Tips to ease the transition for a new dog in your home

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dog couchThe shelter that I volunteer for recently had a dog returned within eight hours because the dog was destructive in the home.  The problem with that is the new owners did nothing to protect their home, or the dog from itself.  A brand new dog in the home left to his own devices tore the blinds down.  We will never know why he tore the blinds, possibly thinking they were abandoning him after just getting out of the shelter environment.  This unfortunate situation could have been avoided with just a few preemptive steps.   Here are a few Do’s and Do Not’s that can ensure a smooth transition into your home.

DO

Pay attention – your new dog will need to learn how to tell you that he needs to go eliminate. You will need to show him where that preferred place is.

 Consider using a crate or baby gates to corral when you can’t supervise until you are sure they can be trusted alone in your home or with your children.

Give your dog some rules and boundaries – sit before getting food, not running out the door, not getting on furniture – or only get on when invited by you – remember to reward when they get it right.

Sign up for a local basic obedience class as soon as you can – it will help with boundaries and bonding.

DO NOT

Leave your dog unattended in your home or with your children until you know their true personality. Consider using a leash and collar in the house with the hand hold tied to a belt loop so the dog is never more than 4 feet from you.

Leave your new dog in the back yard unattended until you know there will be no digging, barking from boredom, or fence jumping. Remember he doesn’t know the rules of your home.

Hopefully these tips will help with easing your new friend into the household and start a relationship that will last for years.

Terry Meeks is a dog trainer, APDT Member an CGC Evaluator in Pinellas County, Florida. Find Four on the Floor Dog Training at FourontheFloor-Dogtraining.com and on Facebook.

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