When a puppy is 8 weeks old, it is common for it to move from its breeder to its new home. At that age, the puppy is weaned from the mother who can often be quite tired of her young. The puppy begins to require more experience and training than the breeder has time to give each individual puppy. When the puppy moves it leaves all the familiar behind and steps into a new "pack", a new home, new smells, sounds and sights etc so it is not surprising that it may take a little while for it to become comfortable.
Most puppies can cope with the transition without too much trouble but to make it easier there are a few things you should consider:
- Don't bring family, friends, neighbours and other dogs home for the first week, let the puppy get to know its new family and settle in before you introduce it to the rest of the world.
- Be sure to puppy-proof your home. No cords, small objects, flowers or similar items should be within the puppy's reach as puppies will eat anything.
- Composting grids are often a dog owner's salvation when it comes to restricting areas or closing off rooms that the puppy is not allowed to enter. However, be aware that some puppies have no respect for the bars and will climb them, catching their legs and breaking them in the worst case. Choose a child gate if you can.
- Make sure that you as a family have decided on the rules. Can the dog sleep in the bed? Can he beg at the table? What words do you want to teach it to listen to?
- Where will the dog sleep? If you don't want him in bed, he can't be there even the first night. The first night without a mother and siblings is pretty lonely for a little puppy. A good idea is to have a dog bed next to the bed where you can sleep with one arm down so the puppy knows you're close. It is also common for dog owners to spend the first night(s) on the couch or floor with their puppy.
- Depending on the breeder's routine and how the mother has raised the puppies, your puppy, when you bring it home, may be anything fromn housebroken and understands that it is not allowed to bite until it makes a mess whenever and wherever it can and bites at anything it gets its hands on. Be patient with your puppy and never scold it when it does inside.
- Remember to always leave your puppy alone when it is sleeping, eating its food or chewing on its chewing bone. Puppies need a lot of sleep and need to feel safe that it can go away if it wants to and know that no one will try to steal food or bones from it. Rather, throw in an extra treat with your food when you walk by and the puppy will find it positive that you are close by when it is eating.
- There are many different ways to train your dog. Feel free to start now to see what course options are available in your area. Make sure you choose a dog psychologist/instructor who works with positive reinforcement and with whom you will have a good impression.
- Be sure to spend long hours outside and play a lot with your puppy, but don't go for long walks. The first week is plenty of time to explore your new home (indoors and outdoors) and get to know your new family.