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Bringing a New Dog Home

When you first bring a new dog into your house remember that the dog is probably a bit scared and very unsure of his surroundings. Try not to have a lot of people or animals about as that will only add to the confusion and fright.

Take the dog around the home on a leash allowing him to sniff everywhere so that he learns the scents. If the dog attempts to urinate stop him. Keeping the dog on the leash will not only prevent him from running or hiding but will also begin the process of making the dog understand that this is your home and you are in control of what happens there.

Take the dog outside and repeat the process of letting him smell everything while still on the leash. If the dog attempts to relieve himself take him to whatever spot is designated and be sure to give him attention and praise when done to let him know that he did well by using the proper place.

Show the new dog where the food and water is and where the sleeping area is.

Once the dog has mapped out the home you can begin to introduce other people and animals. Don't let everybody come in a mad rush but rather give the dog a chance to meet each individual. Watch for any signs of problems with other dogs or cats. The new dog should still be on a leash and unless an existing dog is extremely well behaved leashes should be used all around. This allows you to regain control if any problem does arise and helps the dogs understand that you are in control and want them to meet.

Once you are sure there are no immediate problems allow your existing dog off the leash but keep the new dog on a leash for a bit. Check that all doors and gates are closed so that the new dog can't get off your property - he doesn't know yet where the boundaries are! When the new dog seems to be pretty well finished exploring the new surroundings and meeting the people and animals that are there you can then remove the leash and let him move about.

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If you have a dog already you may want to feed that dog first or feed the two apart at first. Only when you are sure that the dogs are going to share nicely should you feed them together.

Be sure to lavish attention on existing dogs while introducing the new dog. Like children, dogs can be jealous of intruders and you don't want the new dog to get the idea that he is more important. Either reaction can lead to behavior problems that are easier to avoid than to correct.