Getting a new puppy is both an exciting time, but can also be overwhelming and demanding. With a bit of preparation and planning, the transition doesn’t have to be stressful. Here are our top five tips to help ease the transition of bringing home a new puppy:
1. Begin Socialization Right Away
There’s a critical window for socialization for new puppies between 8-16 weeks of age. During that time, your pup needs to be exposed to everything from toddlers to bicycles to busy streets and everything in between.
It can be useful to find a quality trainer who offers socialization classes in a safe and controlled setting as they can help get your pup socialized faster.
2. Start Training Immediately
Training should start as soon as you bring your new pup home. Early puppy training can help prevent all sorts of unwanted behaviours such as jumping, excessive mouthing and aggression. We recommend supplementing a group puppy class with private training so you get the benefits of group interaction as well as the help of one-on-one professional training.
3. Always Have a Plan
Before your puppy comes home, you should have both a long-term and short-term confinement area prepared. We recommend a crate to be used overnight and when you’re gone for short periods as well as a play pen for throughout the day or when you need to be gone longer than a puppy can hold it for.
Your puppy should not have accidents in their confinement areas unless you specifically create a potty place inside of it. While we don’t recommend this, it should be done only if you absolutely must leave your pup for longer than they can hold it. Generally, you should try to plan to be home with your pup to let them outside rather than having them use the potty area in their space as it can promote negative behaviours.
Have a plan for who will be available and when to walk your pup, get him out for potty breaks, play time and work with them on training.
By having a plan before your puppy comes home, the first few weeks will be far less overwhelming.
4. Choose a Great Veterinarian
A good quality vet will take their time with your puppy and ensure that they are safe and have a minimally stressful first visit. This is important moving forward because if your pup trusts the vet and has a good experience the first time, there will be far less problems when they have to go back.
5. Get Professional Help
When it comes to new puppies and training, there’s a lot of outdated, incorrect and sometimes dangerous information found online. When you’re stuck on an issue, be sure to find a quality dog training professional who is up-to-date on the latest modern behavioural science to help you find the most effective solutions. Relying on incorrect advice for training can be ineffective, but also dangerous to you and your pup.
If you’re looking to get started on the right foot with your new pup, get in touch with our team to schedule a consultation with Tim and explore his training and socialization programs for your new pup.