When you adopt a pet from a rescue, please do not have a whole welcoming committee there to greet him when he arrives at your home. Please do not have loads of people dropping by every day to meet the new addition. We’ve had dogs get returned in their first week or two at home for being “aggressive” with friends, neighbors, etc. Wonderful dogs that waited for months and months for a good home have been returned for “snapping at other people”. It is so important to understand that your new pet is going through an enormous adjustment. He has gone from a home, shelter or puppy mill into a foster home, where he most likely has felt safe and loved, maybe for the first time ever. He has bonded with that foster family. He needs time to take it all in and get used to his new surroundings and new family. His “welcome home party” should not be a party, but a low-key introduction to his new home, yard, bed, and the members of the immediate family.
If there are other dogs in the home, they should be kept separate and allowed to get to know each other through a gate for the first week or so before being loose together. Slow, cautious introductions can go a long way towards insuring a happy relationship. The new dog should have a safe place to retreat to for quiet time if he feels a little overwhelmed. He should not be walked around the neighborhood and forced to meet every neighbor and dog that walks by. Please, give him a few weeks or even longer to get used to you and your home. There’s plenty of time to meet everyone else later, after he’s had a chance to get used to your family. Forcing him to meet your friends and extended family is just setting him up to fail, and he deserves much more than that. Thank you.
Adapted from a piece from the facebook page of the Associated Humane Popcorn Park Shelter in Jackson, NJ.