Bringing home a new puppy is an exciting time filled with joy and anticipation. You prepare for your puppy by buying all the basic care essentials you need like food, bowls, a dog bed, toys, leash and collar, etc.
You get your puppy and the joy and anticipation you once felt turns into chaos and the feeling of being overwhelmed unsure of what to do, leaving you wondering if you made the right decision.
In the excitement, you forgot about researching what you must do immediately after bringing home your new puppy aside from basic care.
This was me the first time I brought home a new puppy!
In this blog post, I’m going to share with you the 7 things you must immediately begin doing the moment you bring your puppy into your home. I’m talking you need to begin doing these things day 1! These are 7 things I wish I would have done as it would have made my life so much easier and less chaotic!
Let’s get into the essentials of raising a happy, healthy, and well-behaved pup…
Teach Your Puppy Their Name
Make sure to have your puppy’s name picked out before you get him/her that way you can immediately begin teaching your puppy their name.
When your puppy knows their name, recall training becomes sooooo much easier.
To teach your puppy their name you will want some tasty treats or some cooked chicken. Say your puppy’s name, when they look at you give them a treat. Repeat this over and over. You will be surprised at just how quickly your puppy learns their name.
Socialization is vital for your puppy’s overall development.
Many paw parents overlook socialization or they think it is just introducing their dog to as many dogs and people they see. While it’s important your dog knows how to be introduced and interact with people and other dogs, Socialization is much more than that.
To properly social your pup you need to introduce them to different people, animals, sights, and sounds early on. You need to let you dog walk on different textures and take them to different places.
That being said, your puppy doesn’t need to run up to every dog and person it sees.
Also, it’s important to avoid dog parks initially. To be honest, to this day I still don’t take my dogs to dog parks but we will save that for another post.
Unvaccinated puppies are susceptible to diseases, so prioritize controlled, safe social interactions until your pup is fully vaccinated.
Food Guarding Prevention
Teaching your puppy proper food behavior from the start is crucial. I can’t express the importance of this enough!
If your dog tries to guard his food, then chances are he will resource guard other things such as his toys, etc. This can be dangerous especially if you have little ones around.
Gradually introduce hand-feeding to prevent food guarding tendencies. Take small portions of their meal and offer it while praising and gently touching them. This helps build a positive association with people near their food, reducing the risk of possessive behavior in the long run.
When feeding your dog in a bowl, walk by your dog, pet him, touch his paws, his tail. This desensitizes your dog and ensures that if a family member or a child walks by and touches your dog while they are eating then they won’t get growled at or bit.
Getting your puppy comfortable on a leash is very important. If you want to take your puppy places a leash is a requirement.
You will also need to have a leash on your puppy when you go outside especially until you puppy is excellent with recall.
To begin Leash training you will need a lightweight leash. Leave the leash on your puppy at all times, even when they are in the house. This serves two purposes- Your puppy getting use to feeling of the leash and it allows you to grab your puppy quickly when your puppy tries to get into a little trouble.
Master Potty Training
Potty training is a must! No one wants a puppy running around the house peeing and pooping wherever or whenever they want.
A consistent and patient approach is key to successful potty training.
Establish a potty schedule and feeding routine. Take your puppy out frequently to a designated potty place, including when they wake up, after meals, naps, playtime, and before bed.
Reward your puppy with praise or treats when they potty in their designated area. This reinforces the desired behavior.
You must watch you puppy at all times for signs of needing to go, and gradually increase the time between bathroom breaks as they grow older.
Embrace Crate Training
Although there is a lot of stigma surrounding crate training, it is an amazing tool for potty training and for keeping your puppy and your belongings safe while you can not watch your puppy.
Think of your puppy’s crate like a playpen for babies. You put your baby in a playpen when you can keep your eye on them (literally) to keep them safe.
A crate provides your puppy with a safe and cozy space that becomes their den.
Start by making the crate inviting with comfortable bedding and enticing toys. Gradually encourage their exploration, using positive reinforcement techniques like treats and praise.
The crate should NEVER be used as a form of punishment; instead, make it a positive and calm place for them to retreat to when needed.
Begin Basic Obedience Training
Basic obedience training should start the minute you bring your puppy home. Although you may think your cute, little 8-week-old puppy is too small to learn commands, they are not. In fact, the younger they are the easier and faster they learn.
An easy command to begin with is the ‘sit’ command- Learn how to teach your puppy to sit in 1 day: The easy way!
Establish consistent rules, use positive reinforcement for desired behaviors, and redirect unwanted behavior with appropriate alternatives. Make training sessions fun, short, and age-appropriate to keep your puppy engaged and excited to learn.
By following these 7 essential things from day 1- Teaching your puppy their name, prioritizing socialization, preventing food guarding, mastering potty training, leash training, embracing crate training and begin basic obedience, you are setting your new puppy (and yourself) up for a successful and happy life.
You’ll be amazed at the progress your new fur baby will make. Enjoy the journey of watching them grow into a well-behaved and cherished member of your family!
So tell me…
What are you most excited to implement with your new puppy, and why? Let me know in the comments below! And if you found this post helpful give it a share!