D E C O M P R E S S I O N

Rescue.  Restore.  Rehome.  Repeat.

Even though your newly adopted dog is coming to you from a foster home, you still need to be aware of the fact that the move to their forever home is a very stressful time.  Happy for you...scary for your new pooch.


The dog needs to “decompress” - take some time getting back to a balanced state of mind.  The dog should not be introduced to the couch for endless hours of belly rubs on day one or showered with toys and treats because you feel bad that the dog had a rough past.

That makes YOU feel good.  This isn’t about you and what you like - this is about what is best for the dog and setting you up for a successful future together.


For at least two to three weeks, your new dog’s life should be incredibly simple and boring.  A calm and quiet beginning is essential. 

Dogs find exponentially more comfort in routine than they do belly rubs and cuddles.  For that reason, keep the affection to a minimum. This is not the time to shower the dog with affection as all that will do is reinforce an unbalanced state of mind and confuse the dog as to YOUR role in their lives.

Have a daily routine planned out prior to the dog coming home.  This should be the dog’s day mapped out.  Meal time, bathroom breaks, crate time and short walks in quiet, boring places - the entire day should be on a schedule.

Your new companion needs boundaries such as a crate or gated area where they can feel secure. Too much freedom can be overwhelming to new dogs and lead to all kinds of unwanted behaviors like pottying in the house and chewing unwanted items.

Allowing free access to possessions, aka “spoiling” with lots of high-value resources can lead to or perpetuate resource guarding.  Don’t shower your new dog with toys and treats. 

Don’t invite the neighborhood over to meet your new dog or take him out in social situations.  He has gone through many changes recently including coming home with you, all of which is overwhelming.  This is a critical time for him to learn what is expected of him to be a good companion.

The premise behind decompression is allowing the dog to get back to a neutral and relaxed state of mind.  

Your new companion needs leadership and calm predictability.

These two things are crucial to the dog becoming properly integrated into your home. Allowing the dog time to decompress without having to deal with a whole new set of intense stimuli will set you all up for a successful future.Type your paragraph here.

Set Your New Dog Up For Success