Welcoming Your New Dog Home
It's a big day---the day you introduce your new dog to his new home. If possible, the big day should fall on the beginning of a weekend or vacation so you'll have plenty of time to get to know each other. You should have already dog-proofed your home, but if you haven't, keep an even closer eye on him and restrict him to a room until you know how he acts. Some dogs can jump higher than you might expect, so if there's any chance at all he could clear your fence, walk him on a leash even when inside your fenced yard at first. Leash walking inside the yard is also a good idea if the dog is the least bit shy, as a shy dog may be hard to convince to come inside once loose. Be especially careful about open doors now, as well. If he should get out he might run scared, and wouldn't know where his home was.
As tempting as it is to invite all your friends to meet the new family member, now is not the time to confuse him. It's the time for him to realize who is in his new family and to start bonding with you. There will be plenty of time for him to meet everyone later.
If you have other pets, introduce them gradually. The best way to introduce dogs is away from your home, so the original dog won't feel territorial. Walking them side by side around the block is a good way to let them get to know one another. Bring lots of treats for the resident dog, and be liberal with them in exchange for his good behavior. Let the resident dog come to think that the new dog's presence means good things for him. Once inside, if you're unsure of how they'll act together, place the new dog in an exercise pen or crate. You can also have them both drag leashes around just in case you need a quick way to control them.
The best way to introduceyour dog to a cat is to make sure the cat can get up out of the way. Hold the new dog on leash so he can't chase the cat, and gently but firmly correct him if he tries. Feeding them close to one another, but with the dog in an exercise pen, is a good way to get them used to each other.
Give the dog a chance to relieve himself in the area you’ve decided will be his outdoor bathroom area. Then let him explore in the yard or house, always supervised, of course. Prepare his meal and let him eat it in a secure place such as his crate or sleeping area. Then take him outside to eliminate again. He may be nervous, which could cause him to need to relieve himself more often. When he starts to tire, put him in his sleeping quarters.
Your dog's first night with you may be exciting but confusing for him. Do not make him sleep all by himself in another part of the house. Even if you don’t intend for him to stay in your bedroom in the future, make an exception so he has some company at first. Or let him sleep near your other dog, if you have one. If that's not an option, camp out next to him in his sleeping quarters for the night. If possible, have him sleep in a crate next to your bed rather than having him sleep directly on the bed.
Over the next few days, be very careful to never let your dog off leash where he could run off. He's still getting to know you, and even though he seems like he may have caught on to his lucky new situation quickly, he could still become confused and lost. There will be plenty of time for added freedom and adventures later. For now, take it easy at home, and get to know one another. It's the best way to ensure a long relationship.