So you've adopted a new puppy!

When you are bringing your puppy home, be sure not to feed it before travelling, and wait a bit when you get home for him to settle down. While in the car, keep him calm on your lap. Avoid "excitement" baby talk and instead use soft, soothing tones. Put a towel on your lap to make accidents easier to clean up. You can also put him on the floor between your feet.

When you get home, don't invite all your friends over right away. Let your puppy get used to his new environment in a calm, relaxed manner. Too many people and too much stimulation can cause anxiety, and they can revert back to anxiety every time a similar situation occurs. Get him used to his new crate so that it is a pleasant place to go to for safety and comfort. Never make it a punishment. Leave the door open so he can get used to coming and going of his own accord. An Ex-Pen [Exercise Pen] is made up of wire panels that can be extended around to create a "corral" to ensure a safe confinement for when you can't supervise your pup. Often you can attach the fencing to your crate so the pup can go into his crate to sleep, but go into his corral to play and go potty. Be sure to put a large tarp under the whole area to protect your carpet, and put newspapers on top for easy clean up and removal of debris.

Puppies need to be fed on a regular schedule, and very often. Please refer to the Puppies link under Feeding Your Canine for recipes and schedule of meals according to age. Make sure you overlap the food the puppy has already been receiving with your new food to avoid stomach upset and diarrhea.

Always pick up your puppy by putting one hand beneath his hind quarters and rump, and the other supporting his chest and front feet. Never pick up a puppy by the scruff of his neck as it can cause injury if not done properly at the right age. Once a puppy has gained sufficient weight, this method can be painful to the puppy.

Your pup should be well socialized with adults, children, and other dogs, but give him plenty of quiet time as well. Do not isolate him in a bathroom but have his crate and pen close to household activity. Eliminate loud noises of children as much as possible to prevent an anxious or nervous pup. Yelling or scolding others will also cause fear and anxiety, even if it is not directed at the pup.

House Training - there are various ways of house training. Here's how I do it. Puppies have to urinate or defecate after  1. Eating     2. Playing    3. Drinking    4. Sleeping ... so taking your puppy out to the grass or a place where you want him to go "potty" should be done after each of these activities. You may find yourself taking the puppy out every hour. When your puppy goes potty where you want him to, praise him. At night, I sleep with the puppy on my bed [on top of the covers]. I place a sheet or small blanket under the puppy and put him next to me. Usually, puppies do not have to relieve themselves so much during nighttime, especially if they are near their mom or companion. But if the puppy gets restless during the night, it wakes me up and immediately I take him out. When the pup relieves himself properly in the correct place, I praise him, take him back to bed, and lights out. No playing, talking, or stimulation. The puppy smells your scent while sleeping and this helps create a better bond and a calmer pup. Never put the puppy under the covers with you! It could cause suffocation, overheating, and possibly a soiled bed! In the morning, make sure the puppy evacuates 2-3 times before coming back into the house and giving him breakfast. Many of the puppies and dogs that are euthanized at the shelters are brought in due to not being housetrained. So this should be a priority for you immediately after bringing the pup [or adult rescue] to your home. Getting him into good habits is easier than breaking bad habits later on!

Remember, be consistent. Animals like consistency and are comfortable with familiarity and routine. The same goes for training. Sit means sit! Be gentle yet firm. Educate yourself and read books and watch videos on dog training. Every trainer has different methods so use the one that best suits you and your dog.

Wolfdogs are more sensitive than most domestic canines, and the simplest thing can make them very fearful for the rest of their lives. No loud yelling or scolding, no hitting, or wacking with a newspaper. Avoid "old fashioned" training methods such as these. Use body language [such as blocking and nudging] as much as possible to demonstrate to them that you are the alpha leader and they have nothing to fear if they trust you. A little training goes a long way, but a lot of training will last a lifetime. Be sure to check out some of the wonderful books on training and living with wolfdogs in Shopping Wolf Things

Fleas, ticks, worming, etc. - use gentle, holistic methods as much as possible for puppies. Harsh chemicals that you can buy in grocery stores are not as effective and are toxic to your puppy. Try to nip it in the bud by catching these parasites early on, rather than waiting until it gets really bad. Treating the dam before she gives birth is really the best way to do it, but not always possible if you are adopting a puppy from another person. Diatomaceous Earth [or DE] is great for fleas and other microscopic varmints on the skin and in the hair, and is nontoxic and gentle to puppies. It dries them up and kills them dead! NOTE! Be sure to only use the Food Grade source, not the DE you can buy in nursery and florist shops which is poisonous to the dog. For some holistic remedies, check out this website...