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Puppy Care and Early Training



There is a lot of discussion and debate amongst behaviorists and trainers pertaining to what is the best time to start training. The generally the consensus is 8 week. Physiologically, the brain of a puppy at this is moldable and easily absorbs and processes new information. Puppies at this age generally have little to no fear and learn quickly , making it an ideal time for a puppy to learn how to become well behaved family addition and community member. That being said, we disagree.


Any observant Breeder can tell you that training starts at birth. Each puppy’s mother begins training her puppies from the moment they are born. She trains them when it is time to potty, when it is time to sleep, how to line up to eat, how to come to her for warmth and food, and even when noise is not appropriate. As the puppies get older, the Breeder starts to take over. By the time the puppy is leaving for his new home at three months he has had a good introduction of how life works on a daily routine and started some basic obedience training. Basic training, things like taking the puppies out to potty, grooming, and feeding, are very likely things he is use to.  He may already know a variety of commands: “Let’s go out”, “Bedtime”, “Come”, “Stay”, “Stand”, “Sit”, “Down”, and “Off” are rather common and he may have be used to and can perform to some degree of success and confidence.


The breeder has had the privilege of raising the puppy for the first three months of life; the new owner has the next fifteen years with that same puppy. As such, the new owner is responsible for continuing training and there is no better time to start than from the moment the puppy comes home. Continuing the training the puppy has already had will make it much easier and much less confusing for him in his new environment. Enrolling in a puppy Kindergarten or Basic Obedience class is an excellent way to not only help training, but it is a fun and exciting bonding time for puppy and owner.  Ask your breeder if they are members of an AKC obedience club or if they recommend a good training facility to help get you started. Consistency and timing are key, and the sooner you begin the better.  Remember, all dogs want desperately to please their owners and success in that endeavor brings confidence and a well adjusted adult dog.



Expect a care package to accompany your puppy home. This package should include a signed copy of the contract, health certificate, a list of items needed at home for the puppy (such as bedding and appropriate kennel sizes), and current schedule or routine the puppy is on. A small bag of food the puppy along with a bottle of water should also come home with your puppy along with a favorite toy or blanket to help him settle in. Be aware of the commands the breeder commonly used. Implementing commands the puppy already knows in conjunction with following the schedule sent home will help the puppy acclimate that much more quickly to his new environment. It will also help mom and dad begin to identify the signs the puppy uses to communicate the needs of his routine making accidents less likely to happen.


For new puppies, but especially the Yorkshire Terrier, make sure accessibility to food and water is available at all times. Yorkie puppies are highly susceptible to hyperglycemia, a condition where a drop in blood sugar levels that can cause seizures and death. Adding a teaspoon of corn syrup(Kayro) to their bottles of water for the first several months can be helpful. Also keeping a tube of Nutri-cal on hand for times away from home can save a puppy that has gone too long without food.


Yorkies are notoriously difficult to house train. They are small and so are their bladders. Kennel training is essential for house training, especially for Yorkies. At the back of the kennel provide a bed to sleep in and a blanket to nest with. At the front of the kennel provide a potty pad while house training. Also attach a small dish with dry kibble and a water bottle complete with corn syrup.  Providing these at the front of the kennel make it easier and more accessible but also helps to encourage the training process. In addition, dogs feel much safer having a room all their own. Traveling with a Yorkie can be much more convenient when your dog enjoys being in his room and needs to be in a kennel for flight or car travel.  Indoor restriction of accessible areas to your puppy can gradually increase with house training successes. A regular routine of elimination, combined with consistency will make house training successful for both you and your puppy.


Provide a large variety of toys and acceptable chew options. Don’t give items that will confuse your dog. What may seem like a simple rag to you for play now is later a piece of clothing he has pulled out of the laundry basket.  The less confusion for your puppy, the less problems you will have later. Make sure your puppy gets plenty of exercise. Bad behaviors most often are a result of a bored dog. A sound body make for a sound mind and a sound mind and body make for a happy dog.


Most importantly, exercise common sense in the care of a puppy. Warren Eckstein has written several books on dog training that are excellent in helping to understand the house training process and the mental redirection of unwanted habits.


The Rule of 7

To help puppies develop, each puppy is introduced to at least 7 different items of the following categories: surfaces, objects, locations, challenges, containers, and people, including children, the elderly, and the disabled.  A puppy who has not had a large variety of experiences can develop confidence issues which can exacerbate over time developing into aggression issues later. It is important for owners to continue to introduce their puppies to new items and not completely remove items from their daily lives, especially over their first few years of life. The more enjoyable the experience and interaction they have, the better developed the puppies will become. Continuing the exposure during the puppy’s life will help make an ideal canine citizen as an adult.

  • 7 different flooring surfaces: carpet, concrete, wood, vinyl, tile, grass, dirt, asphalt, newspaper, wire, chips, rocks, etc.
  • 7 different locals: kennel, yard, patio, kitchen, front yard, back yard, pet store, car, veterinarian’s office, friend’s house, bathroom, etc.
  • 7 types of toys/objects: big balls, little balls, squeaker toys, rubber toys, cloth toys, fur toys, cardboard, paper, bottles, rope, bones, jerky, etc.
  • 7 types of challenges: climbing on a box, climbing off a box, going through a tunnel or cubby, going through doorways, going over thresholds, playing hide and seek, getting out from under objects, climbing over and under objects, etc.
  • 7 types of containers: water bottle, plastic, paper, china, metal, bowl, plate, etc.
  • 7 types of new people: babies, toddlers, children, teenagers, adults, elderly, handicapped, leg braces, crutches, wheel chairs, walkers, individuals of different races, etc.


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