NEW PUPPY EXPECTATIONS
Deciding to adopt a new puppy is such an exciting time for families! It is like preparing for the birth of a child in many respects, and can be equally exhausting! If you have been reading through our site and have reached this page, you may have already decided you are ready for this responsibility and understand the dedication required--or you may still be unsure if a puppy is something you can handle.
Reaslistic Expectations of a New Puppy...
This page was written to help families understand that they must have realistic expectations of a new puppy and resist looking through rose-colored-glasses. Over the years we have found that some people are looking at adoption a little too one-sided--only focusing on what the puppy will do for them, not realizing the puppy also has needs that must be met, too. Yes, puppies bring us so much joy, but they do require work, patience and consistency....... and sometimes it is a little stressful! While most families are ready for this huge responsibility, some families have not raised a puppy and find themselves overwhelmed with this little bundle of fur that has invaded their tranquil life! We feel it is better to be honest and straight forward about a puppy and it's behavior BEFORE you bring it home to discover it is too much for you. I have said it once and I will say it again---my first priority is to match the correct family to our puppies, so, for our puppy's sake, I would much rather do this once! Believe it or not, we have only had a small handfull of families in the past 25 years that decide a puppy is too much for them after a few days----but even those few times are too many. I want to ensure every puppy has a forever home when we deliver it. This is why we hand deliver or have families pick up their puppy in person, so we can meet face to face and feel confident about the placement. One transition, one home, one family. That is my goal and WHY I work so hard to do all the pre-screening and maintaining this informational website. When I hand over that little baby to it's new owner it is very difficult for me to entrust that little life with someone we don't really know personally.......so we do expect families to have already done thier soul searching and research before bringing home their Habibi. In most situations the transiton goes quite well as we work very hard to find the best homes and families.
This page is written to help you understand exactly what to expect from a new little puppy. We always remind our families that the first few days it is pretty normal for your Habibi to cry, seem like it doesn't like it's pen or it's litter box, and be a little clingy. Remember, it is a little baby and away from it's home for the first time--a fish out of water, so to speak, so it needs love and kindness the first few days until it starts to settle in. While we are big believers in training and consistent communication, we really do feel the first few days it is important not to overwhelm a new puppy with lots of expectations. It is equally important to "tough it out" through this phase; be forgiving and understanding of your puppy as this is crucial in establishing your bond. Don't get frustrated and give up, because the best is yet to come! One day you will look back at these times and miss those cute little puppy antics. Enjoy the journey, it goes so fast! Remember, the mouthing on the hands, accidents on the floor, chewing up your favorite shoes and nipping at your feet will all be a thing of the past before you know it!
First let's discuss energy...
All puppies have an abundance of healthy energy. It is completely normal and to be expected for a puppy to need play time throughout the day, or it will be bored. Puppies have bursts of energy and then they need to sleep. The wake sleep cycle is typically one hour of wakefulness for three hours of downtime. They are babies still, so they tire easily. For families with children, it is important to allow puppy some recovery time alone in it's pen or crate to rest. I have a four week program for all of our Habibi Families to follow each step when they get home. The first lessons are Structuring your Day. FOLLOW THIS!
Teach children to respect the puppy and it's space, so puppy doesn't become overwhelmed and start snapping out of fear or over stimulation. Another thing to be aware of is children walking around holding the puppy constantly can make it motion sick! Please give your little Habibi Bear some needed down time amidst all the snuggles! On the other side of the coin, for families wanting the mellow lap dog, keep in mind you have to get through this puppy stage before it is the dog you want it to be. Do not expect even the mellowest puppy of a litter to just sit around all day at your feet. This is not realistic at all for ANY puppy, and if you are not able to handle the activity level of a puppy, we recommend adopting an older dog that has already gone through the puppy stage. It simply isn't fair for a little puppy to be placed in a home that cannot keep up with it or provide proper exercise. Even the mellow pups are quite playful and bouncy during play times---it takes some maturity for the pups to outgrow the normal puppy energy. A small dog will reach that mental maturity around a year old, some larger breeds take two years. In all litters we see some with more or less energy, but separately, even those little mellow pups have huge bursts of energy. If they did not, then we would be concerned. Energy is healthy and NORMAL and demonstrates the puppy is well-socialized and happy. We have dozens of families over the years that live in apartments and are able to manage their adult Habibi's energy level with daily walks and appropriate toys indoors. On the other side of the coin, our Habibi's are perfect for active families with children and lots of activity. Our puppy assessment will help me match the right puppy to YOUR situation. We are focused on placement by temperament first above all else. If anyone tells you all puppies adapt and it doesn't really matter, they do not understand puppy temperament and are not going to do right by their puppies. They all are very different and we are puppy-centric at Habibi Bears. We place for the puppy and honor it as the individual wonderful being that it is!
Chewing and nipping are another big puppy behavior...
Keep in mind, they are definitely NOT trying to be aggressive or mean, they are just being puppies. Puppies learn through mouthing everything, they are teething and need something to chew on. They do not understand that they are hurting you unless you communicate this appropriately. What do puppies do when they play with their litter mates? They chew, and nip each other's ears and tails, and sometimes those little teeth hurt! So the litter mate will yelp, and mama will growl at the offensive little one to teach it boundaries. When a puppy goes to it's new home, it has no littermate to rough-house with, so it is going to transfer this play time with it's new humans. If there are children in the home, the puppy will treat THEM like littermates! Just as mama taught the puppy by growling, it is YOUR responsibility to teach it boundaries in your home with loving understandable communication. Did you catch that? Loving. Consistent. Puppies read our body language, its not about what you say.. its what you do! Don't mess this up and come to a trainer after you have created a monster, be proactive Set up a training curriculum. Follow through. Some families have a more difficult time than others in handling this, but it does get better as the puppy matures. For families that need a little guidance, you need to have training in place before the puppy arrives. This is imperative. An ounce of prevention....
Housebreaking puppies is not a simple task...
It should not be too difficult if handled at the appropriate time and with a schedule. We provide a great schedule to all of our families. As much as we would LOVE to be able to state that your puppy is coming to you housebroken, obviously it isn't the case or remotely realistic for the age of a puppy. However it is litter box trained with both pellets and newspaper, which will give you a huge headstart, as we have taught your Habibi Bear there is a place to go---this is a huge plus for our families! You can easily transition to outdoor training, continue with the litter box, or whatever method you choose. The ideal time for a puppy to go to its forever home is 8 weeks, as mama has completed the weaning process and spends little time with the pups. This is the perfect time for puppy to transfer that attention to it's new family, perfect for bonding. An 8 week old puppy is still quite young and not really mature enough emotionally or mentally for full-blown house breaking. Combine this with the fact that the puppy is not fully vaccinated and you start to understand WHY we developed our puppy pen/litter box transitioning for our families. We recommend setting up the pen and duplicating what we do here in our homes. This will give puppy something familiar to relate to, while allowing it a few weeks to adjust to it's new home before beginning housebreaking. Many times a puppy at this age will regress, and then you will need to step back a step and remind puppy where to go. We detail this on our litter box page
We feel once the puppy has it's third set of shots at 16 weeks, it is the perfect time to start outdoor training and puppy kindergarten!
Puppy crying is another big concern for new families...
We never know which pup will be the cryer, but we do find that the families that tend to have longer lasting issues with crying are the ones who choose to coddle and enable the puppy instead of empowering it to overcome stress. Please don't do this to our pups. we have worked so hard to encourage them to overcome.. it doesn't take much to undo all that work. How do you help you puppy thrive? By starting with a predictable schedule. These little dogs are so smart, and if they see they can manipulate you, they will. If they feel you are unsure, they pick up on your emotions and become needy. It's much like bringing a new baby home at first, you have to get to know each other, learn the pup's cries. Eventually you will know when its crying to get attention or if it really has to go potty. We find that the initial week can be trying in many regards, but each day gets easier.
The first week we recommend putting the pup's crate beside your bed so you can comfort it. Some families choose instead, to do it cold turkey and put the puppy pen in another room and let it cry it out. We find that these pups tend to cry more and longer, as they are frightened and feel insecure without their family near. In the wild, when a dog is separated from the pack, it will cry out to guide the pack to them. So it makes sense that instinct will set in, and puppy will cry when he finds himself alone for the first time! Which method you choose is up to you, but we have heard good reports from families that bring the crate beside the bed. Then first thing in the morning, you can bring puppy to his pen to go potty in the litter box and go back to bed if you like. During the day, give puppy some time alone in it's pen to play too, so it gets used to being alone. Baby steps. After the new routine has settled in then you can move pup out to it's pen at night too.
Dear Julie (and Habibi Crew),
We are absolutely delighted with our experience with you. It was equally wonderful to have our sweet girl delivered to us, thank you! What a sweetheart you are, and it was obvious to my family how much you love your dogs and what you do. I have never met anyone that has experienced such high level of care and attention from their breeder. Julie, I will tell you again your site is like a Bible, I go to it for info daily, and cannot thank you enough for the work and time you put into it every day. It is so very obvious that raising these puppies is truly your gift.
Zuzu's first day home was a little rough as you told us, she wanted us to hold her and she did cry at night, but we persevered and every day was better. After a week she was the puppy we saw at your house on choosing day and seemed to feel confident in her new home. You knew we wanted a mellower dog, and while it was amazing to see the amount of energy she had at times, we also discovered that she would melt when we held her, just like you said. At 1 year and 4 months she is so laid back and totally mellow with short bursts of energy "Habibi 500" that crack us all up. She can run circles around anyone and is so filled with zest for life! We live in a high rise apartment in Downtown Portland Oregon, and our little Zuzu is perfect for our lifestyle and home. She adapted well, and looks forward to our daily walks, both morning and night. We enjoy traveling with her to beach and she is still small enough to take on the airplane as a carry-on.
My husband and I cannot thank you enough for our new family member. She makes our lives complete.
Elinor, Fredrick and Zuzu