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What does the first week, month, and year look like?

Written by: Kassie Dickson, CDBC, CPDT-KA

It’s important to remember that all dogs are individuals and there’s no one size fits all for how your dog will act, respond or even learn. The first couple weeks with your dog can be hard. So we’re going to give you a run down!

Set yourself and your pup up for success, this means adding appropriate environmental management to ensure your puppy doesn’t practice unwanted behavior's. This means crate and confinement training, as well as house and potty training.

Take your home into consideration, are you in an apartment or a house, a walkout or the 30th floor. Will your young puppy or even an older dog be able to wait the amount of time it takes to get outside?

No? Have a plan of action!

Whether you plan to use fake grass, a pooch patch, pee pads or you have the option to step right outside! Make sure you’ve collected all the necessary items to have for your pooch.

For new puppies and even adult rescue dogs it’s important to remember they are going through a huge transition period in their life. All the fear, anxiety and stress that you would go through uprooting your life for a new home your pooch is feeling too. So, it’s important to allow them time to decompress. The first 72 hours may be difficult. Your pup is going to whine, cry, and likely have accidents in the house. Do what you can to make them comfortable and set up boundaries early.

How to Prepare for Your Puppy’s First Night

First night at home?

No problem, it’s good to give your pup some decompression time. We can work to ensure that our puppy settles in well by not overwhelming them, they should have time to hang out and relax. If you have gotten a young puppy they will likely be at a stage where they are sleeping quite a lot and they don’t self- regulate, so it is important for us to help them learn to relax and settle. Give them the opportunity to sleep, they will need it. Just like kids if your pooch is too tired they may become easily frustrated and be unable to process conflict. So naps are good, downtime is even better!

It’s never too early to start your training 🐶. Find yourself a trainer! One that aligns with your values and how you would like to raise your pup is important, do your research, ensure your trainer uses ethical and appropriate positive reinforcement training practices.

Remember, the training industry is unregulated, this means anyone can carry the title of Dog Trainer so ensure your trainer is educated and knowledgeable. Look for certifications that align with how you want to raise your pup or help your new adolescent or older dog transition. Your first few days and weeks at home set the scene for your puppy, so make some lists. What cues do you want your puppy to know? What will you call them? How will you teach them?

The hard part, if you haven’t already heard of it is the Puppy Blues. They can be tough but you’re not alone, check out our other blog posts for other situations you may come across as a dog owner.

Tips for Dog Proofing Your Home

Dog proof your home. Dog’s chew, it’s a fact of life, they use it to self soothe when teething to relieve frustration, for enrichment, and because it’s just plain FUN!😄 We can add management and training to ensure that we can reduce the instances of those unwanted behaviours and create boundaries that will help your dog to learn. Having a crate or confinement space is very helpful, it’s also important to puppy proof your house. This way your puppy doesn’t practice unwanted behaviours.

Set up your home so that there aren’t small objects, wires, or potentially toxic items at your dog’s height or spaces they may get into. Keep shoes and important items you don’t want your pooch to have tucked away in closets or where they can’t be accessed.

All dogs learn through cause and effect, this means not only do they learn when you’re training with them but, all day, every day they are learning. If you want them to act certain ways and to make appropriate choices, you need to teach them how to do so! They will never know if they aren’t shown.

The first little while of bringing a new dog home is exciting, it can also be scary, take the time to use enrichment training to build a bond with your new family member. Instead of going on 30 minute walks play some find-it sessions, scatter-feed their daily dinner, or use the toys and treats from your new Super PawBox.

Take them to new places when you can and do some “distanced socialization” by rewarding your pooch with their favourite things like food and toys when they look at people, other dogs, kids, cars, and everything in between.

It doesn’t have to be a full time job taking care of your new buddy. You can make it a fun, exciting and rewarding relationship for everyone involved.

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