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Welcoming a New Dog into Your Home

24 Nov 2023

Welcoming a new dog into your home can be one of life’s most exciting experiences. Dogs make fantastic pets and working animals, but given their intelligence and sensitivity, moving them into a new home should be carefully planned and managed to make the process as easy as possible for them.

It is important to understand that dogs can take a number of weeks to settle into a new home. During this time, you should not rush your dog or expect too much from it. We recommend using the initial settling period to help your dog build positive associations with its new family and home through lots of treats, access to toys, and affection. It is important that your dog has permanent access to a quiet, safe space it can relax in, and we highly recommend investing in a crate.

Once your dog is more comfortable and settled, usually within its first few days at its new home, it is time to begin setting boundaries and introducing it to training. Boundaries lead to happy and well-behaved dogs, and a little discipline goes a long way. Owners should ensure their dog has a clear understanding of what wanted and unwanted behaviours are, and this is best and easiest done early on with positive reinforcement and marker training. In short, mark and reward your dog’s behaviour when they are doing what you want, and ignore negative and unwanted behaviours.

Owners should be careful not to overload their new dogs, and it is advisable to wait until you have a good idea of what their personality is before exposing them to more involved training or lots of new people. Confident and extroverted happy go lucky dogs can generally be introduced to unfamiliar people and other dogs relatively quickly, whereas more nervous and introverted dogs need slower introductions. Ensuring lasting positive associations are being built is key, and a cautious approach is preferable to rushing which may cause stress.

Working with an experienced trainer or behaviourist can help make a dog’s transition to its new home an easier and smoother experience for everybody concerned. To book an initial consultation with our training team, please email [email protected].

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24 Nov 2023

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