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Bringing Home Your Rescue Dog


It’s not news that Pat and I are huge supporters of rescue and adoption. We are so happy that the adoption movement is a growing trend and a lot of the people we serve have rescued/adopted their dogs!

Providing structure is the most important thing you can do to ensure your new dog has a furever home. Even though it is hard, you need to refrain from opening the front door and letting the dog run in and greet its new family. Dogs, like people, thrive in environments with boundaries and clear, consistent, rules and routines.

Here are our top, easy to follow, suggestions for bringing home your recently adopted dog:

  • Introduce it to your family calmly and neutrally. We also encourage a lot of neighbors, friends and family to come by consistently over the first few weeks to ensure the dog only goes bananas for a 2am intruder and not a 2pm guest.  Shut down any inappropriate behaviors (excessive jumping, chewing, nuisance, barking, humping, Etc) in a neutral and quick manner.  Call us to discuss how to go about doing this in a way that makes sense for your dog or wait until that blog post.
  • Take the dog out frequently and verbally mark when they goes outside with light praise. Use a leash and stay with them. They have to get used to the routine and know they go potty and come right back in. Prevailing wisdom suggests treats are needed for potty training.  This will only create a “peeing lab mouse looking for its next pellet.”
  • Have the dog earn its real estate. Your new pup should not have free access to your entire house. Keep your dog with you at all times (ideally on leash, you can even do it hands free!) and then crate them or block them off in a safe area of the house that they cannot escape from or be destructive. If they bark incessantly, call me to discuss or wait until our crate training blog post (which I wouldn’t suggest).


  • Don’t allow your dog to free feed. No matter how skinny they are or how rough of a life they might have had, put the food down for five minutes. If your dog does not eat it, it goes right up. Put the normal portion of food down without adding extra for missed meals. Give it 5 minutes again to eat or take it back up until the following meal. You don’t want your dog becoming a picky eater; he will eat when he is hungry enough. We promise you, your dog will not starve itself. The “take it or leave it” concept also is important for building food drive for your dogs obedience training and consistent bowel movements.
  • Enroll in a training class immediately. A good obedience training course isn’t just for owners who want a dog that responds to commands quickly and with ease.  A solid obedience course will give you and your dog a working communication system.  Dogs by nature want to comply; they just need to be taught how.
  • Keep your dog on a consistent, daily, schedule. Walk it at the same times daily, feed it at the same times daily, and crate it at the same times daily. Eventually, you will be able to make this routine more flexible, but in the beginning this is essential.


Wrap up:

A lot of people go right into affection mode and a liberal environment only to find out we have to then go into boot camp mode later on to reign the behavior back in.     Every interaction you dog has is a first impression, initial training opportunity.  Let’s make take advantage of these training opportunities with a systematic approach that makes sense for your dog.

Take away:

Structure first, then very slowly take the training wheels off.

If you are looking to adopt your next dog please reach out to us.  We are constantly playing match maker and are fortunate to be associated with some great local rescue organizations.

Dogs Rule,


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Champ’s Dog House

163 Route 70
Medford, NJ, 08055

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Hours of Operation

Monday-Friday: 6:30am-6pm
Saturday: 8:30am-5pm
Sunday: 10am-4pm
Grooming, training and phone service available after hours.