Taking care of your new puppy can be overwhelming, but with these tips and lots of love, you’ll be a great puppy parent in no time.
Picking Up a Puppy: Just like a baby, a puppy's body is fragile. Doodles, seem to think they are lap dogs and typically enjoy being held in your arms or on your lap as long as they are comfortable. Use these steps to safely and comfortable pick up your puppy:
Step 1: Place one hand under your puppy's rump, and place your other hand under his chest. Step 2: Lift with both arms. With a small adult dog, use the puppy technique. For larger dogs, wrap both arms around his legs, draw him to your chest, and lift.
Supplies You’ll Need: Before you bring your puppy home, be sure you have the following supplies:
Premium pet food to get your new puppy off to a good start
Stainless steel, non-tip food and water bowls
Identification tags with your puppy's name, your name and phone number, and your veterinarian's name and phone number
A collar and a leather or nylon 6-foot leash that's ½- to ¾-inch wide (Consider using a "breakaway" collar with plastic clips that will unsnap in case your puppy gets hung up on something.)
A home and travel crate that's airline approved and that will accommodate your puppy's adult size. This crate will serve as your puppy's new "den" at home, when traveling, or when riding to the veterinarian's office. His scent in the crate will provide comfort and a sense of security during these stressful times.
Stain remover for accidental soiling's
Brushes and combs suited to your puppy's coat; ask your veterinarian or breeder about an appropriate brush or comb for your dog.
Dog shampoo, toothbrush, and paste
High-quality, safe chew toys to ease teething
Flea, tick, and parasite controls
Use stainless steel, non-tip food bowls, which won't break or absorb odors.
Toys with parts that squeak or whistle can be dangerous if swallowed. Make sure to always watch dogs when they are playing with toys of this nature.
For a comfortable collar fit, allow for two fingers of space between the collar and your dog's neck; consider using an adjustable collar.
Fencing Options: Keeping your puppy safe in your yard requires good fencing. There are several options to choose from, and the one you should pick will depend on your puppy's personality, your property, and your budget. Here are some of the options you should consider:
Privacy fencing. Privacy fences have no openings and provide excellent containment.
Chain link. Inexpensive chain link works well and is durable.
Underground fencing. These electronic systems cannot be seen, jumped over, or dug under. Wire is buried, configured, and connected to a transmitter. The dog wears a special collar that emits warning tones and issues a mild shock as he nears the buried wire.
Kennels. A covered kennel run, especially one with a concrete floor, will keep your puppy from digging, climbing, or jumping out. Ask your veterinarian or breeder to recommend an appropriate size.
The First Days at Home: The ideal time to bring home a new puppy is when the house is quiet. Discourage friends from stopping by and don't allow overnight guests. First, establish a daily routine and follow these steps:
Step 1: Set a potty timer for every 20 minutes during the day for the first couple days. This helps you remember to take him out and doesn't give the puppy a chance to have accident in house.
Step 2: Take away all food and water a couple hours before you intend to put puppy in his/her crate for the night. This will allow his bladder to empty and stool to pass prior to bed.
Step 3: Before bringing him in the house, take him to the designated potty area in your yard and spend a few minutes there. If he goes, praise him. Be sure to take him to this same spot each time he potties.
Step 4: Take him to the room with his crate. This restricted area will serve as his new "den" for several days. Put bedding and chew toys in the crate, leave the door open, and line the area outside of the crate with newspaper in case of an accident. Let him investigate the crate and the room. If he chews or urinates on his bedding, permanently remove it from the crate.
Step 5: Observe and interact with your puppy while he's getting used to his new den. This will help forge a sense of "pack" and establish you as the pack leader.
Special Puppy Concerns: Don't treat a puppy as young as 6 to 12 weeks like an adult dog. Treat him the same way you would an infant, with patience, constant supervision, and a gentle touch. The way you interact with your puppy at this age is critical to his socialization. Use these tips:
Don't bring home a puppy while you're on vacation. You want to be able to spend a lot of time with him so you can acclimate him to your normal, daily routine.
Supervise your puppy at all times and interact with him regularly.
Be alert for signs (sniffing and circling) that he has to go to the bathroom, and take him outside immediately.
A young puppy has no bladder control, and will need to urinate immediately after eating, drinking, sleeping, or playing. At night, he will need to relieve himself at least every three hours.
Don't punish an accident. Never push his nose in the waste or scold him. He won't understand, and may learn to go to the bathroom when you're out of sight.
Praise your puppy every time he goes to the bathroom outside.
Feed your puppy a formula designed for puppies. Like a baby, he needs nutritious, highly digestible food.
Children and Pets: Ideally, your kids should help you choose your puppy. When you bring puppy home, he will need a lot of rest, just like a growing child. Try to limit your children from waking puppy up from naps during the day, which he will frequently take. While puppy is awake naturally feel free to let your kids tire him out and play indoors and outdoors.
Young children might be tempted to shout at a puppy if they think he's doing something wrong. Be sure kids understand that puppies and dogs can be easily upset and startled by loud noises.
No teasing. Keeping a toy just out of reach will reinforce bad habits such as jumping up and excessive barking.
Wagging tails and play biting can be too rough for young children. Supervise puppy-child interactions and separate them if the play is too rough. Puppy can be scolded for jumping, biting or growling with a firm no, rewards for good behavior such as sitting or laying down, and ignoring his bad behavioral attempts for attention.
Teach kids to care for a dog by showing them how to feed and groom him.
Meeting Resident Pets
Keep resident pets separated from your new puppy for a few days.
After your new puppy is used to his new den area, put an expandable pet gate in the doorway or put your puppy in his crate.
Give your resident pet access to the area. Let pets smell and touch each other through the crate or pet gate. Do this several times over the next few days.
Give the resident pet access to the den area with your new puppy out of his crate. Supervise their meetings and go back to through-the-gate/crate meetings if trouble arises.