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Congratulations on your new family member! Remember, we are always here as a resource for you. We want to see you and your new dog live your best life! 

Best ways to contact us: 

● Email: 

● Messenger on our Facebook page (Old Dominion Humane Society) 


Basic Puppy Training - WHY we require it: 

● A significant number of pet owners fail to adequately socialize their puppies, putting these dogs at risk of developing behavioral problems down the road. 

● Socialization is key within the first few months of a puppies life. Puppies that aren’t socialized in this critical time frame often have behavioral issues that cause them to be surrendered. 

● Puppy classes aren’t just about obedience, they are about exposing your puppy to other people and animals as well as educating pet owners. Properly socialized puppies are less likely to be hyperactive or fearful, engage in unwanted chewing or show aggression toward people or other pets. 

● Puppies that don’t attend training classes are more likely to be fearful of noise, such as vacuum cleaners and storms, and to react fearfully to crate training. 

● Pet owners who don’t attend training classes are more likely to use punishment-based discipline such as yelling versus positive forms of discipline (such as redirection). 

● If puppy, complete puppy training within 90 days and send us proof for our records via email at


Puppy Obedience

Requirement Form                             

3-3-3 Rule

How long does it take a new dog to adjust? Great article to read (Adjustment periods for rescue dogs...3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months - aka the 3-3-3 rule) 


Socialization, Exercise, and Training - (YOU are key in this process) 

● Find a dog play group, Facebook has lots! (dogs need socialization) 

● Find a dog trainer. Pup n’ Iron, Paws and Heel, Petco, Petsmart, K9 Off Leash, Bully Brigade and All Training, and Colonial K9 are a few recommendations. Training helps connect/bond the owner and the dog. 

● Check out dog sports in your area! Dog sports are all further ways to exercise your dog’s body, mind, and connect the two of you. Also a great activity to get teenagers involved in. 

● Find a dog daycare/boarding/walker, if needed. 


● All dogs need training and accidents happen. Puppies especially will get into everything and put everything in their mouths. 

● All dogs need an adjustment period in their new home. Let them explore safely, but also set up their crate and establish this as their safe place. Boundaries are important to establish with your new dog. Free reign is not recommended at first. This should be an earned privilege. 

● Exercise your dog’s mind and body. Variety is important. Each dog is different in regard to the amount of exercise required. If behavior issues start, the first question is always “Is your dog getting enough exercise?” 

Crate Training

(if you have raised a child to stay in their own bed, training a dog has many similarities): 

It is very important to crate your new dog, unfamiliar sounds, smells and a whole new schedule can be very overwhelming to a new dog. 


○ Housebreaking (dogs don’t like to soil their bed) 

○ Keeping dog separate when you have company over 

○ Car travel 

○ Safety - from getting into something while the humans aren’t watching. 

Making the crate a pleasant place to be: 

○ Feed every meal in crate 

○ Give special treats that dog only gets when in crate 

○ Place appropriate bedding inside (remove if dog chews and tries to ingest) 

○ Tempt dog to enter crate by placing some kibble inside (practice this while you are home multiple times before leaving the dog alone the first time. 

○ Praise dog for willingness to go in crate. 

○ Pick dog up and slowly put inside with door left open. 

○ Give reassurance and petting if dog seems agitated or frightened. 

○ Once in crate for a few moments, call the dog out to join you. Lots of praise and pets again! 

○ Practice again and close door and repeat in short intervals. 

What if the dog whines or barks: 

○ Stay near crate and give reassurance (sometimes just having a human close is soothing - especially at night). 

○ Some dogs like their crate covered to make it cave like. 

○ Consider purchasing a “white noise” machine or use a floor fan for noise (with air pointed away from dog). 

○ Are they cold? Consider a safe space heater. Smaller dogs get cold quickly, especially puppies. 

○ Tap the door of the crate and say “No” in a strong, commanding (but not loud) voice 

○ With repetition, the whining and barking will stop. 

 Length of time in crate: 

○ Puppies will have to be let out more frequently than adults. 

○ A puppy should not spend the entire day in a crate (they need breaks to walk and play). This is where a dog walker can be very helpful. 

Dog introductions: 

● Do have another person assist you. 

● Do take dogs for brief, leashed walk off of your property. 

● Do take a deep breath. Keep your voice calm. Don’t make intros into a big deal. 

● Do keep momentum moving forward. Allow “butt sniffing” to take place. 

● Don’t overwhelm new dog with multiple dogs at once. Do each intro separately. 

● Don’t force a dog into another dog’s face (even a cute, little puppy). 

● Do watch body language. Look for stiff posture, side eye, lip curling and growling. 

● Do calmly and quickly redirect their attention by keeping the walk moving ahead. 

● Walking together as a pack as often as possible will help dogs form a bond. 

● After brief walk, move to backyard. Keep dogs leashed, but allow them to roam freely. 

● Move dogs inside. 

● Do not leave dogs alone unattended. Allow controlled interaction (keep leash on). 

● Feed separately in crates (see crate training). 

● Consider removing toys and bones for the first few days to prevent trouble sharing. 

● Crates are a great learning and safety tool. Always crate when you’re not there to supervise. Remember: “It can take a shelter dog 6-8 weeks or even more to fully adjust to a new home. Don’t worry if the behavior doesn’t fall into place right away. With love and patience, it will happen.” 

Resource Guarding: 

This means that the dog is guarding a resource (such as a human, toy, food or other animal). 


■ Dog won’t give up toy when human asks for it or tries to take it. 

■ Dog growls at other dogs or humans while eating (reminder to feed in crate to avoid this issue) 

■ Dog growls,snaps, or barks at other dog when in human’s lap or nearby human. 

■ You will want to stop this behavior immediately. 


Complete detailed information can be found online at: has many free resources that you can search in the search bar. 

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