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Your Puppy's First Day and Night

So you have puppy-proofed the house and finally the big day has arrived!

Here’s our five top tips on surviving your first day and night.

1. Toilet training

After pups journey the first thing he’ll need to do is toilet. It is probably best to carry your puppy straight out to his toilet area. The more you can minimise the chance of accidents in your home the better.

He’ll need to toilet often in the first few weeks and it is a good idea he learns the route as soon as possible. Always use the same door for access and remember to take him to the toilet after sleeping, after playing, after eating and as often as you can in-between!

Your toilet training has begun.

2. Encouraging Good Behaviour

If you would like to have a well mannered dog, ignore bad behaviour and reward good behaviour from day one. No matter how cute that little sound demanding your attention is, ignore it. This cute little sound will soon turn into a deep resounding bark and once pup has learnt that making a noise gets him attention thats exactly what he’ll do.

Instead ignore whining and when your pup is sitting quietly or carrying something in his mouth that is the time to chat with your dog and pay them attention. The same applies to barking at things around the home or in the garden. Excessive barking is a nuisance to you and your neighbours. If your puppy does bark at passers by or sounds outside, move them from the situation. Only allow them to return after the barking has ceased and if they start again, repeat as often as it takes.

Never ever chase your puppy. If they do pick something up they shouldn’t have, find a toy they can have and use treats to get them to release the item, use the word drop or give and as they release the item, reward and replace with a toy that is allowed.

3. Recall

Good recall is essential to keep your pup safe off lead and should start from day one. Start as the pup is running towards you, use their name. Reward each and every time you use their name and they come to you. Be careful not to over use their name, as it will become simple a sound. Using a whistle is a great tool for recall especially outside. The sound can heard over even the most vocal of games with other dogs. Start at meal times, only allowing pup to eat on the sound of the whistle. If your pup is over zealous for his meal try using a lead until he has learned how to wait. Continue to use the whistle round the house and garden and remember to reward each and every time your pup returns.

4. Younger Family Members and Visitors

You need to be your puppies Guardian Angel 😇 during the first few weeks and that means tending to their needs and making sure your puppy gets plenty of chance to rest. Family members will all want to spend time with him and it can be overwhelming. Keep visitors to a minimum during the first few days. Too much activity around the home can frighten or over stimulate a young pup. Your pup will need to bond with your family and learn to trust all of you first.

Younger family members will need to be supervised at all times. Encourage them to be involved by setting tasks like preparing food, grooming and controlled play but also outline some ground rules like:- never chase, never pull tails or ears, never wake a sleeping puppy and always leave puppy alone when he’s eating.

If you don’t want your pup to beg for food then refain from feeding them at your mealtime or snack time and never feed when preparing food.

5. Night time

There are two approaches to the first few nights. Either get the puppy straight into the routine you want or have him sleep near you whilst he gets used to his new surroundings.

Unfortunately there is no way of knowing how your pup will react until you close door and head for your bed.

However, there are several things you can do to help your pup adjust to being left alone without their siblings.

Leave light on, the dark can seem a lonely place.

Put the radio on, most animals find classical music soothing and having some noise will make the pup feel less lonely.

Have a familiar smell in their bed. The breeder will probably give you a small item of cloth with the smell of their mum on it, place it in their bed. If they haven’t, consider putting an item of clothing that you have been wearing in their bed.

If your puppy starts howling or barking ignore it. Obviously you will conscious of upsetting the neighbours but if you give in on the first night the barking could continue night after night. Consider letting your neighbours know before bedtime arrives, maybe even taking pup in your arms will help deter any bad feeling.

If the barking does continue for some considerable time then silently go to your pup and let it out to the toilet. Do not speak to him and definitely do not interact. Settle your pup back in its bed and close the door. Don’t be tempted to fuss and cuddle the puppy as this will encourage him and he may well believe that if it barks for long enough it will get attention from you.

You might want to consider going to bed later and getting up early for the first few nights.


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