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New Puppy Pack Member

Bringing home a new puppy is incredibly exciting. During the COVID-19 pandemic, more people than ever are looking to add a dog to their lives as they self isolate.

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Meet Jive, the new puppy joining the Jalwhipp pack!

Here at the Jalwhipp HQ, I am delighted to announce that I’m adding another member to my pack. Everyone meet Jive!! Jive is a show Whippet and has come all the way from Scotland where he was bred by a reputable and experienced breeder. 

Jordan Dargue, our Strategic Advisor with one of her Whippets

Bringing a new puppy into my pack during lockdown, and in the midst of a pandemic, has many pros and cons. The pros include working from home and being around more to kick start the training right away. The cons centre around the socialisation aspect due to the government restrictions being implemented. 

However, as an experienced dog owner, I’ve found many ways to help my puppy socialise during the pandemic and wanted to share some of that experience with others who may be introducing a puppy to their household during this time. 

Bringing home a new puppy is incredibly exciting. During the COVID-19 pandemic, more people than ever are looking to add a dog to their lives as they self isolate. 

However, many puppy seekers wonder: is now the right time to get a puppy? The answer to that question differs from person to person. Were you prepared to get a puppy before COVID-19? Do you have the financial stability and resources to supply your puppy with quality of life and regular vet appointments? After you return to your normal schedule, are you prepared to continue caring for your dog?

I answered ‘Yes’ to all of the above, and know I am fully prepared for the responsibility puppyhood brings.  For me, now is a perfect time to help Jive adjust to his home and surroundings and work on essential training skills.   Training a puppy while being isolated presents unique challenges and I know I must find creative ways to both socialise Jive and teach him how to be alone, even if it’s just for a little bit each day.

Jive, the new puppy in the Jalwhipp pack

As you can see by the picture of Jive above, he is going to be unbelievably curious like all puppies.  He won’t understand what is safe and what is off-limits.  Each new puppy will chew, and if they can find an item to chew or eat, they will, no matter how dangerous that can be.  That’s why it’s essential to puppy-proof my home. By doing this I will prevent bad habits, and most importantly, keep Jive safe.

I’ve outlined below some tips for puppy-proofing your home:

  • Keep anything dangerous, like cleaning supplies, behind locked cupboard doors or stored up high. Yes, it’s like having a toddler again!
  • Tie all electrical cords out of your puppy’s reach.
  • Put everything valuable away. 
  • Keep shoes in a closed cupboard. If you don’t want something to become a chew toy, prevent your puppy from getting it in the first place.
  • Use baby gates or exercise pens to keep your puppy confined to safe areas or out of unsafe ones. You don’t have to puppy proof the whole house until your dog is ready for that kind of freedom.  
  • When you leave the house, use a crate to house your puppy – this will become their safe haven too. A puppy will need access to water and a warm clean bed in their crate and it must be big enough to stand up and move around comfortably.
  • Examine your garden or backyard for hazards. For example, look for holes in the fence or toxic plants. Ensure your puppy can’t escape through gaps in the gates or holes in fences. Never leave your puppy unsupervised in the garden.

When Jive arrives at this new home, with me and my pack, I know he is going to need time to adjust to his new environment.  It will be very daunting for him, meeting my existing pack, and it will take time for him to get used to his new family plus Radar, Ted, Duke and Daisy.

Jordan Dargue, our Strategic Advisor's Whippets, Ted, Radar, and Duke

To help Jive to settle,  I have devised a list of actions I will be taking to help him feel a part of the Jalwhipp pack right away:

  • Let him know where to find his crate, food, and water bowl, and where he should be going to the bathroom.   Let him explore with supervision. I won’t be giving him the run of the house on day one. 
  • Supervise introductions to the Jalwhipp Pack. Allow the pack to sniff each other. If you are lucky like me and have a pack of dogs already living at home you will know how quickly the puppy will form a bond with your existing pack. Whippets are very much pack animals so he will need to be accepted. 
  • Everybody will want to meet Jive, and it’s important for him to meet as many new people as possible though during this pandemic it will have to be a gradual meet due to current restrictions.  I will make sure each experience is pleasant and rewarding.
  • Socialising means introducing Jive to as many new people, dogs, places, situations and so on as possible. While in isolation, get creative. I will be introducing Jive to new sounds, surfaces, and toys.  I’ve even bought him a dog play mat which will give him lots of new toys and sounds to explore. 
  • Toilet training from day one. Jive will need to know exactly where he is expected to do his business. I encourage this by placing a puppy pad at my back door. As soon as he approaches this, I will take him outside. Look out for signs of sniffing and his tail in the air as this generally shows he needs to go to the toilet. 
  • Set the house rules. For example, deciding if he can go on the furniture (all mine are allowed on my sofa but with the relevant blankets of course).

Jive will be encouraged from day one to have good manners, it’s important in any household and even more so when they are in a household with other dogs and children.  Not only will Jive be taught about the way of living at his new home but it’s important for me as a mother to ensure that Jive is used to the noises that come with children as, from day one, he will spend lots of time with my 7-year-old.  My little boy will also know how to play safely with Jive using teething toys to help prevent Jive from nibbling little fingers during the teething stages.  My little boy has been brought up with dogs, and knows how to respect the animals.  If this is the first time you have introduced your puppy into a household where there are children it’s very important to ensure your children understand how to respect your puppy and how to keep the puppy safe.  Puppies have sharp teeth and some have sharp claws. My recommendation would be  to not leave the new puppy and children unsupervised, until the puppy and children have got used to one another and those sharp puppy teeth start to disappear. This playtime with my little boy is so important for Jive’s development.  This will help Jive cope with noise and understand children when he meets them outside of the house, as the lockdown eases. 

One thing to remember through this process is to enjoy this time together, and even more so for the whole family to enjoy. The puppy will become an important and valuable member of your family and it’s so important to set boundaries and rules from day one. A dog makes a home and completes a family, our home wouldn’t be the same without our dogs, but to live in harmony training has to commence from day one. Yes, things will go wrong, your new puppy will have accidents, that’s normal.  We know Jive is going to bring our family lots of happiness and excitement, and during these challenging times, Jive will be an exciting distraction for us all to enjoy.  Having the time at home will inevitably help Jive progress and learn the house rules quickly as well as learn how to live in a busy environment so that when we can resume some form of normality, Jive will be equally prepared to explore beyond his home surroundings. 

To follow Jive and his progress when he joins the pack next week – head over to the K9 Nation app and add me as a friend, I will be uploading lots of updates and advice!  In addition to finding out more about puppy socialising and for further advice and support, head over to the articles section of the app where you will find more helpful advice.

Find these, and other great walks on the K9 Nation app! Click the buttons below to download the app on your device.

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