Bringing Home Your Rescue Dog

I understand that bringing home a new dog is an exciting time for you and your family. Just remember your new dog will be confused about where he is and what is expected of him. He will be under a lot of stress with the change of environment, whether he is from a shelter or a foster home. He may not understand where his potty area is and have a few accidents. Give him time to acclimate to his new home.

Once you get home with your dog, take him immediately to his potty area and spend a good amount of time with him so he will get used to the area. Allow him to sniff around. Wait for him to relieve himself and give him lots of praise. (There should be no corrections for accidents inside the house.)

Remain calm and quiet around your dog for the first few weeks. Limit interactions, such as guest, neighborhood children, and dog parks. Allow your dog to settle in and get to know you before venturing out into the world.

Having the dogs crate in an area that you spend most of your time in the evening will help with training. Leave the door open and while you sit and read or watch TV, toss a treat into the crate and allow him to walk in and out of the crate on his own. When you go to the restroom, lock him in the crate and let him out when you return.

Also, walking in and out of your house without your dog will help him understand that you will be returning. Do not say anything to him when you go out or return. Varying the duration that you are away from the house will allow your dog to become less anxious as he learns that when you leave, you eventually come back.

When bringing home a new dog, it will take 4 to 8 weeks for him to become acclimated to his new surroundings. Be patient and understanding while keeping to the schedule that you intend to maintain for feeding, playing, training, walks, etc. This will show your dog what is expected of him as well as what he can expect from you.

Always have your dog on a leash when opening the front door for any reason. If he gets out, he will not know how to get back to his new home.

Pay close attention to your new dogs’ body language while out in public to make sure that he is not becoming stressed or fearful.

Remember, your dog will be with you for many years to come. Take time to introduce him properly to his new life with you.

Advice and opinions provided here are the opinion of Dog Smart Atlanta and are not to be construed as legally binding in any way. This website is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have a medical or legal concern, please contact a professional who can address the issue.

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