#1: Have Patience! It can take a minute for a puppy to settle in and learn the house rules and family dynamics. Even longer for an older dog. The older the dog the longer it may take. It may take a good year for a dog to truly settle into a new home. Don’t panic if there are some bumpy spots during the transition; some benevolent training and patience usually smooths things out. Just because a dog isn’t a puppy anymore, doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t have a lot to learn about you and your family.
#2: Just because a dog is house trained in one house doesn’t mean he is in yours. Treat all dogs, no matter how old, like puppies for the first couple of days. Take them out to potty often and give them instant reinforcement for doing so in the appropriate place. You’ll also need to keep a careful eye on your new dog for quite awhile—just because they didn’t chew on someone else’s couch doesn’t mean they won’t chew on yours!
#3: Three really is a magic number! Repeating “three days, three weeks, three months!” is a wonderful way to remind yourself that most dogs are in shock the first three days in a new home, need three weeks to begin to show you their true personalities, and three months to begin to understand the family rules.