Introducing Puppies to New Beds, Toys and More

IMG 0513 1 scaled e1707189068860How we introduce something new to a puppy can make a big difference in how the puppy perceives the new object.

Place the new object on the floor.

Toss a handful of high-value treats on a new bed or inside a new kennel and back away.

Don’t encourage them to approach the new thing, nor attempt to explain that there’s nothing to be afraid of.

Allow puppy to explore at their pace, without any interference. Don’t encourage them to go in or come out.

When they go to the new object and retrieve the treats, that’s their reward. In our excitement humans tend to use a lot of high-pitched verbal praise. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance that will startle or scare puppy (they don’t speak English). They’re then likely to associate being startled with the new object, which creates resistance going forward.

If puppy isn’t interested in the new object right away, don’t worry. Leave it and them alone. They can smell the treats. Their curiosity will convince them to explore, probably in a matter of a few minutes.

A no-pressure, non-confrontational introduction builds confidence in a puppy to move forward/explore. It also builds trust between puppy and their humans.


• Place the new object on the floor out of the flow of foot traffic.

• Toss a handful of high-value treats on or inside the new object.

• Back away from the object. Stand at least 10’ away.

• Avoid talking to puppy.

• Let them explore at *their* pace.

• When puppy retrieves the reward (treats), avoid excitement so puppy isn’t startled.

• Repeat the steps at least 3 times, before taking a break.

• Repeat the exercise at least 3 times, the first day of introduction.

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Dee Green has been a professional dog trainer and canine behavior consultant for more than 20 years. She specializes in puppies up to 18 months, and fearful, anxious and reactive dogs of all ages.

©️2024 Dee Green

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