Bringing your dog home – the first few days
Your puppy will be ready to leave its mother at about 8 weeks of age. Hopefully your puppy will have been born in a household environment and will have been handled regularly from day one. The ideal home will also have started the puppy with its early toilet training, but even if this has been started, a puppy will initially feel a little lost and make mistakes.
Adult dogs, especially from rescue centres, come with their own baggage. They do, however, give lots of love, and deserve a second chance.
The settling in process should start as soon as you bring the dog home. Immediately on getting the dog to its new home, take it immediately outdoors into the garden to do its toileting. When it does so, use warm words of encouragement – for example “hurry up” or “clean dog”. Never just let the dog out – TAKE it out! Simply letting the dog out will only result in it crying on your doorstep, then doing what it needs to do in the house.
On returning into the house, let the dog explore its new environment. Feed it when it is time, then take it outdoors again – again praise the dog when it performs.
Watch your dog for signs of needing to go out – dog will let you know. However, make sure to always take it out when it wakes up, after feeds, and when it starts looking uncomfortable…. And praise, praise, praise.
That First Night
The first night is going to be difficult for the dog, and for this reason it is a good idea to let the dog sleep close to you - in it's own bed or crate perhaps. Some people let the dog sleep on the bed with them, but if you do not want the dog to sleep in your room, you may consider sleeping on the sofa for a night or two until the dog knows the routine of the household.