The pups are leaving all that is familiar to them and, while most make the transition easily, it’s a big change for the new pup, so preparation for the new arrival helps ensure things go smoothly and comfortably for everyone.
Before the pup arrives, decide where she will sleep at night. I like pups to sleep in the bedroom. Often pups are used to a crate so, if that is the case for your new arrival, that is a good place for your pup to sleep at night.
Prepare a safe, contained area for the pup to stay when not being actively supervised. Exercise pens (commonly known as an “x-pen”) are available at pet stores, and I find the ideal amount of space is two of these put together. Portable play areas designed for children make great puppy pens too. Within the pen, I have a crate and /or a bed, a litter tray or pad (it’s a great idea to find out what surface the puppy has been encouraged to toilet on in their first home), chew toys, and water. The benefit of having a space like this is that the pup is safe and contained when the owner has their attention elsewhere. They are great places for tired pups to get some rest too.
The pen should be set up in a part of the house where she is with the family (the puppy will want to be near you) and can easily be observed. Have a leash nearby as well so you can take her out. Using a pen and establishing a routine by taking the pup out to relieve herself when she wakes up, after eating, after play and before naps helps avoid housetraining mistakes.
Before she arrives, make sure your home is safe for the puppy. Put away anything that could be hazardous if ingested or that you don’t want potentially turned into a chew toy. The puppy will not be able to tell the difference between your shoes, for example, and her chew toys at this point. Use gates to restrict access to most of the house to avoid housetraining mistakes.
Examine your fencing and look for spots where the puppy might get through. The best type of fencing has several inches of wire buried under the ground (so they can’t dig under) and is made of solid wood or wire screen, which prevents a dog from getting through.
Pups should always be accompanied in the yard.
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