Bringing a puppy into your home for the first time is an exciting and wonderful experience that will last with you forever. But for the puppy, it can be an overwhelming and stressful time. It is likely the first time they have been away from their litter mates and their mum, so following a few steps can make things easier for both you and the new member of your family.
Be calm – Try not to over excite your puppy, and gradually introduce them to members of the family individually. Imagine how you would feel if a bunch of strangers started poking and prodding you. Try not to overwhelm him by keeping things low key and calm.
Decide on a name – Start as you mean to go on, if you want a well trained dog then you need to start with a well trained puppy and the first thing he or she needs to know is their name. Choose a name and stick to it. The puppy will get used to hearing it and will know that it is time for him or her to respond.
Set the rules – Begin with gentle, consistent training so the puppy gets used to knowing what is and what is not allowed. Make sure all the family use the same words for commands, and follows the same rules, otherwise he will not understand what he is being praised or reprimanded for.
His or Her space – All animals need a space that is theirs and they can retreat to whenever they feel tired, scared or just need a little comfort. Introduce the puppy to his bed or indoor kennel and if you have something that still smells of his mum, then put it in his bed with him for comfort.
Bed Time – Your little puppy will not be used to sleeping alone and will likely complain about this for a few nights. This is natural, so put his indoor kennel in the bedroom so he can see, hear and know that you are near. If you don’t want him to sleep in the bedroom with you, then gradually, over time, you can move it to the hallway and eventually to where you want him to sleep as an adult dog.
Relaxation – Puppies are very playful little creatures, and seem to be always on the go but sleep is important. Give him time to relax in his own space. Putting him in his bed for short periods will also help him get used to being in his own company, preparing him for when he gets older.
Feeding Time – A change in environment, such as a new home, can cause puppies a lot of stress, and often this will lead to an upset stomach. Feed him gently for the first few days and keep an eye on his general well being. Allow him time to sleep or relax after eating and keep an eye on his health. If he has an upset tummy or is sick a lot, take him to the vet to make sure he is properly checked out.
Exercise – Very young puppies shouldn’t have too much exercise and running around and playing in the garden with you and some toys will do for the first few weeks. By the time they have finished their vaccinations and can leave the house safely, they should be ready for very short walks.