Bringing home a new Australian Shepherd puppy can be both very exciting and daunting!
Preparation is the key to a smooth transition into your home, and this article will cover everything you’ll need to have, know, and prepare for your puppy’s arrival.
Everything You Need For an Australian Shepherd Puppy!
In order to make the whole process as smooth as possible, sufficient preparation is the key! Let’s run some things you should do before bringing home your new Aussie pup.
1. Know The Details of Your Local Veterinarian
It’s worth contacting or even visiting your local veterinarian’s practice to find out the necessary contact information you will need.
Not only will you need to visit your veterinarian to complete your puppy’s vaccines, but you may suddenly need to contact your vet for an emergency. It helps exactly where they are and who to call.
Ask for recommendations
If you are in an area with a lot of veterinary practices, it’s best to ask your friends and family for recommendations. This way, you’ll get an honest review of what their services are like, and perhaps the prices (as many veterinary services charge differently)
2. Ask Your Breeder These Important Questions
You can never ask your breeder too many questions! Their knowledge of your puppy is extremely valuable right now so be sure to get as much out of them as possible before leaving.
Important questions to ask your breeder:
● Have vaccinations started? If so what stage is your puppy on?
● Has your puppy received any other treatments like worming?
● Which kibble/formula is your puppy currently eating?
● Feeding times and food portions
● What are his current sleeping times?
● Ask about the general behavior of your puppy (how he socializes)
● Ask about any discovered health issues
● Ask for the complete health certificates (puppy + parents)
● Ensure the health of siblings and parents
● Contact information of the breeder for short term support
And if you have any more questions, be sure to ask them too! Your breeder understands that taking home a new puppy is a lot of responsibility, and right now, they have the answers to all of your questions!
The health of the puppy
It’s very important to ensure the health of your puppy and the parents. And your breeder should have veterinarian certificates for both the puppy and parents.
Terms of the sale
Be sure to confirm and fully understand the terms of the sale (like what happens if a major health issue is discovered in your puppy shortly after bringing them home) Some breeders will allow you to return the puppy, and some won’t. This is very important to know.
Try to learn as much about the daily routine and habits of your puppy as possible. Your puppy will instantly feel more comfortable in his new home if some elements of his old routine are kept the same.
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Australian Shepherd Puppy Supplies: Full List
Here’s the list of all of the products and items you will likely need right from the get-go. There may be a few that you haven’t thought of, so be sure to go through each item.
Recommended supplies for your new Aussie puppy:
1. Standard metal wire crate – Recommended option
2. Puppy bed/blanket – Recommended option
3. Puppy food + puppy treats
4. Metal food + water bowls – Recommended option
9. Leash, harness, collar – Recommended option
10. I.D Tag for the collar
11. Durable toys (non-choking hazards) – Recommended option
12. Baby gates – Recommended option
13. Puppy pen (makes life much easier!) – Recommended option
14. Poop scoop, poop bags
15. New trash can for poop (can’t mix waste)
16. Pet-friendly cleaning products – Recommended option
17. Old towels, old blankets
I know that looks like a lot of products! But you’ll be surprised just how necessary they all are. You may have alternatives and that’s absolutely fine! As long as it does the job intended.
Psst. A word on training while we are here. We’ve had so many Aussie owners report great things about Brain Training For Dogs we’ve got to recommend it here. From increased obedience, behavior, and reduced stress, the results speak for themselves. Okay back to the article!
Preparing Your Home For Your New Aussie Puppy
After you have all the necessary supplies, it’s time to prepare your home.
When you bring your puppy home, it helps to have a few things planned out and organized in order to make your life A LOT easier, and less stressful.
Let’s run through the most important things to do before bringing your puppy home.
1. Designated daily area
Creating a designated daily area where your puppy will reside is really important and should be set up before your pup arrives.
Having a designated area helps to keep your Aussie pup contained for both training purposes and overall management. Puppies should never have free-roam of the house before they’re trained. This is a simple yet crucial thing to get right from the start.
Their daily area should have their crate or puppy pen, water & food bowl, a range of durable toys, their bed, or suitable blanket to lay down on. Have treats, cleaning products, and old towels close to hand for when your pup makes a mess.
2. Designated sleeping area
To avoid restless nights, it helps A LOT to have your puppy sleep in their crate, beside you in your bedroom at night.
Being close to you will comfort your puppy and you can expect to have far fewer restless nights.
Unfortunately, you will need a crate for both downstairs to start crate training, as well as upstairs for nighttime. So you may want to consider getting two crates unless you’re happy to move one around.
Their crate should contain nothing more than an old towel and a single comfort item like an unwashed t-shirt of yours, or a rag from your breeder.
3. Designated toilet area
Potty training should begin from day one. So it helps to have the designated area ready. This should be a small section of your yard that you don’t mind sacrificing.
You’ll then need to bring your puppy there as many times as you can. As well as after key moments like sleeping, napping, eating, drinking, playing, or getting excited.
I won’t get into potty training in its entirety here, but just know this should be established from the start. It’s very hard to break habits once they form, so be sure to start potty training from the very first day.
4. Electric cables
We have electric cables everywhere. From phone chargers, TV wires, lamp wires, and much more, and they must all be properly removed or secured.
It only takes a few seconds to look away from your puppy and he’ll be off behind the couch chewing on something that seems appealing.
Chewing live electric cables can be life-threatening so they must be fastened to the wall, or removed where possible.
5. Baby gates
Baby gates are excellent at preventing your puppy from going upstairs or in different rooms that may not have an existing door.
Baby gates help you set boundaries which are extremely important for puppies to learn from the start. Boundaries are not only necessary for training, but also for their safety.
It’s a good idea to have at least two baby gates for the top and bottom of your stairs.
6. Floor clean up
Aside from removing access to all electrical cables, it’s super important to give your floors an overall inspection.
Aussie puppies are extremely curious and if you take your eye off him for a second, he’ll be exploring areas of your home you never knew existed! (this is why puppy pens are so important)
At the start, puppies don’t know what they are allowed to chew and what they are not allowed to chew. They also don’t know what’s dangerous or toxic. This is all down to us, so be sure to inspect your floors and remove any loose hazards.
7. Trash cans
Many kitchens have plastic trash cans for convenience, and many rooms around your house may have small individual trash cans too. Unless you want your Aussie rummaging through them, they need to be either removed or replaced.
Lightweight trash cans in your kitchen will soon fall victim after your Aussie learns that he’s strong enough to knock them over or tall enough to get inside them!
Avoid this messy situation by either replacing them with heavier trash cans that can’t be tampered with or just remove them altogether.
By following these basic first steps you’ll be as prepared as you can possibly be for your puppy’s arrival!
Managing Your Aussie Pup’s Chewing Habits
Australian Shepherd puppies are known for their chewing and nipping. It’s normal. But that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare sufficiently for it.
The best way to tackle this is to have a range of exciting toys that your Aussie can chew on at all times. And the way to keep the toys exciting is to A) rotate them, and B) incorporate treats with them.
Ninja Tip: Grab yourself a KONG puppy teething toy, stuff it with peanut butter (xylitol-free) pop it in the freezer for a few hours and you’ve got yourself the ULTIMATE toy for a teething puppy.
One of the most frustrating things for new puppy owners is the never-ending desire to bite, chew, and nip at everything.
Unfortunately, all puppies go through this stage, and it’s actually a really important period for them. Discovering how to use their mouths and muzzle is a crucial skill that they will need throughout their life. Chomping and chewing on different textures will develop their bite threshold and provide much-needed relief when teething.
Redirection is the key to managing your Aussie pup’s chewing and biting habits. You’ll need to consistently redirect inappropriate biting and chewing to things he is allowed to bite and chew. Follow this with praise, and your pup will slowly learn what’s appropriate and inappropriate for the future.
Keep two sets of toys on a weekly rotation so they consistently appear to be “new” toys, and use treats to make them tastier, like the Kong toy example above. This will help significantly.
Extra Tips For a New Australian Shepherd Puppy | General Advice
I wanted to cover some general tips that might help you out in the first few weeks of having your new Aussie pup at home!
1. Potty mistakes & mess
Your Aussie pup will make a lot of mess, and potty mistakes to begin with, so it’s best to be ready for that!
Please don’t reprimand or punish your Australian shepherd in these situations. Reprimanding never produces positive results and only creates fearfulness and trust issues, so it’s best to just avoid it.
When your pup makes a potty mistake, the only thing you can do is show him where he should have gone. The instance you spot the mistake, tell him “No” and take him outside to his potty spot instantly.
Move on from the incident and continue to take him to his spot several times per day and after key moments. If you take him to his spot enough, he’ll soon learn that’s his place to do his pee’s & poops.
2. Setting boundaries with your puppy
It’s important to not let your puppy roam free. I have mentioned this a few times already, but it’s essential.
Puppies, like children, love to test boundaries and establish themselves. It’s vital that you show your puppy he can’t go anywhere he likes, and that he has his set area. Only when you allow, does he get to go into different parts of the home.
While your puppy is contained to one room, he remains safe and it’s easy for you to start training him and establishing good behavior.
If he has the whole house to himself, he’ll think he’s the boss. And if that happens, you’re going to have a very tough time raising an obedient Aussie!
Use puppy pens, baby gates to effectively limit his area.
3. Going outside with your puppy
Puppies should not go outside in public areas until 2 weeks after they have completed their vaccinations. Depending on when your puppy started, this is usually around 16-18 weeks of age.
If you ensure your private yard is safe and you limit your puppy’s movement to a clean patch of grass, you should have no issues going outside in your own yard. Some agree with this idea, and others do not. I advise you to speak to your veterinarian first about making this decision.
Of course, however, you may take your puppy outside briefly for potty training purposes.
4. Socializing is really important
I know, it’s a lot to think about already! But there’s one more thing that you must be aware of. Socialization!
Socialization should start when you bring your puppy home. And yes, you can invite a friend over with their dog before your puppy has completed his vaccinations (as long as the other dog is healthy, vaccinated, and friendly). Related article: Can unvaccinated puppies play with vaccinated dogs?
Puppies get removed from their siblings and mother, but they must continue to interact with other dogs in order to develop their social skills and good manners.
Experiencing an array of social interactions is fundamental to raising a friendly Aussie. Aussies that are not properly socialized when young are more likely to be aloof and aggressive to strangers and new dogs in the future. Which is something you really want to avoid.
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Thank you for reading!
I know this article was quite a long one! But if you take in the tips and advice given above, you’ll be as prepared as you can possibly be for your new Australian Shepherd puppy.
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