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After You Adopt

Congratulations! You and your new boxer are off on a greate adventure!

The information found on this page will be helpful in getting you and your new boxer settled in your lives together. Click one of the links to the left to see more information.


The Do's and Don'ts for Newly Adopted Boxers

A new home can be both exciting and stressful for a Newly Rescued Boxer. Don't forget many of these beautiful dogs have been neglected or abused, and have been moved around from various homes, shelters, and kennels. During the first few weeks your Boxer does not know if your home is permanent or if he can trust you and your family. You have to earn each other's trust.

Below is a list of "Do's and Don’ts" that will help eliminate stress for both you and your New Boxer during the first few weeks, making for an easier, more enjoyable, transition period.
It is suggested that you review this list with your family upon getting a new foster and again when the adopting family comes to pick up their new dog.

Don't Do in the First Few Weeks

  1. Do not sneak up from behind, or approach at a quick pace - let the dog come to you, call his name and praise him when he approaches you.
  2. Do Not Crowd - do not get in the dogs face, or bend down to have him/her kiss you. Let him get to know you first, there is plenty of time in the future for boxer kisses and hugs.
  3. Do not let your Boxer on your Bed or Couch - A boxer is comfortable with knowing its boundaries, he must be told simply "off". If you allow him on all furniture initially, he will believe that he controls the house and some can become bossy and dominant.
  4. Never Grab or Push - If the dog does something wrong use verbal commands in a stern voice, like "off", or "down". Praise immediately when he/she listens¦. "Good Boy or Girl". Keep a leash on the dog and move him with the leash do not grab at his or her collar.
  5. Unless necessary try to avoid vet visits for the first few weeks - this is just another added layer of stress for your new dog. Your rescue contact should be able to provide you with vet records that can hold you over until the dog is settled.
  6. Same as above for Bathing , Grooming or Training

Should Do in the First Few Weeks

  1. Do watch the doors (Front, Back and Garages) - this is a new home, even though your existing dog or previous dog, knew not to run out, this dog will not. Alert all family members and friends to be aware of this and make your boxer sit first then put on a lead before opening any doors.
  2. Do Keep Your Home Quiet - avoid having company until your Boxer is settled into his new home.
  3. Do Buy a Dog Bed - show your boxer he now has a warm, safe place of his own. This can be put in the dogs’ crate – teach children that the dog is to be left alone when he or she is in their quiet spot.
  4. Do Praise and Talk to your Boxer in a Happy Voice - Boxers love attention and positive verbal communication will expedite their comfort level in their new home.
  5. Do put your Boxer on a Schedule - Consistency makes a dog feel secure and relaxed, put your dog on a regular feeding and pooping schedule. Stick to the schedule!
  6. Do Supervise around Children and other Dogs - Remember these are new acquaintances, even if your Boxer is kid and dog friendly.

If your New Boxer is an Addition to Your Existing Canine Family

  1. Praise Existing Dog/Dogs - just as much as New Boxer
  2. Feed Separately - until you are sure neither one is territorial about food.
  3. Leash Walk Together - with a friend or family member, so the dogs get to know each other in a calm controlled environment.
  4. If you notice any toy aggression or jealousy, put all toys away until the dogs are better acquainted.
  5. Make Sure Each Dog has its Own Bed - teach and reinforce "place" with a treat on their respective beds.
  6. Baby gates work wonders, and dogs should be kept separately and gradually introduced during SUPERVISED periods.

First created by: Ellen Hoelzel of Delaware Valley Boxer Rescue, a Member Northeastern Boxer Rescue, New Jersey

Edited by Katie Morrissey, BAR Director of Foster Homes

The PETCO Adoption Gift Book Program

PETCO's Adoption Gift Book Program was created to lend a helping hand to consumers who have just saved a pet's life by giving a homeless pet a home. Free Adoption Gift Booklets are available if you've adopted a dog or cat from any animal welfare organization. Your PETCO Gift Booklet includes up to $130 in savings on items especially chosen for your new pet, including free food.

To receive your Adoption Gift Booklet, present your adoption papers at any PETCO store. If you adopt your pet directly from an agency conducting adoptions at one of our stores, you'll get your book on the spot!

If for any reason the store you visit is temporarily out of booklets, they will be happy to take down your name and notify you when the booklets are available for pickup. Furthermore, if you are experiencing any difficulties in receiving one of these valuable booklets from your local PETCO store, please contact our customer service line at (800) 571-2952.

PETCO also provides local adoption agencies with flyers that explain this program. If the agency you've adopted your new pet from does not have these flyers, please send an e-mail to, and we'll be sure to contact them about this free program.

* The Adoption Gift Booklet is exclusive at PETCO stores only, and booklet coupons cannot be redeemed online.

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