When it comes time to introducing a new dog to the family, you don’t want to simply pick up the dog and take it home — it isn’t going to be that simple. Since transitioning a dog to a new atmosphere can be a challenge, here are a few things you can consider when introducing a dog to the family:
#1 Collect the Necessary Supplies
Before you even bring that dog through your front door, make sure that you have all the necessary supplies. At a minimum, it should include the following:
- Dog crate
By having all the necessary supplies, it will result in one less trip to the pet supply store. It will also make sure that your dog is as comfortable as they can be in their new surrounding. If you’re unsure of what your particular dog breed needs, refer to this in-depth FAQ.
#2 Explore the Outside Surroundings
Since a dog can be territorial or even scared in a new atmosphere, it’s essential that you allow the dog to explore their surroundings. Take your new dog for a walk around the yard, neighborhood and let them get to know the area. This gives them the chance to sniff out other dogs, foreign scents and even mark their territory.
#3 Watch Your Attitude
When bringing home a new dog, be well aware of your energy. Believe it or not, a dog can often feel the energy that you’re expressing. So if you feel nervous, there’s a good chance the dog will feel the same emotions. Try to keep an upbeat, positive attitude to allow your dog to feel the same way.
#4 Bring an Item
If you have younger children at home, especially a baby, bring in some items ahead of time to let the dog sniff before walking into the home. By doing this, it allows the dog to learn about your family’s scent. Also, according to Cesar Millan, it gives you the opportunity to show the dog that this item belongs to you, and the dog needs to follow your rules when around it.
#5 Drain Their Energy
When you’re ready to set forward and walk through that front door, you’re going to want to make sure that your dog isn’t full of energy. Before coming home, try to take your dog for the longest walk possible. By draining their energy, this is going to place them in a calm-submissive state, allowing other family members to come up and introduce themselves. If the dog is too hyper, it may get out of control, urinate on the floors and potentially hurt someone.
#6 Teach the Family
No matter how old your family members, be sure to set the boundaries and rules with the dog. For example, let them know that you can’t yank on their tail or bother the dog while sleeping. These rules are essential to make sure the dog doesn’t get hurt or become overly aggressive when a family member comes in contact with it.
#7 Create a Routine
Like buying the supplies ahead of time, make sure that you’re prepared with a daily routine. This should include when you’re going to take the dog for a walk, when it will be fed and when it should be taken outside for the bathroom. Let’s face it: For the first few weeks, the house will be overwhelmed with the new dog. By having a schedule written down, it can make things a lot more organized.
As time goes on, remember to be patient if your dog isn’t adapting right away. As long as you keep calm and don’t get angry, most dogs can become comfortable relatively fast. By applying these strategies, you should be able to bring home a dog that your family can enjoy for the years to come.