Mother with her son and daughter petting a puppy

There is still some summer left and many are getting puppies. There will be an adjustment for the families and the puppies.

The pup has left the only home they ever knew, including their human family, siblings and mommy dog. They go to a new home with strangers and sometimes with a new dog or no dog at all. A snuggle pup soft toy with a heartbeat can be helpful in the adjustment to their crate.

How do we begin to tackle the new life for us and our puppy?

Making sure the pup has a comfortable and safe place to be. Usually that is a plastic kennel or wire crate.

Make sure it is small so it can be used for potty training as well. There should be no room for the dog to go to the back of it to pee or poop. 

There should be nothing soft to lie on to begin with. The plastic bottom is sufficient for now, until we see how the potty training is going.

In addition to a crate or kennel, a small playpen or a baby-gated area that has been puppy proofed is good. Consider a laundry room or another area with floors that are easy to clean. 

Decide whether your dog is going to be trained to go outside for potty or if your dog will be trained to potty pads or potty patch. This might depend on the size of the dog as well as where you live, or your lifestyle and age.

Set up a chart with the puppy’s schedule immediately. Pups have to pee 10 to 15 times a day and poop two to five times. Learning when those times occur is critical in the short run. Until they have a certain number of vaccines, they should not be off your property.

Boundaries are very important. Pups should be kept in confined and supervised areas, even if with you in a room for play or attention. Let them be with you but watch them closely. Keep them busy playing with you and toys.

Move anything dangerous that they can access. Make sure they are not with you ALL the time. They need to go into their crates or other rooms for most of their napping and, of course, when you leave the house.

Keep them out of guest rooms or anywhere they can’t be seen or can get into trouble. They do not need to follow you around the house. Do not tag team staying home. The pup needs to learn to be alone or anxious behavior will develop.

Try to time when you leave to a non-potty time or leave them in a space not crated with access to potty pad if you can’t be there at critical times. Or get a dog walker to come over at a specific time.

All puppies nip and bite. Teaching bite inhibition is one of the very first things you teach. Correcting verbally and redirecting with an appropriate texture chew toy is critical. Contact a trainer to learn how to handle this while they are young.

Abby Bird is owner of Alphadog Training Academy.