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Can You Help? Here Are My 6 Puppy Raising Questions So Far

If all goes well, we are getting an 8-week-old weimaraner puppy this spring!

I’ve put together a list of the puppy raising questions I have so far. Of course, I will consult with our puppy’s breeder, our vet and trainers as needed but I also thought it would be good to get your ideas.

Feel free to chime in with your suggestions to any of these questions in the comments. You’ll be helping me, and we all know tons of others have these exact same questions!

If you were raising a puppy this year, how would you answer these questions?

My puppy questions so far …

My 6 Puppy Raising Questions

1. Where should my puppy sleep the first few nights?

In the crate, of course, but where should I have the crate? I’m leaning towards in the living room so it’s close to the door for potty breaks. I would sleep on the couch nearby the first 2-3 nights so my husband can sleep well. Then moving the crate to our spare bedroom after a few nights, which is where I want the dog to sleep permanently.

See my post: Where should my puppy sleep?

2. How long can an 8-week-old puppy hold it at night?

I’m going to start with setting my alarm every 3 hours and see how that goes. I think I’ll quickly change that to every 4 hours so I’ll only have to get up once each night but figure I better start with every 3.

3. How do you balance potty training and walks with keeping the puppy safe from diseases?

I never thought I’d be worried about diseases like parvo, but I am! I live near San Diego, and we do hear about parvo outbreaks fairly often. Of course, this is usually at places like dog parks which I will be avoiding until the pup has had all his shots.

We live in an apartment complex that has about 100 dogs – all using the same bathroom areas. I also want to walk my puppy in the neighborhood where there are hundreds of dogs walking by each day. Is all of this safe?

See my post: Should you walk your puppy before he’s had his shots?

4. How much crate time is too much during the day?

I want to potty train the pup as quickly as possible, and I’m lucky I have a flexible schedule (I’m a self-employed dog walker and blogger). But how much time in the crate is too much? I’m thinking a daytime rotation such as:

90 minutes in the crate / potty break and walk / 30 minutes out of the crate – repeat!

And then of course slowly increasing the time out of the crate as the puppy is successful.

Am I nuts?

5. Should I give flea prevention to such a young puppy?

Fleas are a big problem around here, and unfortunately natural flea-prevention products don’t work for us due to allergies. I hate putting chemicals on my pets but we can’t have a flea infestation either … been there, done that!

So … I haven’t decided what to do yet. I might just not put anything on the puppy for at least a month and hope for the best since my other pets are treated.

6. How many meals should I feed the puppy each day?

I’m thinking three meals for a week or two and then switching to twice per day.

So those are my questions so far. I’m sure will probably be a Part 2 to this post as more questions come up!

What is your #1 puppy raising tip you’d like more people to know?

Let me know in the comments!

Related posts:

How to introduce my dog to a puppy

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Related posts:

How to potty train a puppy in an apartment

Will my puppy be able to hold it while I’m at work?

M.A. Kropp

Wednesday 24th of February 2016

1) We brought Lambeau home at 8 weeks, and he has slept in his crate in the living room every night since. I thought it would be best to put the crate in its permanent spot from the beginning. But dogs are flexible, as you know, and I think your plan is good. As another commenter said, the first night or so may be tough. He may well cry and whine just because he's lonely. Try to tough it out. If it's only been an hour or so since he was last out, he probably doesn't need to go again, and is just trying to get you to come back and keep him company. It's hard- really hard, but will pay off in the end,

2) On advice from our trainer, I let Lambeau set his nightime schedule. We had a plan for the daytime, but at night, if he didn't wake me, I didn't deliberately get him up. The idea was that you want him to learn to sleep through the night and if he can hold on longer, let him. It worked for us, and we only had one or two in-crate accidents. He would wake and whine if he needed to go out. I learned to be very aware of the start of his restlessness (rather like as a parent, you learn to wake at the slightest sound from the baby).

3) I didn't really have to worry too much about this, as we live in a suburban area and it was fairly easy to keep him away from other dogs until he was fully vaccinated.

4) I like your plan. Can't remember exactly what my schedule was when Lambeau was that young, but it was similar. He was housebroken (mostly!) fairly quickly with the regular schedule. He still gets "naptime" in his crate in the afternoon so I can do things that don't need doggie help!

5) I can use natural flea prevention, so I don't know.

6) Lambeau got three meals until he was a year old. Then I gradually cut out the noon meal. It worked for him, because he's a gulper, and we had to give him smaller meals in puzzle toys or his dish made to slow down fast eaters. He'd inhale huge mouthfuls so fast, he'd choke, otherwise. I still use that bowl and treat balls/puzzles.

Puppies are a lot of work, but oh, so much fun! I'd forgotten about both since it had been so long since I'd had a puppy. There were days I wondered WHY???? did I ever think I wanted an 8 week old pup, but seeing him now- yeah, definitely worth it! Good luck with him. I know you'll both have fun- and both will learn a lot, as well. Pictures- lots and lots of pictures!!!

Lindsay Stordahl

Wednesday 24th of February 2016

Thank you so much. Very helpful!


Monday 25th of January 2016

I agree about taking lots of pictures! Also, I highly recommend feeding your puppy from Kongs and other puzzle toys. You're going to be just fine. Cannot wait to "meet" your new baby dog!


Sunday 24th of January 2016

Oh I just remembered this final thing for apartment living.

1. Until proven consistent, CARRY them in the elevator. Our dog peed in the elevator all the time because I adopted my big ole' pit pup when he was almost too big to carry. It sucks to have to go catch the elevator and clean it out.

2. Once they get a little more consistent, make them always focus on a task in the elevator - like sitting or lie down. It distracts them from peeing before they're outside.

Lindsay Stordahl

Sunday 24th of January 2016

Thank you so much. We do have an elevator and we're on the 2nd floor. I will be carrying the pup for quite some time. Not sure if I'll take the stairs every time or the elevator. I want to be consistent and fast. It's almost always faster to take the stairs so that's probably what I'll do.


Sunday 24th of January 2016

Also, we worried endlessly about parvo living in the thick of NYC you cannot ever avoid places where other dogs potty. We just did our best walking only really around the block until they were fully vaccinated. I had also volunteered at a shelter I knew had parvo and was freaked out that I had tracked it into my carpet or something. Everything turned out ok, but it is scary.


Sunday 24th of January 2016

My #1 bit of advice is the following: the first night (or 2) will be HARD. With each of our dogs, when we brought them home, they YOWLED, screamed, whined in the crate when we went to bed. It was surprisingly hard to listen to. One: we lived in an apartment and felt bad for the neighbors. Two: We couldn't sleep. Three: We felt guilty.

With the first, we did entertain some of that yowling and I'd say it lasted about a week. When it came time for the second, we said on the first night, no matter what, we would not let him out/pay a lick of attention to him until he'd slept a bit quietly then needed to go outside to pee (light whining later in the night).

The second one was done with the whining the first night and has been amazing in the crate ever since. That one night was HARD, but worth it because he knew whining in the crate would not achieve ANY attention unless it was clear he had to potty. I'd say be ready for 20-30min of LOUD whining on the first night before they give up and go to sleep - it feels like forever.

Good luck, apartment life with puppies isn't easy (been there, done that), but you can do it!!!

Lindsay Stordahl

Sunday 24th of January 2016

Thanks so much Jen! I'm worried about the barking/howling in our apartment. We shall see how it goes!