Adopting a dog especially from your local shelter can bring great joy to your home, but keep in mind that you and your new furry friend will need some time to adjust. Dogs that are adopted often times need to get acquainted with their new homes; the smells, sounds, and sights. At the same time they also have to learn a new routine and a new set of rules. Here are just a few tips and tricks for making those all important first few days of a new adoption go smoothly.
Supervise Your New Dog
While Fido adjusts to his new home make sure to supervise him as much as possible. If you can, fence off an area of the house where you spend most of your time during the day or try tethering him to yourself.
If you have to work soon after adopting your new pal, make sure to provide him with a large enough crate so that he can move around a bit, but try to limit the amount of alone time during the first few weeks of adoption. Remember that every dog is a little different and that the adjustment period can also vary from dog to dog. Some take a matter of days while others might take a month or two.
Create a Space Just for Your New Furry Family Member
Before bringing your new dog home make sure you have a special space set up for her in a corner or room of the house. Have a crate, water bowl, toys, and cozy bed arranged for her. When you first bring her home show her the space and make sure she knows that it is a space where she can retreat and have a little alone time.
This is especially important for dogs since they have a natural instinct to den when they need a little time to relax and decrease overall auditory and visual stimulation. If you have small children make sure that they understand when the dog retreats to her special space they shouldn’t bother her. This not only helps set boundaries for your children, but lets the dog know that when she retreats she will be left alone.
Set Rules and Stick to Them
It can be especially tempting to allow your new dog free reign of your home in the first few days, but in fact, it is better to do the opposite. Establish rules immediately and stick to them. This will help your new dog adapt and make life easier for the both of you right from the start.
Some basic rules to establish include making sure your dog knows where to go potty, which parts of the house, if any, are off limits, and what kinds of behaviors are inappropriate, such as chewing on furniture or jumping on people. Have treats ready the moment you bring your new dog home so that training can begin almost immediately. The sooner you can get her accustomed to your rules the more quickly she will bond with you.
While your dog is in the adjustment period remember that some rules might be broken occasionally. Shouting, yelling, or punishing your new dog won’t help the transition period and could result in creating a nervous dog. This sort of negative reaction can result in reinforcing snapping, growling, or even biting behaviors when he feels scared or threatened.
Rather than getting angry when a rule does get broken remain calm and focus on reinforcing the training that you have already started. Remember that patience goes a long way in guiding your dog through this adjustment period and will also strengthen the bond between you and your new family member.
And lastly, have fun with your new pet! Pick out a few fun new toys or snazzy accessories.
When we first adopted Watson we discovered that he especially loved squeaky toys, so we made sure to have a couple on hand in his new home. If it is unique handmade accessories you’re looking for then check out The Woof Warehouse. I make everything by hand and can even make custom orders. There are all kinds of fun items from bandanas to birthday hats! Have fun with your new pal and show him that he is a part of your furever family.