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Tips for Taking Care of a New Dog!

Alicia has been an online writer for over five years. Her articles often focus on outdoor activities and pet care.

Planning on Bringing a New Dog Home?

Or, perhaps you've already brought a new dog home and are having problems? There are several things to consider when bringing a new dog home, and I'm here to tell you about a way you can make adjusting easier.

Stacie Sparks is the person I originally heard about the "Two Week Shutdown" from and she deserves much of the credit for our promoting this method. It works and it's something everyone needs to keep in mind, especially those with multi-dog homes.

What Is the Two Week Shutdown?

Your new dog needs time to adjust and there are many scenarios that people put their new dog through that only encourage negative behaviors to surface. Dogs may be resilient creatures, but they do also need to know that we are in control of situations, that we will protect and provide for them, and give them clear expectations and routines to follow.

Two weeks is just a guideline. Most dogs advance faster but depending on the individual dog and how closely you follow the guidelines, it may take longer.

What Does the Two Week Shutdown Mean to Me?

When you bring home a new dog, young or old, we know you are so excited and you want to share your new addition with everyone you can!

Did you know that by taking your dog to pet stores, friends and families homes, dog parks, pet events, or other really busy, social settings, you may inadvertently be telling your dog to act out?

Think about this: The majority of us when put into new situations do not put all of ourselves out there. We put forth what we want people to see or think they want to see. Also, we are much more likely to withdraw from situations that make us uncomfortable. What would you do if you were on a date with someone new and they took you to meet their family who constantly hugged you, kissed you, or otherwise invaded your space? What would you do if they then took you to meet all their friends and they did the same? Would you consider your date sane? Would you consider your date someone you could trust? Sure, you liked them initially to go out with them on a first date, but wouldn't their actions throughout that first date dictate whether you would see them again? Would you see them again if they put you in so many situations that made you uncomfortable?

Consider this as well; say you had to go live with a new family who spoke a language you didn't understand. You'll be reserved, perhaps a bit detached. What if they doted on you, as a new family member, speaking to you in a language you don't understand, expecting you to interact with all their family members and friends? Would you feel comfortable? Would you want to retreat to a safe place? Would you know where a safe place was? Would they give you one?

Things many people forget is that we expect our new dogs to be so accepting of everything and we put them in these very similar situations and then become alarmed when they "act out." Your new dog is acting out or misbehaving because they don't view you as the decision maker. Remember, to them, you are putting them in situations that make them feel uncomfortable.

Keep reading to find out how to help your dog adjust and begin to view you as the decision maker of the home and to help them put their trust in you, where it belongs!

Trust is everything to building a good and solid relationship with your dog!

So, How Do I Get Started?

Even if you've had your dog a few days and are beginning to notice some issues behaviorally, you can still start fresh and get them started on the shutdown.

Some things you want to keep in mind with your new dog when you first get them:

Tips for Taking Care of a New Dog!

  1. A tired dog is a happy dog! Exercising your dog(s) regularly and thoroughly will help ensure they relax into their new household a little easier. Without that pent up energy, they've got to relax! However!
  2. Do not take them on walks yet. Walks provide an overabundance of stimulation and there are many variables you may encounter that you need that trust built FIRST before subjecting them to those new situations. Instead, exercise your dog in the yard on a long lead (20ft plus) and spend some time getting to know one another.
  3. Do not take them to pet stores, dog parks, other people's homes, etc. Again, these situations provide an overabundance of stimulation that your dog needs to have the trust built in you for you to handle the situation so they don't have to.
  4. Keep them leashed to you at all times when they are not crated. Yes, even in the house and yes, even if you have a fully fenced yard. Why? It builds the precedence with them that you are the bringer of everything in life. Additionally, keeping them leashed to you keeps them from getting in trouble. If they aren't house-trained, they can't very well go run out of your line of sight and have an "accident" if you have them leashed to you huh? Or, if someone new comes in the home, keeping them leashed to you can help prevent them from reinforcing undesirable behaviors like jumping on people. When the dog is leashed to you, you are in control. The dog will begin to understand this.
  5. Do not allow your new dog and your existing pets into a 24/7 free for all. Remember, your existing pets don't know this new "intruder" and the new dog doesn't know the routine of the home and what's permissible. Setting a routine with the new dog first, without the full distraction of other pets will make life 1,000 times easier when you begin integrating them.
  6. Do not allow your new dog furniture privileges. They haven't earned them yet. Create a spot for them to be when they are out lounging around in each room. Furniture privileges can be given later on down the road if you so please.
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Read More From Pethelpful

The Basics (Crate Training)

  1. When bringing your new dog home, give them a brief tour of their primary living area or the places they will be most often.
  2. Now, it's crate time! It's time to give the dog some time to itself to take in everything that's happened thus far.
  3. The crate will be used as a tool in the shutdown, not as a prison. Think of it more like their safe place. Sure, some may cry initially but with positive reinforcement (yummy crate-only treats, no coddling, etc.) they'll learn to accept their time alone and realize, it's not so bad!
  4. Something to remember is to not let the dog out of the crate while they are crying. Do not give in as this will only serve to reinforce their crying and barking to be let out of the crate. Being inconsistent will likely train your dog to be a screamer in the crate and that's not what you want at all!
  5. Special considerations should be given to dogs with separation anxiety.
  6. Initially, keep out of crate interactions short, just like time in the crate should be short. 20-30 minutes at a time initially will help keep interactions with you positive and help reinforce positive crate training.
  7. You will increase the time as needed as the days move forward. Little by little. You are using the crate as a way to give them a time out to collect their thoughts and process the new information they received in their interactions with you.

If this is a new and only dog, you'll likely find that progress will move swiftly! No worries! Patience is a virtue and you will be handsomely rewarded!

For more information on integrating your new dog with existing pets, keep reading!

Patience and consistency with your new dog will reap the greatest rewards!

Have Other Pets?

Take things slow and easy! When bringing home a new dog to a home with existing pets, it's important to realize that everyone in the household will need time to adjust to the new living arrangements and routine. It's important to take things very slow initially and keep things positive and upbeat.

How to Introduce Your Pet to a New Dog

Have Them Meet in a Neutral Setting: First, let me go ahead and say that the initial meeting of the new dog with resident dog(s) needs to happen off your property in a quiet, neutral setting. We don't need your resident dogs to feel the need to "protect what is theirs" without having the opportunity to get to know one another first.

Crate and Rotate: Now, after the initial meeting, if things go well and you choose to bring the new dog home (or this can be tweaked if you've already introduced some other way that wasn't recommended here), it's time to crate and rotate initially. I'd say for at least the first 48 hours, keep the new dog and your existing pets separated. Sure, let them sniff around. Shoot, crate them side by side (never nose to nose!) to help them get used to the other being around. But, keep at least the first 2 days for yourselves and don't expect the new dog and existing dogs to interact and everything be hunky-dory.

Do Another Outdoors Meeting and Then Let Them Interact: After the initial time has passed, do another outdoors meeting on leash first, then bring them indoors and let them further interact. Keep leases on. This is just in case something unexpected does happen. You've got leashes on to help keep things under control. It can also help when you interject a too hyper play session to encourage the dogs to settle and relax. Keep new interactions very short initially. I'm talking 10-15 minutes.

End on a Positive Note: End things on a positive note and give the dogs time to process everything that happened. Doing things this way does a couple of things. It gives the dogs the opportunity to enjoy one another's company without becoming overstimulated and it also gives them the desire to want more interaction. Sure, you might have to deal with a bit more whining from them because they want to play, but remember, you call the shots. Not them. Being very deliberate in the amount of time they have to play together and when they get to play together sets that precedence of you being the person they look to for direction. And with multiple dogs, that's what you want!

Slowly Increase Their Time Together: Over the course of a few days, slowly increase the time they are out together. Remember to end things on a positive note and be on top of their play 100% of the time. Do not allow over-excited play because it can quickly amplify. If one of the dogs is walking away from play, step in and separate. Pay attention and supervise and you can help keep a peaceful multi-dog home.

Monitor Toys and Signals: Make sure to monitor toys. Actually, at the very beginning of interactions, I recommend not having any toys at all for them to play with. Let the dogs learn one another first before introducing things that may be of high value to one or all. Give them the chance to realize one another's signals for play and for agitation. It is also your responsibility to learn these things as well. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Kinda confused about it all still? Read the next section about my personal experience with the Two Week Shutdown and how it helped me.

Direct Experience!

Deja was my first dog. I adopted her in October of 2005. We stayed a single dog home until March of 2007 when I decided I was ready for another one.

We drove out 3 hours to the rescue who had the dog we wanted and brought Deja along for the ride. She was so smitten with him at the meeting and he was just a little in his own world as he'd gotten into a tiff the day before with another dog. Because of the tiff, I left him at the rescue so as not to stress him out. A few days later, they brought him down to me and that was that.

I initially let Cyrus and Deja pretty much have a free for all. I also let Cyrus have the run of the house too and lost some blinds to the experiment. I began crating him after that.

Anywho, I'd say within about 3 days, our first issue arose. Cyrus snapped at Deja over a toy. Poor Deja was SO offended and concerned that for the rest of the night she came and sat down by me. I'd picked up all the toys and began searching the internet for some immediate ideas I could put into play with the situation that was going on.

Something I feel I should let you guys know, I'm a savvy 'net searcher and a frequent forum user. I'd joined Pit Bull Forum a few months prior and went there to explain my issues. This is where Stacie came into play and laid it down for me hard. She point blank told me that I was moving entirely too fast and that I needed to separate the dogs and move very slowly.

Honestly, at the time, none of that made sense to me. Cyrus was such a laid back and chilled out kinda guy that I didn't see why I needed to make those changes. I asked a few more questions and explained the dogs a little more and again was told that none of that mattered, I was moving too fast and that's what the problem was.

I was skeptical at first but you know what? I had nothing to lose by trying it out. Well, except a dog I had just adopted and had started bonding with deeply.

The dogs immediately went on a crate and rotate schedule. What this means is that they did not interact with one another at all and only saw each other in passing as they were being crated and taken out individually. One crate was set up on one side of my bed and the other crate set up on the other side of the bed. I kept them separated like this for about one week. I kept each dog out for an hour at a time when I was home. I also had to work with Cyrus on his "crate issues" because he would scream in his crate. Initially, I'd have to wait an hour after getting home to even remotely venture upstairs to get him to start reinforcing the "I'll let you out when you're quiet" routine. I thank doG Deja was so wonderful during this because she got the "short end of the stick" in waiting while he was worked with.

When we were ready to reintroduce the dogs, we took them outside for a sniff first and then brought them back in to play. We kept both dogs leashed at first and then eventually took them off when letting them play. They got about 10-15 minutes of time together then I stepped in, leashed one and took that one up stairs to be crated for quiet time and to give the other dog some one on one attention.

Over the next couple of weeks, their time out together supervised was extended. It was a slow process that worked. It may have taken time, however, it set the precedence of who was who in the home and what was expected of them. It was at least a month before I reintroduced toys and at the first sign of any attitude, I stepped in and took them all away.

Now, years later, they are out together when I'm home. They can have toys out and play quite well with them. The difference from then to now is remarkable and so worth mentioning. Cyrus took a couple of months of conditioning with the crate but he no longer throws fits and waits quietly for the most part.

Slowing things down and setting a solid routine helped tremendously. It helped him learn who makes the decisions and it helped build the relationship between him and Deja. It helped keep him in his new home as it likely would have gotten out of control if I hadn't been proactive and stepped in.

It may sound like tough work, but it's worth it!

So, What Are You Waiting For?

What else do you have to lose by following these guidelines? What will you lose if you don't? A new family member?

It's worth the work you put in. And it gets easier in the end. Try it. Then come back here and tell us about it.

Feedback is important here and I'd love to make sure you understand the concept of the Two Week Shutdown.

Voice your opinions here!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2009 Alicia Domina

Speak!—Let me know what you think!

Alicia Domina (author) from Charleston, SC on November 05, 2017:

Will you email me please? lpyrbby at gmail dot com


Krista on November 05, 2017:

Is that Bones McGee from Charleston? If it is the same, I was his foster mom around 2007/2008. We tried to home him for a while, but he had a terrible parasite infection. Last i knew he found his forever home so.etime after. He crossed my mind agan. Thank you for your wonderful blog and love for the animals.

K on November 05, 2017:

Is that Bones McGee from Charleston?

Alicia Domina (author) from Charleston, SC on June 17, 2016:

Clare, my apologies! I still need to work on my notification settings for comments!

I hope you've worked things through! In my situation, I had to wait and reward in SMALL increments for any amount of silence. In my situation, the dogs were kept crated in our bedroom upstairs. Cyrus would start screaming when I got home. Sometimes it would take me an HOUR of inching up the stairs each time he took a breath so if he did hear me coming, he'd hear me as he was quiet. Naturally, he'd start squalling again, but I would wait outside the bedroom door for the smallest bit of silence before I'd open the door. It took some time, but his squall sessions got shorter and shorter as he began to understand that I didn't open the door until there was silence.

Good luck and thank you for fostering!

Alicia Domina (author) from Charleston, SC on June 17, 2016:

I realize this comment is from FOREVER ago and I apologize for that! I apparently still didn't check to make sure I was getting notifications on responses. How did things go for you?

It's still a good idea to follow the method and keep them separated. The cats, if interested, will be able to check out the puppy on their own terms. Cats also may not easily come around to dogs. It takes longer, in general. The best advice I can offer is to reward the pup for good, safe behavior and not expect them all to love each other instantly, the cats especially :)

Clare on May 29, 2016:

I want to know about you crate training. You said one of the dogs screamed in the crate. I just got a foster dog and she just screams and screams. I honestly have no idea what to do. It's so loud and she seems like she can go on forever. Please help. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

Nicole Penkalski on May 15, 2015:

What about if you are introducing a puppy to cats

Alicia Domina (author) from Charleston, SC on February 13, 2015:

Amber, I'm SO sorry for just now getting back to you on this! The page moved over to Hub Pages from Squidoo and it looks like the comment notifications are different so I completely missed this.

What did you guys decide to do and how are things going now?

Amber on October 08, 2014:

We are about to rescue a dog this weekend and have an upcoming vacation in 3 weeks. His foster mom has kindly offered to watch him while we're away, but I'm wondering if it might just be better to wait to bring him home until after we get back. I don't want to bounce him around right after his 2 week shutdown process. Would that make the whole process worthless? I've voiced the same concern to the rescue and they're totally ok with us doing this...

Alicia Domina (author) from Charleston, SC on April 16, 2014:

@apeluv: Yes, you can use this with new puppies coming into a home with an existing dog as it is as much for the puppy as it is for your current dog. The puppy will likely acclimate fast, but your older dog needs time to adjust to the change too. Even if the puppy seems to be doing well, make sure your older dog has their space and quiet needs met too. Good luck!

apeluv on April 16, 2014:

Is this only for bringing home a foster dog or for new puppies too? I'm getting a new puppy to bring home that has a 12 year old dog already.

apeluv on April 16, 2014:

Is this only for bringing home an adopted dog or can/should this be used for bringing home a new puppy to an already dog populated home. I'm getting a new puppy and have a 12 year old dog now.

Alicia Domina (author) from Charleston, SC on March 18, 2014:

@SV57921: You have to work with what you have! Have you read up on clicker training yet? If not, look into it and start working on it in small increments to keep thing interesting and fun for your dog. Clicker training may be the one best tool to use in your kind of situation to help encourage your dog to continue to seek information from you in high distraction situations. It's positive training as well and should help you continue building the relationship with your dog without negative impact. Good luck and if you discover some things that helped in your situation, please feel free to come back and share!

Alicia Domina (author) from Charleston, SC on March 18, 2014:

@mrandmrspotato: Love it! Thanks for sharing :)

SV57921 on March 17, 2014:

Thanks for the info! What do you recommend for us city dwellers? Not going on walks is not an option for me. I'd love suggestions on how to provide the exercise with very limited yard space. Thanks!

mrandmrspotato on March 11, 2014:

Nice lens. I could remember back when I first brought my dog in our home. Every thing spelled out as S T R E S S. It was like taking care of a baby! But, since we love him so much, we took in every stress and tiredness. We waited until he came to about 3 years and, we started training him through this trusted site... . It was worth the shot and now, our baby has grown into a full obedient, active and properly-mannered adult. Salute! :)

AnitaJax on January 13, 2014:

Good ideas. Thanks for posting.

Alicia Domina (author) from Charleston, SC on September 18, 2013:

@anonymous: Glad to hear it :)

anonymous on September 18, 2013:

This was very informative. I am happy to read this information and definitely going by these guidelines.

anonymous on July 24, 2013:

@anonymous: Litter mates have a higher tendency to fight with each other than non-litter mates. If they haven't been spayed/neutered yet, that would be my first move. Then I would look for a medical reason by having the vet check them out. If they get a clean bill of health, I would start on the shut down method and remove all triggers such as toys, food left out, beds, etc.

Alicia Domina (author) from Charleston, SC on May 01, 2013:

@anonymous: Thanks for your kind words Sophie :)

Alicia Domina (author) from Charleston, SC on May 01, 2013:

@anonymous: Feel free to share, please! :)

anonymous on May 01, 2013:

Oh my gosh now I'm crying at my desk! Jeez, a little warning next time, huh?!? No kidding, this is amazing. What lucky dogs to have such an intuitive, hard-working owner. Wow. Just.... WOW.

You break my heart with happiness. Thank you.

anonymous on February 02, 2013:

Would love to connect with author of this post, I would like to borrow (and give credit). Where can I contact you by email? Thank you!!

Alicia Domina (author) from Charleston, SC on January 15, 2013:

@anonymous: I'd say that it can't hurt. There are several things you need to consider about your situation though and you may see if a local trainer will come into your home for a visit. There's only so much advice that can be gleaned from the internet when those offering advice haven't seen first hand what is going on or the personal dynamic of your dogs. Is it resource guarding? Are the dogs giving each other "signs" that are instigating fights? Is it barrier aggression? Is it food aggression? Are the dogs fixed or intact? Have they been to the vet recently (could they be hurting)? Is your household more stressful? Any new life changes?

As you can see, there are a bunch of different variables that could lead into dogs getting into spats or knock down drag out fights. Take the time to slow things down, look at every little thing, you call the shots in your home, and if you can't 110% supervise to prevent a spat - separate them. Call in a trainer to give their opinion on what they see and then go from there.

Good luck!

anonymous on January 14, 2013:

Would this work after the dogs have been living together for a number of months? The new dog just recently began exhibiting aggressive behavior towards my two existing dogs (litter mates)

Alicia Domina (author) from Charleston, SC on December 27, 2012:

@anonymous: Thanks!

Alicia Domina (author) from Charleston, SC on December 27, 2012:

@anonymous: I think it would, but really, both dogs will give you signs on how they feel about things. Just remember to pay attention, take it slow, and make experiences as positive as possible. Good luck and high five on the adoption!

anonymous on December 27, 2012:

Just brought home a new dog....a LARGE dog (our former guy is tiny!!)....would this system work in your opinion if I used a gate and kept one dog in the kitchen and rotated their house time? (One in the kitchen while the other is in the house?)...thanks for any imput..I am having a middle of the nite freak out right now about the fact that we just adopted an new dog!

anonymous on December 07, 2012:

I so wish I had seen this sooner! Thank you, the information is invaluable!!!

Alicia Domina (author) from Charleston, SC on September 09, 2012:

@nlynem: Glad to hear that it was helpful! Good luck to you and Ricky :)

nlynem on September 08, 2012:

Our Ricky has been through so much. Thank you your article has been such a help.

anonymous on May 11, 2012:

@lpyrbby: Thank you! I couldn't find any current info on Stacie or the rescue she used to be with, so I will print the link to this post on printed material and a trackback if we post it on our website. I'm soooo glad I found this page!

Alicia Domina (author) from Charleston, SC on May 11, 2012:

@anonymous: Hey there! By all means, reprint! I learned from the method from Stacie Sparks many, many years ago but I'm not sure that she's still affiliated with any group. I received permission from her to do some tweeking with the wording to make things a little bit easier to read for some, although, I don't really need credit for it either. Our goal, 100% has been to keep dogs IN their homes. I think a link back to this page here on any printed material would be sufficient.

Thanks a bunch and good luck!

anonymous on May 10, 2012:

How can I get permission to reprint this? And if permission is granted, who should I give credit to? I am with a No Kill advocacy group in Arizona, and I get a lot of questions from people looking for help so they don't have to return their dogs to the shelter. I would love to be able to give a hard copy of this to someone struggling.

Thank you in advance!

Alicia Domina (author) from Charleston, SC on May 06, 2012:

@anonymous: I'm glad to hear you guys use it! In my time in rescue, the only times we saw problems in the home is when the homes weren't implementing this. It definitely has it's value! Keep up the good work!

anonymous on May 06, 2012:

LOVE THIS! We use this method with our rescue dogs in foster. It seems to work wonders and sets them up to succeed! :) This write up is great with photos and items you can purchase to make the transition period much easier on you and your new dog. Thank you for putting this together!

Sonya Mora CVT


Sunrays Pit Bull Rescue

fshgal96 on April 10, 2012:

@lpyrbby: I shall do just that. Thanks lady!

Alicia Domina (author) from Charleston, SC on April 10, 2012:

@fshgal96: You can always try. I still can't bring a new toy into the mix in my home. It has to be played with, and kinda just "there" before it's something that Cyrus will tend to not be so possessive over. Once the "new" wears off, it's a non-issue.

You might actually want to check out Lots of good extra info there :)

fshgal96 on April 10, 2012:

I just growled at myself because I didn't do this resulting in a no toys household. It just doesn't seem right that they can't have toys. Is it too late to try this? I don't think it would hurt.....

Alicia Domina (author) from Charleston, SC on March 09, 2012:

@anonymous: We all have to start somewhere! If she's the only dog in the home, the rules can be relaxed a bit more in my opinion. Really, I find it's ultimately based on the individual dog. My general opinion with furniture, if she respects it, and you allow her to be on it, there's no harm. However, if she starts guarding the furniture or gets growly about being moved, it's time to work on allowing her privileges again. Usually, that means leashing her again, that way in case she does begin to get possessive, you can use the leash to help guide her back off the furniture more safely. Touching a dog who's warning you with a growl or a snarl could result in a bite. The leash helps prevent this. Also, it's best to reinforce that she "ask" before being allowed up. Insist on her sitting and waiting for approval from you first. As long as she respects your rules and you are consistent with them, things should continue to improve :)

anonymous on March 03, 2012:

I wasn't as smart to research first and I thought having an older dog would be easy!! I feel like I have done a few things right but when we go outside I let her go free anywhere except for the first few days cause I wanted her to come back!! I also put her in the crate but have now only started doing it when we go out!! Is this bad? She does have her own corner when we are home that she can go!! When you mean furniture do you mean all like the bed? I didn't allow her on the couch and now after a week have let her come on the downstairs couch!?

Alicia Domina (author) from Charleston, SC on November 15, 2011:

@anonymous: I'm so glad you're researching before bringing them home! Good luck!

Alicia Domina (author) from Charleston, SC on November 15, 2011:

@BlueStarling: I hope everything works out well for you!

anonymous on November 12, 2011:

Useful stuff. Hoping to get a dog in the new year so hoovering up all the info I can about them before then. Hope mine turn out as gorgeous as yours.

BlueStarling on July 31, 2011:

Sound advice --enjoyed reading about your experience introducing Cyrus and Deja to each other. I admit, I've always done the "bring 'em in, let 'em lose" method, even when meeting the dogs I already had. I only crated when I wasn't home, and stopped crating when my guys were housetrained and beyond the chewing things up stage. I think the dog's individual personality has a lot to do with how they adapt to another dog and new situation. I only have two dogs now, but am probably going to adopt a third -- and I know my large dog is very territorial, unlike others I've had, so yes, I am going to use your advice to introduce and get her used to a new "sibling."

Alicia Domina (author) from Charleston, SC on June 29, 2011:

@JoshK47: Thanks! I'm just so glad it's helping people!

JoshK47 on June 29, 2011:

Fantastic advice listed here - and great pictures of the dogs! Keep up the excellent work. :)

anonymous on June 13, 2010:

This is a wonderful article. I have just bred my dog and will send a copy of this article with each puppy for their new owners.

AppalachianCoun on November 03, 2009:

Fantastic lens. Great tips so the puppy will feel at home. 5 stars*****

alslad on April 16, 2009:

Some great advice - I loved the advice about the 2 week shutdown. I covered a similar topic about introducing a new dog to your family properly in my blog recently, and have now added a link to this lens from the post I wrote.

Well done and welcome to the Gone to The Dogs group!


Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on March 20, 2009:

Welcome to Squidoo. Have you seen our South Carolina Group? There are a good many of us from the Great State of South Carolina on Squidoo. Glad to have you aboard. South Carolina Group

Alicia Domina (author) from Charleston, SC on March 17, 2009:

Thank you both! I really appreciate the