Getting a brand new puppy can very quickly become an overwhelming experience! That being said, adding a new dog to your home is one of the most exciting times of your life, Suburban K9's Founder Matt Covey and Assistant Director of Training Holly Wengerski sit down and chat about what they think the best advice is for a puppy's new human on their first day home!
Should I crate train my puppy?
The first topic discussed in this video is the crate! Crate training needs to be started on day One! The first key time to use the crate is overnight! The puppy should naturally be less active at night, so it is best to begin getting them comfortable in the crate right away. Early on, keeping the crate in your room can also make it easier for your new puppy!
Multiple crates are another good idea that can help. Place one in your bedroom and one in a living room so you can easily keep your dog crated wherever you are in the house at those times you can not watch them! This helps prevent separation anxiety, keeps them out of trouble, and limits potty accidents.
One thing we tell our clients to ask themselves is if the dog has earned their trust to gain new freedom. A brand new puppy should not have your trust that they won't chew and damage something, eat something that could hurt it, or be potty trained. If you can not watch your puppy, put them in a crate!
How do I potty train my puppy?
Getting your dog on a potty schedule is crucial to getting them housebroken early! Potty training itself is not hard to fix, but you will set yourself up for success by getting started on day one! The first day your puppy is home, we suggest taking your dog out a lot! Typically this means every 30 minutes until they advance their potty training skills. Your puppy does not know the rules yet, so tons of repetition is essential! How long your dog can hold it depends heavily on their age! Keep in mind this advice is for your puppy's day one!
There are also a lot of key times to take your dog out! Some of the best key times are after they eat and drink, when they owe us one, after naps, play, and after crate time! The goal here is no unseen accidents, so when in doubt, take them out!
You should be using the crate proactively throughout the day! Both you and your puppy need a break! No one can be on watch with a dog twenty-four hours a day, so use the crate time to get things done that need your attention. It is common for puppies to get overtired, so make sure they are getting plenty of rest! The crate is best for this! When your dog is tired, crate acclimation is even easier which can prevent separation issues!
What should I do to Socialize my puppy?
Socializing is super important, but do not worry about it on day one! Meeting a neighbor is fine, but do not over stress your puppy by having them meet a parade of people. Focus on socializing with your family first! This can be done with calm introductions, cuddles, and play! Make sure they meet your family one at a time and do not overwhelm them! If you have children, make sure they are not over the top when it comes to meeting your puppy.
If they seem hesitant or scared to interact with someone try:
Get lower: have the person sit on the ground so they're less intimidating
Verbal Praise: Speak calmly but happily and upbeat to encourage the dog
Bribery: Have the stranger give a treat or try a toy
Do not force it: Do not let the stranger pursue the puppy, let the pup make the approach at their speed.
Hand out: Have the strangers hand out, open, and palm up. The first touch should be underneath the puppy's chin.
With other animals in the house, you need to make sure your other dog is friendly! These introductions need to be on a leash and not be rushed. You do not need them to become friends on day one! It is recommended to use a leash or a gate to keep your dog contained and easy to watch.
What simple things am I forgetting to get for my new puppy?
Matt and Holly also covered a few things that can make your life easier. Young puppies need something to chew on. This keeps them occupied and gives you time to relax! Toys, typically plush toys, are best if your new puppy is young! Item discernment needs to be worked on early, otherwise, your puppy will find things they are not allowed to chew.
They need a lot of things they can chew on to make it easier for your dog to learn what they can't. Dogs interact with the world with their mouth instead of picking things up as we do, it's natural for them to want to be interacting with things like that, and if all you're doing is telling them "no" while not giving them options that they can it will become very frustrating.
If you are planning on getting a new puppy, or recently have, we have tons of articles and videos for you! We have videos on the front door, potty training, socializing, and item discernment!
If you need a little more help on issues with your puppy, reach out to us! Our Dog Boot Camp and our In-Home dog training lessons are highly customized and designed to give you and your dog the best life possible. For those looking for the absolute best training packages, check out our One Year In Home Training Packages and Board and Train Plus Package. We focus on obedience commands, leash walking, off-leash training, in-home behaviors, socializing, and many other training goals.