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A Keeshond-Sibirian Husky puppy

Image via Wikipedia

Living with a new puppy is wonderful, challenging, terrific, frustrating, and requires a lot of time.

Puppies need very frequent potty breaks.  You should plan on taking your new puppy to potty:

  • 15-30 minutes after he eats
  • When they first wake up
  • Right before bedtime
  • Every 3-4 hours, even during the night

Besides potty outings, your puppy will take time to get used to his new home.  Usually it takes around three weeks for the puppy to be fully acclimated.  During this time your dog may be skittish, fearful, and seem as if they don’t fully trust you.

Puppies are ready to begin training outside of the home as soon as your vet gives you the OK.  This will usually happen after they have completed their full set of puppy vaccinations.  Most training schools allow dogs around 4-5 months to take part in dog training classes, however you can begin training your puppy as soon as you want.  I strongly recommend teaching your puppy the look command as soon as they have calmed down from being in their new home.

Call the school you want to take your puppy to and talk with the trainer.  I always recommend puppies go to an obedience class that has socialization included in the class.  This will help you to get your puppy used to other dogs and learn how to play with them.

Note:  puppies look like they are playing rough when they are not.  Trust your trainer to watch playtime and break up any overly rough play.

Don’t worry about big dogs playing with small dogs.  It’s fine.  Puppies do fine with each other regardless of size.  I have seen a great dane play with a chihuahua and the chihuahua had the great dane on his back and was climbing all over him.

Even if your new dog is an adult, they will still need a period of adjustment.  Dogs that were perfectly potty trained and crate trained may backslide and need some retraining during this time.  The same goes for obedience training.

Make sure that you put some money aside in case of dog emergencies.  They can get into trouble on occasion or get sick and you want to make sure that you will be able to afford taking your dog to the vet when you need to.  I made this mistake before I knew any better and had a few very tight months because of it.  I don’t want you to live on ramen and mac and cheese like I did because you didn’t plan.

You also need to allow lots of time for play and petting.  Puppies are energetic.  They need a lot of attention. Plan on at least one long walk per day with your puppy.  A leash and collar with your dog’s identifying information are a must.  Here is a shopping list for a new dog or puppy that might help you get ready for puppy coming home.

You will also need to puppy proof your home.  I will do another post to help you with this.