Adjusting To New Environment
When a newly adopted dog arrives he/she may encounter some issues when adjusting to their new environment. This environment may prove challenging for the new arrival. Consequently it is very important that you avoid confusing the dog with mixed messages.
Many newly adopted dogs come with stories of woe as to why they ended up at the animal shelter in the first place. Your newly adopted dog may have been a stray wandering the streets or perhaps the dog was neglected or unwanted by his original owner.
He may also be just a victim of circumstance, such as his people’s house being foreclosed upon. In any case, just the notion of a ‘homeless dog’ evokes feeling of sorrow in people.
It is critical on this first week with your newly adopted dog that ‘feeling sorry’ for his previous situation does not interfere with integrating him into your home and your heart.
Set House Rules From Day 1
Avoid Temporary Indulgences
House Rules & Etiquette are up to you to determine. No judgments here. Let’s say, for example, you do not want your dog to sleep in your bed. Yet for some reason you decide it would be ‘OK’ to let the ‘Poor Guy’ sleep in the bed for the first few nights because you ‘Feel Sorry’ for him/her!
Delays Set Back Integration & Bonding
Delaying this ‘House Rule’ sets back integration and bonding. Your new dog could not possible understand that this lovely, secure bedtime scenario was just a ‘Temporary Indulgence’ . To your new pooch, sleeping in the bed was part of his/her routine in your home. The first night you deny this expectation, several negative consequences may occur.
Confusion & Anxiety
Confusion and anxiety may develop with this mixed message. The dog may become stressed when he/she suddenly finds him or herself in a crate or in another room entirely or even just forced to be on a dog mat on the floor beside the bed. Your new buddy now has to ‘re adjust’ to ‘adjusting’ to the new home.
Starting from scratch, your pet must understand and accept that this new sleeping place is his/her actual bedtime scenario.
This ‘Temporary Indulgence’ , albeit kind hearted sets back the overall time it will take to integrate the dog into the home environment. This confusion creates undue stress and could even cause behavior problems that interfere with the bonding process for both you and your dog.
In our example of the dog going from sleeping in the bed to sleeping somewhere else, the dog is losing his ability to be with you.
Some Potential Behaviors That Could Develop Include The Following:
- Separation anxiety
- Barking at night
- Destructive behavior
- House breaking accidents due to anxiety and
Any of the above behavior issues will inhibit the bonding process from running smoothly for both of you. Now not only is your new dog confused and anxious but you now have a “problem” on your hands.
When you take your new best friend home, remember that he/she is feeling vulnerable and has no idea what is expected of him/her. Therefore, he/she will be more willing to accept any house rules you lay out right from the start. Your pet will also rely upon consistent routines and guidance as to proper house etiquette.
Remember, choices you make the first week with your dog should not be based on ‘Feeling Sorry’ for him. Don’t let him/her do anything today that he is not allowed to do tomorrow.