a family dog is an exciting way to give everyone a new best friend. Kids love
dogs because they're fun playmates and sweet to cuddle with during naps.
Puppies will make you laugh and always give you a reason to smile, but you may
hesitate to adopt one because you're worried about the adjustment period.
Everyone will have to get used to living together and your furry new friend will need time to adapt to their new environment. Your first few months together are crucial, but these eight tips will make getting a new puppy easier. Take things slowly and everything will be just fine.
1. Prepare for Potty Accidents
If you bring a puppy home from a breeder when they're eight weeks old, they won't have much control over when they go to the bathroom. Puppies only start learning how to hold their urine after they reach six weeks of age and typically pee once an hour until they're three to four months old.
No matter how often you take your dog outside to relieve themselves, they'll squat when the urge strikes them after eating, drinking water or playing with your family. Potty accidents are inevitable. Invest in a handheld carpet cleaner before bringing your puppy home and read about removing stains with natural ingredients or your preferred store-bought products.
2. Meet the Kids Later
When puppies explore their new homes for the first time, they can react very differently. Sometimes they're excited and run around to sniff everything. Other times they may appear shy or scared, preferring to hide behind furniture or under tables. Keep in mind that this is the first time they've left their mom and siblings, so they'll benefit from a quiet, nonthreatening environment.
Your kids may not be able to resist picking up their new puppy or trying to get them to play. They mean well, but your puppy might only see strangers making loud noises. Let your new friend explore your home while the kids are at a friend's house or school so they become familiar with your home before they meet everyone.
3. Start Calm Introductions
Before your children meet their pup, remind them to use indoor voices and let the dog approach them first. It shouldn't take long for your puppy to wander around and meet everyone. After seeing that they're with people who love them, everyone can pull out the puppy toys and start to play.
4. Scatter Their Chew Toys
Your dog's baby teeth will emerge shortly after birth and finish growing in after they become eight to 10 weeks old. Although they won't start teething until they're at least four months of age, they'll want to chew on everything to explore their new world. It's smart to scatter their chew toys around the house for a little while. Instead of jumping to gnaw on furniture and pillows, they'll always have a toy within reach that's acceptable to chomp on and potentially destroy.
5. Create a Sleeping Spot
Many dog owners want to crate train their dogs so they have a place to sleep at night. You'll start this process when you introduce them to the crate by making it a sleeping spot. Line the crate with blankets or soft toys and always leave the door open. When your puppy wanders in and out of their cushioned crate to nap or watch everyone from a distance, it will become a safe place they immediately connect with sleeping and relaxing.
6. Remember to Whistle
Teaching your dog new tricks is fun and gives your kids another way to bond with them. Although you might want your pup to sit down and roll over for pictures, it's better to start with a simple command like whistling. All good training techniques start with a whistle because it's easy for puppies to hear and understand. Every time you make that sound, they'll recognize it as the call to return to you, no matter where they are.
7. Practice Gentle Redirection
When your puppy eventually gnaws on your kitchen table's leg or pees on your bed, you might want to yell at them. You'll likely reach a point where you're slightly sleep deprived because of their nightly bathroom routine and frustrated because they haven't learned much yet.
Yelling, pointing your fingers or any other signs of aggression will only teach your puppy to become scared of you. Take a deep breath and practice gentle redirection when they do something wrong. Tell them no in a stern voice and show them what they should do instead. Carry them outside until they go to the bathroom or put them in front of a toy they can chew on next time.
8. Keep Them in Your Sight
Puppies are a little like newborn babies because they should always be in your sight. They don't know that they can't eat the human food that fell off the counter or tug on the table runner sitting under a lit candle. Always keep an eye on your puppy to prevent accidents and keep everyone safe.
Listen and Learn
Giving your family and your new dog time to get to know each other is for the best. You'll listen and learn your puppy's unique quirks. Everyone will learn when they're whining to go outside instead of begging for a treat. You'll notice them blinking slowly when they get sleepy at night or run around the house just before they squat to pee.Using these tips will make getting a new puppy easier, along with taking your time and maintaining your patience. Your worries will soon be behind you, and your dog will be another beloved member of your expanded family.