Finally the big day arrived and my two over-excited young boys and I went to collect Holly from her breeder. Having not had a dog in the house for over a month I could not wait to bring her home. It had been such a long time since I had had a puppy, a refresher course was definitely in order!
I previously covered the top ten things to know in the first fortnight with your puppy, so let’s look at what you’ll need to prepare before the bundle of fluff comes barrelling into your home – and what you’ll need to remember after they arrive.
What you’ll need to prepare before your new pup arrives
Once my sons and I had chosen Holly, the shopping fun began – so what did I need to get?
Firstly, and most importantly, I wanted to confine Holly to our kitchen until she was house trained, as the floor is easily cleaned! However I did not want to have to close the door on her, so I installed a Savic Pet Gate which was really easy to do and works from pressure fittings as opposed to having to drill holes.
The next area to look at was where was she going to sleep and in what. I have always said that when I got my next pup I would go down the crate training route. When I first heard about this it sounded cruel – like I was putting my dog in a cage – however an industry respected trainer completely changed my view on this when she likened the crate to being a bedroom for your pup.
With this in mind, I decided to use a crate with a divider. This divider created a space just big enough for her bed which she could sleep in at night ensuring there was no free space. The idea behind this is that a dog should never wee on their own bed so they will wait until the morning (hopefully!).
On our last visit to see Holly I left the breeder with a fleecy blanket. This was rubbed all over Holly’s mum and she slept on it for a couple of nights before we collected her. This blanket then went in Holly’s crate so that there was a familiar smell for her.
I chose a bed for Holly that was not too high sided, but most importantly was machine washable. It is never worth spending too much money on your pup’s very first bed (and I may be doing myself out of business by saying it) but there is a good chance that it may get chewed and completely trashed.
What else to buy?
- A plethora of soft toys and chews
- Puppy pads
- Stain remover
- Food and water bowls
When we went to collect Holly, we had a large sturdy cardboard box (we used one of the low-sided vegetable boxes) with a puppy pad in the bottom of it and a soft blanket. Holly sat on my son’s lap on the way home, so she got lots of attention to take her mind off being separated from her siblings. It’s not generally advisable to have a puppy loose in your car, but in this instance it was important Holly for Holly to feel secure.
The new puppy is here!
As soon as we got home we established a routine with Holly. First we took her for a little tour around the house, showing her (almost as if she were a human) where everything was.
We got to work on house training Holly straight away, as puppy routine is critical at this stage. We also introduced her to the dog door so she could teach herself to go in and out, although she was still a little small for this!
As I was going to be crate training Holly, we wanted to get her to understand that the crate was her bedroom. In order to do this, I started by having her bed out of the crate until she settled in it naturally and then when it came to bedtime I moved the bed into her crate and she naturally went to sleep in there.
At night I left a light on in the kitchen so she would not be scared and then put her in her crate. Thanks to the divider, I am pleased to say that we have never had an accident at night; the theory of crate training has worked superbly. In fact, house-training as a whole was 100 times easier than the last time we did it; we have only had a handful of accidents inside (phew!). I’ll be covering this in more detail in my next post.
One of the most difficult parts about the first night in the crate was Holly whining – this went on for about five minutes and then she fell asleep – I didn’t hear another peep from her until I went and woke her up in the morning. As soon as I did this I literally scooped her up and took her straight outside to do a wee – she soon got the hang of it!
What did you do when your new pup came home?