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Introducing a new puppy into your home is a really exciting time for the whole family, especially the kids. However, there are certain things you have to do before you bring puppy home. This includes teaching the children how to behave around the new addition to the family when they first arrive, after all you don't want to scare the little creature as soon as you walk through the front door with them. It is always a good idea to leave the kids at home when you go to pick your new puppy up. Remember it could be the first time the young dog may have been put in a dog carrier or been in a car – which can be pretty scary especially as it could also be the very first time puppy has left the rest of their litter. A good way to organize the arrival of a new puppy is to give your kids some tasks to do at home so the house is ready for them on your return. Like this the kids feel they have a responsibility and won't mind waiting at home too much. Explain to the kids that it's really important not to jump around, shout or scream with excitement when you do get home with the new puppy – you need to explain to them that this could really frighten the young dog, which would be very unfair to them. Your children will understand, especially if you tell them that if they say calm and quiet, the new puppy will respond to them that much better than if they are too noisy around it. Naturally, before you bring a puppy into your home, you have to make sure your house is 'puppy friendly'. This means making sure there is nothing harmful to them in your home or garden, including any foods that are dangerous to dogs. It is always a good idea to explain to your kids that many foods we love to eat are poisonous to dogs – including chocolate of any kind. Before you bring puppy home, have a few puppy treats ready which could include special dog ones made out of dog sage chocolate. If you explain that dogs can only eat specially formulated chocolate, hopefully this will stop the kids from trying to feed your new puppy any human chocolate. It can be hard convincing children not too feed a new puppy, especially as puppies do have a way of begging for treats – but you need to be firm with your children and with your new puppy when they beg for anything. This is why it is so important to start training your new puppy from the moment they walk through your front door. It may be hard to do at first but you will be thankful you did in the end. You need to make sure there are no trailing electrical wires around your home as well. Remember that puppies love to chew things and this includes wires! Buy lots of good quality puppy chews which should keep them busy playing and chewing these to help alleviate any teething problems which they are bound to go through. Chewy toys are a great way for your kids to play with the new puppy too as it will teach the young dog not to be possessive about toys and ultimately it may help prevent them from being over protective of their food. Make sure you have put some paper down in the room where all the home introductions are going to take place. The chances are puppy will have an accident because of all the excitement. Having paper down on the floor will make it a lot easier to clean up – it is also the first lesson for puppy in house training. Many people who first introduce a puppy into the family ask the question of whether or not they should respond to the puppy's cries when they are left on their own – whether this is at night or during the day. The hardest is at night, especially if puppy needs to learn to stay downstairs and not go to bed with the kids. Older dogs work on the principal that if they are good, they receive a reward in the form of a treat. A puppy on the other hand, responds to rewards in a slightly different way – they still need to be rewarded but they don't need treats they are happy just to see you, that's all the reward they need. This means that if you go to see your puppy every time they cry, they automatically think you are rewarding them – your puppy will just cry more and louder because they think they are being good. It can become a serious problem for both you, your family and the little puppy. If you ignore them, which can be hard, they will soon settle down and go to sleep. One thing to bear in mind is that if you think your puppy has got into some kind of trouble, their cries could sound a bit different and obviously you have to respond to them if it's an emergency as soon as you hear they are in trouble. For the first few weeks or so, it's not a good idea to leave young puppies unsupervised, they get into all sorts of trouble and they get very lonely if left on their own for any length of time, especially during the day. It is different at night because they are sleeping after an exhausting day – remember puppies spend much of their waking hours playing so they do tire themselves out. One good way to go about not leaving your young dog on its own during the day, is to join a dog day centre. If everyone is out of the house during the day, you can drop your puppy off at the centre in the morning and then pick them up on your way home in the evening. This also helps educate a puppy into socializing with other dogs and people - something all young dogs thrive on. When it comes to house training your puppy, this is something you have to do right from the word go. You will need to identify where your puppy makes a mess and then take it there so a habit is formed. Remember you have to reward them with lots of praise and treats when they do their business where you want them to. After you feed your puppy make sure you take them outside straight away – play with them and encourage them to do their business, again reward and praise them when they do. You have to take them out first thing in the morning, not forgetting to take them out last thing at night too. During the day, they really need to be taken out at least once every hour. You have to stay outside with your puppy so you can reward them straight away when they do their business. Naturally, the pup won't do their business each time you take them outside. They will want to sniff around and have a play, this is where the kids come in because they can play with pup in the garden for a while when they are at home. The thing to remember is that many puppies find it hard to survive the whole night without going to the toilet, so you can't tell them off when they have an accident. However, if you do catch them it is a good idea to interrupt their routine by taking them straight outside to do their business. Remember to reward them straight away when they do. It does take a while to house train a puppy, so you have to be patient with them. You must not tell your puppy off if they have an accident because it could just confuse them and make matters worse. Patience and a little time will pay off in the end. Introducing a new puppy into your home is a wonderful event. Your children will form a strong bond with them very quickly, they will all become good friends in no time at all. Remember, your puppy is a new family member and will be around for a very long time – taking care of them from the word go is important because you get to lay down the rules, and your puppy will learn to respect them, this will help them turn into a well behaved and happy dog that's a pleasure to have around.
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