In a couple of days our new furry family member will be with us and we (well, I guess it’s just me) couldn’t be more excited. But of course, there’s still a lot to do before the puppy’s arrival.
As we’re already experienced with puppies, I have the advantage of learning from my mistakes (and there were a lot 😃). With Douggie I really fell for those dachshund eyes and was sometimes really too soft with him, which is maybe why he’s such a spoiled dog now 😃. Nevertheless, I’m determined to do much better with our new puppy.
I’ve found this checklist very helpful, especially when you have zero experience with dogs/puppies and nobody to help you with it.
Maybe some people who already have a dog might know this: when you get a second dog you might already have everything you need more than once. I have probably six bowls, four to five leaches, several collars and four dog beds. Still, some things I just wanted to have new. So ask me in a year, I will have ten of everything (and be in the need of a much bigger apartment 🙄). But I think if you’re not a crazy person two of everything will just be enough.
As you search through the internet there are very similar check lists (like the one above) so I don’t want to give yet another one but rather tell you my experience with Douggie and maybe even some better advice.
#1: bringing the puppy home I think mostly new dogs are brought home by car. With Douggie it was easy because he wasn’t born very far from home and he was so tiny that I just held him in my arms. He didn’t mind at all so that was very easy. But fortunately we are really lucky with Douggie and not every dog is so fond of driving in the car but I’ve found it – for the very first time – rather good to hold him and make him feel safe. Alternatively, you can put him in a dog seat and sit next to him (while somebody else is driving). Feeling the presence of somebody can be a real good stress reliever.
#2: home sweet home When your puppy is in his new home you should give him some time to get to know everything. But remember to keep an eye on him (pee wise). When Douggie first came to our house (I was still living with my parents then) he ran around and looked at everything and then pooped just in front of my sister who was having breakfast. 😃 Just keep in mind there’s a little dog who’s just left his first home and his surroundings and is put up with all those new things. He might need a couple of days to get used to everything. Give him some time! You should also show him right away where he is allowed to go and where not.
#3: hungry pups Puppies (like babies) do only four things: sleep, eat, poop, and play. That’s pretty much it for the first couple of months. So it’s important to have somewhat of a routine when to give food, how much etc. You should get informed before on how much your puppy (also depending on the size) should be eating every day. (You don’t want a fat puppy, believe me, even though they’re cute!) Another tip: treats are the most important thing for learning so you should ONLY give him treats when he’s actually doing something and not just snacking or because his big brown eyes keep staring at you. (I have a dachshund, I know what I’m talking about 😆)
#4: 20 hours of sleep Puppies need a closed place to sleep. It’s simply because the minute they wake up they will want to pee and if they are able to walk around the place they will just pee in the living room and go back to sleep. But if they are put in a crate (or something like this), they will make themselves heard because (usually) they would never pee in their own bedding. Unfortunately, if you have a puppy like Douggie, he’s going to cry a lot during the night because he wants to be close to you. Let me tell you again and again: you are going to need a lot of patience!
#5: playtime Whenever the puppy is up and you’ve taken him outside (because he will need to pee after waking up!), it’s time to play. Some guides tell you to buy many toys so he can chose from them, but I’ve found this tip very unhelpful. You might buy tons of toys and all he wants is your slipper or your sock (which you should say ‘no’ to from the very beginning). Or he plays with everything and your apartment is covered in toys. Rather chose a few different ones and see which ones he likes and go from there. It prevents you from having a box full of untouched toys without a use. You should as well let him stick to his toys and don’t allow him to play with something else. He needs to know his boundaries from the beginning! (And you don’t want to wake up to chewed up sneakers!)
Puppies are exciting, but they’re also a lot of work. I remember times I actually cried because Douggie was stressing me out so much :D. The key is patience! It’s the number 1 rule with everything. No dog will be potty trained after one day, and no dog will obey right away. Just have patience with your little friend. In time everything gets easier and as they grow up they will become the best companions.