Setting Up for Success!


  • Spend the first few days/weeks showing your dog what to do…where to go potty, where to find food, water and a bed.
  • Praise your dog whenever it is being good.
  • Wait for good/calm behaviors before giving attention, food, walks, etc. (He may not know commands, so wait and then reward).
  • Keep your new dog on a leash at all times (except when alone, crated or overnight) for the first few days to help aid in moving off the furniture, away from the kitchen, off of visitors, etc.
  • When feeding, wait for calm behavior before putting food down, then move away and do not disturb while eating.
  • Closely supervise every interaction with children or other pets.
  • Use a crate or quiet dog-proofed room for calm confinement and overnight. Allow treats/toys in the crate and do not use it for punishment.


  • Don’t yell at or use punishment of any kind. This will teach your dog not to trust you. It is always best to ignore and/or properly manage bad behaviors and reward good ones.
  • Don’t wrestle or play tug-of-war with your dog until you know his demeanor and he knows the rules.
  • Don’t give long-lasting, high value food items (bones, rawhides, chews, etc.) until you know the dog will allow safe handling.
  • Don’t allow too much freedom too soon. Keep him on a leash at first (even in the house and especially around children or other pets).
  • Don’t bathe or groom the dog right away and do not try to trim nails.
  • Don’t overwhelm the dog with too many new people in the first week or two.
  • Don’t take him to the dog park (even if he seems good with other dogs)
  • Don’t physically force your dog to do anything. Use your leash, treats and a soft, encouraging voice to lure him where you need him to go.
  • Don’t let kids crowd the dog, take him for a walk, hug or pick up the dog and NEVER allow unsupervised interactions.
  • Don’t overwhelm your new dog by going to crowded places such as markets, parks, schools, etc.  

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