Hi, I’m Emily and this is my puppy Pip.
I’ve always had family dogs and have spent my whole life around dogs, so I thought I knew everything I needed to for getting my own puppy. Turns out, I wasn’t quite right! So here’s 5 things I wish I’d known before bringing Pip home.
- Toilet training – what to say and when
Pip had done some toilet training when we brought him home, but a new environment also meant new learning, so for me, plenty of cleaning stuff was a must! A good carpet cleaner or deodorising spray and lots of kitchen roll were my best friends for a while.
One thing I found really helpful was picking my trigger word ahead of time so I didn’t panic and could start training from the off, I went with “be clean” as we’d used this with my other dogs too. Learning his signals that he needed the toilet took time – now he gives signs: going to the back door, barking at me or sniffing and circling. These were really subtle at first so they took a while for me to recognise, so I started out by taking him out every hour to avoid an accident.
And don’t forget to be kind to yourself. Accidents happen, Pip definitely had his fair share and it took time but when we got there I was so proud!
- To crate or not to crate
Our other 2 dogs are a bit older and are allowed upstairs with us when we go to bed – our bed is theirs really. But for Pip, I didn’t fancy waking up to tread in any… accidents. So I kept him in a crate at night or when I left the house for short periods, for his own safety and security. I found this video on crate training with tails.com behaviourist Carolyn really helpful for knowing where to start.
I was a little nervous at first, but he settled into it really well and now sees it as his own space, and he goes in as he chooses throughout the day. I also feed Pip his meals in there too, which has been so helpful stopping him eating the other dogs’ food.