First days at home

Every dog is different, which means they will react differently to their new home.

Some dogs will settle very quickly. Others will be a little anxious and will need a good couple of days to get comfortable. Then there are more anxious dogs who may take a month or more to feel at home. Patience and understanding is the key.

Acclimatising your new pet

We suggest that when you first get home you give your new dog the time and space to fully explore its new environment. This can be a stressful time for the dog, so no overcrowding! There will be plenty of time to lavish your new pet with love, but for the moment it is all about the dog becoming familiar with the smells and layout of their new home.

Keep a watchful eye on them, though, so you know that they are not getting themselves into trouble.

Giving your dog too much attention during the first few days may lead them to expect that level of attention all the time. This can lead to the dog getting separation anxiety when they are left alone in the house for the first time. Separation anxiety can lead to unwanted behaviours such as excessive barking, chewing and soiling the house.

Your family is your dog’s new pack and they need to learn from day one that all the family is above them in the pack hierarchy.

If you have existing pets at your home, introduce your new arrival carefully to avoid any unpredictable accidents.


Basic training for your dog can be started from day one. We highly recommend that you take your new dog to a professionally run dog training service, or puppy preschool. What you learn in dog training should be reinforced at home every day.

Assume your new arrival has not been house-trained and start from there.

Lort Smith offers dog training classes.

Your pet’s health

Dogs adopted from shelters can sometimes pick up viruses from other dogs in the shelter or be incubating them while with us. All dogs are examined, vaccinated and monitored during their stay, however, some viral or disease symptoms may not appear until after the dog is brought home. Monitor your dog carefully and if you have any concerns please contact us. As part of our adoption agreement, animals are covered for 14 days for any medical issues that are shelter-related.

Don’t forget playtime! Dogs love to play and exercise, so take the time to play with your dog every day and take them for regular walks.

When you adopt a dog from us, you’ll be provided with a helpful and comprehensive dog adoption booklet with more information about how to care for your new pet.

Lort Smith