‘Pawternity’ leave: How to make the most of the first week with your puppy

The first week with a new puppy is both exciting and exhausting. Here are some tips for getting through the first few days, including how to set rules, establishing a schedule, and getting used to having a shadow.

Start off on the right foot.

A good first impression is the first step toward a happy life together. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your puppy’s first week:

  • Introduce your new puppy to its new environment by taking it on walks around the neighborhood and introducing them to fellow pets.
  • Use a leash at all times when walking your dog, even if they’re small enough that you can pick them up in one hand (don’t do this). You don’t want things getting too crazy yet!
  • Keep your puppy in their crate while they adjust to their new home, but take time out each day for playtime with toys or treats. This will keep them from getting bored while also helping them learn how much space they have available to roam around without becoming destructive.

Measure time in naps.

You’ll probably be surprised by how much your dog sleeps. Dogs sleep more than cats, horses, elephants and giraffes combined! Once you get into the habit of measuring time in naps, it can be hard to go back.

Your puppy will learn quickly.

The first week with your puppy is a great opportunity for you to start training. It’s important to remember that puppies are quick learners and will pick up on things very quickly. They learn from their experiences, so it’s important to make sure they have positive experiences during this time period.

Your puppy will also learn from the people around them—including you! Be sure to take advantage of this by spending lots of quality time together in a positive manner so that he or she remembers what it feels like when someone is nice. If you’re working on potty training or crate training at home, do whatever works best for both of you as long as there are no accidents outside the designated area where your dog sleeps at night (or anywhere else). The point here isn’t necessarily about getting through the task itself but rather making sure that he or she feels loved while doing so.

Get used to having a shadow.

The first week is all about bonding, and dogs are social animals. They like to be around other people, so you’re going to have a constant shadow for the next few days. This isn’t a bad thing though! Getting used to having your pup follow you around will help with training later on in life, as well as just making for an easy way for them to get exercise during their first week of life. If there are any areas of the house that are off-limits (such as bedrooms), it’s important that they stay out of those places until they understand what those boundaries are.

Channel your inner puppy.

You know what the best thing about puppies is?

They haven’t yet been socialized to be anything but themselves. You can channel your inner puppy by letting yourself be a little bit of a brat. Take advantage of the first week so you can have some fun and not worry about things like housebreaking or training (yet).

Puppies’ natural curiosity: They don’t know there’s a whole world outside their crate, so let them explore it! Let them eat random stuff—it’ll come in handy later when they’re older and they’ve learned which plants are safe for eating. Likewise, let them sniff around your yard and meet new people and other pets in other areas (after you’ve made sure they’re healthy). When you take care of all this stuff now, it will help ensure that he doesn’t get sick later on due to exposure diseases like parvo or distemper.

Stick to your guns (rules).

The first week you have your puppy is a week of many firsts. From the moment your pup arrives home, they will be experiencing new sights, sounds and smells. They’ll also be getting used to having a new family. It can be very tempting to allow them to get away with things that are naughty or annoying in the hope that they’ll learn from their mistakes and behave better next time around. However it’s important not to make exceptions during this time as doing so will mean your puppy won’t understand what it means to behave properly; instead if he does something wrong then he must know that there are consequences for his actions

Give them space — when they need it.

While it may seem like you should spend every waking moment with your new pup, that’s actually not a good idea. Instead, give them space—when they need it. Dogs need time to adjust to their surroundings and get used to all of the new smells and sounds in their home. It’s also very important for dogs who are experiencing anxiety from being separated from their mom (or other family members) during the first week at home with you to be given space where they can decompress alone.

If possible, put up some sort of barrier between them and other family members so they can have some privacy while they explore their new surroundings on their own terms without feeling overwhelmed by constant attention or excessive excitement around them

Be patient with potty training.

The first week with a new puppy is the perfect time to start potty training. This will help you both get into a routine, and make it easier for your dog to learn what’s expected of them.

It’s important that you be patient and consistent as your pup learns this new skill—they’re going through a lot! You’ll want to take your time with this process, so don’t rush it or expect too much too soon.

Their experiences will add up.

At first, your puppy will likely be confused about their new environment and may be timid around people. But after a few days, they’ll start to get used to the smells and sounds of their home, which will help them feel more comfortable.

The same goes for you: Your own experiences at home with a puppy will add up over time as well!

How long does it take a dog to get used to a new home?

How long it takes your dog to adjust to your new home depends on many factors. The age of the pup, their past experiences, temperament, personality and breed all play a part in how they will react when you bring them home.

The first week is often a crucial time for dogs to settle into their new homes. During this time it is especially important that you are as patient with them as possible. You may find that some aspects take longer for your dog than others – for example:

  • A puppy under six months old will probably still be in the process of house training and should not go outside unsupervised until he has successfully mastered his skills at toilet training indoors (which usually takes no more than two weeks). If he’s had little or no experience with stairs before then he might need help getting used to going up and down them safely so keep him away from stairs during this period unless absolutely necessary; even then try putting him on a lead while going up or down just in case!
  • A rescue dog may have come from an abusive situation so make sure you don’t leave any sharp objects lying around where they could get hurt; if there’s anything that looks dangerous keep it out of reach until she’s got over her initial fearfulness about every little thing around her!

How do I help my dog settle into a new family?

If you’ve adopted a puppy, they may be feeling a bit anxious or overwhelmed. The first night is always the hardest and the following week will likely be quite stressful for everyone involved. But don’t worry! As long as you don’t push your puppy too hard and give them plenty of time to adapt, everything will work out just fine.

  • First Night: Let your puppy sleep in their crate for their first night at home (unless you have other plans). This will help them get used to being confined, which can be scary for some dogs.
  • First Week: Your new dog’s first week with you will go by quickly as they adjust to their surroundings and learn how things work around here. It’s important not to rush things though—each step taken towards settling in should be done gradually so that neither party gets overwhelmed or hurt along the way!

Where should your dog sleep the first night?

The first night with your puppy is an exciting time, but it’s also a stressful one. You want to make sure your new furry family member feels as comfortable as possible—and that means putting some thought into where they should sleep.

We recommend crate training your dog and keeping them in that crate during the day while you are at work. That way, when you come home at night, they know exactly where they should be sleeping!

Many dogs find their crates very comforting and will enjoy spending time there even if they don’t need to be confined while their owners are away. If this sounds like something that would work for your new pup, then by all means use the crate as his permanent bed until he gets used to sleeping on his own.


If you follow these tips, you and your puppy should be well on your way to a long and loving relationship. You’ll be spending a lot of time together, so it’s important that you get started off on the right foot (pun intended!). But remember: no two puppies are alike, and there are plenty of things that can go wrong along the way. Tending to the needs of your new little family member is a learning process—for both of you!