Congratulations on your Adoption!  Now the fun begins!

It’s so important to be thoughtful about introducing your dog to your world.
First impressions matter – your dog feels this way too!

Arriving at home:

  • If you have existing dog, perhaps let the dogs meet outside the home (the back yard or on a walk) to keep the area neutral. Keep a leash on both dogs, so you can be in control.  Watch for body language (ears, tail, hackles) The first time your new dog enters your home, they should be accompanied by your existing dog
  • Give your new dog space. Let him wander, check things out.  If you can, reduce other distractions until he gets his bearings
  • Show him his food, water, bed, toys – it’s a welcoming of sorts.
  • Show him a “safe spot” in case he needs to retreat from it. It could be his crate, or a spot in another room.  Have a dog bed there for him.  He will make note of it and seek out that spot when he wants a time out.


  • While your friends and family will want to see your new addition, your dog isn’t ready yet. Hold off on visits / events for a few days (or a few weeks!). Your dog has just had a huge change – let him get used to his new core environment.
  • When visits start, it should be on your (and your dogs) territory – initially. Have people come visit him in his house, and his yard.  This gives him the comfort of home, and he will know his safe spots to retreat to.


  • This is always something you want to tackle first. Work at it – it will be worth it!!!
  • Some people have bells on the door, so the dog can poke them to go out. To teach your dog, ring the bells (if your dog doesn’t) before you go out.   Take treats outside with you.  Reward instantly for a job well done!  (Don’t offer any treats for anything else, inside the house, until you master this)
  • Take him out often. Stay outside until the job is done!  Pee pads may seem like a good idea for when you are tired, but could start a bad habit.
  • Next on the training agenda – recall or place.


  • Treats are for rewards only. There is no treat for being cute.

Dogs who want people privileges

  • At times rescue dogs are confused at the role of dog vs person in the house. Best to keep them off the furniture, until boundaries and roles are clear.
  • “learn more” tab – called “setting boundaries for your new dog”