Bringing Home Your New Dog: Common Mistakes You Could Be Making
Bringing home your new dog is an exciting experience! A common mistake adopters make is giving the new dog too much freedom too soon. Freedom should be earned slowly as the new dog becomes more reliable with housetraining and the new owners have some basic control of the dog.
Before bringing home your new dog, we suggest investing in a crate. Crate training is the fastest and safest way to housetrain the new dog/puppy. Even if the dog was reliable in the previous home, accidents happen.
Use the crate to get your dog on a routine and stick with it until you know he is reliable. The crate will also give the dog/puppy a safe place to get used to the new surroundings. After a long walk or playtime let him rest in his crate and observe his new family as they go about their business. Let him sleep, chew on a toy or just hang out. This will help him learn to chill out while the family is in hectic mode and that he doesn’t have to be involved in every activity.
Try not to go overboard with the doting. It is best for his development to give him some space and time alone. Ignore him occasionally. We want to create a dog that can handle being left alone when the owners are out and not be totally dependant on humans for emotional support.
Do your little dog (this goes for puppies too) a favor and put them on the floor. Let them be a dog and experience the world at their own eye level most of the time. You can cuddle when it’s nap time.
Make sure children in the home understand how to properly interact with dogs and puppies before bringing one home. No tail grabbing, ear pulling or surprise attacks on the sleeping dog.
Play games with puppies that don’t encourage grabbing at hands or chasing pant legs. Even most adult dogs like a good game of fetch. Toss one toy and have another ready so you can get him to drop the first toy as you toss the second one. Have the family or the kids stand about 10 feet apart and encourage the dog/puppy to come to each person in turn and reward with a tiny treat. Check out the internet or book stores for more games to play.
Introduce the new dog to a resident dog on neutral territory like a park or just down the street. If possible take your dog with you when choosing a second dog. Make sure the dogs are compatible in energy levels if you are looking for a playmate for your dog.
If you are looking to get a second dog with an adult or senior dog in the home don’t leave it up to the old kid to show the new kid the ropes. You don’t want to pass on any bad habits.
Seek out a dog trainer to help with questions and concerns before you adopt, to help you pick out the right dog for your situation, help transition the new dog, and get you started on training your new dog to prevent misbehavior in the future.