When you bring a new dog into your home, you want him to be comfortable and stress free. You want to avoid your new dog chewing the furniture, getting into the garbage or growling at you over food, therefore it’s important to teach your new family member obedience.
Here are some tips to help make your new dog’s transition into your family and home a good one.
Structure And Why It Matters – If someone else took care of the things that we normally worry about, such as bills, payments, mortgage, taxes, appointments, doctor visits, to-do lists, etc., we would be way more relaxed. Dogs are similar. So, when we take away the things that a dog worries about, we can help them be more relaxed and comfortable, especially in a new environment. Here are some simple commands and tips to help:
- We can provide structure by asking a dog to stay on place instead of allowing him free roam.
- We can provide structure by crating when the dog isn’t supervised.
- We can ask the dog to walk by our side in a heel instead of up ahead.
- We can ask the dog to wait at thresholds (doors, crate doors, gates, etc.) for permission before going through.
All of these things actually provide comfort to your dog and really help him relax.
Limit Access To Your Home – If you brought a stranger into your home, you would not allow him to have free access to your whole house. You would closely supervise over several weeks before he would earn enough trust to have some freedom. It is the same for your new dog, who has a lot of unknown traits and behaviors.
Use structure to help your dog get comfortable in his new environment without being able to be destructive or practicing anxious/bad habits.
Have Your Dog Drag A Leash in the home while supervised for the first few weeks. You may need to provide guidance or correction with the leash. It may be the safest way to handle the dog in some situations.
We recommend using a leash with a Herm Sprenger prong collar. The Herm Sprenger is a tool that enables you to communicate effectively with your dog – providing guidance or correction – versus something like a harness which only allows you to hold your dog back.
Crating – This is a basic skill that every dog should have. Teaching your dog how to go in and out on command and how to relax quietly and calmly while being crated is important.
Crating keeps your dog and your home safe from potential destruction when you are not able to supervise.
Limit The Resources Your Dog Has Access To. Things like bones, treats, affection, furniture privileges and access to personal space are all resources that a dog may guard. It’s good practice to really get to know your dog prior to freely giving these things to him.
Keep in mind that privileges should be earned, and that a dog needs to be well behaved to receive these resources. This “well behaved” stuff should be an overall experience, not just the one time that your dog listened when you said to sit.
Stop The Smallest Of Transgressions. This is important to put a stop to this, in order to prevent them from growing into larger issues. Use things like a leash pop, a bonker, or an ecollar to correct these. If a dog thinks he can get away with growling at you over food, why should he think it’s a problem to bite over food? What makes him think it’s the wrong thing to do?
Some dogs are easy and will do great no matter how you handle them coming into your home environment. But many will not do well without using these basic tips to help make the transition to your home a successful one.
If you still need help after using these tips, send us your questions and we will do our best to help you out with your dog!