Over the holidays, many people choose to add a new dog to their households. Welcoming a new dog to your family is certainly a fun and exciting time! Your day is now full of those social media-worthy picture-perfect moments of your adorable new buddy snuggled up, catching some zzz’s, or exploring their new surroundings. However, It can also be an incredibly stressful time as well. Using a few simple tips, you can help the transition to your home go smoothly for you and your new best friend.
Puppy Proof Your Home
The first step is to get your home ready. Puppies are naturally curious and often use their mouths to test out the fascinating world around them. This means they will often pick up anything within their reach. Start by getting down on their level and removing anything you don’t want them to have. Do you have a vase you would prefer not get broken on your coffee table? Remove it! Your phone charger plugged into the wall in a spot Fido can reach? Remove it! Your shoes sitting by the front door? Remove them! Think of anything ground level as fair game to a puppy. If they can reach it, they can chew it! For the safety of your new furry family member, and your own sanity, it’s important to ensure there is nothing harmful in reach of your new puppy.
Don’t Give Too Much Freedom Too Soon
One of the most common mistakes owners make is giving too much freedom to their new dog too soon. After a hectic day at work and running the kids to their activities, it’s easy to want to leave the puppy in the living room happily playing with their toys for a couple minutes while you’re in the kitchen getting dinner ready. This is typically when your adorable little troublemaker sneaks off to start chewing on your brand new couch while you have your back turned for just a couple minutes. Instead, keep your puppy within reach of you at all times for the first several months. You can do this by putting a gate to keep them in the room with you, or simply keeping them on their leash, and their leash attached to you so they can’t get too far from you. By using this method, it not only prevents destruction, it also aids to prevent potty training accidents because your pup is in your sight at all times, making it easy to catch them before the problem starts. Not only that, but keeping your new dog on the leash with you is a great way to bond!
Set a Routine
Dogs are creatures of habits. In the early days of your new dog’s introduction to your home, it is important to set a routine and stick to it. By setting a routine, you are setting expectations, helping your puppy adjust to life with your family, and setting up good behavior patterns. Start by setting a potty routine. Your puppy should begin each day with going outside immediately upon waking for the day, as well as about 20 minutes after meals, and before/after playtime. You will also want to set a feeding routine, which is typically three times a day for most puppies, and generally easy to schedule around your own meals. Playtime and exercise will also be a large part of your furry family member’s day and will go a long way in helping them bond with you and your family.
Puppy Day Camp
There is nothing more frustrating than struggling with house breaking. Our Puppy Day Camp program’s primary focus is establishing good outside potty training habits, but also offers socialization with the other puppies in the program. It’s a great option for puppies who can’t be left home alone by themselves during the day just yet. This program is only $25/day and is a real hit!
Setting your puppy up for success is key to a well balanced life in the years that come. Our Puppy Preschool class here at Dog Training Now is the perfect way to jump-start socialization and confidence building for your new best friend. This class is designed around a puppy’s natural curiosity, and is a whole lot of fun for owners too!
By following these few simple tips, your puppy and you will be adjusted to your new life together in no time!
Check out everyone’s favorite part of Puppy Preschool, “Pass the Puppy”!