You just adopted a new dog – congrats!

That’s great. You’re life just got so much better.

Now I know you want to do the very best for your new furry pal, so I’ve got a few tips that will minimize any adjustment issues and set both you and your new dog up to have a great life together.

What to do when you get your new dog home

Supervise him well for the first few weeks. It’s important to teach your new dog what your personal rules of the house are – which may be very different than anything he’s experienced before. You can only do that if you’re there with him letting him when he’s being good and also when he’s made a mistake.

Use a crate at first, no matter what age the dog is. When you’re not home or can’t supervise put him in the crate. At first don’t have crate in the bedroom unless that’s where you plan to keep it.

Don’t give your dog too much freedom right off the bat. Keep him confined to a few rooms and see how he does. If he’s not getting into trouble, then experiment with giving him some more freedoms.

Provide lots of rules and structure – especially at first. It’s much easier to give freedoms later than to try to take them away. Make your dog work for everything – a simple sit will do the trick.

Make sure everyone in your family understands the rules you have set with your new dog so that there is consistency.

Remove temptations like loose hanging wires, open garbage cans and easy to reach food items. You want to create and environment that sets your dog up to succeed.

Remember to reward good behavior – especially when your dog offers it without asking. We want to show him exactly what we’re looking for.

Things To Remember

The 30 days are what I call the “honeymoon” period where your new dog is going through a period of adjustment. During this time you really haven’t seen the dog’s natural behavior. Somewhere around 3 or 4 week mark your dog finally feels at home and will let his fur down and be himself. This is where you might (not always) see him doing things he hasn’t done before (like chewing or barking).

Even if your dog is an adult who is house trained it’s not uncommon for him to have an accident or two during the honeymoon period.

Understand the personality of the dog you adopted. Remember, you don’t know much about your new pooch, so try not to assume anything. You need some time to get to know him to find out what he likes and what he doesn’t care for. Some dogs have no problem when you hug them but others will get very uncomfortable by such a forward move.

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