I have recently purchased a puppy. She is a border terrier called Fizz, she is exceptionally cute, fast, and clever. A few people (2) that I speak to on social media asked me for puppy advice and so with the multitude (2) questions being asked I felt a blog post by a PUPPY EXPERT (me) was required.
|Puppy expert in action|
Puppies bite. They do not 'nip'. People tell you that puppies nip but nipping sounds painless and fun and almost friendly . Puppies do not 'nip'. They use teeth that they borrowed from a great white shark crossed with a razor blade to puncture any and every part of your anatomy they can get a grip on. They will bite the soft skin web betwixt thumb and forefinger, there will be blood. The tiny needle teeth will grab and bite into the delicate skin of your inner arm. The puppy will appear to want to snuffle into your crotch but JUST WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT will bite deep into the skin of your inner thigh (or worse!) until you squeal for mercy.
They do eventually stop biting. And this period of biting is important, they are learning 'bite inhibition', which means they are testing what hurts...your screams help in this process.
Puppies wee, and poop. They wee all the time, you might have thought leaving the back door open will mean they will wee outside, it doesn't. Puppies have no concept of 'outside'. Your job is to teach them. The simplest way is to use a crate (sounds cruel, isn't) the crate becomes the puppies den, no one likes to piss or crap in their bed, so puppies don't if they can possibly help it. You must use the crate whenever you cannot 100% supervise the puppy, do not let the puppy out of your sight when it is out of the crate or it will wee. Puppies need to go out at regular intervals, about every 30-60 minutes. BUT ALSO (and this is important) as soon as they wake after a nap, after a play time, after food. Treat the puppy or praise the puppy when it wees (or poops) outside. Clean up and ignore the screw ups YOU made by not paying attention that allowed the pup to poop in the house. Weirdly puppies over 8 weeks can go all night (11pm-5.30am) without messing up.
Puppies bite. Wait we did this! Yeah but they bite your clothes too, dressing gowns, trouser legs, shoes, anything moving. The edges of skirts will become laced with puppy ripped holes...I'm sure the bite inhibition thing is still in play. I'll be honest. This clothes biting pisses me off.
|Do not be fooled - she is a velociraptor in a fur suit!|
Puppies can learn stuff really fast as they are like sponges. Don't be fooled by those big eyes and cute noses into thinking 'oh but they are babies, there is lots of time to learn' NO! there is now, now is the time, between 8 and 12 weeks is a window of fixed learned behaviour when puppies can learn either fear or confidence of a situation. Ensure that during this time they meet lots of new people, dogs, other puppies, children (the sort that don't mind being torn to bloody ribbons by excited puppy teeth) . Also that they have lots of new experiences and noises, banging doors, car rides, carrier bags rustling, firework sounds, TV shows etc etc
|Blurred puppy party picture|
|Taking her out pre-vaccinations - in a bag!|
|Innocent puppy face|