Picking up your new dog can be very exciting but there are a few rules to follow to make the transition easier for you and your dog.
1. Stay calm.
This is a very exciting time for you and the dog but it is important to contain your excitement at this stage. Have a matter of fact attitude to keep it as normal as possible for the dog. This is a very overwhelming experience for a dog coming out of a shelter so the less you talk to and touch the dog the calmer the whole thing will be for her. This applies throughout the rest of the process.
2. Long walk.
Before the dog is introduced to the house take her for a long walk around your neighbourhood. This will drain some excess energy and give her an opportunity to explore her new environment. It also gives the dog a sense of having travelled with you to their new home.
3. Introduce your home.
On arriving home instead of just throwing the door open and letting the dog run in and claim it for her own, have her wait calmly while you open the door. Go through the door yourself and then invite the dog in, leaving the lead on. With the lead still on take the dog into the garden and let them explore encourage any toileting with calm praise.
4. Feeding area.
Take your dog to where it will be eating and offer a drink and some food in her bowl. Not an entire meal yet, remember she is still on lead and will be a bit overwhelmed.
5. Sleeping area.
Take her to where you want her to sleep whether this be a crate or a cushion in the corner of the living room as long as it is out of the general flow of traffic so the dog can rest undisturbed. This is where you can take the lead off and leave the dog to rest. As the dog has come from a confined kennel it can be useful at the start to restrict their access to a couple of rooms in the house until they have learned to relax in these areas.
6. Let the dog come to you.
This can be the hardest step but it is important that you let the dog come to you. As already stated your dog will be overwhelmed and trying too hard to make friends and constantly invading their personal space adds to this. Any attention you give the dog raises their excitement levels which makes it harder for them to behave appropriately. It is ok to acknowledge the dog when she comes to you with a calm word or a gentle touch.