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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just moved into my new house yesterday and spent the night for the first time last night. Alvin was the last thing to arrive, in the late afternoon, because I wanted all his stuff to be in the house before he was, so that it would feel more like home.

He's completely terrified of the place.

He doesn't like the flooring, for one thing. This isn't a total shocker...my parents had wood laminate flooring put in the kitchen and it's slipperier than real hardwood. Alvin had a spill (maybe a couple, while I wasn't there to see) on it that really freaked him out. He has a torn ACL, so his back leg is a little wussy. I think he tends to favor it a bit.

Here's the thing, though, this is real hardwood and it isn't particularly slippery. He just doesn't trust it. I've created a little walkway from the front door to his water bowl using carpet remnants, but it isn't going to be there forever. I do have lots of area rugs, but he's going to have to walk on the hardwood eventually.

The linoleum in the bathroom and kitchen disturbs him even more, which is a serious problem because his dog door is in the kitchen door. I don't really think he'll go to the bathroom in the house...he's pretty bombproof as far as housebreaking goes...but I also don't want him to be holding it in or being uncomfortable because he refuses to walk through the kitchen to get to the dog door.

It isn't just the floors, I don't think. He only has one eye and I suspect he can't see his surroundings as well as he would like. I think familiarity is really comforting to him (as it is to most dogs, of course, but him especially) and he's very nervous about walking into a new room or turning a corner, as though something were going to come after him. He tries to find a rug to lie on, but then he lays there, breathing heavily and fast, and stares at me. If I leave the room for a second, he starts to whimper, but he won't get up and follow me.

Moving out of my parents' house for the first time is already a little nervewracking, but Alvin's obvious anxiety and discomfort just breaks my heart. I feel like he's staring at me because he's waiting for an indication of when we are going home.

I'm sorry this has gotten so long. I'm not sure what to do here. It's only been twelve hours at this point, so there's every possibility that he'll be fine if I give him a couple more days. But I have to be out of the house from 1-5 today because I teach a class Sunday afternoons. I'm worried he'll think I've left him alone forever in this strange house. And how long do I wait? If he's still upset tomorrow night, do I take him back to my parents'? Or do I give it a week? I would be really sad if he weren't living with me...he's my dog! But watching him right now is also making me very sad.

Advice?
 

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I think you need to give Alvin more time to adjust to the new place.

You're there, all his 'stuff' is there I don't think 1 night is cause for panic.

When I moved here the first couple of nights Buck spent pacing and patrolling the house. Don't think he slept at all.

My household goods didn't arrive for a full week after I got here so even though their schedule remained the same, they were pretty tentative about this place.

Give Alvin some time, he's been in one place for a long time, his world has been turned upside down. I think as long as you show him it's ok, he'll be fine.
 

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FilleBelle I know exactly how you feel. Inga was like that when I moved into this house. For weeks she would run to the door every time I moved. She wanted to go home. :( It just takes a little time. Time of you coming and going and always being there together. A few weeks in and she claimed the place as her own. He is probably feeling a little of your anxiety as well. Look around the place.... IT IS YOURS! Be happy and celebrate your new independence. Alvin will hopefully pick up on your happiness. In the meantime maybe increase his exercise to wear him down a little bit. You might want to play some "find it" games. Hiding some of his favorite treats about so that he will have a comforting scent around. Maybe rub his blankets about the house and practice some downs in various places in the house as well to sort of spread his scent about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the tips, Inga, and the reminder to be patient, Reno. We are definitely feeding off of each other, to a certain extent. I'm nervous and a little lonely, so watching him feel that way, too, makes me feel worse...which in turn makes him feel worse, I'm sure!

We took a little walk around the neighborhood. He can't go far these days, because of his knee, but he enjoyed peeing on new bushes. Took me fifteen minutes to get him back in the house, though. I let him roam the yard for a bit while I was doing the dishes (dish, actually, lol) but he didn't want to walk up the front stairs and he didn't want to come in the house. I had to lure him with cheese.

I feel terrible for brining my dog to a house he doesn't even want to go into!
 

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Well if I had one/eye and a torn ACL and I think I'm a little more going for me in the brain dept(not much more)than Alvin, I would be spooked. It's the 1st day of the rest of your's and Alvin's life. He will adjust. When K9 dogs are trained they are introduced to different floors and stairs etc, anything so they are experienced with anything when chasing a bad guy. Alvin probably hasn't had much of that work done to him so be patient all will come to pass.
 

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All I can tell you is remember to not baby him. I know it is hard, but I really do believe if you baby him, his fears will grow. Keep constant and encourage him every time he takes a step in the right direction. Only encourage things you want him to do.

For the first month I was at my parents, Nubs constantly wanted to go home. He just wasn't happy. He's now content now that he relizes this place is pretty darn cool too. As long as I am with him, I think he'll be happy living in a cardboard box.
 

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FB, you're right. You and Alvin are feeding off each other. You need to relax and start enjoying your new home. I think once you do that Alvin might relax more.

I move around alot (got some gypsy in me I think) so Chazz is all too familiar with settling into new places. Buck has moved with me twice so far so it's still a little new for him.

The thing I've found that helps alot is to keep the routine/schedule the same.
If there's a sense of 'sameness' it helps them to settle.

That goes for you too!! :D

ETA: Darkmoon is right. Alvin will be happy as long as you are with him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Called my poor mom in tears when I got home from teaching my class this afternoon. I left Alvin in the house with a bully stick, but he went into the backyard at some point and, I suspect, wouldn't come back in on his own. He knew I was home and clearly wanted to come and greet me, but wouldn't come in any farther than head and shoulders through the dog door. I lured him with some freshly roasted supermarket chicken and he would come in long enough to get it and then immediately turn tail and go back outside. I finally got quick enough to put the security lock on the dog door once when he was fully inside.

Since then I have filled my treat pouch full of tiny chicken pieces and, when I get up and walk around the house, I drop them after me in a little poultry trail. He's pretty okay in the living and dining rooms, which have lots of rugs, but the kitchen/laundry room is a serious trial.

We took a little walk tonight and I got him through the door on the leash without trouble. He wanted to stay on the mat in the laundry room, but I made a chicken trail through the kitchen and he got through to the dining room. I hope that he doesn't become dependant on the chicken and that I'll be able to stop dropping it all over the floor eventually.

My mom likened the situation to a new puppy and how they cry and cry in their crate at night for the first few days...maybe even the first couple weeks! It rips at your heartstrings and you know they aren't enjoying themselves and then, one day, it all clicks into place and everything is better. She thinks it'll be like that...he'll be super weird for a week and then he'll realize it's just hardwood floor and nothing in this house is going to get him.

In the meantime, I'm trying to keep the routine (other than the chicken dropping) predictable. Regular walk times, regular meal times, regular going to and getting up from bed times. The whining is really trying, though. It makes me feel very tense to have him either whining or breathing heavily any moment he is not sleeping.
 

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I want to say "Awww! Poor Alvin!" but I really think that everyone is right and he will settle in his new environment shortly. So much has changed for both of you in such a short time and I know it has to be hard for both of you. Your a teacher, right? So soon you will be off for summer vacation? Keep that in mind and remember that you can use that time to help Alvin along in his adjustment. Just keep your chin up and eventually everything will work out. :)

I'll keep you and Alvin in my thoughts...:)
 
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