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Hello everyone. I and my partner recently got a puppy (a toy poodle). The puppy is very young, the breeder said he was 45 days but after a Vet check-up (where he turned out to be fine and healthy) said he may be a bit younger more like 5 weeks. I know the breeder should have kept the baby boy longer, but unfortunately, they had some COVID related problems and could not take care of the litter at this moment, and the mum was not well too. It could be excuses, it could be true, at the end of the day we are here and I am happy Otto is safe with us and not somewhere we don't know. So a vet check-up and a bunch of vitamins later we are settling in. The first night I tried to put Otto in a small crate next to our bed but it did not go very well. I think he was cold and whined quite a lot so we ended up sleeping on the sofa. We have now moved him in a comfy dog bed where he is a bit warmer and sleeps through the night only having to go potty one time. He is pretty consistent to go potty when we leave him on his towel. During the day is starting to be interactive, plays a bit, walks around but mostly sleeps through the day while we work from home.

My main questions are: any tips with how to take care of his social skills being him so young? I am mostly scared of aggressiveness in the future...
Training: do you know if once he grows up a bit I need to go back to crate training or I can continue this way?
Any advice, in general, to make sure we grow a healthy, social and happy pup?
Thank you for your advice!

467666
And hello from Otto!
 

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When I socialize my pups, I take them just about everywhere. stores (not grocery), drive thru places, anywhere and everywhere I can take them they go. obviously, prior to shots when I take them I carry them. I personally love doing it this way bc it also gets them used to riding in the car. Having friends over is also always a big help as well. he's adorable, congrats.
 

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Oh my, this is terrible. Poor little puppy. I once had a six weeks old puppy (back then it was considered a normal age to sell a puppy) and I made him sleep in my bed next to me, in a small box. Small enough that he would feel secure and not have much room except to turn. I put a soft comfy blanky or towel in.

That made him feel very safe, and he could smell me close to him. I made sure to take him to pee-poop whenever he was starting to fuss. At that age, I would feed the puppy at least 4 times a day, maybe 5. I in cawould ask the vet about that. Also, small breeds are prone to hypoglycemia, so make sure you have Nutrical or another similar product on hand in case you need it. Hypoglycemia can be fatal, very fast. Read about it.

COVID-19 should not be an excuse to place a vulnerable, helpless puppy who should be with his mother. If the breeder had problems to raise the litter, she should have found a good, ethical breeder to help. Some people have no ethics and no moral. I will leave it at that and stay polite.

If I were you I would get pet insurance before health problems start to uncover, as this « breeder » most probably has not done any proper health testing.
 

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When I socialize my pups, I take them just about everywhere. stores (not grocery), drive thru places, anywhere and everywhere I can take them they go. obviously, prior to shots when I take them I carry them. I personally love doing it this way bc it also gets them used to riding in the car. Having friends over is also always a big help as well. he's adorable, congrats.
This puppy is way too young to socialize and he should not go anywhere until he’s had his shots. He doesn’t have good immunity yet at that age.

Raising a 4 weeks old puppy is a whole different ball game. The OP should try to contact a good breeder for help if she can.
 

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When puppies are removed from the litter too young they can be expected to have social problems with other dogs. Notably, there is no mother to teach them proper manners. He needs a grown dog to hang out with. This grown dog will probably try to ignore him, but eventually they will interact. The dog will spoil the puppy, then at some point will stop letting the puppy jump on him and and otherwise behave rudely. You will likely think the dog is attacking the puppy, but he is simply teaching the puppy that bad things happen if you do not make a slow respectable introduction to another dog. A cat could probably teach the same (neighbor's tom cat taught a stray kitten we had how to behave properly).
 

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Hello to you and sweet little Otto! I, too, would make every effort to get him into a home with another dog, or (even better) with another litter.

If that's not an option, I'm sorry. I wish I knew how to help in some way. My gut feeling is that he shouldn't be sleeping alone or really be forced to be alone at all right now. A puppy of this age would be with his littermates 24/7.
 

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It’s lovely to see a litter of pups playing together, why someone would deprive them of that angers me! Well done to you for being prepared to help your pups development. At about 6 weeks pups start learning important physical skills, body control, paw and mouth skills and this is done by learning to play constructively with litter mates. if I were you I’d get lots of teddys, you can get a heat beat sheep that I hear is good with singleton pups and a heat pad, to simulate his litter mates. spend a lot of time with him, take him everywhere with you. Provide lots of toys of different types, I would avoid squeaky ones(it encourages biting) different things for him to explore (boxes, pots, etc).
He may struggle to learn his boundaries with other dogs as he gets older so when he’s fully vaccinated get him straight out. He’s abit young to mix with other dogs At the moment, he’s too vulnerable of picking up viruses But carrying him and show him other dogs from a (Social 🙃) distance. My favourite socialisation trips is to outdoor markets, lots of people, a other dogs tend to be there.
He’s a very cute boy I hope he settles well and all is we
 

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You might want to run a Google search on puppies from singleton litters. Some of the problems, like having 8 nipples of milk all to himself, aren't relevant, but the socialization issues definitely are.

Additionally, you might want to see if your vet or a local rescue could hook you up with a foster mentor.
 

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Thanks so much, I think hooking him up with another dog is a good idea. I will try to get ideas on how to do this but we do have a few friends with dogs. I just want to wait for him to have his vaccinations in order and then we are good to go!

Since yesterday he has been very bitter. He only has his canine teeth so far, but I wonder if this is because he is teething the rest of his teeth. His appetite is a bit lower (though he is eating 3 puppyboosts/vitamins shots a day in addition to his food) and also seems to bite his paws and scratch a bit more than usual. Sleeps through the night no problem. I guess I am a first time carer and a bit inexpert! Thanks so much it is a good place for advice this!
 

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Vaccinations vs socialization is a balancing act. There is a short developmental window to get some of this socialization done. Vaccinations are still going up through 12 weeks and later. The rescue in my area is quite firm about wanting people to bring their puppies in for puppy play and socialization classes starting at 8 weeks. Their logic is that, in our area, more dogs die of behavioral issues (leading to euthanasia) than die of infectious diseases. People in my area tend to be pretty good about getting their dogs immunized, so the chances are low that a pup will get parvo or distemper. Other regions are a different story.
 

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Since you have friends with dogs, can you leave the puppy with one of them until he is 9 or 10 weeks old? Or, keep their dog for a few weeks? I would not bounce the puppy back and forth at this point, but a grown dog might be able to stay with you during the day and go home at night, or vice versa.
 

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His appetite is a bit lower (though he is eating 3 puppyboosts/vitamins shots a day in addition to his food) and also seems to bite his paws and scratch a bit more than usual.
At his age and weight, he has to eat a good amount every meal. Weigh him everyday at the same time to make sure he is gaining weight. A slight 5+10% drop in weight is cause for concern and visit to the vet.

Scratching, biting and licking are often sign of environmental or food allergies. Be aware and try to eliminate causes. Feeding one single protein is a good way to eliminate allergies. Often commercial foods are the culprit, because of all the fillers and carbs they contain. Look up pre-made or homecooked raw but it needs to be researched because there are many bad products out there.
 

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Another option for nutrition is the nutrical paste. Its high calorie and you could mix it into the food or feed some by itself. I used to mix it with some of the chicken or beef stage two baby food (jar) for our tiny girl.
 

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Thank you everyone. The Vet has given me a vitamin paste called Puppy Booster on Wednesday which he is eating every 8 hours and he seems to really like it so I am giving it to him. Now he is starting to eat again (slowly). He normally likes his food wet but now seem to want it dry so we are doing attempts. Yesterday he threw up a little undigested stuff but has no diarrhoea. Only drank a lot yesterday and feels a bit off today. What makes me feel ok is that is lively and playful, perhaps more than the other days.

Could be something allergy related but I would not know what it is as I can't see anything in particular, if not a cleaning product. I am using simple vinegar where he is to have something non-toxic.

Will weight him now, to see how he is compared to wednesday. Good advice
 
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