It may sound a little cheesy, but to become a dog owner you need to prepare emotionally, almost in the same way you would need for becoming a parent. The two roles are similar in many ways, but they also differ greatly in others. It’s important to note that the puppy is not a human child. It’s important to keep their boundaries and their role (dog) clear, which should be a happy one, of course.
Most importantly, your puppy doesn’t need a mom and dad. The fairy, chubby little cub is starting to grow up, is becoming more and more curious, with the urge to explore the world around him. He discovers that it feels good to play with the others and to relax on the couch lying in your lap. They may bring in the newspaper, understand when you’re sad, or maybe even wake you up in the morning instead of the alarm so you won’t be late. A smart, adult dog doesn’t need parents, but a determined herd leader who sets the framework for him, while he can also say free and happy at the same time.
If your puppy can be easily called back, you can safely let him run around in the dog runner or with the herd on the field. If he is potty-trained and is able to travel in the car, they can even go on holiday with you. If he knows how be careful, they can become wonderful playmates for your children and the other way around, them to him. If that doesn’t work, they have to stay on a leash, enjoy vacation in a dog hotel or with a dog-sitter and stay in a room kennel while the little ones play in the living room. By setting frames, you give back your doggy’s freedom.
In the following, we will follow this principle and show you how you can bring security to your puppy in the first few days.
What will you need?
You need to get some basic equipment before the puppy arrives. We wrote more about this in our post on the costs of keeping a French bulldog. In short, your puppy will need:
- Bedding (plus possibly a litter tray and / or diaper)
- Watering can
- Leash, collar, harness
- Food for the start
- A blanket
It is possible that some of these will be provided to you by the breeder. This is definitely worth discussing before taking the puppy home.
The First Meeting at the Breeder
At the breeder, puppies live with their mommy dog and their siblings. Once you’re there, you’ll probably come across lots and lots of puppies being around the proudly belching French bulldog mom. The puppies play, wrestle, bite each other, but then they sleep together peacefully in the evenings.
The puppy you are taking home will need to say goodbye to this safe and familiar environment. Although these little ones instinctively know that sooner, or later they will have to fight for their place in the world, change is always painful. That is why it is strongly recommended to getting to know the puppy in a familiar environment first.
Before you take him home in your lap, get him to approach you first! Let him approach you on his own feet. Play with him, caress him and let him lick your hand! If this went fell, they’re ready for the ride home!
Let’s Go Home Together!
Do you remember the list of necessary equipment? This will be really important from now on! Be sure to choose a blanket in the starter pack that your puppy already knows. If the breeder can’t give you this, you can take one with you and let the siblings of the puppy and the mommy dog play in it.
Line this kennel or dog carrier in the car with this blanket! This way, your dog can feel a little safe and familiar during the transportation. Then here comes the first important step! Let him follow you on his own two feet whenever he can and get in the car by himself!
Is this my new home?
The puppy is not a bride, they don’t have to be carried through your doorstep! If you can do it safely, let him walk into your home on his own two feet, which he will soon guard as his own, hopefully with threatening grunt and proudly pointed ears.
Let him discover you’re their new surroundings! Of course, you don’t have to put up with everything, you can gently set boundaries! If they wander to chew on your shoes or mark the door jamb, feel free to warn him and then distract them! There is no need for hard discipline at this point – in fact, the rules have yet to be explained to him.
A Little Crying is Alright – The First Night
It is good to assign a place in the apartment for the puppy from the very beginning. Place the blanket at the chosen spot and provide him food and drink. The tired puppy will surely retreat to the familiar scents sooner or later.
The first few nights can easily make the puppy restless or they can even end up crying a little. That’s when it’s hard to not to take them in your lap or give them a treat – but these activities only reinforce that behavior in him.
If the puppy is crying a lot, talk to him in a calm voice, maybe distract him. If you’re patient and friendly, he’ll learn in a few days how to calm down by themselves. This is a difficult thing, as he has probably been able to put his head to sleep next to his mom and siblings who are now far away from him.
Some Extra Tips for the Peace of Mind
There are a few little things you might want to do to ensure a calmer starting period. Here are some tips:
- Ask the breeder what food the puppy have received so far. Some breeders even provide a monthly dose of that to the owner, but if that doesn’t happen, try to get them the same food and feed them in similar amounts!
- In the first period, try to tire your dog to make them sleep more deeply and peacefully! A little playing in the garden will do plenty, they don’t need to be burdened with walks yet or any continuous new stimuli.
- It is not a problem if the puppy spends the first night in a larger room kennel, possibly in a hallway reserved for him. It’s good if there is nothing damageable around so you don’t have to discipline him for it. Give them toys instead! These can safely relieve stress this way.
- List the command words. You may want to practice “Sitting,” “Staying,” or “Good dog” from the first moment. Of course, the puppy doesn’t understand these at first, but it’s easier for him to be able to relate the words to a situation.
Love and determination open the hearts of tiny French bulldogs with time. If you’ve managed to establish a good relationship, your cute new companion will soon be sharing your favorite couch with you while demanding and giving lots of love and care.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE A PUPPY? DO YOU STILL HAVE SOME QUESTIONS?
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