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Alrighty Folks.... it was my house or the shelter and I wasn't going to let her (Chloe) go to a shelter. Please, I'm not seeking personal opinions about the previous owner. I've read the posts about all the things that ideally should have happened, but unfortunately they didn't and she's in a very loving home now. So now what? I've never owned a puppy before and did tons of internet research but nothing prepared me for the overwhelming love and responsibility I felt when I picked her up. As crazy as it sounds, I liken it to how I felt when I brought my daughter home from the hospital. Okay I'm getting too mushy. She's 4 1/2 weeks old and I'm uncertain about several things. My 8-year old daughter can't get over the fact that Chloe's an orphan and wants to hold/hug/love her all the time. Is it possible to spoil a puppy? When should I start crate/potty training? I want to do all that I can to give her the best life possible. Many more questions to come.
 

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Wow.

At this age she may not even be weaned... talk to your vet about what you should be feeding her right now. Typically vets don't know that much about the best in nutrition but he will be able to give you medical advice at least on what she needs in order to survive. Hopefully some of the breeders on this forum will be able to chime in on what she should be eating at this age. Talk to your vet about the relevant shots as well.

Two things you need to research EXTENSIVELY: bite-inhibition and socialization. These are two extremely important lessons she would have learned from her littermates and mother. Read as much as you can about these subjects. Some helpful articles:
http://diamondsintheruff.com/earlysocialization.html
http://diamondsintheruff.com/socialization.html
and a page on puppy developmental stages:
http://diamondsintheruff.com/DevelopmentalStages.html

Crate-training is possible at this age, though she will cry a lot, and she will most likely mess in her crate unless you are super vigilant about taking her out on the hour (that's how often she'll need to be taken outside right now). I would start crate training though.

It is possible to spoil a puppy if you let her get away with bad behaviour right now. Remember, her jumping up on you with a wagging tail may be cute now, but it won't be once she's fully grown. Her taking your socks and running off with them may be cute now, but it won't be once you're down to your last pair. Shower her with all the love she deserves right now, but don't let her get away with things that you won't tolerate later on, not even once. Keep things positive... she needs all the confidence she can get right now, so praise lots for good behaviour. Anything she does right -- even standing in the kitchen with all fours on the floor, as opposed to trying to countersurf -- can be rewarded with verbal praise, a pat, a toy or even a treat.
 
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