Brining home an adolescent dog


New Member
Only one week and three days before I can go get Bodi, my 6 month old pup that I've never met. Finally! I'm very excited to get to finally bring him home, but while there are many articles on bringing home a new puppy there are very few on incorporating an adolescent into the home.

Anyone have any tips, tricks, special info on this topic?


Experienced Member
I think many, including me, would still consider a six-month old as a puppy. But to some extent, that's immaterial as the same things still apply.

I think the best thing you can do at the start is let the dog find its own level, so to speak. Don't rush it into trying to bond with you, or expect it to want to play with you immediately. Let it take a few days to explore the new environment. But do give it plenty of opportunities to investigate you too. Spend some time on the floor so that you are more approachable and welcoming to the dog.

It is not uncommon for a dog to urinate (and worse) in a new home, even if it's never done it before. Dogs that have been described as having perfect toilet manners and never having chewed anything can sometimes take to both when moving to a new location. It's just their way of coping. If this happens, the only way to deal with it is to smile and clean it up. Shouting at the dog will only serve to stress the dog for longer and thus the behaviour will worsen.

If you're able and it's practical, feed from the hand for a few weeks. I know of absolutely no better way to build a bond and develop trust. It also gives you the opportunity to train little tricks and movements in return for food.

Make sure you know the house-rules before the dog comes home. If you aren't clear about them, then you can't expect the dog to be. Where will he sleep, what toys will he have access to, can he sit on the furniture, can he go upstairs, which room can he have access to, etc. etc.

Don't worry if the dog walks around panting and drinking a lot for the first few days. This is quite normal and indicates the dog is a little stressed at the relocation. It will subside after a couple of days or so, if you give him the time and space to settle. Just make sure there is plenty of water available, and remember that because of the extra fluid intake, he will need more opportunities to relieve himself too. :)

I'm sure others will give more suggestions, but they are the ones that came to my head as first and foremosts. :)

Don't forget to enjoy the new addition! :)


New Member
Thanks Collieman -- I hadn't really given much thought to the house rules but that is sound advice and I will definitely be talking to my girlfriend and we'll get that set between us before he comes home.

My breeder had suggested not providing a food bowl at all, but feeding by hand where possible then stuffing kibble in chew toys, long bones, Kongs, etc. in his crate when I'm not there to hand feed.

Great advice -- all of it.

Thanks for your response.


Experienced Member
No food bowl at all sounds even better to me. Feeding by hand is one thing that I would never omit. It sometimes becomes a little impractical when the volume of food outweighs the time you have or the dog has a low appetite like my own does, but I'd do it for as long as is humanly possible.


Experienced Member
It takes at least 8 weeks for a dog to sort of get bearings in a new home. Until then I treat them like I would a puppy. I watch them and I understand they may not be on a reasoning level yet because it can be a little overwhelming. I still think a dog less than 2 yrs is a puppy so I watch them and food rewards will buy a lot from a dog this is just reacting rather than thinking. Don't take any lack of contact or interaction affect you personally, he won't mean it personally. You probably won't see his true personality until he settles in a little.

Freezing the kongs with his meals inside is also a great way to make it last longer. I agree food bowls probably are not as great as other things including hand feeding. Interacting with your dog while he's eating in a non-threatening and positive way cements a bond between you very nicely.

If you can bring bedding from where he is now or take some towels and rub them over familiar dogs or kennel mates/litter mates/mom. You didn't say where you were getting him. But bring some familiar smells home if you can. Rubbing toys around or asking for them to give him one now that he can bring with him will all be little touches of home until he calms down and your house is home.

Don't force hugs or interact when he's turning his head away. Sometimes ignoring them brings them out of their shells. All of my dogs reacted differently to being in their new home with me. You can never predict it. Don't plan for lots of guests or visiting dogs for a while. Just let puppy chill and bond with you.

Congrats on your new fur-baby. :dogbiggrin: