Introducing your puppy to his/her new home

Posted by: Kathy  /  Category: How to care for your Shih-Tzu puppy

Introducing your puppy to his/her new home

When you arrive home with your puppy… introduce him/her to your designated potty area. He/she will probably have to “go”. Afterwards… let the puppy walk around and explore his/her new surroundings. Once the puppy is comfortable and has settled down from the trip home offer him/her some water (about 15-30 minutes after you arrive). If it is time for the baby’s meal… make sure the puppy is feeling ok and not nauseous from the car ride.
It is recommended to have a “safe puppy area”… this can either be a crate, exercise pen or a smaller area of a room blocked off by a gate. Make sure that there is nothing within the puppy’s reach that it should not have access to.
Allow the puppy plenty of rest time. Puppies need plenty of nap time between play sessions. If a puppy is sleeping do not wake him/her up to play. They will let you know when it’s time to play again!
Try to make the puppy’s first days quiet. Avoid the temptation to have your whole family and all your friends over to meet the new baby right away. You need to spend some time getting used to each other. There will be plenty of time in the next week or two to have your new baby make his/her “debut”.

Your puppy’s first night home

Your puppy’s first night home he/she will probably cry and carry on a bit. There are several things you can do to make those first few nights a bit easier. If you decide that the puppy is going to sleep separately from you… in let’s say the kitchen… some things you can do would be to leave the radio on quietly, make sure the puppy has something to cuddle with (like a plush toy) and another toy or bone of some sort. Most likely the puppy will cry on and off…but will settle down once he/she realizes no one is coming. Or you can choose to put the puppy in his/her crate by your bed and when the puppy wakes…just reassure and let the puppy know you are there and that everything is ok. If the puppy consistently cries or carries on that might mean that he/she has to go potty… but use your judgment…some puppies train their owners that every time they whimper they get their way.

Feeding your Puppy

Try to stay consistent with your breeder’s instructions as to what brand of dog food the puppy has been accustomed to eating. If you change the brand of food, you should do so only by mixing the old brand and new brand together to create a slow transition for your puppy. Follow the dog food’s instructions written on the bag for quantities and amounts. If you have any questions, you should contact your vet.

House Training

Puppies can be trained in a few different ways. You can choose to strictly outside potty train. You can paper or litter box train. Or you can do both… provide an area in the house to go potty…as well as take the pup out for walks. Whichever way you choose, try to stick with it…don’t confuse the puppy by trying to change his/her potty habits weekly.

Things to remember when house breaking…

• Puppies can hold for about as many hours as they are months old…so a 3 month old puppy can only hold for about 3 hrs.

• Scheduling is very important…try to feed the puppy the same time each day so you can better predict when he/she will have to “go”.

• Puppies usually have to “go” after waking, shortly after eating or drinking, and after playtimes. So do make sure to take the puppy to the proper spot to “go”. (In the beginning it is about every 2-3hrs.)

• Try to follow the same routine when bring the puppy to its potty spot… use a word or phrase such as “Go potty” each time you want him or her to “Go”.

• Praise and/or treat immediately when the puppy goes in the right spot. If you praise even 10 seconds later… the puppy will have no clue what you are praising for. The same goes for scolding (a stern, sharp NO! is usually sufficient… do not hit the puppy or rub its nose in the mess.)…it must be done at the moment it is happening. If you don’t catch the puppy in the act… just make sure you clean it up well with a proper cleaner to take away any scent to avoid future markings.

• Do not let your puppy have full run of the house unattended… if you cannot keep an eye on the pup…either put him/her in their crate…or other designated puppy area.

Another great place to learn these skills is a “Puppy Kindergarten” class. This will not only give you some tips and pointers on basic training… but it also helps strengthen the bond between you and your puppy. Your puppy also learns that you are the “Pack Leader” and will respect you as such. These classes are a wonderful place for socializing your puppy with other people and dogs…which is VERY important. A puppy that is well socialized grows into a confident, trusting adult.


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