When you bring your puppy home for the first time…remember to first introduce them to the front yard to see if they have to go potty after the drive. Once you bring them inside you want to try to keep the vibe in the house as calm as possible. This is not going to be the best time to invite the neighbors over to meet your new baby.
Give it a couple days. I know this is hard for a lot of people especially little kids because… they’re so proud of their new puppy and they want to show them off to all their friends (totally understandable) but it is best to just let your puppy get accustomed to their new environment and their new family first. Discuss this with your whole family before bringing puppy home. Make sure you have a nice cozy place to confine them.
Just as humans do, animals bond with and have an affinity towards their family. They prefer the safety and comfort of their family’s company and dislike separation from them. When we bring a puppy into our home, it is important to keep in mind that this baby animal has spent all of her life surrounded by the warm bodies of her mother and siblings. When we move this puppy into our home, we are actually separating her from her family, so it should be no surprise that there will be some initial anxiety and grief on the puppy’s part. Separation discomfort is a normal part of acclimating to a new home and family, and gentle patience is called for.
It is this natural instinct that still prompts puppies to whine, howl, squeal and demonstrate restlessness when they are separated from their families. For the first few days, or weeks, it is natural for a puppy to have trouble falling asleep in her new environment, because it is natural for the puppy to feel vulnerable and afraid as she adjusts to the absence of her canine brood. Day one in the new home will be the most frightful for the puppy, and the most challenging for you to lay the groundwork for your relationship with your puppy. (Source: Surviving the First Night with Your Puppy)
I recommend a crate and x-pen setup. You can put these almost anywhere in your house but it’s best to put it on hardwood or tile flooring. I like to use a large plastic tarp under our playpens even on our hardwood flooring since we don’t actually have real hardwood floors if water spills from their dish or they have an accident.. and the liquid is left for to long it will start to warp the flooring. I learned the hard way.
You can buy waterproof Poly tarps at Homedepot or on Amazon.com (6′ X 8′ Multi-Purpose Waterproof Poly Tarp) and their easy to clean and hard to destroy. You wanna get one that is not too big and not too small You should have at least an inch all the way around that is outside of the pen to avoid the tarp slipping, leaking or opportunities for the puppy to pull up the sides while playing.
You can find where to find all the stuff needed to make your own puppy playpen in your house on my Recommended Puppy Supplies Page.
You will need a crate that the puppy can stand up and turn around in but no bigger. Buying a crate with room to grow isn’t a good idea because puppy will create a bathroom area in one part of the crate and sleep in the other so only give them enough room to sleep in.
Dogs and puppies are naturally clean animals and do not like to soil in their den or where they sleep, don’t give them the option, the crate should be big enough for them to lay down comfortably. They do not need fluffy pillows and dog beds yet.
You should avoid putting absorbent material in the crate until you’re confident they won’t soil it. A puppies favorite place to relieve themselves is on soft things.. like carpets, pillows, dog beds, towels, clothes, paper.. etc. Do not allow them that opportunity. Yet.
Once your puppy is potty trained you can spoil them with cute dog beds and blankets… but until that day believe me when I say you will truly regret it when your puppy chews up and pees on that expensive new doggy bed.
Before settling in for the night, I recommend tiring the puppy out and making sure that any bathroom needs are taken care of. I strongly suggest you keep the puppy’s resting place near your bed for the first few nights to help her feel less lonely.
If you plan to use a kennel or crate, wait until the puppy is in a calm submissive and relaxed state before closing her in.
It is important that she not feel trapped and that she not associate anything negative with her sleeping arrangements.
ALSO READ: Surviving the First Night with Your Puppy
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