5 tips for introducing a new dog into the household

It is always lovely to hear of a dog being rehomed. It can often be the start of a beautiful and rewarding relationship for the humans and the canines. However, there are always hiccups in a process involving humans and animals so here are my top tips for smoothly introducing a new dog into your household and hopefully avoiding some of the more common issues that can arise:

  1. A ‘room’ of his own – often this means a crate with a soft bed or blankets inside and the new dog can use this as his refuge to where he can go if he feels the need. It should be large enough for the dog to be able to lie down on its side. This can also be used as his main sleeping area and also where the dog can be left for short periods of time when left on its own.
  1. Respect for his personal space – the dog is likely to be pretty confused about where it is, who is in charge and what life is going to be like. Allow the new little creature some time to adjust and set your relationship up as a strong one from the beginning by only ever calling the dog to come you for a cuddle… rather than approaching the dog all the time. This shows that you respect the dog not to always be in its face, towering over it, and you are also reinforcing the message that good things happen when he comes to you. If he ignores your request, he’s not ready for a cuddle, so don’t force it. A new relationship takes time.
  1. Keep his world small – it’s a good idea to keep the new dog on a house lead for a time so that you know that you’ll always have a way to control him should he be doing anything you don’t agree with or that could jeopardise his safety. He doesn’t need the full run of the house and garden yet and often, the bigger the space, the more stressed a new dog will feel. Keep some of the internal doors closed and in this way it is easier to know where he is.
  1. Play rather than ‘walk’ – moving on from the last tip, I strongly recommend you work on your relationship with the dog before even thinking of stepping outside for a ‘walk’. It’s worth remembering that the only animal who walks for pleasure is the human! So don’t feel like it is an absolute necessity. It’s much better for the dog to begin to relax with his new family and house and garden surroundings before he is asked to cope with the outside world without preparation. In the safe arena of your home, you can practice everything you need for an enjoyable walk together, for example walking nicely on the lead, and recall.
  1. Be the leader your dog will choose to follow of his own free will – who would you choose to follow? Someone who is over excited, noisy, irritated and angry when things go wrong? Or someone who is kind, smiling and calm when situations arise? It’s easy isn’t it! Animals love calmness and warmth of action so when you call your dog to you, smile at him and be encouraging. If he does something ‘wrong’ ignore that behaviour and teach him what you do want instead and then reward him.

As always, I’m assuming you’re already familiar with Amichien Bonding, but if not and you’d like to know more, please give me a shout!

Good luck with the wonderful relationship ahead of you, I hope it brings you much happiness.

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A dog outside a kennel

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