Dear Critter Corner: We just moved into a new house and my dog is having a hard time adjusting. He’s had a couple of accidents and is spending a lot of time in his crate. How do we help him feel more at home?
Your dog is likely feeling unsettled and will need a bit of time to decompress after the move. For the potty training, he may need to relearn the house rules now that he is in a new environment.
Even though he may have been very potty trained at your previous home, he may not realize that those same rules apply where you are now. Pretend for a few weeks that he simply is not potty trained. This means taking him outside every hour, after meals, after naps, and after playtime. Reward him when he does his business outside, and if he has an accident inside, simply clean it up and keep a closer eye on him. He should get back in the swing of things soon.
If he seems to be unsure of his new environment, the best thing to do is let him settle in at his own pace. There is no harm in letting him decompress in his crate if he is feeling stressed out. When he does venture out, try to make it a positive experience for him. Encourage him to engage in activities that he enjoys, like a walk around the neighborhood or a game of fetch or tug in the living room. Always allow him to go back to his safe spot when he decides he’s had enough. Giving him the freedom to choose will help take some of the pressure off so that exploring is not such a stressful prospect.
Sara Werning is the coordinator for Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA’s Behavior Department. For more information, please call 650-340-7022 x316 or email [email protected]