Week three point five of the Fab Four. One of my foster pups is going to her new forever home, and I am torn between relief and sadness. I will miss her, but I am looking forward to only three little ones to look after.
I keep thinking about Taffy’s next adventure. What her first few days will feel like to her? What will the first few days of a new family member be like for her people? Generally the first three days to one week is most difficult for all. Everyone is adjusting to a new schedule, and the dog is in a whole new world.
I expect that Taffy won’t be quite herself due to normal stressors. Some dog shut down during this period and others get exceedingly excited and others somewhere in the middle, but bear in mind that there is stress. This is Taffy’s very first time away from her siblings and my home. Everything will be new.
My advice to all of you brining a new pup home is to do everything carefully and thoughtfully as not to add to the stress of your new pup. In my recent post I discuss preparing for your pup which will help you be less stressed. I advise not doing to many new things during this time. The priority should be developing a consistent schedule so your new little one knows what to expect from their humans.
Think of this as a decompression time. Keep everything simple and the same from day to day. At day 3-5, begin to introduce novel people, places and things. As with any introduction make sure to help your puppy have a positive experience by pairing it with treats or toy play they enjoy. If at any time they tell you they are not comfortable just remove them and come back to it later.
Finally, use this time to have fun with your pup, and remember to reinforce all the wonderful things you puppy does.
Debbie Lewis, MS
I educate and support people as they deepen their understanding of their pet's behavior to create happy, healthy pet-people relationships.