Updated: Jan 6
The first few weeks of being a new pet parent will be an exciting blur! It might be hard work, but it will be so much fun. RightPaw are here to help you with advice on how to approach toilet training, socialisation, chewing, biting and more. By following our handy guides, you can make the next few weeks a smooth transition and you will raise a confident, happy and healthy pet.
The first few weeks will involve a lot of training with you pup. You are continuing all the good work that your breeder started. Puppy is now weaned onto solid food and has been exposed to new things and new people, but a lot of things are still very new to them so it is your job to keep them happy and safe as they learn and explore.
There’s the all-important toilet training to contend with. Your puppy may have some basics under their belt already, and generally will want to get away from their food, water and bed to use the toilet, but you are going to have to put in some effort to help them succeed and learn quickly.
See our handy guide to toilet training here.
Puppies are little balls of energy one minute, then suddenly fall asleep and stay like that for hours. Whilst socialisation and play time is very important at this age, also make sure you allow them some down-time to rest. If the puppy is asleep, don’t wake them up to play, let them be. A tired puppy will not enjoy themselves or learn as quickly.
Your puppy may want to follow you around the house and be with you all the time. This is flattering – it means you are fun and comforting and the puppy loves your company. It is also important however, to start introducing the puppy to alone time, so they develop their independence and don’t rely on always having someone near them to be able to relax.
Your new puppy will be teething, so they need to chew things to relieve sore mouths. Have a plentiful supply of chew toys available for the puppy and remember if your shoes or valuables are left lying around, they may be mistaken for chew toys!
Until they have had more vaccinations, your puppy must be kept away from unknown dogs or public places where dogs have been. If you have your own garden, yard or balcony, it is fine to allow your puppy supervised play time here. Trips in the car, or in your arms, are also fine, as long as you are able to keep your dog away from public doggie spaces the whole time (never leave a dog in a locked car – you MUST take your dog out with you or leave them at home). Your new vet will advise you when your puppy can start walking on the ground in public spaces, and it is safe to start introducing ‘walkies!’.
Puppies are naturally playful and playing with them is a great way to bond and tire them out, especially in the first few weeks before you can walk them. We recommend using toys and balls and not just your hands to play, as ‘rough and tumble’ with your hands can either be scary for the puppy or confuse them into thinking it is OK to nip at your hands. Always remind children not to stick their hands and faces close to a puppy’s mouth, just in case.
See our guide on how to handle chewing and play-biting, here.
Whether this is your first dog, or your first puppy in many years, it is completely normal for new pet parents to have lots of questions. If you have a question about your puppy and whether their behaviour is normal, the best person to contact first is your breeder – they know your puppy best and love to give advice to make sure their little ones are settling in well. RightPaw also provides a Vet Chat you can use any time if you have questions about your pet’s health.
Puppies require a lot of time and patience from you. If you feel overwhelmed at any point, don’t be afraid to reach out. This is why you have joined the supportive RightPaw community! We know puppies, and we are always happy to help.