I Adopted a Puppy. Now What?

It’s the breath, right? That wonderful puppy breath. Add the super soft fur; the squishy, cuddly bodies with the round bellies; the paws that don’t quite fit right; the charming puppy antics — and you’ve fallen head over heels in love.

And then you get home.

There’s a reason why babies are so cute. They invite adults to care for them and protect them and see to their every need. As a proud (probably tired, maybe a little overwhelmed) new puppy guardian, all you want to do is take great care of your new babe. So, we’ve developed a list of tips and tricks to get you started.

  • Routine. From the first moment, set up a routine that works for you all. The predictability of a daily schedule can help dogs learn to go potty outside, to take naps, and to anticipate good things. Routine relieves stress, as well — for everyone.
  • Crates. It’s a good idea to use a crate — or another enclosed, safe space — for your new pup. Make sure the crate is always a positive place by feeding meals there, offering toys/treats, and keeping it clean and comfortable.
  • Quiet. We know it’s tempting to invite friends and family over right away, but too much stimuli can cause stress. Keep things mellow at first, then work on socializing.
  • Exercise. Your pup’s brain and body will need to be exercised. Play in the backyard, offer enrichment, use positive reinforcement training, and so on. These activities will help you to develop a positive relationship with your dog.

To help adopters, MCR partnered with students and staff from Boise State’s Organizational Performance & Workplace Learning to develop an adoption booklet. This full length guide offers practical tips, instructions, and information on canine behavior and body language. Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group generously offered to print the booklet, which we send home with adopters.

Bottom line? Your puppy is cute and perfect and very lucky to have you in his life. The best way for you to get through the teenage years is to start the relationship off on the right paw now. 

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