $22. I thought that was an awesome price for the services I received. They did his nails, clipped him, did his glands, and gave him a good bath. For a hyper puppy they said he did really well. I've taken him back for just a bath since.

Puppies learn potty by habit and stop needing overnight in time. He's still so tiny. Give him time. Sam never needed overnight trips but I realize this is abnormal. He started signaling to me he needed to go out around 12-15 weeks old but now uses this for evil since he likes outside so much more than inside. As far as him putting everything in his mouth-dogs don't have hands. Watch what he picks up and work on leave it and drop it. Good training opportunity. I wouldn't let him off leash just yet, and when you do-start small. A minute or two at a time and work on recall. Some pups go nuts when they realize they're off leash and run.
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Old 03-29-2014, 06:21 PM
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@blakeandsam

Personally if it were me I would always do the grooming myself even if it meant taking time out of my evening as the time and interaction you have with your dog will greatly help you to bond and for him to learn to trust you.
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Old 03-29-2014, 08:06 PM
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Well… blakeandsam is a med student right now, so… I'm sure that will come in time

@Chaney…. I'd really recommend the Potty Bell trick, especially if your dog is just waiting around and counting on you to notice rather than crying or barking. From experience, it really works and for some it's the final thing that solves those extra house-training issues.

Until such point as he is very on cue about ringing and going though, I would keep eagle eyes on him. Some puppies just think that life is too fascinating for potty-breaks and don't realize that they have to go until their back teeth are floating!

The grooming… going to a groomer can be worth it just so you can see their routine, what the cut looks like and whatnot so that you can try it yourself. To get the dog to become used to grooming you basically just have to counter-condition: go slowly, reward lots and be gentle!

You may find that reserving something really special like pig snout or a bully-stick for grooming time makes the job easier because not only is the dog continuously rewarding himself while you're brushing him, he's staying put because he's so busy with his snack! So yes, edible chews are really handy wherever you can involve them (obviously the tub is not going to work).

For bathtime… you may find that he takes a bit better to being rinsed or splashed with water than simply plopping into the tub whole-hog. Those detachable shower/sink heads are great; they're actually probably what your groomer uses. There's also a lot to be gained from starting with the dog's legs and feet rather than starting by dousing them from the head or the back. As you might guess if your dog likes jumping in puddles, the legs are a lot less sensitive to the change in temperature than other parts of the body!
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Old 03-29-2014, 08:14 PM
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To go off of what @kelly528 said about the tub: I gave Nerlin his first bath in the bathtub yesterday. I took it very slowly. I put him in the dry tub and gave him lots of treats by tossing them in while his back was turned. Then I took him out and turned the water on and put him in, giving him lots of treats. When he seemed ok, I used a cup to pour water on him slowly. He did pretty well, but I was also standing in the tub with him while I washed and rinsed him. Keep giving him treats the whole time and see how he does with each step. You may have to backtrack once or twice, but it's well worth it if it keeps him from shutting down or freaking out in the tub.
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Old 03-29-2014, 11:19 PM
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@blakeandsam

Personally if it were me I would always do the grooming myself even if it meant taking time out of my evening as the time and interaction you have with your dog will greatly help you to bond and for him to learn to trust you.
Roy-I would love to learn how to cut Sam's hair and save some of my government borrowed pennies. But evidently double coats are a pain to cut since they are hand trimmed. And I'm not going ANYWHERE near anal glands.

For $22, the amount of services I got was unreal-I was expecting it to be double. I thought that was the price for the anals and nail trim. Most places charge a la carte for those things. I do give Sam baths about weekly to biweekly depending on how dirty he is to increase his tolerance for the tub and to bond with him. I also brush him about every other day. He's learning to like the brush. He likes going belly up and knows he gets a rub now and loves that
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Old 03-29-2014, 11:27 PM
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Yeah, if there's one dog that will really suffer from a bad haircut… it's a terrier! You need some serious hair skills to get those guys looking half-decent.
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