A New Puppy – First 10 Days of Hell

I just got another Siberian Husky puppy (Lara) about 10 days ago and am going through a puppy training refresher course. Indeed, it is easy to forget how much work a new puppy truly is.

Therefore, I have decided to write this article of the first 10 puppy days while it is still fresh in my mind. The next time I even think of getting a puppy, I can re-read this article and hopefully remember what a big pain in the ass a new puppy is! 😀

Days 1 & 2 – Nights from Hell

The first few days were not too bad. We mainly focused on introducing puppy to our other two dogs and making sure that our existing dogs saw puppy as a positive thing.

We also started on puppy potty training but puppy seemed to have that under good control. We did not have any mistakes – it was amazing!

However, puppy did cry at night. This is not surprising since it is the first time she is sleeping in a new location and without her litter mates. Puppy was feeling lonely, sad, and scared. The first couple of nights I had to wake up about 4 times. 2 times to take puppy out for potty, and another 2 times just to cuddle with puppy.

As a result I did not get much, if any sleep. Be prepared to get very little sleep in the first few weeks with a new puppy.

Days 3 & 4 – Puppy Potty Training Hell

The first few good potty training days lulled me into a false sense of security. On day 3 puppy made lots of mistakes all over the place.

I was around to supervise puppy the whole time, but I thought it would be ok to take short bathroom breaks while puppy was sleeping – WRONG!

I found out the hard way that constant supervision is absolutely necessary for potty training in order to prevent potty mistakes.

When I need to go to the bathroom or perform some other task, I now always put puppy in her play-pen or enclosure. There is a blanket, some toys, and puppy pads in the enclosure. This makes things a lot better because puppy either does her potty outside or on her puppy pads. I reward her for going outside, but I don’t reward her for going on her puppy pads.


I take puppy outside –

  • As soon as puppy wakes up.
  • After puppy feeding time.
  • After play or any other heavy activity.
  • Whenever it looks like she is about to potty, e.g. circling, pulling to go to corners, etc. Each puppy will have their own potty signs, so observe carefully to identify our puppy’s pre-potty behaviors.

If puppy tries to go inside the house, I am right there next to her so that I can non-mark her (Ack-Ack), interrupt her, and leave her in her enclosure to finish up. This allows me to quickly go back and clean up the mess while she is in her enclosure.

Constant vigilance and a fixed eating and drinking schedule are crucial in puppy potty training.

Day 5 – Puppy and Furniture Hell

On day 5 I nearly had a heart attack.

Puppy was sleeping nicely with me on the couch, when I started getting really hungry. The kitchen is in the next room, so I quickly stepped away to get a loaf of bread from the refrigerator – WRONG!

As soon as I got the bread, I hear this loud cry. I threw the bread on the kitchen counter and ran back to a crying puppy on the floor. She was holding one of her front legs up in pain.

Bad, bad ShibaShake!

Luckily, puppy was ok and was moving around without any sign of a limp within the next few minutes. Whew.

From then on, I am always with puppy. If I cannot be with puppy even for 1 second, she goes into her puppy enclosure.

Days 6 to 9 – Energizer Puppy Hell

At this point, puppy is a lot more comfortable with her new surroundings and is always up to something. It is tiring as hell to try and keep up with a hyper puppy.

In the beginning, I figured that my other two dogs can take up some of the slack. I was hoping that they would all play, have a lot of chasing and running goodness, and at the end of the day I would end up with 2 tired dogs and 1 tired puppy.

Indeed it worked out well at first. I supervised all play sessions and both my dogs played well with puppy. I stepped in as soon as things got too excited, and the dogs started getting too rough with puppy.

Things were looking up because puppy not only tired out Shiba Sephy, but she also conked out Husky Shania who is a big time Energizer Bunny herself. All I needed to do was stand around and step in at the appropriate times.

WRONG!

On day 9, Shiba Sephy ran over puppy before I could get to them and stop play. Puppy started crying, and was limping for the rest of the day.

Day 10 – Puppy in Vet Hell

On day 10, puppy was still limping so we took her to the vet.

It was fun, fun, fun – with temperature taking and various poking and prodding of body parts. Then, the vet had to put puppy’s leg through a series of pretty heavy handling.

Puppy was not happy.

$343 later, we had a conked out and unhappy puppy, with a sprained rear leg.

Thank goodness it wasn’t anything more serious, but no more off-leash play until puppy gets bigger.

To close, I feel it is only fair to say that there are also many reasons to get a puppy. But … they require a lot of time, supervision, and energy to care for especially in the first few months.

Update

Day 12 – Puppy slept through the whole night without waking up. Hopefully there will be more such nights in the future.

Day 14 – Puppy’s limp is all gone. She now has free and good use of her rear leg. YAY!

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Comments

  1. Anne says

    Thanks for this! I got my first dog–a two-month old Aussiedoodle–six months ago and I couldn’t believe how much time and attention he took. I kept thinking that I must’ve been doing something wrong. I realize now that the time I invested then has made training easier as he’s gotten older. Still waiting for his energy level to drop a bit, but that’s probably the Aussie in him.

    • shibashake says

      Haha, yeah puppies are a lot of work. As you say though, the early time put in pays back great dividends later on. My Sibes calmed down a bit at around 3 years old. They are also less energetic in the summer, when it is hot, so I get a mini-break. 😀

      Big hugs to your pup! Aussiedoodle is an interesting mix. If you have pictures online, please post us a link. Would love to see him.

  2. Anonymous says

    Hello,
    I just got a 7 week old male golden retriever puppy home. It’s been about one week since we got him. He got his first immunization shot the days ago when we took him to the vet. He seems really moody and sad since then, mostly sleeps, doesn’t play much. His appetite is really poor for the last couple of days. The vet told me this would happen after his shot, but still was a bit worried. I would be really glad to hear your opinion! Thanks!

    • shibashake says

      How is he? Were the shots from a vet that you trust?

      My dogs are usually tired and a bit out of it on the day itself, but they are usually better by the next day. The loss of appetite is especially worrying. If my dog is showing such symptoms, I would take her to a vet that I really trust for another checkup, just to be sure.

  3. Anonymous says

    Hello ,

    I recently just adopted a lab mix from the humane society. I take her out often and she will not go outside once. The second she enters the house she will pee or poop. Not even in the first 5 minutes of being back inside. What can I do to get her to stop??

    • shibashake says

      What is her temperament like? How old is she? How long have you had her? Did they say she was already potty trained when you got her? Did she pee outside when you visited with her at the humane society? Do you have a backyard? What do you do when she makes a mistake inside?

      With my more submissive dog, I have noticed that she does not really feel comfortable peeing or pooing during walks, especially in the beginning. Now that she is more familiar with the neighborhood, she is more relaxed about peeing outside. However, she still prefers to do number 2 in our backyard, where she feels much safer and more relaxed. When a dog is doing her business, she is in a very vulnerable position, so I imagine it can be stressful for a dog to get into that position, especially in unfamiliar surroundings.

      When I first potty trained my dog, I did it in my backyard first, which is fully enclosed and where she feels more secure. I also have an enclosure with puppy pads inside the house. I supervise my dog very carefully during the potty training period, and I teach her to either go on the pads or in the backyard.
      More on how I potty trained my dog.

  4. Lawrence says

    Hi again, just home and found she peed in her enclosure area and not on the pad which makes me think she’s not concerned with peeing near where she sleeps.

    • shibashake says

      My Husky puppy did not like going on soiled pads. When the pads were soiled, she would go somewhere else in her enclosure, thereby creating a mess. Therefore, I always change the pads right after she goes.

      Of course this will be difficult to do if no one is home for 6 hours. Is there anyone who can visit with puppy and change pads etc, to break up this long stretch?

      As for the screaming, the first thing that I do with my dog is to identify the *reason* for her screaming. Dogs sometimes vocalize because of stress, fear, warning, etc. If I am sure that my dog is vocalizing only to get my attention, then of course I *do not* reward her for this behavior. However, I always try to read my dog and identify the cause of the behavior first.

  5. Lawrence says

    Hi,

    I just recently came across your site as I just got an 8 week old Shiba, this maybe a little off the topic of your article but I was just wondering, at what age did you start training sephy? Currently I wouldn’t say that my little Shibe “Chocolate” is all that interested in food so its hard to do reward training. Also she pees and poops all over the apartment. I would tell her No! every time I caught her and quickly carry her back to her little den like area where her toilet is also. Exactly like your 3rd image in this article. She has peed and pooped in her toilet before but she seems to do it elsewhere too. Sometimes I’ll let her out and she’ll go yet she wont go in her toilet before she comes out. She has also stepped in her own pee and nearly her poop. Shes had 6 accidents in the last 2 days.
    Also I would really like to ask. She will cry alot in her den area, Its not like she doesn’t like it, she just wants out a lot too, but she does play with her toys in there and I feed her in there too. When she cries I ignore her completely, sometimes it’ll last a while but when she stops i would wait maybe 20-30 seconds and go over to see her, should I be waiting longer? Also she cries to get out and these are the times shes just about to pee or poop but seems more interested in doing around the apartment.

    Any advice? thanks!

    • shibashake says

      I started training Sephy as soon as I got him, at 10 weeks old. I got my Husky puppies at around 8 weeks old and that was when I started training them.

      As for reward training, there are many things that can be used as a positive stimulus/reward. not just food. For example, my dog’s freedom is a reward, a toy is a reward, access to the backyard is a reward, affection is a reward, access to people is a reward, etc.
      More on how I trained my puppy.

      As for potty training, supervision and management are key. I do not let my puppy freely roam the house until he is fully potty trained.
      More on how I potty train my puppy.

      Also she cries to get out and these are the times shes just about to pee or poop but seems more interested in doing around the apartment.

      My Shiba is very picky about where he pees and poops and really does not like doing it close to where he sleeps. With my Shiba, I did not need to use an enclosure because when he needed to go, he would always go to the door, and I would take him outside to do his business. In this way, he sleeps in his crate and he does his potty far away outside.

      One possibility is to fully separate sleeping area and potty area. Another possibility is to have a larger enclosure so that they potty area is much farther away from the sleeping area. I also replace potty pads right away, after my puppy goes.

      Finally, dogs vocalize for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, a puppy vocalizes because he really needs to go and doesn’t want to do it close to where he sleeps. This is why many people use crates for potty management. However, this also means that I cannot just ignore my puppy’s cries, because he may be saying that he needs to go.

      When Sephy was a puppy, I put him in a crate at night in the bedroom with me. When he cries, I take him outside to do his business on-leash. We go to his potty spot, and I do not let him roam. If he does his business, then I reward him well by letting him explore and play for a while. If he does not do his business (after I wait a few minutes with absolutely no roaming), we come straight in and he goes back in his crate. In this way, he does not get rewarded for his whining, since we go right to his potty spot, there is no roaming, and we come right back in.

      However, if he does do his potty, then I reward him with exploration and play which he really enjoys.

      Also I would really like to ask. She will cry alot in her den area

      Where is her enclosure? Can she see you when she is in there? How long is she usually in there for? What is her daily schedule?

      When I get a new puppy, I set up a very fixed schedule. In this way, my puppy knows when it is nap time, play time, eating time, etc. This helps to create certainty and certainty helps to reduce stress and stress related vocalizations.
      More on my puppy’s schedule.

    • Lawrence says

      Thanks for the swift reply!
      I leave her in her enclosure overnight when sleeping and when I wake in the morning before work I would let her out for a bit and she wanders around the living room. I prepare her meal in the morning and put it in her enclosure and kinda lure her in there, but well she walks in there herself when she sees the food. I leave her in there after that and go to work of which she is left there for 6 hours on her own. When a family member comes home before I do. I’ll come home a couple hours after that, when I do come home shes sometimes napping and when she wakes up she’ll scream sometimes to be let out again. I let her out a good bit before her evening meal and then meal in enclosure and she’ll usually fall asleep again. So i just let her be then.

      I do concern that the possibility of the potty are being too close to where she sleeps since its beside. And once she eliminated right in the corner of the pads away from her usually sleep and play area. But then sometimes I feel its not the case as when she has her little accidents, she has stepped in her pee before and smells her own poop too. Giving me the feeling she doesn’t dislike it, also she has peeed on the pads a couple times before and also accidents on the area she usually slept on in the enclosure.

      I try not to indulge her when shes screaming for my attention, shes in the living room and can see me when she will scream.

      Should I not keep her in her enclosure? She isn’t really potty trained yet. Should I give her my attention? Won’t it give her the idea when she screams I will go to her? I have done it once at the very start, first day but all she did is run around when I let her out.

    • Anonymous says

      Oh sorry I forgot to mention that she also only screams when she knows we’re close by or sees us. For example she doesn’t scream when she wakes up first, she only screams when a family member walks out into the living room area and she sees them. She won’t scream when I leave the apartment and she doesn’t scream while no ones home. (Stayed by the door for a while as I left apartment)

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