I Just Got My Pup, what Now?

Baxter Ridgeback/13 weeks old/ IG: https://www.instagram.com/baxter_ridgeback_mdp/

Decompression Phase

You just got your new pup, what now? You are probably thinking about introducing him to everyone, or teaching him all the basics. This is a common mistake. It doesn’t matter if you went to a breeder, shelter, or became a foster parent. Your pup needs to decompress during the first and second week in the new home.

The decompression phase is a period that allows your pup to acclimate to a new environment. There is no rush to start training commands and tricks, or introduce them to friends and family. The biggest mistake you can make is giving your pup the world during the decompression phase. Instead, you should slowly expose them to their new world. This prevents the dog from becoming overwhelmed and developing avoidable behavioral issues. Once inside the house, give them a space where they can get away. I know you want to cuddle and play with your pup, but let them come to you. Many new and old parents make the mistake of trying too hard to let the pup know everything is ok. Don’t forget, they don’t know you, where they are, and everything smells different. That is a lot to process for any pup. Introduce the dog to immediate family slowly. Remember, children can be loud and overwhelming. Limit their interaction until the after the decompression phase.

Your pup will most likely keep their distance from everyone during the first few minutes or hours, it’s ok. Just sit on their level, and have plenty of treats and affection ready for when they realise you aren’t a threat. Remember, this is a bonding stage and patience is key. Once they decide you are friendly, personal space becomes nonexistent.

Baxter Ridgeback/ 13 weeks old/ IG: https://www.instagram.com/baxter_ridgeback_mdp/

What Should I Teach First?

Your pup doesn’t know anything about his new environment. It’s the perfect time to start teaching them a routine for feeding, potty, playtime, sleeping, and walks. Without a routine, chaos will ensue. They will not know when things are supposed to happen, so they will bother you when they feel a need for something. This is also the perfect time to desensitize them to the crate. We will talk about crate training in a later post, but start feeding your pup inside the cage during the decompression phase.

Baxter Ridgeback/ 13 weeks old/ IG: https://www.instagram.com/baxter_ridgeback_mdp/

Remember, the first few days are for bonding.


Here is a daily schedule designed by Top K9 Academy. Download and print it for free. It’s designed to help you during the first few weeks with your pup. For more information or help with dog training contact Top K9 Academy at support@topk9academy.com or visit their website at http://www.topk9academy.com.

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