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Thread: First time puppy owner :)

  1. #1

    Default First time puppy owner :)

    Hi there, new member here I will be getting a puppy within the next few weeks (a Japanese spitz - 8 weeks old), and this will be the first time I've ever owned a puppy. Just have a couple questions I would like answered:

    1) Should I keep the puppy indoors or outdoors? I do have a backyard which is fenced, and there is a covered deck area which is around the size of a master room (fairly large).

    2) If I was to keep the puppy indoors, there will be a 3-4 hour gap per day, 3 days a week, where no one will be home, how should I deal with this? More importantly when it needs to go to the toilet?

    All the doors to the backyard has no pet doors installed, and so would be a bit tricky for it to go potty during this time when no one is home, and unfortunately we have carpets all around the house except for the bathrooms and toilets. A solution which I came up with, but don't know if it's applicable, is to have the puppy indoors overnight, so she has a nice and warm place to sleep, then when I'm about to leave the house I take her to the backyard/deck area and leave her there until I get back.

    Of course with a warm place for it to stay, and plenty of toys etc. The only thing I'm worry about for this solution is what happens when it rains, will the puppy come off the garden onto the covered decking area by itself?

    3) What are some puppy accessories I should buy? For the grooming brush I heard Furminator works really well? Or would a regular pet brush do the trick?

    Sorry if some of the questions sound really stupid, haven't really owned a puppy before so I'm a bit worried

    Last edited by Hyacinth; 05-09-2015 at 08:39 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    melbourne australia


    Hello WeGucci
    there are some members with excellent links, who i am sure, will share in this post too.
    Congratuatlions on chosing the best animal in the world to keep as a companion - a dog.
    1. Indoors or Outdoors? This is personal choice. My personal choice is both, using a dog door. My aim, is to create a life for a dog, that were i one, i would cherish. This is tempered by; if i am unable to closely supervise my pup indoors, it doesnt come in. I dont want to have a single accident indoors. As once that trigger smell is on your carpet, you are up against it in the house training stakes. Another factor for me, is i crate train my pups. Or rather, my other older dogs crate train the pups. Quickly, pups realise how cool a crate is, by making cool things happen when pup is inside, like a bone to chew, dinner, strokes and pats and kind words. NOw all my dogs will vie for the crate as the No.1 spot to be indoors. When a pup is contained in a crate, its safe to leave indoors or out. So you get to choose, based on personal preference for your pup.

    2. 3-4hrs alone time for a pup is fine. Crate it. Indoors or out. Plenty of toys, water supply, pee area in crate.
    Yes pup will hide from rain and wind. The only time my dogs dont hide from things they do not like, is when they are in peak drive. So for eg. my GSD poised over a rabbit whole in 45degree heat, will die of heat exhaustion, as his drive will not allow him to leave the prey. Ball obsessed dogs can drown, if you throw 2 into the water, and it can only carry one. Pup will simply go somewhere cool in heat, and warm in cold.

    3. What to buy. This one kills me. You can spend a fortune, or obtain free readily available desirable toys from around the house.
    Free: ruined socks, tied together in a knot. Great pretend soft bunny for your pup to savage to death, over and over. And play tug of war with you.
    cola bottles, lid off, treats inside the bottle, pup has to get treats out of bottle. Great for those entertain yourself 3 - 4 hrs.
    Food, "hidden" around the garden for the dog to find.
    Bones bones bones. and more bones. Dogs who have access to bones, have great dental health, they can direct that need to bite during teething onto a safe option that hurts you less
    Balls of different textures, weights, density. try a range, your pup will play with its most favoured type. Then you buy that type from then on
    Cardboard boxes are great fun for pups. They can get in out, move it around, tip it over, rip it to shreds. Safely. Apart from the mess of course.
    Bubbles. Buy blowing bubbles for the dog to 'catch'
    I use a ball point pen currently, that you can click on/off as my clicker for clicker training, because i suspect, ive lost my real one.
    As you can see, i dont really go for human attracted toys for dogs. But there are hundreds in pet shops to blow a hole in your wallet if you will. Personally, i would invest my money in decent equipment, not toys.
    Decent Equipment for pups:
    A good vet
    The best quality food you can afford
    Fake fur blanket/throw for its bedding: for some reason, pups wont chew fake fur blankets in this house.
    Some dog walking shoes, light rain coat, torch

    please share pics, i dont think ive seen a spitz pup before

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Hi and Welcome WeGucci

    Where is Mitte whe you need him. His japanese spitz has just had puppies, maybe one of his is one you're getting...

    He would be the best source of answers for all your questions. Ie have you asked your puppy's breeder these questions because they will love to answer them (unless they're a puppy farm).

    1. inside or outside puppy.
    I would keep the puppy inside. Even if that means setting up a sort of play pen with some kitty litter in the corner. It is possible to train a puppy - from 4 weeks old to use the kitty litter - you just place the puppy in it if it looks like it's about to pee / poop (sniffing a lot) and remove it if it decides recycled paper is nice to sleep on.

    Also Japanese Spitz are insanely cute - I'd be insanely worried about puppy theft.

    you also don't want puppy learning that there's heaps of fun to be had out there without you. Or finding poisonous plants when you're not home, or just howling the place down (what my puppy did when I tried to get her to sleep in another room, or any time I went out to buy us food...) Howling is much better when it's muffled inside than the neighbours getting full blast with puppy outside.

    By the way - when I got my puppy home - I took her around to meet all the neighbours, told them if they had any problems to let me know ie I let them know I'd be a willing listener not defensive or aggressive about it. And if she escaped, she lives at my place. One of my neighbours let me know about the day time howling... but they understood, and she doesn't do it any more.

    3 - puppy accessories?
    A crate and a play pen... some chew toys - eg a black kong stuffed with frozen food is great, a bob a lot with some kibble is fun. Just make sure you see how your puppy plays with any of the equipment - before you leave it alone with it.

    And safest place for most puppies - a secure crate... they can't find the stuff under the sink or the snail bait or the chocolate your kid put under the side board to hide it from his siblings...

  4. #4


    Thanks guys, appreciate your help.
    Yeah, I'm also a bit worried about leaving it outside when I'm not at home, not because of puppy thieves/poisonous plants (I live in a really quiet neighbourhood, and my neighbours are all very kind people. Also my backward is just pure grass, no other plants), but more of it being cold/wet due to the sudden change in weather.

    You guys talked about crates, I thought puppies don't like them? Since it restricts their living place to a tiny cage. Though the pen option sounds good to me though. I think I might just get a pen set up during when I'm away, with some toys, potty place available.

    Hyacinth, would one of those synthetic dog toilet be better than cat litter? What about those puppy training pads? Or do they all do the job just fine?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Redland Bay, Queensland


    Hi WeGucci.

    May I ask where you are purchasing the pup from, ie Breeder, Pet Shop..

    If you are buying from a fully registered ANKC Breeder, then the Breeder would have answered the questions you have and provided at a minimum, a factsheet on caring for your new puppy and introducing him to his new home. The Breeder would be available to answer any questions you may have regarding your new pup.
    ANKC Breeder ethics statement, ( click on link )

    Code of Ethics

    To answer your first question, I would not leave a 8 week old JS outside with no means of coming inside. I personally would not let my pups leave till they are at least 10 weeks old and up to 12 weeks. Some may disagree with me, but I see the pups learn a great deal from their parents during the last few weeks before leaving for their new homes which helps them adjust to their new life. We encourage the future owners to leave an item like a small towel with us to keep with the litter so the pup has something familiar to go home with him that has the smells of Mum and his littermates.

    The pup can easily be Crate trained so in regards to question 2, 3 hours would not be a problem for a properly raised pup. My advise here is to advise the breeder you will be crate training your pup. I would then as a breeder, commence crate training the pup from 8-9 weeks till he goes to his new home. The new owner would then continue with the training. Training will take time, starting with just a short time in the Crate and slowly increasing the time each day. Pup must be taken outside for toileting before and after Crating. I advise new owners to take holidays if possible for the first couple of weeks.
    Do you own your home, if yes then get a Dog Door installed. This will give your JS the ideal environment for free movement between inside and out. The dog door would be 25 - 30 cm in height and the bottom about 10 - 15 cm above the floor.
    Young pups love to dig, so expect him to get dirty when it rains. They also love to take items from inside to outside to play.
    Question 3, Puppy accessories. Depends on your budget. As suggested, old socks are defiantly a favorite to play with. I buy toys from the (human) baby section of department stores . The Reject Shop has some good squeakers as well.
    Don't use a Furminator on a JS. Buy a Slicker Brush for grooming.
    JS are a dog that like to spend their time inside moreso than outside.

    Cheers, Mitte
    Last edited by mitte; 05-09-2015 at 10:44 PM.  14

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    hi WeGucci

    The crate is more like a cubby house that children make - or a dog den - especially the ones with covered sides - it provides a small safe and warmish area for puppy to be. And you train your puppy to love being in there by giving all the good stuff - treats and new toys - when the puppy is in the crate.

    The kitty litter that Susan Garrett used was the recycled newspaper pellets. I guess a puppy pad would do especially if you put it in a kitty litter box. The advantage of the box is that it has clearly defined sides and it isn't at all like your carpet or bath mats.

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