Here it is! The big day when you pick up your new BEST FRIEND, your dog. Everyone is excited and happy as you drive home. You get out of the car and bound up the walkway, you throw open the door and let your dog inside.
Woops you’ve just planted a lot of future dog behavioural issues. You’ve just unleashed a strange and rebellious teenager on your home!
Home Sweet Home
In order to have a well-balanced home, one where your dog behaves himself you need to teach him/her the house rules when coming into the home. These 5 essential tips can help you share your living space harmoniously with your new pet.
Keep in mind that the message you send your dog the moment he/she enters your home is critical. This is what establishes the ground rules for your dog. If you let him run in the door, the message you send is “everything is available here.” And that leads to broken things, eaten shoes, scratched furniture, unwanted pet hair on furniture, and utter disaster.
Follow these 5 steps for a smoother transition.
When you bring your dog home remains calm. Don’t get too excited. Accept the dog into your home but only give a minimum amount of attention and affection at this point.
Take a Walk
When you first arrive keep the dog on a leash and go for a long walk through the new neighbourhood. This drains out the dogs excessive energy and gets him/her used to his surroundings; smells, sounds and sights.
Introduce your Home
Once you finish your walk, keep the dog on the leash and introduce him/her to the house. Bring the dog to the front door but don’t let him/her in before you do. You need to enter first and if possible get the dog to sit down before entering.
Take a Tour
Keep your dog on the leash and lead him/her from room to room. Don’t let him/her wander around yet. Keep him/her at your side then spend a few minutes in each room before going to the next one. At every door you go first to establish your leadership.
During the tour don’t speak, just use your body language and simple sounds to communicate. This keeps your dog from feeling overwhelmed.
Show Him/Her the Feeding Area
When you finish the tour, show your dog the food and water area. Offer a reward of water and a little food, but not a full bowl of food until you are ready to remove the leash. Likewise take the dog to his/her sleeping area or the place he needs to stay when you need him out of the way of household activities. Let your dog off the leash here. This is your way of telling him “this is yours.”
By following these 5 steps you will claim your leadership in the pack and show your dog that you allow him into it, so long as he behaves and follows your lead.
Guest post courtesy of Martha from Colour Pet Studio. Martha is a painter specialized in creating lifelike pet portraits from photos.