Getting a new dog is an exciting time. With all the preparations and plans that come with adding a new dog to your home, it’s important to be organized and aware of all the areas to address as you introduce your dog to your family and your lifestyle.
Decide how you want your dog to fit into your home, from behavior to physical space. If he isn’t to be allowed on the furniture, be sure everyone in the family knows to shoo him off of the sofa. Figure out where you want your pup to sleep, and furnish the area with a dog bed or pillow. Some dog owners crate their new animal at first, both when they are not at home and at night. This may be a good way to ensure that your new dog knows where to sleep.
In order for everything to go smoothly in the long run, it’s crucial that the new dog has the proper attitude and training. If you’re not a breeder, you should always, always spay and neuter your pets for a variety of reasons. You don’t want your dog bleeding around the house when it reaches maturity or getting another animal pregnant, but males in particular need to be neutered for behavioral reasons. A dog that is not neutered will likely be more hyper or aggressive. If you don’t plan on training your dog yourself, consider sending it to puppy school. However, dogs need to see you as the Alpha -- it’s the best way to get them to listen to commands and follow your lead.
Furthermore, make sure your dog is healthy. Something as simple as poorly-made pet food can affect your dog’s health, and be a detriment to its mood. A dog in a bad mood will not behave kindly when meeting new people.
Be sure to make introductions gradual, and always supervise your dog around new people. Introduce him to neighbors and family members one at a time, and encourage people to let the dog sniff them before petting. You want to consistently be present when your dog to reprimand him or restrain him if need be.
Meeting new people outside the family is a good time to assess whether your dog can be around small children. Some dogs simply do not like children, and will growl if they come near -- whether that’s due to a past problem or not. In that case, you must be watchful and make sure children know not to pet the dog. On the other hand, if your dog does seem to be interested in children, encourage friends to bring theirs over to visit your dog so that he can learn how to behave around little people.