top of page

Canine Corner

by: Kylie Purcell

I just got a puppy what now?

Congrats! This is a super exciting time. First thing is to work on getting your pup in a crate/kennel routine. Pups 8-10 weeks old benefit highly from sleeping and being in a kennel while you are not available to them.

Kennels are not and should not be used as punishment but rather it is your pup’s den. Kennels are crucial to accomplish housebreaking. Keep it simple with a minor blanket and a toy or two—be sure the toys are crate safe.

I’ll be honest, the first time you put your pup in there they are going to whine and bark. It takes time to get used to the kennel but after a bit they will be eager to go in.

Establish a phase or word like, “Let’s go in your house,” put them in the kennel and give them a cookie. Shut the door and walk away. Come back quickly and then let them out before they make any noise. Repeat and slowly build up your time.

Your kennel size should be just big enough that your pup can get in and turn around any bigger and they may have the desire to go potty in there. Keep in mind with housebreaking at this young age; they may only be able to hold it for two hours unless their body is at rest. Expect lots of trips outside to potty and show enthusiasm when they do!

Next, make an appointment with your vet for an exam and any necessary vaccines. Once they are deemed safe for exposure, a puppy class is very effective. At this stage, offering socializing and training opportunities are priceless and it’s never too early for them to learn! So much ground can be covered before they are six months old and this sets the stage for your pup’s life.

Training the sit command is the first thing most owners try and quickly move on from but don’t undercut the importance of this command. It’s such a basic command, which can be used in many other training areas. Starting leash manners is also great in the beginning.

Finally, with a puppy, it’s important to keep your training sessions short. Try many sessions lasting five to ten minutes throughout the day. If in doubt there are plenty of resources out there. It can be overwhelming. I personally like the training info on American Kennel Clubs website. It’s a great idea to talk with a trainer and get your pup in for lessons and classes!


Kylie has been actively training Livingstons dogs since 2009. She began teaching dog obedience with the late, great Jo Sykes, and the rest is history!

Montana Dog Company is proud to offer retail, 24-hour self dog wash, dog training, and so much more. Kylie has competed with North American Dog Agility Council for over 25 years and with many different breeds of dogs. Even though training is her passion, she enjoys the outdoors with her husband, toddler, and baby boy. Livingston is her home and she is here to work for you and your pup! Contact her today!


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page