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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
We've had our puppy, Bailey (that's her in my avatar at 5 weeks), since she was 3 weeks old. She was born to my next door neighbor's dog, who ran off after a raccoon and never returned and was never found. It was decided when Bailey was 1 week old that we could have her, but of course the plan was not to get her for several weeks. After her mother died when Bailey was 3 weeks old we felt it was best to go ahead and take her for several reasons. A major factor is that my neighbor has two small children who are pretty much given free reign with the puppies and the youngest, who is 3, is very rough.

Bailey has just one litter mate, a brother, and we make sure she sees and plays with him daily. Often he comes to our home and spends hours with her. He is actually very aggressive and growls if you pick him up and I'm wondering how much of that is due to how he's treated by the youngest child. Bailey is very sweet and is a pretty submissive puppy.

So we've been feeding her milk replacement from a bottle. A couple of weeks ago we started giving her ground up puppy food and now at 6 weeks she can crunch and eat the whole food. The problem is that she really won't eat it. She will eat some from our hand, occasionally will take a piece or two from the bowl, but that's it. I've been trying to wean her off the bottle and give her the milk in a saucer but she still will not drink very much unless she has the bottle. She LOVES being bottle fed and I'm just not sure what to do at this point. When she sees the bottle she will start wiggling and when I sit down she runs and jumps in my lap and starts pawing at the bottle. It *is* very cute!

At 6 weeks should she still be having some milk during the night? What is the time frame of her not eating for a long stretch at night? Should I try to feed her first thing in the morning, or play with her first for a while?

She sleeps in a crate at night and we take her out about 2 times during the night. The last 3 nights or so she has started really whining when we put her back in, for about 10 minutes. In the daytime she will sometimes go into her crate by herself to sleep, but we keep the door open all day and she can come and go as she pleases. Do I need to be shutting the door sometimes during the day to help with crate training? Or is the nighttime whining just a phase that will pass?

Thanks so much in advance for any help!

Rene'
 

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She should be being gradually weaned off the bottle, and eating puppy "mush" (kibble mixed with goats milk or formula, until it is a soupy mush.). Feed every 3 hrs or so. I'd alternate between bottle and mush, and gradually reduce to 2 bottles a day, and the rest of the feedings mush. At around 8 weeks, you can go to mush only, lessening the amount of formula.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your advice! What about nighttime feeding? Should she be eating during the night?

Oh, and just an update on the crate and whining situation. We've been putting her crate in the bathroom at night since we got her 3 weeks ago. Last night we put her in my oldest daughters room because it's been a tad chilly here at night and we thought she'd be warmer in there and she didn't whine one time!
 

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Thanks for your advice! What about nighttime feeding? Should she be eating during the night?

Oh, and just an update on the crate and whining situation. We've been putting her crate in the bathroom at night since we got her 3 weeks ago. Last night we put her in my oldest daughters room because it's been a tad chilly here at night and we thought she'd be warmer in there and she didn't whine one time!
Puppies, especially that young, don't like to be alone. It frightens them. There's nothing wrong with crating her in a room with someone. It won't mess up the crate training or house training, and it will make her feel safer.

Also, thank you for taking such good care of her. It's not easy to care for puppies that young, and it sounds like you're doing a great job.
 

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Consider these additional suggestions:
1) You might provide a small bowl of dry food that she can nibble whenever she wants, in addition to her mush. Keep plain water available, also.
2) When you've weaned her on mush for about 2 weeks, slowly provide food with less liquid until you're providing only dry food after about a 5 day transition. When you are giving her only dry food, feed her about 3 times a day. Follow the guidelines on the package.
3) One consolation of taking her so young is that she is very socialized with your family. You might consider bringing in more people to socialize her.
4) You can start training her now - Sit, Down, Stay, her name, Come, and so on. ... She's already started learning, keep up the good work.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Consider these additional suggestions:
1) You might provide a small bowl of dry food that she can nibble whenever she wants, in addition to her mush. Keep plain water available, also.
I have been keeping fresh water available. Good idea about the food. I've been trying to just have it out for maybe an hour at a time but maybe until she will eat it better it should be left out.

2) When you've weaned her on mush for about 2 weeks, slowly provide food with less liquid until you're providing only dry food after about a 5 day transition. When you are giving her only dry food, feed her about 3 times a day. Follow the guidelines on the package.
Today after she was finished being bottle fed she started playing with the nipple - biting and backing off, then sucking, then biting. She's never done that before. I'm guessing that would be a sign to Momma Dog that it's time to wean.

3) One consolation of taking her so young is that she is very socialized with your family. You might consider bringing in more people to socialize her.
She seems very bonded to us, she comes readily to any of us and follows us all around. We do plan to socialize. :)

4) You can start training her now - Sit, Down, Stay, her name, Come, and so on. ... She's already started learning, keep up the good work.
I guess I need to check out the Training forum... :)

I asked about using the leash on another thread but I think it got missed. I deleted that post and will copy it here:

Thus far we have not been putting her on a leash when we take her out for potty breaks. The last couple of days she's gotten much more venturesome and I'm thinking we should now. I'm guessing she's not going to be happy about that and will pull and pull on the leash and maybe walk around me and get me tangled up in it. Will that stop over time?

And, after going should she be allowed to walk/sniff/play around for a few minutes as a reward? Or would my following her around on a leash be a bad thing?
 

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It's OK to be offleash in the backyard. If the yard isn't fenced, you need a leash, unless you can run faster than the dog :) You also want to teach the pup to come when called while she's young.

If the backyard is fenced and you have the time, then it is OK to be off-leash for potty. However, you will want to make sure that she can go potty, while on leash.

Typically, a pup will pee within 30 seconds of going outside. However, she may sniff for 5 min. all over the yard before pooping. With a leash, you can keep her in one spot and teach her to poop in that one bathroom area, making it faster and easier to clean up.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Our yard is not fenced, unfortunately, so I'll have to start using the leash now. I wish I'd used it from the beginning with her. She's not going to like it.

It seems like she's already half house trained! :whoo: She whines at the front door now if she has to poop. She doesn't think a thing about peeing in the house though. If she does I just clean it up and go about my business. When I take her out I say "go pee" over and over until she does and then I praise her. Do I need to start using treats or will she get it eventually?

And, one more question. Is it okay if she gets in a pretty heated fight with another puppy? My neighbor, who has the brother of my dog, just got another puppy last week - a lhasa apso as far as we can tell. We don't know how old the dog is. Bailey gets pretty rough with her brother, but she and the lhasa got down right viscous today. Is that fine and good or should I make sure they aren't around each other? My neighbor said Bailey's brother and this new dog don't get along well either.
 

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It doesn't hurt to use treats... but she will get it eventually. Rule of thumb is that she will pee within 30 seconds of going outside, if she has to. ... Not true with poop.

You never want puppies to get angry, viscous, aggressive and fight... However, it is OK during play :) And, it may be difficult to distinguish. A playful pup may back off if another pup gets hurt and yelps (however, this is a learned response in the litter). After the full set of shots, socialization with lots of different dogs and pups usually reduces aggression.

Two Labs or Two Pits may play violently with lots of excitement and maybe a little bloodshed. And, it's funny to watch them continue to go at it, dead tired after 30 min. and lying on their side. However, you get to choose how excited your puppy interacts. If he gets excited, pick him up (he probably won't come when you call) and put him into a 30 second time-out until he calms down, then let him go back and play. Repeat as often as needed. You can also try to train him to Sit or Down during the time-out. ... Watch out for the playmate, who may follow you and re-start things... :)
 

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just thought for the future too, since you have gotten wonderful advice here.... some places (my facility does this) has a "puppy social" for pups to come and play with other pups of the same age grouping. ours is free and it meets once a week for an hour. obviously your pup is too young right now, usually they dont let them in until after the 2nd set of vaccines is given. but this is something you will probably want to do since she didnt get any interaction with the litter like they normally would. they get to learn appropriate play behaviors and learn to use their body language and vocal skills effectively. plus the added benefits of being in another environment and with people and sounds and such to get her exposed and reduce the risk of her being scared of new situations.
 

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It's OK to be offleash in the backyard. If the yard isn't fenced, you need a leash, unless you can run faster than the dog :) You also want to teach the pup to come when called while she's young.

If the backyard is fenced and you have the time, then it is OK to be off-leash for potty. However, you will want to make sure that she can go potty, while on leash.

Typically, a pup will pee within 30 seconds of going outside. However, she may sniff for 5 min. all over the yard before pooping. With a leash, you can keep her in one spot and teach her to poop in that one bathroom area, making it faster and easier to clean up.
Yep you have to teach a dog to potty on leash lol, that's one thing that I regret with Izze is I never did that, thus resulting I her unwillingness to go on leash, my dogs since her I make sure they will go on leash.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you all so much for your help and advice!

Bailey is 7 weeks today!

At what point do we stop the middle of the night feeding? Right now I've been offering her puppy mash during the day, as well as having the whole food available at all times. We've also been using the food for treats during training sessions. I feed her the bottle at night, around 9pm. She drinks about an ounce. She's been conking out around 10:30 or 11 pm so we put her in the crate for the night. At 3 am when we take her out to potty we feed her the bottle again. She usually drinks another ounce.
 

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At 5 - 6 weeks, most puppies are 'mature' enough to be weaned. So, assuming that Bailey is healthy and the right weight, I believe that you can feed her 2 - 3 times a day... breakfast, lunch, and supper. No more mid-night feedings. However, I recommend water all the time.
I think you can stop the bottle. If you want to stop gradually, then stop the 3am, then stop the 9pm after a week.
 

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At 5 - 6 weeks, most puppies are 'mature' enough to be weaned. So, assuming that Bailey is healthy and the right weight, I believe that you can feed her 2 - 3 times a day... breakfast, lunch, and supper. No more mid-night feedings. However, I recommend water all the time.
I think you can stop the bottle. If you want to stop gradually, then stop the 3am, then stop the 9pm after a week.
Thanks! Bailey is 8 weeks today and is off the bottle and eating dry food now. :)
 
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