Your New Puppy's
ďSpotĒ into your home can be a very stressful experience for
him. For the very first time he'll be around new humans, away from
his mommy and littermates and heíll also be in a strange
environment. For these reasons it's important to make Spotís
transition from litter to home life as seamless as possible.
possible, take a blanket or large towel to the breeder and ask them
to put it in with the mother and pups for the last week or so until
you pick Spot up. Dogs use their sense of smell as their main way of
identifying people and places. By using the blanket or towel, this
will allow you to carry a familiar and comforting sent home with you
and give Spot a reassuring smell that he knows and trusts.
This next step,
ďthe bonding processĒ is the most important thing you will ever
do in your relationship with Spot. It begins the second you pick him
up and head for your car. If he doesnít feel safe with you, it
will be much harder to gain his trust. That means that it will take
much longer to create a strong bond between you. Take it slow. With
a smaller dog, wrap him, or hold him with the blanket or towel. Hold
him until he is calm, and then move to your car slowly. With a
bigger puppy, connect the leash and hold the blanket or towel were
he is able to smell it. Talk softly in a confident tone. When you
get to the car, put him in the crate and sit beside him so he can
see you. Then take a nice calm drive to Spotís new home. (This
trip MUST NOT include any road rage moments, it needs to be
When you reach
home, plan to spend plenty of uninterrupted quality time with him.
The temptation to have friends and relatives stop by to meet him
should be avoided at all cost until Spot gets used to you and his
new home. Too many people, to quickly, can overwhelm him and he
could become frightened and withdrawn.
you have already taken the time to prepare a safe environment for
your puppy, you will be able to spend your next 24 to 48 hours
hanging out with Spot.
arrival, take him directly to the place in the yard that you would
like to use for Spotís bathroom. Since he doesnít have the
control to hold ďitĒ for very long, he should be ready to
ďgoĒ after the car ride. Spend a few moments, and after he
relieves himself, be sure to reward him with excited praise and
maybe a little treat.
Now itís time
to introduce him to your house. Take him to the door and put him on
the leash. Once inside, allow him to discover the areas of the house
you want him to live in.
After he has
checked out the house he will probably be ready for a nap. Put his
blanket or towel into his crate and place or allow him to go in.
Donít close the door at first. When he settles in, then, you can
close the door. Remember, puppies donít sleep for very long. After
a short time he will be ready to play again. As soon as Spot wakes
up, take him out to that special place in the yard and let him go
potty. Remember to reward him when he does.
Return to the
house and spend lots of time with him on the floor. This is the time
when the bonding process actually begins to happen. In fact, I
suggest that you spend at least the first 24 hours on the floor with
him. I actually go so far as to put a sleeping bag and pillow on the
floor so that I can live at his level for the first 24-36 hours.
Stay in close contact with Spot as much as possible these first few
days. This will help speed up the bonding process and he will learn
very quickly to be comfortable with you. He will even think of you
as his new littermate. Donít worry you will only be assuming this
this first 24-48 hours donít try to do any training. It should be
just a fun time. During this time, just play and hang out together.
While doing so he will be checking you out and you need to do the
same. Make note of the way he acts and reacts to things. You will
find out what toys he likes, the things he likes to do, and his
actions and mannerisms.
Finding out all
of these things will give you great incite into his personality, and
you will be able to use this information when it comes time to begin
training. The only thing you may want to do is introduce a few
boundaries. Other than that, use the time to learn about Spot.
some point Spot will get hungry Ö Puppies usually need to eat 3 to
4 times per day. For the first few weeks, you may want to hand feed
him once in a while. This will help build his respect for you and
show him that you are the source of all things good in his life. He
will begin to look up to you. When
he's finished eating, go back out to his potty area and wait for him
to eliminate. If nothing happens in ten minutes or so, take him back
inside and try again in 15 minutes or so. If he does go, give him
lots of praise.
initial bonding period you will probably want to crate train or set
up a bed for Spot. (see create
training). At this point you can begin some basic training too.
While puppies often times have very short attention spans, they also
learn very quickly. Start with the basic: Sit, Stay and Come. Then
move up to NO and Leave It. You should also begin housebreaking.
If you have
children and they are old enough to help raise the puppy, you should
assign jobs to them before the puppy arrives. This way, everyone
will know what to do and the puppy will never be neglected. Set
rules for the puppy and the family as well. Example: If the puppy is
not allowed on the furniture, make sure everyone know it and abides
by the rule.
to Train Spot
and Spot will probably bond in a week or two (depending on the
amount of time you have invested). When the bond has been
established you can start building on Spot's good habits and use
them to help his basic training. Those first days of bonding will
now start to pay off. You'll have a lot of good ideas about how to
communicate the things you want him to learn. The time you took to
praise Spotís good behavior while you established your bond, will
now begin to reap big rewards. One of the most important things to
remember is do not punish incorrect behavior. It's
way too soon to discipline for any incorrect behavior. Your puppy
still has no idea what is expected of him and punishing him will
only create confusion and stress.
of your training sessions fun and make them seam like play sessions.
long as Spot focuses his attention on you by looking up at you or
following you, he is showing you that he is looking for your
guidance. While he is watching you, this would be a good time to
teach him his name!!! When you have eye contact, say his name in a
cheerful tone of voice. This will also help him connect his name to
paying attention to you. This is an important first step in
obedience training. (Learn
to Teach the Sit, Stay,
and Come Commands)