Bringing Home A New Puppy?

Bringing home a new puppy is such an exciting time, so it's very easy to overlook essential preparations during all that excitement! 

You can take some steps to help your puppy settle into his new home quickly, comfortably and without fuss, making his life and yours much easier! Learn how to prepare for your new puppy's arrival and discover practical tips and advice to help your Cocker Spaniel feel at home.

Bringing Your New Puppy Home Is Exciting!

Here are a few links to each section, with a brief explanation of what's covered. Enjoy!

  • Collecting your puppy: You can do many things to help make your puppy's departure and journey to his new home more comfortable.
  • Your puppy's first night: Bringing home a new puppy and expecting him not to cry during his first night is a big expectation. Learn how to help your new baby get through his first night in this strange new place away from his mother and siblings.
Beautiful black Cocker Spaniel puppy, with a hand holding up his chin.What a sweet little boy!

Preparing For Bringing Home A New Puppy

No matter how hard you try, a couple of last-minute things will always be forgotten in the excitement of bringing a new puppy home.

  • You'll need to puppy-proof your home and garden if you haven't already.
  • By now, you should have the basic essential supplies to get you through the first couple of weeks.
  • About a week before you're due to collect your Cocker pup, leaving a worn, smelly tee shirt with the breeder is a great idea. (Wear it in bed for a couple of nights but don't wash it. The breeder can give it to your puppy to sleep on, which will help your new pup get used to your scent.)

    You could also leave a blanket and a soft toy with your breeder so it can be placed in the whelping box.
  • When you're ready to collect and bring your puppy home, the blanket and the toy will have his mother's and his litter-mates scent on them. This will help to make your Cocker Spaniel puppy feel much more comfortable and secure in his new strange human world.

Bringing A Puppy Home In The Car

It's so exciting that you're bringing home a new puppy, and the day has finally arrived to collect him from the breeders!

You must consider how you will get him to his new home.

If you're driving, which is more likely, ask someone to drive you. This way, if your pup becomes restless or anxious, you'll be able to take care of him without worrying about controlling the car.

If you're on your own, take a dog crate, a pet carrier, or even a cardboard box with ventilation holes punched into the lid to ensure your new puppy isn't loose in the car.

Bringing Home A Dog: Tips For The Journey

Beautiful golden cocker spaniel puppy chasing a piece of kibble along a very shiny tiled floor.Oh, look what I've found!
  • Layer the carrier with plenty of old newspaper because your puppy will almost certainly need to pee (and maybe even poop) on the way home. So you don't need to worry if you've a long drive in front of you.
  • Take a roll of kitchen towel with you, a plastic bag and perhaps some wet wipes, just in case your new puppy gets car sick and you need to clean up.
  • If you're bringing home a new puppy on a sweltering day, take a bottle of water and a small bowl to give him a drink if he gets thirsty.
  • If it becomes too hot for your puppy, you may need to create some shade from the sun whilst he's in the car.
  • You can wrap him up in his new 'scented' blanket if it's a cold, wintry day. It will keep him warm and toasty and make him feel much more comfortable.
  • When bringing home a new puppy in the car, never be tempted to stop at the side of the road to let him out to pee. I've heard of puppies killed in similar situations after darting into the middle of a busy road!

It doesn't bear thinking about, does it? But fatal accidents happen all too easily and all too quickly!

Personally, I'd keep him inside and wouldn't take any risks. Let him pee on you if he has to; he's just too precious!

Bringing Your New Puppy Home: It's Time!

I think you'll agree that this video from Syndia Art sums up the excitement of bringing home a new puppy, a golden Cocker Spaniel. He's absolutely beautiful, and I feel her excitement! I hope you enjoy it!

Bringing Home A Puppy: Arriving Home

At last, you've arrived home with your cute little ball of fur, and now all you want to do is cuddle, stroke, play and generally make a fuss of him.

There's nothing wrong with that, but there are a couple of things I recommend you do first!

Take Your Puppy for a Pee Break

If you don't want your new puppy to pee in the house as soon as you get him through the door, take him into the garden.

Take him to the spot you've chosen for him to do his toilet, and let him wander around for a little while to see if he wants to pee, but don't leave him on his own.

Make Some Introductions!

After a few minutes, regardless of whether he's peed or not, take him inside, and introduce him to his new family.

Show him his sleeping area, and give him a few minutes to explore it. (I'm hoping you've chosen to use a crate for his bed - I recommend it!).

Next, take him to his feeding area and show him his food bowl (with a morsel of food) and his water bowl, filled to the brim with fresh cold water. He may be thirsty and need a drink after his journey.

If he eats anything or takes a drink, you may need to take him outside again. Yes, you'll be doing a lot of that until he's fully potty trained!

Read the Riot Act to the Kids!

If you have children, make sure you've read them the riot act and that they know how to behave around their new puppy.

When the pup is around, they must remain calm and reasonably quiet, making no sudden moves that could frighten him.

Give Your Puppy Some Quiet Time

Next, take your new pet to a room where you can sit down, relax, and spend a few quiet minutes together; this is great bonding time.

Image of a gorgeous black cocker spaniel puppy walking towards the camera. The owner's kitchen can be seen in the background.Hello Mum!

Keep An Eye On Your Puppy

Your puppy may be quite lively if he's slept during the journey, in which case, let him explore. Keep a watchful eye on him, especially if he didn't pee in the garden, because it's likely he still needs to be fully potty trained!

If he's tired, let him fall asleep, gently place him in his new crate and leave him.

As soon as he wakes, take him outside again to see if he wants to pee, then bring him inside and offer him some food.

Bringing a puppy home may be exciting for you and your family, but it can be quite an upsetting and anxious time for a tiny pup. Everything will be so strange to him, so don't be surprised if he doesn't eat; he may need some time to adjust to his new surroundings and family.

He'll also miss the familiar smell and comfort of his mother, brothers and sisters. Hopefully, the scent from his blanket (the one you left in the whelping box, now in his crate) will help him feel a little easier.


Important Note: If your pup fails to eat over the next few days, is sick, has prolonged diarrhoea, or generally seems unwell, don't hesitate to contact your vet; the sooner, the better. Your vet won't mind if it's a false alarm. It's better to be safe than sorry!

Bringing Home A New Puppy: His First Night

Your puppy will almost certainly cry during his first night because he'll miss the warmth and comfort of his mother and litter-mates. This can be heartbreaking, especially if you don't know what to do for the best.

What follows is a suggested new puppy care routine to help get him through his first night in his new home without too much trauma.

Gorgeous golden cocker spaniel puppy curled up cosily on a cushion. The puppy's owner can be seen in the background.I'm tired, Mum!
  • Offer him a little food and water two or three hours before you plan to put him to bed for the night.
  • Remember to take him to his designated toilet area to see if he wants to pee. Stay with him for a few minutes and then bring him back inside and let him settle for a while.
  • Have a little playtime before his bedtime. The mental and physical stimulation will help tire him out and may help him sleep more soundly during his first night.
  • Before you put him to bed, take him out for another pee...you'll be doing this a lot until he's fully house-trained!
  • Bring him back inside and give him a cuddle to help him wind down and relax. He may fall asleep on your lap (after all, he'll have had a busy, if not traumatic, day!)
  • Once he's sleeping, gently place him in his crate for the night, along with the 'scented' soft toy and blanket.
  • If he doesn't fall asleep, try placing him in his crate anyway. With a bit of luck, he'll play quietly or snuggle up to his soft toy before nodding off.
  • If your puppy cries when left alone, I recommend you ignore him and leave him where he is. Although it will be heartbreaking to hear, it will be better in the long run if you leave him. He will get over this, I promise.
Black and tan cocker spaniel puppy sitting in a white dog bed, decorated with black paw prints.There's lots of room in this bed, Mum
  • However, if you just can't bear to leave him, or if he becomes too distressed, then you might want to bring him into your bedroom to sleep (but in his own bed or crate) and move him back into his proper sleeping place when he's settled down, or fallen asleep.
  • Some Cocker owners swear by placing a ticking clock by the crate for the first few nights; the ticking sound is said to replicate the mother's heartbeat and has helped to soothe many an unsettled puppy.

    A word of warning, though, please remember to switch off the alarm! 

If your puppy continues to cry for the next couple of nights and you know he's warm and comfortable, not ill, or in pain, you'll need to stand firm and leave him where he is; otherwise, he'll learn that when he cries, you'll always come to him.

Believe me, just like with babies, that's a recipe for disaster!

When you go to your puppy in the morning, don't be surprised if he's messed in his crate overnight, it's perfectly natural. Don't scold him and don't make a fuss, just clean it up and get on with the day.

If he's still asleep or has just woken, take him straight outside before he has the opportunity to have any minor 'accidents'.

Bringing Home A New Puppy: His Ongoing Care

I hope these tips about bringing home a new puppy will help to make you feel more confident and help you to get him safely through his first night in his strange new world.

Headshot of an adorable golden cocker spaniel puppy with appealing, liquid eyes.Please, Mum?

But this is only just the beginning. The real work starts now!

Just like babies, puppies thrive on a routine, so before bringing home a new puppy, I recommend that you consider precisely what that routine will be. 

He's going to do a lot of sleeping, eating, drinking (and then peeing and pooping), exploring and playing.

He'll need to be toilet trained, groomed, exercised, obedience trained, and adequately socialized to grow up happy and confident about his environment.

You'll find help with all this and more in my puppy care guide, and I recommend you begin a routine for your puppy from day one and stick to it.

Good luck!

Photo Credits: Bringing Home a New Puppy
1. Willeecole at https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-cocker-spaniel-puppy-image16929421
2. Willeecole at https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-puppy-chasing-piece-dog-food-image7324311
3. Ken Moffat - https://www.flickr.com/photos/14438577@N06/1479395874/in/dateposted/
4. Jaskirat Singh Bawa at https://www.flickr.com/photos/jzsinr/3385526210/in/dateposted/
5. Cynoclub at https://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-10051067-cute-puppy.php
6. Herr Bert at Flickr.com