Bringing Your New Puppy Home
Brought to you by the AKC GoodDog! Helpline – the AKC’s 7-day-a-week training support service
By Hilarie Erb, AKC GoodDog! Helpline Trainer
Since you have put a lot of work into finding the right puppy, it makes sense that there is also a lot involved in bringing him home when the day finally comes. If you have children, you know about the planning that went into preparing your car and home for their arrival. The same needs to be done for a new puppy – not only for his well-being but for yours too.
The day to pick up your puppy is finally here. Being equipped with a few essentials will make the ride home easier for both puppy and humans:
- Towel for crate
- Extra towels
- Bottled water
- Water dish
- Collar & Lead (to fit the size of the puppy)
- Dog waste bags
- Paper towels
- Trash bag
- Chew toy (to keep the puppy busy)
This may well be the puppy’s first car ride, and motion sickness is possible. This is normal for puppies. Although you may be tempted to hold your new puppy in your lap, we recommend using a crate. The puppy will be safer and if he gets sick, the car (and you) won’t be a mess.
Since you brought extra towels and a trash bag, changing the bedding in the crate will be a snap. You can position the crate so that the puppy can see you, or even sit in the back seat near it to comfort him. If the trip requires an overnight stay along the way, you’ll need the crate in the hotel room.
If it’s a long ride home, you’ll need to stop for potty breaks. The puppy likely doesn’t know how to walk on a leash, but for safety, he should have one on. You’ll need to be very patient and take him to a good place to potty. Keep everything positive; your puppy is going through a big change and he needs you to help him feel safe. To train him to walk on a leash once home, read How to Teach a Puppy to Walk on a Leash.
When you get home with your new friend, give him a chance to potty and stretch his legs, then show him around a little. The crate you brought him home in should be brought in because it’s already a little familiar to him. Don’t overwhelm the puppy. Puppies need lots of rest and too much handling by strange new people is frightening.
No matter how carefully you have puppy-proofed your home, you may be surprised how easy it is for him to find trouble. The safest thing, for your puppy and your possessions, is to set up a pen and/or use a crate any time he is not directly supervised. These are also good places for him to rest and nap when he needs quiet time.
Congratulations! You are on your way to a long, wonderful relationship with your new friend!
For more tips on puppy proofing, introductions to established pets, and socialization, read How to Introduce Your Puppy to His New Home.
Join the AKC GoodDog! Helpline TODAY at the discount price of $59.99 – $40 off the regular fee. This provides lifetime training support for your dog. No renewals necessary.
For more tips and advice on training your dog, join the AKC GoodDog! Helpline, a seven-day-a-week telephone support service staffed by experienced dog trainers: www.akcgooddoghelpline.org.