Your Rescue Dog's First Two Weeks at his Furever Home
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Thread: Your Rescue Dog's First Two Weeks at his Furever Home

  1. #1
    Senior Member Cracker's Avatar
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    Your Rescue Dog's First Two Weeks at his Furever Home

    So, you bring home your dog, carefully chosen. He is now with his furever family...

    What now?

    http://www.nhpbr.org/two_weeks.html

    Your new dog's life has been stressful. Whether he came from a good home that couldn't keep him, was rescued off the street or was seized from a hoarder..time spent in a shelter or being in several foster homes can be a hard thing for most dogs. You want to give him a good and happy life and for many people what that means is trips to Petsmart, the dog park and involvement in family and social events.

    Unfortunately, your new dog may not find those things as fun as you think. It is very important for new adoptive families to understand that their dog has to figure out why he's there, who you are, who the other pets are and whether they are SAFE there.

    Understanding this sets up for a better long term relationship.

    Sometimes there is a "honeymoon" period..what this means is the dog appears very well behaved, calm and quiet. It is very likely that the dog is overwhelmed and possibly shut down emotionally. So don't be surprised if in several weeks to months things change, for better or for worse and be prepared to deal with behavioural changes in advance.

    So some basic rules:

    Do not assume the dog is not "other animal aggressive" or likes or feels safe with children. Management and careful socialization are key.

    Do not assume that your dog will feel safe with men, or all men or men in hats..just because he seems to like your boyfriend/father etc.

    Feed the dog separately from other pets and ensure he is LEFT alone to eat.

    Do not assume that because the dog is following you around that he will not run away if given the chance.

    Do not assume that playtime at the dog park is a good idea for exercise. Playtime in a stressed dog or one who doesn't yet feel safe with YOU is not going to feel safe with a bunch of people and dogs he's not familiar with.

    Find a good trainer or training class that has experience with rescues or insecure/anxious dogs.

    Build a relationship through good treatment..this includes exercise, good food and grooming, good veterinary care, proper training, keeping your dog safe.

    And know that a rescue, even though they can be a lot of work (not unlike ANY dog..lol) will appreciate the love and care and become your heart dog.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by Cracker; 07-15-2011 at 08:22 AM.
    Maggi and Cracker, Dog about Rosedale


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    Senior Member cshellenberger's Avatar
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    Re: Your Rescue Dog's First Two Weeks at his Furever Home

    This is great information and it also applies very much to foster Situations. Thank you Cracker!



    Carla
    "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control" Proverbs 29:11

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    Re: Your Rescue Dog's First Two Weeks at his Furever Home

    Great post and good information. We have a rescue dog that we are having difficulties with. I have a thread under Training titled Encouragement or Sympathy and I wonder if you could read it and give me some pointers?
    Thank you

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    Senior Member crysania's Avatar
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    Re: Your Rescue Dog's First Two Weeks at his Furever Home

    I can't say I actually agree with everything there. Living with a BC mix, not walking her for two weeks would have been a NIGHTMARE. She needed the exercise.

    Not to mention, people who live in an apartment have to take their dogs out for a walk just to pee. No choice there.

    I basically did everything "wrong" according to these folks. In the first four days we had her we: introduced her to my parents, the friends we'd be living upstairs from, brought her to Petsmart, brought her to my workplace, and brought her to the dog park, and took her on extensive (leashed) walks in the woods. We knew she was dog and cat friendly from how she was in her foster home. We knew she loved walks in the woods. We also gave her free run to explore the house and didn't bother with a crate as she was already housetrained. We also began training right away. Why can't training be a positive thing? Maybe the person who wrote the post promotes harsher training methods (and does mention leash corrections I believe).

    So basically, it's not BAD advice but not all of it is good or accurate for every dog. Every dog is an individual and each dog needs to be treated as such. Had my girl come to me fearful and shut down, I wouldn't have brought her so many places. But she came to me super friendly and rather happy. She adjusted quite well to everything we threw at her in the first couple weeks.

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    Senior Member cshellenberger's Avatar
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    Re: Your Rescue Dog's First Two Weeks at his Furever Home

    Nobody here is saying not to take your dog for the neccesary walks, but you don't want to put them in too many 'social' situations until you see how they're going to react in more controlled conditions (no dog parks, day cares, or any other situation where you don't have a first hand eye on them) and you only want short, controlled introductions to those dogs they're going to be around on a daily basis building up gradually to integrate them into the pack.



    Carla
    "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control" Proverbs 29:11

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    Senior Member crysania's Avatar
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    Re: Your Rescue Dog's First Two Weeks at his Furever Home

    The article linked to actually does say no walks at all (except to take the dog to the vet):

    No walks, car rides, pet store excursions, other animals (unless crated next to them) etc. Obviously, trips to the vet are excluded from this. The dog can live for two weeks without going on a walk. Walks provide an over abundance of stimuli and are VERY stressful, especially when the dog still has no reason to trust you.
    I understand the idea of not overwhelming a dog but some of the suggestions seem so extreme. And also don't show much understanding of "each dog is different." I did a lot with my dog when I first got her because I knew a bit about her personality from the rescue and from the transport. She actually went to a pet store during the transport (transport was running early and they had time to kill). She did brilliantly even though she was JUST out of a shelter and still sporting spay stitches. At the foster home she played with 4 other dogs and went on off leash hikes in the woods. So I had a good idea of what kind of dog was coming to me and knew that she wouldn't get as overwhelmed.


    Cracker's ideas are good. It's just the article linked to that I think isn't.
    If you don't know, well, not overwhelming them is good, but keeping them so extremely bored that they're out of control with that boredom seems like a really bad idea. I can't honestly imagine anyone not taking their dog for a walk for 2+ weeks and not allowing it to interact with other pets in the house for that same amount of time.

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    Senior Member Cracker's Avatar
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    Re: Your Rescue Dog's First Two Weeks at his Furever Home

    Like everything else, things must be taken with a grain of salt. All dogs are individuals and all have different histories. The whole point of posting this was simply to get people to THINK about it before they OVERWHELMED their new dogs. The number of dogs that I see as a dogwalker that should NOT be in a park or on a group walk, should not be at a large busy petstore or event and who should not be let free reign in a home due to excessive stress is huge. I specialize in dealing with anxious and fearful/reactive dogs and am very adept at reading dogs, many are not. Putting too much stress on any individual dog can set them up to fail right out of the gate. This is for the both the dog's and the human's benefit to keep it easy for the first couple of weeks or so.

    I certainly don't recommend NO walks or no exercise or no training. If it's done in moderation, keeping the dog's stress level and lack of familiarity with a new environment in mind, it's fine. But unfortunately, most people don't know how to do this.

    I also added much in the original post to clarify some of the article. The point is to get people to THINK before they throw too much at the dog at once. The dog's future and it's new home may be at stake.
    Maggi and Cracker, Dog about Rosedale


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    Senior Member Inga's Avatar
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    Re: Your Rescue Dog's First Two Weeks at his Furever Home

    I agree about the "get people to THINK about it before they OVERWHELMED their new dogs." part the most. It is true that some dogs move into a new situation as though they have always been there. Some dogs have a confident nature and can "move on" quickly from their past while others need a calmer approach. I think that is what is being said here. Judge each dog as an individual but try not to over do it right away in the beginning. I think MOST dogs can use an adjustment period before being thrown out there into the big world with new family they have not yet learned to trust. I think that is excellent advice especially considering how few people can actually read a dogs body language. There are many people out there that think a wagging tail means the dog is happy and friendly and have no clue it can mean nervous tension or anticipation. They don't know lip licking is a signal of stress etc...

    Good post Cracker, I hope that people do indeed think about it when they get a dog. It is human nature to want to "show off" the new addition but it is not always in the best interest of the pet involved. Thanks for posting that.


    “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Gandhi

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    Re: Your Rescue Dog's First Two Weeks at his Furever Home

    Wish I read this two weeks ago! I failed dog safety 101 !!! when I went to put meds in dog's bowl of food ... got bit hard! But we are working with him. He was not fed regularly.. spent his life outside (we live in New England it gets very cold!!).. his teeth are worn down from chewing rocks and sticks.. part of an ear was bitten off.. he has a bite mark under arm/chest area. Poor guy had a rough life.

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    Re: Your Rescue Dog's First Two Weeks at his Furever Home

    Cracker- great post. We just adopted a rescue and she has had it tough. Is doing incredibly well but your post was a reminder to take it easy on her!

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    Re: Your Rescue Dog's First Two Weeks at his Furever Home

    Just aheads up. The original link is broken. Would love to read it if anyone had an updated link!

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    Re: Your Rescue Dog's First Two Weeks at his Furever Home

    Found this post, thanks! Our rescue Asia has been with us 6 days, and it's had its ups and downs. She is very calm and sweet, but is willful and not very obedient. Hubby takes her on a walk every morning, and it's been good for both of them. She doesn't like to be crated, but sometimes she has to be - she will run from me or try to hide under the furniture. Plus she wants to chase the cats, and I'm afraid she's the one going to get hurt! So we are keeping her leash on at all times right now so we have something to grab. She is apparently house trained - thank you whoever did that. We will sign up for training classes for both of us. In the meantime, we have two crates in different parts of the house so she can be with us as much as possible and we can protect her, the cats, and our belongings for the time being.

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    Junior Member Navarresmom's Avatar
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    Re: Your Rescue Dog's First Two Weeks at his Furever Home

    I rescued a six month old great dane that was obviously abused and terribly neglected. I have three other dogs so that was scarey for me in the beginning. We did slowly introduce them and still watch them closely, but they seem to all get along and I see close attachments being created between Jake (great dane) any my baby boy Bubba (chiweenie). They both sleep in my bed actually. We have to pick jake up and help him get on the bed due to deteriation of his muscles in his back end from lack of exercise or poor nutrition (probably both). We are working hard on that. Poor guy. He is such a loving animal, as most danes are. He is afraid of EVERYTHING! No socialization whatsoever.
    He was infested with internal parasites and was extremely bloated and malnourished. I am starting to see the improvements after deworming and having him on a great diet. He used to drink water like it was the last time he would ever have water, that has slowed down a lot. Same with food. I have exact times they are fed, especially Jake. Same times every day. Routine he thrives on. He had never been on a leash and was scared to death of it in the beginning. Now he actually knows the key words to go outside for a very short walk, still scared to take him far since I am unsure of his vaccine history. Plus, he freaks out over cars that pass on my street, or people that may be outside talking or moving around, the trees blowing in the wind, leaves that are traveling down the road by the wind blowing makes him think they are coming after him. He bounces around like a colt bucking and I don't want him to get loose or fear these things as he does. It is anything stimulating that he cowars from.

    It is a slow process but improvements are being seen and he has already stole my heart. I am not new to great danes so I know they are wonderful companions, I just do not understand how you can abuse or neglect any of these animals. Jake is such a lovebug and is willing to do anything to please. The condition he was in is uncalled for and makes me question how breeding any animal can be legal without much thought or care put into it. How careless people can be, or heartless in Jakes case. Makes me mad! Now I am venting and I so appreciate your listening. Jake is where he is supposed to be now and my family loves him. The bonds he is creating with my boys and my husband are developing right before my eyes. It is forever priceless. Anyone who rescues or adopts are angels. These babies need a chance at love and a safe home where they are considered a family member, like my Jake.

    Elizabeth
    Last edited by Navarresmom; 11-25-2012 at 12:00 PM. Reason: spelling
    Spayed and neutered pets stay closer to home, and are therefore less likely to get lost. It reduces the risk of certain cancers and other diseases. MILLIONS of animals each year are senselessly euthanized in shelters, or lose their lives on the streets. By spaying and neutering, you take an active role in being part of the campaign
    NO MORE HOMELESS PETS or USELESS DEATHS.

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    Junior Member Navarresmom's Avatar
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    Re: Your Rescue Dog's First Two Weeks at his Furever Home

    Quote Originally Posted by Val Phipps View Post
    Found this post, thanks! Our rescue Asia has been with us 6 days, and it's had its ups and downs. She is very calm and sweet, but is willful and not very obedient. Hubby takes her on a walk every morning, and it's been good for both of them. She doesn't like to be crated, but sometimes she has to be - she will run from me or try to hide under the furniture. Plus she wants to chase the cats, and I'm afraid she's the one going to get hurt! So we are keeping her leash on at all times right now so we have something to grab. She is apparently house trained - thank you whoever did that. We will sign up for training classes for both of us. In the meantime, we have two crates in different parts of the house so she can be with us as much as possible and we can protect her, the cats, and our belongings for the time being.
    Hi Val, May i ask what breed Asia is? Hang in there, I know your post is a couple months old but I was wondering how Asia is doing now? Hopefully she has calmed down a little and knows her place in your home as part of the pack. Just curious how everything is now. I am new here and saw your post. I understand the stress involved with a rescue or new pet that has no boundries set. But the rewards are great in return. How are you doing?
    Spayed and neutered pets stay closer to home, and are therefore less likely to get lost. It reduces the risk of certain cancers and other diseases. MILLIONS of animals each year are senselessly euthanized in shelters, or lose their lives on the streets. By spaying and neutering, you take an active role in being part of the campaign
    NO MORE HOMELESS PETS or USELESS DEATHS.

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    Re: Your Rescue Dog's First Two Weeks at his Furever Home

    Quote Originally Posted by Navarresmom View Post
    Hi Val, May i ask what breed Asia is? Hang in there, I know your post is a couple months old but I was wondering how Asia is doing now? Hopefully she has calmed down a little and knows her place in your home as part of the pack. Just curious how everything is now. I am new here and saw your post. I understand the stress involved with a rescue or new pet that has no boundries set. But the rewards are great in return. How are you doing?
    Hi, thanks for asking about Asia! She is an animal shelter dog, listed as a "hound mix" - so I don't know her real parentage. Our vet says she is definitely part pointer. There may be lab or pit bull as well.

    She is the smartest dog I've ever had. She has only had one accident in the house, and that's when she first came home from being spayed. None before that and none after that. She sits on command, and she knows to go to her couch if she gets in trouble and I say "couch"!.

    The only real problem we ever had with her was fighting with our min pin - and it wasn't her fault Angus the min pin was very jealous and tried to take all her toys, eat her food, etc. When they would come in from outside he would run to her crate to get her stuff, and she would trap him in there with blood-curdling growls and barking. Enough to make your hair stand on end! But he was never hurt, she basically laid on top of him and yelled at him. So we started letting them out and letting them in one at a time. And everyone ate in their crate, and then I took the bowls out. Just basically training me to handle the situation better.

    Over Thanksgiving Angus the min-pin went to live with my son in Colorado (he actually was his dog), and so now Asia is an only dog. And life is calm. We do have three cats, and at first she wanted to chase them - but she knows they are "mine" and she leaves them alone. Not that I let her have the run of the house without them being put up in the bedroom. Another one of those me being trained situations to keep peace in the house.

    She is very loving and she enjoys nothing more than being on you in some capacity on the couch while you watch TV. She loves to chew on her chew toys, but she never caught on to running after a ball. We throw, she just looks at it like "Huh. Wonder why Mom threw that out there?" Then she walks with me while I go get it. Perhaps with time she'll catch on with the whole chasing the ball thing.

    She's great, life is great. Couldn't ask for more. We will never buy a pedigreed dog again, when there are such great dogs at the animal shelter!

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    Junior Member Navarresmom's Avatar
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    Re: Your Rescue Dog's First Two Weeks at his Furever Home

    well if Asia does have part lab in her, she will fetch soon enough. Maybe not. It is the little dogs that irritate them so. They are so fast and think they are bigger than all the big dogs. I myself have a chihuahua and a chiweenie. My chihuahua is almost 15 years old though so she doesn't give anyone the time of day. She is a veteran to all these puppies and just looks at them in disgust. LOL. My chiweenie is wound up though and he gives Jake a run for his money. He is teaching Jake how to be a puppy, since Bubba (the chiweenie) is just a puppy really himself. Bubba is spoiled beyond any means and he knows it. He has taken Jake by the horns so to speak and has been showing him the ropes. Some good and some not so good. But all good for Jake, learning to be a puppy finally at six months old. Bubba shows no fear, knows no fear so this has been a blessing in Jakes rehab and trust issues. I also have a 4 year old Siberian Husky who will only give Jake a stare or two with her baby blues. Confuses Jake but she teaches him boundries since she is older than both Jake and Bubba. It is cool to watch them all take the pack order, of course I am the leader of the pack and they all just "know it". Jake is learning his order and I am thankful for that after being so worried in the beginning. He is a big puppy of course being a dane. He knows no love or closeness but is remarkably becoming trusting and lets me love on him, even wags his tail now which makes me very happy. Of course, Bubba will be jumping up and down trying to take over the loving. But they have become best buds. I still watch of course. things can happen in a heartbeat. I often wonder if I will ever really relax with them all.

    I agree about all the great dogs in the animal shelters. i also like the idea of acquiring a puppy from a reputable breeder since health and temperment are usually a trait that is bred by a good breeder, and that is important to me as well. Jake has taught me that there are lives in these shelters or in the homes of BYB's that need rescued and saved. it is truley emotionally draining for me. It is so sad and so hard to overcome the abuse fact and it hurts me to see them struggle and they can not talk and tell us what they have survived. Probably a good thing because I may not want to hear what they have actually lived through. I can only assume and that is torture for me. I am going to love Jake and show him a family home atmosphere that hopefully helps the last six months of his short life fade away and in time, he will be who he is supposed to be, himself. That is what I pray for, for Jake.

    Thanks for listening, or reading perhaps. It has been a big deal taking jake in. It has pulled every emotion I have had, some I did not know I had, to bring Jake along. Gaining his trust and teaching him safety and no harm has been the toughest, some take for granted, but Jake has never known obviously. To see things for the first time after living for six months must be overwhelming for this puppy. It is amazing to watch as he trusts in time. His tail wags harder and harder as the days pass. He puts his head in your lap with the confidence he will be kissed and talked to in puppy talk and not be hit or kicked. It is truly inspiring to see them transform. However, the fact remains this puppy would of been a lost puppy more than likely, if my family was not looking for him. We will learn together and through the tremendous people from groups like this one, we will learn others strategies and determination that will only enhance our knowledge as we gain their trust and watch them grow into healthy adult companions and members of our families.

    Thanks for letting me tell Jakes story, even if it is just a little bit of the story. I am his voice and this is just the beginning.

    Elizabeth and Jake
    Spayed and neutered pets stay closer to home, and are therefore less likely to get lost. It reduces the risk of certain cancers and other diseases. MILLIONS of animals each year are senselessly euthanized in shelters, or lose their lives on the streets. By spaying and neutering, you take an active role in being part of the campaign
    NO MORE HOMELESS PETS or USELESS DEATHS.

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    Re: Your Rescue Dog's First Two Weeks at his Furever Home

    I did this. Today and yesterday. Day one I had to take him to the vet because it was an emergency; but today I took him to pet valu thinking he'd like the sites and sounds after being inside a neglected house his whole life. He was terrified. And he's amazing in the house, but when he got home he hid under the bed. I think I'm too worried about trying to socialize him without taking into account that it's only day 2; I tried to bathe him today with no luck and was wondering what I was doing wrong instead of taking his situation into account. He won't even walk into my bathroom; he has a thing with the bathroom but I still tried on the second day because he was dirty.

    I just want to him to be more socialized when we walk, but I know that takes time. I need to constantly remind myself (Hey I'm in training too lol) that he's small and the world is big and scary, and that he gets so much joy from just lying and watching TV with me that I gotta take baby steps. This was a good thread for me this evening.

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    Re: Your Rescue Dog's First Two Weeks at his Furever Home

    Ive had Jack and Jill who are Welsh Mix 11 mos old for 4 days now and they are still afraid of their own shadow. It was suggested they have littermate syndrome which kind of makes sense. They want NOTHING to do with humans. They will not walk on Leash, Come out of crate with my wife and I near, take treats. I'm looking for additional guidance

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