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First Day, New Dog: 5 Things To Tell Your Adopters

How can you help smooth the transition period for your new adopters and their new dogs? Dr. Patricia McConnell offers sage advice to pass on in her webinar, "Increasing the Odds of a Successful Adoption." 


  • Go home. Encourage new adopters to take their dog straight home. As tempted as they may be to stop for pet supplies or show off their new pup to friends and family, the sooner they get the dog home, the sooner they can all settle into their new lives. Providing calm and routine will make that happen a lot quicker.
  • Leash up. It is critical that new adopters keep their dogs on a leash at all times during transport. Suggest that they bring someone along to help with the dog in the car, especially if the dog is not going to be crated--and tell them to be prepared for the possibility of the dog trying to bolt once the door opens.
  • Enjoy the outdoors. Once they’re home, adopters should remain outside with the dog on leash until she urinates and, ideally, defecates. From day one the dog will start to learn where she is expected to relieve herself.
  • Control the environment. Inside the house, adopters should keep the dog on a leash for a while in order to slowly introduce her to the new environment. Once the adopter is comfortable, the leash can be removed.
  • Introduce slowly. If possible, introduce the dog to each family member separately. That way she’ll have the opportunity to get to know the sight and smell of each individual without being overwhelmed.

More like this? Get additional tips from Dr. McConnell in "Four Paths to Adoption Success." 


Related links:

Facebook Photo Album: Adopt A Shelter Dog Month

"Four Paths to Adoption Success"

Webinar recording: "Increasing the Odds of a Successful Adoption" with Patricia McConnell

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