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Question about first moments home with new puppy


Well-known member
This might be a silly question, but I'm starting to get anxious about how things will go the first day we bring our pup home in 2 weeks(!)

She will be 17 weeks old and we will have a 2 hour drive home from the breeder's. I know I need to bring her to the backyard to go to the bathroom as soon as we arrive home. Do I take her out of her crate from the car and put her harness and lead on and take her to the yard? I don't think she has worn a harness or been on a lead yet. I'm wondering if putting on the harness/lead is going to be too overwhelming for her first moments home. Should I just carry her to the yard for her first pottying and put the harness/lead on her for the next time out?

Same thing with the crate...I don't think she's been in a crate before. I'm guessing the first day at home, I won't plan on doing anything but watching her and introducing the crate slowly. In other words, I'll make sure I don't need to crate her with the door closed because I can't watch her. I think I should use treats/her food to introduce her to her crate, but leave the door open the first few times. Ian Dunbar recommends showing them a filled Kong and then placing the Kong in the crate and closing the door and when they "ask" for it, to open the crate and let them in.

Does all this sound right? Can you tell I'm nervous about our new arrival?! lol

I feel like I know what I need to do for her training, but it's those little details for the first day or so that I'm unsure about!
How excited you are to be bringing your puppy home soon. It’sreally great that you are planning this all ahead as this will help the puppy’stransition go a lot smoother for her and you!

For both BellaMia and Milo, we had a 2 hour drive also. We planned our trip to get to the breeders home by 9-10 am. This gave us enough time to go over any last minute instructions or ask any other questions and still get home early enough so the puppy has the majority of the day at our house and sniffing about the new surroundings.
When we arrived home, we carried the crate, with the puppy in it, directly to the yard, then let the puppy out to pee or poop, sniff around, play a little, etc. We didn’t put a collar/harness on until a day ortwo later, giving the puppy some time to settle in.

Make sure you have the room already set up where the puppy will be staying. This will make the transition for the puppy and you go a little smoother. With both our puppies, we offered a treat for the puppy to go into the crate, with lots and lots of praise, one when they went in, with more praise, and another one after we closed to door to the crate. However, there were times when we had to pick the puppy up and gently place in crate, especially in the beginning.
We have 2 crates set ups, one on the family area and one inour bedroom for nighttime and always give treats for both.

BellaMia is now 2 years old and Milo is 7 mos and they both run to the crate when they see the treat come out!
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Thanks so much for your reply, Joyce! I've been reading and planning for weeks! We are planning to arrive at our breeder's home at 10:30am, too, so we have most of the first day at home.

Thanks for sharing how you handled the first potty experience at your house and how you introduced the crate. I think I'll wait a day to introduce the collar and harness. We'll definitely use lots of treats to help with crate training. Luckily, Cori is very food motivated according to the breeder!

We have one crate in the kitchen right by the door to the backyard and another in our bedroom where she'll sleep.

Thanks again! Your pups are adorable!!

Amy :)