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Preparing to bring a puppy home

02/03/2023 - Puppy Training Advice

Are you preparing to bring a puppy home?

If you’ve just made the HUGE decision to bring a puppy into your home, you might be wondering what you should be doing to prepare for bringing your new family member home. It can feel a bit overwhelming, but don’t worry – we’re here to help! Here are our top tips for prepping for your new pup’s arrival…

Shopping List: Puppy Essentials
  1. Food Bowl/Water Bowl: an obvious necessity!
  2. Dog Crate and/or Puppy Pen: to create a safe, secure space for your dog to rest or be left unattended
  3. Baby Gates (for doors/stairs): to keep your little one off the stairs and to prevent them getting into an off-limits areas of the house!
  4. Blankets: stocking up on cheap blankets in a great idea as puppy is likely to chew or have an accident on at least one or two! 
  5. Lots of Toys: a variety of different textured toys is a great way to keep puppy entertained, build their confidence around novel things AND you will thank yourself during the puppy biting stage when you have plenty of toys to grab and redirect your little land shark towards!
  6. Dog Beds: we highly recommend getting at least two types of bed: a cool, raised bed and a soft, cuddly bed. Offering our dogs a soft, warm resting area as well as a cool, airy one is a great way to ensure they are comfortable and can get the rest they need.
  7. Grooming Kit: Particularly if your chosen breed has a coat that requires more maintenance, it’s important to start introducing them to the grooming process early to make it a fun, positive experience.
  8. Training Classes: many training classes are booked up far in advanced, and your puppy will benefit from getting to classes ASAP, so figure out when your pup will be able to start and secure your space in your chosen class well in advanced! You can find our full class calendar and book online, here: https://www.bestbehaviourdogtraining.co.uk/classes/
Pre-Puppy Jobs

Educating Yourself!
There are so many things we want to get right the first time with our new puppy, as this will help to prevent many problems and allow us to focus on building a positive relationship with our new family member. One way to do that is to prepare yourself – our Puppy’s First Steps course on Dogversity is the masterclass that all new puppy owners should work through before pup arrives home! From how to make sure puppy’s first night at home goes smoothly, to prepping them for vet visits, socialisation, how to deal with puppy biting, information about dog body language and how to avoid and prevent unwanted behaviours, Puppy’s First Steps is the How To guide for new puppy parents.
You can sign up as a VIP for access to all of our Dogversity content, here: https://www.bestbehaviourdogtraining.co.uk/dogversity-online
You can find our individual courses, including Puppy’s First Steps, available to purchase separately, here: https://www.bestbehaviourdogtraining.co.uk/dogversity/

Dog Proofing
Things to consider include tucking cables away, setting up your puppy pen and gates in doorways/stairways, ensuring your garden is secure and safe and thinking about narrow spaces around furniture where pup could get stuck.

Planning First Introductions
It’s important we make sure those first experiences with household members are good ones, so everyone gets off on the right foot!
If you are going to be introducing our puppy to children, think about establishing some boundaries and rules when it comes to handling. Children can often be a bit noisy and move more erratically, which can be worrying for dogs. Consider using a stuffed dog toy before puppy arrives to teach your child how to approach and handle the dog! You may also want to start introductions with barriers to keep everyone safe.
If you have other pets in the house, speak to your breeder and see if you can give them some blankets/bedding which smell of your current pets and whether you can take some from the breeder to get your pets used to the pup’s smell. Think about where is the best place for your current pets to meet your new puppy safely and consider the use of a barrier at the beginning.
For more in-depth information about introducing puppies to children, other dogs or cats, check out our Puppy’s First Steps course on Dogversity. You can find details on our Dogversity online school, here: https://www.bestbehaviourdogtraining.co.uk/dogversity-online

Early Training
We mentioned already the importance of organising your training classes ASAP – you can also get started as soon as puppy arrives! Early training is so beneficial and our puppies are little information sponges, who are learning lots whether we like it or not! To get started right away at home, check our Dogversity for our Puppy’s First Steps and Beginners’ School Classes. We see first-hand the benefits that a blended approach to training has for owners and their dogs, with puppies who take part in training at home arriving to class with the advantage of their early education and excelling as we advance through the course.

Vet Visits
Have a look at your local vets and get your pup registered with one ASAP. All puppies should have an early vet check soon after arriving with you, but seeing if you can take puppy in for simple weigh-ins and to get some treats from the staff is also a great way to ensure your dog looks forward to seeing the vets and gets used to this strange environment that can so often cause many dogs to feel high levels of stress.

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