Bringing home a new puppy is an exciting and memorable time in your life. Your puppy will quickly slot in as a family member aswell as your best friend. Getting a new puppy is fantastic however it is also very demanding at first. Raising a puppy takes a lot of work along with some sleepless nights but it’s definitely worth it. If you put time and effort into training your puppy early on, he will grow to be a happy, obedient dog that adds joy to your life. If you don’t, you may end up with a dog that creates stress and makes your life difficult.
Before going any further, its important you have the correct kit (bed, toys, etc) before bringing your puppy home. Check out our post on Your New Puppy Checklist if you haven’t done so yet. If your already past this stage, that’s great. Carry on reading Bringing A Puppy Home!
What we’re going to cover
24 hours before the arrival
The car ride home
The introduction to his new home
The first night
The Day Before You Bring Your Puppy Home
As a prepared puppy owner you have already completed your shopping for your new puppy which is great! It’s very nearly time to bring your puppy home, we’re sure your excited and you should be! But before you bring home your new furry family member you need to puppy proof your home.
Check out the illustration below on puppy proofing, we’ll go into more detail on this on a future post!
The Journey Home
You ideally want to pick your puppy up on a day such as a Friday when you know that you’ll have some time off and can spend time settling him in.
As some puppies have sensitive tummies, the breeder should give you the food that they have been feeding your new puppy to take home with you. It’s a good idea to drop off a blanket some days before picking up your new pup so that it gains a familiar scent. Having this close by will help calm your new pup especially in the first few days. Before leaving, ensure the breeder provides you with any necessary paperwork including vet records showing vaccination history.
If you’re driving, be sure to pack your car beforehand with a crate or travel carrier, lead and collar, cleaning supplies, plenty of towels, plastic bags and some treats. If you can, bring a friend or your partner as it will help if one of you could comfort your puppy on the drive home. Be sure to stop if it is a long drive, a young puppy cannot hold his bladder that long (hence the towels).
Expect your puppy to cry, this is normal. After all, he was just taken from his mother & litter-mates and is likely experiencing alot of new things for the first time. Don’t blame him, you are strangers right now but this will soon change, be patient and try to reassure the little fluff!
It’s important to note that your puppy is quite vulnerable these early weeks. He has likely had some or none of his vaccinations. Try to find an area which isn’t used by other dogs if it is a long drive and you do stop. It is also a good idea to encourage your puppy to “go” before you start the journey. Bathroom breaks should be the only reason you stop on the trip. Ensure you grab any last minute bits BEFORE picking up your puppy.
Introducing Your Puppy To His New Home
When your puppy first enters the house, everyone should be calm as possible as loud noises can startle him. It’s never too early to start with training, if you haven’t already, check out our post on Positive Reinforcement. This is a great way to get started in socialising your puppy.
Keep other dogs in a separate room or ask a friend to look after him for a few hours so your puppy can get used to the new environment first. You can introduce your other dog slowly once your puppy is used to his new environment. Make sure you supervise and don’t scold your other dog if he growls at first (he is likely establishing boundaries). Ensure there is plenty of treats and reward good behaviour for both dogs.
Remember, your puppy is more than likely scared and is definitely tired. If you have children, keep them at distance for the first 24 hours, same for any other visitors at this time.
As we mentioned, your puppy is really not that great at holding his bladder yet. Be sure to read our post on Toilet Training Your New Puppy.
The First Night At Puppy’s New Home
Make sure you take your puppy out before bedtime. Bring his crate into your room and place it at the end of your bed. Make sure that he has plenty of blankets or towels to stay warm.
He’ll likely cry and howl the first night but DO NOT INTERACT with this behaviour. If you do, he will learn that crying like this gets him your attention and will continue doing so. Eventually, he will settle down. If he doesn’t, try putting the blanket from the breeders in the crate to give him a familiar scent.
If he wakes up in the middle of the night chances are he needs to go to the bathroom. Quickly take him out and be sure to praise him when if he “go’s” outside. As soon as he is finished take him straight back upstairs and into the crate. Be sure not to make a fuss apart from immediately after your pup has done his business.
As soon as your puppy is awake in the morning, take him outside. Don’t let him walk from his crate to the door or you may find yourself cleaning up an accident first thing in the morning.
As you can see, there is some sleep deprivation involved in raising a puppy, however the more consistent you are with this, the less time you’ll spend on this stage.
Hopefully we have helped you get prepared for your new pup. Be sure to check out our other posts which will help you moving forward.
Good luck with your new pup, they are very much worth it!
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Thanks for reading,