Dog Behaviors after Moving

dog-behaviors-after-moving

Common Dog Behaviors after Moving

Dogs are creatures of habit, and nothing shakes up that, like moving to a new home. Moving can have some negative effects on the behavior of your dog since his happiness relies on a consistent lifestyle. Your dog might not appreciate your fancy new home right away, but making the move as less painful as possible for your dog will help keep his anxiety and stress to a minimum. Here are some causes of dog behavioral changes after moving, and how you can avoid or at least reduce the undesirable dog behaviors after moving.

5 Causes of Negative Dog Behaviors after Moving

1. Confusion: Moving to a new place can freak your dog out. Suddenly, everything from his normal environment, including the warm carpet underneath his feet and his comfortable spot near the heater, are all gone. In order to make this change smoother, bring with you his old stuff, such as beds and toys. If at all possible, put some of these things in the new home before getting there, so that they will be waiting for him when he reaches. This will make the new place seem much more like a home to your dog, and prevent any dog behavior change after moving.

2. Fear of the unknown: After the move, your dog will find himself spending all his time in an odd, new place and he does not know what to expect anymore. Serious dog behavioral changes after a move, such as separation anxiety may result from this, since your dog may be feeling uncomfortable staying in the new place all alone.

3. Environmental perplexity: Your dog may get confused or feel uneasy in a new neighborhood. Since dogs have a very sensitive sense of smell, he’ll start picking up some new scents. He’ll also start noticing some dogs he doesn’t quite recognize walking on the street, and everything in the neighborhood would seem strange. All this confusion is what contributes to the behavioral changes in dogs after moving to a new place. To ease this pain, take your dog to your new neighborhood for a walk before you finally move. Just familiarizing himself with the area can make him feel much less intimidated after the move. However, you can only do this if you live near your new neighborhood.

4. Presence of new pets: In case you’re moving to a house with other pets, adjusting to this kind of life can make your dog feel defenseless. He is accustomed to a particular routine, and he might not be able to open up to the idea of sharing you with another pet. To reduce negative dog behaviors after moving, like fighting and territorial disputes, introduce your dog to the pet a couple of times in a neutral place, such as a park. This way, when they are finally room-mates they won’t be complete strangers.

5. Presence of new people: In case you and your pet dog are moving in with another person, then adjusting to this can also trigger some odd behaviors in your dog. The dog is used to being with just you and the other person may seem like a stranger unless you take time to make him accept the person as a member of the family.


In some cases, moving to a new place does not have much effect on a dog’s behavior. Dogs often thrive on predictability and consistency, and even though the environment might enchant some dogs, they generally don’t respond negatively to moving provided that their routine, as well as their social groups, is constant. This actually means that if you and your dog are not living with new people or a new pet, and if you maintain the same routine as before the move, your dog is highly likely to adjust to the change effortlessly, and you won’t notice any dog behavior change after the move.

Dr. Winnie
About Dr. Winnie 1229 Articles
My name is Dr. Winnie. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Duke University, a Masters of Science in Biology from St Georges University, and graduated from the University of Pretoria Veterinary School in South Africa. I have been an animal lover and owners all my life having owned a Rottweiler named Duke, a Pekingese named Athena and now a Bull Mastiff named George, also known as big G! I'm also an amateur equestrian and love working with horses. I'm a full-time Veterinarian in South Africa specializing in internal medicine for large breed dogs. I enjoy spending time with my husband, 2 kids and Big G in my free time. Author and Contribturor at SeniorTailWaggers, A Love of Rottweilers, DogsCatsPets and TheDogsBone

1 Comment

  1. Good day, since relocating to a new town and having larger grounds we have found that one of the two dogs (brothers) has changed his behaviour pattern to being secluded at night. Previously to our move they did live inside the house all the time but since we have larger grounds and they are both larger dogs, we have bought kennels. The one dog, Kelly, has adjusted very well and seems content to go sleep in his kennel at night. The other, Sadsack, is beginning to now dig under the patio structure for sleeping areas and often looking for him, will find him there. He is fairly large dog, part Alsation, and often has to crawl out with difficulty. I have to continuously call to get him to come to me, yet when he is with me he is very playful. What can I do to change this please?

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