• Holly Adams

Once your dog is home

Updated: Jun 16

1. Keep it pleasant but low-key at first. For a shy puppy or dog, being taken to a new place and then deluged with lots of loud, lively strangers can be really overwhelming. The first day or two, keep the mood mellow and calm.

2. Introduce your dog to his crate. Crates are the best way to house train, but most dogs need a little time to warm up to them. This isn’t hard to do; you just need to know how to introduce your dog or pup to his crate.

3. Start your training. The earlier you start, the faster and easier it will be to teach good manners and the better the lessons will stick. The two most important things to teach your dog are:

  • house training

  • getting comfortable around people and other dogs

4. Set up a routine. A routine helps with house training and is reassuring to your dog. Figure out a schedule for walks, meals, bathroom breaks, and exercise,–and try to stick to it.

5. Get your dog license. It’s a legal requirement, and your dog’s tag will be used to get him back to you if he ever gets loose. You may also want to get your dog microchipped for extra insurance. Check with your local animal care and control to find out how to get your dog licensed; you may be able to apply online.

6. Find a vet. It’s especially important for a puppy’s first vet visit to be a pleasant experience so that your dog he learns to take trips to the vet in stride. Ask around for referrals, and schedule your first appointment. Your dog will need a check-up and possibly some vaccinations.

Bottom line: Your dog’s first few weeks home will likely be a period of huge adjustment, for both of you. You can make the transition much easier all around if you prepare your home in advance, gather a team–vets, dog walkers, and doggie day care–and set up a routine right away.


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