Basic Guidelines for New Puppy Owners
The first few days in a new home are extremely important for your puppy and the precedents you set now will last a lifetime. House Training/Potty Training your puppy as quickly as possible requires you to reward and praise your puppy every time he goes in the right place. Be diligent - give your puppy regular and frequent access to his toilet area. Never discipline your puppy harshly for accidents. If leash training, allow the puppy to get used to the leash gradually and use lots of praise. Call your veterinarian or breeder with questions, they are the ER to help. Guidelines are to help keep things safe, experience will fill answer most of your questions. Enjoy your new family member!
Your Trip Home: Please do not take your new puppy to rest stops or pet stores on your trip home! Keep your puppy away from dogs you are unfamiliar with. Your puppy may be exposed to diseases such as parvo-virus until fully vaccinated. Please try not to overwhelm/stress your puppy, please keep visiting with him/her to a minimum for the first few days. Let your puppy acclimate to his/her new surroundings.
SEEING A VET
Take your new puppy for it's first veterinarian visit within the first few days and establish a vaccination schedule. Present your vet with the health record provided by your breeder. The health record should include all immunizations, worming and any treatment that your puppy has had prior to "coming home". We recommend that you be very cautious at the vet's office since that is the place where people take their sick animals. Never put your puppy on the floor or allow them to come in contact with any other animals while there. Better yet, keep your puppy in a carrier until the examining room is available. It is also a good idea to make sure the examination table has been disinfected prior to placing your new puppy on it. It is also a good idea to disinfect your shoes after a visit to the veterinarians office. Bleach will kill parvo-virus, Lysol will not. A spray bottle of 50/50 bleach & water by the door or stepping on a towel soaked in this solution also works well. Do not allow your new puppy to lick or chew on shoes.
Keep your puppy on the food supplied by the breeder, gradually begin mixing in the food you have chosen, or your vet recommends.
Puppy Proof the House: Puppies can get into trouble very quickly. Anything that you value should be put away until after the puppy stage. Also, keep a close eye on your puppy around electrical wires, puppies love to chew on wires! A new puppy owner needs to watch their puppy at all times. When you can not keep an eye on your puppy it is a good idea to use some type of confinement when you are unable to supervise your puppy.
Crate Training: A crate is a great way to manage your puppy’s behavior when you are not home. Almost all dogs at some point in their lives will be exposed to a crate. Overnight stay at the Vet's office, grooming appointments, air travel, all require your dog to go into a crate. It will be much easier to teach a young puppy to love their crate than it will be to train an adult dog to accept it.
Provide your puppy with safe chew toys designed for teething puppies. Always read the label to ensure it is safe for a puppy. Chewing can reduce stress and helps the puppy relax, while it helps loosen baby teeth, allowing them to fall out to give way to the eruption of adult teeth.
Socialization: You can never over-socialize your puppy. The first four months of your puppy’s life is the most impressionable. To become a confident and stable adult dog, a young puppy should to be exposed to many different people, dogs, places, sounds and scents. Taking your puppy to obedience classes or parks is a great way to introduce him/her to new environments, sounds, smells, people and animals. This should only be done after your puppy has had all his/her appropriate vaccines.