An accomplished orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Andrew Collier of Philadelphia, PA, enjoys spending his free time with his family and their beloved dogs. Dr. Andrew Collier currently owns several Labrador retrievers that he adopted from Philadelphia-area rescue organizations.
If you bring home a shelter dog, you invite into your family a deserving animal that needs your love and care. To properly socialize this new pet into your home, you must begin by choosing a dog that meets your needs. You may be looking for an older companion animal that will sit by your feet or a lively large breed that will keep your children active and on their toes. You should be ready to give your dog the energy level that it needs, and this responsibility should inform your choice of pet.
When your dog comes home, you need to be ready to acclimate him to the new environment. Dogs may appear skittish or wary at first, but with love and care they can adjust to you and your family. Many dogs prefer to have their bed and supplies close to the activity of the house but set off near a wall so they can get used to you from a distance.
You can give your dog warmth, love, and affection, but experts recommend that you take your time and not overwhelm him or set him up for disappointment when you resume your daily routine of going to work. Trainers also suggest that you establish acceptable behaviors early through positive reinforcement so the dog understands his boundaries and knows you as a gentle but firm setter of limits.