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Bringing Puppy into Family Home - Strategies for Success

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
Lillian THDN- CGC

1280200
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 30, '12 4:49pm PST 
After research, planning, and advise from breeder - we will be bringing home a 17 week old Shetland Sheepdog puppy this Saturday (01/06).

While I have ideas on how to make this easier I always like getting more opinions.

I am not worried about my two young girls. My 3 year old has absolutely no fear with dogs. When I say none I mean none. Large dogs (our friend's dogs) have knocked her over and licked her like crazy and she's just cracking up laughing having the time of her life. The youngest is not even mobile yet. So those two are going to love this new addition - I just want our puppy to not feel overwhelmed. Which is also one of the reasons why we are bringing home a little bit of an older puppy.

I was thinking maybe for the car ride home I could bring something of my girls (like clothing) and put it in the crate for her to begin to get used to that scent and have her sleep with these items for a couple days.

I also want to get my 3 year old involved in all the care taking so our puppy (Lilly) can see she is a source of food and something positive/rewarding. (Not just this strange little girl who wants to just love me and play with me constantly)

The children will have rules. No chasing her, no swatting her, no squeezing her, lots of basic concepts. When my 3 year old met our youngest daughter for the first time (and when we brought her home) I was very nervous - but she is amazing to her baby sister, so gentle, so calm, so compassionate, and follows the rules with her very well. So now with the puppy I am nervous again but I have more faith that she will want to follow the rules.

Today we used a stuffed dog and pretended it was Lilly and how we hold her and pet her and controlling the volume of our voice so it does not scare her. So from a Mommy stand point I've been working on that end of things.

I hope we can make this transition as smooth as possible for Lilly. I am a stay at home mother so I will be with her 24-7.

If you have any recommendations for us I would love to hear them. Thanks for reading and your help.
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Kali earned- her wings- 10/21/14

She's game for- anything that's- fun.
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 30, '12 6:26pm PST 
Sounds like you have thought of everything to me. The only advice I have is to "never" leave small children unsupervised around any dog. Even the most well behaved dog can bite a small child. Good Luck!
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Opheila

It ain't over- till the fat- kitty sings
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 30, '12 6:37pm PST 
Best wishes on your new family member!!!! It does sound like you've thought of everything and I'm sure you'll be fine. Something that might be helpful is utilizing a baby gate or playpen when you and pup need a break...you might still have one or another in the house. I'm thinking like if you're cooking or in the bathroom a playpen especially is an easy place to drop off the puppy for a few minutes.
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Member Since
12/02/2012
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 30, '12 9:05pm PST 
Good luck on getting your new puppy home. Just make sure though that when you bring the puppy home, make sure that you wouldn't be stressing him out and that you give him the attention he needs.

Also, since you are planning on bringing your daughters' clothes for your puppy to smell on the ride home and to sleep with, always be on the look out that he doesn't try to bite or be aggressive in general towards your daughters' clothes.
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Lillian THDN- CGC

1280200
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 1, '13 5:22pm PST 
Well she came home early! We brought her home today (verses Saturday) and it is going great. She is a bit timid so we gave her plenty of space and she would go to her "area" when she felt like it was all a little bit too much. She seems potty trained, not a single accident yet. She has peed outside three times and pooped outside too!

We absolutely love her. Total snuggle bug.
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Member Since
12/02/2012
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 1, '13 10:09pm PST 
That's good to hear. It's awesome that she seems to have been potty trained too. That's a huge plus in getting a new puppy. Keep it up! applause
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Smokey

Let's play tug!!
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 1, '13 11:34pm PST 
I want to throw in a general philosophy, which sounds stupidly obvious, but really isn't, reward behavior you like and (humanely) remove rewards for behavior you don't like. And it's good to extend that to behaviors you will likely one day not like. For example, whining for attention is really kind of adorable when they're babies, but it can blossom into something problematic when they're smacking you across the face with a paw because whining isn't working and they're used to getting affection when they demand it. So, when you're doing something else and she wants your attention, ignore her until she sits in front of you, and as soon as her little butt hits the floor, stroke her, kiss her, cuddle her, and tell her what a brilliant, calm girl she is. Once she consistently offers that behavior, also teach her patience by slowly drawing out the time that she has to wait patiently before she gets attention. If she doesn't wait nicely, ignore her until she's calm, or get up and walk away. Jumping is like that too. When she's a little fluffball, you'll be fighting against violently strong urges to scoop her up and kiss her. But then by the time it's not so cute, she'll have months or years of reinforcement for that behavior. So be a silent, boring tree until you see four on the floor. Similarly, when she walks nicely on a loose leash, she gets to move forward and explore. But when she pulls, you stop moving. If she's being reinforced because she's getting to an interesting smell by straining at the end of her leash, take a step backward. When she uses a gentle mouth, she gets to keep playing. But when she nips, her playmate turns into one of those dang trees again. When she chews on the furniture, she gets put in timeout in her crate for a few minutes, but when she looks sidelong at the couch and then decides to go chew her chewie instead, she gets a praise and food party (always reward self control/good decision making twice as much as anything else). If you are a family who feeds table scraps, don't do so when her nose is three inches from your plate, but rather as soon as she turns away from it or sits or lays down. I think most people are keen to get their dogs into basic obedience, and that's good and all, but keeping in mind the golden rule of rewarding behavior you like and not rewarding behavior you don't like (unstructured freeshaping, if you will) can work miracles, even before she knows any verbal commands. It's also very nice to have a dog who does the right thing automatically based on context clues, rather than needing instruction from you. The more you are aware of what cause and effect relationships your dog is learning from trying out behaviors and seeing whether she gets what she wants, the better your communication with her will be.
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