You’ve researched for the perfect dog. You want a breed with the right energy for your family and lifestyle Everyone is excited to receive her or him, and today is the big day — the time to bring home your new dog.
This is the point in the process when many people make the biggest mistake, frequently out of excitement over having a new family member. They drive home, bring the dog out of the car and to the front door, throw the door open, take off the leash, and let the dog loose to explore his new home. But the poor dog has no idea what’s going on or where he is. It may look like he’s excitedly investigating as she runs from room to room, sniffing everywhere, but he isn’t. You’ve just thrown him into a completely alien environment with no direction, and these early associations are going to stick. The place is unfamiliar, it smells different, and there doesn’t seem to be any way out. If you have previously had pets in the house, it will smell like them, and your new dog will be uncertain about invading someone else’s territory. So before you even bring the new dog into your home, take him on an energetic walk. This allows him to get used to the smells and sights of the new neighborhood, and to begin to feel confident about being there. He will also get to know you and your energy, and you will begin to establish trust. Finally, when you get to your home, it’s not time to let your new dog go bounding inside yet. Lead him to whichever door you enter through, and then make him sit, waiting until he seems calm and relaxed. When you open the door, you and the family must enter first. Only then, invite your new dog in, but keep him on the lead for now. The idea is that you slowly introduce your new dog to her new place, one room at a time. You should begin with the room where she will find her food and water, making her wait until you have gone through the door and invited her in. Have her sit while you get her food and water ready. After she has eaten, she should be even more relaxed. Now you can give her a tour of the rest of the house, avoiding rooms you do not want her to enter. As with that first room, make her wait at the threshold to every room until you invite her in. Keeping her on the lead, let her sniff and explore each new place before leading her to the next area. What you are doing with this process is telling the dog, “This is my territory. I own it, but I am allowing you in.” It will help build your dog’s respect for what is yours from the beginning. Once you have completed the tour, it will be time for your new dog to meet each of the human members of the family, one at a time. Let her smell them first, and don’t allow anyone to show affection until the new dog comes to them.