As the old saying goes, “You only get one chance to make a first impression”. This is very true when it comes to introducing your dog to their new home. We want to set the tempo and proper foundation of expectations that will last a lifetime.
I know you are excited and happy to welcome your new dog or puppy into your home, but it’s important to not just lavish them with affection and freedom. That is one of the worst things you can do for your dog and for yourself. Follow the below points in conjunction with love/affection, and you will be well on your way to success and happiness with your new dog.
- Properly fit dog with training collar and leash.
- Take your dog for a 15 minute structured walk around the neighborhood before entering your home.
- Have your dog “Sit” and calmly wait at the door before entering your home.
- Maintain a sense of calmness, NO high pitched voices or excessive petting.
- Freedom is NOT entitled, it is earned.
- Dog should be crated at night, when you’re not home, and when they are unsupervised.
- Dog should be supervised when out of the crate. Use this as a training opportunity to teach your dog how to properly act in the home. Examples: Stay off furniture, no barking, prevent counter surfing, maintain calmness/reduce hyperactivity, etc.
- Put your dog on leash and training collar when out of the crate and supervised (never when unsupervised or when in the crate). This allows you to easily and clearly communicate to your dog how you want them to act (See examples in Step #6).
- Dog should not see every room of the house on the first day. Just introduce your dog to the “necessary rooms” or the main living area, and then introduce one more room each day after that.
- Begin implementing “Guidelines for Dog Owners”.
Making a great first impression by laying clear expectations, guidelines, and rules, will make your life easier and help your new dog or puppy feel secure/comfortable in their new home. It is best to be proactive in preventing issues and creating the right behaviors that will last a lifetime, than it is to be reactive and address behavior issues later on.
Steve Reid is a Certified Dog Trainer and owner of S.R. Dog Training, LLC based in Westchester, NY. Steve’s mission is on “Changing the World for Dogs”. For more information about S. R. Dog Training, send an e-mail to [email protected], call 914-774-7654 or visit www.srdogtraining.com