Do not go to get your new dog with a group of people. Too many people would only scare and confuse him. Take just one other person with you, so that one of you can drive and the other hold the puppy and quiet and comfort him. Take along a towel, for if it is his first car ride he may get sick.
You will soon learn that a puppy’s first reaction to excitement is to relieve himself, so as soon as you arrive home, take him for a short walk and let him become familiar with his surroundings. Let him sniff around and explore, then pick him up and introduce him to his new home.
Let him explore at first, following him around, speaking to him by name in an affectionate, enthusiastic tone. Show him the way to the kitchen and lead him to his water bowl. You may give him food or a treat but he may be too excited to ear much, but the offer of food, drink, shelter, and love will reassure him.
The first day is not the time to start obedience training, but it is not too early to establish the restrictions you with him to respect in the future. If you do not want him to jump on chairs and sofas, make them out of bounds by removing him gently but firmly by saying “NO”, when ever he jumps on them. Always follow thru by placing him in his bed or on the floors.
You may have more trouble controlling your friends and family than supervising your puppy. Everyone will want to play with him. He will love the attention, but too many masters at too early a time will only serve to confuse him. Puppies have a lot to learn, and they don’t understand our language or rules, so by allowing others to enforce the rules may confuse him even more.
The proper way to introduce yourself to a dog is by holding the back of your hand in front of his nose to sniff. The back of the hand is non aggressive, and he is able to concentrate on your scent. Once the dog has sniffed, you may speak in a friendly tone, but let him make the first advance.
Do not give him little nervous pats or heavy-handed ones. Pat him on the shoulder rather than the head. Many dogs dislike head-stroking, but all of them like to be firmly stroked along the spine and scratched behind the ears. If your dog then rolls over on his back, allowing you to stroke his tummy, you can be sure that he has accepted you as his friend.
Adults as well as children may need to be taught how to pick up a puppy safely. Place one hand under his chest, and the other hand under his rump and lift. If he struggles or resists, put him down at once. Puppy bones are soft and fragile, and a fall can cause permanent damage. Never lift him by his ears, tail, or legs, which are painful and can cause injury or dislocations.
If you already have a dog, you should be extremely tactful when introducing the new pup, especially if they are both male. To be perfectly safe, keep them leashed for the first few hours, and feed them separately for the first few days. Afterward, you can feed them in the same room, but from separate bowls. Be sure to make a special fuss over the established dog, and do not alter his usual daily routine.
You should observe your puppy from the first day to learn his traits and mannerism’s. Every one of his actions and reactions will give you a clue to his native temperament. Your puppy is a living creature with his own personality and mentality that you can help to form and develop. Dogs are highly impressionable and responsive.
Work on your puppy’s vocabulary by talking to him. Just as you imprint certain rules and restrictions on your puppy’s mind, you can give him basic commentary on everything you do together. Stress the key words you use like DINNER, or EAT, BED, or GO OUT, when you are teaching him to use the bathroom outside. Soon he will recognize the key words and their meanings, and most of all, he will learn that speech is a form of communication that is practical for him, and not just mindless sounds.
Your puppy’s first night can be a miserable experience since he is used to sleeping in a cozy nest with his mother and littermates. You can substitute a hot-water bottle and a ticking clock wrapped in a towel to substitute his mother’s presence and heartbeat. You can place his bed next to yours for the first few days, so that you can comfort him if necessary. If he cries or whines comfort him, then leave him alone. If you weaken and take him to bed with you, you may be creating a new problem that you will have to break.
To summarize, be gentle and understanding, but firm. Develop your rules early, but only after he has become accustomed to his new home. Handle him gently, and be patient when training. Observe and learn his traits and mannerisms, and talk to him often to teach him a vocabulary, as well as developing his intelligence. Dogs are very intelligent and impressionable, and what they learn, and how much they learn is in your hands.