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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,

This is a great website! I was just wondering if anyone had any hints or tips for the first night with a new puppy. My boyfriend is getting a 8 week old puppy tommorrow. I have tried to read up on things as much as possible and learn all that I can. However, I figured real life experience with these dogs would beat a book! LOL Any helpful hints, advise, or tips would be greatly appreciated!


2,926 Posts
Welcome This is kind of long,but I hope it helps

The Ride Home:
If possible bring someone with you when you pick up the puppy. Bring several old towels and some of the plastic baggies youÂ’ve been saving for "busy" bags. You can also consider having a crate for the puppy in the car for the ride home. SEGDI will be providing you with the buckle collar and leash so you donÂ’t need to worry about that.

The puppy will be riding home in the wheel well or floorboard of the passenger side. The passenger will keep the pup secured during the first ride home. An alternative would be to place the puppy in the crate for the ride home. See section on traveling with the pup. The towels and baggies are for cleanup.

DonÂ’t give the puppy any food or water before the ride home. Just prior to getting in the car, bring the puppy to a relief area and try "BUSY, DO YOUR BUSINESS" command. Give the puppy a few minutes to relieve. Keep your verbal communication to the command. DonÂ’t play with the puppy while you are trying to get it to concentrate on relieving itself. If the puppy relieves itself, generously give it verbal "GOOD DOG" and physical praise, stroking it. If it leaves a present behind, be sure to pick it up with that plastic baggie you brought.

Arrival Home:
The puppy will be excited to get out of the car and will probably need to busy. So on arrival home donÂ’t go right into your house. Give the puppy one more opportunity to relieve itself. DonÂ’t forget to use the command and techniques outlined in housebreaking.

Your Personal Dogs:
Not going inside immediately will also give a family member or a friend an opportunity to bring any other pet dogs you may have outside to meet the puppy. You should do the greeting just outside your yard so your personal dog(s) donÂ’t feel territorial. One of the best ways to introduce your personal dog(s) is to be happy and give a lot of verbal praise using "GOOD DOG" while they are meeting. By being positive and using praise, you are letting the dogs know that you are in control and everything is a-ok.

All household pets will adjust to the puppy eventually. It is your responsibility to keep both the personal pets and the puppy from dominating or irritating one another. Know what is happening and structure them so you know who is near whom. The puppy should be easy to know where it is because you have it on leash, tie down or with you behind a baby gate. If the puppy is irritating any personal pet, teach the puppy "NO". If the personal pet is showing inappropriate behavior towards the puppy, then that is unacceptable also. You are top dog of the house; the other pets should follow you. They are all counting on you to be the leader and keep them safe.

First Time Inside Your House:
You are ready to bring the puppy inside. First offer the pup a drink of water and _ to 1 cup of puppy food. Then allow the pup to explore your entire house under your watchful eye and on leash. If other pets are in the household, this will give you better control of the pup if it decides to leap on another pet or a person. Keep a close eye out for any squatting or circling. After about 10-15 minutes of house exploration take the puppy back outside for a few minutes for another opportunity to relieve. If it squats or circles while touring the house, youÂ’ll be right there to say a gentle but firm "NO". Pick the puppy up immediately and it will stop the relief process. Carry it outside and give another relief opportunity under the relief command "BUSY, DO YOUR BUSINESS".

Family and Friends:
Try to keep family, friends and other animals from overwhelming the puppy. Have children sit on the floor when greeting the puppy and make sure the puppy is not mouthing or jumping on the children. It is never too early to start teaching the puppy to sit to receive attention and praise.

Children or adults can give the puppy a toy and encourage it to play. All people in contact with the puppy need to learn how to give it appropriate attention. You can advise what verbal and physical communications for them to use. ThatÂ’s easy, most of us do it naturally. Verbally, "GOOD name of the puppy" and physical praise is stroking and petting the puppy. People should not encourage the puppy to nibble on their hands or tug at their clothes or allow the puppy to jump on them. People should not laugh at inappropriate behaviors like this, no matter how cute it might seem. The laughter signals to the dog that it is OK. You should either teach the person how to correct the puppy or you should be present, aware and quick to do it yourself.

Your constant awareness of appropriate behavior goals and the puppyÂ’s current actions are critical for the puppyÂ’s success. Early intervention begins now. Not correcting or redirecting an inappropriate behavior every time will leave the puppy confused as to what is acceptable. Teach the puppy in a gentle, but firm manner. Tell it "NO" when it does an inappropriate behavior. Praise immediately when the pup stops the inappropriate behavior.

ItÂ’s a good idea to follow-up an inappropriate behavior by directing the puppy to an alternate acceptable behavior. For example: "SIT", followed by PRAISE when accomplished. Using an alternative behavior to distract the pup from repeating the inappropriate behavior can be very effective and conditions the puppy into good behavior. Just remember youÂ’re teaching and redirecting. The puppy doesnÂ’t have a clue yet. DonÂ’t be harsh, or expect the puppy to know what you want after youÂ’ve showed it once or twice or even three times. ItÂ’s necessary to be repetitive with your directions and re-directions in order for the puppy to truly learn and to remain confident with understanding.

At first, keep the puppy on a leash with you or on a tie down near you when it is awake. Plan some time to devote to communication development with the pup. See section on Communication Development. When the pup wants to nap, gently put it either in a crate or on a tie down. It needs to get used to itÂ’s private and safe place. We highly recommend a crate be used for bedtime and naps. Stay in the room for a few minutes and donÂ’t take the pup out of the crate or off the tie down if it fusses. It should soon settle down as it remembers itÂ’s tired. See crate and tie down use.

In general when a puppy arrives at your home it will need affection, verbal and physical praise, introduction to its play toy, and time to adjust to its new environment. Patience and awareness on your part are required while showing the puppy acceptable and appropriate behavior as it gets to know you and the household.

The First Night:

  1. <LI>Puppy should stay overnight in a crate. By your bed is best.
    <LI>Keep pup awake as long as possible, until about 10-11pm.
    <LI>Give the puppy an opportunity to "BUSY" outside just before bedtime.
    <LI>Best if you are ready for bed too, pup can be on a tie down with a toy while you get ready.
    <LI>Place puppy gently in crate. A toy or one biscuit can be used.
    <LI>After you shut the door on the crate itÂ’s best not to leave the room. Time for you to read or turn the light out. </LI>

  1. <LI ="a">If the puppy whines, ignore it. See if it settles down. If its volume gets louder, you may soothe it with a short verbal, "itÂ’s OK puppy", just so it remembers you are there. DO NOT take it out of the crate or open the door and physically comfort it.
    <LI ="a">The puppy may cry for a long time. IGNORE IT. Try putting a radio on low or the ticking of a loud clock sometimes helps. If you are reading, shut the light off. If the light is off, turn the light on and start reading. Be visible to the pup so it knows youÂ’re there. Give it very little verbal acknowledgment and give it no physical acknowledgment.
    <LI ="a">If the pup wakes up in the middle of the night, it may have to go outside. Go ahead at this point. You donÂ’t want the puppy relieving in the crate. Let it out of the crate and carry it outside. Give it some verbal and physical praise in greeting, but donÂ’t play with it. It should do its "busy" within several minutes. Wait and see if it needs to do both "busys", but do not wait more than three minutes. Praise it only when it relieves and then finishes. Bring it back inside, put it back into the crate and resume sleeping. You can put a toy in with the puppy. Ignore it if it whines or barks. After a few days or weeks it will be growing bigger and learning to control itÂ’s elimination desires. You will not and should not have to get up in the middle of the night after this point.
    <LI ="a">Plan to be a little tired for a few days or few weeks. It will pass. If you feel the puppy is abnormally unhappy in the crate, call your AC or GL for advice the following morning.</LI>

6,038 Posts
Hi Abby , Welcome, you came to a great site here ! We don't verbally abuse people here for any question you might have , we just give good advice ! Donna as I say is our gooroo here ...
she has allot of experience with training and showing dogs ! The only thing I will add is when you take your dog out to potty put a bell on your door and ring it every time you take her out eventually she will start ringing the bell to let you know that she needs to go potty ...and it saves your door ! Good luck with your new baby and of course we would love to see pictures !
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