Bringing a puppy home
Puppies are naturally curious and can get into all sorts of mischief if you don't plan ahead when bringing home a new puppy. Make sure you think about what you need for a puppy and check that your home is puppy friendly.
Introducing your puppy
Making them feel at home: Create an area for your puppy with their toys, crate, food and water bowls and show it to them as soon as you bring them home.
Introducing your puppy
Keeping introductions calm: Introduce them gradually to children and only when supervised. Keep it brief and make sure the children understand the importance of being gentle, quiet and calm - with no sudden movements.
Introducing your puppy
Introducing to cats: When introducing a new dog to your cat, make sure you put a wire or mesh gate across a doorway. That way, they can get to know one another but, if your cat wants to get away, they've got an escape route.
Introducing your puppy
Meeting other dogs: You should introduce your new puppy to an older dog in a neutral place, such as a park, with both dogs on leads. If the dogs are introduced at home, use a baby gate to separate them. Remove toys or treats to avoid fights and keep interactions supervised until you’re sure the dogs are comfortable with one another.
Introducing your puppy
Giving guidelines to guests: Meeting visitors is an important part of your puppy's socialisation training. Ask your guests to ignore any jumping up and only pay them attention if they maintain a 'sit' position during the greeting. Always reward your puppy for good behaviour; treats are a great help when training but praising is also a good alternative.
Introducing your puppy
Securing your space: Keep your puppy in a safe area indoors and keep doors and windows closed.
Introducing your puppy
Being aware of heights: Don't let your puppy near balconies, open landings or high decking.
Introducing your puppy
Hiding hazards away: Make sure hazardous items like cleaning supplies, paint, mothballs and pest control products are all stored away securely.
Introducing your puppy
Protecting them from plants: Remove poisonous houseplants or put them in hanging baskets out of your puppy’s reach.
Introducing your puppy
Shutting your seats: Keep your toilet lids down so your puppy can't swallow any harmful toilet cleaners.
Introducing your puppy
Keeping your cables clear: Unplug, remove or cover up any electrical cords in your puppy's safe area.
Introducing your puppy
Boxing up bits and bobs: Hide away any small or sharp items - like buttons, needles, string, nails or drink can tabs - that could choke your puppy or cut their mouth.
Introducing your puppy
Hiding away your bags: Keep all plastic bags away from your puppy.
Introducing your puppy
Showing your authority: Establish your role as your puppy's leader by setting clear rules and behaviour expectations. Consistency and positive reinforcement are important in training as they help your puppy to follow your instructions.
Introducing your puppy
Keeping things simple: To make training easier, and help your puppy understand what your rules are, keep instructions simple and introduce them gradually.
Introducing your puppy
Using assertion not anger: Be gentle but firm and never punish your puppy.
Introducing your puppy
Being consistent: Make sure everyone in the family sticks to the same rules and remember to praise and reward when your puppy does what's asked of them.
Introducing your puppy
Staying contained: Keep your puppy or new dog contained in a fenced area when you're outside - or walk them on a lead.
Introducing your puppy
Teaching come on command: Recall is extremely important for both discipline and safety, so teach your new dog to respond to their name and come to you when called.
Introducing your puppy
Staying strong: Stick to your guns when it comes to commands. Say them only once and make sure you get the response you're after.
Introducing your puppy
Focusing on the positive: Always reward good behaviour with plenty of praise and the occasional treat.
Introducing your puppy
Keeping calm: Never hit or use threatening body language if your dog disobeys you.
Introducing your puppy
House training: Take your puppy to the same patch outdoors to relieve themselves. Repeat cue words like 'wee-wees' and 'poo-poos' and praise them when they perform. Don't tell them off if you find an accident indoors but do show it to them and say 'no' in a low-pitched voice or, even better, catch them while messing and say 'no!'. You can work out how often they need to go out by adding one to their age in months (for a maximum of eight hours) e.g. take a two month puppy out at least every three hours.
Introducing your puppy
Being sociable: Get your puppy to interact with a variety of noises, environments, people (adults, kids and family members as well as friends and strangers) so they feel comfortable with new experiences. The best period for socialisation is between 12 - 16 weeks.
Introducing your puppy
Staying active: Dogs need daily exercise and lots of play to help build the bond between you and your new pet.
Introducing your puppy
Being hands on: Get your puppy used to being handled while they're young. Examine their teeth, ears, body and paws when they're relaxed, offering plenty of praise and tiny food rewards. This will prepare them for future trips to the vet or groomers.
Introducing your puppy
Spaying or neutering: Unless you're planning to breed from a purebred, it's a good idea to get your dog neutered at an appropriate age. Not only will it prevent unwanted puppies but it can reduce certain health risks.
Introducing your puppy
Watching and learning: Get to know your dog's appearance and behaviour when they're healthy so you can spot any signs of illness or injury.
Introducing your puppy
Preventing teething troubles: While your puppy's teething, you need to make sure they've got safe chew toys so they don't take their stress out on you or your furniture.
Introducing your puppy
Separating sensibly: It's important to get your puppy used to being left alone so start by letting them spend short periods of time in their crate while you're still at home and praise them when they're quiet. They might like a safe toy as company or the radio on for security.