Getting a new dog is a very exciting and challenging time. Adding a new member to the family is such a great experience. However with all the excitement that it brings we can sometimes forget what is best for our new family member. For instance, as tempting as it is to let them have run of the house the very first day, its really not best. Taking in all the new scents,sights,and sounds can be a mental overload for them. It’s better to introduce them to one room at a time. A great tool to help with the transition is a crate. As long as it is not used as punishment the dog will think of the crate as it’s den and will feel safe and secure while in it.
If you already have a dog and are bringing home a little brother or sister for her the most common mistake is making the initial meeting inside the home. It is best to introduce the dogs on neutral territory so they don’t feel the need to be dominant about anything, they can just focus on getting to know each other. Once they are comfortable with each other on neutral territory you can then introduce them to the house.
With young puppies, between seven and twelve weeks of age, everything they learn, good or bad, can affect their behavior for the rest of their lives. So it is important to establish rules and routines from day one. Even if you have adopted an adult dog the same rules still apply. Some adults may even take a little longer to adjust depending on what kind of environment they were in at seven to twelve weeks old.
The introduction is one of the first and most crucial steps you will take in your new lives together. Remember to set rules and stick by them. They crave structure in their lives and when you provide it for them, you will end up with a perfect new family member that loves you unconditionally.
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