Pomp and circumstance, let’s do a happy dance — puppy is coming home! The big day has arrived when you and the breeder agree that puppy is properly weaned and of age to make that big step. Puppy will be excited about beginning this new adventure, but these feelings will most likely be mixed with some sadness. Fellow littermates will be quickly missed, and possibly the parents, as well as the handlers from their former home. This is only natural, but so will be its transition to beginning a new life with you.
A Day at a Time
Like Charles King Cavalier Dickens wrote in his famous work Tail of Two Cites, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” However a touch of homesickness is not necessarily a bad thing, indeed it’s a sign you have chosen not only your puppy, but also its breeder well. The breeder provided a loving atmosphere for your puppy to thrive in its formative first few weeks of life and you will thank them for it.
Armed with the knowledge of the adjustment period ahead for the both of you, if at all possible, ask the breeder for one last thing. Before you leave the breeder’s premises with the puppy in its carrier, ask to also take home some treasured object. It need not be anything fancy, just a small token that the puppy is familiar with … it might even be just an old sock (old sock to you, treasured security blanket to us)! The point is it will smell familiar and make adjustment to the new digs a little easier.
Roll out the Welcome Mat
Here is where all the work you did to set up a comfortable space for your puppy will pay off. Usher puppy in and welcome him to his new home. Let him take the grand tour and sniff every corner to get used to the place. While puppy is still learning the lay of the land, place the object the breeder gave you on his bed, which of course will be close to his food and water dish. This action will help puppy understand that this area belongs to him.
Puppy will be attached to the object the first week or so, but you’re going to slowly bring home some new toys. Pick them up from the pet shop after the two of you just had a nice day in the park! Soon puppy will need that object from his old home less and less, even cast it aside. Why is this? Because puppies are creatures that live in the moment, and he is busy now enjoying his new life with you.
Be confident! Us dogs are social, intelligent and adaptable creatures. Humans are too. The first few weeks with puppy will be a challenge, but this will also be a special time for the both of you. These are the precious weeks that bond you and puppy together. Jack knows you’re up to the task!