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8 Essential Steps to Bring a New Dog into the Home

Posted by Joseph Watson on
8 Essential Steps to Bring a New Dog into the Home

No matter if the lockdown pushed you towards getting a new dog or it’s something you’ve been planning for a long time, congratulations! You’re doing a great job! We are here to help you, step by step, so the integration goes smoothly, with as little stress as possible.

Like in any relationship, the mutual journey together could get bumpy in the beginning. Getting used to each other may take time, but we promise, a harmonious coexistence can be achieved in a very short period.

Patience 

Patience, patience and some more patience. Keep in mind that every dog is unique. There is no universal way to make a dog get attached immediately to a new owner. Sometimes it takes a bit of time, but you’ll get there. The more aloof and timid dogs will more likely take their time and be distrustful about their environment. Patience is essential, don’t worry if he needs time to adjust.

When a dog gets to his new place from a familiar place he needs time to adjust. He needs time to get used to new smells and sounds. This integration is quite stressful, but creating a relaxed environment should help the dog to adjust faster. 

Try not to overload him, let him adapt to you and your home at his own pace. Let family members know, children especially, that a new dog should be left alone to rest. That is why when we immediately want to show him off, it should be enough just to take a photo and send it to those who matter to us.

Everyday Life Routine

Dogs like routine, it makes them feel secure when days are predictable. Setting up a daily routine from the very first day a dog arrives at our house is essential.

brown and white short coated dog on gray couch

This way he can be aware of what we expat from him during the day. Here are some tips on how to set up the daily tasks:

  • Feeding should be at the same time every day.
  • Take him out for walks around the same time daily (if the dog is not house broken yet, take him out after every meal and every time he wakes up from a nap).
  • Light off around the same time every night, so he could sense when it’s time to sleep.

The daily routine should also include the everyday playtime, exercise and cuddle moments. These tasks help strengthen the relationship between a dog and his owner.

Rules 

Consistency  of rules play an important role in building attachment between dog and owner. If there are several people living in a household, everyone should be involved in his education, so it is worth clarifying in advance:

  • What to allow and deny the dog
  • What parts of the house is his to roam
  • What he gets to eat
  • What behavior is rewarded

Building a strong relationship therefore requires clear rules and consistent adherence, in which all members of the family should participate.

Feeding from Hand

It’s as simple as it sounds. This step is especially useful with shy dogs who are a bit afraid,

person in black jacket and blue denim jeans holding black and white short coated dog

who have a hard time opening up to the new owner and place. This practice helps build trust between the dog and the owner. If you have taken in an abused or stray dog, this method shows him that good things come from a human’s hands. Over time he will get used to the touches and caresses during feeding. Every dog should learn that the owner is a source of good things. Closeness and direct touches benefit in the creation of the bond.

Teaching

It’s never too late to learn new things. Learning and playing together is an important part of the dog-owner relationship. The work invested bears fruit and contributes to a balanced everyday life. When you train a puppy, keep in mind that they are able to focus on one thing for a short period of time. A few minutes a day should be enough, and only teach him one command at a time. The first thing a puppy should learn is his name. Giving a puppy rewards with their name triggers the puppy to learn that hearing his name has a good outcome. And older dogs are also able to learn new things, don’t write them off just because of their age.

Relaxing 

What amazing companions they are, when they don’t expect us to do anything. They are content with us just laying in bed throughout most of the day.

medium-coated brown dog

The only important thing for them is that you two are together and nothing else matters. They don’t expect much from us, in fact the caresses are extra points with them. When you see your dog laying on his back, his legs stretched out and he’s sleeping peacefully, it means he feels secure, he’s satisfied and life is good. Just laying there, doing mostly nothing, touching without words conveys that you belong together.

Fit and Healthy - Together 

Daily exercise is an important cornerstone of health in your dog’s life. Daily walks should be routine, at least three times a day. Walks may include jogs or even park-side recreation such as throwing a ball, ramps and tunnels in a dog park, beach walks and swimming. If you’re a lover of hiking, don’t leave your dog at home! There won’t be a happier dog in the world if you take him out for a hike with you, where he can run united in the wild (please make sure there are no wild animals that could harm your dog).

woman and dog running in seashore

Always make sure of his safety. Shop for some carriers to make his hikes easier. Always carry enough water and a water bowl for him. If you’re planning a longer hike, make sure your dog has a place to sleep. All in all, just have a good time!

Encouragement

Under the patient, consistent and loving guidance of the owner the dog will slowly understand what is expected of him. Praise him with reward bites for correct behavior, verbally encourage him and caress him when he does something good. Clear communication with simple words is key to make him listen to your voice.

About the Author:
Pet expert Jackie Brown has spent 12 years following her passion for animals as a writer and editor in the pet industry. Her expertise includes dog and cat health, care, nutrition, feeding, grooming, behavior, and training.

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