● Determine where your dog will be spending most of his time. Because he will be under a
lot of stress with the change of environment (from shelter or foster home to your house),
he may forget any housebreaking (if any) he’s learned. Often a kitchen will work best for
● If you plan on crate training your dog, be sure to have a crate set-up and ready to go for
when you bring your new dog home. Find out more about crate training your dog.
● Dog-proof the area where your pooch will spend most of his time during the first few
months. This may mean taping loose electrical cords to baseboards; storing household
chemicals on high shelves; removing plants, rugs, and breakables; setting up the crate,
and installing baby gates.
● Training your dog will start the first moment you have him. Take time to create a
vocabulary list everyone will use when giving your dog directions. This will help prevent
confusion and help your dog learn his commands more quickly. Not sure which commands
to use? Check out How to Talk to Your Dog.
● Bring an ID tag with your phone number on it with you when you pick up your dog so that
he has an extra measure of safety for the ride home and the first few uneasy days. If he is
microchipped, be sure to register your contact information with the chip’s company, if the
rescue or shelter did not already do so.