New Behaviors Arise After Moving

New Behaviors Arise After Moving

Aah, the joys of moving to a new home; packing, unpacking, meeting the neighbors, finding the nearest grocery store, the fastest shortcut, and now all of a sudden Sparky starts in with new and unwanted behaviors!  If you think about it, it’s pretty easy to understand why our dogs begin to act differently when the family moves – the daily routines is off, the yard is different, the layout of the home is not the same, and dogs need time to adjust to everything that has changed.

In addition to some dogs needing more time to adjust then others, new opportunities often present themselves that may be the source of new problematic behaviors.  Let’s say the old house was at the end of a secluded street, but the new home is on a busy street and has a huge bay window that Sparky has found to be the perfect spot to begin window barking at everything that walks by.  The new house lacks the large yard that Sparky always played in and now he’s being destructive inside because he has no other outlet for all of that energy.  Or let’s say that Sparky has started to fence fight with the dogs on the other side of the fence in the new home, where that was not an issue in the old home.  These are just a few examples of environmental factors that contribute to new behavior issues.

So here are some general tips that can help minimize developing behavior issues.

  • Implement proper management skills right away.  In other words, don’t let the dogs have a week of no supervision and chaos while you unpack and adjust to things yourself.  The dogs start taking notes and learning what works and what doesn’t work from the very first second they step foot in the door.
  • Take a step back in your training and do some refresher work.  Meaning even if your dog has an off-leash recall, put them on a long line and start with some more foundation work before resuming off-leash privileges.
  • Limit opportunities for issues to arise.  Instead of fixing a window barking or fence fighting issue after it begins, go back to crating your dog when you’re not home so you don’t even allow the behavior to develop.
  • Tighten up your boundaries and structure.  Don’t just give your dog free reign of the new home from the start, they had to earn it in the last home so make them earn it in the new one too.  Also, do some extended duration stays on a placeboard, just maintaining skills can put the dog in the right state of mind in this new location.

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