Now that you have puppy-proofed your home, set up initial rules and boundaries, and picked up your pup from the breeder, it is time to introduce your new family member to his home.

Remember, this is a completely new and unfamiliar place for your puppy, so take things slowly, especially on the first day. But don’t worry, follow these tips and your puppy will adjust in no time.

Let Your Dog Adjust– Give your puppy time to adjust to his new home. He is bound to feel insecure and frightened by a change in environment, and he may be homesick for his mother or littermates. Show him his crate or bed, and where to find food and water. Be sure to take him around outside, as well, and show him where you will want him to do his business. Then let him explore his surroundings (under your supervision, of course).

Make Introductions– Introduce your dog to your household slowly. Many pairs of hands petting him at once will only frighten him. If you are introducing your puppy to children, make sure they know the right way to interact with a dog. Later, introduce him to neighbors, regular visitors, and other family members. Give your dog a sense of who your friends — and your dog’s friends — are. Introducing him to a variety of people will also be a great start to puppy socialization.

Introduce Other Pets– Other companion animals in your home should also be properly introduced to your new puppy. Don’t expect them to get along right away, and don’t try to force them to play together. Give them time to adjust to one another. House-train– Even though your puppy is new to the house, you will want to begin teaching him where to go to the bathroom right away. Make sure all members of the family enforce your chosen training method consistently. And of course, accidents happen, so have a procedure for cleanup.

Enforce Rules– From the beginning, teach your dog what is and is not appropriate behavior. If something is OK today, your puppy will think it is OK forever. Make sure that every member of the family enforces the house rules. Consistency is the key to having a well-behaved pet.

It will take some time for your new puppy to get used to his new home, so make sure you give him lots of love and attention. Then, you will be on your way to a happy, well-adjusted pup!

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