It's been a big year for adoptions! Bringing a new dog into the family can be so exciting and you'll probably be eager for them to adapt to your life and schedule quickly, but taking things slow from the beginning will make for a much smoother transition for your new rescue. Taking the time to plan is key! Here are some helpful tips to helping your new pup settle in and adjust:
- Start Training Immediately. You want to set your pup up for success. Don't wait until negative habits form or you notice unfavorable behavior. Training will help you form a bond with your dog faster, establish you as authority, and provide some much needed structure in a new home. Basic obedience and positive reinforcement will also help your dog gain the confidence they need. Let our training team know how they can help!
- Don't Rush Introductions. It can be tempting to want to introduce all your friends and family right away, but this can be very overwhelming to a dog who's whole world has changed overnight and who needs time to adjust. Let him get to know and trust you first before introducing more people. Remember to also go about introducing other pets the right way: on neutral territory and keeping a careful watch for signs of stress or aggression.
- Be Patient and Consistent. It could take some time to really get to know his true personality, likes/dislikes, and behavior. Be patient, understanding, & keep to the schedule you create for feeding, walks, play time, etc. This schedule will show your dog what he can expect and establish a predictable routine he can follow.
- Set Expectations. Establishing rules from the beginning will make it easier to stay firm and stick to your boundaries. If you don't want him on the couch, don't let him jump up there day one. If you plan on utilizing a crate when he is unsupervised (and you should!) start on day one. Until you can trust your dog completely to behave when alone, use a crate to confine him when you can't supervise. How a new dog acts in a foster home or rescue is not necessarily an indication of how he will behave in another environment.
All adopted dogs go through an adjustment period, and it's important to help them settle in during the initial transition period in order to set yourselves up for a happy & healthy life together!