Before the dog arrives, purchase identification for the dog, some food dispensing toys (adult dogs like these too), a leash and flat collar or harness, baby gate or x-pen and a bed or crate.
A few precautions can help ensure that the puppy safely transitions into their new home and prevents the development of unwanted behaviors.
Decide where the new dog will sleep comfortably and prepare an area
. Often a crate (if already crate trained) or dog bed
in the bedroom is a good place. For puppies just leaving their litter, the sound of their new humans breathing and sleeping nearby can be comforting
The new arrival may not be house-trained so have somewhere to contain the dog
when you cannot actively supervise the dog. I recommend gating off an area for the pup or using an x-pen in a part of the house where the puppy will be able to be with the family and easily be observed. By “house-training
” I mean training a dog to live in a house without soiling in inappropriate places and without chewing inappropriate and potentially hazardous items and without damaging items.
Put a crate or bed
in the pen and, for a young pup, a litter box just in case he needs it (although the goal ultimately is for the dog to do his business outside). Add some non-consumable play toys and a water bowl
. As well, have a leash
nearby. Take the puppy outside to do his business before leaving him in the pen and be prepared to take him outside if you notice signs that he needs to pay a visit outside.
For puppies, mouthing is a natural behavior but can be frustrating for people
. This is where food dispensing toys
can be very helpful. Feed the pup his meals from food dispensing items readily available from most pet supply places. Fill the food dispensing toy with novel items like yoghurt and blueberries and freeze it. Peanut butter
is a popular filler but make sure the peanut butter is a natural
one and that it does not contain xylitol
which is very poisonous to dogs
. This way the dog has an outlet for his need to chew, it’s mentally challenging and his meals occupy him for longer periods than if he eats from a bowl. Adult dogs
also appreciate food-filled toys.
Dogs often are active morning and evening, so try and play some games with him around those times. Simple games like finding treats in boxes or hiding and praising the pup
when he finds you are helpful. Teach the puppy scent games. There are lots of scent game ideas on the internet and, in dogs, the sense of smell is the first sense to be developed and the last to leave as the dog ages.
Put away anything that could be hazardous
, or that you don’t want turned into a chew toy
, as the puppy will not be able to tell the difference between your shoes and his chew toys at this point. Invest in child safety locks for lower cabinets.
Garages and sheds can be dangerous places for dogs. Dogs should not be left in garages or sheds. Block access to hazardous items that you cannot move or remove.
Before the dog arrives, examine your fencing and fix spots
where the puppy could get through. The best type of fencing
has several inches of wire buried under the ground (so they can’t dig under) and a fence made of material like solid wood or page wire which prevents a dog from getting through. Puppies should always be accompanied in the yard and never left alone there
Use calming, long, firm, slow strokes
when petting the pup. Short, fast strokes tend to get the pup more excited and increase the tendency to mouth.
Have fun with your new puppy or dog!