Your puppy at home

The transition period from mother and kennel to a new home is probably the most dramatic change your dog will ever go through. The puppy will be counting on you to provide security, love and affection.

A puppy crate or big open cardboard box with an old blanket is ideal to take him home in. The ideal time to bring a puppy home is when he is about 8 to 10 weeks of age. This is the period when a puppy learns the most.

His first day in a new place will be most exciting for him. He will experience new smells, a car ride, new people and strange places. Collect your puppy early in the day so he has time to ‘suss out’ his new home before going to bed on his own.

Keep yourself and your children calm and quiet. Don’t let him get over-excited or over-tired and allow the puppy to look around at his own pace. Show the puppy his water bowl and his bed and have newspaper in the spot where you want him to relieve himself.

Have you considered the needs of your other pets? Do not change the habits or routine of an existing pet when you bring a new puppy home. They might feel a bit jealous, especially as the new puppy will need constant attention and, of course, three or four meals each day.

Give them time to acquaint themselves. The first meeting is best done outside rather than inside the house, as there is more space for both to feel comfortable or to escape if the going gets tough. Supervise the introduction and only let them play for short periods at a time. You don’t want either of them to get over-excited or hurt. You can gradually increase the time they spend playing together until they settle down, but you must always be near to supervise them.