Bringing your new pooch home is exciting for you, but it may be scary for him. You can make the transition to a new life less traumatic with a few preparations. Familiar scents, a routine and patience will quickly get your dog accustomed to his new home.
Provide your dog with scents from his old home. Bring an article of your clothing for him to sleep with. If pets already live in the new place, rub them with soft cloths and take them to your dog to smell.
Purchase a crate or a gate to confine your dog to one area. When purchasing a crate, look for one big enough to allow him to sit, lie down and stand. You may want to measure him before buying a crate. Include a blanket or soft pad for him to sleep on. If you don't use a crate, gate off a section in the house. Don't leave him in an isolated room.
Place dog bedding in different rooms so he is less likely to jump on the furniture. You can use blankets, large pillows or a dog bed.
Leash the dog when he arrives and lead him to his potty spot. Give him 10 to 15 minutes to smell the area. If he potties, praise him and then lead him to the house.
Introduce your pup to his crate. Toss a treat by the crate door. Once he eats the treat, toss another one farther in. Continue to do this until he is inside the crate. Keep the door open until he seems comfortable with his new den.
Acquaint your new pup with any other pets. Introduce them one at a time in a quiet room. If you have another crate, put both animals in separate crates. Keep the crates apart but close enough that the animals can see each other. You may choose to feed them in their separate crates at the same time. Feeding is a pleasurable experience that may relax the pets.
Consider having your new pet sleep in your bedroom for the first week. Move the crate into the room or put his dog bed in your room. Place an article of your clothing in the bed with him.
Create a schedule for feeding and potty time. Even if your dog is housebroken, he may have an accident in a new environment. Start over as if he were a pup. Take him out first thing in the morning, after each meal and after playtime. When he potties, praise him and spend some time interacting so you can bond with him.
- If you're bringing home a new dog, make sure everyone in the family agrees to the same rules for him, such as whether he is allowed on furniture or allowed to sleep in a bed. Agree on the same voice commands so your dog is not confused.
- Don't scold him if he has an accident when he first comes into the house. He may be nervous and eliminating is a natural response.
Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.