Have you ever wondered what’s life like with a puppy? Or how to prepare for the arrival of one? Pompassador Heidi shared her 10 best tips for a new puppy.
“Those lovely, adorable puppies! What’s life like with a puppy? Lots of anticipation, joy, laughter, playing, cute paws and dreams of the future… But also, gray hairs, socks with holes, tiredness, frustration, and endless lists of what to teach next.
As the owner of a 5-month-old Shetland Sheepdog, I have already experienced a full range of emotions and then some. This is why I wish to share my own tips and thoughts with anyone who’s waiting for their own puppy or is already living with one. Here’s ten things that would have been helpful for me when I was having my puppy blues!
1. Get puppy supplies in advance. If you already have dogs, a wide variety of necessary supplies can most likely be found at home already. Many things can also be purchased later, after the puppy has arrived (and taking the puppy to a pet store is a great training session). Before our puppy first got home, we had a puppy enclosure, pee pads, harness, collar, leash, toys, beds, food, and a food bowl ready for her.
If the puppy arrives outside the warm summer months, you should also have some warm dog clothing at hand. I would recommend especially JumppaPomppa for a puppy, as it keeps the dog warm and it’s also easy to run around in. Our KevytPomppa has been in active use as well, as our puppy arrived in the early autumn season.
2. Don’t set too many expectations for your puppy in advance. Have a curious and open mind when welcoming the new puppy home, as they are an individual. You might be a bit familiar with the puppy’s personality already, but as their journey is still at the very beginning, they are still a blank canvas for the most part!
3. Make sure you have time to get to know each other and explore the world together. Try to learn what your puppy is like, what things they like, things they’re good at and things that are particularly difficult for them. And most importantly: don’t compare yourself or your puppy to others. Each puppy, each pack and each situation is different.
4. Safety first. Make sure your puppy gets to know new things safely, especially for the first few months: different people, dogs, platforms, places, sounds… If the puppy gets to encounter even one new thing on their own terms on a daily basis, they will gain some valuable experience for the future.
5. Be kind to yourself. Remember, you’re not in a hurry. It’s totally fine if the life of a 10-week-old puppy isn’t constantly filled with new activities. Even if the age of 8-12 weeks is an important time frame for the puppy, it’s also important to allow them to rest, grow, enjoy life, and above all, get to know you in peace.
6. Don’t be afraid to fail, setbacks are part of the journey. No puppy can be raised perfectly, as none of us has a crystal ball to see what to train and learn with this particular individual.
7. Praise and reward your dog for every success. With a puppy, every moment is a training session as they learn things constantly, whether you want it or not. The arrival of our puppy actually made me realize how much my older dogs knew behaviors I had never taught them – in both good and bad.
8. Reinforce behaviors you want to see more, starting from young age. These behaviors will grow stronger with time, and you will thank yourself for effort you put into it as your puppy grows. Break trainable things down to smaller portions, make things more challenging one step at a time and be sure to train something daily, no matter how small. Pay attention to your puppy’s development as they learn things fast.
9. Don’t be left alone – attend puppy classes and ask for training tips. If possible, arrange meetings with other puppy owners, as peer support and sharing experiences is crucial.
10. Remember, your puppy will always try it’s best with its current abilities. And above all: when getting a puppy, prepare to face the fact that there is no way to prepare for everything! Just enjoy the journey and trust the process 💜”
– Heidi / @koirakaruselli