The Adjustment Period
Now that you’re home with your new dog, you should start a regular routine so your dog can begin to adjust to your household. During this adjustment period, please keep stimulation to a minimum. Some recommendations include:
- Find a quiet route to walk or run your dog (depending on energy level) to familiarize him with his new environment. This also helps start the bonding between you and your dog.
- Don’t introduce your dog to people you meet on your walk. For the first 2-4 days (could be more or less) your new dog should lay low while he tries to figure out just what this new situation is. You may not see any unwelcome behavior initially. Eventually all will be revealed.
- Do not introduce your dog to other dogs (other than your own resident dog). This includes neighborhood dogs, and dogs belonging to your family or friends. Why? There is no way to tell how your dog will behave when introducing him to other dogs.
- Don’t throw a party, or have a lot of people over to your home. During the first week you should try to spend quality one-on-one time with your new dog.
- The most important thing to do during this initial transition time is to clearly, but NON-confrontationally establish the household rules. As well, take care not to "indulge" your dog’s timid, or tentative behavior; we understand how tempting this may be as many of our rescues have come from less than ideal situations, but in the long run it does not benefit the dog.
Allow time for adjustment. While it usually takes about 24 hours for a dog to settle in, it will take much longer for their overall adjustment to this new environment. Watch their behavior closely. Remember that it may take up to a month before your dog bonds with you, so keep your expectations realistic.