Bringing home an adult dog is quite different from bringing home a puppy. His adaptation to your way of living will largely depend on his previous treatment and environment. In most cases, firm rules and abundant kindness will win him over. Time is in your favor, so use it! If you expect the dog to adapt in a few days or weeks, change your thinking: It will be six months to a year before he is really yours.
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All dogs should be kept under physical control, that is, fenced or leashed, for that period of time. Unlimited walks will help the adaptation process, especially if you walk in different directions, covering different territories. This helps your bonding with the dog, and the walk back, always leading to his new home, will help him become used to his new “den.”
As with the puppy, the following guidelines should help you in conditioning the new adult dog to become socially acceptable.
1. Keep the dog tied to you for the first two weeks when he is in the house. Let him loose in your yard to potty or take him on lead to where you want him to potty. Always tell him “Potty” and praise when he does so.
2. Keep a close eye on him during the third week and let him off the leash in the house for short periods of time. Let him out frequently.
3. If you have a Toy breed or Toy mix, or a dog raised and previously kept in a kennel, your time frames should be a month each for Steps 1 and 2.
4. Do not leave the dog alone to roam the house. If you leave, put him in a secured yard or pen, or in a crate in the house.
5. As time goes on, you will be able to tell if he has good intentions of seeking the outdoors to relieve himself. Depending on the dog and his former circumstances, he may be reliable from the first day you bring him home; alternatively, it may take three or four months.
1. Select the place you wish the dog to sleep.
2. If it is in the house, let him out shortly before you go to bed or take him for a walk.
3. Tie him on a fairly short lead to keep him where you want him to sleep. Give him his own rug and a small bowl of water, or provide a bed or crate for him.
4. If you want him to sleep outside, provide him with a doghouse or a dry, warm corner underneath a porch or a wind-sheltered corner with some type of protected covering. Make sure your yard is secure.