Featured Image: Dominique R. Bounds
In our last post, we talked about the essential supplies you would need to bring home a puppy. Today we will be discussing the first days of bringing home puppy. Puppies are not adult dogs just as children are not adults. They require constant care, love, patience, supervision, and guidance if you expect them to become loving and caring adult dogs.
First Days Home
Bring home your puppy when the house is quiet. If you have children, don’t allow them to surround and overwhelm your puppy. You want him to associate you, your family, and house with safety and love. Also, try not to allow overnight guest during this time either. Quickly establish a daily routine and stick to it as closely as possible. This will make the transition easier for puppy and make potty training as much of a breeze as possible.
Puppy’s Special Place
Place puppy in his special place (his room) with his crate. Line the enclosed area with newspaper or puppy training pads in case of an accident. Leave his crate open and leave some toys in the area. Allow the puppy to investigate the crate and the area of the room. If he chews or urinates on his bedding, remove it immediately and permanently. Do not allow the puppy to be unsupervised as you want to stop bad habits before they start. To achieve this either be in the room with your puppy at all times or place him in an enclosed space.
I discovered Nyx was a chewer almost immediately and removed the fleece blanket I placed in his crate. At ten months old, he still does not have bedding in his crate.
Start Potty Training
Start potty training almost immediately. This can be as easy or as hard as you make it. I will write a separate post about the dos and don’t of potty training.
Supervising & Teaching Children
Supervise your children with your puppy and supervise your puppy with your children. You don’t want either developing bad habits regarding each other. Puppies require rest and play times should be limited. Additionally, children may startle a puppy, and tease them while puppies play biting and rough play may be too much them.
Nyx was exposed to my nieces and nephews almost immediately with supervised visitation.
Socialization with Other Pets
Vets suggest that you avoid other dogs until your puppy is fully vaccinated, but in doing so, your puppy will miss out on prime socialization time (7 weeks to 4 months of age) with other dogs and the world. The pros go back and forth about this, but you have to decide what is best for you. Personally, I am happy that I allowed Nyx the socialization during this prime period. I decided to wait until he was 12 weeks old and got his first round of shots before I took him around other dogs that I knew had been vaccinated (family pets and puppy training school).
Ultimately, the first days/weeks after being home your new puppy help to shape the way the puppy feels about their new family. As I stated, raising a secure, healthy, and loving puppy is hard work, but it is possible and necessary.