Wet Puppy

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Are you one of the many people with a new puppy coming home this summer? We have multiple Kindred Pup litters heading home in this part of the year! Are you ready?

Puppy Licking Boy
Freshly bathed pup giving kisses

Obviously – you got a puppy from a GREAT breeder, who showed the puppy lots of love and attention.

We know without a doubt that the first 8 weeks of life for a puppy sets the stage for their demeanor for their whole lives. We’ve all seen dogs who “act out” – some by being overly timid and afraid of new things, others by lashing out with over aggression. I believe most of these behaviors stem from lack of confidence and poor training. It is why we give the care we give to our pups and why we watch the way that we do for these types of patterns to emerge.

Puppy looking unsure
Here is one of our sweet 6 week old pups “meeting” a new type of ground. He wasn’t so sure! But got the hang of it quickly.

But since you’re here, you obviously know the kind of care we give to our puppies. You can read more here and here as well as all throughout our blog.

What to do BEFORE your pup comes home

Read, clean and buy

Read, read, read. There are a lot of “puppy books” out there and tons of info on the web as well. I’ve heard great things about the Puppy Primer, but I have not personally read it.

Clean everything and have a good disinfectant/odor eliminator on hand. There will be more to clean than potty accidents, but pups will return to the scent to go again and again in the same area. You don’t want that area to be smack in the middle of your living room, which means we need to remove the scent as fully as possible from the area. I highly recommend Angry Orange, although I hate their spray bottles. FYI. Angry Orange DOES NOT disinfect, though. My favorite disinfectant is ozonated water. I use the NatureChlor system and I love it. (I have multiple systems in place in our home, for obvious reasons, but the NatureChlor system is amazing. For some fun reading, look up the benefits and uses of Electrolyzed water!) Of course Lysol or something similar works, too, but keep in mind that Lysol cleansers do not kill the most dangerous types of bacteria and virus’ for puppies. Do your research on this, please!

Make a list of what you believe you will need for your puppy. I send out a list with hyperlinks of my favorite products after our 6 week “pick” visits, and you really want those things arriving before your pup comes home. You will want, at minimum, a dish for food and water (even if you already have a dog, avoid the fights and don’t force sharing!), a crate to sleep in, collars and leashes, PUPPY FORMULATED FOOD (cannot underestimate the importance of this!), NuVet tabs, and things to chew on. You may also want a bed for them to sleep in, grooming tools, extra toys, an x-pen, etc.

Have a family meeting, especially if there are young kiddos at home, explaining the disruption the joy of a new puppy can bring. New Puppies can take time to learn to sleep through the night. They chew. They bite. They can be demanding and frustrating and wonderful, and they take work. Lots of people are not mentally prepped for this which leads to extra frustration. A well-trained puppy is a happy puppy and a stressed-out family will have a hard time producing a well-trained puppy.

Pick-Up Day!

Yay! The time has come! You’ve read, you’ve planned, you’ve bought and now you have your sweetie in the car, on the way home and all seems right with the world.

Puppy on a car ride
English Lab Puppy sleeping in the car
Happy Puppy Going Home
This sweet pup is so in love with her new boy

Prepare yourself: The pup may have an accident on the way home. It may vomit from being car sick. It may whine. It may shake a little, afraid of the new environment and change. THAT IS OK. We try very hard to prep our pups for this part of the journey: we give them increasing amounts of time away from littermates, teach them to feel comfortable being held, etc. I’m happy to say most of our “go-home” drives go extremely well. But, just mentally prep that it may not! Nothing like unmet expectations to start off on the wrong foot.

Puppy meets its new home

Puppy at her new home
One of our Yellow Lab Puppies meets her new yard

Again, we work hard to make this transition smooth, but it is not uncommon for a pup to be cautious and timid in a new environment. This little pup you see above is a Kindred Pup puppy from a previous litter. She warmed up quickly and “owned” her yard in no time.

Puppies need boundaries

Puppies need CLEAR boundaries when they first come home. A well-trained dog will be able to have free roam of your home, if you choose, usually around 2 years old. But prior to that, it is easier to not allow bad habits than to try to fix them later. Do not let your puppy roam in a larger area than you can monitor. Period. We want to stop unattractive behavior right from the get-go. Set up a gate to block “off-limits” areas or set up an exercise pen for where they are to be left. When they are walking around the house or yard, this is a good time to introduce them to their leash, letting it drag behind them as they walk and explore. Puppies are not naturally used to a leash, and may “buck” against it at first. Just like anything, we want to show them it’s safe, good for them, and beneficial.

Take your pup out every half hour to potty, even if they don’t have to potty. Each time you’re outside in the designated area, say your words or sound your cue: some people say “potty”, some people use a “clicker”; whatever you choose, make it consistent. They will get the hang of it! If they do potty, immediately and boisterously reward them with love, happy tones and treats. Puppies thrive on this attention and it will help immensely.

Prep yourself – things are going to get chewed up. It’s ok. The more diligent you are the less will get chewed, but it happens to everyone.

Stock Photo
Stock Photo

Try to be patient, and hide your valuables. 🙂 These are infants and toddlers here, without the exact intelligence of a human child.

Just like toddlers, a puppy is likely to go-go-go until they crash. Puppies need to sleep up to 20 hours per day, so don’t be alarmed if it seems like all they do is snooze!

Puppy Sleeping
Life is rough
New Puppy Comes Home
Rugby and his dad

After the first nights

Oddly enough, most people are really well prepped for the first few nights. It is after the newness wears off that it starts to get to them. I read on forums and talk to people who feel so frustrated with their four month old puppy not realizing that a pup’s “toddler stage” can last until 18-24 months! Hang in there, guys! They will learn. They will improve. Enjoy the wonderful parts of puppyhood, there are lots, and realize that you just added a family member. One that will grip your heart in ways you can’t imagine.

They need toys and stimulation. They need affection and exercise. They need rest and tenderness. They need correction and boundaries. You CAN do this! It will pay off in excess!

Playful Puppy
Sweet English Lab Puppy looks to her new toy!
English Labrador Puppy
Puppy Love

We will probably continue this series as we go… but there’s the start. Congrats Kindred Pup families on the start of your new journey! You won’t regret it!

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