Welcoming a new puppy into the family
Early days with your puppy are great fun, especially if you’re prepared. Follow our tips and with luck, your pup will soon be feeling completely at home.
Take time off work
Puppies can’t be left alone for long periods of time, so in the first weeks there will need to be someone at home to look after them.
If you can’t get time off, organise a dog sitter/dog walker to come to your home.
Sort out the toilet rota
Someone will have to wake up early to let the puppy out as part of its toilet training routine.
Puppies need to go to the toilet straight after waking up, 15-20 minutes after eating or drinking and every 2 hours in between.
Introduce your puppy to their space
Your puppy will need their own bed and food area inside the house.
This should be somewhere where they won’t feel lonely and, preferably, have good access to the garden or outside space so it’s easy to take them to the toilet.
Start a routine
Dogs like routine and consistency, as it makes them feel secure.
Schedule waking, feeding, exercising, toileting and putting to bed for regular times, and stick to it.
Keep things calm
Dogs can be very sensitive so don’t let your puppy become overwhelmed when you introduce him or her to their new home.
If you’ve got children they will probably be very eager to pick up the puppy and play, but try to keep things quiet, especially if your pup seems nervous.
Your puppy will probably feel unsettled during the early days, so expect a bit of whimpering, especially at night.
Start socialising your pup with other family members
Take things slowly and make sure any existing dogs or other pets are comfortable with the new addition.
Puppies can be boisterous when overexcited which can rile other (older, territorial) pets. Similarly, they can knock over small children or jump up at elderly people.
Be aware that pups can also can get frightened, particularly if they’re a shy dog or a very small breed like a chihuahua.
Be consistent about rules
Decide on things like whether your pup is allowed upstairs and stick to it. Make sure all family members are on board with disciplining the puppy during its training period.
For example, if your puppy chews your daughter’s favourite shoes and she shouts at them, but later your pup play-bites and chews your son’s hands and he allows it – the puppy will become confused about what’s allowed and what isn’t.
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