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Hi,

Thanks to everyone that have taken time to answer my questions before I received my puppy and over the last couple of days that I have had her. She is a 7.5 week old spoo puppy. She has settled in nicely and has begun eating. She was on Purina One large breed puppy and I have been mixing it with Fromm puppy gold food. Her poop is actually better now than it was. I had the vet check her out yesterday and she has hookworms so I gave her a dose of medicine last night, she gets a dose tonight, and then another dose tomorrow night. Meanwhile, we have been removing all poop from the yard. I have 3 kids.........11, 3, and 2. Well, now I have 4. :) I am a sahm so for the most part I am always home. Just wanted to give you some family info. in case it helps with my questions as I have discovered quite quickly that I need to get on a routine with this new puppy.

Hookworms
We are bagging and tossing poop b/c of the eggs in the poop as my vet recommended. I saw a little smeared poop so I poured bleach over it in my yard. If Bella nips one of us and it breaks the skin, can we get hookworms that way? If so, since she is quite nippy should I not allow the kids to play with her over the next couple of days? I forgot to ask the vet how long does the treatment take to kill the eggs.

Bella is very playful and quite nippy with toes and clothes. This is very intimidating for my 3 and 2 yr old. I realize she is a puppy and I had read on another post that a 2 and 3 yr old is like crack for a puppy and I totally agree. I have read to help control this to grab her muzzle and say no, to say ouch in a loud pitch voice, and to even growl out her. I guess I just need to pick one of the choices and stick with it and try to get my kids to also stick with it. Someone is also with Bella when she is out. If she gets overly excited, I put her back in her crate.

I think she needs to have more running and playing outside, but we have only been putting her out to potty and bringing her back in b/c I worry about her coming into contact with Parvo. She stays in my backyard, but we back up to woods and I know on occasion stray dogs have run through.

I have a puppy Kong. Is she too young to put a little p-butter in it? Someone told me their puppy has had p-butter at 10 weeks. Should I wait?

I was told that Nylabone Puppy bones were good? Is that both the rubber and the edible ones?

Should she eat 3 or 4 times a day at this age? Do you allow water only at these times or should I leave her water down all the time? Should I put her puppy food down for 15 minutes and then pick it up until her next feeding?

Crate schedule--What should that look like at this time? How much time should she be allowed to play before putting her back in her crate? How often do we leave her in the crate? Sometimes my son likes to watch tv, while she naps with him? Is that a bad idea?

She has not had any accidents in her crate at night. I have a 42" crate with a divider in it. Right now her area is 15x28. Should I allow her a little more room? She can turn around in it, but if she stretches out with her paws behind her she uses up the 28". Each night we have her we let her out between 10-10:30 before we go to bed. The first 2 nights we let her out once at 12:30 and then again one night at 4:50 and the next at 5:45. Last night, however, she woke up at 1:30 and then every hour after that and we took her out, peed, and right back into the crate. I know this was bad, but I felt like if she had to go then I had to take her. She had her 1st dose of hookworm medicine last night so I didn't know if that was making her have to pee more. Now, I wonder if it made her thirsty. I didn't allow her to drink any water at night. I do have a crate water bottle, should I put that on at night?

Training--Is she too young to start working on basic commands? If so, when should I start? I have heard people talking about using a clicker. What is the advantage of using a clicker?

Grooming/Bathing--I would like to get her face and feet groomed, but will wait till she has all of her shots before doing that. Meanwhile, I would like to go ahead and bathe her, esp. b/c of the worm situation and too make sure she stays flea free since she can't be on flea meds yet. I brushed her a little yesterday with the Madan slicker brush. Is that brush considered a soft slicker? I still thought it was a little rough. Should I use a different brush while she still has puppy hair?

Sorry for so many questions. My last two poodles were 4 lbs and 7 lbs and I was a single woman when I first bought them. Sadly they both passed away over the last several years. This spoo pup is a whole different ballgame with the addition of 3 human kids, two of them so young. I desperately need to get on a schedule b/c I am starting to feel slightly overwhelmed. Thank you so much for answering any questions you can help with.

Kim
 

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I am so jealous ... new puppies are so exciting! Mine's a year now, and the puppy stages go SO fast...

There is a saying, put two dog trainers in a room and you'll get three different opinions :). In other words, you are likely to get contradictory answers no matter what your source. Books will disagree as well.

So much of what you were asking is down to preference. My pup housetrained quickly and beautifully, so I never had to be that rigorous about crates, water, or feeding times. Some people DO have to be rigorous; depends on the dog.

IMO, you are right in how you are handling the middle of the night wake-up-calls. When mine was housebreaking, ANY time he asked to go out, he went out, even if it was just boredom and he didn't have to pee. Paid off for me, and he was reliably housebroken very quickly.

Mine was mouthy too, and those needle teeth are a killer. Any time he touched skin, I yelled "OW" and then replaced my hand with something he COULD chew on, a toy or a chewie. It's important for them to learn bite inhibition at this age, i.e. how hard they can bite without hurting. With humans, the feedback should be "not very!"

My pup had a Kong from day one, see 'biting' above :).

I've never heard of PB being bad for them, but I would vary it ... PB, cream cheese, regular cheese (grated), and (his fave) a bit a bread with butter spread on it then crammed into the Kong. I'm still trying to work out how to get egg to cook in the Kong, but haven't cracked that one.

Good luck and post pics!
 

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How lovely to have a new baby - and I fully understand the difference between having just a puppy on its own, and coping with a puppy and small children.

Firstly, I think you are very, very sensible to keep a close watch on the puppy with your children, and never to leave them alone together. On the nipping - as JE-UK says, it is important for pups to learn how to inhibit their bite while they are pups. Left with their siblings they would learn this by the other pups squealing, and stopping the game - with humans the quickest way to teach it is to do something very similar. If the puppy bites hard enough to hurt, yell OUCH, stop playing, and if necessary turn your back for a few seconds. As they get the idea, the OUCH comes before it hurts, and eventually as soon as teeth touch skin. If you try to stop them biting altogether from the first, they won't learn to be gentle, so it is best taught in stages. With small children, I would discourage any play that might result in teeth on skin - long tuggies, throw toys, a quiet game with stacking cups with treats hidden under them - lots of ways they can play without risking anyone getting hurt. If the children are rushing around, squealing and flapping, the pup is safer in his crate, or behind a baby gate.

I can't really advise too much on crate training, as I have never used it, but I am rather wary of the idea of limiting a puppy's access to water, especially if he is being fed on dry kibble. I would rather deal with puddles than the possible ill effects of dehydration. I think you may find that the advice to limit water, and to remove it at night, was originally written for older pups - 12 weeks plus - rather than for absolute babies like yours.

There is lots and lots of excellent advice about raising your puppy on the Dog Star Daily site: Dog Star Daily
 

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Ian Dunbar has written a wonderful book for new puppy owners. I love his approach. For sharp puppy teeth he advocates the approach of acting hurt and shocked, and a brief timeout, then another chance to play nicely. At this point, you can also get the shorter version of the book that focuses on the first five months post-ownership, called After You Get Your Dog.

Browse Dogwise: Ian Dunbar Behavior Booklets

One rule of thumb for crating is you can crate ~1 hour for every month of age, e.g., two hours at 2 months, 3 at 3 months, etc.

The puppy is young enough that she should be able to get plenty of exercise indoors still. Take her out to potty, bring her in and play with her a bit, then time for a nap (her, not you, LOL!). If she will retrieve a toy, however imperfectly, that is a fabulous game to start playing with her. It wears her out, gives her mental stimulation, and avoids the roughhousing with the kids/sharp teeth issue.

A clicker is a great way to start with a puppy. You can work on sit and down. It is also fun to start with something she is already offering, e.g., paw or back up. She offers it, you click or praise, treat. Then you can attach a word to it. She decides that she is a brilliant puppy, and that learning/cooperating with you is fun. Another easy place to start is to train her to touch a target (e.g., coffee can lid) with her nose or paw. "Teach" whichever she is more inclined to do. You can use that target training later for other things, but at this point it is to teach her that she is clever and learning is fun.
 

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Sounds like you are already doing a lot right. The puppy stage is so adorable and so hard at the same time!

I would not allow your 2 and 3 year olds to correct the puppy in any way (by grabbing her muzzle or anything), they are just too young. If the puppy bites, teach them to stand still and turn their backs, easier said that done with such young kids I know! You really need to be right there with the dog (preferably on a leash) anytime the kids and dog are interacting so you can correct the puppy when she nips/mouths the kids. The little kids can't do it.

My pup is 8 months, but I still take away all water two hours before bedtime. When he was younger, I take it away three hours before bedtime. I just encourage him to drink earlier in the evening. He has never had a problem with dehydration and it really helps with the house training. I allow access to water at all other times in the day.

My mini LOVES Nylabones. He likes the nonedible kind, but still manages to chew them to pieces. He doesn't swallow the pieces, but spits them out and I throw them away. If your pup swallowed pieces the Nylabone might not be good for her. Puppy Kongs are good, too. I used to put small hard biscuits inside and he would lick and lick, trying to get them out (and usually did). I have never used filling of any kind.

With hookworms, I think the larvae live in the soil for some time and can actually break the surface of your skin and enter the body, so if you had hookworm-infected feces in the backyard, the kids (and you) shouldn't be playing barefoot back there. I would ask your vet for more advice about that.

You can give her a bath at home with a mild puppy shampoo. Just be sure to rinse it out completely. Ideally, a pet dryer would be best to blow dryer, but you can use a human dryer set to cool (never hot) and just be sure not to hold it too close to the skin.
 

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Sounds like loads of work - a puppy and small kids!! Glad its not me!!

Here is an article on hookworms that seems to give lots of useful information:

Hookworms
 
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