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  • Writer's pictureAdele

The first few weeks with your new puppy

What is more exciting then bringing home a wriggly, cuddly puppy to join your family! You’re going to have so much fun together! The first few weeks can bring lots of surprises so here’s our tips for enjoying those first few weeks together and getting your relationship off on the right paw.

Get organised before bringing your puppy home!

Before your puppy arrives make sure your home is safe. Lock away all dangerous things your puppy could chew or is dangerous such as cleaning supplies and electrical cords. You may want to put away any soft furnishings or shoes that you don’t want being turned into chew toys! Purchase all of your puppies supplies before bringing them home. You will need all the basics such as puppy food, puppy chew toys, a puppy bed, food and water bowls, collar/harness/lead/I.D tag, puppy pee pads, poop bags, and a crate for training along with a comfy crate pad and blankets. You may want to ask the breeder in advance what food the puppy is on as it is advisable for now to keep puppy on the same food. If you want to change it wait a few days, then gradually mix in the new food over around 10 days to limit any tummy upset. You may want to look into baby gates or play pens to keep your puppy safe and close by. A crate is ideal for when you have to leave them in a room on their own, to keep them safe whilst out of your view. Our bespoke handcrafted dog crates are perfect for your new addition!

The first night

The first night in a new home will be a very strange experience for your puppy after a busy day of leaving mum and siblings, having their first car journey on their own without them, and experiencing new sounds and smells. During the day there may be lots going on but at night your puppy is going to wonder where are his siblings bodies to snuggle up to, and why am I being left on my own?

It’s perfectly fine for your puppy to sleep in your room for comfort, however not in your bed! Sleeping in a crate will help your puppy feel secure and safe whilst helping them establish the crate as their “to-go” place. A crate pad and blankets will make it nice and cosy for your puppy. Crate training is recommended from day 1. Our crate guide has lots of tips! Introduce your puppy to their crate during the day and let them rest in there when you are busy around the home. During first few weeks during the night it will help to have your puppy’s crate beside your bed . Once puppy is sleeping fine, you can gradually move the crate to its permanent position. Our Elvis crate comes on casters and can easily be moved around the home and workplace!

When its bedtime, take your puppy outside for one last toilet and then put puppy in their crate and tell them good night. They should soon settle and the sound of your own breathing and your scent will help settle and calm them. Depending on their age, they may not last all night without another toilet break or two. Allow them out of the crate to do their toileting and put them straight back in their crate with minimal fuss.

Elvis - Pawardise Pug

Toilet Training

Now is the time to start toilet training your puppy! Puppies rarely have full control of their bowels and bladders at a young age. In the coming weeks I will guarantee there will be made accidents, but be patient, it won’t last forever! Some puppies may need to be taken outside to the garden every 1 to 2 hours, others within minutes of a meal or big drink after a nap or playing. Reward with treats and praise. Creating a routine will help, for example keeping feeding and sleep times the same if possible. This needs to be considered with your own routine. Learn to read your puppy’s body language. Your puppy will give signals that they need to toilet. Sniffing the floor and circling are important signs. Encourage them to go to the garden and praise them if they get it right.

Toilet training your puppy is a process similar to human toddlers! When accidents happen, and they will, NEVER shout at your puppy. They will not understand what you are communicating and may become frightened of you and during those first few weeks it is important to create a bond with your puppy, not have them feel frightened of you. Crate training is hugely recommend due to the fact that puppies very rarely wet their own bed.

Pre-Jab Socialisation

Socialisation is a term used to describe the process of getting a puppy used to living in a human-orientated world. A good breeder will have started to do as much as possible so your puppy experiences new things before you collect them. This may have included playing with toys, walking on different surfaces, meeting other people and interacting with other pets, hearing the TV, washing machine, lawn mower, and other loud household appliances, and everyday things that we take for granted. Pre-jab socialisation is about starting to broaden your puppy’s horizons until they are fully vaccinated and been given the all clear to go out on walks. Include:

- Walks around the garden - In addition to using the garden for toileting, having a walk around the garden is a great way for your puppy to get used to wearing a harness and lead. Let them have a good sniff off everything they show interest in such as soil, grass, gravel, puddles etc so they can learn about different textures.

- Car rides – Take short car rides with your puppy to allow them to get used to the sounds, smells and movement of the car.

- Start playing with your puppy right away and spend time helping him bond with everyone in the household as this also allows puppy to get used to human touch. Include petting him a lot, holding him close and holding his paws.

- Meeting other people – One way to do this is to carry your puppy with you for a walk to allow them to see and hear things around them such as cars, people, dogs, prams etc. A puppy sling, backpack or a doggy pram are also ideal for your puppy to go outside the home whilst keeping them safe from being on the ground. Another way is to have visitors at home once your puppy has had the time to settle in their new home. You may want to go visiting your friends and family where the sights and smells are different to their own home, but be mindful if they have dogs before fully vaccinated. Pet shops love having furry visitors. You may want to carry your puppy if not fully vaccinated.

Puppies are most open to new experiences whilst young meaning as a puppy owner you should make the most of these early weeks to show your puppy there are lots of interesting things in the world to build positive associations.

Reward good behaviour

Reward your puppy’s good behaviour. If puppy is resting quietly, give them a treat for positive calm behaviour, playing nicely, give a treat, no nipping, give a treat, toileting in the garden, give a treat! Dogs will basically do any action that gets them attention, so it’s good to start training early! One of the first things you could do to start training is getting puppy to recognise their own name, then you can move onto simple commands. Remember to keep training intervals short and make them fun!

Arrange a veterinarian visit

Your puppy should be microchipped and likely to have received their first vaccination by the time you collect them from the breeder. Arrange to register with your own vet surgery within a few days of bringing puppy home and schedule in a health check and their second vaccination. This is a good opportunity for your puppy to meet and get handled by new people, receive some treats and start to establish visiting the vets as a positive experience.

Deciding to have a puppy join your family and bringing them home is an exciting time. These tips will hopefully make those first few weeks more enjoyable for you both!



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