Getting your home ready Bringing a rescue dog home is a very exciting time! But do you have everything your new dog needs to let them feel comfortable in their new home? How you prepare for their arrival, and how you spend the first few weeks together, will have a huge impact on your relationship. In the doghouse Before your dog arrives home, establish what the dog rules of the household are. It is useful to write them down and put them somewhere clearly visible so everyone in the family can remember them. Questions you might want to ask include: Is your dog allowed on the sofa? Can your dog come upstairs? These are important boundaries to establish straight away. Make sure everyone knows the rules and the words you will use for things, such as recall or praise. That way you are setting up your dog up to succeed from the beginning! Setting up Once you've decided on your house rules, it's important to think about the physical setup of the home to welcome your new companion. Where will their bed be; where will they sleep? Are they going to have a safe area; do they need a crate? Will stair gates be needed? You should get as much of this ready as possible before you collect your dog. Our friendly team can give you advice on what your dog might require in the home and advice on setting it up. We also have shops on each site selling everything your new family member could possibly need to settle in nicely. Take it easy As a new adopter, it is tempting to feel that you need to compensate or make up for the fact that your dog has been in a rescue centre. The best possible way to do this is to give them stability as soon as they arrive home. Dogs thrive on a predictable, safe and kind routine and would benefit from a dog-friendly and loving routine from day one. New owners often feel the need to take time off work or to take a break from their normal lifestyle; however, this is not necessary in most cases. Your dog will begin to learn about their new environment and lifestyle as soon as you get them home and sometimes that means learning to spend some time home alone and amuse themselves. For your dog, this is all a big, new adventure. It will take time for them to learn the rules. Be patient and remain calm if your dog does something you do not want them to. Guide them kindly in the ways of your home.