The first day at the new home is really challenging for your new puppy. They just left their mum, their litter, their human family and are suddenly surrounded by strangers.
Go easy and get them an ADAPTIL collar (http://www.adaptil.com/au) if the breeder has not done so already.
On the way home, they should travel on someone’s lap, this will make them feel safe. If they eat be generous with treats. Use the ones recommended by your breeder otherwise you might cause an upset stomach.
Once home take them to the toilet, or if the trip is a long one, stop along the way to toilet them. Before you let her explore the house put them into the area where you want them to go to the toilet. For more information on house training click here. Then let your puppy explore the areas of the house he/she is allowed in.
Just a note on getting a so called ‘outside’ dog. If you do not intend to give your dog access to the house, you might reconsider why you are getting a puppy. Puppies do not do solo very well and need company.
Introduce the puppy to his/her sleeping area. Best practice these days is a crate, for more information on sleeping arrangements click here
Start teaching the puppy his or her name. Get a handful of their dry food, say his or her name and if she looks at you give them a treat. Repeat this a few times (check the video….).
Despite training being an important part of a puppy’s early months you can train an older dog but if you miss the critical socialisation you will play catch up for your dog’s entire life.
Your puppy should meet at least 100 people before she is 12 weeks old. You are on a mission. In a lot of areas you cannot really take your puppy out due to the risk of infectious diseases but you can hold puppy parties. Make sure you are not having one big party which will overwhelm the puppy but invite small groups of friends over. Make sure you include children, young, old, male, female, different ethnicities. Always supervise children with puppies. Socialisation is not just exposure but a positive association with a new stimulus or experience. Checklist…..
Introduce the children slowly and gradually. Here is a great read from our guest blogger Virginia……
Your puppy needs to attend a good puppy class. How to choose a good one?
You can start training immediately, teaching sit, lie down, shake, roll over and much more, see the video.
Keep in mind your puppy is still very young and try not to teach things like stay, leave it or walking on a leash. This is not appropriate for this age and will only cause frustration for you and your puppy.
Use part of your puppy’s food for enrichment. Feed out of a food dispensing toys.
If you have an older resident dog, unless your dog really likes puppies, take it easy, set up separate areas and manage and supervise introductions carefully. Reward calm and appropriate behaviour from both dogs. Try not to establish a hierarchy!
Most of the important things in life are free! Be generous with your affection, interaction, cuddles, quality time and treats!