Congratulations on getting a new dog! This is an exciting time, but can also be frustrating or confusing. There are a few major things you should know.
Dogs take time to decompress in a new environment. You'll often see "Rules" like 3 days, 3 weeks, and 3 months to fully settle in a new home. The truth is: there's no rule, and it's different for every dog. An 8-week-old puppy may be fully settled in a day or two, while a fearful dog may take many months to become more comfortable. But keep in mind that with most adult dogs, you're likely to see some behavior change over the first few weeks. This might include a couple of accidents in the house, increasing reactivity, some "velcro dog" needs for attention, or some pushing boundaries to see if they're allowed up on the counters.
If you have other pets in the home, slow and steady is your mantra. Put safety measures in place, and use introductions in neutral spaces. Limit time together and make sure it's always full of fun and good stuff- then give them time separately. Don't expect dogs to suddenly be best friends and be safe together unattended! Make sure kitties have safe spots to get away. And just know that some pups may take much longer to integrate with existing pets, and there's no "right" amount of time.
Use management! Many folks come to us with a new dog who's doing something they dislike- like peeing on the carpet, stealing shoes, or getting into the trash. And our first question is: can you set up the environment to prevent this from happening? Move a piece of furniture over that spot on the rug. Put your shoes away in a closet. Use trash cans with good lids. Sometimes it's MUCH easier to manage the environment than it is to go through a training plan.
Train the essentials! Things like a good recall/come cue, crate training, and Leave It/Drop It can save your dog's life. For info on training these things, check out our Resources Page.
Want to get more tips for living with a new dog? Check out our webinar!