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What to Expect When You're Expecting a New Puppy

April 11, 2024

Congratulations! You've found the puppy that has captured your heart, and you can't wait to welcome them into the family. But with all the excitement of bringing your new puppy home, it can also feel overwhelming. The entire process can be a whirlwind, especially in the early weeks of getting to know each other. Here are some tips to help you feel better prepared to bring your puppy home:

Patience is key.
Bringing home a new puppy is a big adjustment. Remember, they've just left their mother, siblings, and the only other humans they've ever known, so it's best to take it slow with this transition. Every dog is different, so keep going even if the first few days aren't what you expected. They depend on you to guide them through this transition period and establish comfort/confidence in their new life with you. There are three transition stages you should prepare for when bringing home a new puppy:

  • Initial transition: This transition should last up to the first few days for your dog. This time period can be pretty stressful for them as they're getting introduced to their new life. It's best on the first day to introduce them to their surroundings one room at a time. Let them explore their new territory and get familiar with their home. Introduce your family members (and other pets if you have them) one at a time to ensure your puppy doesn't get stressed. Be patient as you introduce routines and allow them time to learn what is expected of them. As they get to know you and their routine, they'll start to feel more comfortable.
  • Middle transition: This transition should start within three to four weeks of arriving at your home. At this point, most dogs are comfortable with the routine and are starting to show their normal behavior and spunky personalities. You'll begin seeing excellent progress in their routine training, but remember consistency is key. They still need to remain on that strict schedule, so they don't regress in certain behaviors. Remember, you're doing a great job!
  • End of transition: You made it! Depending on their breed, you'll start seeing your dog completely acclimate to their new life and routine within a few months of bringing them home.

Just remember, your new puppy will be learning so much in the first few months after bringing them home, so accidents will happen. It is crucial to be clear and consistent with boundaries, keep to a routine, and use positive reinforcement training to prevent long-term training or behavior issues.

Routines will be your best friend.
Most puppies are eager to learn and thrive under consistent routines. This helps them understand where their space is, when to eat, and (most importantly) when/where the appropriate place to do their business is. Establishing rules early to set up a consistent structure that will help them thrive in their training. They'll adapt to their surroundings faster, pick up on proper behaviors more easily, and bond with you better.

There are four critical factors to structuring a balanced routine for your pup, including:

  • Mealtimes: Young puppies eat about three times a day. Put your puppy on a regular feeding schedule and stick to it. What goes in on a regular schedule will come out on a regular schedule (making potty training much easier for you).
  • Potty time: Every time your puppy eats, drinks, wakes up, plays, or even sniffs around the room, give them a potty break. Take them to their designated potty area and reward them immediately when they "go."
  • Playtime: Playing with your puppy provides them with two important things they need – exercise and interaction with you. Playing with toys, engaging in mental stimulation with puzzles, and running in the yard are great ways to achieve both.
  • Sleepy time: Say it with us: a sleepy puppy is a happy puppy. It's estimated that puppies will sleep 16 – 18 hours a day. Plan on many, many naps. Create an area in a quiet part of your house for sleep and set a bedtime for your puppy to help them get used to their space and routine.

Consider professional training.
There are so many benefits to properly training your dog. It builds their confidence and trust, provides mental stimulation, and strengthens the bonds between you and your dog. Training is a core foundation of responsible pet ownership that will help you and your dog live a full and happy life together. But let's be honest, proper training can be overwhelming. It takes time, dedication, and consistency. So, is a professional trainer the right choice? Getting help from an outside source can provide a lifetime of benefits for both you and your dog. Here's a list of perks you can get from professional training.

    Benefits of group training

  • Great socialization. When you enroll in a group training class, your puppy will be exposed to other dogs more. They'll get an opportunity to properly interact with other dogs and learn how to listen to you when meeting new friends.
  • Teaches them how to deal with distractions. Group classes challenge your dog must learn around other dogs. Learning new skills while dealing with distractions will teach your dog to tune out all the noise and focus on you.
  • Develops new skills. Group classes are set up to cover a particular number of topics & skills that your dog can learn and practice over the duration of the class.
  • Affordable choice. In general, group classes are more accessible because of their pricing. One trainer can teach an entire group of dogs (and their owners, like you), which allows the cost to be spread out among all the participants.

    Benefits of private training

  • Custom learning. A huge benefit of private training is the 100% attention your puppy will receive from their trainer. Every puppy is different and learns at their own pace. This training method allows you to reach specific goals with a personalized training plan.
  • Train from home. This gives your puppy a chance to learn in their space and environment, which makes it easier for you and your puppy to practice new behaviors more efficiently.
  • Minimal distractions. It can be difficult for your puppy to focus when other people and dogs are around. Some have a difficult time concentrating with so much going on around them. Private lessons only involve distractions intentionally to teach comprehension skills.
  • Homework and support. Your little pup may grasp certain lessons more easily than others. Private training allows you to spend an appropriate amount of time on each skill, and your trainer can provide you with helpful materials that can help you in areas that require the most attention.
  • Where should you go?

    Selecting the right trainer for your pup is very important. It’s best to start by asking around for recommendations. You may ask your breeder who they would recommend training your puppy. Check out Instagram from local options right in your area. You can also ask neighbors, friends, and family. If you choose to train your pup on your own, we recommend getting tips and information from Baxter & Bella. They offer great strategies and programs that will allow you to properly train your fur baby right from your own home.

Prepare for success with supplies

To ensure an easier transition to your home, it's essential to have your supplies ready beforehand. Puppies are known to be busy for a reason. Not only are they growing physically, but also mentally. You'll work together to establish proper routines, behaviors, and cuddles. You can expect to go through many supplies like blankets, toys, and even beds. We recommend stocking up on cheaper items in the beginning and investing in nicer products when your fur baby has made significant progress in their training.

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