Contact Information

The First Few Days With Your New Puppy

The arrival of your new PWD puppy is an exciting and life-changing event for your family. Pre-arrival preparation is the key to getting a sound night sleep both for your family as well as for its newest member. You should already have answered the following questions before the puppy arrives:
•Where will the puppy sleep?
•Where will the puppy eat and drink?
•What times will you feed the puppy and who will do it?
•Where do you plan to keep the puppy during the day?
•Where will the puppy eliminate?
You should also read our puppy necessities and puppy-proofing pages on our web site. You should be sure you have obtained all the essentials before your puppy comes home. The following is our advice on successfully integrating your new puppy into your family.

The day your puppy arrives is most stressful for him/her. The puppy has been separated from his mother, littermates, environment, and routine. Frequently a long ride will tire the puppy and even cause his/her gastrointestinal tract to be upset. REMEMBER NOT TO ADD FURTHER STRESS FOR YOUR PUPPY. Your initial reaction may be to have all the neighbors over to see your new addition. However resist this urge for the first 48 hours. After the first two days you can actively begin the puppy's socialization with the neighbors as well as with strangers.

Let your puppy acclimatize to the new surroundings. You should supervise exploration of the places in your home where the puppy will be allowed to go. All puppies are curious and will want to explore both inside and out. This is a good time to introduce the puppy to the area in your yard that you have chosen as his/her "elimination/potty spot".

Offer your new puppy water as soon as you arrive home. Stress causes dogs to pant as well as salivate and he/she may be slightly dehydrated. Wait several hours before offering any food, as this will allow the puppy's intestinal tract to calm down. The change in water supply and stress of leaving home will probably cause the puppy to have loose stools for the first few days. Introduce him/her to his sleeping accommodations and let the puppy explore it as much as possible. Do not inundate the puppy with multiple toys add one or two a day. Puppies always find one or two toys that are "favorites". If the puppy seems tired leave him alone and let him go to sleep.

The first few nights are going to be stressful for your puppy and probably for you as well. A few tricks that we have found helpful. First establish a routine. Try to make your puppy sleepy as bedtime approaches. The puppy should be taken outside as late in the night as possible to relief him/herself. The puppy is then put into the crate. The puppy is going to whimper, cry or even howl when he/she is first crated. Puppies are naturally "pack animals" and are accustomed to being in close proximity to their littermates. The crying is a natural response to being separated from you. Initially the ideal location for the puppy's crate is in the bedroom. This way you can at least verbally comfort the puppy. However do not respond to every whimper. However if after several hours in the crate the puppy begins to cry loudly he may need to go outside to relieve him/herself. Just carry the puppy out quickly to the "potty spot", praise the puppy if he/she eliminates and then take the puppy back and put him/her back to bed.

If you plan to keep the puppy in the kitchen, family or laundry room then the family will have to ignore the inevitable howls and crying. Eventually the puppy will relent and adjust to sleeping alone but it may take a week or more. Remember PWDs are "Velcro dogs" and want to be with their family. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU GO TO THE PUPPY WHEN HE IS CRYING, AS THIS WILL JUST REINFORCE THE BEHAVIOR!

Consistency, persistence and a great deal of patience will result in a fairly quick adjustment to the new routine. Take advantage of your PWD's natural intelligence and most important enjoy!

Please call or email if you have any problems. We are here to mentor you.

David and Cheryl Smith

Created March 27, 2009
Modified May 26, 2009