Join Club PRO PLAN® for expert advice, insights and tailored offers
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Securing your space: Keep your puppy in a safe area indoors and keep doors and windows closed.
Being aware of heights: Don't let your puppy near balconies, open landings or high decking.
Hiding hazards away: Make sure hazardous items like cleaning supplies, paint, mothballs and pest control products are all stored away securely.
Protecting them from plants: Remove poisonous houseplants or put them in hanging baskets out of your puppy’s reach.
Shutting your seats: Keep your toilet lids down so your puppy can't swallow any harmful toilet cleaners.
Keeping your cables clear: Unplug, remove or cover up any electrical cords in your puppy's safe area.
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.
Hiding away your bags: Keep all plastic bags away from 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.
Keeping things simple: To make training easier, and help your puppy understand what your rules are, keep instructions simple and introduce them gradually.
Using assertion not anger: Be gentle but firm and never punish 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.
Staying contained: Keep your puppy or new dog contained in a fenced area when you're outside - or walk them on a lead.
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.
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.
Focusing on the positive: Always reward good behaviour with plenty of praise and the occasional treat.
Keeping calm: Never hit or use threatening body language if your dog disobeys you.
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.
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.
Staying active: Dogs need daily exercise and lots of play to help build the bond between you and your new pet.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.