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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
We have a standard poodle puppy coming home with us in a few weeks time so we're starting to plan how to tackle the first few days.
We can't decide whether to leave the puppy downstairs in the crate for the first night or whether it should be upstairs with us. Apparently the latter is more common now?
We're happy to get up to let it outside every few hours overnight as we have the week off work. Eventually we want her to sleep downstairs in her bed for the duration of the night.
Just wondering if anyone here has left theirs downstairs away from them on the first night and how it went?
Thanks!
 

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Such an exciting time. I feel excited for you!! Is this your first puppy?

Our house is all one level, but Peggy sleeps in her crate in the main living area and has since we first brought her home. Until she was really settled in, my husband slept on a camping cot next to the crate. And when one of us would let her out in the middle of the night, we'd often sit by the crate until she fell back to sleep, or let her fall asleep on the floor next to us before placing her back in the crate.

I think the most important thing is to introduce them gently to the crate, using simple crate games like tossing treats inside, letting them eat them and come back out. Then move up to closing the crate while they start to eat and opening the door back up as soon as they relax. "Crying it out" is, I think, most effective if the door swings open the moment they're quiet. But opinions differ on this.

What I wouldn't do is just leave puppy wailing alone in the dark with no humans in sight and no reward when she finally settles. And never ever open that crate door while puppy is crying. Wait for even a momentary pause. Poodles are so smart and will make note of this.

If you've not already, I encourage you to read these in anticipation of her arrival:


 

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We just got our poodle puppies Saturday. We have had rescue dogs before and so the crate wasn't an issue for them. The first night and day one of the two puppies was not happy about the crate at all. I put a t-shirt of mine (that hadn't been washed yet) in both crates and no issue last night! So maybe something that carries your sent as well? With one of our rescues she was upstairs with us (old townhouse) for the first week but then downstairs as she was reliable to make it thru the night without needing to go out. The pups we have now will move back to bedroom once we are sure they are reliable. This time it is bc we have a ranch home and not much room in the living area for 2 spot crates. But for now we need them there bc it is closer to the door outside
 

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Congratulations on your new pup! Exciting times!

I put diva in the kitchen downstairs the first night and she was fine.

I take a blanket and ask the breeder to rub it over the mum, I place that in the crate at night. I pick the pup up as early In the day as possible so they have most the day to settle in before night time. I use a crate which I cover over with a blanket and always leave open (make sure the room is puppy proof), I feed every meal in the crate aswell, if the she fell asleep anywhere else I placed her in the crate, she began to enter herself by the end of the day to sleep and she had never seen a crate before! At night I leave a puppy pad by the door the is on route to outside. I also provide lots of different toys giving a few at a time. I didn't let her venture into other parts of the house either for the first few days, until she was happy being the kitchen, using her bed and comfortable being left alone. That didn’t take long at all, 3rd day she was on the settee.
This method works for me and we have never had a bad first night with any pup.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone. She'll be my first puppy but my partner has had two before. Those books look great, I'll have a read through today. I must admit, I'm not sure I fancy camping in the living room with her! We're going to send a blanket to the breeder today.
Is it quite common to get up and let them out in the night for the first few days?
 

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I would say it is common for pups to need to go out in the night for the first few weeks, and in some cases months! Think baby with no bladder control, and very little over the sphincter. I have always found it easiest to have the pup as close to me as possible at night - that way I can soothe before the puppy fully wakes up, or be on the way outside at the first wriggle and be back in bed within minutes. You do have to sleep with one ear cocked, of course, but that is part of having a baby in the house. Plus I could not bear listening to a baby crying in fear and loneliness, and if she was not crying started to worry she may have choked or some other horror! Much easier if she were right beside me, where I could check she was still breathing.
 

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Since I was the adult, my pups have always slept in the bedroom with me.

"If you can manage it, have the pup sleep in your bedroom. They just think they're on an adventure until bedtime, especially the first night, rolls around. Suddenly they realize that NOTHING is familiar, no scent, warmth or comfort of mom or siblings. They are Alone. Ask the breeder to do this or bring a towel or blanket to get mom and siblings scent on it, to comfort them. Keeping them in the same room allows you to hear if they are unwell or need to go out. Expect to have the young ones out several times during the night for a while. Set a periodic alarm to beat them to it.
Don't count on a lot of sleep the first days or weeks. Taking a few days off from work or work from home, if you can, will really help set routines and gives some time to get to know each other. Find out if the breeder had them on a daily routine and try to follow that for a few days. They're facing so many instant and incomprehensible changes. Keep what you can the same for a while."

One of the most important things you can build with this young of a baby is trust and security.

Not everyone is physically able to, but I'm another one who always has my poodles sleep in my bedroom, in crate and on bed. When they're young, I can help calm them when they're scared and lonely, or know if they're not feeling well, or get them out if they need to go. I do the same when they're old due to their diminishing abilities. I do the same in all the between years for any of the above reasons and always too, because if there is an emergency, I want us all together.

If you're unable to keep the little girl in your bedroom, then go where you've put her and be with her til she adjusts.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
We've just sent the blanket to the breeder. She's been getting a bit of extra fuss because she had a slight issue a few weeks ago so the breeder has been a lot more hands on with her than some of the others. I think she sleeps with the rest of the puppies though.
A different breeder recommended the old fashioned method of put them downstairs and let them cry. I've known quite a few people do this and after the first night never have an issue.
 

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We've just sent the blanket to the breeder. She's been getting a bit of extra fuss because she had a slight issue a few weeks ago so the breeder has been a lot more hands on with her than some of the others. I think she sleeps with the rest of the puppies though.
A different breeder recommended the old fashioned method of put them downstairs and let them cry. I've known quite a few people do this and after the first night never have an issue.
My pups always go into the crate, downstairs. The first few nights/days we may sit next to the crate until the pup settles down. We also cover the crate . Usually by night 3-4 they settle right into their crate (we also do it during the day, when they are not on our lap). Most crate train easily and are never permitted out of crate until quiet for 5 min. or less, depends. Then they are released. I can come into my kitchen in the morning start coffee, feed other dogs etc while the crated dog remains quiet in his/her crate. (though 1st thing in the am as puppy I rush to crate, lift out and take outside to potty. I always carry them out (on leash) the first week of so to the area where I want them to potty.
 

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Robbie, when you take the puppy out to pee, as he pees use whatever keyword that you're going to call it. It won't take him long to learn to pee on command.

Come winter or when you need to leave the house in a hurry, you'll be glad you did.
 

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We've just sent the blanket to the breeder. She's been getting a bit of extra fuss because she had a slight issue a few weeks ago so the breeder has been a lot more hands on with her than some of the others. I think she sleeps with the rest of the puppies though.
A different breeder recommended the old fashioned method of put them downstairs and let them cry. I've known quite a few people do this and after the first night never have an issue.
And if that rather hard tactic doesn't work on a baby totally alone for the first time in their life? I focus on building the trust and feeling of security first.
See this thread Losing my mind over poodle cries
 

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I believe it's important to consider the different personalities that dogs have. That strategy (letting the puppy cry and hoping he/she will finally calm down) won't work for all puppies. It's important to find out what works for your pup when you bring it home.

Wanted to add....I had 2 really laid back dogs growing up. When one passed away, we waited years before getting another puppy. We ended up "adopting" a puppy from a neighbor who couldn't keep the puppy anymore. At this time, we hadn't had a puppy in 12 years! We tried the strategy of allowing her to cry and settle herself while her in crate in a room separate from where people were sleeping, but this just never worked for her. Her routine needed to be different from the routine of the other 2 dogs.
 

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And any play to tire the pup out should be ended probably 2 hours before bedtime. Trying that too close to bedtime results in an adrenaline amped pup, not at all conducive to sleep.
The blanket idea is good. It's usually the scent of mum and siblings that help bring something familiar to the baby pup.
You mentioned that your partner has had dogs before but as many members here will attest, having had dogs is not the same as having had poodles. They are smart and they are very sensitive. All three of you are starting fresh.​
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks Rose n poos, it definitely does seem like a firm technique. It's interesting it seems to work with some, I guess we'll spend the first day sussing out what she'll be happiest with! I'll try using a command to get her to wee too, that sounds pretty handy!
 

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I'll try using a command to get her to wee too, that sounds pretty handy!
It works with many pups and is brilliant when it does.
Stay consistent with it, even if you don't think it's working.
Take pup to same spot (optional). Be prepared to wait. The instant pup commences The Act, say very happily whatever phrase you choose for each, and when pup is done, lots of Good Puppy's! Doing a jig is not unknown as additional celebration.
Then finish with a flourish by giving a treat. You did remember the treats, didn't you? 🐩
 

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In fact, and well beyond the scope of your question, I present you with a slew of training references heartily recommended by many PF members.

Ian Dunbar
A lot of free info
Look for Before/After You Get Your Puppy

Susan Garrett
A lot of free info
Periodically offers free online video course
"It's Yer Choice" impulse control
Crate games
Look At That

Kikopup YouTube Training videos

Or search YouTube for Kikopup + training topic

Zak George YouTube Training videos

Karen Pryor Clicker Training

AKC training - get certified or just learn the steps
AKC Canine Good Citizen - mix or pure breed

AKC Trick Dog - mix or pure breed
(your Kennel Club likely has similar as the above)
Research on Dog Cognition - Dr Brian Hare
Formal testing not free but search online for examples

Dog Vision
Don't forget to have fun or I shall be forced to say Ni!
 
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