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i just adopted a one year old lab mix yesterday. he doesn't like toys, fetching, etc.. he only seems to want to play with other dogs or go out alone. he can't play with other dogs yet because i don't know how he'll behave off leash and i don't have any others (he had eight brothers at his last foster home). he can't go out alone yet because i don't know how far he'll go (we live in the country, but only about half a mile from a highway), if he'll comeback, or if he'll chase cars.
he just sleeps and stares out the window. this is his third home in a month. could he be depressed? how long should it take for him to acclimate?
he has no behavioral problems, except while on a leash he will sit down and not move, then lay down. he seems to have no obedience training, doesn't know his name, or maybe he does just ignores everything i say.
Probably a good solid routine would help too so he starts to know what to expect. Might make him feel secure.
Also, it's hard to remember as humans some times what we see as comforting an animal is actually reinforcing the behavior. Like when a dog acts scared so we try to comfort it but we're just encouraging the behavior. Maybe that's something to keep in mind. I know if my dog was acting depressed I'd have a hard time refraining from "comforting" him.
Isn't walking each day supposed to help dogs bond with their owner? If you could get him to walk that might help with bonding. Just some thoughts.
You must give your dog time to adjust to his new surroundings. You can't expect him to do much of anything right now because he has been re-homed too many times. What you CAN do right now is bond with your dog and this is very important. Your dog probably doesn't trust anyone (why should he?) and if you intend to keep him, you need to show him right away that you are the pack leader. This bond is extremely important to start working on as soon as you are done reading this because one of you must assume the pack leader role. If you don't do it, he WILL and this isn't something most dogs want. You are either a leader or a follower. Take your dog on walks even though you say he isn't good on a leash. It doesn't matter at this time because you aren't trying to train him right now, you are trying to establish that bond between you. Let him walk how ever he needs to and don't attempt to leash train him now. That will come later after he learns he can trust you.
As Dachlover said, your dog doesn't need to be comforted. This is the worst thing you can do at this time. Don't feel sorry for him and don't 'baby' him. All these things are human emotions, something dogs don't have nor understand and when a dog is comforted, it makes them more anxious. Dogs don't comfort each other in the pack, they don't feel sorry for each other. This is not to say that dogs don't get depressed or even sad because they do but we as their leaders can't comfort them the way we comfort another human. Too many dog owners believe they can 'fix' their dog's troubles by lavishing human emotions on the dog but it doesn't work that way. The way we can show our dog "love" is by fulfilling our dog with what the DOG needs and not with what WE need. The dog needs to know his 'place' in the pack. He needs to follow a strong leader, to know that leader will always be there to protect him. A dog needs to eat, drink, sleep, hunt and explore and procreate his species and be a part of his pack. The dog's owner will substitute the hunting with walking and exploring part and the choice to allow your dog to procreate is your choice.
Let your dog be a dog and not a person in a dog disguise. Good luck and don't worry.
Last edited by threedognite; 06-14-2007 at 07:07 AM.
Reason: add text
Poor poor dog - it can take rescue dogs anywhere from 3 months to a year to settle in some take even longer. Hes probably feeling confused and scared - he neither knows you or trusts you - trust takes a long time and the last thing he probably wants is to be fussed about with. Give him lots of space keep to a good routine - try not to do too many new things in one day, let him come out of his shell at his own pace. Make your ground rules and keep to them - if you dont want him on the sofa in 6 months dont let him now, that kind of thing, consistent rules and routine will help him to feel more settled.
hi, my puppy would not walk on lead and did exactly the same thing, I put him
on a long lead and let him roam around whilst I walked around the house with him. he did not realise the lead was on him, gradually I shortend the lead still keeping in the garden it took me about three weeks before i could take him for a short walk outside, now he loves nothing more than to see his lead and go for a walk.
I think the problem is he needs to learn he can trust you.