I always rec­om­mend that before bring­ing pup­py home, clients find a stuffed dog for their new addi­tion. Some­times I get the feel­ing that peo­ple think this is a tad crazy! How­ev­er, the pup­pies real­ly do appre­ci­ate their new bud­dy and most bond with it quickly.

Try to remem­ber that your pup­py is like­ly leav­ing behind a lit­ter of bud­dies and that the tran­si­tion can be stress­ful on a num­ber of lev­els. Pup­pies tend to sleep in “pig piles” when they’re togeth­er; com­plete­ly on top of each oth­er and cud­dled up close for com­fort. Sud­den­ly, mom is gone, as are all the famil­iar sights, scents and sounds and they’re all alone in their crate or bed.

At this age, pup­py vision is not high­ly advanced and they tend to see more gen­er­al­ized out­lines and rec­og­nize col­or shades. So if you find a stuffed dog with sim­i­lar size and col­or­ing to their lit­ter mates, and the same type of ears — flop­py or up — pup­pies will rec­og­nize them as their new buddy.

Here’s Dante, hap­pi­ly curled up with a very choco­late lab look­ing toy!

As improb­a­ble as it may seem, I’ve seen it hap­pen over and over and they real­ly do seem to take some lev­el of secu­ri­ty and com­fort from their stuffed bud­dy! Son­ic still has his bud­dy, “Dale” as his favorite crate mate.

So help your pup­py have a pos­i­tive tran­si­tion! Pick up a crate mate before bring­ing them home.