Your puppy’s first few days away from their mother and siblings will be a big upheaval. So when you bring them home, you’ll need to give them your undivided attention. If you can spend time showing your puppy around, feeding them and playing with them it’ll all help to get them nice and tired before bedtime.
Sniffing and exploring
Start by letting your puppy sniff around, and then introduce them to their bed. Put a blanket from their old sleeping place that smells of their mother in your puppy’s bed. Then let them explore their new surroundings at their own pace.
Let your puppy sleep
If you have young children, they can easily play with the puppy too much and overtire them. Make it a rule that they must never wake the puppy up. Unlike babies, puppies know when they need to sleep, so once your puppy’s asleep, don’t disturb them.
Keep other pets happy
If you have other pets, make a fuss of them as well so they don’t get too jealous. Start by keeping them apart and feeding them separately. But once they get to know each other, they should end up the best of friends. Even your cat can learn to get along eventually!
Start house training
Don’t get cross with your puppy if they urinate or defaecate on the floor – you could end up making them feel insecure, instead just ignore the undesirable behaviour so that they receive no attention and be ready to give lots of praise immediately as a reward when your puppy relieves himself outdoors. Try leaving out lots of newspaper or special puppy mats and take them outside every half hour or so, as well as after each meal.
Get them settled in
Try and get them used to being on their own. For the first few nights, your puppy will probably be restless and whimper when they’re left alone. A hot water bottle and a ticking clock wrapped in a blanket can be very reassuring. But don’t worry too much – they’ll soon feel at home. When you check a whimpering puppy it is important that you enter the room in the instant they are quiet – this way the puppy is rewarded for quiet behaviour and doesn’t learn that you visit them when they cry. This is a handy technique to follow and is referred to as ‘Ignore the bad, praise the good and interrupt what you can’t ignore.’