First off, let us congratulate you on becoming a new parent! We can already tell you’re feeling over the moon with excitement, but perhaps a little unsure of what to do once they’ve made it home. 

To get you feeling confident and ready to embark on this  adventure, we’ve gathered some of the most useful puppy tips and insights you’re going to need to hit the ground running. 

80+ New puppy tips – How to look after a puppy

Puppy Tips on picking up your dog for the first time

We share your excitement of picking your puppy up for the first time. To make your first meeting run smoothly and free of any stress, here is some good advice and new puppy tips to calm your nerves:

1. Pick your puppy up on a weekend

Picking your puppy up on the weekend will let you have plenty of time with them at home to let them settle in. This will also give you enough time to get to know each other, and start working on your routines.

2. Make the transition easier

To make their journey home more comforting, give the breeder a blanket to impregnate the smell of their mother and siblings. Otherwise, ask the breeder if you can have a piece of the bedding they have used with your puppy. 

3. Take water from the breeder’s

This is a puppy tip to prevent any nasty piles from turning up in your home! Ask the breeder for some water from their tap – this will help prevent an upset stomach (polite way of saying a poopy mess) when your puppy drinks water from your home.

4. Prepare for the journey home

Decide where your puppy is going to go for the journey home. This can be quite stressful for them, so we recommend having a warm blanket and a lap for them to sit on. If you don’t have anyone to hold them securely (and lovingly, of course) in the car, have a crate or carrier secured onto the passenger seat so you can be close to them.

5. Prepare their collar! 

In tune with the rules yet? It’s a legal requirement that all dogs in the UK should wear a collar and ID tag for their safety  – not only for purposes of fashion.  Have a soft collar and ID tag ready to put on your puppy before you head home.

6. Plan for pee stops

If you live far away from the breeder’s, make sure to stop every 30 minutes for a toilet break (for your puppy, not yourself). See if they’ll go on the puppy training pad. 

7. Get your house puppy-ready

This is a new puppy tip we really want to hammer home; this is crucial for a smooth first day at home for you and your puppy. Have everything ready and set up in-home for when your puppy arrives. 

8. Prepare for smelly accidents

If it’s a long journey back home, you definitely want to pack paper towels and line their crate with puppy pads. Have an enzyme cleaner ready with you in case they have an accident!

PRO TIP: Lots of puppies are often sick on their way home. To avoid cleaning up sick from in between the cracks of your car (getting anything out of them always seems impossible) ask your breeder not to feed your puppy the morning you pick them up. But don’t worry if it happens! They’re just babies after all, really.

9. Prepare a checklist

Make sure you don’t miss any important puppy care items with this puppy tip, by keeping everything organised on a list. Here’s a quick checklist of things we suggest you buy before you pick up your puppy:

Tips for how to help your puppy sleep at night

Looking after a puppy at night comes with a few challenges as well. Here is how to make sure everything goes smoothly.

10. Place their crate next to your bed

For a happy puppy, and a smooth introduction to their new home, this new puppy tip will ensure just that. Having you close to them will help them feel safe since you’re right there if they need you.

11. Stay half awake

We mean this half literally. This puppy tip will set you up for the beginning of your toilet training antics!  During the night, listen out for them squeaking at night, it might mean they need the loo. If they start making noises, take them straight to their toilet area and back. It’s okay if they take a few minutes to go, they’re simply getting used to their surroundings. 

If you’re sure they don’t need the toilet, lean over and talk to them gently to help them feel comforted and at peace. 

12. Change your bedtime for later

The later you go to bed, the less chance they’ll need the toilet during the night. Try to make bedtime midnight if you can, after one last poo.    

13. Start your mornings earlier

Wakey-wakey! Set your alarm for an earlier time in the morning and make taking your puppy to the toilet be the first thing on your to-do list. 

14. Keep it quiet

This new puppy tip goes hand in hand with crate training. Place their crate away from all the buzz and noise so that they can sleep undisturbed.

15. Be a stickler for the rules

Stick to a nap schedule (not you, the puppy!)

16. Learn to recognise whether your puppy is sleepy

If the puppy is getting bitey or irritable, these are good signs that they probably need to go to sleep. Just like a toddler at the shops. Check out our puppy night-time routine article for even more handy new puppy tips.

Puppy toilet accidents new puppy tips

17. Be their toilet guide

Yes, this is also your new title. Help your puppy know where they should go to the toilet by having a specific toilet area, with this new puppy tip. Preferably, you want to have them have a space to go somewhere outside or a puppy pad area away from their crate.

18. Keep a schedule

To get the puppy toilet training train going, create (and follow) a good schedule that includes bedtime and wake ups, feeding, play, sleep and nap times, and of course, toilet breaks. At the start, toilet breaks will need to be as frequent as every 15 minutes! Discover more puppy toilet training tips with our in-depth guide.

Tips for dealing with a puppy chewing and destroying things 

Before your puppy makes it home, we strongly recommend puppy-proofing your house. They might look cute, but those teeth could chew through anything. Anything. Here are a few useful new puppy tips.

19. Put out of reach anything you want to keep in full form

This includes electrical cables, toilet rolls (a firm favourite), shoes, cushions, remotes…

20. Use baby gates

This may sound like a harsh puppy tip, but trust us, it isn’t! If there’s a particular room you don’t want your puppy in, use baby gates to keep them out. They’re surprisingly difficult to open; they could easily be human adult-proof.

21. Create a confinement area for your puppy

Include their crate, toys and a water bowl so you know they’re taken care of when you can’t keep a good eye on them.

Puppy tTips on looking after a puppythem when you’re out all day

Unfortunately, our daily activities aren’t entirely puppy friendly. The world isn’t that advanced yet.

However, the truth is that dogs are as social as can be, and need human interaction. Because of this, they really shouldn’t be left on their own all day.  

But we recognise that you must have many other responsibilities besides looking after your puppy. Going to work or going to Sainsbury’s for a food shop is probably among the most common ones. 

If you have to leave your puppy at home for longer period of time, here are a few new puppy tips we recommend following before you go on your way: 

50+ Tips for New Puppy Owners

22. Alone time training

Before you leave them, go through a couple of short sessions of alone time training so that being left on their own doesn’t take them completely by surprise.

23. Get their basic needs covered

Before you leave, make sure your puppy has been exercised, fed and taken to the toilet. This puppy tip It’is a good way to keep them from needing anything in particular for quite some time. Leave puppy training pads and a fresh water bowl within their reach too!

24. Connect their crate to a confined space

Have your puppy’s crate with the door left open connected to a playpen or in a confinement area. This will ensure they have some room to move around, and not feel like they’ve been trapped.

25. Leave them entertained

This new puppy tip not only keeps them occupied, but also stimulated. A Kong or stuffed chew toy is brilliant to give them something to do in your absence. They do a great job at keeping them busy and hold them off missing you for a little while. 

26. Get spying

Ah, what a wonder technology is. Set up a pet camera so that you can keep an eye on your puppy throughout the time you leave them. 

27. Find trusty helpers

If you’re leaving your puppy for several hours, it’s a good idea to look into a trusted pet carer or dog walker. 

28. Lowkey hellos and goodbyes

Don’t make your departures or arrivals too exciting – keep them laid-back to avoid overstimulating your puppy. Chances are they’ll probably already be buzzing to see you walk inside. Seeing you go outside though, not so much. But your sweet, gentle voice will do just fine to let them know you’ll be back before they know it. We know all you want to do when you see your puppy is to give them copious amounts of love, but trust us, this new puppy tip will keep them and you stress-free.

Puppy tips on food treats & toxic foods

Did you know some foods are poisonous to dogs? Yep, not good. Some of the most commonly found human foods that are toxic include chocolate, onions, grapes, raisins, alcohol and xylitol. See this list by the ASPCA for a more exhaustive list of foods your puppy shouldn’t eat

29. Choose puppy treats that smell really good

If they smell fishy, it’s probably a good thing. The most important thing when choosing treats is that they smell really good. Dogs have fewer taste buds than humans but have a much stronger sense of smell, so you will definitely have to charm them through their noses. If you see your puppy going bonkers, congratulations, you have excellent taste in dog treats. 

PRO TIP: Treats shouldn’t form more than 10% of your puppy’s daily calorie intake, so cut them up very small. You can also try to use some of their regular food for their training. 

Yes, there is thing such as a puppy treat hierarchy: 

30. Include high-value treats to your puppy’s menu 

These are the puppy treats you want to use when overcoming difficult situations – like the dreaded visits to the vet. This is a puppy tip that will keep them super happy!

High value treats are mainly meat based and quite appetizing. These can include human foods such as small pieces of:

  • Chicken 
  • Hot dog
  • Cheese (in moderation)
  • Cocktail Sausages
  • Sandwich or deli meats (low salt)
  • Or if you’re feeling crafty, home-made treats such as:
  • Liver Cake
  • Sardine Cake
  • Oven dried liver and heart (not your ex’s please).

31. Use medium-value puppy treats to reward them

Commercial treats tend to fall into this category. You can use them for rewarding puppies after tasks or situations of “middle” difficulty. Think of it as an in-between treat – for when your puppy does something more than sitting, but less than overcoming their fears of vaccines. 

Quite a lot of grey areas there, but you’ll probably come up with several instances you can use them for.

Here are some of our personal favourite puppy treats.

32. Offer your puppy low-value treats for their everyday ‘accomplishments’

Low value treats are simply your puppy’s kibble – code for every day dog food. They’re the ones you should opt for when treating your puppy for doing every day, easy jobs like settling on his mat, or when they’ve finally mastered a harder task like going to the loo in the right place. This is a great puppy tip that you can carry on using throughout your pups adult life too.

They’re simply a good way to keep up reward-based training while providing good nutrition and staying off the extra pounds. 

PRO TIP: Have a bag of your puppy’s regular kibble to use as low value treats, but have another bag with slightly different and tastier kibble that you can use as a treat, The goal is to make your puppy perceive them as being better and be more likely to work for them.  This is a good way to keep your puppy from getting chubs – you’re still giving your puppy a COMPLETE diet, and you’ll have more treats to give during training.

PRO TIP: Whenever you’re training, make sure to not go overboard with feeding them treats so that they don’t gain weight excessively. We all know the uphill battle losing weight can be. 

Puppies and treats go hand in hand. Or paw in paw.

33. Use snack-type treats strategically

For in-between meal times, you’re welcome to treat your puppy to larger snacks.   Snack-type treats are great to keep them entertained and relaxed without needing your full attention. They’ll also probably help you score some extra bonus points.

Here are some good examples of snacks they’ll like to dig in to:

  • Puppy dental sticks
  • Rice bones
  • Peanut butter biscuits

34. Don’t forget about puppy-safe chews

As you could probably tell from the various attempts to bite your hands off, puppies need to chew a lot! This new puppy tip won’t only stop them from nipping at your fingers, but will give their teeth a good clean. Although they look like they could bite through steel, there are certain things that are too hard for their baby teeth. Yes, steel is definitely one of them. So are antler, cooked bones, wood and metal.

Here’s a curated list of our favourite chew toys for puppies:

Yak Chews – Made from Himalayan yak milk 

Vegetable chews – You’ll see these in all kinds of shapes: toothbrushes, hedgehogs, crocodiles, your boss (ha, you wish) and puppies go crazy for them.

Rice Bones – They’re quite hard, but nice to chew for a couple of hours. They’re also low fat, gotta love that. 

Buffalo Horn – Yes, these exist. Made from keratin, the buffalo horn is ace for a good long-lasting chew. Many of them can be stuffed with cheese, for example. 

35. Frozen chew toys are great news for sore gums

For puppies, chewing on frozen chew toys feels amazing on their sore gums – brain freeze isn’t really a think for them. We recommend using Kongs, but you should introduce them little by little in terms of difficulty so that they don’t get to frustrated about figuring it out and give up straight away.

New puppy tips on Toilet Training

Ah, the dreaded puppy toilet training regime.

Not to worry, you’ll both get the hang of it with practice and a little bit of patience. Here are some potty-training puppy tips to get you on the same page:

PRO TIP: We won’t lie – accidents will happen in those first few weeks! During this period, an enzyme cleaner will be your best friend. Be prepared to take on cleaning duties a lot more than you’re used to.  You won’t be doing it for too long, chin up!

36. Rhythm is key

A great way to tackle puppy toilet training is to create a schedule around toilet breaks, which will be made that bit easier with this new puppy tip. Make sure to give the loo a visit after: 

  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Playing
  • Sleeping
  • And roughly after every 15 minutes too!

37. Put your rugs away! 

With all due respect, we don’t want your puppy to mistake your beautiful rugs and mats for a puppy pad. Puppies are quite fond of soft surfaces for going to the toilet, so we advise you to keep them out of danger for now! 

38. Watch out for toilet signs

Although your puppy can’t express his needs through words, there are certain things they can do to signal them to you. Here are the most common ones: 

  • Sniffing
  • Circling
  • Behaving Agitated
  • Biting or licking your hands 
  • Attention seeking behaviour
  • Whining

PRO TIP: Have a pot of treats ready near the toilet area so that you don’t forget to reward your puppy every time they go to the toilet in the right place. Every. Single. Time. 

39. Punishment isn’t the answer

As we mentioned before, accidents happen! Your safest bet is to ignore your annoyance (we feel you) and clean it up. Please listen to this puppy tip when we say punishment isn’t effective, because it will encourage your puppy to go on ‘secret pee excursions’ around the house instead, and will set your toilet training back.

40. Confinement is your friend

Let’s put it this way; the less space your puppy has to roam around, the less chances of them having accidents around the house. Using a confinement area such as a crate, puppy pen or baby gated area will really help to speed up toilet training and keep your sanity for longer. We’ve all gone through it before, we understand how toilet training can feel tedious!

New puppy tips on crate training

Crate training your puppy will do miraculous things for toilet training, travelling and visiting all sorts of places, including the vet. 

Here are our golden new puppy tips for successful crate training:

41. Make quick introductions

Within day one of bringing your puppy home, try to have them sleep inside the crate from the first time. Make it nice and comfortable with a warm blanket and a couple of soft toys to keep him company during the night. No need to shut the door for now, but do try to get them to sleep there on that first day. It’s a great way to start on the right foot!

42. Crate door stays open

Make sure you don’t close or lock the crate door until you’re sure you have gone through our complete crate training guide. Once that’s covered, you’ll feel happy with having the door closed. Any sooner can be a bit distressing for them, and who wants to see a sad puppy?

43. Crates are for sleeping, not punishment! 

This new puppy tip is pretty self-explanatory, but worth remembering. Your mission during this training is to make your puppy feel at ease with the crate, as if it were his sanctuary. You’re not going to punish them anyway (riiight?), but just so you have an idea, associating the crate with punishment would make them want to stay away from it…which you don’t want.

44. Don’t leave your puppy in the crate for too long

Having said how social they are, being in the crate for too long can end up making them become scared, anxious or frustrated. On top of that, if they pee in the crate, you’ll undo all of the fabulous progress you’ve done on toilet training!

45. Place the crate in a common area

Somewhere your family likes to spend time in is great, unless it’s a main thoroughfare like a hallway where it might be too busy. The living room usually makes a good location for dog crates; they won’t mind joining you for some telly.

46. Feed your puppy’s meals inside the crate

Our new puppy tip to you on this is to start giving them their food inside puzzle toys so that it takes them longer to eat (and avoid the aftermath of indigestion) and they build confidence inside the crate. 

47. Turn the crate into a fun den

Convince them further about their crates being friendly places to be by hiding treats and toys inside for your puppy to find. 

48. Connect a play pen

If you have to leave for an extended time, the puppy tip we would give you is to have the crate connected to a play pen with a toilet training pad (as farthest from the crate as you can) to help them distinguish their toilet area from their sleeping and activity better.  Wouldn’t want to get those mixed up!

Puppy tips on Toys & Games

It’s no secret that puppies love to play! Here are some of our best new puppy tips to make the most out of play time: 

49. Hands are not toys

You’re welcome to give your puppy a hand while playing, just make sure it’s not your literal hand. One of the best new puppy tips is to always use toys to play with your dog (not just with your hands) to avoid getting bitten by their (very) baby shark teeth.

50. No rough games (for now)

As you are now well aware, you don’t want to mix sharp teeth with your hands. We recommend discouraging puppies from playing wrestling or rough housing games when they’re young to avoid damaging them, or us!

51. Keep an eye on children and puppies

Can’t deny they make the perfect pair, as long as they are supervised. Don’t leave young children and puppies playing together unsupervised since it’s all too easy for a puppy to accidentally scratch a child when going for a toy. 

52. Play nice! 

Yep, this new puppy tip is for you. Although puppies can seem quite strong because of their high energy and sharp teeth, they’re more delicate than we may realise. We don’t want to frighten you, but being too rough in play can cause serious damage to their joints and even pull their teeth out. But all of this is easily avoided by being gentle – they’re really just babies in the end. 

53. Play clever games

Fun games are one of the joys of looking after a puppy. Those that encourage innate behaviour such as chasing (toys, not children!) sniffing, chewing, scavenging and digging are tip top. 

54. Sharing is caring

This is a great new puppy tip to help socialise your puppy. Show your puppy that great things come with sharing, by swapping a lot during playtime (kind of like a ‘if I give you this you give me that’ situation). This will prevent your puppy from resource guarding and becoming like Lucy Van Pelt (the well-known anti-hero of the Peanuts series).

You can try this by playing with one toy, and then pulling out another one your puppy likes.  Incite play with that one so that they drop the first one, and continue the cycle.

Nothing beats a good chew at a squishy toy.

New puppy tips on enrichment

Puppy care also includes looking after your dog’s mental wellbeing. Having an enriched environment for your puppy’s mental development is quite important for learning to lower stress and boredom. You will often hear this referred to as Environmental Enrichment – or keep things cool, simply as enrichment.

Sounds like we should take notes for our own mental development, to be fair. So, take a look at our new puppy tips on enrichment, so you can get started the right way.

55. Teach your puppy to walk on different surfaces such as:

  • Sand
  • Soil
  • Tiles – carpet or stone
  • A large tray with water to paddle in (this one is heart-warming to watch). 

56. Take them on walks to places like:

  • A forest
  • The beach
  • A city farm (if dogs are allowed)

Tips on Puppy Socialisation

In everybody’s world, not only dogs’, being sociable is one of the most important things we can do to simply make life run smoother and better. 

For your puppy, this means meeting new and different people, animals and experiences. In this puppy tip, we want to highlight that it’s very important to start training puppies to be sociable while they’re young, so that they can overcome any struggle or worry as quickly as possible, and simply enjoy their time outside a lot sooner.  

Here are a couple of puppy socialisation tips you’ll find useful:

57. Start slowly

This puppy tip is crucial, by making sure you don’t rush yourself or your puppy into a situation. The first few days your puppy is home everything can feel overwhelming, so take your time, and don’t do everything all at once. Easy does it.

58. Watch the world go by

A good activity we like doing during their first days at home is to sit just outside of your home and allow them to observe their surroundings. This lets them take in vital information about the world around them; and although first encounters with things like curious pigeons or loud cars can startle them a bit, they’ll bounce back quickly and realise that they won’t do them any harm. 

PRO TIP: With puppies, “facing their fears” doesn’t work. If they have a strong fearful response to something, move them away from it, and allow them to experience it from afar.

59. Don’t forget their treats

Every day you take your puppy outside, make sure to always remember this puppy tip and bring some treats with you so you can reward him for jobs well done every now and then – the lesson is that the outside world is a rewarding place. It truly is to be honest, the number of times a simple picnic in the park has uplifted our moods is evidence of that.

60. Stay in small groups

Let’s rather not turn it into a national event. We recommend that just two people visit your puppy at a time during their first week at home to avoid getting so overwhelmed by so many new faces all at once. All the ooh’s and the aah’s can be a bit too much as a wee lad. 

61. Keep calm and puppy will be fine

When you have people come visit your puppy, allow your puppy to approach them when they are ready. This is a great new puppy tip to help them get used to new people being allowed in their home, not just their family! Handing guests a few treats can be a great help in making your puppy enjoy the experience of being around new people. Perhaps we should try doing the same next time we find ourselves in the middle of strangers at a birthday party.

62. Diversity matters

Yes, diversity also matters in your puppy’s world. Build familiarity between your puppy and people of all: 

  • Genders
  • Ages
  • Different physical characteristics
  • People in uniforms
  • People in unfamiliar clothing such as hats, glasses, headscarves, Hi-Viz and hoodies.

63. Puppy-class

Puppy classes may be a big question mark to some people when it comes to having a new puppy, here is our puppy tip on why they are important. Puppy classes are quite helpful ways to get your puppy socialising in a safe, controlled way. Examples we recommend of well-run puppy class are definitely with trainers from and or a member of UK Dog Behaviour and Training Charter: Homepage Besides their shining personalities, dog trainers will talk you through puppy socialisation. Ask whether they allow free play with other puppies! It’ll be grand for them, but also within a controlled, safe environment so no one gets hurt. 

64. No touchy? 

Puppy tip to remember– your puppy isn’t everybody’s, so if you don’t want a stranger touching them, that’s completely fine. Just make up an excuse (an excellent opportunity to think creatively) and move along! 

65. Puppy carriers

Carriers are truly the bee’s knees when it comes to your puppy’s first steps in socialisation. We encourage using carriers when going on socialisation field trips with your puppy, especially ones that involve public transport like trains and buses.  Going on a ride for a few stops will do just fine – it will help them feel safe and confident in entirely new surroundings. 

66. Confidence is key

Here is one of the most important puppy tips for new puppies: as long as you’re cool as a cucumber, they’ll follow. If we teach our puppy that all of these new (and often dodgy-looking) experiences are no great shakes, it will rub off on them and help them become strong, independent, confident dogs.

Who doesn’t love a good list? You can download our puppy socialisation checklist here– we’ve added some of our own ideas and some room for you to add your own.

New puppy tips for a good first vet visit

67. Fill the paperwork and ask questions

Think of any questions or things you’d like to know surrounding anything at all about your puppy, and write them down before going to the vet so you don’t forget. 

68. Don’t forget the essentials!

This is a good puppy tip if your puppy has had their first round. Bring your vaccination card from the breeder or rescue with you. If they’ve been given any wormer or flea treatment already, make sure to bring details of them as well. 

PRO TIPS: Before you bring your puppy home, ask your breeder or rescue centre you got them from whether they will be giving your puppy their first vaccinations.

Ask them which brand or make the vaccine is, and bring this up with your vet. This puppy tip is important to do, since the brand does need to match to their new ones, otherwise you’ll have to restart the vaccine schedule. Your puppy will also lose out on valuable socialisation time if this happens, so better ask first. 

69. Book an early bird appointment

Schedule an early appointment, as there will be less chance that appointments before yours run late, and you find yourself waiting in a hectic waiting room.

70. Early bird catches worm

Again, with the bird metaphors. Arrive early to your appointment to give your puppy a chance to get settled and comfortable. Zooming in will probably make your puppy pick up on your stress, and associate the vet with it – not a good idea. 

71. No to pre-vet meals

This is a puppy tip to save you heaving, on your way to the vets! Avoid getting your dog’s dinner from last night (pun intended) inside your car. Don’t feed your puppy before you travel to the vets to avoid any travel nausea on the way!

72. Bring in the high value

You know, the ones that make their tails wag like propellers.  Cooked chicken, sausage or cheese will always be received with a big smile; and makes the experience much more fun for your puppy. For you as well, if you’d fancy some treats yourself.

73. Make regular visits

Once your puppy has had their first vet visit, keep visiting the vet often. Pop by for a quick chat at the vets, while letting your puppy explore the waiting room. This will help them become familiar with the room, the staff and about coming for visits every now and then. 

74. Treats from the staff

You already know that treats work like a charm, so this puppy tip comes as no surprise. Have the vet staff hand your puppy treats so we start building positive associations. It’s sort of like bribing to be fair, but truly in the best way possible. 

75. Keep the microchipping details up to date

This is a good new puppy tip to save you feeling unorganised. Make sure all of your details are correct with your puppy’s microchip company – keep these up to date in case you move house or change your phone number! That way, if your puppy ever gets lost (don’t want to be negative, but just to be on the safe side), they can be redirected straight back to you.

Also, keep your puppy’s microchip number at hand (whether you jot it down on a notepad or completely memorize it) for your Pet Insurance, should you decide to insure them. 

Puppy Tip 101: Common mistakes to avoid when getting a new puppy

76. Don’t give your puppy too much freedom too soon!

Freedom will come one day! You’ll both be singing along to George Michael sooner than you think, don’t worry. 

But while they’re young, you might want to keep your puppy from enjoying too much freedom since it can result in pesky things like:

  • Toilet training mistakes (the smelly ones)
  • Things, like your collection of Monty Python DVDs, being destroyed and chewed 
  • Your puppy accidentally hurting themselves
  • Your puppy escaping 
  • But you can easily prevent this by:
  • Placing them inside a confinement area when not watching them 
  • Closing off any rooms they don’t need to be in
  • Making sure your garden is well fenced
  • Not leaving the front door open. We hope you’re not doing this one whether or not you have a puppy. 

77. Avoid free feeding

Have a dog that seems to eat anything and everything in their way? This is the new puppy tip for you. So, we know for sure that dogs aren’t sheep. Even if you’ve named them Shaun. What this also means is that, unlike sheep, dogs shouldn’t be left to graze on food all day.  Leaving food all day for the puppy to have every now and then on their own schedule, isn’t the best idea. 

We know the wonderful feeling of finding an uneaten (but still edible) piece of food around the house. Although puppies may share this joy, you want to prevent this from happening. Topping up or leaving a bowl of food down all day can often cause problems such as:

  • Food going off, and your puppy becoming fussy about eating that food again (rightfully so, to be completely honest). 
  • Making your life and toilet training difficult by making going to the loo more unpredictable, (you’ll never know when they need to go).
  • Slowing down overall puppy training as you’ll never be sure if he’s hungry or not.
  • Not knowing how much your puppy is eating, and risking putting on extra weight.
  • Instead of free feeding, try the following:
  • Having a meal schedule that reminds you to feed your puppy
  • We recommend feeding them three to four meals a day depending on their age. If they’re younger, go for an extra one (let’s call it tea time) to help them stay full overnight, and not wake up from feeling peckish. 
  • After their meals, try not to offer food until the next meal. Don’t let their eyes get you!
  • Making sure your puppy is fully in love with the food he’s given (like you and curly fries). Feel free to try different brands and flavours!
  • Use food toys. They’ll encourage your puppy to eat by making a picnic out of it. 

78. Avoid repeating cues

Dogs respond to cues quite remarkably. Once having taught your puppy to do something on cue, say the cue just once and wait. Especially in the early days, they need this extra thinking time to connect the dots. When they do the task correctly, give them a yummy reward.

PRO TIP: Make a list of your puppy’s “cue dictionary” and hang it somewhere visible around the house, so your family always knows the right words to use. 

79. Make sure you implement a routine and feeding schedule

This is a key new puppy tip that should be implemented from day one. Routines are key when looking after a puppy. They’re great for polishing all the essentials puppies need to become clever and easy -going dogs.  The structure of knowing when they will eat, sleep, play and toilet provides puppies confidence to take on the world, as they can predict what is going to happen in the future. 

Little fortune tellers, them.

The absence of routines is code for having accidents, and you never really feel like you’re in control of your puppy’s day to day needs. But that’s easily avoided: Just stick to a routine. Unlike the New Year’s resolutions, we don’t stick to (but do all right either way), there is one thing where consistency is key – when it comes to puppy training.  

80. Don’t be apprehensive about socialising without vaccinations

There are many puppy tips around the subject of socialisation and vaccinations. To make it simple, socialisation is best started early. When puppies are young, it’s so important to start introducing them to everything that lives on the planet to prevent them from developing behavioural problems as adults, and to give them a chance to understand what’s going on around them a lot better. It’s essentially about helping them see la vie en rose as they grow up. 

However, socialisation must be carried out with care (especially if they haven’t had their vaccinations yet) so that we don’t expose them to unnecessary risk of disease.

Looking for more useful new puppy  tips? Check out our article about the ideal puppy routine for all the things your new pup will get up to during day and night.