Here are some FAQs to help make bringing home your puppy the best experience possible.
WHAT IS THE BEST TIMING? Bring your puppy home on a long weekend or when you know you’ll have time to focus on him and only him. This will give you both a chance to get properly acquainted with each other, as well as help the puppy get used to his new home.
HOW CAN I HELP WITH THE TRANSITION? Before you pick your puppy up to bring him home, it’s a good idea to give the breeder a small blanket to place with the puppy and his mother. When you pick up the pup, take the blanket, and it will comfort him and make him less likely to whine and be anxious.
WHO SHOULD BE INVOLVED? The puppy will bond the most with the family members who go to pick him up to be brought home, so make it a family affair!
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO TRANSPORT WHILE DRIVING? On the way home, make sure that someone is either holding the puppy securely in her lap or the puppy is in a crate.
WHAT TO PACK FOR TRIP HOME? Be sure to pack paper towels, plastic bags, and odor neutralizer, in case the puppy has an accident.
I'M SO EXCITED! CAN I SHOW THE PUP OFF? After picking up the puppy, go straight home. It may be tempting to share your new little bundle of joy with a few friends, but it’s important that you get your puppy home and settled as soon as possible.
WHAT DO I DO FIRST WHEN THE PUP ARRIVES? Once you’re home, take the puppy outside so he can do his business. Calmly walk him around his designated bathroom area. And make sure your yard is puppy-proofed ahead of time.
HOW DO WE MAKE THE PUP COMFORTABLE RIGHT AWAY? - Make sure that everyone is calm when the puppy arrives home. The best way to get your puppy to warm up to you is to be calm and relaxed. Too many loud noises or voices will likely frighten your puppy. - If there are other pets in the house, don’t be in a rush to introduce the puppy to them. Make his first day home all about him. There will be time for him to get acquainted with the other pets later. - Sit the puppy down inside and let him explore. He may decide to run around a bit, or he may hide under the couch and stare at you. It’s been a long day. Just give him some time and make sure you have rules and a schedule in place for when he gets settled.
Use stainless steel, non-tip food bowls, which won't break or absorb odors.
Toys with parts that squeak or whistle can be dangerous if swallowed.
For a comfortable collar fit, allow for two fingers of space between the collar and your dog's neck; consider using an adjustable collar.
HOW DO WE MAKE THE PUP COMFORTABLE RIGHT AWAY?
Keeping your puppy safe in your yard requires good fencing. There are several options to choose from, and the one you should pick will depend on your puppy's personality, your property, and your budget. Here are some of the options you should consider:
Privacy fencing. Privacy fences have no openings and provide excellent containment.
Chain link. Inexpensive chain link works well and is durable.
Underground fencing. These electronic systems cannot be seen, jumped over, or dug under. Wire is buried, configured, and connected to a transmitter. The dog wears a special collar that emits warning tones and issues a mild shock as he nears the buried wire.
Kennels. A covered kennel run, especially one with a concrete floor, will keep your puppy from digging, climbing, or jumping out. Ask your veterinarian or breeder to recommend an appropriate size.
WHAT DO THE FIRST DAYS AT HOME LOOK LIKE?
The ideal time to bring home a new puppy is when the house is quiet. Discourage friends from stopping by and don't allow overnight guests.
First, establish a daily routine and follow these steps:
Step 1: Before bringing him in the house, take him to the designated potty area in your yard and spend a few minutes there. If he goes, praise him. Be sure to take him to this spot each time he potties.
Step 2: Take him to the room with his crate. This restricted area will serve as his new "den" for several days. Put bedding and chew toys in the crate, leave the door open, and line the area outside of the crate with newspaper in case of an accident. Let him investigate the crate and the room. If he chews or urinates on his bedding, permanently remove it from the crate.
Step 3: Observe and interact with your puppy while he's getting used to his new den. This will help forge a sense of "pack" and establish you as the pack leader.
*Special Puppy Concerns + Tips
Don't treat a puppy as young as 6 to 12 weeks like an adult dog. Treat him the same way you would an infant, with patience, constant supervision, and a gentle touch. The way you interact with your puppy at this age is critical to his socialization.
Supervise your puppy at all times and interact with him regularly.
Be alert for signs (sniffing and circling) that he has to go to the bathroom, and take him outside immediately.
A young puppy has no bladder control, and will need to urinate immediately after eating, drinking, sleeping, or playing. At night, he will need to relieve himself at least every three hours.
Don't punish an accident. Never push his nose in the waste or scold him. He won't understand, and may learn to go to the bathroom when you're out of sight.
Praise your puppy every time he goes to the bathroom outside.
CAN I TAKE MY NEW PUP ALONG ON VACATION? Don't bring home a puppy while you're on vacation. You want to be able to spend a lot of time with him so you can acclimate him to your normal, daily routine.
Feed your puppy TLC - TLC Whole Life Puppy Food provides holistic, biologically beneficial nutrition to support your puppy’s growth and development. Made with wholesome ingredients and super foods including farm-fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables along with probiotic cultures and powerful antioxidants. TLC delivers the ultimate balance of quality meats, animal fats, vitamins and minerals to mirror your puppy’s natural diet. Our recipe includes DHA/EPA rich salmon oil for cognitive and heart health, and balanced calcium & phosphorus levels for correct skeletal development.
Children and Pets
Ideally, your kids should help you choose your puppy. When you bring him home, don't let them play with him constantly. Puppies need a lot of rest, just like a growing child. Limit puppy-children play sessions to 15- to 30-minute periods, two to three times a day.
Young children might be tempted to shout at a puppy if they think he's doing something wrong. Be sure kids understand that puppies and dogs can be easily upset and startled by loud noises.
No teasing. Keeping a toy just out of reach will reinforce bad habits such as jumping up and excessive barking.
Wagging tails and play biting can be too rough for young children. Supervise puppy-child interactions and separate them if the play is too rough.
Teach kids to care for a dog by showing them how to feed and groom him.
Meeting Resident Pets
Keep resident pets separated from your new puppy for a few days.
After your new puppy is used to his new den area, put an expandable pet gate in the doorway or put your puppy in his crate.
Give your resident pet access to the area. Let pets smell and touch each other through the crate or pet gate. Do this several times over the next few days.
Give the resident pet access to the den area with your new puppy out of his crate. Supervise their meetings and go back to through-the-gate/crate meetings if trouble arises.