Adoption Information For Dogs


Preparation and patience are the keys to building a happy relationship. Building a good plan and making it workable for your lifestyle and for the dog will help your new dog make a successful adjustment to your home and life.

Gather supplies.

Prepare the things your dog will need in advance:

  • a collar or harness and a leash
  • Food and bowls for food and water
  • a bed
  • some toys and treats
  • identification tag with your phone number
  • a crate

Make an appointment with a veterinarian.

Routine visits with a veterinarian will help your pet live a long, healthy, happy life. They will also give you recommendations for vaccinations, flea/tick prevention, and heartworm prevention.

Prepare for housetraining.

Assume your new dog is not housetrained and work from there. Be consistent and maintain a routine. A little extra effort on your part to come home straight from work each day will pay off in easier, faster housetraining. Always reward with lots of praise when your new dog goes to the bathroom outside. Avoid punishing accidents, as this will only confuse the dog rather than help with training.

Give them a crate.

A crate may look like the dog equivalent of a jail cell, but dogs instinctively like to den and a crate can become a positive place when introduced properly! It makes house-training and obedience-training easier and saves your dog from the headache of engaging in problem behavior. Of course, you won't want to crate your dog all day or all night, or they will consider it a jail cell. Just a few hours a day should be sufficient and you should work up to that in small increments.

The crate should be roomy enough to allow your dog to stand up, turn around, and sit comfortably in normal posture. Avoid exposed wires that could jab eyes or wires with spacing that would allow the collar, tags, or paws to get caught. If a crate isn't an option, consider some sort of confinement to a dog-proofed part of your home, such as part of the kitchen or a family room, sectioned off with a baby gate or dog-specific gate.

Use training to create a happy home.

Dogs need order and a good role model. Be consistent with the rules you set for your dog, so the dog under-stands what is expected of him or her. When you catch them doing something they shouldn't, don't lose your cool. Stay calm but stop the bad behavior immediately. For example, if the dog is chewing on something it shouldn’t have, immediately remove it from the dog’s mouth with a stern “no,” but avoid becoming upset with the dog. Always reward the dog with praise when they do well so they know they are on the right track. Sign up for a local dog obedience class if possible, to help you learn more ways to bond with your dog and ways to keep your dog a successful member of society.

Let the games begin.

Dogs enjoy participating in activities with their owners. These activities can be physical, such as playing fetch, taking walks, or jogging. Or they can be mental activities, such as training or learning tricks and puzzles. Once you and your dog have adjusted to each other, you can also consider social activities, such as taking your dog to meet people and pets in dog-friendly settings.

The better you get to know your individual dog, the more you’ll be able to know if he or she prefers physical, mental, or social activities– or a combination of them!

Patience is key.

Finally, remember to temper your expectations. Life with you is a different experience for your new companion, with new rules and expectations that are a lot to learn all at once. Try to keep that in mind and give them time to adjust and room to make mistakes while learning, like we all do with something new. With patience and consistency, you'll soon find out that you've made a friend for life. No one will ever greet you with as much enthusiasm or provide you with as much unqualified love and loyalty as your dog. Be patient and understanding, and you will be amply rewarded.


Housetraining your dog or puppy requires patience, commitment, and lots of consistency. Accidents are part of the process, but if you follow these basic house-training guidelines, you can get the newest member of your family on the right track in a few weeks’ time.

Establish a routine.

Like babies, puppies and dogs do best on a regular schedule. The schedule teaches them that there are times to eat, times to play and times to do their business. Generally speaking, a puppy can control their bladder one hour for every month of age. So if your puppy is two months old, they can hold it for about two hours. Don't go longer than this between bathroom breaks or they’re guaranteed to have an accident. While accidents will happen, it’s best to avoid them when possible so the puppy or dog doesn’t become used to them and consider them part of their accepted routine.

Take your dog or puppy outside frequently—at least every two hours—and immediately after they wake up, during and after playing, and after eating or drinking.

Pick a bathroom spot outside, and always take your puppy (on a leash) to that spot. While your puppy is relieving themselves, use a specific word or phrase that you can eventually use before they go to remind them what to do. Take them out for a longer walk or some playtime only after they have eliminated.

Reward your dog or puppy every time they eliminate outdoors. Praise or give treats—but remember to do so immediately after they’ve finished, not after they come back inside. This step is vital, be-cause rewarding your dog for going outdoors is the only way to teach what's expected of them. Before rewarding, be sure they’re finished. Puppies are easily distracted and if you praise too soon, they may forget to finish until they’re back in the house.

Put your dog or puppy on a regular feeding schedule. Depending on their age, puppies usually need to be fed three or four times a day. Dogs usually need to be fed twice per day. Feeding your puppy or dog at the same times each day will make it more likely that they'll eliminate at consistent times as well, making housetraining easier for both of you.

Pick up your dog or puppy's water dish about two and a half hours before bedtime to reduce the likelihood that they'll need to relieve themselves during the night. Most dog and puppies can sleep for approximately seven hours without needing a bathroom break. If your dog or puppy does wake you up in the night, don't make a big deal of it; otherwise they will think it is time to play and won't want to go back to sleep. Turn on as few lights as possible and don't talk to or play with your dog or puppy. Instead, take them out and then return them to bed.

Supervise your dog or puppy.

Don't give your dog or puppy an opportunity to soil in the house; keep an eye on them whenever they’re indoors. Tether your puppy to you or a nearby piece of furniture with a six-foot leash if you are not actively training or playing. Watch for signs that your puppy needs to go out. Some signs are obvious, such as barking or scratching at the door, squatting, restlessness, sniffing around or circling. When you see these signs, immediately grab the leash and take them outside to their bathroom spot. If they eliminate, praise them and reward with a treat.

Keep your puppy on leash in the yard. During the housetraining process, your yard should be treated like any other room in your house. Give your puppy some freedom in the house and yard only after they become reliably housetrained.

When you can't supervise, confine.

When you're unable to watch your puppy at all times, restrict them to an area small enough that they won't want to eliminate there. The space should be just big enough to comfortably stand, lie down and turn around. You can use a portion of a bathroom, a laundry room blocked off with baby gates, or a crate.

Be sure to learn how to use a crate humanely as a method of confinement and only leave them in this space as long as they can comfortably keep from going to the bathroom. This confinement time will depend on what stage of house training you are in and the age of your pet. (i.e. young puppies are often only able to refrain from using the bathroom for a few hours, but older dogs that are fully house-trained may be able to wait longer) If your dog or puppy has spent several hours in confinement, you'll need to take them directly to their bathroom spot as soon as you return.