Very exciting, I would be …. but are you prepared… what might you need?
It is a good idea to leave an item of clothing or a towl with the breeder or ask them to provide something that you can bring home with familar smells on it to keep them comforted for the first few days.
Most breeders will have had the puppy mirochipped as this is now mandatory, that dogs are microchipped and recoreded with a government compliant microchip database such as Petlog. They should provide you with the relvant paperwork. Make sure this has been done and if not arrange a vet check and to get this done as soon as possible.
You will need a sturdy, comfortable dog crate for collecting your puppy in. It is best to purchase a crate that will suit your dogs adult size. If this is going to be very large then maybe ask around to see if there is a smaller one you could borrow for the first few weeks or so. The crate should have some comfortable/washable bedding in it. If you have a long journey make sure you also have a bowl and some water for the journey.
Remeber your puppy has just been taken from its Mum and siblings and so will be most probably be nervous. Try and avoid loud noises, try and keep handling calm and to a minimum especailly if your puppy is looking stressed. Ensure they have lots of fresh air, remember cars get very hot in sunny weather.
If the breeder has not provided one then have a suitable collar for your puppy. Choose a comfortable collar that is suitable for the breed, size and age of puppy. Remember that puppies grow very quickly and collars need to be checked very regularly a few times a week to ensure they fit correctly. A collar needs to be able to have two fingers slipped underneath.
Have the area where your puppy will be ready. A puppy pen is a really good idea as puppies need 100% supervision and this is not really possible, so they need to be secure in their crate or in a pen when you can not watch over them to make sure they are safe.
Check the house for things that could cause harm to your puppy. Make sure small objects are removed that could be choked on. Any items of sentimental value that could be knocked are put away. That there are not places they could get behind or under and stuck!
Ensure the outside area is puppy proof. Puppies can get through gaps smaller than you think.
Make yourself and family members aware of things that could be poisonous to your puppy/dog. Poisonous things around the house and garden
When you bring the puppy home take it outside to where you want it to go to the toilet and praise when they do so and then take back to this spot each time. It is best to keep a puppy on the lead for this so that they go to the toilet and don’t go into play mode!
If you are not able to supervise your puppy then put the puppy in a secure area where they are not able to hurt themselves or get into mischief!
When your puppy is wandering around the house keep and eye on it at all times, watch for them sniffing and circling as this is most likely going to signify that they need the toilet, try and get them outside before they go.
Puppies need to go to the toilet on a regular basis and house training will be much quicker if you try to ensure as few accidents happen in the house as possible and ensure if they do have an accident you cleant the area well after.
Take your puppy out when it first wakes up, after you have had play time and when he/she starts circling or sniffing and when you think they have not been for a while. Praise Praise Praise when they go and you can cue the behaviour by saying a word of phrase to encourage it. Such as go toilet, get busy.. this helps when they are older as you can take them out, say the cue and if you have done it consistently they will know what you mean and go on cue.
Follow your breeders recommendation for feeding. Puppies need feeding little and often. I prefer not to bowl feed a puppy. Use the food to reward your puppy for making good choices. Like going to the toilet outside, coming to you, being near you, giving you eye contact, keeping all four feet on the floor, being calm and settled. It is proven that dogs prefer to work for their food. If you put the food in a bowl, you are building value for the bowl and you need to be building the value with you!
If you give them any chews or chewy toys make sure that they are suitable for the breed and age of your puppy. Avoid leaving them to play alone with toys that have squeekers in as they easily come and and can be swallowed and cause problems.
A suitable lead will be required and I prefer to walk my dogs on a harness rather than a collar. It gives great comfort to the dog and they are less likely to slip a harness, but could slip the collar if it not fitted correctly. Dogs do not naturally like leads and take some time to get used to them. This is normal.
Poo bags will be required. It is now law that you have to have poo bags on you when walking a dog. Dog fouling laws
Night time – Your puppy will feel lonley at night to start with, it has been used to snuggling up to its litter mates. I am great fan of crates as this gives you a safe place for your puppy to be and as puppies need lots of rest it is a good place for them to be put to ensure they get the rest or they can be come over tired, over excited and problems will occur.
There are lots of different views on where you puppy should sleep. I have always started them off where they will always sleep but help them out with a toy and a hot water bottle and leave the radio on or some white noise. Covering the crate with a blanket can also help but ensure they have enough ventilation and make sure there is fresh water avaialbe but not a huge amount so if it gets knocked over it soaks everything. I do not leave collars on during the night in the crate just incase it gets caught on anything.
Some people start with the dogs crate in with them and then slowly move it to where they want it to be. You have to do what is right for you.
Dogs don’t like to soil where they sleep but a puppy can not go through the night without going at least once outside. I get up every two/ three hours with my pups to start with and increase the time length by 15 mins every day. When you go to take them out, keep them on a lead so they can not start a play game or the “you can’t catch me game”! Don’t talk or interact with them. Praise when they go to the toilet and then put them straight back in the bed. If your puppy does go in the crate then clean it out immediately as they will not like being in there if it is soiled.
Make bedtime a calm time, dont go playing crazy games with them just before you go to bed and expect them to settle.
Find your self a good positive reward based dog trainer. Training can start as soon as puppy comes home so get some advice of what to be doing with them at home don’t wait until they are allowed out after their injections.
I hope you found this useful.