The arrival of a puppy is an exciting moment, but it's important to think before welcoming it to build a unique relationship that will last forever. Every individual, just like every dog, has different needs. Discover how to prepare for your puppy's arrival by reading our complete guide now!
Before the puppy arrives:
Put away everything they should not have access to, such as shoes, documents, electrical cables...anything within their reach will eventually end up in their mouth! Also, buy everything you need to welcome them, including a bed and a comfort toy that will follow them throughout their life. (See the blog The essentials for welcoming a puppy).
Going to get my puppy:
Everything will start when you go to pick up your puppy from a breeder or individual at 12 weeks old. It is important to stay with them in their familiar environment for more than an hour. This environment is secure for them, and they do not know you at all, so count on this time to create a bond. We recommend that you:
- Play with them
- Talk to them
- Bring a cloth to imprint them with their mother's scent
- Learn as much as possible about their habits
When they arrive at their new home, avoid overstimulating them. Let them discover the place and the different family members little by little.
Bringing the whole family for a big WELCOME might not be the best idea. Give them a lot of love and don't try to have a perfect puppy who is housebroken, walks on a leash, and sleeps in their bed from the beginning. The first moments should be moments of happiness and tenderness. They will have time to discover the rules of the house later on.
The first night:
The first few nights can be very stressful for both the puppy and you. Our advice is to place their bed in your room for the first few nights. This will allow them to not feel abandoned, and for you to not have to get up multiple times in the night to comfort them. A crying puppy is a distressed puppy; they are not acting. Gradually move their bed farther away until they are sleeping where you want them to. Spread this process over several days.
It is important to put the puppy in a situation of success and praise them daily. To teach them basic commands, start by observing them. Your puppy will naturally do a lot of things on their own:
- Lie down
- Go to their bed
- Do their business outside
- Chew on their toy...
Each time they do one of these actions, go to them, say the name of the action aloud and give them a treat! Demonstration:
Your dog is sitting in the living room, you go to them, say "sit," pet them, and give them a treat.
The first command to teach them is recall; each time they come to you, say their name and reward them.
Regarding housebreaking; a puppy cannot be completely housebroken before the age of 6-7 months because they cannot hold it in. Take them out very often, especially after they have eaten, drunk, played or slept. Reward them verbally and with a treat every time they finish doing their business outside. Conversely, have no reaction when they do their business inside; clean it up and resume normal activity. Dogs are opportunists, so they will gradually hold it in because they will have learned that if "I do it outside," then "I get a treat."
Time for discovery:
préparez l’arrivée de votre petit chiot
In the days following its arrival, it will be important to stimulate your puppy as much as possible by introducing them to other dogs, animals, environments, people, sounds, etc. This should be done progressively and briefly, avoiding places that are too noisy or with too much stimulation (for example, a carnival). Each new day will be a new discovery, and every encounter should be associated with something positive. Therefore, for the first few encounters, select children, dogs, and nice places so that your puppy will remember them fondly.
Finally, constraint and fear are never the right solutions. These will gradually deteriorate the relationship and trust you have with your dog, leading to behavior problems.
Article written by Charlotte Hamel.
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