First Day Home With Your Puppy

First Day Home With Your Puppy

Bringing home a new puppy is an exciting and memorable experience, but it also comes with its challenges, especially during the first day. To ensure a smooth transition for both you and your puppy, it’s key to be prepared and equipped with the knowledge and resources needed to make your puppy’s first day home a success.

Table of content :

  • Puppy First Impression.
  • Two Basic Different Types Of Puppy Temperament
  • Let Your Puppy Explore a Little
  • Do Structured Play to Make Them Tired
  • Provide Guidance From The Beginning
  • Crate Training / Confinement
  • Introduce Your Puppy to Their Kennel/Crate
  • Provide Guidance From The Beginning
  • Basic puppy supplies for puppy’s first night home
  • Puppy Potty Training – Frequent Potty Breaks
  • FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Puppy First Impression.

The initial experience when your puppy enters your home can truly set the stage for a long-term harmonious relationship and experience. It can also save you A LOT of time and headaches.

Setting up a safe, confined area in your house where they can explore is a good way to welcome your puppy. Depending on your puppy, that first impression should be guided in different ways.

Two Basic Different Types Of Puppy Temperament.

 There are two basic types of temperament your puppy is broadly going to fall into. This can change as they grow and it can also change depending on what your puppy is doing at the time or the environment:

1.The high-energy, unruly, overexcited puppy,

2. The shy, unsure, fearful puppy.

Of course, this is a spectrum, and your puppy can be in between or switch from one state to the other.

1. The high-energy, unruly, overexcited puppy.

 If your puppy falls towards the high-energy, unruly, overexcited little devil, you will need to engage with structured play and boundaries to start calming him/her down right away. This will not only tire your puppy out, but it will also provide a lot of clarity on where structure and boundaries come from. Once they have a clear understanding of this, they tend to settle and calm down almost immediately. Understand that the lack of boundaries and structure brings a lot of stress and restlessness to puppies. Any social animal, including humans, that walks into an environment where there are no boundaries or rules immediately goes into fight/flight mode and restless behavior.

2. The shy, unsure, fearful puppy.

If your puppy falls towards the shy, unsure, fearful puppy, you will need to engage more with excitement and building self-confidence. Getting your puppy out of the shell will be the first priority. You’ll be able to put structure and boundaries in place later. If your puppy switches from one temperament to another, no big deal, you switch accordingly. This is very common.

Let Your Puppy Explore a Little

Allowing your puppy to explore their new surroundings is important for their development and adjustment. Supervise your puppy closely as they roam around the house, and remove any potential hazards or dangerous items. Encourage positive behaviors and gently redirect them if they start to get into mischief.

Do Structured Play to Make Them Tired

With energetic puppies, structured play is a must in order to help them burn off excess energy and prevent destructive behaviors. Engage in activities where you make your puppy play and stop, such as tug-of-war, or interactive games that promote mental control and some physical exercise. Be mindful of your puppy’s energy levels and take breaks as needed to prevent overexcitement or overstimulation. Know that when playing, it’s the stopping that makes them tired, not the constant play. Constant play will make them crazy. If you want to see videos and examples of how to do this, you are welcome to join our online membership: Pawmos – The Art Of Raising a Dog.

Provide Guidance From The Beginning

From the moment you bring your puppy home, it’s essential to establish yourself as a calm and confident parent. Remember that you are removing the puppy from their mother, who is the source of structure and boundaries. You need to fill in that gap, so set clear boundaries and rules for your puppy to follow, and be consistent with them. Use behavior training techniques and start learning how your body language affects your puppy. Do not rely on treats or external stimuli to learn how to communicate with your puppy. Learn more about the difference between Behavior Training and Obedience Training here: What is The Difference Between Obedience Training and Behavior Training? 

Use treats to teach them cues/commands and to reinforce behaviors that you want them to repeat, such as “come”, their name, or going to the bathroom where you want them to go.

Crate Training / Confinement

Crate training is an essential aspect of puppy training, providing your puppy with a safe and comfortable space to rest and relax. After you’ve tired your puppy out with structured play, you can introduce your puppy to their crate. Place soft bedding and a few toys inside. Use treats and encourage your puppy to enter the crate voluntarily and calmly. Do NOT throw a party if your puppy goes in the crate, since the crate should be associated with calmness, not with play. Learn more about crate training here: 6 Essential Tips For Crate Training

Introduce Your Puppy to Their Kennel/Crate

Introducing your puppy to their kennel or crate should be done gradually and calmly. Start by leaving the crate door open and allowing your puppy to explore it at their own pace.

Place some oily/smelly treat crumbs at the end of the crate and rub it against their bed before your puppy is in the room, and close the crate door.

Provide structure, play, and boundaries to make your puppy tired. Once they’re tired and calm, open the crate door, and they’ll probably go in on their own. If not, just toss a small treat in the crate to make it happen and let the magic of the smelly treat crumbs do the rest.

While they are calmly engaging with the treat crumbs inside the crate, close the door. Then wait until your puppy settles a little bit and slowly leave the room. At this point, your puppy would be tired enough to go for a nap.

As your puppy becomes more comfortable, gradually increase the amount of time they spend inside the crate with the door closed. For a free video example of how to introduce the crate to your puppy the first day click here.: Free Video: Puppy crate introduction

Basic Puppy Supplies for Puppy’s First Night Home

Before bringing your puppy home, make sure you have all the necessary supplies to ensure their comfort and well-being. Some essential items include a crate or kennel, bedding, food and water bowls, puppy food, collar and leash, toys, grooming supplies, and a pet first aid kit. Having these items on hand will help make your puppy’s first night home a smooth and enjoyable experience for both of you.

Puppy Potty Training – Frequent Potty Breaks

One of the first things you’ll need to tackle when bringing home a new puppy is potty training. Puppies have small bladders and may need to go potty frequently, especially during their first day in a new environment. Be prepared to take your puppy outside for potty breaks every hour or so, and be patient as they learn to associate the outdoors with bathroom time. For more tips in how to Pottu train your puppy check this article: Potty Training Mastery: No More Accidents!

In conclusion, welcoming a new puppy into your home is a joyful and rewarding experience, but it also requires patience, dedication, and preparation. By following the tips outlined in this guide and providing your puppy with love, guidance, and structure from the beginning, you can set the stage for a happy and healthy life together.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  • How often should I take my puppy outside for potty breaks on the first day home?
    It’s importnat to take your puppy outside for potty breaks frequently, ideally every hour or so, to prevent accidents indoors and reinforce good bathroom habits.

  • Should I leave my puppy alone in their crate during the first day home?
    While crate training is important, it’s best to avoid leaving your puppy alone in their crate for extended periods during the first day. Gradually introduce them to the crate and supervise their interactions with it to ensure they feel comfortable and secure. Having said that if your puppy is sleeping in the crate, do not wake them up! Let them sleep as needed.

  • What should I do if my puppy cries or whines in their crate?
    If your puppy cries or whines in their crate, try to determine the cause of their distress. They may need to go potty, be hungry, or simply need reassurance. To prevent or to address separation anxiety read more about it here:
    Why dogs have Separation Anxiety? Can I fix it? 

  • How can I prevent my puppy from chewing on furniture and other household items?
    Providing your puppy with appropriate chew toys and supervising their playtime can help redirect their chewing behavior. Additionally, puppy-proofing your home by removing any potentially harmful or valuable items can minimize the risk of destructive chewing. For more on this issue check this blog:
    Why Is My Puppy Chewing Furniture? Here is How to Prevent It.

  • What should I do if my puppy seems overwhelmed or anxious on their first day home?
    It’s normal for puppies to feel anxious in a new environment. Provide your puppy with calmness, reassurance, and love to help them feel safe and secure. Avoid getting anxious yourself. Do not overwhelm them with too many new experiences or interactions and allow them to adjust at their own pace. Keep it simple!

         © Gabriel Riesco, Pawmos Dog Training LLC |   All Rights Reserved March 2024