Bringing Your New Puppy Home
What to do the first few days (and nights)
When you first get home
You’re pup could be understandably discombobulated from the change of environment. We recommend taking the first few days easy. Be calm and intentional and give lots of love and praise. You will see their confidence building very quickly. Try to make every experience in the first few days as pleasant as possible.
Be sure to take pup outside after every nap,
after every 10 minutes of play,
after every meal
after 2 hours no matter what
Young puppies cannot physically hold their waste and they cannot open doors themselves so please remember that if they potty inside, it is your fault, not theirs. Be intentional in your housebreaking and it will happen very quickly. See more housebreaking tips here.
We recommend that you feed your puppy in its crate with the door closed. This will help them continue to learn that the crate is a good safe place. We will open the door to the crate as soon as they are done eating in the first 2-3 days but by the 4th day we start expecting the pup to stay in the crate for a few minutes longer each time. Many puppies will whine and cry to be let out in the beginning. Try to time letting them only when they are quiet. I count to 5 the first time, then 10, then 15, etc. Each feeding adding a little more time. Within a few days your pup will learn the routine and will lay quietly after a meal until you let them out. I will not ask a very young pup to lay quietly for longer than 5-10 minutes but as they grow I will add 5-10 minutes per week of age. My young adults will lay quietly for an hour or more if needed.
On the first night we recommend turning on the snuggle puppy and cover 2/3’s of the crate and putting in ear plugs if necessary. 8 week old puppies will need to be taken out overnight if crated. We will potty around 10pm and then again around 2am and then up at 5-6am. Stress can sometimes cause diarrhea in a pup, so be mindful of that and don’t make them hold their waste over night the first few nights.
We have found (with every puppy we’ve brought in to our house) that if you sleep a pup in the bed for the first few days it helps with bonding and it allows us to get some good rest after wrangling a young puppy all day. Once the pup is settled we then start overnight crating in another room. This is not for everyone and many families like to just get the crying and whining over with, but it is an option that we have found beneficial.
Feel free to socialize your pup with well behaved family dogs that you are sure have been vaccinated. Take them to visit family and invite family over. We strongly advice that you stay away from pet stores and dog parks until your pup is fully vaccinated. Their immune systems are still too weak to fight off many of the germs that can be found in public places. We also recommend that you carry your pup into the vets office and that you be sure to clean your shoes after leaving the vets office. This is not to say that vet offices are dirty, just that you do not know what type of sickness may have been brought in that day.