Whether you are considering getting a puppy or are in the first few days of your puppy being with you, there are snippets of knowledge that will help you be prepared.You want to do the best by your puppy when he first arrives. As well as making life easy for him, you want it to be as straightforward and stress free for you too. Here are our 21 top tips for a new puppy to keep you ahead of the pack!
1. Pick the spot.
Firstly, when he arrives home on that first day, take him straight to his toilet spot before he enters the house. Reward him when he goes. Meanwhile, you can start using your toilet command word now too.
2. Agree the rules and stick to them.
Before you pick him up, agree what the rules will be – on the sofa? Which rooms? Upstairs?
3. Get a crate for him.
This will make house training easier.
4. Be with him.
Your puppy will need hawk eye supervision initially. Don’t leave him unattended.
5. Let him sleep in your room.
Not on your bed. (Unless this is going to be the norm.) Sleeping in your room (in his crate) will be a comfort to him to hear you breathing and to feel you are close by.
6. Use baby gates.
These work brilliantly to limit his access in the house.
7. Establish a routine.
If you follow a similar pattern each day, meals/walks/playtime it will aid toilet training. Importantly, it will help him to understand what to expect.
8. Encourage the right behaviour from Day 1.
A puppy who jumps up is cute. A 2 year old fully grown dog who jumps up is a nuisance. He won’t understand the difference.
9. Sign up to a puppy class.
Ultimately, this is a great opportunity to learn basic commands and how to behave. Moreover, it is also a great opportunity to socialise with other puppies and people.
There are a myriad of games that you can play with your puppy that will help with training.
11. Handle him.
Get him used to having his teeth, mouth, ears, feet, nails, tail and belly touched. Cradle him and stroke him. This will make grooming and vet visits in future much easier if he is used to the bits of him being touched.
12. Meet new people.
The more people he meets, the better socialised he will be. But do this slowly and gradually. Start with quiet, gentle people!
13. Introduce variety.
There are many things in the world that your puppy has never come across. Therefore make him resilient and adaptable by varying what he sees and hears. For example, people who wear glasses/have beards/wear hats. Likewise, children, dark clothing, and car journeys. Similarily, garden hoses, steps/stairs and the hoover. Even remote control cars. And of course, cats.
It’s great to let your puppy meet new people and new dogs. However, go slowly and gradually.
15. Reward the good stuff.
If he’s being good, reward him. On the other hand, don’t only give him attention when he’s doing something naughty/unwanted.
16. Feed, don’t graze.
Give him a set amount of food 2-3 times a day. During the day, don’t just leave a bowl of food out for him to help himself.
Get a variety that have different textures and make different noises. Mental stimulation is incredibly important to his well being.
18. Things to chew.
The majority of puppies love to chew. Therefore, make sure he has things you are happy for him to chew like. Rawhide chews for instance. Certainly, you don’t want him finding his own chew items!
19. Practise being apart.
There will be times when you can’t be with your puppy. Therefore, you need to practice some time apart. Whether that’s just him in his crate and you in another room, get him used to having some quiet time on his own. In addition, you could leave the radio or tv on for him.
20. Master good lead training early on.
If you attend puppy classes, this might be something you’ll work on. Certainly, it’s easier to teach a puppy to walk nicely on the lead than having to teach him when he’s older to stop pulling! Check out our training leads and how to use them.
21. Take lots of pictures!
Those puppy days are going to go so fast so take lots of pictures of him – we love seeing puppy pics by the way! Send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can feature your pup on our Instagram page!
If you’ve enjoyed our 21 top tips for a new puppy, check out our other “New Puppy” blogs:
- What do I need for a new puppy?
- Bringing a new puppy home – the first day
- The first night
- The first week
Did we miss anything in our list? Do you have any gems of knowledge to add to our 21 top tips for a new puppy? Let us know! Share your experiences with us.