The moment you have been waiting for has arrived, your new puppy is coming home! There are things you can do to make this process easier for both you and your puppy.
Have the necessary equipment
The most important piece of equipment you will need is a Crate. All puppies benefit from having a Crate and learning early on that it's a safe and happy place. Great things happen in their crate, meals are served, wonderful toys are there and it's the best place for sleeping and quiet time. It is also helpful to have a few gates on hand or an X-Pen. A puppy should not have free run of your home, using gates is a great way to keep them confined to a smaller area.
Write out a daily routine for everyone to follow
A young puppy needs a schedule, one that everyone complies with. The first few days will be trial and error as you get to know your new puppy. They need to eat, head outdoors for bathroom breaks, playtime and sleep. Following a schedule will ensure that your puppy is getting all their needs met.
Be available and close to home for the first week
The transition away from the litter and into a new Human home is stressful. It's best to have someone available 24/7 for the first week. If you're going to establish a good routine, someone will need to be there to make that happen. A puppy has limited bladder/bowel control and should not be expected to go more than 2-3 hours without gaining access to the outdoors, especially during the day. If you can't be home, hire someone to come and cover for you.
Establish good sleep habits
The average puppy is sleep deprived and this can lead to a whole host of problems. A young puppy should sleep 18-20 hours per day. The following article explains why this is so important.
Take things slow
It's best to keep things low keyed the first week or two, stick close to home, avoid having lots of visitors and resist the temptation to go visiting people or places for the first week. Having a new puppy in your home is exciting and stressful, taking things slow will allow everyone to adjust. If you have other pets, these early days are equally as important as they establish new relationships.
Enroll in a Puppy Class
Take the time to research and find a Puppy Class, one that is reward based and taught by a professional trainer. Once a puppy has started their series of puppy vaccinations they can attend a group class. A puppy SHOULD NOT go to public dog parks until they are fully vaccinated and have had time to develop age appropriate play skills. By laying a solid foundation you can help your puppy get off to a great start!