This is the first article in my four part series about bringing home puppies:

  1. Before you bring the puppy home
  2. Fear imprint stage
  3. New home: a scary place
  4. The first night

Puppies are arriving home and tomorrow is the big day.   Your puppy is so cute, are you ready?  Well, there’s nothing to it, or is there?   Here are some tips you probably haven’t thought about.  You already got the blanket, bed, food, dish, leash so isn’t that enough?   You already know that the pup has had a round of shots as recommended by the vet and the puppy is at least eight weeks old so that’s good.  

Hopefully, you have read that a pup can develop a deep shyness or a fearful aggression towards other dogs if leaving his mother and siblings before the age of seven weeks.  Between the ages of 6 to 7 weeks of age is the crucial time for a pup in developing highly important social skills with other dogs and these skills will be what he uses throughout his lifetime.  But this pup is eight weeks old, so you are fine.  You got the shot record from the breeder plus the dog’s registration papers, if any.   Now here’s the proper senario for arriving at your home.

If the breeder has already familiarized the pup with a leash, you are going to be walking the new pup from the car to your door so you can give the baby a feel for the new situation.  If your pup is not used to a leash yet, you will be putting the pup in his new, regular outdoor potty spot. But before you do any of these things, you absolutely must disinfect the outdoor area where the puppy will walk since the pups still have immature immune systems.

Although our county health departments and environmental services do not like bleach getting into our water ways, there is no better disinfectant than bleach to kill Parvo.  In fact bleach is the only thing for sure that will kill it and Parvo can live in the soil for many years. Also, Parvo can live in a state of incubation for 5-7 days, so it’s really bad stuff.  Young puppies do not have adequate shots and protections for the possibly killing Paro.   So, for this one time before your pup sets one foot on the ground, you will mix one part chlorine bleach to 10 parts water and spray the area where the pup will walk between the car and house before the dog walks on the ground.  When in doubt, do not set your puppy on the ground but carry him from one place to another.  

However, we are trying to get your puppy off to a healthy start, so walk him to your door if possible.  Remember, this period is the crutial learning time for your young pup and that cannot be stated enough. This is discussed a lot more in other articles so please read them.

After about 15 minutes and giving the little one time to potty, take him into the house. Here you will have a comfortable situation set up for him.  You will want to start the pup out right away getting used to a crate.  Isn’t sleeping in a crate mean; isn’t it kind of like a cage?   No, not at all, read my article on crate training and why it’s needed.  The pup’s area will be in a warm area used by the family quite a lot and not off by himself where he’s alone.  A portable fence will encircle the area that will also contain a soft bed and blanket plus a dish of fresh water.

These first few days for your puppy are focused on socializing, potty training and crating. But these first 8-10 weeks of you pup’s life also are the critically important Fear Imprint Stage of your pup’s life. Once again, anything that scares him now will stay with him for his lifetime and what does this mean?  Blog posts are supposed to be short, so read my next posts and I would appreciate your comments, questions and ideas on this post.  Thanks so much.

Read on: Fear imprint stage