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So we are moving to a new, bigger house (can't wait, awesome neighborhood, big yard, more room, just want to go for endless WALKS!) very soon. Otis knows something is up with all of the boxes, etc. He's also visited the empty new place a few times, though we've only allowed him to explore the two rooms downstairs that he will primarily be allowed to roam freely. Any tips to make the move smoother and as stress-free for him as possible? Both on the actual day- crate to car to walk to house?- and as we settle in? Any advice greatly appreciated, both for him and us!
 

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Congrats on your new house, that sounds awesome and I'm sure once you get settled in Otis will love it too.

The only advice I can really offer is to keep as much the same as possible (keep his food the same,bedding) and try not to move in and then leave the house for an 8-10 hour time span. Do it gradually if possible so he knows you are coming back to him and dont leave him in the dark.

I'm sure others might have some more suggestions ... hope moving goes smoothly ... it's never fun but the end result is so worth it!
 

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Since you haven't moved yet, here's a few things I've found that help the dogs settle in smoothly. (I've moved about 12 times with my dogs. These help a lot).

1. If you can, drive the dog to your new neighborhood and take him for a walk around the neighborhood (even just around the block if that's all you have time for) before you have to deal with the hassle of movers, boxes and stuff. This way, when the chaos starts, the dogs recognize that he's been there before. And if he slips out of the front door or open gate, he'll know how to get back.

2. Walk him through the house on a leash(before the movers and boxes start arriving), so they know the layout of the house. Walk him in and around the front and back yard too. I cheerfully narrate the tour of the house and yard like I'm a tourguide, which they seem to enjoy.

3. Put down his beds/crates in a safe corner where he won't get in the way or get trampled. Even if you end up moving the beds to a better spot later. Make sure it's a place where he can watch the action without getting in the way.

3. Show him where you're putting down his food and water bowls (toy basket, etc), preferably near his bed, even if you end up moving them later.

4. Give him toys, a bone or treats to snack on. Sit on his bed for a few minutes while they settle in. Then let him hang out while you get busy.

5. Check in and say hi every once in a while. If he start wandering around, if he's not getting underfoot, fine. If he are, lead his back to his beds and crate him.

6. Try to stick to your usual routines as much as possible. Which, of course, is nearly impossible when you're moving, I know...

7. If you can avoid leaving him home alone the first day or so, that's really helpful. Let him ride back and forth to the old place, to run errands with you, etc, so he knows that things are weird, but his life isn't changing that much (eg, you're not abandoning him) no matter what.

8. Within the first few days, if you can possibly find the time to take him on walks around the neighborhood, giving him time to sniff and check out the "neighbors" and the sniffing spots, that will help him settle in to his new area, and just as importantly, help him learn the neighborhood if he ever gets out, so he can find his way home. If you can take him to the local park within a few days of moving there, that will give him a new exciting destination that will again help him settle in to the neighborhood.

Congratulations on your new home!

PS Have you already ordered new tags with your new address and phone # for his collars? Also, contact Avid or whoever has your microchip and let them know you have a new address, phone, etc.
 

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I totally agree with ALL of 3K9Mom's suggestions. I had moved 7 times with my dog and on each ocassion, I tried to make it as stress free for him as possible. I was lucky enough two times that I could leave him with my folks, who he adored, while I actually moved but the other times he had to deal with the actual move. I think by the 4th move, he was used to the process and slept through most of it after given the chance to check out the movers and deeming them trustworthy.

Like 3K9Mom suggested, I highly recommend getting tags with your new address/phone number prior to moving and if he has a microchip to get that address/phone number updated too!

Enjoy the new home!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the useful tips guys, I had totally forgotten to update the address for his tags although at least the phone numbers will remain the same. The neighborhood is semi familiar to him as my father lives across the street so he has visited and walked around several times- I swear he knows the ride every time we go! Do you think it would be a good idea to leave him over with my dad for babysitting on the actual moving day? I know I think of him as my teeny little puppy, but most strangers tend to see the 90 pound reality and freak out.
 

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Leaving him with Dad is a great idea. He'll have a whole day with "Grandad" (who will spoil him with attention and fun) and when you're done being overwhelmed and stressed
you can select where you want his bed, toys, food bowl, water bowls, etc to go. Then pick him up ready for a nice evening walk.

Then bring him home and give him a tour again (a furnished house looks and smells different), and a bit of play time. Depending on the size of your house (and what time you get done with the movers), I'd stick to only the front yard, front rooms and whatever room his bed will be in. Happy and calm. Not too much for the first evening.

*Don't forget to stick to your usual routines!*

He'll recognize all the stuff from your old house, but wonder, 'what the Heck?' So keep it simple. He can tour the rest of the house and back yard the next morning when both of you are brighter and fresher. More surprises! How fun!

Again, congrats. Very happy for you both! That bigger yard is going to be great fun!
 

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DH and I just moved into our new home in December and it was our first move with Molly. I would agree that it would be great to leave him with your dad during the hustle and bustle of moving day. We kept Molly at my Mother-in-law's house on moving day and then brought her to the house that nice when it was just us at the house an not all our friends who helped us move. We let Molly explore the house a couple of times before we moved in so when the house was offically ours we did a tour with Molly and let her explore the entire house with us right there with her. We also took the entire week off work the week after we moved to settle in and I think having us there with Molly in the house for that week really helped. She transitioned very nicely with no major problems. She did bark a little the first night getting use to some new noises in the house, but that was only the first night.

Congrats on the new house and I'm sure everything will work out great!
 
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