9 Do’s and Don’ts for Your Newly-Adopted Dog

Make the most of the crucial first weeks with your new rescue dog. 

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To make the most of the first two weeks with your new rescue dog, follow dog trainer Tamar Geller’s dos and don’ts:

  • Do coach your dog inside your home and not on the street to reduce distractions.
  • Don’t let people touch your new dog on his head. Start with the less threatening areas of the chest or lower back.
  • Do give him some alone time to enjoy his new chew toys.
  • Don’t make a big deal when you leave and return home.
  • Do bathe your new dog to wash off the “homeless” smell, but don’t wet his head first. Begin from the tail area, which is less of a shock.
  • Don’t stop your older dog from growling at your new dog. Observe it to make sure it doesn’t escalate, and intervene only if necessary.
  • Do allow time for a natural hierarchy to develop between your new and current dog, and do respect that hierarchy. Greet, feed and give other privileges first to the dog who ranks higher, regardless of his time in your family.
  • Don’t take anything your new dog does personally.
  • Do remember that things get better with time!

For more training tips from Tamar Geller, check out her book 30 Days to a Well-Mannered Dog (Simon and Schuster, 2011).

Diana Laverdure

Diana Laverdure is an award-winning dog healthcare writer. Her book, The Canine Thyroid Epidemic: Answers You Need for Your Dog (Dogwise Publishing, 2011), with W. Jean Dodds, DVM, was named Best Care/Health Book of 2011 by the Dog Writers Association of America, and received the 2011 Eukanuba Canine Health Award. She lives with her rescued shepherd mix, Chase.


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