Set Your Litters Apart: Establish Priceless Puppies

*This post is sponsored by Breeder’s Edge®

Many new puppy owners have expectations of the puppy they are about to take home. For example, new families want to know the puppy is up-to-date on vaccinations, dewormings and microchips. And they expect to receive health and genetics records.

However, creating priceless puppies goes beyond that. While the previously mentioned expectations cost money, the following experiences are priceless; unless that is you can put a price on frustration, doubt, fear and stress. Create a checklist and be confident in telling the new owners their puppy has:

  • Been sleeping in its own bed for at least two weeks. The nighttime cries of a puppy that is not used to sleeping in its own bed are not only stressful on a new family, but it’s more stress for an already stressed puppy. There will be many firsts in a puppy’s life and giving him as many experiences that he may have in his new home while he is in a safe and familiar place with you will help reduce the potential stress when he leaves you.   
  • Had at least three car rides. This gives you confidence to let the new family know the puppy does not have motion sickness issues. This is important because many families take outings together, and that means the puppy too! Trips to the dog park, camping, vacation and even trips to the vet, nobody wants a vomiting puppy to take care of. Ginger snaps before travel may reduce nausea.
  • Been started on puppy litter training. Many new families fail at potty training and soiling on the carpet is discouraging for a new family and can make them question if the puppy was a good idea. Breeders that start puppy litter training at three weeks of age while still in the whelping box have a cleaner area for puppies and puppies will transition to doing their business outside much easier.
  • Been going up and down steps. Steps are scary for a puppy, especially the down. Puppies can easily fall down steps and get injured. Training puppies to be more adventurous by learning to go up and down stairs also builds their confidence to be social and happy with meeting new people and other dogs.
  • Been introduced to cats. Cats can be very scary for puppies, and painful if not introduced the right way. Puppies can be very obnoxious toward cats. If able, introducing your puppies to cats in a safe way will instill caution when needed and respect by both parties and make for a happy home to coexist.
  • Been introduced to larger breeds. Many households have multiple breeds and at times a puppy may have never seen a large breed dog. Yes, momma was full grown, but she wasn’t a Great Dane or a Golden Retriever. Your puppies need diverse  socialization to many things to help them be a confident puppy and not fearful or a nuisance to the family members, including the other four-legged ones.
  • Been introduced to kids. There are very few puppies who never have any interaction with kids; therefore, it’s important they are comfortable around kids and understand that kids make noises and smell funny but will be their best friend forever. Consider holding a “Puppy Party”. Invite a diverse group of people you know to come and interact with the puppies. This will give the puppies exposure to all ages, races and personality types.
  • Been desensitized to loud noises. Even not-so-loud things like the sounds of a refrigerator or turning on the fan in the car can be scary for a young puppy. Turning on the stereo, television, even the beep of a microwave should be recognized as sounds that are familiar and not scary when they go to their forever home.

Checking off these “priceless” items along with the puppy’s health and genetics records will help set your puppies and their new families up for success.

For more ideas on what to include in your take home puppy pack, check out the video: 10 Useful Items in a Puppy Pack.

-The Revival Education Team


7 thoughts on “Set Your Litters Apart: Establish Priceless Puppies”

    1. Great question Randall. I reached out to Sheryl, one of our Pet Care Pros, with your question and here is her response. -Shelley, Revival Education Team

      The key is first be consistent. First set a schedule. Your puppy will learn when its time to eat, sleep, play, or eliminate. Give frequent breaks and pick your spot. I would recommend to start by laying down some pee pads and crate the puppy in between. Bring him out every 30 minutes, if he goes he get a reward of 30 minutes play time, if not, he goes back in for 30 minutes. Repeat. Once he’s going in smaller areas, transfer the pee pad to the litter box. The article How to Housetrain Your Puppy found in our Learning Center may also help you. – Sheryl, Revival Pet Care Pro

    2. Randall,
      I thought I would share my experience with litter training. I place shallow pans filled with a single layer of litter in the expanded whelping box at about 3 1/2 to 4 weeks of age. I also add a small section of sherpa fleece at the opposite end of the whelping box to make a bed. I keep the whelping box as clean as possible, sometimes changing pads twice a day. The puppies do the rest, they begin toddling away from their bed to do their business and once they discover the litter, they seem drawn to it and do their business there. I remove all of the stools from the litter box before bringing mom in to feed her babies since I don’t want mom to eat the litter. As the puppies get better at climbing over things, I change to a deeper litter pan. By six weeks or so, they are using the litter pan almost exclusively. That’s it!

    1. Gloria, I reached out to Sheryl, one of our pet care pros for more information.

      At three weeks momma is not as vigilant as she has been in cleaning puppies. This is a great opportunity to start litter training.

      The first most important step is to be on top of things at 3 weeks when they wake up the first instinct is the pee and poop. Putting the puppy in a litter box will help then realize a new surface feel and smell. They will start associating the smell of the litter and their urine and will be drawn out of habit.
      Caution needs to be taken when changing litter. That creates a different odor, and some puppies may not take to the change.
      You need to keep an eye on those puppies that eat everything some breeders are afraid that the puppy will eat the litter.
      There are a few different litter products available compressed newspaper, wood pellets, alfalfa pellets and others. One of the easiest transitions is at 2 weeks newspapers are put in one corner of the whelping box and occasionally place a puppy there to urinate. Timing is key as momma is still cleaning them. Once you have a couple of pee spots you can take that paper and line the bottom of a litter box that has a low enough edge for the puppies to climb over. Remember a puppy’s vision is still developing so everything they do is based on scent and instinct. The next step would be to get a pelleted newsprint product and add it to the litterbox on top of the soiled newsprint. And there you have it.

      Litter training puppies supports an easier transition to house training. You can take soiled litter and put it in the area outside where you prefer the puppy to do the business and a habit is established. -Sheryl, Revival Pet Care Pro

  1. I breed chihuahuas and I start by placing pee pads just next to the bed as soon as their eyes open. Twice a week I move the pads a little farther from the bed. At 3 weeks I use the lid to a Rubbermaid container as a shallow litterbox, placed in the middle of the pads. At 5 weeks, I use a 2-inch deep container as the litterbox, still sitting in the middle of the pads, and continuing to move it farther from the bed. At 7 weeks I switch to regular size, open-top litter box. At 8 weeks I remove the pads and I’ve had tremendous success with them using just the litterbox for pee & poo!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *