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Top Tips to Help Your New Dog or Puppy Settle In

Bringing a new puppy or dog into your home can be one of the most wonderful times for you and your family. It can also sometimes feel pretty overwhelming! There’s so much to think about, isn’t there?

We thought we’d help you out and provide some top tips on settling in that new furry member of the family, so your new dog days can be just like the fairytale books tell you!

Image provided by Zigzag Puppy Training App

Get a routine

Puppies and dogs thrive on a routine. It gives a new dog confidence to know what’s coming next in their life, and what they can expect to do. Try to stick to roughly the same wake ups, mealtimes, walk times and nap times. For the first few weeks too many new places can be a little overwhelming for rescue dogs so taking them to familiar places at first can help to settle them in.

Give it time

It’s going to take time for your new puppy or dog to get used to their new home. Yes, we know you want to show off your new dog to the neighborhood, but try and see it from their perspective, don’t invite a bunch of visitors over to coo at them in the first week, and be patient with how long it might take them to adjust. Spend the time getting to know each other and building a strong relationship that will last a lifetime.

Decide on some basic rules of the house…and make everyone stick to them

With everyone singing from the same hymn sheet your dog will feel comfortable knowing what they’re allowed to do. Some people letting your dog on the couch while others not is confusing for a dog and can end up with conflict. Decide on your ‘house rules’ and have everyone stick to them

Get everyone involved in positive reinforcement training

Your dogs will likely lap up all of the training you can give them. Reward them for all of the wonderful things they do each day, and they’ll do more of them. Make a pact with your family only to use kind training methods and set up a training planner so each of you can be involved in the structured training of your new dog.


Petrina Firth is a Dog Trainer and Certified Animal Behaviorist of over 10 years who now mainly specializes in Separation Anxiety (CSAT) and also creates content, lessons and articles for the Zigzag puppy training app* and website. Petrina is a member of the PPG, the head of marketing and board member for the APDT UK, and a member of the CAPBT.

* Available in the UK and coming soon to the US.

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