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Bring your new Pup home - and start training

First off, Congratulations on adopting your new pup!  And homeward bound you go with your new family member in tow.  

You already have your pet supplies at home, dog food (*starting out it's a good idea to feed the pup what the shelter/rescue fed him) , dog bedding, dog toys, pet crate, and now your pup.  Excitement is at an all time high!  The pup is wiggling, wants to run around the house like a maniac, sniffing, running, tail wagging......STOP!

It's a good idea to stop for a potty break before entering the house?  You may want to show the new pup exactly where the deed is expected to be performed and then enter the house.  Or since you have already thought this out and purchased pup pee-pads, you take the pup directly to the pee-pad that is all set out and ready.  Lots'a praise if the deed is done.

Upon entering the house, your pup will probably explore with the energy of speeding bullet.  Some people let the pup have the run, and enjoy the fun and then clean up a mess when the pup pee's on their bed.

A more practical approach, which encompasses teaching the pup your house rules, creating a gentle and calm environment,  is to leash the pup and walk him/her around the house, the outside, the garage, give a basic tour of your home.  Once inside, section off a part of the house for the pups initial arrival and next few days.  Here is where the pup will get used to it's new home and family members.  Here is where the food and water dish is, the pet crate, or dog bed, and a couple of toys.  Remember dogs like order, so the dog food, water, crate, dog bed, should always be in the same place.  

Pups like kids, absorb what you feel.  So as excited as you are, the pup is probably feeling just as excited.  Would suggest you try to keep the emotional excitement as calm as your household can be to ensure the pup stays calm.

Pups and dogs usually like having a space to call their own. This is where the pet crate and dog bed come into play.  The pet crate, which is sized to be just big enough for the dog to stand up, turn around and lie down is a wonderful asset to help the pup feel safe, at home, and in actuality helps keep your house and the pup safe when not with you.  If you tire the pup out before putting him inside, most will settle right down for a good nights sleep.  Now a good night sleep may last all night - ha, or a few hours. And your successful crate training has begun.

At night time when the pup fusses, the suggestion is to do an immediate potty break.  Hopefully, you get a decent nights sleep, but be prepared for the pup to wake up at least once.

The next morning with everyone being all rested and ready for the day your pup will be excited to see you and probably try to lick your face upon exiting the crate and then run around.  This is another time to take the pup immediately outside to eliminate.  And then when you come back into the house do all the smushy stuff. 

Time for breakfast, water, and although this can get tiring, think about taking the pup outside every half hour to begin and solidify house training.  The pup will probably not eliminate every half hour, but it gives you a sense of how long after meals he/she needs before eliminating.  And of course praise each and every time.

Now your very first full day together.  What to do?  If your pup has ALL it's shots including the rabies, well go for a walk.  Vet don't usually give the rabies shot until the pup is 14 weeks, so if your pup is younger, most suggest you keep it inside to prevent catching parvo. 

Staying inside can be a real drag but parvo is not fun, in fact it can be deadly.  Some people form puppy groups with other newly acquired pups to ensure socialization, which is important before 14 weeks, but be sure everyone is on the same page about puppy shots and staying in the house.  After all the shots, usually a series of 3 and the rabies at 14 weeks, its okay to hit the local dog park.    HAVE A BLAST

*A note about dog food. Its a good idea to feed the pup the same pet food the shelter or rescue feed it. Sometimes a pup or even a dog has a hard time with pet food changes. If you want to feed the pup something different most Vets suggest to introduce it slowly. For example, mix half new pet food into old pet food and then every few days cut back the old pet food replacing it with your new pet food.

**A note about 'potty breaks'. Most people find it useful to have a 'word' for elimination that the pup associates to the expectation. And always remember to praise the deed.....forever. Dogs need constant repetition.  Pet House Training begins the minute you come home.

***A note about letting your pup/dog sleep on your bed. Your bed smells more like you than anything else in your home, and dogs can look at a bed as the vehicle that helps them take possession of or get closer to one of the humans in the household. Beds are also elevated, and this extra height can give a dog a feeling of power or stature. If you have a dog who tends to be overly confident or dominant, sleeping on the bed can only make matters worse. Get to know your new dog before letting him/her earn the privilege of sleeping on your bed. 

Have you read Becoming the Alpha yet?  It may give you some insights.

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