1.) Puppy proof your home and prepare your puppy’s space before hand. Remember that puppies explore with their mouths so electrical cords and novelties basically anything that could be dangerous or that is precious to you should be moved out of your new puppy’s reach.
2.) When bringing your puppy home try to keep it as low key as possible. We know everyone is going to be excited and visitors will want to come play, but please allow your puppy time to get his or her bearings. We don’t want to overwhelm and stress them more than they already are. Remember, they just left their entire world behind and as much as you love them, it’s going to take some time for them to develop a level of trust with you. Don’t ruin your bond before it’s begun.
3.) Place your puppy’s crate in your bedroom. They need to know someone familiar is there and it helps to keep their stress and anxiety to a minimum. Being close by also allows you to get them out for potty time as quickly as possible. If you don’t want your puppy to sleep in your room, at least plan to sleep near them for the first few weeks to help ease the transition. They are a part of the family after all, right?
4.) Stick to a routine. Feeding, playing, crate, and potty times should be on a schedule. Routine is very important for establishing a code that your puppy can understand. Following it will make all the difference when it comes to how quickly your puppy is house and crate trained.
5.) The first 16 weeks of your puppy’s life are the most formative. They will never learn as much in as short a time as then so take advantage! Don’t wait until they are 4-6 months old to begin formal training. Just like us, puppies learn better when they’re having fun so make training a game. Work in short sessions, 2-3 minutes at a time, and have a sense of humor. Remember to be proactive rather than reactive. If a behavior, like jumping up or counter surfing, doesn’t have a chance to begin you won’t have to worry about correcting it later!