Acclimating Your Adult Dog

To A New Home.


Changing homes is always very stressful, to humans and especially to animals.  Whether you choose to adopt an adult dog from a breeder, human shelter or resue - a dog doesn't understand what is going on!

Why is it here in a different house?  Who are these people?  How long will I be staying here?  Where do I go pee?  When will I eat?  These are all questions that will flood your new dogs' mind. 

Unfortunately, your dog doesn't understand the human language enough to get these questions answered immediately.  And, no one can predict animal behavior in different environments.  So, acclimating to a strange environment may take awhile.  Getting your new adult dog comfortable and familiar with new surroundings sometimes takes from a few days to a few weeks.  The A.S.P.C.A. recommends at least a two week adjustment period.  Patience, guidance and love will make this a smoother transition for your new adult dog and for you!!!


The first thing you should do when you get your adult dog home is take your dog out to the yard where you expect it to eliminate.  Encourage your new adult dog to relieve itself there, and praise if the dog does.  If not, take it inside, give it some water, tour your house, then take your adult dog back outside again.  It should eliminate this time.  Always praise!

Be sure to continue to frequently take your new adult dog to the place where you expect it to eliminate (every 2 - 4 hours) until it comes to understand that this is where it is suppose to "go and gets use to the relief schedule.  Every dog is different.  It is better to take a new adult dog out a few times a day too often, then just in the nick-of-time too few!!!

Establish who is the "boss" with your adult dog by being careful to enter through doors before your adult dogs does.  Make sure that you lead up and down stairs.  When you feed it, be sure that you have already had your food first, or eat a tidbit first in front of your dog.  This is to establish with your dog, without histrionics and fanfare, that you are in charge here!  This actually puts many adult dogs at ease since they won't have to worry about who the alpha is.  Your dog should sleep in the same room with you for comfort, but not on the bed, yet.  You should either use a crate, or a little bed on the floor.  Alpha positron must be fully established before allowing your adult dog to sleep with you.

Dogs thrive on routine and find it reassuring.  Try to get into a predictable routine as soon as possible.  A routine will help your new adult dog settle in more quickly.  Example: feed at the same time, walk at the same time, let outdoors to eliminate at the same time, etc.

Start immediately with expected behaviors.  If you don't want the dog on the furniture, then don't let your dog on there from the first day in your home.  Expecting good behavior matter-of-factly from the beginning, you will have less trouble in the long term.

If your new adult dog appears to be moping or seems sad, leave it alone but stay nearby for comfort.  Let it come to terms about how it is feeling.  But, don't let your new adult dog mope for too long - - - distract it with a walk or a bit of interactive playing.

To enhance bonding with you spend a few minutes each day grooming and/or massaging your new adult dog.  This is one of the most productive ways to spend 15 - 30 minutes a day with your dog.  Incorporate cuddles into this routine to form a great relationship with your new companion.

Maintain your sense of humor and don't expect your new adult dog to know all of the house rules in the beginning.  Enjoy getting to know your new adult dogs personality and the dividends of the love in return.



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