Bringing Home a New Puppy

Download “Before you get your Puppy” and “After you get your Puppy” for FREE from

Your puppy will grow up very quickly. Know how to train him right and he will become a good natured and well-mannered adult dog.

Before you get a new puppy, make sure you know exactly what kind of puppy to look for and how to raise and train him. If you are still searching for a puppy, please read BEFORE You Get Your Puppy, which is available for free download from,, and And if you haven't done so already, purchase a dog crate, six Kong chew toys, and some freeze-dried liver treats before your puppy comes home.

Deciding Which Type of Puppy
The breed, type, size, activity level, hair, color, hair length, and sex of your prospective puppy are personal choices and best left entirely up to you and your family.

Once you have all agreed on a choice, go to your local humane society or dog training school to look for and “test-drive” at least six adult dogs of the type that you have selected. Test driving adult dogs will teach you more about what to expect from a puppy than any book or video. Also, the experience of test-driving will ensure you know how to teach and control adult dogs before you get your puppy. Really, the process of choosing a dog is not much different from choosing a car. First, you need to learn to drive, and second, you want to choose a car that looks and feels right to you. You will probably have read lots of well-meaning advice from pet professionals that advise you, for example, not to get certain breeds if you have children, not to get large dogs if you live in an apartment, and not to get active dogs in the city. In reality, all breeds and types of dog can be wonderful or problematic with children. It very much depends on whether or not the puppy was trained how to act around children and the children were taught how to act around the puppy. Because of their lower activity levels, large dogs adapt more quickly to apartment living than little dogs. Big dogs just take up more space. And active dogs can live in cities just as active people live in cities. In fact, city dogs tend to be walked and exercised more than suburban dogs. In the long run, it will be you who will be living with your puppy and teaching him to adjust to your lifestyle and living arrangement.

Selecting Your Individual Puppy
In terms of behavioral development, by eight weeks of age your prospective puppy can be on the road to being housetrained, chew toy-trained, outgoing, friendly, and sociable, and at the very least, know how to come, sit, lie down, and roll over. Any signs of fearfulness are absolutely abnormal in an eight week- old pup.

Check for yourself how easy (or difficult) it is to hug and handle (restrain and examine) your prospective puppy. Also check how quickly (or slowly) the puppy learns to come, sit, lie down, and roll over for each family member.

Raising and Training Your Puppy
The first week your puppy comes home is the most important week of her life. From the very first day, start an errorless housetraining and chew toy-training program so that you prevent any future house soiling, destructive chewing, excessive barking, or separation anxiety problems.

When you are not at home, leave your puppy in a long-term confinement area (puppy playroom), which has a comfortable bed, fresh water, several chew toys stuffed with food, and a temporary indoor toilet. Long-term confinement prevents mistakes around the house and maximizes the likelihood your puppy will learn to chew toys and use her toilet. When you are at home but cannot pay full attention to your puppy, confine her to a small, short term confinement area (doggy den or dog crate) with a couple of stuffed chew toys. Confining your puppy to a den prevents any mistakes around the house, maximizes the likelihood your puppy will learn to chew toys, and allows you to predict when your puppy would like to relieve herself. Knowing when your puppy wants to go makes housetraining easy because now you can show her where to go and reward her for going in the right spot. Confining a pup to a den temporarily inhibits elimination, so that every hour, you can take her to an appropriate toilet area.

When she promptly pees (and sometimes poops), give her three liver treats as a reward.

Confinement is a temporary management and training measure. Once your puppy has learned household manners, he may enjoy full run of your house for the rest of his life.

If you already have a new puppy, read AFTER You Get Your Puppy available for free download at and Doctor Dunbar's Good Little Dog Book, and watch the award-winning Sirius Puppy Training video, all available from your local book store.

If you’re struggling with your pet's behavior, learn how to solve problems with humane and effective techniques. We here at Providence Animal Center are here to help, so never hesitate to call or email us!

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