Getting a new puppy and bringing them home is hugely excited and hotly anticipated by all new puppy buyers, and most of us have an abstract mental visual of how rewarding and delightful this is going to be. But living with a puppy and particularly their first few days and weeks with you is not all walks in the park and joyful firsts; there are invariably going to be bumps in the road, mis-steps, downsides, and poop; there’s always poop.
Be prepared for puppy ownership and be sure you know what you’re getting into before, not after, you bring your puppy home.
This article will tell you the most common downsides and problems you’re likely to encounter when you first bring a new puppy home. Read on to learn more.
If you get a new puppy – even an older one, and even one that the breeder swears up and down is already toilet trained – take it as a fact of life that it is going to toilet in the house or in the wrong place, or have accidents, and potentially a great many times.
This is part and parcel of getting a puppy, and they all need toilet training, they don’t just learn instinctively to hold it or ask to go out when they reach a certain age.
Many breeders unfortunately sell pups as fully toiled trained when they’re anything but, and even when the breeder is telling the full truth here, this is not going to translate immediately to your pup’s new home.
Even if the puppy really is toilet trained already (and very few are) they won’t know where to toilet at their new home, where or how to ask to go out, or you might miss or fail to recognise them asking to go out, or they might be used to being taken out at set times and be unable to hold on if that doesn’t continue.
Whatever the situation, if you want a puppy, make sure you also get the fact that you’re going to spend time cleaning up pee and poop in the house at first too.
It’s a huge upheaval for a puppy to go to a new home, and they will never have left their dam or littermates – the only family they’ve known – until then. Your company and reassurance and if you have one, the presence of a dog that’s good with the pup can both help, but even so, you (and if relevant any other dog or pets you have) will be new to the pup, and they will feel insecure and worried and miss their family for a good while.
This means they’re going to cry. They’re also possibly going to cry anyway for attention, or bark a lot, or generally be noisy in any number of ways for any number of reasons.
Anticipating and planning for the arrival of a new puppy that will love you and look up to you is a heavy weight of expectation; and you might find that when you get your puppy home and in their first few days with you, they aren’t actually starry eyed with delight to be with you at all, but actually withdrawn and keen to be left alone and even hide.
Don’t take it personally, and don’t push your puppy to be social; they’re still getting used to a huge change and need time, space and patience.
On the flipside, your puppy might imprint on you like a baby bird and want to be with you at all times, which sounds charming but can soon get annoying if they’re under your feet as soon as you stand up, or you can’t close the bathroom door when you’re trying to do something best done in private without setting off a chorus of howling.
It is important to be consistent and provide reassurance for your puppy but also not to enable them being overly clingy or never leave them alone, as this can quickly turn into separation anxiety.
Puppies (and adult dogs) need to chew, and puppies chew a lot. This might even manifest in them starting to chew things like shoes, furniture, or anything else in reach from more or less the minute you get them home.
It is vital to provide a range of appropriate chew toys and redirect them from chewing things that aren’t theirs, but also to accept that they need to chew and need time to learn what they can chew and what is off limits, and that in the meantime, this might cost you!
Finally, it takes a reasonable amount of time for a puppy to be old enough and settled enough to sleep through the night, and many will need to toilet in the middle of the night until then too. Also, your pup will need time to settle into the household routine, and until then they’re potentially going to get up and be noisy when you’re trying to sleep, or otherwise keep odd hours and possibly wake you up in the meantime.