New Dog Owners


When planning for your first dog, before actually choosing him, you need to work out what kind of life you want for him. Where he will play, where he will sleep, how much time you can spend with him and what kind of relationship you want. Then you can think about what kind of dog to choose, and where to get him from.

You probably ought to find out if your partner likes the idea of a dog. If not, try LoveMeLoveMyPets for a pet-happy companion. Seriously. Dog-lovers are a certain breed of human.


First, consider your fencing. You must keep your dog off the streets. For a small dog, about 1.2m, a medium dog 1.5m and a large dog around 1.8m fence is best. For a small dog, ensure he can't dig underneath it.

Dog Houses and Carriers

Consider whether your dog will sleep inside or outside. Visit our Dog Kennels page to learn about dog houses, pens, carriers and crates.

If he will sleep outside, he needs and deserves a place that is dry and sheltered from the elements.

If inside, set aside an area specifically for him.

Bringing him home

When you bring him home for the first time, make sure his belly isn't full, and consider ginger travel sickness pills before he gets in your car.

Collect him early in the day, so you can have a whole day to settle in.

Settling In

When you get home, play with him in the area you want him to consider his bathroom. When he does pee, say the word "toilet" and praise him immediately. After a small feed, leave him in a confined area (such as a small room or playpen) and let him rest for around an hour. Ignore his whines during this period. Then he can have another quiet play with you.

For his first night, let him sleep with an old ticking clock, wrapped in a blanket, to sound like the heartbeat of its mother. Familiar smells will help. A blanket wiped over his old bed or litter-mates will comfort him.

Have lots of toys ready for him, so he can play with them when you're not around.

Feed him the same food he is used to.

Establish a routine of meals, play and sleep, as soon as possible.

Make sure you read the Dog Training section of this site, to get an understanding of how to best build a healthy relationship with your new dog.

Hey, read the whole site, to get a good appreciation of the many aspects to your new life with a wonderful companion.