Posted by Mike Trevena 07/07/2016
Bringing your new dog home can be very exciting for you and your family but it can be quite overwhelming for your new dog. Here are eight tips we recommend for helping your new dog settle into their new home.
Get everything ready
The first stage is to get everything you will need for your new dog. You will need: a water bowl, a food bowl, a bed, a crate, a collar, a name tag, brushes and toys.
We offer our clients a ‘Starter Pack’ which includes all of the above, minus the name tag, to make things easier for you.
All of these items have been tried and tested by our dogs and staff so you can be sure that these are robust products which are good value for money.
We also recommend pet insurance in case any unexpected costs come up.
Make sure your house and property are dog friendly
Before you pick your new dog up make sure your home is ‘dog friendly’. Fix any holes in the fence panels, block up any routes they could escape through and make sure your dog can’t get at any cables or wires and so on.
Key information to find out
When you go to pick up your dog, there are a few things you need to find out:
Keep their food the same
A dog’s stomach can be very delicate so it’s advisable to make sure your dog continues eating the same food that he / she was at their previous home.
If you decide to switch your dogs food be sure to do it gradually over the space of a few days by mixing the old and new food together so your dog gets used to it.
If you buy your dog from us you can buy the same kind of food your dog has been eating during his stay with us.
Crate training + removing separation anxiety
A crate can be used for creating distance between your new dog and your family to remove separation anxiety and it provides your dog with a safe place to sleep.
Moving to a new family can be very stressful for a dog and they may use you as a comfort blanket whilst stressed, so you need to help the dog to develop a coping strategy on its own.
Separation anxiety can be very stressful for your dog and can lead to them being stressed, even if you pop to the shops for a few minutes, so it’s in yours and your dogs best interests to help them learn to cope.
At WKD Trained Dogs we used a crate for this. By having the crate in a quiet room and making the effort to create space between your new dog and you and your family, the dog will soon learn to cope with being on his / her own, which will remove any chances of separation anxiety developing.
A typical example of this could be in the evening when you are watching TV. Put the dog in his / her crate for an hour or two to get them used to being apart from you.
Dogs will not go to the toilet where they sleep, which means you can use the crate to teach your dog where to go to the toilet.
As a general rule, always take your dog straight from its crate to where it’s expected to toilet. Give him or her to opportunity to go to the toilet upon waking, after feeding and whenever they leave the crate.
Continue training commands + top up training
If you buy a dog from us you will have a handover day, where we will hand your dog over to you and show you the commands your dog knows and answer any questions you might have.
The commands are simple and if you continue to use them correctly you shouldn’t have any trouble at all.
We offer all of our clients a week long residential top up training course every six months, to polish up your dogs training. It is not compulsory but it is advisable and most clients coincide it with their family holiday.
Meeting other pets
If you buy your new dog from WKD Trained Dogs they will have been socialised with other dogs and animals frequently, so meeting your existing pets shouldn’t cause a problem.
We give advice during handover for introducing your dog to other pets and if we do the handover at your home we will be on hand for the initial introduction. Clients are also welcome to visit their new dog onsite here and bring their existing dog/s to find out how they get along.
We always recommend allowing existing pets to sniff around your new dog while they’re in their crate on the first day.
When you introduce your new dog make sure they are in the ‘sit’ position and maintain control of the situation. Additionally, make sure your dogs have separate bowls and toys to minimise jealousy.