You’ve brought home a new dog, and this calls for some excitement. You’re officially a pet parent now!
It’s time to take the responsibility of taking care of your pooch, to give them a simpler and a loving home. It’s important to understand that these adopted puppies or dogs might carry some past baggage, to make them feel emotionally secure, you need to keep few of the things in mind once these pups become a part of your family.
Understanding your dog’s body language-
After the initial introduction, the first thing you need to look at is learning about your pup’s body language, this could help you understand their nature. If your pup tends to stand tall, he’s likely to be a confident dog.
If he often wags his tail when there are newcomers in the house, or guests, this means that he’s friendly and approachable. If he seems to be anxious or lethargic, you’ll notice him sitting in one place all day. This could mean that he lacks confidence, a proper training or indulgence in playful activities is needed for this dog.
Understanding your dog’s posture will help you know what to expect out of your dog, and how to keep them calm and prevent them from being overwhelmed in a new setup altogether.
Keeping your doggo safely leashed–
Newly adopted puppies take a while to get attached to their humans and need to be leashed at all times. This will prevent them from getting lost when they are outdoors. Since they’re new, they might step out of the house without your supervision and won’t be able to recognize their name when you call out to them, so in such cases, it is always advisable to keep them leashed and safe.
Your new pup literally holds no experience or knowledge outside of their canine shell. They’re not immune to the human world, and don’t understand how it works. For them to adapt to these changes, they require your guidance and proper training.
Identifying house rules-
For this newcomer dog, everything is unpredictable. He’s unaware of the basic rules that are followed in households and this unpredictability causes stress and anxiety for them. As soon as this pup becomes a part of your family, make sure that all the basic duties are assigned to each individual in your family. These include:
• Dietary requirements
• Outdoor actives and walk
• Appropriate place to sleep
• Supervision and Potty Training duties
• Methods of Training used
Reinforcing healthy behaviours-
Minimum stress: Keeping the stress low or minimum for the first few days is a good idea. Your dog is suddenly in a new environment, and they need time to adjust to the new settings. It takes a few days for the dog’s stress hormones to calm down. Let them take their time before you decide to introduce them to your family or other friends. Let him play around and form a strong bond with you before you expose them to the outside world.
Introducing them gradually to a new environment-
Sooner or later your dog will have to socialize, and making them used to this will take some time. Let them socialize at their own pace, and gradually expose them to the outside world.
As you start to spend more time with your dog, you’ll begin to understand where they feel comfortable and the manner in which they prefer socializing.
Keeping a track of their behaviour-
Just like humans, dogs have their share of flaws and quirks. From the moment they enter your house, you’ll notice certain behaviours and eventually learn about these as they grow and develop. Dogs tend to try new behaviours and can be very impressionable. Rewarding them for good behaviours, giving them treats would be a good idea for positive reinforcement. Make sure you follow these practices from day one.
Handling unexpected behaviours–
Regular Health Check-up: Undetected health issues can lead to unexpected behaviours. So, whenever you see an unexpected behaviour, take them to the near by veterinarian to detect what health issues your doggo is facing.
Separation Anxiety: This is a common issue in most of the rescued dogs and can be extremely challenging. In such situations, the dog shouldn’t be caged in a crate in order to make the trouble go away, instead taking them to the vet for anti-anxiety medications is a viable option. This will make life easier for you and your dog, while you work on their behavioural issues.
Vocalization: There are a variety of canine vocalizations which mainly include barking, growling, whining, and howling. While some of these vocalizations may sound pleasant to you and you might want to reinforce them back to your dog, the other few you’d prefer to minimize. Before taking a step further, it’s important to first understand these vocalizations. The most effective way to get a hold of these noises is to teach an interrupter, which means that you could decide on a sound whenever your dog starts barking and grab their attention back to you.
Dogs tend to chew throughout their lives, and while chewing can be considered destructive if your dog chews on your possessions and shows aggressive behaviours, the idea is to divert these chewing habits by providing them chew toys. In the initial days, keep a close watch on your dog as they will literally chew into anything. Supervise and manage their chewing habits and make sure there is a noticeable difference in these habits.
Socialize for life and beyond!
Socializing your pooch from the very first year is extremely crucial. While the ideal age for socializing these puppies is two to four months, as at this stage they can learn and adapt new behaviours and develop their own worldview. Socialization should be continued even as they become an adolescent because this creates new challenges for the dog and he/she can benefit from these challenges for the rest of their lives. By the time your dog ages and is about 3-4 years, the chances of teaching them a new worldview wouldn’t be as advantageous as they would’ve been when they were little.
Keep these few important reminders in mind once you’re a pet parent and try to learn and endure these mechanisms for you and your pup to develop a healthy lifestyle. Learn about your pet and their behaviours and let them learn about you, and in no time you’ll have an understanding of each other’s habits, behaviours and other internal emotions. This is a lifelong process and only by learning about each other you can develop and grow as a family!