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The First Days at Home

The First Days at Home

The ideal time to bring home a new puppy is when the house is quiet.  Discourage friends from stopping by and don't allow overnight guests.  First establish a daily routine and follow these steps:

Step 1:  Before bringing him in the house, take him to the area in your yard that will serve as his "bathroom" and spend a few minutes there.  If he goes, praise him, if not, proceed into the house but be sure to take him to this spot each time he needs to use the bathroom.

Step 2:  Take him to the room that accommodates your crate - this restricted area will serve as his new "den" for several days.  Put bedding and chew toys in the crate, leave the door open and line the area outside of the crate with newspaper, in case of an accident.  Let him investigate the crate and the room.  If he chews on his bedding, permanently remove it from the crate.

Step 3:  Observe and interact with your puppy while he's acclimating to his new den.  This will help forge a sense of pack and establish you as the pack leader.


Special Puppy Concerns

Don't treat a puppy as young as 8 to 12 weeks old like an adult dog.  Treat him the same way you would your own infant:  with patience, constant supervision and a gentle touch.  The way you interact with your puppy at this age is critical to his socialization. 

Use these Tips:

  • Don't bring home a puppy while you're on vacation, so you can spend a lot of time with him.  Instead, acclimate him to your normal, daily routine.
  • Supervise your puppy at all times and interact with him regularly.
  • Be alert for signs (sniffing and circling) that he has to go to the bathroom, then take hime outside immediately.
  • A young puppy has no bladder control and will need to urinate immediately after eating, drinking, sleeping or playing.  At night, he will need to relieve himself at least every three hours.
  • Don't punish an accident.  Never push his nose in the waste or scold him.  He won't understand, and may learn to go to the bathroom when you're out of sight.
  • Praise your puppy every time he goes to the bathroom outside.  PRAISE goes a long way, don't over treat your puppy.
  • Feed your puppy a formula designed for puppies.  Like a baby, he need nutritious, highly digestible food.  Nutri Source Small Medium Breed Puppy Food is what I recommend.

Meeting Resident Pets

Keep resident pets separated from your new puppy for a few days.  After you new puppy is used to his new den area, put an expandable pet gate in the doorway or put your puppy in his crate.  Give your resident pet access to the area.  Let pets smell and touch each other through the crate or  pet gate.  Do this several times over the next few days.  After that, give the resident pet access to the den area with your new puppy out of his crate.  Supervise their meeting and go back to through-the-gate/crate meetings if trouble arises.