Tips for new puppy owners – Canberra Pet Photographer

With Christmas just around the corner more and more families are thinking about new puppies.  Especially if they have young kids. Bringing in a new furry friend is a big commitment for families.  A commitment that can last up to 15 years.  Therefore, a new puppy is not a decision taken lightly.  There are significant costs involved even before you bring the puppy home, like a kennel, bedding, treats and toys to keep them active and busy.  Then there are the day to day costs like puppy classes and obedience classes, food, vet bills.  Everyone loves the puppy stage because they are so cute.  But how to you guarantee that you survive those early and teenage years.  Here I outline my tips for new puppy owners or those thinking about getting a new puppy.

Puppy in someone's arms
Source: Unsplash

Give puppy time to settle and basic training straight away

Bringing home a puppy is a big deal for both you and your puppy.  There is nothing more exciting than bring home a furry little friend.  But that first week can be quite a shock.

Firstly you have taken the puppy away from their pack.  Therefore, the first few nights are going to be quite scary for your puppy.  They will be crying out a lot for their mates.  It is important not to engage with this behaviour or you will be setting up for trouble later.  Don’t constantly attend this crying behaviour or you risk creating anxiety issues for your puppy.  Rather leave your puppy with a couple of pet-proof toys to allow them to cuddle up to something and keep them warm.

It is also time to start basic training in the first few weeks of the puppy coming home.  Basic commands like sit, stay and wait are great to start with to tire their little brains.  If you can keep their brains active and engaged, then you are setting your puppy up for success and you will create a great connection with your new bestest friend.

Remember positive reinforcement during this basic training period rather than punishment.  You will get much better results.  Positive reinforcement makes your puppy want to do more of the things you want him to do.

Toilet training troubles

Remember toilet training the kids?  There is no set age that begin toilet training kids.  The same is for puppies.  They will not get full control of their bladder until 16-20 weeks of age.

Toilet training can be challenging for many puppies.  There will be plenty of mistakes along the way.

Remember not to punish your puppy if they make a mistake.  Around 20-25 minutes after a drink or meal, take your puppy outside and when they have finished doing their business, praise them and reward them with a small treat.  In addition, develop your instincts of when your puppy might want to go to the bathroom, like sniffing around for no reason or going to the corner of the house.  These are sure signs of a bathroom break.

If your pet goes to the toilet in the house, you must clean it up immediately to prevent a scent post for developing.  Your vet, or local pet shop, has products specifically made for cleaning up puppy accidents to neutralise these scent posts.

Don’t forget mental exercise!

Keeping your puppy mentally stimulated is just as important as keeping them physically fit.  Just like humans that require mental stimulation during the day, so do dogs.  These are intelligent animals.

Remember, a bored dog will become a destructive dog!!

puppy lying down
Source: Unsplash

Little training sessions or brain games are a great way to exercise the brain and teach your puppy fundamental skills for the future. And the good thing is you don’t need to leave the house or can be played at home while you are at the office!

These mental exercises are more important for a puppy than physically jumping around, which should be limited to prevent injury on growing joints

Enrichment ideas, exercise and brain games

Puppies and teenage dogs are renown for getting bored easily and then unleashing their frustration with destructive behaviour like digging up the garden, tearing out plants and ripping the washing off the line.

Pets are no different to human beings in that they get bored easily.  This can be overcome easily to ensure a well-behaved dog with regular games and exercise.

All puppies need exercise.  Although it will depend on the size and the breed.  However, you should aim for at least 20 minutes of exercise each day.  This should be combined with 20 minutes of daily play to develop and build a special bond with your puppy.

Games like hide and seek where you hide treats about the backyard are a great way to exercising and engaging their brains and keep them interested.  Enrichment toys like Kongs where you can stuff them with food are also a great way to keep your puppy interested and engaged while you are at work.  Just do not forget to clean your Kong out daily.  Check out your local pet shop or Amazon for brain games will keep your dog mentally stimulated during the day.

Do not forget to go for a leisurely 20-30 minute walk with your puppy.  They will love going to new places and the new sigh and sounds will help in their development and socialisation.


Socialisation is important during the puppy, but not just will other dogs but with everything from riding on a bus or a car, lawn mowers, door bells and mixing with other people.  The overall objective is to developing a well socialised companion dog in their teenage and adult years.

Socialising begins with introducing your puppy to people, other dogs and their environment and teaches them to relate in a positive way to new experiences.  It is during these puppy stages that they start to form positive and negative experience with the things that they interact with and where these experience will have their greatest effect.  In effect, you are aiming for them not to be frightened by when they come into contact with other people, animals and their environment.

Do not forget to make sure that your puppy is fully vaccinated before you engage in socialisation programs and bring them into contact with the world.  You will never know if other puppies or dogs are carrying diseases or parasites that will be harmful to your puppy.

Puppy school at your vet or local obedience club, like Belconnen Obedience Dog Club are likely to hold socialisation classes for puppies.  During these classes other puppies are likely to be vaccinated or at the least had their first vaccines.

Puppy sitting down
Source: Unsplash

Are you looking to get some portraits taken of your new puppy?  Why not contact Alistair at Moist Nose Pet Photography to discuss your photography requirements.

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