Dog Training – Bringing Your Puppy Home

July 4, 2012 by  
Filed under House Training A Puppy

house training a puppy
by robswatski

Removing a puppy from its mother and litter mates is one of the most stressful situations that the puppy will endure during its lifetime. The canine is a pack animal that has evolved from its ancestor the wolf. The wolf is a social animal that co exists within a pack environment. Being suddenly removed from this environment which is all the puppy has ever known can be extremely stressful for the animal.

The best time to remove the puppy from its litter mates and mother is between 6 – 8 weeks. This age is ideal because it allows for the puppy to have had adequate socialisation with its litter mates and humans. If a pup is removed from the litter at less than six weeks of age he may show attachment to people and unsociable behaviour towards other dogs when he is older.┬áIt is this first 6 – 8 weeks spent in the litter that are crucial for social development, which is why it is important to wait until then before picking your puppy up.

When you travel home with a young dog, it will generally be the first time that the puppy has been in a motor vehicle.

Therefore be prepared for the puppy to be car sick, which often occurs. Have some old towels or similar in the vehicle with you. When you arrive home with the puppy allow him adequate time to toilet and investigate his new territory before taking him inside.

I recommend that you have an area ready where the puppy can be contained. There are many containment pens on the market for young dogs. It is best to contain the puppy in the place where you will be spending the most time. This would normally be the lounge or living room.

Remember you are dealing with a social animal that has just been removed from its pack.

Your puppy’s world has just been turned upside down. He will be confused and frightened; therefore he needs to be in the company of his new pack members (you and your family) during this time.

Ensure that the puppy always has water available and that he has at least one chewable toy in his pen that he can play with. It is also ideal to have a mat or rug for the puppy to sleep on. The puppy will get used to sleeping on this and will gain comfort from it where ever he sleeps.

There are other benefits to having your puppy contained. Remember he has not yet been toilet trained, so this will prevent him from running around the house at will and toileting inside. Whenever the puppy wakes up ensure that you immediately take him outside to toilet as young dogs generally toilet after waking.

The first night that the puppy spends away from his mother and litter mates should not be spent alone. Coming from the company of his litter mates to being completely alone all in one day is too much of an adjustment to expect for a young pack animal. I recommend that the puppy sleeps in your room for the first night. Utilise his mat or blanket and contain him in a suitable area on the floor near you.

Place some newspaper on the floor for the puppy to toilet on. If he protests and whines, which he is likely to do, don’t go to him as this will encourage the behaviour. Instead, just say a couple of quiet words to him in an assuring tone so that he realises that he is not alone.

After the first night I recommend that the puppy sleeps in the kennel or area that you intend for him to sleep in. Again, utilise his mat or rug. Concentrate on getting the puppy into a routine as quickly as possible over the next two to three days. This will help him to adjust to his new pack and environment a lot quicker.

If you follow these simple tips you will find your puppy quickly adjusts to his new environment, and becomes part of your pack.

Nick Wilson is an author, a former Police Dog Handler, and the owner of K9Koncepts, based in New Plymouth, New Zealand. He focuses on teaching owners how to train their dogs with a simple and forthright approach. He also specialises in teaching owners how to overcome issues with problem dogs, and helps them understand the importance of the Canine Dominance hierarchy in dog training. His recently authored e-book “Train Your K9″ is available from

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