Bringing a new dog home

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Now that you’ve found the perfect canine companion, you can’t wait to bring him or her home. As excited as you are, don’t rush into it, make sure you’ve got everything ready before you walk him/her over the threshold.

Before you come home

1. Know the rules

Before you bring your dog home, make sure you’ve established the rules and that everyone is aware of them. For example: Will he or she be allowed on the couch or bed?

2. Set responsibilities

Make sure everyone in your home knows what is expected of them. Who is going to be in charge of feeding, exercise and training?

3. Make sure your home is dog-proofed

Remove any items you don’t want chewed, and make sure there is nothing lying around that could potentially be dangerous for your new dog.

4. Stock up on the necessities

Make sure you have everything you need, including a leash, a collar, a bed or sleeping space, food and water, and a few toys.

Welcome home

1. Stay calm and assertive

You’re about to take your dog from a familiar place into new territory. It’s very important that you remain calm and don’t overwhelm him or her with too much attention or affection yet.

2. Go for a walk

Before you go into your home, walk your dog around the neighbourhood on a leash. Make sure your dog walks behind you or at your side, but not in front. This will calm your dog down, get him or her used to a new environment and establish you as a pack leader.

3. Introduce your home

When you get home, keep your dog on a leash and bring him or her to the front door. Try and make him or her sit or lie down as you enter. Don’t let your dog enter the house before you.

4. Take the tour

Still on the leash, take your dog on a room-to-room tour of his new home. Spend a few minutes inside each room, and enter each doorway before your dog.

5. The feeding area

Show your dog where his or her food and water is, and offer a small reward.

6. The dog’s bedroom

Lead your dog to his or her sleeping area, kennel or safe space. Now you can take the leash off and allow him or her to explore.