Puppy Survival Guide

New puppies are cute and fun but can also be a lot of hard work if you aren’t prepared. Use this survival guide to help get you and your puppy through those first weeks or months when you are both learning about each other.

Stuff to buy

You will need the following items for your puppy: ID tag, collar, lead, food and water bowl, puppy food, treats for training, mat, bed, crate – buy one big enough for the adult of your chosen breed, toys (plush, squeaky, rope, balls, treat stuffing toys such as treats balls and Kongs), long lasting chews, baby gates, DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) and canine calming music eg Through a dog’s ear.

Survival hints and tips

  • Feed your puppy all meals in their crate so that pup is happy to spend time in there. Ask for a sit before letting puppy back out and never open the door if puppy is crying – wait for pup to be quiet and then open the door. Crates are for quiet time and must always be nice places to go.
  • Book into puppy preschool straight away – you’ll both learn a lot and make new friends. 
  • Train your puppy at every opportunity, every day for just a few minutes at a time. Train your puppy to sit, drop, stand, come, give, leave it and wait. Reward all the behaviours you want and ignore the ones you don’t want.
  • Have treats in your pockets at all times so that they are ready and handy when you see something you want to reward or you need to distract/ redirect your pup from something undesirable – like chewing your furniture – to something you want – like ‘sit’.
  • Make toilet training a breeze by keeping your pup under constant supervision when indoors. Young puppies need to go to the toilet within 30 seconds of waking – so race your pup outdoors every time they wake and give them a cue to go to the toilet – pick something you can use in public ☺ and don’t forget to reward them. 
  • Clean up any toileting accidents using an enzymatic cleaner to remove all odours. Ignore toileting accidents and remember to be faster to get pup outdoors next time.
  • Use baby gates in your home to block off rooms and make puppy supervision a breeze. 
  • Help your puppy to calm down and sleep using canine calming music and DAP. Create a relaxing association with the music so everyone can get some rest. Puppy proof your home, remove all items that puppy can take or chew and replace with things your puppy is allowed to play with or chew. Give pup toys, long lasting chews, cardboard boxes, plastic tubs, pinecones, Kongs – the list is endless but do supervise your pup to ensure non food items aren’t swallowed.
  • Dogs are social animals so having pup sleep indoors at night – preferably close to you eg a bed on the floor or in a crate in your room – will help pup to settle better. Indoor dogs have so many more training and socialisation opportunities than outdoor dogs simply because they get to spend more time with you.
  • Have puppy parties at your home. Until pup’s vaccinations offer protection, invite people over often – your pup needs to meet up to 100 people (men, women and children) by 12 weeks of age. Make socialisation with people high on your list. 
  • Read some good dog training books that use positive training methods.


Puppy Survival Guide

September 24, 2015