Tips for new dogs

Below are some tips on how to welcome your dog into your home to help you settle in together.

Before entering your house

  • Stay in yard or potty area until you have a pee or poop.
  • Keep your dog on leash as you show them around the new house to help with potty training and keeping the dog calm.

Outside walks

  • Always have your wrist through the leash loop and wrapped around your hand.
  • Never take the dog off leash unless in enclosed run.
  • Always use a properly fitting collar and/or harness if it’s a small dog or a puller
  • Take treats to help promote good behavior in new situations (ie walking past dogs politely, mail persons, eliminating outside, etc).

House manners and Human/dog relationship

  • Decide ahead of time if furniture will be allowed, if you are looking for a cuddly lap dog, etc.
  • Go SLOW… praise and food and physical gentle touch are best to start with. A firm “no” should be enough to change an undesired behavior (do not inflict pain or stress).
  • Begin right away with training the dog to sit and wait until verbally released by you when the door is opened. This can significantly reduce the risk of dogs flying out front doors and getting lost.


  • Decide ahead of time where the dog will sleep in the evenings and naps (down/decompress time) and have that ready before bringing the dog home.
  • Crates usually work best to help give the dog a secure place to relax or an appropriate area gated off.
  • After some nice play time such as brisk walks, running in an enclosed area, toy play (no tug) etc, the dog should have some quiet rest time alone ideally. This helps create a sense of independence which is healthy for the dog.


  • Encourage a few friends to drop by within the first few days to help prevent “guarding” of the home.
  • Tell visitors that you will meet them at the door with the dog on leash and they should ignore the dog until he/she is calm and allow the dog to sniff with no interaction.

Barking while you’re away

  • The best way to avoid this is to leave for a few minutes within a few hours of first coming home. No talking to the dog before leaving or upon return. Extend the time by minutes to a few hours over the course of the next few days.
  • If you ever hear barking, do not open the door until there is a lull in the barking.
Please contact your case manager for further details on any of this or any additional questions.These tips are also available as a pdf for easy printing.

Tips for introducing a cat and a dog.

If your dog is going to be sharing the house with a cat, check out DOGTV’s great article on how to introduce the two properly for the first time: How to introduce cat and dog

Puppy care 101

The below infographic, courtesy of Spring Creek Labradoodles, offers great tips, for both puppies and new dogs in general.