The time has come to bring your Norwich puppy home! Here are some tips on how to welcome and care for your new puppy. The Norwich puppy at 10-12 weeks of age is relatively small, generally weighs around 6-8 pounds, and is very playful and inquisitive while awake.
Road Travel If you drive to pick your puppy up, you can use a travel pet carrier or a regular pet crate to contain the puppy in the car. A crate bed, clean towel, and/ or soft old sweater or fleece baby blanket in the crate will help your puppy stay warm and comfortable.
- Air Travel If you must fly to pick your puppy up, you’ll need to contact the airline in advance of your travel dates to get a pet reservation for the puppy to travel in the airplane cabin along with you for the return trip home. The puppy must be contained in a pet carrier that is placed at your feet under the seat in front of you. The airline may charge a pet fee, and the pet carrier must meet the airline’s specifications.
- Arrival Home Establish a puppy-safe zone in your household. A portable exercise pen or puppy pen can safely contain the puppy when you cannot actively watch him. Putting down a waterproof tarp or heavy duty vinyl shower curtain on the floor can protect carpets and hardwood floors beneath the pen. Beach or bath towels or washable puppy mats are used to create a walking surface inside the pen, and a dog bed and toys will complete the set-up.
- Children Children love puppies and vice versa. Always supervise when children are handling the new puppy, discourage any rough play, and never let anyone disturb a sleeping puppy.
- Food and Water Your puppy must have ready access to fresh water at all times. A water bowl that attaches to the side of the pen will not tip over. The breeder will give you advice on dog food and feeding schedules: puppies are rapidly growing and are usually are fed 3 times a day.
- Potty Training There are many sources of advice on how to do potty training! Try to take your puppy outside to a designated spot every 2 hours while awake, and within 10 minutes after feeding him a meal. Praise him enthusiastically after each job outside! Patience is the key—although Norwich puppies are very smart, some take longer to gain bladder and bowel control. The puppy may more easily lose control when he gets excited.
- Your Veterinarian Review your puppy’s health status and puppy vaccinations with your local veterinarian within a week after puppy arrives home. The vet can advise you on when your puppy is safe to participate in training classes and play groups. Do not take your puppy to places where lots of dogs congregate (dog classes, dog parks, dog shows, etc.) until your vet assures you it is safe health-wise to do so.
- Leash Training Get a puppy-sized soft harness and 6-foot leash. Let your puppy get used to wearing the harness inside the house for a few days. Then attach the leash, and let the puppy drag that around for a while. Then move the activity outdoors to a fenced yard, if available, and practice walking around with the puppy wearing his harness attached to the leash, and you holding the leash.
– Elaine C. Jong, MD