(FYI: What type of content should your business website blog offer? Advice rather than product promotion. Be a valuable resource rather than an irritating source of sales pitches. For example, if you owned a pet store or a veterinary practice, perhaps you would share something like the following content.)

Bringing a new puppy home is no different than bringing a new baby home. Both are warm & cuddly. And both are suddenly torn from the only secure & routine life they know. They are in a strange new environment. You need to ease them in.

For example, you wouldn’t let the baby crawl all over the house. The same applies to the pup. Think of it as sensory overload. Too many corners. Too many colors. Too many sounds.

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), “Let him explore a designated area. Perhaps where his food and water are. Or he can familiarize himself with the small, puppy-proofed space where you’ve placed his crate. Let him get used to this space before you go on further exploratory missions. Then introduce him to the rest of the house, one room at a time, skipping the rooms you’ve decided are off-limits.”

Do the same with intros to family members. Slowly. I know the kids will want to pick up and play with the adorable puppy. But remember, it has just been torn from its mother and siblings. This can be a scary and confusing time for a puppy.

That said, as early on as you can, make the puppy aware of its “poddy zone.” Pick a spot outside where you want the dog to relieve itself. When it does, be sure to praise it in a calm, reassuring voice. 

Training a New Puppy in Your Home

You are not a professional dog trainer. Don’t tax yourself and the puppy with an intensive training program. Dogs tend to learn better in short bursts several times a day.  Compliment that with repetition of only one or two commands. Be consistent. Try: “come” and “stay.” Yelling at the puppy or punishing it will only frighten and confuse your pet, not teach. Then slowly build in new commands.

Speaking of training… Even as a puppy, your dog knows one thing to do: chew. Puppies love to chew! As soon as possible — even before you bring it home — buy some safe puppy chew toys. This way if the pup starts to chew on anything else, you can quickly redirect to the chew toys. 

The AKC also advises “Puppies sleep between 15-to-20 hours a day, and although they’re often likely just to drop in their tracks, bring him to his crate or dog bed when he seems to be ready for a nap and at bedtime. Contrary to what you may think, crates are not ‘doggie jail.’ Dogs prefer the security and safety of a den, and this crate will become his safe place, with some encouragement.”

By no means are these all the things you need to do when bringing a new puppy home. The best thing to do is find a vet, have the puppy checked out, and get advice based on the breed of dog it is.