This is the most important tip of all. Educate yourself about the breed that you are interested in. Each breed has it's own health issues and behavioral traits. Knowing these up front will help in recognizing potential problems in the future. See our health pages for information on our favorite breeds.
When parents find out they are going to bring home a child, they make all sorts of preparations. A special area, food, toys, bottles, etc. You need to make the same preparations for a new puppy & think about the equipment you will need to care for him. Your puppy is going to need a place he can call his own, a crate/cage will fill this bill. Get one that will be large enough for him as an adult. The pup will need food, water bowls, toys, collars, leash, dog brush or comb, puppy shampoo, doggie toothbrush & toothpaste, a good quality (breeder recommended) dog food & potty training items such as newspapers or potty pads. Be sure to keep your puppy warm, his body temperature is normally around 101.5, so he will chill easily. If he sleeps in a cool area of the home, he might need a heating pad (on the lowest setting) at night or when he is left alone. Be sure it is well covered & the cord hidden or taped outside the crate so he can't chew on the cord. We put our heating pad under the crate for new pups so there is no chance of chewing the cord.
Many dogs are not prepared for a car ride, nausea & car sickness is common. Bring baby wipes & paper towels in case they are needed. Be sure to potty him before getting in the car. Pedialyte is a wonderful supplement if a puppy starts to become deydrated with the first day or two home, it helps get all the electrolytes back in balance.
It's better to hold him or leave him in his crate, as he may be insecure about new people & smells, talk to him so he will be more comfortable. I recommend bottled water until you get him home. Do not stop and potty him in public dog areas as there are countless contagious diseases & shots are never 100% effective. Do not take a puppy under 4 months in public dog areas as they are not protected from diseases until their puppy shot series has been completed.
Leaving mom and litter mates will probably bring some kind of separation anxiety. This can be greatly diminished if you plan your schedules so someone is with the puppy constantly for the first week home. I suggest you plan for this introductory period by keeping the puppy involved with plenty of attention from family and children through every one of his waking moments. Allowing him to sleep when tired, eat and drink when hungry and thirsty, and working on house training from the moment he gets home.
This is the time when young children should be instructed as to proper handling of the puppy & teaching them common sense rules you have set down from the beginning, will eliminate problems or accidents later on.
What, when, how to feed a puppy is very basic with a new puppy. It is best to feed a high quality dry dog food from the beginning. Some canned puppy food might be needed to stimulate or increase the intake of food. If you are going to switch foods we recommend you switching foods slowly, use
3/4 his food and 1/4 new food, then 1/2 and 1/2, then 1/4 old food and 3/4 new food, until you use his supply up, this will just save on an upset tummy. Switching food suddenly can result in loose stools.
HYPOGLYCEMIA . . . . . An overtired puppy will not eat enough food and the blood sugar might drop causing hypoglycemia which can be dangerous. The signs are muscular weakness, tremors, listlessness, if he shows signs of being too tired or to weak to walk, give him a little Karo syrup by mouth and call your veterinarian immediately. Therefore make sure the puppy eats, drinks and rests well from the beginning.
DO NOT GIVE A PUPPY MILK.....this is not good for their digestion.
DO NOT GIVE A PUPPY PEOPLE FOOD.....this is not nutritionally balanced for a puppy.
DISCOURAGE....any type of jumping from furniture to furniture or down stairs until he is old enough to catch his balance if falling.
DO NOT USE....a choke collar on a puppy it can cause collapse of the trachea. Also, prong collars should only be used under the supervision of a reputable, professional dog trainer for training purposes. We recommend a harness for everyday use.
TAKE HIM TO THE VET....for a check-up visit or if you have any concerns. Trust you instincts, if you feel there may be a problem do not hesitate to check it out.
REMEMBER....a puppy needs to potty immediately upon waking, again in 5-10 minutes, after eating/drinking then again in 5-10 minutes and every 30 minutes after that. Pick him up to go
outside, saying "potty outside" then use elaborate praise when he does his "thing". I clap & use a high pitch voice that is exciting to him for praise, saying "good girl potty outside!!!!!"
YOUR NEW PUPPY IS A LIFELONG RESPONSIBILITY,A FRIEND & A COMPANION FOR LIFE.
TREAT HIM AS SUCH THE REWARDS WILL BE ENDLESS. REMEMBER, HE WANTS TO PLEASE YOU BUT YOU MUST TEACH HIM HOW TO PLEASE YOU FIRST!!!!!
A PUPPIES' ATTENTION SPAN IS ABOUT 2-4 MINUTES AT 3 MONTHS OF AGE, SO CONSISTENCY & REPETITION IS THE KEY TO TRAINING YOUR PUPPY TO BE THE IDEAL COMPANION. "
A DOG IS LIKE A CHILD, HE IS A PRODUCT OF HIS ENVIRONMENT & HE IS WHAT HE HAS BEEN TAUGHT TO BE!!!!
1. Set Rules immediately and stick to them.
2. Avoid situations that promote inappropriate behavior.
3. Observe the pet and provide for his/her needs.
4. Supervise the new pet diligently through undivided individual attention and training, and restrict pets access to limited areas of the house until training is complete.
5. Encourage good behavior with praise, attention and treats.
6. Correct bad behaviors by providing positive alternatives(toy for sock, bone for shoe, etc.)
7. Never physically punish or force compliance to commands. This may lead to fear, biting or aggression.
8. Don't play rough or encourage aggressive behavior or play bitting.
9. Expose pets to people, animals, and environments where you want them to live.
10. See your veterinarian about serious or unresolved behavior problems.
A new puppy needs special care, much as a new baby would. Treat the puppy as you would your own infant: with patience, constant supervision and a gentle touch. You wouldn't feed your newborn a snickers candy bar or a piece of fried chicken, so don't feed it to your puppy. Moving to a new home is a big change for a puppy. Expect the puppy to take a few days to acclimate to its new surroundings. The way you interact with your puppy is crucial to his socialization.
Be alert for signs (sniffing and circling) that he has to go to the bathroom, then take to the potty pad or outside immediately.
If he goes, praise him, Never punish an accident. We recommend housebreaking your new puppy by using a crate big enough for eating sleeping playing in and with extra space in the back for a potty pad or a small penned in area with a potty pad.
Dogs avoid going to the bathroom near their eating and sleeping areas, so their instincts will be to try and keep their crate clean.
Keep your puppy in the crate or penned in area whenever you are not directly supervising him and at night. Take him outside frequently to the same spot and out the same door every time. Be consistent and patient. A puppy will usually potty 10 -15 minutes after he has eaten or taken a drink. Don't let him roam all over the house and ask for an accident then scold him for it. A young puppy cannot hold their bladder very long. They are generally around 6 months old before they have good control over themselves.
A new puppy needs to have regular nap times throughout the day. It is also important that he has a warm dry place to sleep (crate). Keep playtimes short with people and other pets so the puppy can rest.
All contact between a new puppy and a resident pet should be supervised for at least 2 weeks. Be especially careful if your pets are much larger than the new puppy. A new puppy should be kept away from areas where non-resident pets are, until the puppy has finished all of his puppy immunization shots. A puppy is not fully immune to those devastating and deadly viruses until all booster shots have been given.
A new puppy should be fed at least three times a day. but is preferable to keep fresh water in front of him 24/7. Do not put the food in a bowl and assume your puppy is eating. Pay careful attention to how much he is actually eating each day because this is critical to their health. And remember to take him outside frequently.