- 5 Steps To Success With Your New Puppy
1. Supplies, supplies, supplies.
If this is your first time with a dog, you're going to need to stock up on the essentials. Chewy.com has created a handy list of all the things your dog will need, and a few things that are just fun!
2. Contact a local trainer.
It's important to set your new family member up for success, and consistency and training is a big contributor. KinderCanine and Supervised Puppy Playtime will get you started off on the right foot with both training and socialization. Note: It's important to socialize your puppy properly during their critical socialization period, from 8-12 weeks. Check out the AVSAB position paper on puppy socialization for recommendations by Veterinary Behaviorists.
3. Shop around for doggy daycare.
Exercise and socialization are critical to a dog's health and happiness. A great way to ensure your pup is getting both is by sending them to doggy daycare. Believe it or not, doggy daycares can be a hot commodity and have long waitlists. Shop around, and if you find one you like, get on the waitlist. Many daycares will also offer overnight care or boarding at their facilities. It's good to think through where your dog will stay when you go out of town, and consistency is helpful to easing a dog's comfort when you are apart. If your dog isn't a fan of other animals, that's OK! We can help set you up with a dog walker or pet sitter. We can even train your puppy for you if you don't have time with our In-Home Day Training Program, Stay & Train Program, or Board & Train Program.
4. Make some decisions.
As a new dog owner, there will inevitably be some decisions you'll need to make on the fly. But there are a few you can think through ahead of time so that you and your family are all on the same page and can approach with consistency. For example, do you want to allow the dog on furniture (couch, bed, etc.) – and if not, how do you plan to enforce this? Will the dog sleep in the bed with you, in their own bed, or in their crate? Where will the crate go?
5. Have fun!
It may seem like a lot at first, but you are doing great and are on your way to helping your new pup live his / her best life. Laugh, play, and enjoy your time together. Don't expect perfection – like humans, all dogs are different, and it will take a little bit of time to get to know each other's personalities. Most importantly, take this time to build the relationship between you and your new puppy by playing games, cuddling together, and training.
Happy Paw-lidays from The Cooperative Canine family