Moving To a New Home

How frequently I hear of the "perfect" dog who fell apart upon moving to a new home! Many dogs, like many people, find moving a rather unnerving experience. Dogs who have never barked before now yap at every noise. Dogs who calmly stayed home alone all day every day suddenly become hysterical when their owners get ready to leave for work-and then howl all day. Dogs who have never chewed a thing suddenly destroy a wall. Dogs who have never had an "accident" since puppyhood suddenly urinate in sixteen different places in the new living room. All these surprises and more may await you if you don't give a little consideration to your dog before moving.

Many well-meaning dog owners "spare" the dog the hassle of the move by leaving him elsewhere and then suddenly dropping him into the new environment and immediately walking out themselves. Others arrive, dog on lead, and again dump him among the packing cartons and go off for a hamburger.

Have a heart! He doesn't know what's going on. Ideally you should take the dog to the new home frequently before you move in, walk him through it, and do obedience work there. This obedience suggestion is the most important since it will make your dog feel secure immediately. If you cannot take him to the new home ahead of time, take him along as soon as possible. Walk him around; do obedience work with him in his new environment; put out his dish filled with water, his bed, and his toys; determine his den area and put enough of your things in there to let him know you're staying. Don't walk out immediately and leave him.
Try to have someone with the dog for at least a day before you leave him alone. And don't leave him alone without doing at least half an hour of obedience work with him and then putting him in his den.
You may have a sense of permanence the minute you sign that staggering check for rent or mortgage payment. Your dog doesn't even have a checking account, much less know his new home is indeed home

by Patricia P. Widmer

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