Hi friend! I’m so excited to bring you a puppy update! Our little Luke has been with our family for just over one month now!
We brought him home when he was just 13 weeks old, and he’s 4 months old now.
MALTIPOO PUPPY UPDATE
WHAT KIND OF DOG IS LUKE?
Luke is an apricot colored Maltipoo (part Maltese/part Poodle). He was just 4 pounds of fluff when we got him, and at his vet visit last week, he weighed 6 pounds!
Growing boy! When he’s full grown he’ll likely be between 11 – 14 pounds.
POTTY TRAINING TIPS
Let’s start with potty training since that is one of the number one things that takes the most time, effort and energy when you have a new puppy.
I found Rachel Fusaro on YouTube and really like her approach and straightforward tips on training puppies and dogs in general.
I watched her video about how to potty train a puppy in 1o weeks. She says the fastest way to potty train any puppy is to not allow them to go potty in the house or in their crate.
How do you do that? By watching your dog with 100% supervision & taking them outside all the time. When I first heard that, I thought- how in the world can watch him 24/7? I mean, even though I work from home, I can’t possibly have my eyes on him all the time! But, I was very determined to get Luke potty trained as fast as possible with as little accidents in the house as possible.
So, I bought two gates that I could move around the house and gate him in with me when we were downstairs. I also gate off the living room, because one time (when I wasn’t watching him), he did run into the living room and went potty.
Now, he’s starting to get smarter and stronger and can sometimes bypass the gate if I don’t put them in a position where they can’t move.
I also would literally leashed him to me so I could always have him by my side. If I couldn’t watch him, or needed to give myself a break, I’d put him in his crate.
If you see your puppy put his nose to the ground and start circling around, chances are, he has to go potty. Get him outside right then!
In the first week I had him, I probably took him outside every 30 minutes round the clock.
Around the second week I had him, I started keeping a log of when I took him out and what he did, if anything. Then, I also started tracking when he ate and drank.
You can see in this first log that I had just taken him out and then came back inside and he went #2 15 minutes later! But, that was before I realized that he always goes #2 in the morning. And often twice.
So, after being outside for awhile, if he didn’t go, I would know to watch him closely for the signs that he was ready to go the next time.
That log ended up being so helpful because I could start to see a pattern and that helped me know when he needed to go out. I kept it up the log for about a week or so. I’ve never heard anyone recommend this, but I found if really useful.
Now, I take him out first thing in the morning and he goes #1 & #2. Then, he eats breakfast and I take him out again about 20-20 minutes later because he usually goes #2 again.
Throughout the day, I take him out immediately after he’s been in his crate, then every 1 to 1.5 hours, and always about 20-30 minutes after he’s eaten (and he eats three times a day). We go out again before he goes in his crate at night.
I heard that your step count should increase when you get a new puppy because you are always taking them outside and that’s definitely been true for me! I’m constantly running up and down the stairs taking Luke outside.
At first, he couldn’t go up the stairs by himself, but he can now! He just can’t go down on his own yet.
Also, I got a dog door bell for the back door and every single time we go out, I take his paw and have him ring the bell before I open the door. This is supposed to teach him to ring the bell when he needs to go out. And, hopefully prevent him from scratching at the door.
It was probably Week 3 when Luke went to the back door and rang the door. You would have thought I won the lottery! I was soooo excited! Since then, he’s gone to the back door and sat a couple of times and rang the bell one more time. I think he’s starting to get it!
I also keep the dog poop bags ready to go in a little planter.
All that being said, Luke has had accidents in the house, but it’s only been when I wasn’t watching him. A couple I caught in the act, so I was able to say “outside” and get him outside very quickly.
Now, any accidents are very few and far between, but I use this pet stain and order eliminator spray to wipe up any accident. Then, I spray the area with Lysol.
LUKE IS SO PLAYFUL
Y’all, this dog is so playful! He loves his toys and he needs them because he’s got little puppy teeth and wants to chew all the time! He LOVES trying to get at shoes and slippers and is also attracted to long hem lines if I’m wearing a dress, long cardigan, or flowy lounge/pajama pants. He always tries to bite those!
I keep some of Luke’s toys in his crate so that he associates going in there with fun. I’ll keep the door open and he’ll hop in to retrieve the toy.
I also have some in a woven basket when I want them out of sight. His very favorite toy is that pink squeaky pig. My friend Sara got it for him and he’s obsessed. I found a pack of them on Amazon too!
He does tucker himself out and often sleeps right by my chair in my office while I’m working. He’ll nap for a couple hours there in the afternoon.
In the living room, he loves this little plush donut dog bed. My friend Marianna recommended it and I think dogs love it because it kind of surrounds and cuddles them.
I’m also lucky to have Rhonda here several hours a day, and she absolutely adores Luke! She even helps take Luke out if I’m out of the house on an errand. Now that’s love!
She snapped this photo of him trying to get into my bedroom one day while I was doing a try-on! Sooo stinkin’ cute!
DOES LUKE SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT?
Thankfully, yes! The first night I brought him home I was so worried my sleepful nights were gonna be over. But, I put him in his crate (next to my bed) then got into bed myself. He cried for about 15 minutes while I held my breath. Then he stopped. I was scared to exhale, but I did and he slept until the morning without any accident!
Since we’ve had him, I’ve only gotten up twice to let him out in the middle of the night if I heard him whining. I got VERY lucky with this and I’m so grateful.
Side note, I have no problem with letting Luke onto the couch, but I don’t want him on my bed or getting into the habit of sleeping with me. I already have Jordan in my bed. So, he’s never been on my bed.
At first, I bought this pretty wooden grey dog crate, and while I really like it and it functions well, it seemed too big for Luke. I didn’t want him going to the bathroom on one side and sleeping on the other.
So then, I bought a smaller, regular crate and just thought, why not put it inside the pretty crate since I have it?! At the bottom of the crate is just an old beach towel.
HOW’S THE PUPPY TRAINING GOING?
Like I mentioned above, I’ve been binge watching dog training videos and a friend of mine also recommended a professional dog trainer, Russell Russell. It’s been many years since I’ve had a dog and now I have a young daughter so I wanted help with teaching US how to train him.
We started with the PLACE command, which teaches Luke to go to his ‘place’ and stay there, eventually while we are further away, for longer periods, and while distractions are happening. Russell recommends that we work with Luke 2-5 times a day for 2-5 minutes at a time.
The next session was working with Luke on a leash outside, getting him to learn to stay with me.
Our third session will be getting Luke to only jump up onto the couch when he’s invited to do so. I’m really looking forward to that one!
We’ve had two sessions so far and it’s been very helpful. If you don’t want to invest in that in-home training, watch those Rachel Fusaro videos. They are great!
He’s getting better and better at staying on PLACE. We reward with these treats and because he’s so small, I sometimes break them in half.
Because I like everything to look pretty, I keep the treats in glass canisters in my pantry.
He eats three times a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner – usually at the same time as me or the family if they’re home.
I try to not feed him anything after 6 p.m. so that he doesn’t have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I do keep the water out though. He goes to bed when Jordan and I do.
If we want our dogs to be obedient and mindful, we have to spend time working with them to teach them the desired behavior.
I’ve put “work with Luke 5 minutes” on my list of daily to-do’s. I usually work with him in the morning before school and again around dinnertime.
It feels like a lot of work on top of an already full list, but if I remind myself that it’s just a few minutes and our whole family, including Luke, will greatly benefit from putting in the effort now.
Luke is just 4 months old, and we plan to have him with us for many, many years so it’s definitely worth it.
HOW ARE THE KIDS ADJUSTING TO HAVING A DOG IN THE HOUSE?
Our whole family adores him! James is big enough to pick him up and I’m still having to work with him to not jump up on Jordan. They can both get irritated with him when he’s too excited and jumping on them, or just underfoot too much.
We usually crate Luke about 20 minutes before we leave for school so we can get that last hustle out the door without worrying about him. We may also crate him around dinnertime when we want to relax a bit and give him some alone time too.
My kids asked for a dog for a long time (years!), but I knew it would really be my dog at the end of the day, so I had to wait until I was ready for the commitment too.
It’s honestly been a lot of work, but I have really fallen in love with this little guy. He’s a good companion and cute company when I’m home alone too.
HOW IS KITTY DOING WITH LUKE?
Weeellll, let’s just say she is not his biggest fan. They’ve gotten close to each other, but then Luke might try to lunge at her or get too excited or start barking and she hisses at him.
I’ve been trying to integrate them slowly – you may have seen some of the videos on my Stories. If Luke is close to her and being nice and calm, I’ll reward him with treats.
A lot of times lately, Kitty will come inside at night when he’s already crated and then go back out in the morning. I still feed her twice a day and she comes inside sometimes. I really adore her and feel very protective of her.
I wish she would just come and live inside with us, but she still wants to go outside. 🙁
Luke is a very friendly dog and has definitely added a new level of energy and love to our home. He’s sweet as can be and just look at that face! ♥♥♥♥
We love you, Luke!
In the short time we’ve had Luke, I’ve realized that there can be a fair amount of ‘stuff’ that a dog uses on a regular basis. Here’s some of what’s been helpful and useful for us.
2 • Maltipoos are known for needing constant grooming updates. He hasn’t been to the groomers yet because he hasn’t had all of his shots. In the meantime, I’ve been using this Dog Brush to keep his fur untangled.
7 • Wooden Dog Gate – these crates have been life savers. I’ve used them all over the house to keep Luke where I can see him or out of certain areas. They come with adjustable “feet” so they stay sturdy. You can get different sizes.
16 • Wire Dog Crate – A basic, sturdy wire grate that does the job with one or two door option. It collapses down and has a carrying handle for easy transport or storage when not in use. It includes a removable divider panel so if you get a bigger one it can grow with your dog and it has a leak proof (easy to clean) plastic pan. 142,093 positive reviews
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I have loved getting to share more of Luke with you here today! He also makes frequent appearances on my Stories so be sure to join us there!
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Have a fantastic day friend!