Your puppy will be excited and anxious in his new environment. It is your job to make him feel safe and comfortable. Here are some tips:
- Be patient. Although accidents will happen, do not reprimand your puppy during the first 24-48 hours while he is acclimating to the new environment. But do praise him profusely when he does something positive.
- Structure is a must. Have a planned schedule from the day your pup arrives – especially when trying to housebreak. Take your puppy outside at least every 30-45 minutes, and stay with him so that you know he has toileted. I always recommend taking your puppy out on leash, to the same spot, and not allowing it to wander all over. You should also walk your puppy outside, not carry it, so he/she knows the route to get outside and it will become a habit.
- Getting acclimated. This will take some time. Show your puppy where he will be eating, sleeping and toileting. As your puppy adapts to the new surroundings and routine, it will feel more comfortable.
- Use the crate and bedding at night. As difficult as it is, avoid letting your puppy sleep with you or any other family member in the bed. It could lead to behavior problems down the road, I have seen it many times. It is OK to have the crate in your room so the puppy knows you are close, but expect to have a few nights of interrupted sleep. You can also hide a ticking clock in his bed, or use a snuggly toy that has a heartbeat and warming capability to help your puppy feel they are not alone (there are a number of these on Amazon). It’s also a good idea, if possible, to bring home a blanket, towel or toy that has been with the litter/mother so the scents are familiar.
- Tough love should be your motto. Usually a puppy takes a few nights to feel safe. Take him out to toilet every 4-5 hours. Other than that, he will need to get used to sleeping on his own.