The first few weeks your dog spends in your home can be a trying time for both of you, but don't let it discourage you. The acclimatization phase is one of the most important phases in the relationship between you and your dog and involves how your four-legged friend will behave in relation to you and your home. So we've put together a list of 11 tips to help you both get settled.
1. Create a training plan
Before you start working with your dog, you should think about a few things: What exactly do you want to teach your dog? How do you plan to acclimate your dog? Does your house provide a good learning environment? Which learning methods do you want to use?
2. Make time for yourself
The key to a successful workout is consistency! Be prepared to spend at least 15 minutes a day teaching your dog important commands and getting him used to his environment. Of course, you can also split up your time and spend several smaller training sessions with your dog instead of one large one.
Your verbal communication (commands like "sit") and non-verbal communication (gestures) should always remain the same for each command. Otherwise you will confuse your dog and it can be a frustrating experience for both of you.
4. The right equipment
You don't have to spend a lot of money, but depending on the training you need a good dog leash, poop bag, treats and/or dog toys to reward your dog.
5. Don't be afraid
Of course, not every beginning is easy and you and your dog will probably make mistakes. But don't be too hard on yourself and your dog and focus on strengthening your relationship.
6. Have patience
The adjustment phase sometimes takes a few months and since progress is not linear, there can always be setbacks. But don't let that discourage you.
7. Start with the basics
If you want to teach your dog his first tricks, you should start with the classics like "sit", "down" and of course your dog's name. This establishes a strong foundation that you can later build on with new commands.
8. Teaching must also be learned
As a teacher you can always learn something new. For example, pay attention to which rewards your dog reacts particularly positively to, which tricks he likes to do and what he is still afraid of.
9. Be nice to your dog
Treats come in all shapes and colors, but you don't have to spend a fortune on them. Limit yourself to treats that you know your dog likes to start with. Of course you can also buy other treats, but try it with a smaller pack first. Often you never know what your four-legged friend likes and what not. You can also give seasonal treats in the form of apples or cucumbers. However, always make sure that food is non-toxic to your dog. You can read more about this topic in our blog post about 8 foods that your dog might also like
10. Practice makes perfect
Even if your dog has already learned its first commands, you should keep practicing with it. The more your furry friend has learned, the less often you'll need to practice with them, but a review lesson never hurts.
11. Practice in nature
Once you've gotten your dog used to his new surroundings, you can also go to the garden or a park to explore new things. This is how your dog learns to follow the learned commands in unfamiliar surroundings.
We hope these tips have been of some help to you. The first few months between you and your dog are a time you will think back to over and over again. So try to make the best of it and enjoy every moment with your dog. If you want to learn more about the first few weeks with your dog, take a look at our blog.