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Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

This article was written by TOBALIE in cooperation with Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

When a dog comes into your life, it is an exciting time. Not only for you, but the dog also has to get used to everything slowly. How long does it take for the dog to get used to everything? How can you support him? What do you need when a dog moves in? Here you will find tips for a smooth start to life together.

What do I need when a dog moves in?

Before the dog comes to live with you, there are a few things you can get:

Dog bed

Food- and water bowls



– Treat bag

– Chewables/Treats


– Brush/Comb

– Excrement bag

If you already know the size of the dog, you can also buy the following items:

– Chest harness


– Transport box

If you don’t know the exact measurements or your dog is still growing, wait a little and buy these things later. This way you can be sure that they really fit your dog.

What you might need:

– Door guard

First aid kit

How long does it take for the dog to get used to the new environment?

That is quite individual. Among other things, it depends on the temperament of the dog and its previous experiences. A dog that has grown up in a sheltered environment and has learned to deal with new things will probably settle in more quickly than a dog that may have had negative experiences or has had new owners several times.

Especially dogs from animal shelters may not have experienced many things yet. For example, climbing stairs in the house, daily household noises (hairdryer, cooking, etc.) can be a challenge at first.

You should expect a few weeks, sometimes even months, until your pet has integrated into your everyday life as a matter of course. Since he cannot be left alone from the beginning, you should take a few weeks off and/or find good care.

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How do I get my dog used to the new home?

– Take familiar things with you. Bring a blanket from you to the dog in advance so that he can get used to your smell and the blanket takes on the smells of the familiar surroundings. This will give him a sense of security in the new home.

– Create retreats. Caves (blanket over chairs) or places to lie down where he can be left alone are important so he can retreat if things get too much for him.

– Give him time. Give your new family member time to process the impressions and get to know everything.

– Build trust. Be there for your dog when he wants to be close to you, but don’t force him. This will gradually build a relationship and later a bond.

– Establish routines. Be predictable for your dog, establish clear rules and try to get a routine in everyday life.

– Pay attention to needs. Pay attention to what your dog needs. Be mindful when dealing with him and don’t expect too much.

– Pay attention to body language. Pay attention to his body language to notice how he feels.

What are the most important steps after I have picked up my dog?

– Transport your dog home safely.

– Let him do his business once more before going into the flat.

– If you already have a dog, let them get to know each other in a neutral place and go into the house together. You can read more about keeping more than one dog here.

– Show him his new home and let him explore it in peace. If you have a large flat or house, it may be a good idea to let your dog into just a few rooms at first so that he is not overwhelmed. You can gradually make the other rooms accessible to him.

– Make sure your pet finds peace and quiet. Cuddles or chewing and licking items can help.

– Go for short walks for the first few days/weeks until he gets used to everything and trusts you.

Reward your dog for “correct” behaviour from the beginning. Everything that you think he does well (including resting) should be rewarded. That way, the dog doesn’t have to do something stupid to get your attention.

When is the right time to challenge your dog a bit more (longer walks, new impressions, new experiences, getting to know new things) depends on your pet. When you notice that he feels settled and safe, you can go a step further and gradually show him the world. Over time, you will grow together as a human-dog team and have your own personal routines.

What should you avoid when settling in the dog?

– Do not have a welcome party. Especially in the first few days, you should avoid visitors. Afterwards, invite only those people who will be important to your dog later on (family and close friends who may also look after him at some point).

– Likewise, do not overwhelm your dog with dog school or training during the first few days. It is much more important to build up a good relationship and trust than to teach your dog sit and down.

– No long walks or daily routines (riding the underground, meeting people/dogs, etc.). Never take your dog out on dangerous or unsafe paths. He doesn’t know the environment and probably doesn’t know a safe recall signal yet.

– Avoid dangers in the home.

Put yourself in your dog’s shoes

Everything is new for your dog! Don’t expect too much. Be patient and take your time. Always remember that whatever your dog does, he does it for a reason, not to annoy you. Most of the time it’s because he’s insecure or just doesn’t know what he’s doing. He needs to get to know you, the people, other animals, the smells, the sounds, the environment, everything. He needs time to do this.

Always be there for your dog and give him the support he needs to get used to you. Also listen to your gut feeling and pay attention to how your four-legged friend is feeling. Be as calm and confident as possible. This way he can orientate himself to you and quickly learns that the new home is great.

Hund wird mit Auto abgeholt


When a four-legged friend moves in, the first time can be very exciting. Support your dog as he gets used to his new surroundings. Soon you will be going about your daily life together and will be a great team.