The First Weeks Home
Love - Affection - Adore:
Your new puppy will respond to you best when you shower him with your love! Kisses, snuggles and talking are necessary to your new puppy's happiness - and yes, obedience. A puppy who is loved will desire to please you. Affection not take the place of obedience training - it's an important part of it.
The 2 most important things you can do for your puppy are 1) Love/Affection 2) Consistency
These will both assist your puppy's desire to please you and return the love & affection to you.
Feeding Your New Puppy:
Our new puppies are not restricted on their puppy food intake before they come home. They are eating with their litter mates and we want to be sure each puppy gets what they need. It's a good idea to put your puppy on a feeding schedule when he comes home to assist with establishing an expected potty routine.
The first week I suggest feeding your puppy 3-4 times a day... and keeping within a 12 hour window. Offer water 2-3 hours before bedtime.
Start with a 1/2 cup of food and let puppy eat until they start to play and become distracted. Then always take uneaten food away. Keep this a very low key event; just remove quietly and wait until the next feeding to offer more. Your puppy will learn to respect you and mealtime both. When they've adjusted to their new schedule -expect them to eat between 1 and 3/4 cups total per day.
We feed our puppies Nutri Source Chicken and Rice for small/medium breed puppies. Purina ProPlan Chicken and Rice for small breed puppies is another recommended food. Be sure whatever you choose is nutrient dense for your growing puppy. Compare your new food to the Nutrient Analysis we are feeding your puppy: https://nutrisourcepetfoods.com/dog-food/small-medium-puppy/2
On the first days home, we recommend following the "One Hour" Rule until you understand your puppy's signs/body schedule. Take your puppy every hour to the designated potty area. Praise him when goes!!
Remember that every play session should be fairly short - and always followed by a potty time. Playing will stimulate the need to eliminate.
Guideline: (be flexible with this)
6 a.m. wake up – potty
Potty 5-20 min after eating, then play
Nap/rest in crate
Potty, then play
Potty 5-20 minutes after eating
Playtime then potty
Nap/rest in crate
Potty 5-20 minutes after done eating
Playtime and potty before bed
Take your puppy for a night-time potty break 3-4 hours after going to sleep.
Remember your puppy is a baby and over-playing with your puppy can cause them to exhaust themselves and they may be too tired to eat enough, or delay Potty Training progress. Please respect your puppy's nap time - it's very important for them! :)
We start touching and handling your puppy from birth. We still respect their time with their mama, but it's also very good for your puppy to experience human interaction and stimulation! Your puppy will be touched and handled by adults and from children ages toddler to teenager! After puppy is weaned, we introduce them to a crate by placing one in their playpen they can choose to sleep in.
It's very important that socialization is continued in earnest when your puppy comes home! Be careful, as she isn't fully vaccinated yet, but introduce to as many new experiences/people as possible. This will help make your puppy a well-rounded, accepting, joyful pup who isn't easily startled or upset. The older your puppy gets, the harder these experiences are for them to learn. Seriously consider enrolling in a puppy class for socialization and/or training.
New Puppy Meeting Resident Pet:
All introductions should be supervised and positive for both pets. No scolding or coaxing, just a lot of praise and treats. If the Resident pet is much larger, we suggest play pens, if necessary, until they are acclimated to one another.
Biting and Teething:
Shopping for toys is fun - we suggest a variety of taste, texture, noise, and shapes. But puppies only need a few toys at a time. Change them out to keep them excited about chewing on toys - not your shoes/furniture. It's a good idea to keep a few favorites to stay entertained in their crate.
"Acquired Bite Inhibition (ABI)" is when your puppy has learned to keep his bite strength at a moderate level and not actually hurt you. Playing with litter mates begins this training. Biting is something natural, and you want them to be able to use gentle "Soft Mouth" biting on your hand. Cavaliers/Cavapoos are not aggressive in nature, but if not taught appropriately, even playful, hard biting is not something you want to get started. Learn more here from Ian Dunbar. More tips on nipping/biting behaviors here.
Always be clear in the messages you send to your puppy. It's fine to use full sentences with your puppy; but always use the same phrase to make your point clear.