What do first time puppy owners need to know? Here’s the Answer

Invest in Good Quality Puppy Equipment

Investing in good quality equipment for your pup is a must! Although it may be a bit more expensive, quality always pays off in the end.

How to Stop a Puppy from Barking

In an apartment, a puppy barking will disturb your neighbors and make you unpopular. Avoid this by teaching your puppy good habits from the start.

Be careful never to reward your puppy for barking. Unfortunately, shouting at your puppy to be quiet, does this. When your puppy tries those first, exploratory barks, ignore them. If they learn barking isn’t rewarded, it becomes less attractive.

Some breeds are born barkers. Know this and wait for a gap in the barking to distract the dog with a squeaky toy. Then call the dog over and train them to pick up the toy. With a toy in their mouth, they’re less likely to bark. Now, reward them for carrying the toy. Pretty soon, your puppy will learn to pick up a toy instead of woofing.

Puppies need to chew. The trick is to get them to chew their stuff, not yours.

Puppy proofing is very important, so your puppy doesn’t get their teeth into your shoes, books, or clothes. Next, you’ll need to provide an outlet for your puppy’s need to chew. Give your puppy chew toys or make your own.

Bored puppies are great chewers, so prevent boredom with exercise and play.

A puppy needs to learn basic commands such as “Sit”, “Stay”, “Come”, and “Look”.


Teach “sit” using a treat as a lure. Hold the treat in front of your puppy’s nose. Raise the treat in an arc over the puppy’s head. As they follow the treat, their butt sinks to the floor. As this happens, say “sit” and reward the puppy.

Repeat this often. The puppy will learn what “sit” means and may even do it on their own in anticipation of a reward.


When teaching “stay”, have the dog sit, then wait a few seconds before giving the reward. Stretch out the time your puppy waits to get a treat.

Label this pause with the cue word “stay”. Once the puppy is able to sit still for one minute, take one step away then return to the puppy’s side.

Add to the distance between you and your pet, gradually stepping further and further away, while your dog stays put.


Teach a young puppy to “come” by running away from them! This triggers their natural instinct to stick with their loved ones, like their mother.

As your puppy runs to catch up, say “come” in an excited voice. Praise your puppy and give a treat when they get to you.


Get your puppy’s attention with a treat. Move the treat in a straight line from the puppy’s eyeline up to the bridge of your nose. As your puppy watches the treat say “look”.

Count to ten, praise your puppy and give them the treat. Extend the time your puppy stares before giving them the reward.

Start leash training when you have plenty of time!

Walk forward with your puppy on a leash.

When your puppy runs ahead, change direction and call to your puppy to come. Walk forward, only for as long as the leash stays slack. As soon as puppy pulls, change direction and call to them.

This teaches the puppy that pulling halts progress and gets them nowhere fast. They’ll learn it is quicker to get to an exciting place such as the park, by walking to heel.

What to feed and how much should a puppy eat can be confusing.

Always offer puppy food (rather than adult or senior) to a growing pup.

The choice of puppy food wet or dry is a personal preference, as both are balanced diets.

Read the label and choose a food that lists named meats as the first four ingredients. Use the feeding guide on the pack as a starting point for the amount to feed.

Next, you’re probably asking yourself how often to feed a puppy. As a rule, divide the daily food allowance into four portions spaced out over the day. Once the puppy reaches three months of age, cut them down to three meals per day. At six months, go to twice daily feeding.

Considering where your dog will sleep

Dogs are social sleepers and so considering where you want your dog to sleep and how you are going to work up to this is an important step in bringing your puppy home. If you want your dog to sleep in a crate in the kitchen this will not be possible on the first night but will be possible over a period of nights. On the first night, allow the puppy to sleep in the crate in your room, so you can provide that social support. Over many nights, as your puppy is able to sleep through the night, you can gradually move their crate out into your desired space.

When your dog first comes home, they will be sent home with a bag of food that they have been eating at the breeder. If you wish to change the diet, this should be done slowly, adding an increasing amount of the new food every day!

It is important to understand the nutritional value of the food you are giving your dog, and to feed your dog a high quality, grain free diet. Ideally, your dog should be eating fresh, healthy food that contains ingredients that you recognise.

New Puppy Tips – Surviving the First Week