Bringing a New Puppy Home - Cheri
Q: When bringing a new dog home for the first time, what steps should be taken to make the transition as smooth as possible for the entire family?
The first moments at home with your pet are huge! Before actually entering the house, take your dog for an hour-long walk around the neighborhood to familiarize them with their surroundings. Walks build trust between you and your companion. Make sure that the dog walks beside you or behind you, which helps to empower you as the leader. Don't allow the dog to "track" or sniff around everywhere. They also shouldn't be allowed to "mark" or urinate frequently during the walk. If they are allowed to, they will think that they own the neighborhood. Marking is a way for them to collect real estate in their area and ultimately builds the foundation for bad behavior. Also, make sure the dog is not fixating on other animals or people. To ensure these steps, use leash correction.
The next thing to do is address the dog's mentality by inviting your new pet into your home, which sets the stage for a balanced relationship. Make sure your dog is on a leash and that you walk into the house first. Introduce them to your house by walking your dog through each room briefly, giving them permission to enter. Over the next few weeks, build up your leadership position. Make the rules of the house clear. Affection at first should be minimal- be a leader before a lover. Your leadership will make your dog feel safe in your home. Animals in the wild live in an instinct driven world where there is very little affectionate behavior. Affection is viewed by dogs as weak behavior so in order to receive it, they need to earn it. Your goal is to make your pet calm and submissive. Start off on the right foot and create a happy home!