8 Things to Remember When Welcoming Your New Puppy
Updated: May 10, 2022
Maybe you've raised and enjoyed several dogs in your lifetime, maybe it's been a while since you have had a puppy in your home, or maybe this is the first puppy you've ever been in charge of on your own. Regardless of your circumstances I hope this information will be helpful to you as you and your new puppy begin a new life together.
Don't take yourself or your puppy too seriously. That is to say, remember that you have a puppy in your home. A puppy who will be slightly afraid of being without it's siblings and in a new place with new people...all of a sudden. This hasn't been a gradual change for your puppy, you've had time to prepare, your puppy has not. You've been dreaming about this moment, your puppy has had no clue. So, give your puppy some slack and don't expect too much at first. Realize that your puppy will make mistakes and that it is your job to set up situations and experiences that allow your puppy to do well.
Be sure your home is ready. If you have to, crawl around your house and look at what your puppy will see and want to chew. Puppies are mouthy and want to chew on everything so put things away and pick things up. You will be teaching your puppy "no" or "leave it" or "drop it" but this will go much more smoothly if you are prepared and get things out of the way. Always be ready to do an exchange, when you ask the puppy to "drop it" or "leave it" give a treat in exchange. Giving a treat for the trade sets your puppy up to automatically see this command as a good thing.
Don't allow your puppy freedom. Yes, set up a small space where your puppy will be in your sight at all times. Your puppy should either be in a crate or with you at all times. Monitoring your puppy allows you to set your puppy up for success and it allows your puppy to create good habits, not bad ones. The more good habits you create the less bad habits your puppy will form.
Help your puppy enjoy crate time. Give a special toy that stays in the crate like a fluffy toy, or a stuffed animal. Basically, your puppy needs something to snuggle and that something should only be available in the crate. A good chew like a cow hoof or a bully stick, or some sort of yummy thing to knaw on is also a must. Again, this chewy delicacy needs to be available only when the puppy is in the crate. Your puppy needs crate time, your puppy needs lots of sleep so put your puppy in the crate and different times during the day when you know your puppy has played and been awake for awhile. Place the crate near someone, don't make the puppy sleep away from everyone. Your puppy will cry...it's a fact. Do not reward crying puppies. Talk to your puppy or toss it treats when it is quiet, not while it is crying. Try to make the first crate times short, but at night, it will just have to be done so do it. By night 3 or 4 your puppy should not be crying anymore so just be strong and get it done. Just make sure the crate is by someone's bed.
Puppies chew...on shoes, chair legs, their own legs, your legs, your hands, children's extremities, cords, and anything near their mouths. Puppies nip at all of the aforementioned items as well. Tell your puppy "no" or "no bite" and remove the puppy from the item that is being knawed on or nipped at. Puppies learn that it is no fun to be ignored and have things taken away. Also, be ready with something to shove in
your puppies mouth that is acceptable to knaw on. When you pet your puppy have a soft toy ready to shove in it's mouth because it will want to knaw you so let it do so on an acceptable toy. If the puppy insists on knawing on you then you remove yourself and ignore the puppy. Do not give the puppy attention of any kind when it is doing something you don't want it doing. Do not encourage poor behavior. You may need to say "no" at times in a stern tone but, in most cases try not give more attention than this as even bad attention is interesting.
Mt. Rainier Doodle Dogs are not dog trainers, we are conscientious dog breeders and puppy raisers. We have a Foundations Program we try and implement with all of our puppies with the goal of helping them be ready for their new homes but puppies under the age of 8 weeks are not ready for "formal" training. We begin stimulation between 3 and 7 days of age, we introduce loud noises at the appropriate times, we try and condition them to the clicker, we try to get them used to treats, we expose them to all kinds of household sounds and experiences as well as many diverse experiences on our farm but we do not guarantee any sort of specific behaviors.
As soon as your veterinarian deems it safe, go to a puppy class or trainier and continue training. A good online resource I like is Zak George, he has an entire series on YouTube about bringing home his new puppy and many other excellent training videos.