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5 Tips For Bringing Home A New Puppy

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Lately I’ve been putting together a lot of short tips for bringing home a new puppy.  In the future I’ll put together an all inclusive puppy training tip guide that includes all of my tips for bringing home a new puppy.  Recently I wrote about Quick Puppy Training Tip, Puppy Vaccination Schedule, and Puppy’s First Day Home.  All of these had some great information for the new puppy owner.

Today we’re going to discuss one of my all time favorite things to do and that is the actual pickup before bringing home a new puppy.

Tips For Bringing Home A New Puppy

Bringing Home A New Puppy
Bringing Home My New Puppy, Dublin

While there are many do’s and don’t’s when it comes to bringing home a new puppy.  This is a list of things I learned from my experience bringing home my last 3 puppies in training from Guide Dogs of America.

Tip #1 Arrive Early

Puppy #1 – Stetson – The GDA campus is located in Sylmar, CA and just under an hour away from my house with no traffic.  I left 2 hours before puppy pickup orientation began and arrived over an hour early to campus.  I guess I was a little excited and over eager that day, but it was better to be early then late.

Puppy #2 – Derby – as I mentioned it’s a little under an hour to the campus with no traffic so this time I left about 1 1/2 hours before orientation.  Unfortunately, I hit a ton of traffic and it took me approximately 2 hours to get to campus.  Being late really puts a damper on your day I suggest you give yourself extra time to arrive early if you have an appointment to pickup a puppy.

Puppy #3 – Dublin – I left about 2 1/2 hours early.  I planned on arriving early so I planned to grab a bite to eat and do some shopping near the campus.

What did I learn from my 3 puppies? It’s not worth it to have the added stress of arriving late.  You miss out on talking to some of the other puppy raisers.  You also miss out on some important information at orientation.  If you’re really late then you may miss out on bringing home a new puppy that day.  By the time I got to my third puppy I made sure to arrive early and just spent the extra time grabbing food and doing a little shopping.

Tip #2 Bring A Camera

Puppy #1 – Stetson – I brought a camera and had other puppy raisers take a few pictures for me, but unfortunately, I only came home with a handful of pictures.

Puppy #2 – Derby – I grabbed a video recorder and 2 friend brought their camera shot some video and took some pictures.  The video recorder ran out of batteries and the camera pictures got corrupted on my friends computer.

Puppy #3 – Dublin – I brought my phone for taking still pictures and a video recorder with a monopod for shooting video.  I came home with some pretty great video, but not too many still photos.  I missed a spot where I wished I had some video instead of pictures and vice versa.

What did I learn from my 3 puppies?  Bring a video recorder and a still picture camera.  If you have a DSLR camera and a nice HD Video recorder those would be the best.  Make sure the batteries are charged and make sure and download to your own computer as well as backup to an external hard drive if you want to be safe.  Also, if you want the best quality of video and images read more in tip #3.

3. Bring A Friend(s)

Bringing Home A Puppy
Bringing Home A Puppy Named Stetson

Puppy #1 – Stetson – I went by myself to pickup Stetson.  It was definitely a lot more difficult by myself.  I had to ask strangers to take a few pictures of Stetson and I that day.  I couldn’t use the carpool lane.  I had to get a crate so Stetson wouldn’t be running around the car while I tried to drive.  Stetson cried while in the crate and also pee’d in the crate on the ride home.  Lesson learned to bring a friend(s) next time.

Puppy #2 – Derby – When I picked up Derby two friends came along one was in charge of video the other was in charge of still pictures.  This should have been the perfect setup, but my video recorder ran out of batteries and the pictures on the camera became corrupted.  Lesson learned to bring friends and good video/camera equipment.

Puppy #3 – Dublin – I brought only my girlfriend to pickup Dublin.  I brought my own video recorder, monopod, and cell phone for still pictures.  The video turned out great, but I didn’t get many still pictures.  Lesson learned to bring one videographer and one photographer.  If you want to see some of the video from that day then check out this page from the day we picked up our puppy, Dublin.

What did I learn from my 3 puppies?  The best option is to try and bring 2 friends.  One to take still pictures and another to shoot video.  If you have friends when bringing home your new puppy  you do not have to worry about having a kennel during the car ride home.  When I brought home both Derby and Dublin I just had the pups sleep on the passenger side floor boards near the passengers feet.  It’s definitely worth it to have someone to help you out with pics, video, and during the car ride home.

4. Bring A Plush Dog Toy

All 3 Puppies – Lucky for me I was given a little puppy training tip by our group leader and that was to bring a plush dog toy to rub all over my puppy’s littermates.  Why is this important?  Your puppy’s first night home is his first night alone without his siblings.  If you get the scent of his littermates on a plush dog toy then you can put it in his kennel which will make him feel more comfortable because he will at least smell his siblings.

I only brought a plush dog toy to rub on Stetson’s littermates, but when I picked up Derby and Dublin I brought both a plush dog toy and a cute little doggy blanket to rub on the siblings.

5. Bring Rags, A Roll Of Paper Towels, Plastic Bags

Of course you already have your poop bags…right?

Puppy #1 – Stetson – I went to puppy pickup by myself so I had to put Stetson in a crate for the car ride home.  I could have used some rags or paper towels because he did have a potty accident in his crate during the car ride home.

Puppy #2 – Derby – I brought only rags, but no paper towels.  Derby vomited during the car ride home.  I used the old rags to cleanup, but it would have been nice to have some paper towels, and a plastic bag to contain the dirty rags.

Puppy #3 – Dublin – I brought rags, paper towels, and plastic bags.  Dublin didn’t have any accidents during the care ride home…figures!?  At least I was prepared!!!

What did I learn from my 3 puppies?  Bring rags, a roll of paper towels, and plastic bags.  You never know what kind of accidents your puppy will have during your car ride home.  Better safe then sorry!

There you go!  Those are 5 lessons I learned on the first day of bringing home a new puppy.  I’m sure as time goes on I’ll come up with new tips, hints, and tricks you can do when bringing home a puppy.  If you are a guide dog puppy raiser I would make sure you follow these simple guidelines.  After all you want to have the best experience possible on this special day.

What about you?  Is there anything special you say when someone asks what to do when bringing home a new puppy?  Tell us your puppy tips, hints, and tricks in the comment section below.

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  1. Thanks for the tips, very helpful. We haven’t had a new puppy in over a decade, but may be looking into getting one soon. I’ll contact with you when we have questions.

  2. These are some really good tips and I love that you encourage people to bring blankets and toys to rub on the puppy’s litter-mates. After all, dogs are incredibly social animals and need to feel like they are a part of a group. Because of this it can be absolutely terrifying for them to spend the first night at a new home alone without their litter. That is why it helps so much to bring something that smells familiar to them.

  3. I’m a 69 year old widow with a bad hip & bad lower back & some serious anemia problems that preclude any hip surgery for awhile & don’t get around very easily & have very little energy..

    But I wanted a dog for company I also chose her because I wanted to have her certified as an emotional therapy dog. I just brought a 12 week old labradoodle home this past week. I have arranged for a dog trainer to come to my home & work with us once a week.& I tried to prepare in advance, but of course, I didn’t remember everything. I chose a labradoodle because both labs & poodles are usually very smart & trainable. (& they don’t shed). The breeder said she took after her mother who was very calm, so I thought we might be a good fit. But I don’t know if I can wait till then to teach her to go outside to go potty. I have a doggy door, but she hasn’t learned how to use it yet. She did go outside the 2nd day, so she’s goes outside most of the time. But since she had several accidents the first day or 2, she still thinks it’s OK to go potty in the house. I plan to shampoo the carpet, but haven’t yet, but was afraid she might still go inside.

    I don’t get around very fast, so even when I catch her, I can’t get her to the backdoor fast enough. I finally just started leaving the sliding glass door open enough for her to go out whenever she wants & I take her out first thing in the a,.m. & before bed.

    Do you have any other suggestions?

  4. Thank you! Dublin has already graduated and is working as a guide dog for his blind partner. We are currently raising and training Archer as a service dog. Thanks for visiting the site!

  5. I appreciate for your help. Thanks a lot Colby, Your website helped a lot. This would help many dog owners to Train their pups or dogs. And the best thing in your website is, You are active. This is the unique thing in your website. Thanks for the help, I got a lot of ideas from you. And wish you best of Luck with your puppy Dublin.

  6. Choosing a breed is an personal choice. One thing you don’t want to get caught up in is only basing your choice on what your breed of choice looks like. There are many things you should consider before choosing a dog including temperament, size, energy level, intelligence, trainability, etc. The best dog will be the dog that matches your own lifestyle the best. I’m partial to Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers, but they aren’t for everyone as they are high energy and require a decent amount of exercise. Also, for some Goldens and Labs shed way too much and they prefer one of the non-shedding breeds. This is a personal choice and as I said the best thing to do is to try and find a dog breed that matches your lifestyle the best.

  7. Hi Colby!
    Thanks for the answer. But Yes of course, During that time I can keep my puppy with a neighbor or A family member. They could take care of him but Which Puppy is best for me?
    Can I handle a Samoyed?
    Abhishikta Mohanty

  8. Most puppies will be very mouthy until their adult teeth come in at around 4-5 months of age. Take a look at this article for tip on bitey pups: https://puppyintraining.com/the-ultimate-guide-how-to-stop-a-puppy-from-biting-and-nipping/

    It’s not good to leave a puppy home alone for that long a period of time as he could end up being destructive, injure himself, or have behavior problems. Unless you have a friend, family member, or neighbor that can help you take care of your puppy from 7:45 – 3:15 I’d not recommend bringing one home.

    Unless you can find a friend, family member, or neighbor to help you raise your puppy I unfortunately would not recommend you getting one at this time. Properly taking care of a puppy is a huge commitment and is very time consuming.

  9. Hi Colby ! I am an eleven year old boy and I am thinking of bringing home a puppy, preferably a Samoyed. Actually Samoyeds are really cute and my family could afford it. I am from india. And most of my family members don’t wanna get me some dog like Labrador and Golden retriever (Though I like those) They think I wouldn’t take care of ’em. But I swear I could do anything for them. My aunt recently got a Samoyed and I was stunned to see that dog. She is one of my closest aunts and I visit her house very often. Her puppy is just 2 months old. And he is as mischievous as a mouse. Yeah, He’s intelligent too. But I have one problem with him. He bites. I don’t get the courage to lift him up. I am always scared that he might bite me. He bites whatever he gets. That’s my first question. If I get a pup (of any breed, preferably Samoyed) How would I train him from biting others? Here’s my second question. I am a school kid. I have a sister of 6 and Our school hours are 7:45 to 3:15. If I get a pup, Would he be able to stay those much hours without me?? Of course Some people will play with him for sometimes but not always. And third question. We live in a bungalow. A 6 bedroom, Hall, Kitchen and study. There are two floors in our house. The staircase has some hole like stuff in which puppies and babies can pass through and fall. I have my own room in The first floor. So how can I train him to be quiet while I am in School?? He can play in the place but he shouldn’t go out. How do I do it??? My family consists of my grandparents (age – 77 and 71) And my Grand aunts age 70 something, 61, 60 something.) My father – 45 and my mother 38. This is my fourth question. Can I have a puppy while I am with my family. All the time He would be with me but still. I want some consultation. I study well at the moment. I will need at least 3-4 hours of study during normal school days. If I spend the rest of the time with him will he be fine?? Would he feel bad? And the last two questions. With the following conditions, with me being the only owner (sometimes my grandaunt and my aunt and my mom) Should I have a dog???? If yes of which breed?? I can’t afford something more than 15000 Indian Rupees. You must be thinking I put a hell lot of questions for you. Yes, I did. But what should I do? I am kid after all. I thought you might help as you have 3 puppies and you are taking good care of them. So I trusted you. Please help me. I really need your help. That’s why I relied on you. And I am writing this question to you with my parents not knowing so. So please help. I am expecting a lot from you
    With Regards
    Abhishikta Mohanty

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