Bringing Puppy Home

The first week you and your dog spend together can be exhilarating, fun, enriching and just soo much fun. Make the transition easier on both of you by doing a little advance planning before your new dog arrives.

So do your homework and prepare yourself before puppy arrives. A great way to get puppy-wise and ready for the big day is to read Ian Dunbar's free e-books. These are free PDF documents that you have permission to download, copy and share. Available on DOGSTARDAILY or below.

Watch Ian Dunbar on TED talking about dog friendly dog training (great watch).


Have a Family Discussion

A dog is a big commitment, so before you take the plunge, make sure you're all together on wanting this newest member of the family. Decide who's going to be the primary caretaker and who takes care of other responsibilities. Think about training method, time commitment, walking, food, water, poo picking and grooming needs. Also define rules about will the dog be allowed on the bed/couch, dog bed, what areas in the house are off limits (for example kitchen)?


Stock up

Buy some of the basics ahead of time. Here's what you'll need:

  • Crate

  • Food and water bowls

  • Food and some treats for training (try to get the same food your puppy was eating before as a change in diet can upset his stomach)

  • Doggie toothpaste and brush (normal soft toothbrush will do)

  • Collar and leashes (different leashes if you want to train your dog inside in case they get dirty)

  • Bed (maybe two, one for the crate and one for the place your puppy will spend most the time)

  • Toys, especially chew toys and balls

  • Kongs are a great thing to keep dogs occupied for a while (filled with something yummy)

  • Stain- and odor-removing cleaners and some spare wipes and household paper

  • Doggie poo bags

  • Possibly some baby gates to block off sections of your house

  • Possibly some puppy training pads or newspaper

  • Something that protects your car seats from doggie odour

  • Dog shampoo, brush and nail clipper


Prepare your Home

This requires a little more work if you're getting a puppy, since they can be champion chewers and have a knack for getting into things they shouldn't. But no matter what your dog's age, you'll want to do some organizing ahead of time.

Create a temporary, gated-off living space for your dog or pup, where she can't damage your belongings or eat something that will make her sick. She'll stay in this area whenever you're not with her to prevent her from having housetraining accidents.

Pick a room that's a center of activity in your household, so your dog won't feel isolated, and be sure it's one with easy-to-clean floors. The kitchen is often a good choice; you can block it off with baby gates if needed. Make sure you remove anything that you don't want chewed on or soiled.

Puppy-proof to make sure anything that could hurt your dog (medicines, chemicals, certain plants) is out of reach.


On the Day

Keep it pleasant but low-key at first. For a shy puppy or dog, being taken to a new place and then deluged with lots of loud, lively strangers can be really overwhelming. The first day or two, keep the mood mellow and calm. Let puppy have a good sniff around the house and garden under supervision. Puppy still needs to sleep a lot so do not overstimulate.

Introduce your dog to his crate. Crates are the best way to housetrain. To get puppy used to the crate put some kibble in the crate and let puppy wander around and find the treats, this to make it feel comfortable around it. Do this a few times and praise before you slowly close the door for a few seconds. open the door and praise. You can feed your dog in there, give him a pig ear and praise if calm. Do not react immediately if puppy cries, wait until calm and then approach (can be 20 seconds later). Do not leave puppy in the crate longer than a few minutes at the time and slowly increase the time.


Exercise - 5 Minute x Month of Age

Because Labradors are prone to joint problems and your puppy is still a baby with a fragile body make sure you do not over-exercise! No big walks! As a rule of thumb: 5 minutes per month of age, so for a 2 month old puppy (when you bring it home) you would exercise it max 10 minutes, 4 months 20 minutes 6 months 30 minutes. Once puppy reaches 1 year of age you can increase the exercise. Also be careful and do not allow rough play with older dogs.



The earlier you start, the faster and easier it will be to teach good manners and the better the lessons will stick.

The most important things to teach your dog are:

  • Housetraining

  • Socialise and getting comfortable around people and other dogs

  • Set up a routine (a routine helps with housetraining and is reassuring to your dog, figure out a schedule for walks, meals, bathroom breaks, and exercise and try to stick to it)

  • Get your dog registered at your local council

  • Find a vet

  • Do not allow teeth on skin (say ouuuutch! loudly and interrupt the play)

  • Praise puppy when calm and don't overexcite


Find a Puppy School

Once Puppy is fully immunised, you can start with puppy school. Group obedience classes are great for bonding with your new dog and for learning how to communicate with and train your dog. They are important for young puppies to socialise and be comfortable in a group of other canines and is a key part of part of raising a safe, friendly dog! Craig Murray is one very good and successful dog school (see Your vet will know about the closest puppy class in your area.


"Whoever said you can't buy happiness forgot about puppies."

Gene Hill

"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened."

Anatole France

"Folks will know how large your soul is by the way you treat a dog."

Charles Duran

Pedigree Labrador Retriever Puppies for sale

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