How to Help a Puppy in a New Environment

Setting rules early will help your dog adjust.
i Jupiterimages/ Images

A new home can be a scary place for a puppy, especially for the first few weeks. It takes time for dogs to adjust to new rules and new surroundings. If you are planning a move or you are about to bring a new puppy into your home, following a few key guidelines can help to make the process easier on both your family and the dog. All you need is a positive attitude and a little patience.


Your pup should not have free reign over his new environment. Keep him in a designated part of your home, within view, and use puppy gates to prevent him from roaming. Do not allow him to explore any part of your home without close supervision. When you interact with him for playtime, take him on a tour of the house and give him praise and affection for exploring new areas. Keeping your dog under close watch protects him from danger and helps you spot when he may need a potty break.

Building Routines

Dogs thrive on routine. One of the best things you can do to help your dog adjust to a new environment is to build a strong, predictable and consistent routine. Feeding, walks, playtime and other major daily events should follow a strict schedule. The more reliable the schedule, the easier your dog will find it to fall into rhythm in the new location. Dogs without routines are more difficult to potty train and do not adapt as quickly to their surroundings.


Set rules for your dog and ensure everyone in your family abides by them. Consistency is critical in training dogs and is often the area in which families struggle most. For example, if your dog is not allowed to eat table scraps, you must be certain that every member of your family sticks to this rule. If the dog learns different rules from different family members, overall training will take longer and his behavior will be less reliable.

Gradual Expansion

Once your dog has started getting used to his new home, you can expand his permissions. Stick to your routine, but allow the dog greater access to your home with less supervision. Your dog will require less frequent potty and play breaks once he has adjusted to your schedule, and you will be able to leave him unsupervised for longer periods without harm. If he slips back into old behaviors or has problems, take a step back and reinforce your original routines and limitations.

the nest