On Your New Family Member!!!
#1: Help Your Dog Feel Secure & Safe ~ Become Connected
If possible arrange for yourself and/or someone to be with your new ‘charge’ 24/7 ~ especially through the night,
- Allow them ‘quiet’ time, to absorb, ‘feel’ and get to know your daily rhythm’s, habits and movements ~ laying in a crate/dog bed nearby ~ where they can see you at all times.
- After 3 days ~ begin leaving them alone for 1 minute at a time graduating to 5 – 10 15 – 20 – 30 minutes, very slowly extending the time, so as not to create any stress or ‘triggering’ reminders of ‘abandonment’.
#2: Give them Plenty of “Quiet Time” to Adjust to Your New Surroundings
Watch your new dog’s body & eyes ~ are they relaxed, wary, uncertain, happy, scared? ~ and sooth, play, talk to them accordingly. Never physically punish them for unwanted actions. Like us, each dog is unique, but every dog wants to ‘belong’ and wants to ‘do right’ by his/her ‘pack’ [you]. Show them what you want and don’t want, and always let them know you love them and that they are safe with you.
#3: Establish Consistency ~ Minimize ‘Confusing’ Your New Best Friend!
Clarify Responsibilities between all family members. Do’s & Don’ts Check List ~ Posted on Refrigerator. ~ Be Consistent!
#4: Schedule A Full Vet Check ~ ASAP!
#5: Do Not Overwhelm Them ~ Wait a few days before you expose them to your friends and neighbors. Give your new dog a chance to adjust, emotionally and physically to their new home.
#6: Give Them ~ Several Leashed Walks/Day. Frequent Potty Breaks in same Designated Areas of your property.
#7: Do NOT Isolate Them ~ Let them Sleep In Your Room at Night, perhaps a crate where they can see you ~ DO NOT ISOLATE them!
#8: Do NOT leave toddlers, small children alone with your new dog.
#9: Be Considerate: ……Remember… Your new dog has had a stressful time ~ let them get used to your environment, learn that they are now safe and loved, and you are patient, loving and understanding & the leader. Their true personalities, confidence and insecurities, likes and dislikes, fears and loves will take awhile to surface ~ usually 3 weeks.
#10: Research a good Dog Training Class, but don’t sign up for them for a couple weeks. If possible, hire a dog expert to come to your home and access, make suggestions and give good tips ~ this will be of great benefit for all involved.
#11: Keep your new dog on a leash at all times Outdoors. No ‘freedom’, off leash moments, i.e. Dog Parks, however “Yes” for ~ Only in your fenced yard.
#12: Other Dogs In Your Family? Introduce one at a time t ~ outside ~ [not on another dog’s established territory]: an open fenced space/yard, or take them together for a short walk. Give them time and opportunity to get to know each other. Stay relaxed, trust, be aware and allow them time to sniff, interact & get to know one another.
#13: Feeding: Do not introduce new food immediately. If possible, mix the food they were fed ~ [hopefully given you when you received the dog] with the new food you will be giving them (1/2 and 1/2). Slowly over 3-4 days increase the rations to the food you choose to feed them. Provide lots of water.
Enjoy one another! They have a lot to teach and share with you and visa versa.
If you follow the above suggestions you two [and family] will soon be on a fast track to a life full of unconditional love, respect and fun.
Congratulations all around!