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How to help your dog settle in

Bringing your new dog home is an exciting and important occasion.

Everything is brand new to them, and it can be overwhelming. They’ll be looking to you for guidance, so here’s what you can do help your dog settle in their forever home.

When you first arrive home, take your dog to the garden or exercise area and allow them to relieve themselves.  After you’re sure they’ve done this, praise your dog so they understand this is an acceptable place to go to the toilet.

When the dog first comes home, the trust bucket is empty. As your relationship grows and he feels safe, the trust bucket fills up. For activities like teeth cleaning, bathing, and grooming, it’s better to wait until he’s settled and your relationships are established. Friends and extended family will be keen to meet your new dog. However, the best approach is to wait until he or she feels relaxed and settled before they meet your visitors.

Take some time off work to help your dog settle.

Help them to feel safe and secure when home alone

Even if you don’t need to leave your dog very often, it’s good to help them feel safe and comfortable when they are alone. When paired with a positive experience like a taste chew, baby gates can be great for helping establish positive emotions when being separated from you. This can be the first steps towards your dog being content when left home alone.

Using tasty treats and chews, try popping them behind the baby gate to get your new dog used to being alone in a room. Providing they are happy, gradually build up the time you leave them alone in the room. Always ensure they have a chew with them to keep them occupied. Teaching your dog to be comfortable alone will allow them to relax when you leave the house. For more information on leaving your dog at home alone, head here.

Dealing with challenging behaviour

For the first couple of weeks, your dog will be getting used to the routines and establishing their relationship with his new family. Sometimes once they feel settled, they demonstrate out of character behaviours to see where the boundaries lie. Your dog will feel happier if you set boundaries and ground rules which the whole family sticks to.

Never use punishment to overcome problems with your dog. This will cause resentment and will break down the good relationship you’re building with him. If you’re experiencing problems with your dog settling in, please contact our Pet Services Support team on 0300 303 9333, or by filling out the form here.

Top tips for settling your new dog

  • Stay with your dog when they go to the toilet. This is the only way to ensure they have relieved themselves and to reward them at the same time.
  • Try to keep to boundaries and ground rules, your dog will feel much happier if they know exactly what is expected of them.

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