Bringing home your newly adopted coonhound is an exciting time. And while you'll be eager to get the new dog home and settled in, it's important to take a few necessary steps to make the transition a smooth one for the dog, for you, and for the rest of your household, including any existing pets.
The First 48 Hours
CONSIDER HIS HISTORY: Your new coonhound may have been abandoned, abused or surrendered by a previous family. The coonie had to adjust to life in the shelter, then in Rescue and is now going home to a new, unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people. Being gentle, kind and patient will help ease your new coonhound into its new family.
TAKE IT SLOW: Your coonhound may be afraid and unsure of his new surroundings. If it appears to be scared, take it slow and be sure to give positive reinforcement. Put his crate where he can still be with his new family, but have a safe spot to call his own. Give your new dog plenty of time to adjust to his new surroundings. If your new coonhound is a puppy, this may have been the first time it has been away from its littermates. Expect the pup to fuss the first few nights in its new home. don't rush in to pamper him or tell him "hush" when he whines and whimpers or you will teach him that this behavior gets attention.
EXPECT MISTAKES: Even a housetrained dog can make mistakes in a new home. He doesn't know which door to go to or how to communicate with his new family that he needs to go outside. Take him outside on a leash, on a schedule and to the same spot each time. Reward him with praise or a treat. Feed your dog on a schedule.
EXPECT THE DOG TO ACT LIKE A DOG: Your coonhound had a whole different set of rules in his previous home. He may have been an outdoor dog, or he may have been allowed to eat human food from the dinner table. He may jump on you. He may have the urge to chew. It's up to you to teach him YOUR rules. Teaching proper behavior takes time and patience. Consider enrolling in a dog obedience class, especially if your new dog is shy and timid. Especially, during these first 48 hours, keep a watchful eye on your new dog and confine him in his crate when you can't actively supervise him. Crate train your dog to assist with housetraining and minimize destructiveness.
IT WILL GET EASIER OVER TIME: Allow your dog 3-6 weeks to adapt to his new surroundings and up to 4 months to fully adjust. Set the dog up for success. Put the new dog in a position where it can always do right and be rewarded.