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Preparing for your New Puppy
by Tracy Atkins
Complete Canine Training, LLC
P.O. Box 131652
The Woodlands, TX 77393
281-825-6404 www.YESPUP.com

BEFORE THE PUPPY ARRIVES:
1.) Prepare a list of questions you might have about your responsibilities as a puppy parent.
2.) Decide where the crate will be placed, and prepare the puppy's new bed area.
3.) Prepare a "toy box" and fill it with about five to seven toys the puppy is allowed to play with. Put the box in an area the puppy will have easy access to. This allows you a chance to give your puppy positive reinforcement.
4.) Make a "shopping list" of all the items you will need. Some essentials will be puppy food (preferably the same food as the breeder uses), bowls, a buckle collar, crate and an ID tag and leash.
5.) Puppy proof both house and yard. (See handout on puppy proofing)
6.) Contact your veterinarian and make an appointment for a basic health check and physical (also vaccinations and heartworm test) it is important to have the puppy examined within the first three days you bring him/her home.
7.) Contact your local city hall or humane society and license your puppy if required.
8.) Call Complete Canine Training, LLC and schedule your in home training session to take place during the first week of the puppy's arrival.

What you need for home:
Puppy food - whatever kind your puppy is already eating
Soft collar (nylon or leather)
Identification Tag with your name, address and phone #
6' nylon leash (later you will need a training leash)
Bowls for food and water - we recommend one bowl for each
Crate - see crate training article for size
Toys - we recommend the following dog toys: Kong; Ball; Rope; Beef Bone; Nylabone; Plush Toy; and a Squeaker toy.

BRINGING HOME A NEW PUPPY:
Getting a new puppy is a fun and exciting time for everyone. You are about to begin a life long relationship. Even though you're ready (or at least prepared) your puppy has just left the only family he has ever known. He will be excited after the trip to his new home, but shortly after he relieves himself his little body will need to rest. Below are some guidelines for building a life long relationship with your new "best friend."

What you will need from the breeder: vaccination receipt, registration papers, five generation pedigree, copies of the parents OFA and CERF registrations, current brand and type of food used, and any medication the puppy might need.

WHEN YOU ARRIVE HOME:
When you arrive home, before allowing him in the house take him to the area you want him to relieve himself regularly in, and say "go potty." Repeat this in an encouraging voice and the moment something happens, praise lavishly "Good Puppy, Go Potty!" This begins the house training routine immediately.

Be sure to give the puppy a supervised chance to see the rest of the yard and house. (If you have other dogs, follow the steps below before progressing.) Everyone in the family will want an introduction and to play with the puppy. This should be encouraged, however, try not to overwhelm the puppy. Be as low-key and relaxed as possible. If there are young children in the home, remind them that the puppy is a baby and he must be handled gently and calmly. Take time to show children how to pet, handle, leash, and talk with the puppy.

Bonding will take time to occur, so allow only a minimum time for everyone to play with the puppy. At this point your puppy will be tired and in need of rest. Take him out to his potty spot and again encourage him to "Go potty." Then place him in his crate and allow him time to sleep. When he awakens, he will need to relieve himself. Pick him up and carry him outdoors to prevent any accidents from happening along the way. Take him to his spot and allow him to "Go potty." You may play with him until he eliminates. Take him inside and show him where his food and water are to be kept. If he is scheduled to eat feed him at this time. Only leave his food bowl down for thirty minutes. After 30 minutes dump out any uneaten food and wash his bowl. Allow the puppy plenty of time to rest on his first day with you. He is likely to be tired and stressed so be patient with him.

OTHER PETS AT HOME:
In any home with dogs there is a social hierarchy. Allowing your other dogs and the new puppy to meet on neutral territory (like a park) would be ideal. However, if this is not an option introduce them one at a time under a controlled situation. When introduced to the new-comer, you should expect that your dogs will establish their dominance. Keep your puppy on a leash and allow the other dogs ( also on a leash) to approach. Do NOT do this alone, get at least one other person to help. Be prepared for the dogs to stand tall, sniff, and perhaps growl and even snap at your puppy. Your puppy will in all likelihood, sit or roll over onto his back to offer submission. This is normal behavior, do not panic. Continue to talk to all the dogs in a calm, happy tone. Say something like "oh, boy, look at the new puppy to play with." Do not try to comfort the situation by saying in a worried voice "It's okay", or "no", or "Bad dogs". This will only alert the dogs that something is or should be wrong. Only interfere if blood is draw. Try using pepper mace spray, but never use your hands!

If you have other pets at home, do not forget about them because the puppy requires much of your attention. If possible, spend time alone with each of your pets so that they will know they are uniquely special to you.
Go slow, have fun, and don't forget you are building a foundation for a lifelong relationship. Don't rush it.

Copyright 1994-2009 Tracy Atkins, Complete Canine Training, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
No portion of this site may be used or reproduced without prior written consent.

 

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