Sleeping puppy

Kirsten Dillon - Step 1: Choosing Your Puppy And Bringing Them Home

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Join us as we embark on an exciting journey alongside our Animal Behaviorist, Kirsten Dillon, who has recently welcomed a new addition to her family—a puppy! We are thrilled to provide you with an exclusive glimpse into Kirsten's puppy-raising adventure. As an expert in animal behaviour, Kirsten's insights, experiences, and training techniques will undoubtedly be invaluable as she navigates the joys and challenges of raising a young pup.
This is Stevie Licks (yes, we’re huge Fleetwood Mac fans at Chez Dillon).
She is a Lagotto Romagnolo, an Italian Water Dog known for their truffle hunting abilities.
She was born at the end of April this year, and we are detailing her journey in the hope we can help more new puppy owners understand this challenging period and help their pups become the confident, well-mannered adult dogs we know they can be.


Note: I didn’t choose Stevie, I communicated with the breeder over many weeks, discussing what I wanted from a dog (confidence), and she decided for me at week 7, which frankly is the best way to select from a litter of cute pups. One visit is not enough to choose the right dog for you and your family.

We had to go from Surrey to Cheshire to collect Stevie, which was about 3 ½ hours in the car. The best way to bring home a young puppy is with a passenger holding them securely.

We had Stevie in the back seat in a soft doughnut-type bed, and I held her tight. We timed it so that she had eaten, toileted and had a little play immediately before we left. After some initial squeaks, she quickly fell asleep for the journey.

If you don’t have a spare pair of hands when you collect your puppy, use a small, covered crate on the back seat or the seat next to you. Puppies shouldn’t be overstimulated by sights and sounds outside and not have too much room to move about, but it helps if they know they are not alone.

If you need to stop to let the puppy toilet, avoid areas where many dogs have passed, such as service station grass, etc. Stop somewhere other dogs are unlikely to have toileted to minimise the risk of your puppy picking up diseases and germs."

By Kirsten Dillon

Animal Behaviourist & Canine Specialist 


Step 2: The first night with your puppy
Step 3: Feeding your puppy