Bringing home your new puppy is one of the greatest joys! Planning ahead and having what your new puppy will need are keys to a successful beginning. While it is great fun to buy lots of toys and pet beds and cute collars for your new family member, the greatest gift that you can give this furry baby is to prepare yourself with the knowledge of raising a dog.
It is very important to think about your puppies first week with you in the most quiet and peaceful manner you can imagine. The following tips will help establish a good foundation relationship between you and your new pet:
- While your family and home are familiar to you, it is new, unfamiliar, and possibly a bit frightening to a small puppy that hasn’t seen much of the world yet. Your puppies first few days would be best suited to having as much of your attention as possible and as calm of a schedule as you can manage.
- Your puppy will adjust best if you keep company to a minimum for the first 3-4 days. Establishing a routine for feeding your puppy three times a day and a designated “crate training” time each initial day will serve both your family and your puppy well.
- It is very scary for a puppy to come into a new home and be left alone for many hours at a time. While it is fine to leave the puppy for a little while each day, it needs to be done in a manner that will be conducive to helping your puppy adjust well.
- If you have children, be sure to read books and watch videos about children and dogs. The puppy is not a new toy, and the children need to be very respectful of the new puppies space and sleep schedule. Parents/ guardians of children need to be sure the children are NOT holding the puppy unless they are sitting down, and no more than two times a day. The puppy is not a toy.
- Watch for signs that your puppy needs to use the restroom. Sniffing and circling are good indicators that he/she is looking for a spot to relieve himself.
- Puppies have very little bladder control and will need to take frequent breaks to eliminate. The key times to be watchful and initiate potty breaks are: after eating, drinking, playing, or waking from sleep. Do not ever punish your pet for an accident. Just pick him up and redirect him. Then praise him each time he goes outside.
- Never ever take a puppy that has not been fully vaccinated to a retail pet store. Vaccinations will usually be completed by 16 weeks and your vet can inform you of the time-frame that your pet will have the full coverage of the vaccinations. Pet stores are frequently the culprits of a puppy being exposed to harmful diseases that are life threatening.
- Be sure you have read a few books to understand what typical “puppy behaviors” look like. A few normal puppy behaviors include: nipping, chasing, chewing, and barking. Good pet owners will have a plan in place to address these issues in a manner that is positive and will redirect the behavior. Like children, puppies respond best to repetition. Labradoodles are particularly sensitive in nature and do not usually require harsh discipline.