You’ve thought about what kind of dog you want (click here for Part 1), and you have prepared your home and family for your new pet (click here for Part 2). Now it’s time for the big change – bringing your new family member home!
1. Welcome & Name Your New Pet
Give your dog time to adjust to her new environment. It may take a while. It’s normal for a dog to feel insecure or frightened by such a big change, especially if she is a puppy who is also missing her mother or siblings. Show her the crate or bed she is meant to sleep in, and where to find food and water. Then leave her some space to explore new surroundings.
Your dog needs to have a good name. Will you pick something that reflects the appearance or personality of the dog? Will you pick a name that considers the interests or personalities of family members? Is the dog going to have a common name, or an unusual one?
2. Make Introductions
One mistake a lot of new pet owners make is introducing their pet to knew people and things too quickly. This can be overwhelming, especially for a puppy. Take your time with your introductions in the household, and then to neighbors, regular visitors, etc. Give your new pet a sense of who his friends are. This includes other animals. Don’t expect them to get along and play together right away. Both parties may need time to adjust.
3. Set the Rules
The biggest problem with training a new pet is making sure ALL family members are on board with enforcing rules. You could be doing everything right in training your dog, but if your family members are not consistent, you won’t get consistent results with your dog. Remember that if your pet thinks something is OK for him to do today, he will think it’s OK forever. Puppy nibbles may be cute, but when his big, strong teeth come in, biting will be painful and dangerous. Interrupt that behavior early and let him know biting is never acceptable.