New from The Contented Hound, regular blog posts on all things dogs, puppies, dog training and anything that helps owners and dogs love life together! I hope you enjoy - I'd love to hear your thoughts, so please do get in touch if there is anything you'd like me to cover
Bringing a new puppy home
Firstly, congratulations; bringing a new puppy into your family is a hugely exciting time! Before we get to some advice, some facts about puppies that you may not know.
Dogs have an amazing sense of smell, in fact did you know, a 2-year-old dog can recognise their mother’s scent.
Puppies have 28 puppy teeth and in teething, 42 new adult teeth have to come through. Ouch… that explains the chewing! Teething can last up until they are 12 months of age.
This is a key time for puppies as their natural curiosity can become fearfulness. It is also when lifelong attachments both specific and general are made, so now is the time to get them comfortable with things like, cats or children.
What does this mean for you as an owner?
Work with their strong sense of smell, ask the breeder for a blanket or old toy that smells of their mum and litter to help them settle in and the transition less dramatic.
Don’t rush that first day, allow them to ‘mooch’ around and explore their new surroundings on their terms. Let them greet new people in their own way, especially children, rather than the human rush towards them. You can never give enough treats at this time!
Make their crate or bed a safe space for them, put food treats on it, put toys in there, make them associate only good things with it. Never use it as a form of punishment.
Find new avenues for their teething, instead of your hand or furniture, and think of it as pain relief for them. You can fill kongs with food and freeze them to ease the discomfort.
Help them build up their ‘reserve bank’ of resilience to experiences by exposing them to as many different things as possible. Make sure any first experience is a positive one.
Look at taking them to puppy training classes that help them have positive experiences with other dogs, whilst also teaching them the basic skills for life that they'll need to help you both love life together.
But importantly, enjoy them! Owning a puppy is hard work but hugely rewarding.
If you'd like to know more, we offer lots of support and training for new puppies, both young and old! Please do get in touch.