A wriggling, licking and squirming little puppy brings joy and energy to the home . However, the first few nights with him can be a trying experience. Follow the steps in this article to welcome your new puppy home, help him acclimate to his new surroundings and establish good habits for the rest of his life.
Be a comforting presence his first night but do not establish a pattern of dependency. He may cry or whimper because he misses his mother and siblings and feels uncomfortable in the new environment. Scolding him will only make him fear you, while immediately responding to his every cry will teach him that you will come when he makes noise.
Establish a safe, warm and comfortable sleeping area for the new puppy. Put his pen or bed next to yours: he will be reassured by your presence without perceiving that you have given in to his cries. Consider bundling him snug in a travel crate where he will feel safer (although he will eventually grow out of it)
Bed him down with a cloth or soft toy from his former home. The familiar smell will remind him of mother and offer comfort. Leave on a soft light so he can see his surroundings. Do not set out too much food and water because it may cause him to wake in the night to go out.
Cover his crate or bed with a sheet if he will not settle down. The cover will mask any distractions and also signal that it is bed time. Remember to leave air holes exposed.
Puppy-proof your home just as you would baby-proof it. Put chewable objects out of his reach, especially dangerous things like electrical cords, drapery ties and potted plants.
Create safe areas for your new puppy to play and explore inside and outside the house. Always leave food and water accessible. Inside keep him on linoleum or tiled surfaces until housebroken. Select an outside area with fence and shade. Keep him in smaller rooms or areas until he gets used to the environment and rhythm of the household.
Housebreak puppy by establishing a regular schedule. Feed him two to three times a day and take him for regular potty breaks. As he potties, speak words out loud that describe what he is doing and that he is doing it well. He will soon associate words and praise with the activity and then eagerly go potty when you take him.
Tips & Warnings
Do not hit, kick or slap the puppy. These actions exacerbate rather than remedy pet behavior problems.
Catch your puppy exhibiting desired behaviors and then praise or reward him. If he knows he has done something correctly, he will be more likely to repeat it.
Do not let your new puppy sleep in bed with you unless you plan to allow it for the rest of his life.