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Week One

Welcoming your puppy home

Welcoming your puppy home

Congratulations and welcome to the newcomer! You’ve no doubt been waiting impatiently and here they are, about to start an exciting new life as part of your family. Are you worried about how your puppy will settle in? Here are a few tips to make them feel right at home…

Your puppy has just left behind everything they are familiar with - their mother, brothers and sisters from the same litter and the environment into which they were born. You need to welcome them into your home gently, keeping things quiet so that they don’t get frightened. Settle the min a quiet room and you can let them explore the rest of their new home gradually over the coming days.

The puppy’s basic needs are simple:

  • Lots of sleep, without being disturbed. Choose a bed that is comfortable, easy to clean and strong and place it in a quiet area.
  • A clean supply of fresh water available at all times.
  • Regular, frequent meals of their puppy food in the same place and at the same times each day. This will help establish a structure to the day and reassure them that their needs are being met.

It is a good idea to stick to your puppy’s existing routine as much as possible for the first few days, including the diet you feed them. You might even want to ask the breeder to supply you with a small amount of your puppy’s diet. Of course, once those first few days are over and your puppy is settled, you can start to introduce their Royal Canin diet if they are not already on it.

During these first few days, play with your puppy frequently to put them at ease but keep play times short, with appropriate toys. If you let them play with your slippers or chew your fingers now for example, they won’t know that these behaviors are not allowed later on.

Don’t take your puppy out for walks or to meet other dogs until they have had their vaccinations. If you are not sure what is safe for your unvaccinated puppy, speak to your vet for advice.

If you already have another pet, introduce them to the new puppy carefully, in a neutral space in your home. Keep dogs and puppy on a lead initially and reward the older dog with plenty of praise,ending the meeting on a calm positive note if you think things might get a bit boisterous. If you are introducing your puppy to the family cat keep your puppy restrained initially and allow the cat to become comfortable with their presence before allowing them to meet nose to nose. And make sure that your cat always has a safe place to retire to if they don’t want canine attention!

Toilet training is unlikely to be established in the early weeks. For the moment, the best thing is to take your puppy out frequently, particularly when they wake up and after meals.Congratulate them when they relieve themselves outside. If they have an‘accident’ indoors, don’t tell them off but try to anticipate their need to go out next time.

Having spent the first few weeks of his life surrounded by his brothers, sisters and mother, your puppy must also now learn how to be alone. This is important, because it means that you will be able to leave him for a few hours and he will be happy to sleep alone in his bed overnight.  From the beginning, make sure he gets used to being left alone for short periods then gradually increase the period of time you spend away from your pup so that he learns that being alone is nothing to fear and you will return. If your puppy cries at night and you need to reassure him, keep things quiet and don’t spend too long with him. By reassuring him that you will come back but being consistent about where he sleeps, he will soon learn to sleep peacefully on his own.

Reassure your puppy with the markers that he needs.

Sleeping: A place for his bed where he is not disturbed
Eating: One bowl for water, another for food, always in the same place. Meals at set times and in a quiet environment.
Simple,consistent and clear rules: If your puppy does something undesirable give a firm, clear ‘No’ and divert him to a permitted activity. Give lots of praise and attention when he is behaving well.  

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