View Full Version : Tell me about your first day with your puppy

5th May 2012, 07:12 PM
Alright, so I'm getting a rescue cavalier puppy next week (he'll be 12 wks old and was born and cared for in a shelter). I'm so excited and feel blessed to get this little guy, his name is Fletcher.

I have never had a puppy so young before or a cavalier. Now my excitement is turning into fear. I know day one can set the tone of his behavior for life. I have read and re-read about "the rules" I want to set with my Fletcher but I worried, after all I want to have a strong bond with this guy. Like crate train, don't let him have the run of the house unsupervised, take him directly to his potty spot first, a schedule , sleeping in his crate etc. But the planner is coming outta me and I want to know about your first day with your new cavalier. And some advice in the what ifs? What if he won't eat? What if he's afraid of my kids? (he never met any that I know of) What if he hates my current dog? (I'm not worried about him, he like everyone and has no problem when we dog sit) And did any of you "break the rules" I know the not letting him sleep with me thing is gonna be hard cause I want him to and if so how did it turn out?

Several weeks ago, when I learned I was getting him for sure. The whole family and I went to puppy-proofing our main living space and set up some new doggie rules. Like no puppy in the kids rooms, no feeding table food, put your shoes away, etc. I also have a 4 yr old so I have been talking to him about new puppy rules.

Anyway, I hope you tell me about your first day with your new cavalier or cavaliers (I heard you can't have just 1)


6th May 2012, 06:21 AM
I know others will frown, but I think a routine is more important that any rules, because everyone is so different and what works for others, may not work for your
family. We bought Jessie home at 7 weeks and he changed our life. The first day, we were petrified, he was far from it. There was no crying or whimpering,
he was only interested in his rawhide chew (that the breeder gave us in a little pack of his favourite things) and discovering his new toys. While it was all still new,
we offered him a small meal, which he gobbled down, along with his puppy milk and took him outside. He bounced around like a little bunny and was as happy as a pig
in mud.

We hadn't heard of create training when we bought him home, but had a playpen set up in our big loungeroom for him. I left the T.V on for him and we said goodnight
and I left our door open to listen for him. He cried a few times, to which I would go back and try to settle him, but after around an hour, he settled down and fell asleep.
The pen was secure and around 60cms high, he has everything he needed in there, we just didn't want him to hurt himself at night. Well, the second night, I heard soft
crying, but was so tired myself, I drifted off to sleep. I was woken suddenly by a loud whimpering, I sat up and seen this little white fluffy puppy in our room beside the bed.
He had hurled himself over the pen, walked through the dark house to come and find us. Well, needless to say that was the first and last time he slept alone.
We ditched the pen and he's sleep in our room ever since. He's now 9 months old. He's always had free reign of the house, and in all that time, there has only been
2 occasions where he decided to chew our new hardwood bed and rip up carpet, and last week he destroyed my new ugg boots.

He now sleeps on the end of our bed and it works for all of us. While it's worked for us, it wouldn't work for everyone. We felt that he is a big part of our family,
so even now we still wouldn't have put him in a create... no matter how many pairs of ugg boots he destroys.

This was taken the first afternoon we brought him home


6th May 2012, 07:13 AM
Guinness wanted to go back to his litter, and was pretty convinced that I was planning to eat him. He slept, and ate, and that was about it.

Thistle really wanted Guinness to replace her siblings, and kept trying to jump on him to play or sleep. She loves people, but was really more dog oriented at the time. She wasn't afraid of anything (while chasing Guinness she stepped into the bowl of food I had out and sent the whole thing flying, the bowl was really loud and then there's kibble raining down, she thought it was funny).

Bring the puppy home, I promise he'll think of adorably cute things to do like sit on your lap, or scare himself in a mirror, or flip one of his ears inside out and then walk around looking silly, it'll be so cute you spend that day watching and introducing yourself and the house.

It's once you have to get back to your real life that the routine will kick in. When every minute of the first day is obsessing over the puppy they don't get into mischief. It's when you aren't watching every second that wires get chewed, window sills get chewed, socks get stolen, pee spots appear on your floor, etc.

6th May 2012, 07:15 AM
I'm a believer in crate training. Both my dogs like their. Rates. They don't hesitate to enter them and like the security. Crates definitely help with house training.

The first few nights can be challenging. Just remember that dogs are pack animals and don't like to be alone. When my dogs sleep in their crates, I'm in the room with them. With a little one you'll want to set the alarm two of three times the first few nights to take him outside. Just be sure to not fuss or speak to him when he whines. Wait until he's quiet to take him out or speak. When you speak to the puppy you reinforce what the puppy is doing at this moment.

With that said, the next time I have a puppy I believe I will still use the crate but probably a small soft one, and put it on the bed with me so I can curl up around it. When the pup is older I will move the crate to the floor. Once the puppy is house trained the main reason for crating at night IMO is to protect the dog from getting things while unsupervised. My 9 year old sleeps in he bed with my daughter and has for years. Our Golden puppy is still crated at night in my room.

One thing that has worked well for my puppy is to feed warm goats milk with a bit of melatonin in it. I use the human not pet kind. It mellows him out. I gave it to him the first week he was home and it helped him sleep through the night. I started giving it to him again recently after he was neutered to help him get to sleep because he cant do vigorous exercise right now.

Good luck and have fun. After a few days, you'll have your own routine and flow.

6th May 2012, 01:23 PM
Two books to download for free, immediately:

Before You Get Your Puppy
After You Get Your Puppy


These will make a HUGE difference in your comfort level, knowledge and preparation. :thmbsup:

If more people read them, fewer dogs would end up in pounds and rescues. :)

6th May 2012, 01:33 PM
PS what book has 'the rules'?! :yikes Always worried about books that say you have to lay down strict rules. :(

I don;t think you need to be so fearful that everything from 'day one' is going to have massive impact. Training is a process. The more you know in advance, the easier it is. But don't be misled, puppies ARE hard work. Fun, but very hard work. House training is easily one of the most frustrating and exasperating experience any dog owner will have, made more difficult for some by the importance of never expressing that frustration to a puppy or dog. I did a lot of coutning backward from 10! :lol:

A cavalier isn't any different from any other puppy of any breed or mix-- the training approaches should be the same. :)

I know others will frown, but I think a routine is more important that any rules

I think most would agree, actually. Routine is the basis of all training and behaviour.

6th May 2012, 04:45 PM
I agree with Karlin on reading the Ian Dunbar books. They have so much good information and tips and they are easy to read.

I remember being so excited the day we got to pick up Sonny. We didn't get to pick him up until that night, so the whole day I was just waiting and anticipating. He seemed so scared on the ride home which was an hour drive from the breeders to our house. I actually started crying in the car because I felt like he was so sad and missed his family. One thing our breeder did which I think was helpful was we brought Sonny's blanket and the breeder wrapped Sonny's mom in the blanket and kind of rubbed it on her to pick up her smells. He also let the other puppies romp around on it for awhile.

When we got Sonny home we took him outside to where we wanted him to go potty. My advice on this would be to be patient. I felt like we stood outside with him FOREVER, but he eventually went and we made a HUGE deal about it and rewarded and praised him. He definitely had many accidents in the house, but I still think it was important that his first time going potty at our house was outside in his spot instead of having an accident.

We chose to crate train Sonny and Sonny actually loves his crate. It's his safe place. Even his babysitter says that when she is at his house he runs to his crate and puts himself to bed when he is tired. We have been pretty lucky and Sonny has been pretty good about going to bed, but we have had a couple of trying nights where he cried and it was soooo difficult to not run to him, but somehow we did it. I know that crates aren't everyone's preference, but it has really worked for us and been very helpful with training.

As far as eating we have NEVER had a problem with Sonny eating. He is a little piggy and gobbles his food right up. Actually our biggest problem has been getting him to slow down his eating! We ended up getting him this when he got older to slow down his eating!


I know that some people have had trouble with getting their little fur babies to eat, so they will have better advice if that is a struggle with your little one.

I agree with the others that everyone has to figure out a lot of the things that are right for their family in regard to sleeping, eating, pottying, ect but I agree that a routine and consistency are the most important!

Fletcher is very lucky to be going to such a loving home!!!! I can't wait to hear about his first day home. My biggest advice would be take lots of pictures that first day so that you can always remember that special day that he became a part of your family. One of my favorite things to do is look through all of Sonny's baby pictures. :lotsaluv: In fact my husband and I took a trip to the Caribbean about a month ago and instead of enjoying being completely alone and having no responsibility we found ourselves constantly going through our camera admiring Sonny and talking about how much we missed him. LOL

7th May 2012, 12:50 AM
Two books to download for free, immediately:

Before You Get Your Puppy
After You Get Your Puppy

www.dogstardaily.com/free-downloads (http://www.dogstardaily.com/free-downloads)

These will make a HUGE difference in your comfort level, knowledge and preparation. :thmbsup:

If more people read them, fewer dogs would end up in pounds and rescues. :)

Thanks have read both!!!!! I have also read several Cavalier books and even the Dog Whisper (didn't really care for it but he has a lot of good info on how dogs think) With my kids (and our other dog) I have very few rules I want my kids to enjoy being kids, but the few rule I do have I'm pretty strict with, I guess that's how I'll be with Fletcher too. Supervision with puppies and kids I think is the key. I'll remember to not just say NO but this instead, just like a toddler.

I'm leaving Wednesday AM early because I found out the vet will be giving the puppies their last vet check and shots at 11am (its a 5 hr drive so that means early) I will be able to met him then and be there for a vet check!!!!!! And I get to meet the Mommy!!!!!!! Good tip about bring a blanket, I can do that. I won't officially be able to take him until Thursday morning. Yes, I am traveling alone, I love road trips but I know I'll need to stop a lot on the way home sooooooo........

I do have rescue dog experience, so house training doesn't scare me!!!!!

Also the shelter's adoption fee is very reasonable considering all the work they have put into these dogs, I'm going to double it. I'm not made of money and this cuts into my savings but too bad...this place is amazing. Its a non for profit anyway.

Keep the tips coming, I will take 10000000 pictures too and overload you all promise.


7th May 2012, 01:15 AM
So the books that Karlin recommends were SUPER helpful and really helped me to feel more prepared. I am a big believer in crate training too and it gives you a chance to have a break while still ensuring the puppy and your home are both safe. Only a few tips to add to the above advice - at the drugstore here in the US they have re-usable bed pads for people. These work great for dogs - they cannot chew them up since they are heavier and they are washable so less waste. This was a life saver for my sofa - when BB was little she could go potty in lightening speed and was so little I did not always see the signs. These pads also make a great liner in the crates!

Chewing... oh my... I thought I did a good job of puppy proofing the house but she found cords that I did not think she would be interested in or be able to reach. Lesson - painters tape works great to cover cords and keep them out of the way while not hurting your walls or wood floors (if you have them). I am not sure what to use on carpet but wish I would have done this earlier - it would have saved my Mac Computer charger and my DVD connection cables.

The other thing that has been a great idea is doggy daycare and play time with the neighbors dogs. BB is well behaved and I believe it is because she gets enough activity, the only other thing is the walking - you have to work her up to what we would consider a full walk.

Enjoy - the puppy stage is SOOOO cute and goes so fast - take tons of pictures!