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A Complete Guide to Welcoming Your New Puppy Home

Potty Training, Feeding, & More!

Welcoming a new puppy into the family is such an exciting time. When entering this new chapter of becoming a dog owner, it is important to recognize the crucial early stages of a puppy's life and the importance for building a foundation of good behavior and establishing routines. The journey of socializing, feeding, and potty training your new puppy can be both thrilling and challenging. In this comprehensive guide, we will introduce effective potty training tips, feeding essentials, socialization techniques, crate training insights, stress management strategies, and overall puppy training to help you navigate this exciting but sometimes overwhelming phase of welcoming a new furry family member. Whether you're a first-time puppy parent or looking to refine your training methods, these tips and highlights are designed to make the process smoother and more enjoyable for both you and your pup.


At Texas Howdy Doodles, we train our new pups introducing the litter to new life factors at each stage. Our  Texas Howdy Doodles puppies make great strides in crate training and are fully potty box trained – now, it's time to transition to their new family! We've put together some essential tips on potty training, feeding, crate time, and more to ensure a smooth and joyful transition for both you and your new furry family member.



POTTY TRAINING TIPS & HIGHLIGHTS

Embarking on the journey of potty training your puppy can be both exciting and challenging. To ensure a smooth and successful process, consider implementing our top 8 tips:


  1. Designate a Specific Potty Spot: Choose a specific spot in your yard where you want your puppy to eliminate every time. This consistency helps your puppy associate that particular area with the act of going potty. The scent left behind also reinforces the location for future use.

  2. Use a Consistent Cue: Establish a single, clear command or phrase to use every time your puppy goes potty. For instance, saying "potty outside" creates a direct connection between the command and the desired action. Repetition and consistency are crucial for reinforcing this association.

  3. Reward Promptly: Have treats readily available during potty training sessions. As soon as your puppy successfully goes potty in the designated spot, offer immediate positive reinforcement in the form of a treat. If you happen to forget a treat, a simple "yes" and some affection still convey praise.

  4. Timing Matters: Understand your puppy's natural bathroom schedule. Puppies often need to relieve themselves about 5-10 minutes after drinking water and roughly 15 minutes after eating. Being aware of these time frames allows you to anticipate their needs and guide them to the designated potty spot proactively.

  5. Recognize Signs of Impending Elimination: Pay close attention to your puppy's behavior. If you notice a sudden cessation of play, sniffing the ground, or circling, these may be signs that your puppy needs to go potty. Immediately use your chosen cue and guide them to the designated spot to reinforce the connection between the command and the behavior.

  6. Avoid Negative Reinforcement: Never resort to yelling at your puppy or rubbing their nose in their mess if they have an accident indoors. Negative reinforcement can confuse your puppy and create anxiety, potentially leading to sneaky behavior. Focus on positive reinforcement to encourage desired actions.

  7. Skip the Potty Pads: Resist the temptation to use potty pads indoors. While they might seem convenient, relying on them can prolong the training process. Potty pads may send mixed signals to your puppy about where it's acceptable to eliminate. Consistently reinforcing outdoor training helps establish a routine and reinforces the desired behavior.

  8. Consistency is Key: Commit to a four-week period of consistent training. Puppies thrive on routine, and the repetition of positive experiences in the designated potty spot reinforces the behavior. By the time your puppy reaches around 12 weeks, you'll likely start seeing signs of understanding and success in their potty training journey. Patience and persistence are crucial components of this process.



FEEDING TIPS & MUST-KNOWS

By following these feeding guidelines, you'll be fostering a healthy and happy environment for your new puppy. Remember, a well-fed and hydrated puppy is a thriving one!


  1. Preparing for Puppy Arrival: As you prepare for your puppy's arrival, one crucial aspect to consider is their dietary needs. Make sure you have food ready for your puppy! Please consider time for the shipping process when placing the food order and having it in time for your puppy’s arrival. 

  2. Be Aware of Food Switching: It's important to be mindful of your puppy's diet, especially when transitioning to a new food. If you're planning to switch their food, do it gradually to avoid digestive issues. Immediate changes can lead to diarrhea, as discussed in our previous communication. Take the time to transition and observe your puppy's response to ensure a smooth adjustment. 

  3. Feeding Schedule: Establishing a consistent feeding schedule is key to your puppy's well-being. We've found success in feeding our puppies around 7:45-8 am and 6 pm. During lunchtime, consider offering a small amount of kibble or using enrichment toys filled with kibble. This time can also be used for training with kibble, making it a productive and enjoyable experience for your puppy. When it comes to their main meals, we recommend filling their bowls and allowing them to eat as much as they can in 20 minutes. Adding warm water to their kibble not only enhances the flavor but also ensures they stay adequately hydrated. 

  4. Hydration Matters: Providing access to water is crucial throughout the day. We offer water during every feeding time and occasionally in between. However, we suggest refraining from giving water after 7 pm. This practice helps ensure your puppy's belly and bladder are empty before bedtime, contributing to a higher success rate in their overnight routine.



SOCIALIZING 

Venturing out into the world with your puppy requires a calculated approach. While outings to places can be valuable experiences, be mindful of the environment. For added safety, consider placing your puppy in a cart or holding them until they are fully vaccinated. Avoid high-risk areas such as dog parks and pet stores until you've consulted with your vet and received the green light.


  1. Safely Socializing: Socializing extends beyond your immediate household. Enlist the help of friends and vaccinated dogs to engage with your puppy. However, be cautious especially if pup is not fully vaccinated, Request that visitors remove their shoes to prevent tracking in potential hazards.Check out this great informational article: 11 Ways to Safely Socialize Before Your Pup Is Fully Vaccinated. Remember, a well-socialized puppy is likely to grow into a confident and adaptable adult dog, enriching both your lives in the process.

  2. The Sooner, The Better: The window between 8 and 12 weeks is a pivotal period where a significant portion of a puppy's foundation is established, shaping their attitudes towards the world, fears, and desires.

  3. Sights AND Sounds: A key aspect of effective socialization involves introducing your puppy to various sounds. This simple yet impactful technique helps them acclimate to the auditory symphony of everyday life. Hearing noises of street traffic, kitchen appliances, other barking dogs, etc. will help grow your cute pup into a happy and confident dog. Picture this: you get a visitor at your house and they ring the doorbell. Instead of overwhelming your puppy, gradually expose them to the sound. With a treat in hand, reward them each time they encounter a new sound. This positive reinforcement not only makes the experience enjoyable but also instills confidence in your furry companion.

  4. "Pawsitive" Atmosphere: Creating and maintaining a positive atmosphere is essential during these encounters. If your puppy exhibits fear and attempts to escape, allow them the option to retreat. Never force them into a situation that induces anxiety. By offering choices, you empower your puppy and build a trusting relationship.



LET’S TALK CRATE TIME

Crate training is an essential aspect of your puppy's early development, even if they don't sleep in a crate. Patience is key as you guide your pup through the process. Here are some valuable tips to make crate time a positive experience for both you and your furry friend:


  1. Set Up for Success: Place the crate in a designated area where your puppy is allowed. We recommend closing bedroom doors and providing a small, centrally located space for them to roam, ensuring you can keep an eye on them. This sets the foundation for a successful training experience.

  2. Positive Reinforcement: Encourage your puppy to explore the crate by offering treats every time they touch it, put a paw inside, or willingly enter. Use a cue like "yes" to reinforce the positive behavior. This creates a positive association with the crate.

  3. Interactive Toys for Comfort: Consider treats specifically designed for crate time, such as a bully stick or a Kong filled with a tasty treat for nighttime enjoyment. Interactive toys like a Dog Crate Toy, Treat Ball (you can even spread some wet food or peanut butter on it! Dogs love it), and Treat Dispenser Puzzle can keep your pup entertained and distracted. We recommend these items seeing how much our Texas Howdy Doodle Pups enjoy them….


4. Snuggle Puppy Comfort: Place your snuggle puppy in the crate to provide a comforting scent reminiscent of their littermates and mother. This can help ease any anxiety and promote a sense of security.

5. Bedtime Routine: Establish a consistent bedtime routine, with lights out around 10 pm. Predictability helps your puppy settle in and understand when it's time to rest.

6. Appropriate Crate Size: Ensure the crate is not too big. A snug space encourages your puppy to hold off on potty breaks until morning. They only need enough room to lie down and stretch their legs comfortably.



PUPPY STRESS

Your puppy is going to be so excited to go home with you and start creating some amazing memories, but remember this is all going to be very new to your puppy. Your puppy is going to have some stress as they are learning new smells, sounds, voices and no litter mates to comfort them.


  1. New Stress Side-Effects: You might notice some loose poop for a few days. I recommend having Probiotics (we recommend Purina Pro Plan FortiFlora Dog Probiotic Supplement) and a can of Pumpkin (not the pie filling one….straight 100% pumpkin) on hand. You can give your puppy a tablespoon of pumpkin per day, for a few days. They gobble it up like a treat. This should firm things up. If the loose poop continues after a few days, please go see your vet!

  2. Do Not Change Diet: As previously mentioned, it’s important to be consistent with feeding your puppy the same food. Changing food will be an abrupt change for them, causing diarrhea and discomfort for puppies.



OVERALL PUPPY TRAINING
  1. Taking a Bite Out of Correcting Puppy Chewing: If your puppy starts chewing on something you don’t want them to chew, including your hands, clothes, hair, etc, remove it from their mouth and replace it with one of their toys. Then praise them for chewing the "right thing". THEY AIM TO PLEASE, they just aren't sure of what they are allowed to chew...that's where you can guide them daily!  If they start chewing on your hand or toes, don’t squeal in a happy voice while you are telling them NO, all they hear is a happy voice.

  2. "HERE PUPPY PUPPY" Popper Puppy Tone: Remember, they don’t speak fluent English….Ha! Instead, they listen to your voices TONE!! Here at TX Howdy Doodles, we always say “Here Puppy Puppy”, in a super high pitch voice, before they get fed or get treats. Every time they respond and come to this call, they get rewarded in some way, even if it’s just a chin scratch or snuggle. We do this so you always have a safety call for them. If your puppy is being stubborn or has gotten into an area they are not supposed to, use this call, it works like a charm.

  3. Helpful Additional Training Resource- Become the Best “Pawrent”: : If you are wanting more training tips, videos and live training sessions, Baxter and Bella Online Training is AMAZING! Tips, tricks, instructional videos are right at your fingertips to help you and your puppy making it an affordable investment in your pup's lifelong well-being. You can feel confident that you are giving your pup and your family the relationship you desire for a lifetime of fun, excitement and happiness….for a lifetime!!! Visit www.baxterandbella.com and use coupon code: HOWDY for 25% OFF. 

Additionally, our trusted puppy trainer, Audrey with Just Love The Dog, is offering a 15% discount on puppy packages. Whether you're in the Austin area or beyond, Audrey can provide personalized training through zoom calls. Explore more at her website,  Just Love The Dog,  or contact her at JustLoveTheDogInfo@gmail.com for a tailored training experience for your furry companion.



Choosing a puppy is a very personal and big decision. If you are looking to add a  new addition to your family, consider our puppies at Texas Howdy Doodles. Texas Howdy Doodle stands out among other options for many reasons. our comprehensive approach to puppy care and training. All our puppies are raised in our home, benefiting from the Puppy Culture enrichment/training program for a well-rounded, adjusted, and happy adulthood. Starting at just 4 days old, we implement early neurological stimulation (ENS) and introduce crate and potty box training. Our puppies also undergo leash training, learn to make requests using body language, and are exposed to various household sounds to promote self-soothing. Safe socialization is a priority, exposing them to diverse scenarios and people. Additionally, we conduct aptitude/temperament tests to assist you in selecting the perfect puppy for your needs. Check our website at www.texashowdydoodles.com for more information about our upcoming litters.


As you begin this journey of raising a well-behaved and happy puppy, remember that patience and consistency are the keys to success. Potty training, feeding, socialization, crate time, and overall behavior shaping are all interconnected aspects of nurturing a well-adjusted canine companion. By implementing the tips and techniques outlined in this guide, you'll not only foster a positive environment for your puppy but also build a strong bond that will last a lifetime. Celebrate the small victories, be prepared for challenges, and enjoy the journey of watching your puppy grow into a confident, well-mannered adult dog. With dedication and love, you'll set the stage for a harmonious relationship with your furry friend. Congratulations on this exciting new chapter with your furry friend! We can't wait to hear about the wonderful memories you'll create together! Enjoy every moment with your new bundle of joy!



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