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.
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.
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!