Surviving the First Week with Your New Puppy: Essential Tips for a Successful Start

Congratulations on bringing home your adorable new puppy! The first week with a new furry family member can be exciting, but it can also present some challenges. To ensure a smooth transition and set the foundation for a well-behaved and happy pup, we have compiled a list of essential tips. In this article, we will guide you through crate training, puppy proofing your home, setting up a schedule, introducing your puppy to new experiences, and more. Let’s dive in and make your first week with your new puppy a success!

Tip #1: Start Crate Training from Day One

When bringing your puppy home, it’s crucial to introduce them to the crate right away. While you may be tempted to let your new bundle of joy sit on your lap during the car ride, using a crate is essential for both safety and early crate training. Just as we don’t hold babies on our laps in the car, puppies should be kept secure in a crate.

By starting crate training early, you provide your puppy with a safe and comfortable space that becomes their den. This helps them feel secure and aids in housebreaking. For a smooth first night at home, heed this advice and begin crate training as soon as possible.

Tip #2: Puppy-Proof Your Home

Before your new puppy arrives, it’s important to puppy-proof your home. This involves creating a safe environment that minimizes potential hazards and prevents accidents. Here are a few key steps to take:

  • Set up a puppy pen inside your home for playtime, ensuring it contains appropriate toys and chew items.
  • Establish a separate puppy pen outside for toilet breaks, especially if your pup hasn’t received all their vaccinations yet.
  • Place a larger item on top of the crate to prevent your puppy from pulling in and chewing on the blanket or sheet.
  • Designate one room for your puppy’s initial access in the house to facilitate focused potty training.

By implementing these measures, you create a safe space for your puppy to explore while minimizing the risk of accidents or injury.

Tip #3: Follow a Consistent Schedule

A consistent schedule is vital during your puppy’s first week at home. Establishing a routine helps your pup feel secure and understand expectations. Create a schedule that includes crate time, playtime, nap time, training sessions, and regular potty breaks.

The frequency of toilet breaks varies depending on your puppy’s age and size, but generally, they should be taken outside every one to two hours. This frequent schedule minimizes accidents and reinforces proper toileting habits.

Tip #4: Introduce Your Puppy to New Experiences Gradually

During the first week, it’s crucial to limit visitors and excessive excitement for your new puppy. They are already adapting to a new home, new routines, and new faces. To prevent overwhelming your pup, wait at least a week before introducing them to people outside your household.

When introducing your puppy to children, ensure they approach calmly and quietly. Sitting in a chair initially prevents overwhelming the puppy with sudden movements or overly enthusiastic interactions. Gradually introduce one child at a time, allowing the puppy to approach them at their own pace.

Additionally, when taking your puppy outside for potty breaks or walks, always use a leash. Early leash training is essential for developing good leash manners and preventing your pup from running off or getting into dangerous situations.

Tip #5: Teach Impulse Control and Name Recognition

During the first week, focus on teaching your puppy impulse control and name recognition. Impulse control helps your puppy learn to control their excitement and behavior before reacting. This skill sets the foundation for good manners and prevents jumping or excessive biting.

To teach impulse control, reward calm behavior and discourage jumping or nipping. Consistency is key, and redirecting your puppy’s attention to appropriate toys or activities is essential.

Name recognition is another crucial aspect of training. Teach your puppy that their name means they should pay attention to you when called. Avoid using their name in a corrective tone, as it may create negative associations. Instead, use a firm “eh-eh” to correct unwanted behavior and redirect them to more appropriate actions.


The first week with your new puppy is an exciting and important time for establishing routines and building a strong foundation. By following these essential tips, including crate training from the start, puppy-proofing your home, maintaining a consistent schedule, gradually introducing new experiences, and teaching impulse control and name recognition, you’ll set your puppy up for success. Remember, patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement are key to raising a well-behaved and happy companion. Enjoy this special time with your new furry friend!