Bringing a new puppy home is an exciting time for the family and a few sensible tips can help make it a smooth transition. Before choosing a new puppy, it's a good idea to research the breed and consider how the dog will fit into your household. There are many resources available to help you with this decision, including The Advance website which lists a short profile of all the common dog breeds http://www.advancepet.com.au/breed-profiles.
Make sure you are prepared before your new puppy comes home – puppy-proof the house and have a bed, food and toys ready. Help the puppy learn a happy association with his bed, mat or crate by giving him food and toys there.
If you have another dog at home, introduce the dogs away from your house in a neutral environment. Walk them together and allow them to sniff each other and greet. From their first meeting, use food treats to help the dogs learn that good things happen when they are together. Once they are interacting happily away from the house, take them home and continue the introduction. Make sure you always monitor the dogs and do not leave them alone until you are confident they are safe together. Puppies can be tiring for older dogs and are still learning to read dog body language so may not recognise when your older dog is getting fed up. You may need to separate them at times to give your older dog a break.
If your older dog doesn't always like other dogs, please talk to us before you bring the puppy home. If your dogs are not getting along well, do not punish them. Keep them separate and talk to us for some more advice.
Introducing puppies to cats is best done when the puppy is a little tired and less likely to jump or bark. Put the puppy on a lead, keep him busy playing or chewing on a treat, then let the cat into the room. Allow the cat to decide if it wants to approach. Use treats to reward both the cat and the puppy when they are calm around each other.
Early socialisation is very important so make sure you take your puppy to a good puppy preschool.
We run puppy preschool as a 4 week course on Thursday evenings. It is conducted by 2 accredited Delta-Canine Good Citizen Instructors.
Contact us for more details or look at out website http://www.kensingtonvet.com.au/puppy-preschool.