Introducing New Changes to Your Dog

Preparing your dog for upheaval makes for a smooth transition.

By | Posted: Mon Nov 4 00:00:00 PST 2002

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Schultz also emphasized stifling the urge to coddle.

"When people buy into the dog's stress and make lots of excuses for him, they're treating him like an invalid," she said. "All that does is crank up the intensity and stress the dog. I'm not saying you should say, 'Stand up and be a dog,' but you can have empathy and move slowly without allowing too much babying."

Know your dog well enough to read its needs, Schultz said. Be patient but only to a point. Small amounts of stress can make dogs more resilient and flexible.

"If he needs to go into hiding, if his tail's tucked and he feels miserable, do have patience," she said. "Stress is normal. You're going through it, and your dog will go through it."

Don't underestimate your dog's ability to adapt. Even in worst-case scenarios, a sudden death or a messy divorce, most dogs can and will adjust.

"Just remember it will take some time," Schultz said.

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