Tips For Bringing Home A Shelter Dog. Get It Right From Day One.

Are you looking for a present for under the tree that will keep on giving? Check out your local shelter. Puppy’s aren’t for every lifestyle and there are some unbelievably cute dogs at your local shelter. Once you have found your match bringing home a new dog is exciting and nerve wracking all at the same time. Shelter dogs are awesome and in many ways can be the perfect option to raising a really young, teething, pooping and extremely playful puppy. An adult dog can sometimes be a perfect present because you bypass puppy teething and housebreaking.  Remember though, there is still always an adjustment period with training to be done. So therefore, I recommend not winging it.

Paws for A Minute®- Mutt-rimony

 The best thing to do is plan out the first few days. Make sure you have all bowls, food, collar, leash, toys, name tags, a baby gate, and even a crate ready to go before you go to pick up your dog. Seems like basic advice, but like dating, what you see is not what you’re going to get. Relationships take time to develop and so do behaviors. Think of the first six weeks as an adjustment. Once your ready and the “pick up day” is arranged it’s best to be prepared. 

1. Ask the shelter what food they feed, so you can get a few days of the same food your new dogs been eating. Otherwise, you may have stomach issue’s the first night especially if you switch food suddenly. That would be a drag for everyone, including your new dog.

2. Don’t assume your new dog is housebroken. Many shelters, rescue’s or foster helpers may indicate that a particular dog is housebroken or trained, but your new dog is not housebroken to YOUR house. So you need to have foresight and take your dog outside often, on leash, formally and initiate the outside command.  Use one word like “outside” or “go potty” to trigger the process. Seems like common sense, but  you’d be surprised even the smartest people forget on the first day. Or they want to test the dog to see if the dog will “get it” or understand the not peeing in the house rule. Don’t expect your new dog to morph into Lassie overnight, it’s up to you to show him.

Also, most importantly we often forget that many shelter dogs have to urinate where they are kept or have been abandoned situations and need to re-learn the rules.

3. A fantastic thing to do the very first minute you pull up to your house with your new dog is to plan to go on a long walk. Exercise is your friend and a tired dog is a great dog, especially the first night in a new home.

There are many more tips to come on this topic… the above are just a few to get you started. If you dig…please share.