What to Know When You Bring Your Puppy Home

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. Avoid picking up your puppy unless absolutely necessary. If you must, be careful and use these steps:

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.

What to Know When You Bring Your Puppy Home

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. Avoid picking up your puppy unless absolutely necessary. If you must, be careful and use these steps:

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 soilings

  • 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

  • Nail clippers

  • Treats 

Helpful Hints

  • 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.

  • 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: 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 spot each time he potties.

Step 2: 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 3: 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 him home, don't let them play with him constantly. Puppies need a lot of rest, just like a growing child. Limit puppy-children play sessions to 15- to 30-minute periods, two to three times a day.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Related Products

Puppy Basics: Expert Training Tips

Q: When training my puppy, should I use table scraps as treats?

A: My personal preference is not to use food at all. When I have trained dogs for obedience, I have always used the verbal praise-reward method. It works well, especially with some dogs who are not motivated by food rewards.

Many people do use treat-based training with success, but I don't recommend offering table scraps as the treat. Giving a dog people food—in training or just as a general reward—may give the dog the idea that such food is fair game. It might encourage your pet to steal food from the table or from people, especially kids or guests.

In addition, many human foods can be toxic to dogs. These include chocolate, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, and xylitol (a sweetener often used in gum, candy, and baked goods).

As an alternative to table scraps, you could train your dog with snacks that are tasty, low in fat, and commercially prepared for training. But keep in mind that soft chew snacks may be high in sugar, which is bad for dental health. When shopping for treats, read package labels and choose premium varieties that list meat as the first ingredient.

Use only small amounts for training purposes—treats should not interfere with the consistency of a normal diet or greatly affect the caloric intake for the size and age of the dog. The training sessions should be short in length and repeated several times throughout the day. For young dogs, the training period should be no longer than five minutes.

Finally, the most important training tip is to keep it positive. If you're getting frustrated with your puppy's naturally short attention span, take a break. Strive to end the session on a positive note so your pet will be eager for the next time.

Janet Tobiassen, DVM, a veterinarian based in the state of Washington

 Puppy Development?

 

AgeMilestone

7-10 days old Puppies double their birth weight.
Puppies begin to urinate and defecate on own.

10-18 days old Puppies attempt to stand. 
Puppies’ eyes begin to open. 
Puppies’ ears begin to open.

18-21 days old Puppies hear and respond to noises.
Puppies begin to walk.

3 weeks old Puppies begin responsive vocalization. 
Begin weaning process for orphaned puppies. 
Deciduous (baby) teeth will begin erupting.

4 weeks old Begin weaning process for mother-fed puppies.

3 to 6 months old Puppies’ adult teeth erupt.

Types of Goldendoodles

F1 Goldendoodle=  Golden Retriever x Poodle = 50 % Golden Retriever & 50% Poodle

F1B Goldendoodle=  F1 Goldendoodle x Poodle = 25% Golden Retriever & 75% Poodle

F2 Goldendoodle=  F1 Goldendoodle x F1 Goldendoodle= 50% Golden Retriever & 50 % Poodle

F2B Goldendoodle=  F1 Goldendoodle x F1B Goldendoodle= 37.5% Golden Retriever & 62.5% Poodle

F3 Goldendoodle=  F1B Goldendoodle x F1B Goldendoodle= 25% Golden Retriever & 75% Poodle

English Goldendoodle=  English Cream Retriever x F1 Goldendoodle

Due to the special qualities of the Goldendoodles - their temperament, ease of training, and ability to live with families with allergies - they have been found an asset to many different organizations.

Goldendoodles can have curly or straight hair, have little to no shedding, and are mostly allergy friendly.
Goldendoodle Characteristics

With Poodles and Golden Retrievers for parents, the Goldendoodle cannot help but be sweet, intelligent, affectionate, playful and gentle dogs. They are outstanding as a family dog. Their coat requires little care if cut short as they are not copious shedders; they shed very little.  If left long they can be high maintenance.

These are very versatile dogs, finding use as therapy, service and guide dogs. As an agility dog, the Goldendoodle does well and seems to thrive on the challenge. Due to their need for exercise Goldendoodles do best in homes with active, outdoor-activity oriented persons.

Goldendoodles need daily hearty exercise. If they do not receive adequate exercise, pent up energy may manifest itself with excessive digging, chewing, barking and other noxious activities. They are not good as watch or guard dogs. As a crossbreed between two “bred for hunting” breeds, the Goldendoodle is considered a “mouthy” breed.  Goldendoodles should be taught from the beginning not to chew on people; divert  their attention and teach them it is OK to chew on toys.