I had a conversation today with someone who is getting a new puppy. She had a ton of questions because it has been quite some time since she has had a puppy. She really wanted to make sure she was getting off to the best start possible.
I’m actually turning that conversation into a podcast so look for that if you want. The name of my podcast is “Ruff Talk with Al The Dog Trainer.”
I had some thoughts about one of the topics we discussed, which were about the things I do when I first get a puppy. Before I bring a puppy into my home, there are a few things I’ve already done in preparation. I have a playpen or extra-large crate for the dog to spend time in with a whole bunch of things for the puppy to interact with.
I’m also going to have a crate, not much bigger than the dog’s body, which I use for potty training. I include the dog in my daily activities as much as possible and start training right away.
When I bring a puppy home, I’m not going to try and overwhelm it. I see a lot of people bring in this cute animal, and they’re hugging it and squeezing it and doing all these things, but I let the dog tell me how much it wants to interact with me.
Since it’s a puppy, when I bring it home I will get on the floor and play with it. If you think about it, puppies have been playing with their littermates quite a bit up to that point. It just makes sense to me to continue playing in the same manner. I won’t let them play with my other dogs too much because I want the bonding process to start with me.
As far as training goes on day one, it will be very basic, foundational stuff. I will have the food the breeder recommended, and I’ll show the dog “hey, I’m going to be the one that feeds you.” I will probably put the puppy on its place bed and make a lot of connections between the food and me saying “good dog.”
I would not put a collar on, maybe a harness and a line though. I would let the puppy explore my home some while I observe. I would also start introducing the dog to where the potty area is.
It wouldn’t be an intense day, I’d let the dog sleep as much as possible. I’d just be sure to wear it out before we went to bed at night.
I hope this is helpful for any of you planning to get a puppy, or maybe you just got one. If you have any questions, send me a text at (832)734-5189. Happy Training!