The First Year With a Dog

When a new dog moves in, there is an incredible amount to consider. Here you can find out what is really important in the first year with a new dog.

Whether it’s a puppy, adult dog or senior – every new dog will change your life so far. If you want to create a strong basis for your human-dog relationship, you should use these goals as a guide for the first year with your new pet.

Build up trust

Mutual trust is the be-all and end-all. After the first year together, your dog should know that you are his reference person, whom he can always rely on. For example, many dogs show affection through these gestures:

  • The dog seeks physical contact with its human.
  • The dog maintains intensive eye contact with the human without becoming nervous.
  • The dog seeks out its reference person in dangerous or conflict situations.

But it is also important that you have got to know your dog very well and know that you can trust him.

Create everyday routine

Routine means security for your dog. If he knows the daily routine as well as you do, he feels good. Because then he knows what to expect. You should definitely have achieved this after the first year together.

As soon as your dog feels safe in his environment, you can also dare new walks or trips to unknown places. This is how you ensure variety.

Important vet visits

To keep your dog healthy for as long as possible, you should take him to the vet regularly throughout his life. In the first year in the new home, the dog will have a few visits to the vet – this is especially true for puppies. The following treatments, among others, may be necessary:

  • get the dog chipped
  • vaccinations
  • deworming
  • check-ups

Attend dog school

In the first year with a dog, you should have completed a course at a suitable dog school with all the important basics. A professional dog trainer can help you and your dog fix problems early on.

In the dog school you and your dog get to know each other better and can solve problems together. This creates a strong basis for the human-dog relationship.

Understand each other

After your dog has lived with you for a year, you should know what he’s trying to say with his body language. He should also know what a clear “no” means and understand your body language signals.

Harmonious coexistence can only develop if you understand each other fundamentally.

Know limits

After a year, your dog should know that behavior like biting or jumping up is taboo. You should have shown him what behavior is desirable and what is inappropriate.

In the same way, you should already have found out in the first year what your dog does not like at all. While your dog respects the boundaries you set for them, you should, in turn, consider their needs as well.


After a year, every dog should know the most important basic commands. These include “seat”, “down” or the recall.

It’s okay and completely normal if your dog doesn’t hear right away every now and then. But you should definitely practice these important commands. Because these can make everyday life easier for you and your dog and can be decisive in dangerous situations.

Getting used to roommates

If other family members live with you, your dog should get used to them after the first year. This also applies to other pets. For example, dogs can learn to live with cats in a household.

If peaceful coexistence does not work after the first year, you can ask an animal trainer for professional advice.

This is how it goes

If you have achieved these goals, you and your dog have already achieved a lot. Now you should continue to invest time in training together with your dog because you can still do a lot after the first year to further strengthen the bond with your dog.

You will certainly encounter some hurdles. It is important that you do not give up then, but seek professional advice from a dog trainer. He will certainly be happy to help you and your dog and work together with you on problems.

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