We just got an adorable 10-week old Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross puppy yesterday, and after some trials and tribulations in the first night I turn to you, the all-wise and knowing Doper community.
- Sleeping arrangements - We want Capone to sleep in a basket we’ve set up for him, in the corner of our bedroom. There’s two problems there. One is because of his age, he’s still not got proper bladder control (though he is trying!), and two is because when he knows we’re in the room he’ll whine and cry and jump up at the bed and try to get up on there. Hubby’s let him on the bed once or twice (which I know is a mistake), but really I’d prefer he get used to the basket. Hubby managed to get him sleeping in the basket through most of the night, with cuddles and praise and a couple of treats, but each time one of us went to the bathroom, he got up again and it had to be done all over again.
So the question is - Should we put his basket in the laundry, and abandon him in there with some newspaper and some toys, until he gets the idea that the basket’s the warmest and best place for him to sleep? Once he’s got that sleep pattern sorted, will it disturb him greatly to move the basket to our bedroom again?
- Poo - At the shelter, Capone was on puppy food. What brand, we’re not entirely sure (they mentioned a couple of brand names, I think they swap depending what’s cheapest). When we were meeting/greeting with him, he did a poo and it was firm and not too horrible. We got him home yesterday and gave him a small meal, some puppy pellets with puppy tinned food mixed in. Now he has sloppy, stinky poos, two of which (luckily) ended up on the linoleum, so they were relatively easy to clean.
Should we ditch the tinned food and just concentrate on small amounts of pellets? Cut down the portion sizes even more? He’s been drinking a lot of water, it’s always available to him, is that helping or hindering the poo process?
- Cat - We have a cat, she’s relatively old (about ten years, I think). She’s “had” dogs before in the past, but hasn’t had to deal with one in over a year now. We tried to block off one portion of the house for her (the lounge/computer room, where all the cables and crap are), and put her dirt tray and food and water in there. At about five this morning she decided that wasn’t good enough, and started howling/scratching at the loungeroom door. This woke me up, which in turn woke Le Puppy up. Are we doing the right thing keeping them separate like this? Is the cat just having the shits because we’ve stopped her from roaming the whole house like she used to?
Puppy and cat have come face-to-face on a couple of occasions. Cat fluffs and spits, puppy whines then hides behind our legs. That sounds and looks about normal. I have no hopes of changing the cat’s behaviour, but is there a way to train Capone so he doesn’t chase after her once he’s more settled and confident? Right now I’ve taken to distracting him with his favourite plushy toy whenever the cat walks past, and making a big fuss of him when he looks but doesn’t jump at her. Is that the right thing to do?
Any answers, or tips to questions I haven’t asked will also be appreciated. I have had dogs before, but only when living at home with my mother, so I haven’t really been involved in the ‘puppy’ side of things (the last puppy we had we got when I was 8. I’m 21 now G). I want to make sure my little boy is as happy and as comfy as we can make him, without losing our whole night to trying to ensure he’s not shit on the bed, or that he isn’t whining at our feet.