I'm very excited that a gorgeous 2.5 yr old dog is coming to live with us from this Sunday. It obviously will be a bit of a change for him and I want him to associate his new home with positive things for the first couple of weeks so that he settles in nicely. He has slept in a crate since he was a pup, so I have a crate for him as something familiar. I gave the lady who has him at the moment, a crate liner to use for the past week so that when he comes to our home the crate liner will come with him and it smells familiar/comforting to him. His crate is in a corner of the room that he can access easily but that everyone won't be walking by and bothering him. He also has a nice comfy dog bed waiting for him by the sofa if he wishes to to be brave and sit by us. I'm quite concious of letting him be and coming to us rather than agitating him for the first few days. I have the same food that he's used to. I've bought the toys that I know he loves (rubber ring & Kong toy). I've got a chewy rawhide bone for him when he's settled after an hour or two on the first day.
I've been told that I have to make sure that he knows he's not the boss, so him second into a room after me, that type of thing.
Can you tell me anything else I should be doing to keep him and me happy and try for the best settlilgn in that we can have. There are no other dogs or children in the house. I had my last dog from when she was a puppy so this is a new situation for me. He also hasn't been castrated as he was a stud dog. Do you think 2.5 is too old to have him done?
Forget the let him know who's boss rubbish . If you shop again before you get him get him a Stag bar , they sell them in Pets At Home ( and online) and they're brilliant. If you don't want him upstairs I'd get a stair gate . Good luck , what breed is he?
thanks Floralnomad, I'll pop along to Pets At Home to get him one. He's a Spanish Water Dog. I've been told he can be a bit territorial about letting people come into "his" room - if he's been in there first, he sees it as being his room and to let him in after people have arrived. (for guests coming to the house, not for me & DH who he'll know IYKWIM). i guess I'll just have to see for myself how he reacts.
I think it is more feasible that he a nervous-aggressive dog. People come in is very exciting and can cause nervous dogs to react with defensive aggression, people are much less scary when they're all sat down, being calm, so keeping in a different room or his crate until guests are in and settled is sensible. Dominance/showing who is boss is very old hat and has been disproven many, many times, including by the person who came up with it in the first place
I settle in new dogs often, the best way is to ignore them and let them get on with things rather than making a huge fuss, just carry on with your day as usual and interact on the dogs terms, rather than yours.
Thanks D0oin, that makes perfect sense about the nerves/agression. I'll just get on with pottering about the home and letting him get used to his new surroundings and me, and interact on his terms like you said. Excellent to know about the dominance thing too. I didn't bother with that at all with my last dog and she was just fine