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The new puppy

The act of buying a puppy is often impulsive. When you bring home a pet, you commit yourself to providing affection, playtime, training, grooming, and exercise, in addition to food, shelter, and medical care throughout his life. Be sure to think about these responsibilities before making your purchase.

Once you've brought your puppy home, you can't expect him to behave like a perfect house guest until you've invested the time and attention it takes to train him well.

Even though you're excited about your puppy, don't invite the neighborhood over to meet your new dog on his first day home. Spend some time getting to know him and letting him get to know you. Remember, he has just been moved to a new environment. Let your puppy get used to your family and his new environment in a calm, leisurely way. Take time to play, but give him a chance to sleep whenever he seems tired. Teach the children to treat him gently and to let him be while he's resting or eating.

Before your puppy arrives at your home, place his food and water dishes in the area in which you intend to keep him. Have his bed ready which may be an old, soft blanket placed in a quiet corner that's free from drafts. It's a good idea to set up the bed in the room or area where you intend to confine your puppy while away. The ideal would be to place him in a crate. (This is his own special place. As he grows older, he will go there on his own when he wants to rest.) Leave a radio playing to keep him company.

Your puppy will probably cry during his first few nights at home. Although the cries may be heartbreaking, you should leave him alone. After two or three nights, he'll grow accustomed to his new surrounding.

During the first few weeks, a young puppy needs twice the adult requirements of most nutrients. Remember to keep fresh, clean drinking water available at all times. Consult with your breeder on the type of food the puppy is used to eating. The food should be one that is high in protein. The puppy should be fed three times a day. Scheduling his meals make housebreaking easier.