This section highlights important information you will need to take good care of your Yorkshire Terrier. Please consider this information to be merely a starting point for more detailed discussions that you should have with your veterinarian.

Adjusting to New Surroundings
The First Few Days

Bringing a new dog or puppy home is an exciting time for the whole family. The first few days are extremely important in forming a bond with your new family member and there are certain things you can do that will help establish a positive relationship between you and your dog.

The first night will probably be the hardest for you and your new dog. He will most likely cry at some point during the night, do not punish him for this because it will only make things worse. You may want to keep him in your bedroom until he is used to his new surroundings. He can be kept in his crate or bed so he won’t get in too much trouble while you’re asleep. If you don’t want your dog sleeping in your room indefinitely, then make sure you only allow him to stay with you the first few nights or it will become a habit that is very hard to break. All Yorkies think it is their right to have full ownership of the bed and only allow us humans to sleep in the bed with them because they like the company.

In order to make your new dog’s introduction to your household go smoothly you will need to do some preparation beforehand. Because your new dog, whether he’s a puppy or an adult, will be put into a stressful situation the first few days you will also need to be prepared to lessen this stress as much as possible. A little preparation will lead to a lifetime of happy times with your new friend!

Adjusting to New Surroundings
Safety Precautions

Just like with a new baby, you will need to puppy-proof your house and yard before you even bring your new dog home. A good way to make sure your house is safe is to crawl around on your hands and knees and look at the environment from a dog’s-eye-view! You may feel silly, but you will probably catch potential dangers that you ordinarily wouldn’t have noticed.  You wouldn’t believe what a Yorkie puppy can see to get into until you get down to its eye level.

An important precaution is to make sure no electrical cords and wires can be chewed. These should be wrapped up and tucked away. You should also make sure that any cleaning chemicals in rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms are out of reach. It’s best to make sure your dog can’t get into any cabinets because seemingly harmless items can prove to be dangerous. Trashcans should also be out of reach or closed securely. Houseplants can also pose problems because they can be knocked over and possibly eaten. This should be avoided because certain plants are poisonous to dogs. Also, it is usually a good idea to get some baby gates to block off certain rooms and staircases.

You will also want to make sure your yard is safe. This includes making sure your fence is secure so that your dog can’t get out and other animals can’t get in. Also, fence off any pools and flower or vegetable gardens. It’s also a good idea to put away any tools or toys in the yard. If your dog will have access to the garage, any potentially poisonous chemicals should be out of reach. This includes anti-freeze, which dogs are attracted to because of its sweet smell but can be deadly if ingested. The use of special “non-toxic” antifreeze can alleviate this problem.

Adjusting to New Surroundings
Easing Stress

Now that your house is puppy-proofed you are ready to bring your new baby home. This is an exciting time for your family, but remember that your new puppy will be understandably nervous. It is best to pick up the dog in the morning, so he’ll have a whole day to get used to you before his first night alone. Try not to leave your new dog alone for long, a good time to bring him home is during a vacation if you normally work during the day. You and your dog need this time to bond. If you can’t be with your dog for a while, you should put him in a crate. You should also have a bed ready for your puppy where he can go to get some quiet time and feel secure.

Most likely, the first thing your dog will want to do is investigate and explore. Let him do this so he gets used to his surroundings. Once he’s explored for a while, you should take him to the potty pad to urinate - it’s never too early to start housetraining. You should already have a food and water bowl ready, with water available at all times except at night. You can give your dog his first meal soon after he arrives home, but you may want to give him less than he’d normally get because he will be nervous.

If you have other dogs in your household, their first introduction to the new family member should be on neutral territory, such as a park. For at least a week, the other pets and your new dog should be closely supervised. If you have children introduce them to the new dog slowly and remind them to keep their energy level down because it will make the dog less nervous. For the same reason, you shouldn’t subject your dog or puppy to loud noises in the first few days. You can play with your dog right away, but puppies should not be over-exercised keep the play time short. Make sure any toys you get are puppy-safe. Chew toys are a good idea, especially for a teething puppy. Don’t give your dog old socks to chew on or you’ll soon find that all your socks have holes in them and are strewn throughout the house!

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