What To Expect From Your New Dog
The following information outlines what you can expect once you bring you new dog home. (Related Read: Ownership Transfer Process)
Introduction to Other Pets
Introduction to other pets must always be done on leash. Two dogs of the same sex can learn to get along with each other but it is much easier to introduce dogs of the opposite sex to each other. Try introducing dogs in a neutral territory (i.e. a park, parking lot, etc). For the first introductions, both dogs will need to be under your control on leads. They can approach each other on a loose lead but be prepared to separate them after one or two minutes. A few minutes later let them approach each other again. If all is going well, let them get to know each other for a few minutes longer. Remember not to force them to be together for long periods of time. It will take a few days to weeks, depending on individual personalities, for the dogs to work out a new pack order (establishing alpha, who’s dominant). Be patient, it may take a month for your first dog and your new dog to bond and truly enjoy each other’s company.
Cats and Other Animals
Two words sum up the best approach to introducing your new dog to other family pets: Slow and Careful. Be sure you’re there to make the first introduction in person and plan on supervising the subsequent get-togethers for at least the first week. You’ll need to show the dog that the other animal is important to you. Firm and with a strong command, tell your dog “no” at the first signs of chasing or intimidating the other pet. Expect to reinforce this for at least a few days with a correction from the leash and collar.
Territorial Marking in the House
Before your new dog is brought inside, it is very important that you know he has relieved himself completely before bringing him into your home. After the long flight, he will need to eliminate so do not take the chance that he will have a strong urge to do so while he is in your home. Keep your eyes open and keep him on lead for the first time inside your home. Take your dog outside frequently to relieve himself, especially after eating. If your new dog does mark in the house, you did not watch him close enough to prevent it. Keep a very close eye on the dog until you feel secure that there will be no accidents.
New dogs have not established loyalties or attachments to you or your home. They might even be (geographically) confused. It could take a few days for him/her to learn the new turf. It’s best to keep your new dog on a lead or in a fenced yard when it is outside.
The New Dog With Children
Dogs have a unique relationship with people. As the understanding of the pack mentality becomes more prevalent, it becomes easier to see why dogs act the way they do. Understanding and altering dog behavior revolves around understanding dog’s behavior and the importance of dominance and submission in the dog psyche. It is important to remember that in the dog’s mind, the family is a pack unit and everyone in that family has a certain position in the pack. It will take some time to establish who are the members of the new family pack. It is very important in the first few days not to force the dog to spend too much time with the children. Excessive playing with toys and rough housing during the acclimation period will not create a comfortable atmosphere for the dog. Game playing such as tug-of-war, attempting to steal objects from the dog, and playing fetch should be limited in the beginning. It is essential that the parent understands pack order and the hierarchal relationship and takes precautions to prevent problems from arising.
Feeding the New Dog
It is best to allow the dog to eat in private while he is getting accustomed to his new home. It is your responsibility to insure your dog has the opportunity to eat a healthy diet. Several good premium brand dog foods are available at pet stores. Grocery store food is not recommended; neither are table scraps. At Kraftwerk, we feed our puppies Royal Canin German Shepherd Puppy 30 mixed with a raw beef diet so that it is nutritionally balanced & complete. The adult dogs get Royal Canin German Adult 24 mixed with the raw beef diet. Regular feedings once or twice daily is best and will also help control possible accidents in the house. Consistent bowel movements are a result of a consistent feeding schedule. Offering food that is not it’s regular diet may also cause digestive problems. Free feeding has no extra value and is not recommended.