Glenbrook Kennels

Bringing your puppy home

Bringing a new puppy home

You've done all your homework and now you can't wait to bring home your puppy. But before you pick him up, you'll need to prepare your house, yard, and family for his arrival. With a little planning you can ensure your new puppy arrives home safe and sound, ready to join his new pack.


Bringing home a puppy can be a stressful time for your pup. He'll be in a strange environment away from his littermates and mother for the first time. There'll be new people and new expectations. That's why it's important to take some time to prepare for your puppy. You'll need to make your house and yard safe and set rules for yourself and your family about how to care for your pup. You'll also need to pick up any last-minute items on your puppy supply list. The more structured you can make this transition, the easier it will be for your puppy to adapt.

First night home with puppy

The first night home with your new puppy can be a trying experience for both of you. It's the first time your puppy has spent the night away from his mother and littermates. Because dogs are pack animals, your puppy knows instinctively that being separated from the pack is dangerous. Whining and crying at night is your puppy's way of calling for his pack to find him. Of course it does nothing to comfort you.

With a little preparation and patience, you can make the most of the first night with your puppy.

What to do before bedtime

Take up any food or water after six or seven o'clock to make sure your puppy is running on empty when it's time to sleep. Otherwise, you'll be making trips to the bathroom all night, or worse, your puppy will eliminate in the house.

Shortly before you go to bed, spend some time playing with your puppy. You want him to be tired enough to sleep soundly. Definitely don't let him nap within an hour or two of bedtime or else your puppy will be ready to play when you're ready to sleep.

Just before bed, take your puppy outside to his soiling area and wait for him to go. When he does praise him and bring him back inside. This reinforces good behavior and begins the house training process.

Where puppy should sleep

If possible, you should let your puppy sleep in the house at night. Being able to provide  the constant contact throughout the night will help your puppy adjust to you and establish you as pack leader. One note of caution: Don't let the puppy sleep in the bed with you. He'll eventually expect to be allowed in the bed, and it can lead to numerous behavioral problems as your puppy grows.

Make sure you puppy proof your house first and put a sweatshirt or other article of your clothing with him for your scent. A ticking clock or a radio set to a low volume can also help soothe a puppy the first night home. You should check on him throughout the night for bathroom breaks.

If you have decided to use a crate for training, you should put the crate in your room or the laundry  and use that to confine him while he sleeps. Puppies usually won't soil the area where they sleep, but if he has the opportunity to wander he may get up and go during the night.  Therefore it is important to put down newspapers to encourage him to soil there. 

Households with multiple pets should only let their animals sleep together after properly introducing a new puppy to your dog, cat, or other pets.

Stop puppy crying at night

If and when your puppy starts crying at night, you need to decide if he has to go to the bathroom or if he's looking for attention. If he's been quiet for a few hours and suddenly starts to cry or whine, he may need to go out. Puppies have small bladders, so you'll likely have to take him out at least once during the night. A good rule of thumb is to add one to your puppy's age in months and that's generally how long he can go without a trip outside. So a two-month-old puppy can wait three hours. That means your puppy will probably need to go out at least twice during the night.

If your puppy is crying and you're sure it's not for need of relieving himself, go to him and soothe him a little. Don't be too doting or coddle your puppy. This will only reinforce the behavior and he'll cry even more. If he continues to whine, a gruff "Quiet" and a quick, but gentle, shake by the scruff should settle the matter. If all else fails, ignore him. Tough love may be difficult, but eventually your puppy will learn that crying at night gets him nowhere. The more persistent you are in your approach, the quicker the situation will be resolved. If you're stern one minute and sympathetic the next, your puppy will only be confused and his behavior will continue.

In the morning

Get up right away and take your puppy outside to his soiling area. Carry him. Don't let him walk there or he may be tempted to go before he gets outside. Let him empty everything out, and praise him when he's finished.

As with any new baby, you may not get much sleep the first night with puppy. If you're patient and understanding, your puppy will learn what you expect of him when it's time to sleep. You both should wake up rested and ready for the day after a few nights together.

Other Points for consideration

Before you pick up the new family member you should already have ready.

1. a bed or place set up for him to sleep.

2. food dish & water dish.

3. food, preferably some the same the breeder has been feeding. This way you will not upset their tummy by giving a completely new food. These would be better added a little later.

4. pick an area where you would prefer him to go to the toilet. Also you could pick a word to say when they do go to the toilet so you can teach them to go on command.

5. some toy for him to play with.

6. puppy proof the house and yard, remember puppies love to explore and chew. Items such as electrical cords, batteries, razors, pesticides and cleaning products must be put out of reach. Some plants can be toxic also.


On the day of pick up

1. Try to pick him up as early as you can, this way he will have the whole day to settle in and get used to his new surroundings before night and bed time.

2. Talk to the breeder again about his food and how many times a day to feed him.

3. You should also get his immunisation card, which will tell you when he had his needle and when his next is due.

4. Ask if he has been fed, he more than likely has not been as he will be going in the car and it is best that he has not as he may get car sick. Take an extra towel and paper towel in the car with you just in case. Also a little while after he has explored his new home you may want to give him his morning meal.

5. Always remember after you leave we are still there for you to talk to & ask questions, even the little questions that you may think are silly ones.


When you get home

1. Let him explore his new yard under you watchful eye. He will probably need to go to the toilet so praise him if he does.

2. Introduce him slowly to other pets if you have some. They may need to be separated from each other the first week or so until they are able to except the new family member.

3. Have some rules set out and be sure the whole family knows them and agrees to use them. eg - is the dog allowed inside? Where the dog will eat and sleep?

Supervise your children with the the puppy always, this way there can be no accidents.


Other things

1. Make an appointment with the vet, for their next needle and check up.

2. Worm your pup every 2 weeks until the next needle, ask vet about future worming treatments.

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