So you’ve decided on your newest family member and now its time to start preparing your home for the arrival of your puppy. Just like a baby its important to ensure your house is a happy and safe environment to live in.
There are a few necessary items and jobs you will need to do before the puppies arrival:
- Play pen/stair gate: While your puppy will be undergoing training its best to section off an area where they are allowed full access to e.g. kitchen. A puppy play pen is a good way to do this or even a stair gate, its also best to restrict your puppies time on carpet while being house trained (some puppies can get confused by the texture of a puppy pad and carpet, remember there still only young and accidents are bound to happen). I know having a new puppy you will want to have him/her around you everywhere you go but its better to keep them downstairs until they are older, going up and down stairs at a young age can cause joint problems in the future.
- Crate: Depending on your puppies breed and size you will need to buy a crate for him/her, this is your puppies safe place. Puppies like to have an area of their own where they can relax, feel cosy and enclosed, therefore we suggest a crate. Having their bed/blanket or vet bedding on one side and a puppy pad on the other side will help your puppy with house training. When you first take your puppy home they are very young and will still not have full control over their bladder, puppies like to keep their safe areas clean but the first couple of weeks they might have an accident, the puppy pad on the other half of the crate for your puppy to relieve themselves will be much cleaner for your puppy and easier for yourself to clean up. Puppies will learn to wait for you to let them out to do their business. Crates are also a good way of preventing your puppy from using household items as chew toys. Crates shouldn’t be used all the time, ideally once your puppy has mastered the toilet training they should only be locked in for the night.
- Bed/blanket/vet bedding: You will need to get your puppy something soft to chill out and rest in. Please be aware that all puppies do go through a chewing stage so don’t buy anything too expensive as they will probably find a way to destroy it. Vet bedding is ideal as they are less likely to chew them but there still very comfortable for your puppies.
- Food and water bowl: Please always remember to keep clean water down for your puppy.
- Food: We recommend keeping your puppy on the same diet as he/she is used to being fed with us, Eukanuba (depending on size and breed we will advise which puppy food). This will prevent them suffering with any unnecessary diarrhoea and vomiting, the change from leaving his 1st home, mum, siblings and change of environment will be stressful enough for your puppy so please keep them on the same food. If later you decide to change their food, you will need to slowly gradually mix into their food.
- Toys: Its easy to go crazy and buy loads of toys for your puppy, we recommend only buying resistant chew toys for the first couple of months e.g. Kong rubber toys or nylon bones. One or two soft toys will be fine, but your puppy might find a way to get through them so if you notice any soft filling appearing please throw them away strait away to avoid any unnecessary trips to the vets.
- Small adjustable harness and lead: There are many harnesses out there, and most of them can be quite costly, please refrain from buying anything expensive for your puppies first harness, remember there a puppy so they will grow out of it.
- Puppy pads Poo bags: While your puppy is under house arrest its essential that you stock up with puppy pads, once they are fully vaccinated and able to go outside you can then concentrate on transitioning them to go toilet outside.
Puppy proofing your garden: Gardens will be where you will have many hours of fun but it’s important that you puppy proof your garden ready for when your puppy arrives home. Any small gaps in your fence your puppy will find. You cannot leave your puppy unsupervised if your garden isn’t 100% secure and safe, any items left on the floor need to be put away, anything that can be pushed off a ledge needs to be put in a safer/out of reach spot that your puppy cant get to.
Below I’ve listed a couple of essentials items you will need to have for bringing your puppy home:
- Puppy pads
• Old towel/blanket
• Crate or harness and seatbelt adaptor
• Small travel bowl
• Water bottle
• Wet wipes
• Poo bags
• Small toy
I know you may want to cuddle and hold your puppy for the car journey home but we must think of the puppies safety first, Rule 57 of the Highway Code states: When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly. A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars. Failure to do so could cost you up to £5,000 worth of fines!
Making car travel more comfortable for your pet
Before leaving to collect your puppy I would recommend getting the car set up, a crate in the back with puppy pads (incase of any accidents), a little bed or blanket and toy will help make the whole experience comfortable, secure and cuddly for your puppy. Having a little box or bag with all the items listed above will make the journey easier for you, having everything on hand incase you need it.
Some puppies have no problem travelling in the car and others will at first hate it.
- We don’t feed our puppies the morning of the day they are going just incase they get car sickness. Its always best to feed them after a car journey, this gives the puppys a chance to digest their food.
- Take a break. If you’re taking your pet on a longer journey, make sure they have a chance to have a drink of water. Especially if it’s a warm day or if you notice your puppy is dribbling a lot and panting heavily.
- Keep them cool. Be aware of your puppies temperature, because they covered in hair they get warm easily, to help with this you can put the air conditioning on or open a window little to keep them cool.
- Don’t your puppy in the car. Puppies and dogs can’t cool themselves down the same way we can, and the last thing you want to happen is your puppy overheating. Winding down the window and parking the car in the shade is not enough to keep them cool.
- By starting young. Puppies who are used to travelling in the car from a young age are much more likely to be relaxed and happy during car trips. This is part of ‘socialisation’. Introduce them to the car as early as you can. Start out with introducing them to the parked car and getting them used to sitting in it with you, then start making short trips. Build up to longer journeys, but make sure they usually end in something fun like getting a treat or a walk. Make these experiences as positive as possible, with lots of treats and fun days out.
Training your Pomsky, Chowski or Shiba Inu Puppy to its new home environment…
Toilet training Teaching your dog to ‘go’ in all the right places, sometimes house training a puppy or newly adopted dog can seem difficult and be very frustrating. However, many puppies and dogs can be house trained in around two weeks, as long as you stick to the following rules.
- The key to house training your puppy well and quickly is to give him as many opportunities as possible to get it right. It really is that simple! The more times he is rewarded for going to the toilet in the right place, the quicker he will learn.
- However, equally important is that you must ignore any mistakes that he makes during this training. If you give him attention (even though it isn’t ‘nice’ attention) when he gets it wrong, you’ll only confuse him and training will take much longer.
How? – the basics
• First of all, find somewhere that you can confine your dog where you don’t mind ‘accidents’ happening but this is only for times when you cannot supervise him during training. This could be an indoor kennel or an area penned off in the kitchen. It should be somewhere that he will still feel part of the family. This has to be a relatively small area, which will discourage him from going to the toilet there. Place his bedding and water in his safe area and also use this space to feed him in.
- First thing in the morning, take your dog outside, stand with him and wait for him to go to the toilet. When he ‘goes’, give him lots of praise as he finishes (being careful not to interrupt what he is doing) and give him a treat. He should need a wee and a poo, so wait for him to do both.
- When he has gone to the toilet, you can take him back inside and have a play or cuddle. Let him have full access to the room that you are in – but only as long as you can give him your full attention and watch him – otherwise return him to his safe area.
- Take your dog out every hour on the hour from morning to last thing at night, to give him the opportunity to go to the toilet. You will also need to do this after exercise or play and after meals.
- If he goes to the toilet, praise and reward him and then write down the time of day that he went and what he did. If you keep a record of this every day, you will find that a pattern of when he goes appears. You can then use this to predict when he’ll need to go to the toilet, so after about a week you shouldn’t have to take him out as often as every hour.
- Any time that you cannot watch your dog, place him in his safe area with something to do with a chew toy for example. You should also put him here when he is sleeping or resting during the day. It is far kinder to put him in his safe area when you cannot watch him, than to tell him off if he toilets in the wrong place.
Make it easy for them
• Do take your puppy outside as often as possible to give him the chance to toilet in the right place. Do not leave him unattended in his safe area for hours on end.
• By rewarding your dog at the right time and ignoring mistakes, your dog will soon get the idea and be ‘accident’ free in no time at all.
- If you put him in his indoor kennel in the bedroom with you overnight, he’ll let you know when he needs to go outside and this will help speed up the process.
Some young puppies can find it very daunting to toilet outdoors or they may only be used to and have a preference for certain types of indoor surfaces. Having a fully vaccinated, friendly older dog to visit and ‘show them the way’ can be very helpful and speed up the process.
What if accidents happen?
• Make sure that you remove any smells left by accidents by cleaning these areas with a solution of one-part biological washing powder with four parts water, or a purpose made cleaner from the pet shop. This will take away any smells and stains. Make sure that you do not use cleaning products that contain ammonia as this smells like urine to dogs and will encourage them to use the same spot again and again.
- When an accident happens don’t make a fuss – your dog has not done it on purpose. If he is still going in the wrong place, then it may be because you are not watching him carefully enough. If you can’t watch him, he should be in his safe area. It is not fair to let him get it wrong.
- If you find an accident, then quietly put your dog away from it in a secure place, whilst you clear up the mess with the biological washing solution. Then let your dog back in and forget all about it!
Disciplining your Puppy?
Play biting is a common, natural behaviour seen in puppies usually from teething, but it can hurt and if encouraged can cause behavioural problems later in life. It is important that your puppy learns from you what it would normally learn from its litter mates and other dogs, that biting hurts and hard biting means that all the games stop.
- DO NOT engage in rough play with your puppy e.g tug-of war games. Wear gloves to allow hard bites or encourage the puppy to attack or bite hands or feet.
- DO NOT punish your puppy by smacking it on the nose. Scruffing it or forcefully rolling it on its back, as this can make the puppy fearful and worsen the problems.
- Puppies that receive lots of exercise and stimulation will have less energy with which to play attack family members.
- Soft, inhibited bites during play should be permitted, but any bite that has enough force to be uncomfortable should be addressed by yelling ‘OUCH’ immediately stopping play and walking away from the puppy.
It may also be helpful to teach your puppy to stop play biting on command. By giving a command such as ‘Enough’ as the pet is biting. If it stops then the puppy should be rewarded. If it continues biting the command should be given again but loud enough that the puppy backs away but is not frightened. Eventually the puppy will stop biting on command. And the teething Phase will end.
For these techniques to work it is important that all members of the family are consistent in their response and that punishment is not used as this is not the way and just confuses your pet, making them anxious and slowing learning.
Our puppies have fantastic temperaments but some of our puppies will play bite from teething to relive the pain. It is necessary that all the above is listened to during this stage and not to condone it.