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Category: When Puppy comes home
  1. What's the first thing I should do when I arrive home with my new puppy?
  2. Can I use a litter box at home as my puppy's bathroom?
  3. Will my puppy sleep through the night when I bring it home?
  4. My puppy isn't sleeping through the night. What can I do?
  5. Can my new puppy meet my neighbor's dog?
  6. How far can I walk with my new puppy?
  7. When can I start training my puppy to sit, down etc?



  1. What's the first thing I should do when I arrive home with my new puppy?
    Before you take your puppy into the house, take it outside to it's new bathroom spot. The ride from our home to yours will likely make it need to go potty. By taking it outside first, you won't have an accident in the house. Be patient, there will be lots of new smells and it may take 5-10 minutes before your puppy goes to the bathroom.
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  2. Can I use a litter box at home as my puppy's bathroom?
    Yes, but you will have condition your puppy to use it. Dogs are not like cats. They will not use the litter box just because it is there. You will need to confine your puppy to a small space that holds his crate and litter box and praise and reward him when he uses it. After a day or two, expand the space a little and continue to praise and reward when he used it. If he makes a mistake on the floor, clean and disinfect the area with a vinegar solution to eliminate the smell (1 part vinegar to 4 parts water in a spray bottle works well. If you catch him "in the act", quickly tell him "no" and put him in the litter box and then praise and reward if he finishes his job there. Ultimately it is best to train your dog to go outside for the bathroom but if you live in a condo, the litter box is a nice "emergency bathroom" for the first few months.
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  3. Will my puppy sleep through the night when I bring it home?
    No, it likely won't sleep through the night. Every puppy is different with regard to bladder control. If you take away food at 6 pm, water at 8 pm and make sure the puppy goes outside at the last possible moment right before you go to bed, you will maximize the length of time it will sleep before it needs to go outside. However, if you follow the same routine daily, and are consistent, it usually only takes a week or so before our puppies do sleep at least 7 hours at night.
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  4. My puppy isn't sleeping through the night. What can I do?
    You have two choices: option #1- put the puppy in it's crate, put the crate somewhere close to where you sleep so that you will hear the pup when it whines to go out at night and when you hear it, take it out. Make it clear it is a business trip only, no cuddling, playing, food etc and straight back into the crate to finish sleeping. Option #2 - set up a safe area for night where the puppy has it's crate or bed and a bathroom area. A bathroom or laundry room often works well(make sure bathroom mats are removed!). Put the crate in the area (make sure the door is wide open) and pee pads or newspaper at the other end of the space, away from the crate. When the puppy needs to go to the bathroom, it will wake up, go to the bathroom and then go back to bed. When you wake up in the morning, immediately, check on your puppy, when there are no bathroom messes in the space for a few nights in a row, you can lock your puppy in it's crate for the night as it is likely sleeping through the night BUT, make sure you take it out immediately when you wake up. 7-8 hours is realistic for a puppy to sleep for the first few months. If you want a "sleep-in" day, it will be a few months down the road before you will be able to laze around in bed in the morning.
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  5. Can my new puppy meet my neighbor's dog?
    Before your puppy meets any other dog, make sure the other dog is up-to-date on shots and is well-mannered around puppies. A nasty encounter with another dog in the first 4 months of your puppy's life can stay with him for a very long time.
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  6. How far can I walk with my new puppy?
    Walk as far as your new puppy wants to go. Your puppy will have been introduced to a leash but may still need to get used to it. Each puppy is different but some will walk happily with you for an hour and some will only last 20 minutes. At 8 weeks of age, puppies will generally play for 60-90 minutes outside before they are ready to take a nap. Watch your pup for signs that they are getting tired and then bring your walk to a close. If you are still blocks away from home, make the route shorter the next time and carry your puppy home.
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  7. When can I start training my puppy to sit, down etc?
    Start training your puppy the day you bring it home. Schnauzers are very smart. They will learn new skills easily, sometimes with food as a motivator, sometimes they will work for praise and cuddles. If you don't start on training right away, your puppy will quickly become unmanageable and create frustration in the household. It's never too late to start but the sooner the better.
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