The day has finally come that you get to bring home your new dog and everyone is bubbling with excitement. It is very important to remember there is going to be plenty of time to experience everything and show him off to everyone. Take things slow and give him a few days to settle in. This also gives you time to observe and watch for any warning signs. Don’t forget in the excitement that some of these dogs have been through more than we can imagine. They may appear normal but could still be healing physically and most definitely emotionally.
Making a schedule
Begin a daily schedule with your dog right away. The schedule should include all of the dog’s normal daily activities.
- Eating and drinking
- Potty training
- Play time
All these things being set up at the same time daily will help the dog adjust quickly and promote successful training. Even though you are beginning a daily routine now don’t start training or correction of bad behaviors for a few days. There is too much going on in the dog’s head right now, it will just frighten him and he won’t learn anything from it. This would just cause damage to your bond with the dog and that is definitely not how you want to start things off.
Build the bond with your dog
Both you and your dog receive many benefits from each other. Look at the relationship between you and your dog as a bank account. Every good, supportive, loving action is a deposit. Every negative situation is a withdrawal. You obviously want more deposits than withdrawals or you end up with a negative balance which would be a bad bond. You want to start building this bond from the moment you meet your dog. He needs to be able to trust you, know you’re the leader/teacher, and know he can look to you for guidance when he is in a situation he is unsure of. This bond should continue to grow and strengthen each day. The Pet Place offers some interesting information about the Human-dog bond.
Observe your dog’s behavior
Use the first few days to your advantage and observe and learn about your new dog. This knowledge can be extremely valuable. Watch for any physical concerns or anything that may indicate an underlying health problem.
- Drinking and eating normally (not much at first)
- Urinating normally
- Normal looking feces
- Hair loss
- Frequent scratching
- Or anything else that seems abnormal
Also watch how your dog reacts and behaves to situations as you introduce him to people and show him his new home. If you notice any extremely fearful or aggressive behaviors you will want to take action to start controlling this right away. Talk with your vet or a behavior specialist immediately, and keep him under close supervision until you know how to handle his specific behavior issues. There are many ways to work on these behaviors that are successful. Even if you don’t notice any concerns you want to learn what kind of personality he has as this will help you decide which training approach will be best
Introducing the new dog to other pets
If you have other dogs at home you will want to introduce them on neutral grounds so there are no territorial issues. During this time give the most attention to your older dog. If you’re focusing on the new pup it will cause serious jealousy issues between the dogs that may not go away. If you have small pets like hamsters, gerbils, etc. wait until the dog has had time to get used to things for a few days before introducing them. Then provide cautious supervision when you do have them meet as you don’t know how the dog will react to something like this. Cats sometimes want no part of dogs let alone new ones. Don’t try to force them to come see the new dog. They will all build relationships in their own time. Don’t interfere unless you see that there is a bad situation starting. You may hear growling and see them showing their teeth but this is usually all for show.
Enjoy this time, in just a few days you will be starting the training process and will have more than enough to do. This will be the only time that you won’t be expecting certain behaviors out of your dog. This time can be just as important though and a good time to just cuddle with him and begin building that amazing bond.