The First Two Weeks With Your New
on the new addition to your family! Your new dog will be a
wonderful companion for years to come. It is important to
recognize that first impressions are often lasting ones. If
you follow these simple guidelines, your dogs transition
into your home will be a piece of cake for you and your new
1. Teach your new dog the rules
of your house from the beginning.
In the words of Dr. Ian Dunbar, If you want your dog
to follow the rules of the house, by all means do not keep
them a secret. When your dog first gets home, he or
she may be a little confused and unsure of the new living
situation. Even though your home is undoubtedly more comfortable
than the shelter, it is different, and different can be stressful.
It is important to remember that dogs do not speak our language
and will best understand your expectations through training
and management. Training and management should begin the very
moment your new dog arrives in your home.
Your instinct may be to give your new friend a few days to
unwind and adjust before imposing rules and restrictions.
Wile you may mean well, this time delaying training has the
potential to be both frustrating and damaging. Right from
the very first day, it is crucial to convey your expectations
to the dog and to establish an errorless training system.
If you do this, your dog can succeed in learning house rules
right from the beginning. If you change the house rules a
few days after your dog has arrived, he will not understand
why things have changed. Your dog may have already formed
new habits and will have a difficult time adjusting to yet
another set of expectations. It is much more efficient to
teach your dog everything you would like him of her to know
from the outset.
2. Try not to overwhelm your
new dog with too much activity during this initial adjustment
period (individual dogs adjustment
period will vary). It is very exciting to adopt a new family
member. Of course you want to introduce her to all of your
friends and family and of course you want to take your new
pal everywhere! All this excitement however could be exceptionally
stressful for your dog. Please keep in mind that even in the
best of shelters your dogs world was probably limited
to a handful of environments and activities. It is best for
your dog to spend the first couple of weeks quietly settling
in and getting to know you. Limit introductions to just a
few visitors, and preferably only one or two at a time. If
your dog has time to become familiar with you and your home
surroundings, she will be more confident when setting out
on adventures beyond your immediate neighborhood.
3. Keep your new dog confined or supervised at all times.
This is the best way to keep your new friend (and house!)
out of trouble when you are unable to monitor his actions.
Your dog requires a dog-proof, safe place: a doggie
den the equivalent of a toddlers playpen
where he can rest and chew appropriate items in your
absence. There are many options for your doggie den,
but a crate or small room in your house is ideal. However,
you may also choose an outside kennel run. Initially you must
be around to gently redirect your dog when he chooses an inappropriate
activity. If you are vigilant about supervising our dog and
showing him what you expect, your dog will learn to settle
down quietly, to chew only appropriate chew toys and eventually
to become trustworthy in your absence.
Remember: always try to build good habits, because good habits
are as hard to break as bad ones.
FOLLOW THESE GUIDELINES FOR
AT LEAST THE FIRST TWO WEEKS WITH YOUR NEW DOG. PLEASE REMEMBER
SOME DOGS WILL TAKE LONGER TO ADJUST SO BE PATIENT.
immediately show your dog to his/her appropriate toilet area.
take your dog to the designated toilet area once an hour,
every hour, on leash (except overnight). Allow supervised
free time only after he relieves himself in the appropriate
area. If your dog does not go to the bathroom on one of these
trips, confine him to his doggie den OR keep him
on leash and supervised, until the next scheduled potty break.
confine your dog to a doggie den whenever you
are physically (or mentally!) absent. Such as when you are
at work, paying bills, talking on the phone, sleeping, etc.
feed your dog out of a hollow Kong or other chew toy stuffed
with kibble and snacks throughout the day, especially when
she in her doggie den or when you are busy. Also
use part of your dogs daily ration while on walks, during
training or when meeting new people.
provide plenty of appropriate chew toys to keep your dog busy
and prevent chewing casualties in your home and
yard. Redirect any chewing mistakes by directing
your dog to an acceptable alternative. This will also help
establish an appropriate chewing habit for the lifetime of
introduce your dog to new people and other pets gradually
so as not to overwhelm him. Use kibble and treats to help
form a positive association to new people. Be sure he has
access to his den in case he needs a break from
all the activity.
enroll in a basic obedience class right away! This will help
you to understand how to better communicate with your dog
in a way she will understand.
look for a Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT) that uses dog-friendly
training methods. Contact APDT.com or call 1-800-PET-DOGS
to find a trainer in your area.
allow your dog free run of the entire house right away, or
else your new friend may learn all sorts of bad habits. First
take the time to teach him good habits.
take your dog off-leash in public until you have successfully
completed an obedience class.
feed your dog out of a bowl; all food should come either out
of a Kong or from somebodys hand.
For more information regarding training your dog please read
After You Get Your Puppy. To place an order visit
the James & Kenneth website at jamesandkenneth.com.
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