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Introducing a New Dog to Your Household 

Whether you choose to get a puppy from a responsible breeder or adopt a German Shepherd dog from a rescue group, the first two weeks for you and your new dog are a critical period of adjustment.

If your dog had a previous owner, this time could be particularly stressful for him or her. Here are some tips for a smoother transition for new dog owners.

  • Introduce kids and other pets separately. It may be too overwhelming if you introduce your new dog to your home, children and other pets all at once. Crate training a new puppy will give him a space of his own and help with housebreaking.

  • Watch the diet. To avoid stomach upset, keep him on the same food his previous caretaker was using and slowly transition him to the food you want to use. If you can’t get the same food, mix rice into his new food for the first few days.

  • Keep a close eye on him or her. Do not be surprised if there are accidents. Housebroken dogs can still have accidents in a new home due to stress and confusion. Help them learn where to go by taking them outside often and watching them when they are inside to avoid accidents or other unwanted behaviors.

  • Permanently identify your dog with a microchip. If your dog came with a microchip, you must update the owner information with the microchip registry. It will take time for the new dog to recognize his new surroundings as his home and you as his new best friend. If he gets loose during this critical time, capture may be very difficult.

  • Enroll in training classes and have fun! After about two weeks, your new dog’s personality will really start to shine and it’s a good time to start exploring activities that you and your dog can enjoy together. Training classes are valuable not only for teaching dogs basic manners and problem solving, but they will teach you how to communicate with your dog and help you bond.


Based on information supplied by The American Kennel Club, Inc.

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