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Puppy First Day Home Tips - Professional Dog Training Tips



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- Do you think can handle this much cuteness?

Well, today we're gonna talk about

your first day home with your new puppy.

And I've got this adorable little eight-week-old

puppy named Levi.

We're gonna talk to instructor Kim,

who is one of our head instructors

of our Head Start for Puppies program,

and she's just brought Levi home

just a couple of days ago,

and we're gonna talk to her about

her first couple days home with this

adorable four-legged family member.

I'm Ken Steepe, and welcome back to McCann Dogs.

(strumming guitar and dog barking)

So Levi isn't actually my puppy.

Levi belongs to Instructor Kim.

He is an eight-week-old Border Collie,

and she just brought him home the other day.

Now, Instructor Kim is one of our

head instructors for our Head Start for Puppies program,

so she knows a thing or two about

puppy behavior and puppy training.

So I thought this would be a great opportunity

to help you guys in our YouTube audience

to learn a little bit about what a professional

dog trainer would do when preparing to bring a puppy home.

Now Kim, you have another Border Collie at home, Charlie,

and it's been a while since you had a puppy,

so what did you have to get

to prepare for bringing little Levi home?

- Yeah, it's actually been about nine years, Ken,

since I've had a puppy.

So I didn't have a lot of my regular stuff at home.

For example, I had to purchase a small collar

that would fit the puppy.

I was lucky enough, I found two 21-inch crates

that I can use on their Vari kennels, the plastic crates.

- Yeah, that's perfect.

- On YouTube, not YouTube, sorry.

- That's all right.

- On Gigi. - Yeah.

- So I found those at a great price,

and I already had them, so I had one for my house,

and then one for the car.

And they both have blankets inside.

I bought some chewy bones, ones that are

appropriate for a puppy of this age,

so the softer, less opaque ones that Nylabone makes.

That was just a brand name, but--

- [Ken] Yeah, they're great bones, and puppies love them.

- Yeah, they're really good,

and they have a flavoring to them,

so they're kind of enticing.

I also bought a bag of our,

the food that I want to transition him over to.

So when I picked him up, the breeder provided

a small bag of what she had been feeding him.

And just because I have great success

with the product that I'm using on my older dog,

I want to stick with that name brand,

and use the puppy version.

So I bought a small bag of that,

so I can transition slowly.

You never want to just introduce

new food to a puppy right away,

because that will upset their sensitive stomachs.

- Yeah, yeah.

Bringing a new puppy home can be stressful

for both the puppy and for the puppy owner.

So talk a little bit about how you prepared

for that, for the first night, for example,

that little Levi came home.

- So the night before, I made sure I got done

some of my housework that I wanted to do,

my laundry, just sort of organized everything

so everything was set up and ready to go,

and I went to bed early.

- Okay, that's really important, and don't overlook that,

having all of those chores and things done

ahead of bringing the puppy home,

because I'm sure when the puppy comes home

for those first days, you're really busy.

- Yep, there's a lot to think about.

I mean, puppies require constant supervision,

so whenever the puppy is not in his create,

I'm always there within eyes

distance away from him, literally.

- Sure.

- So that I can make sure that he

doesn't get into anything he shouldn't.

I keep him safe.

- Now, it's likely that your puppy's

going to have an accident in the house,

whether you're supervising them or not.

Sometimes they just, they've gotta go.

Their bladders are small, they haven't learned to hold it

since they've come home from the litter,

so tell us a little bit,

you mentioned that he had an accident

before you came to the hall here.

So tell us a little bit about how you

manage that situation and what to do

if your puppy does have an accident in the house.

- Yeah, it was funny, because I knew that

I should have been supervising him,

and I made the mistake of supervising him

by knowing where he was, not actually seeing him.

- [Ken] Sure.

- And that's the opportune time

when accidents do happen, of course.

- It can happen to anyone.

- Absolutely, and it's generally when you

have to be somewhere, which is the case for tonight.

- (laughs) Yeah, exactly.

- So, for the most part,

I'm, as I mentioned early, I'm always supervising,

I'm always watching him, but I also keep him

on a very tight schedule.

So as soon as he comes out of his crate,

we get our leash on, we go outside.

I live in a condo, so I'm lucky

that I'm on the first floor,

and I'm close to an exit door,

but I still make sure that I

take him outside right away

as soon as he comes out of his crate,

and I try and give him a chance

to do everything that he needs to do while he's out there.

So if he gets a little bit distracted,

we'll try and take him to a new place and go again.

If he doesn't go, if there's nothing that he's done,

then I would put him right back into his crate

and try him again in maybe five or so minutes,

and take him back out again.

Sometimes the world can be a little bit distracting

for these little guys who haven't seen a whole lot

from where they were.

- For sure.

Now, being a professional dog trainer,

some of our viewers might think that

the training starts as soon as the puppy gets home.

But we know that's not really the case.

So tell us what you do for the first day,

and the first couple of days that Levi comes home.

- Yeah, it's extremely stressful for a puppy.

If you can imagine they have just spent

the last eight or so weeks with their litter mates,

and in their home environment.

That's the first place that they've ever known,

and they get taken away from their litter mates

and brought to a strange environment

where there could be a wide variety

of things that are kind of frightening for them.

Potentially other dogs or other animals, cats,

I have cats at home.

Just even the sounds of a house could be different

than what they were used to in their

kennel environment, perhaps, so I really take the time to,

allow him just to adjust to his surroundings,

to investigate and check things out, but in a safe way.

So he's, again, always supervised,

and I prevent, I put things away,

making sure that he can't really get into too much trouble

while he's investigating, and just taking his time,

and also I'm being very respectful for the

animals that I have at home,

my cats and my other dog, and I'm giving them

the space that they need.

So keeping them a little bit separated,

doing shift, so to speak.

- Sure.

- I'll have him in his crate for a little bit,

and the rest of the animals can have their

run around the house, and then I might put those guys away

and just let him out, and take turns,

alternating a little bit here and there.

I'm trying not to overwhelm him too much,

you know, really keeping an eye on

what he's able to actually manage,

and then give him that quiet time, too.

One of the things I noticed that,

especially a Border Collie,

but a lot of puppies are like this,

they don't have a self-moderator.

So they will continue to play themselves too hard.

- [Ken] Right.

- And they really do need that sleep time.

We don't need to be doing a whole lot with them

all the time for those first few weeks.

So I might have him out and I might

play with some toys, let him investigate a little bit,

and then maybe after an hour or so,

I put him back in his crate for a couple hours,

and bring him back out, you know, to keep work--

- Totally, yeah.

It's a great way to install like an off switch.

- [Kim] Yes.

- So that he knows when he goes into his crate

or his kennel that it's time that he can relax,

and you know, recuperate and recover.

I think that's really important,

and that's something, the mistake, one mistake that I made

with my Lab puppy, before I was a dog trainer,

before I really understood,

is I gave her complete freedom.

And she was harassing our older Lab,

and it was just a really, it was an unfair scenario

for the other animals in the house.

So I think that's a really important point.

When Instructor Kim talks about her puppy

being out of his kennel and supervising him,

she doesn't just trust it'll make good choices.

We know that puppies will explore the world

with their mouths, and get into all sorts of things.

So even in the first day,

or the first couple days home,

Instructor Kim got a house line for Levi.

And if you haven't seen the video

where I talk about the house line, I'll link it above.

But tell us a little bit about

how you've used the house line with Levi.

- Yeah, it's a great tool.

It allows him the freedom, but also my control,

so that he can't get into too much trouble.

If he were to, let's say,

take off with my shoe and run underneath the bed,

I say this because this has actually almost happened,

with the house line I was actually able to

step on it, stop him from getting too far,

and just redirect that.

So any of that unwanted behavior,

I can just stop it right away.

And it's also great, too, because I don't want him,

being a herding breed specifically,

but I really don't want him getting in the habit

of chasing my cats.

I want them to live very cohesively in the house,

and respectful of each other.

And so if they decide that they've had enough

and they don't want him in his space,

the white line is a really great tool,

because I can actually stop him

from getting to a point where he's

really upset my cats.

- Sure.

I want to thank Instructor Kim for

helping us out today, and I certainly want to

thank little Levi.

If this is your first time on the channel, make sure you

hit that Subscribe button.

We publish new videos every single week

to help you to have a well-behaved

four-legged family member.

You see that video beside me?

That video is all about using a house line

and what a powerful training tool it can be.

So if you enjoyed this puppy training video,

you're definitely going to want to watch that.

On that note, I'm Ken,

this is Instructor Kim, and this is Levi.

Happy training.

(jazzy piano music)