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My husband and I adopted Haley, my doxie-pin, from our local animal shelter almost two years ago. We have lived in a small 1BR apartment until last weekend...we moved to a 1200 SF home, with a yard. Just wondering if y'all had any advice/tips/input on how to ease the change and help my baby adjust to her new surroundings. She's a bit of a scardy-cat so although she has been roaming and sniffing around, she is still too chicken to go into some rooms alone!
 

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It's too late for this but before a move, it's a good idea to take the dog to the new place a few times to sniff around before you actually move in. Then when you do move, put the dog's bed, food dish, and toys in the house in advance so that when you actually move the dog has familiar things around. It also helps to have someone else watch the dog while you actually move in - all that commotion/boxes/strange people makes a lot of dogs nervous.

So it's too late for that. We moved 2x in the last year and both times we limited our dog's access to the whole house at first, keeping her in the same area with us using baby gates. It was like the Sioux Locks for a while with gates going up and down all the time as we moved from room to room with her! But having us always near made her less anxious. I've also read that having less territory to guard also reduces anxiety, as does crating when you're not home. And it made sure she was potty trained in the new place before she had full run of the house. We slowly introduced her to new rooms, playing in them, feeding her in them, etc. Even 6 months later, there are still rooms we don't let her have access to without us, but we just have a general policy of 100% supervision with our dog - doesn't have to do with the move. I always want to know where her mouth and her butt are in my house, esp. when I have a guest bedroom with a snowy white duvet cover on the bed! :)

When she's ready to explore other rooms and be on her own, you'll know it. The key for us was spending time with her in each room playing, eating, and sleeping so she would be comfortable. Working on her recall from opposite ends of the house has also helped. I'll be in one area of the house with cheese or another high value treat and my husband stations himself in another. Then we call her back and forth between us. Helps her to feel rewarded for entering new rooms. We're still doing it, just because it's a fun game for all of us.
 

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thanks for the great advice! we did have help during the move who stayed and cared for haley to help her anxiety and to generally keep her out of the way of things. but, we actually didn't have access to the new place until the day of move-in, so we could not have taken her there before the move anyway.

we will definitely try playing with her in other rooms and also the great game of calling her back and forth between rooms and rewarding her...I think that's a terrific idea! thanks again for the advice! I'll let you know how it goes! :)
 

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Please do! I bet she'll be exploring on her own in no time at all. We're still using the same room-at-a-time technique whenever we go on vacation and Poca has to be in a new place. She's still nervous to start but by introducing her to different rooms slowly, she seems to get over her nervousness more quickly than if we let her run all over from the start. Good luck!
 

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Don't make a big deal out of the new house. Just go about your business like you've lived there for a long time. Dogs can sense their owners' nervousness and hesitation. Dogs are very adaptable so just let her explore the place. We have a weekend house and this is what I did with my puppy.
 

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Don't make a big deal out of the new house. Just go about your business like you've lived there for a long time. Dogs can sense their owners' nervousness and hesitation. Dogs are very adaptable so just let her explore the place. We have a weekend house and this is what I did with my puppy.

Excellent advice. None of my dogs or cats have ever had any problems associated with moving.
 

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Winnie777

Not disagreeing with your post just one sentence as it may not always be so.

I've also read that having less territory to guard also reduces anxiety,

With some dogs the smaller territory means less flight options and that increases the fight option.
 

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Winnie777

Not disagreeing with your post just one sentence as it may not always be so.

I've also read that having less territory to guard also reduces anxiety,

With some dogs the smaller territory means less flight options and that increases the fight option.
Very good point. I've seen that with my dog when she was younger, esp. when strangers came into the house. She's much better with multiple escape routes available. Note that the gates are to keep her in the same general area of the house as us, not to restrict her to a small room. At our current house that meant family room + kitchen + breakfast room to start. Or upstairs landing + our room. Or office + foyer + dining room. She now has run of the house except for the rooms I don't want her in (e.g. guest room).

Re just letting the dog be and acting like it's no big deal. I think that's excellent advice that works for most dogs but the OP said her dog is a "scaredy-cat." Having lived with one of those for 3 years it's just become clear to me that having full run of a new place is not a good idea with her. She just acts too anxious and paces from room to room for hours if we don't intervene. So we introduce her to the whole place first, letting her sniff everything and get a sense for where everything is. We take her to her potty area immediately after. Then when we settle in, we block access to the parts of the house we won't be in for a while, putting her food, toys, and bed in the area with us. She quickly settles in and relaxes. When we leave that area, she goes with us to the next. After a couple of days, she can handle moving around on her own.

We just went through this routine with 2 major moves in the last 8 months and again on Saturday when we arrived at a 2-story vacation house. She had run of the house by Monday (except for those rooms I don't want her in--utility, bathrooms) and is fully relaxed now. So it works for our cautious canine and helps us avoid any problems related to the stress of being in a new living situation.
 
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