Preparing for a new pup.
There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.
— Bernard Williams
Bringing home a new puppy
If you already have a canine companion, you would have been encouraged to meet the new puppy with your existing dog already. Before bringing your pup home, a walk for the existing dog can be a beneficial activity to drain excited energy and allow it to be calmer when you return with the newcomer. Despite having met before, you will still need to re-introduce your dog to the puppy. The back garden is ideal as the puppy may need to toilet or could just have a nervous wee due to all his new experiences.
If all is fine and the existing dog is not territorial, you should be able to walk them into the home environment together. Be alert to both dogs’ body language and be mindful that they may need some space on their own. Allow the existing dog to have its prize possession and favourite bed. Put the new addition’s bed with the transition bedding and toys in a different area for a week or so to ensure there are no territory disputes. You might confine your new pup to a secure laundry or a training crate. You might want them sleeping next to your bed from the first night. Your puppy will more than likely not be toilet trained, so some confinement expedites toilet training and ensures all pets and possessions are safe. (Refer to Dr Ian Dunbar’s e-books. “Before You Get A Puppy” & “After You Get A Puppy”.)
The pup will need 2-3 meals a day and it will be important to feed the pup his extra meals out of view of the older one. Food can be a trigger for even placid dogs so best to be overcautious and supervise during meal times and even when giving treats.
Please remember your new puppy is a baby who looks to you for
guidance and instruction. It is an enormous change in their young
lives to be moved firstly from their Mother and litter mates into
foster care, and then onto another new environment. Your puppy
needs to be supervised
and his behaviour monitored so you can guide him as to what you
feel is acceptable or not in your home. If you are unable to supervise
the pup, he should be placed in a safe area with age appropriate
activities to keep him occupied, water and a bed.
Toilet training is likely to be the major focus of training with your
new pup. Please be aware that you will need to get up multiple
times a night to allow the puppy outside to relieve itself. Accidents
are also likely to occur so please be prepared to cope with them.
8 to 16 weeks
This is the critical socialisation period! The more sights, sounds, people, animals, objects your pup can safely experience the more grounded he is likely to be as an adult. Please make sure you balance the health risks against the socialisation benefits. Introduce your pup to as many vaccinated adult dogs as you can, in a low-risk environment. Let your pup see people of all different shapes and sizes from the safety of your arms or the car. Give him the opportunity to hear the sounds of traffic, vacuum cleaners, trains, lawn mowers, screaming children – all the noises that make up our community. Make trips to the vet a positive one, so that it’s not a strain on everyone each time he needs to visit down the track.
We love The Puppy Socialisation Plan website where you can create a socialisation plan for your new puppy! There’s a step by step, week by week guide, on activities and training you can do with your pup! Visit for more inf0.
IMPORTANT: If at any time, now or in the future, you need support please contact WAPP by emailing
If you could give one piece of advice to new pet owners, what would it be?
If you get a puppy, the potty training will be over soon!! Stick with the frustrations and middle of the night wake ups as it doesn't last all that long and the rewards of having a dog is worth the couple of weeks of hell.