Getting a New Dog

Are you getting a new dog this year? If so you may want to know more about new dog syndrome. Understanding New dog syndrome can help us and our dogs deal more effectively with the stress of bringing a new dog into the household.

I work with many people who tell me how good their dog was when they first got it. By the time people call me in for dog behavior help the dog is proving to be quite disruptive. I hear how the cute little fur baby was perfect. It was quiet and docile when first entering the home. Then a week or so later it was a little monster. Although a cute little monster.

There are some dog behavior problems associated with new dog syndrome I hear about more than others.

One of these problems is that the dog who was just an angle is now getting into everything. It seems that it went from never chewing to chewing anything it can get its mouth on.

Another common problem is the dog that was supposed to be house trained when is first came into the new home. However, now it only potties where it should not go and when no one is looking. I have seen two scenarios with this problem. The first is the dog that developed house training problems when coming into the new home straight away. The second is the dog that seemed to be doing fine with potty training in the beginning and then for some mysterious reason starts having potty problems.

Barking is another common problem for dogs that suffered from new dog syndrome. The dog was quiet when it first came into the home and now it barks at everything. This is quite common since many dogs with new dog syndrome are sensitive and sensitive dogs tend to bark more

A problem that can go along with all the above is extremely active behavior. Overall hyperactive behavior should not be confused with the temporary overactive behavior puppies display in the early evening and sometime in the mornings too. You may also see this temporary overactive behavior in puppies when they’re tired and when under a little stress. The stress can be as simple as frustration when learning a new behavior during food reinforcement training.

With over active behavior we often see the same pattern where the dog was very calm when it first came into the home only to become unruly once it settles in. It seems any stimulation at all makes this kind of dog hyperactive. The extra active behavior leads to all kinds of problems including jumping, chewing, potty problems, digging, and barking among others.

To prevent and overcome these problems requires the proper behavior management.  Early intervention is best, but not always possible. You can help your new dog through the transition period by being consistent and emotionally supportive. Dog training can be very helpful at all stages of the dog’s life. If you can start a training program soon after the dog arrives at its new home you may prevent many of the unwanted effects of new dog syndrome.

Some dogs have a tough time making the connections between the controlling signal and the desired response when under stress. In these situations we just need to be patient and use good behavior management. Sometimes being patient is part of providing an emotionally supportive environment.

Even if your dog has a hard time making the connection between the controlling signal and the behavior you can still use food to counter condition avoidance. When there is a strong avoidance response you will need to be more aware of the environment. I classify awareness as a component of one’s personal rules which make up a strategy for dog training. You can read more about dog training strategies in my book Best Friends Learning Together.

If you need help with your dog you can call me at 714-827-4058

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