Bringing Home An Adult Dog

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by tigerlily46514, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Rehoming the adult dog.
    If you have adopted an adult dog, kudos to you! :D This adult dog will come to love you more than you love your self, and more than he loves his own life, but it takes a newly rehomed adult dog a lil while to adjust to his new home.
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    Moving to a new home is very overwhelming for most adult dogs. Whether you detect it or not, most newly rehomed adult dogs are overwhelmed with all the new smells, new sounds, new ppl, maybe new housemate dogs or cats, etc.



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    The new dog will be sizing you up, deciding if he is safe, and wondering about the new rules. Many new dogs are subdued, on their very best "company manners" for that first week or two, or even longer for some dogs, and nap a lot. Many newly rehomed dogs may seem depressed or act "old", or withdrawn a bit, others may seem overly-excited/overwhelmed, with much jumping and running around. You actually "meet" your 'real' new dog in a week or two or three.
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    Many newly rehomed adult dogs, will have potty training accidents, even if perfectly potty trained. Do not scold, he's already mortified, just bring him outside and clean area with enzymatic cleaners.
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    To reduce this nervous accidents, it's great idea to take the dog out every 1 or 2 hours first day, last thing at night, first thing early in the morning. Some new dogs even need a night time outing that first day or so.
    Next day, you can cut back to every 2 or 3 hours, slowly reducing the times back.
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    Swap out foods slowly. Even if new dog was on Purina or Science diet or some similarly horrific grocery-store dog food, keep him on it at first, and slowly begin swapping out his new food, a few kibbles at a time. Rapid swap out of dog food can cause problems for many dogs. You can donate rest of the grocery-store dog food to your local dog pound once your dog is completely on quality dog food.
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    There are a few things one can do to help ease the new dog into his new home, and reduce his stress, help him feel secure.
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    Toss treats to new dog. Hand feed treats to new dog, Smear small dab of peanut butter on the back of your hand and have new dog lick it off. Food is very bonding to a dog. Treats, treats, treats. Frequent treats. Rain treats. If you have to, cut his meal size back a lil bit, to allow for treats for first week or so.
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    THE BONDING POWER OF TREATS CAN NOT BE OVEREMPHASIZED.
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    You can ask for or lure dog into a sit for treats in first week.
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    Avoid scolding dog especially that first week or two, yet, do not allow unwanted behavior to become established.
    He's already nervous, whether you can spot it or not. Instead, distract away from unwanted behaviors, and begin positive-only training to show dog what you DO want him to do instead, and reward that.
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    Provide chew items for new dog, like bully sticks and toys. Chewing stuff is great way for dogs to get their tensions out. Encourage and praise new dog when he chews on things you do want him to chew on. Rub peanut butter or Parmesan cheese on these things, to help him get started.
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    Try your best to avoid STARING at new dog. Easy to say, hard to do, but staring, in the dog world, is considered rude and threatening. If you do find yourself staring at new dog, glance away often, and offer slow blinks or yawns, to give calming signals.
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    Actually, slow blinks and yawns and deep slow sighs, are all "calming" signals in the dog's language, he will appreciate the message and he WILL know just what you said. Offer these signals often.
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    Find area where new dog can rest, where no one will hassel him or fawn over him. Maybe a crate with door open, maybe under your table, maybe behind your sofa, somewhere that new dog can retire to, to rest and process all the new info flooding his brain 24/7.
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    If new dog is in his 'safe' zone, make sure all the family knows to let him alone in peace, if he is in his "safe spot". He'll come out when he is up to it.
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    Unlike the puppy rule, of "100 new ppl in 100 days", it is not the same for adult dogs. Sometimes, it's less overwhelming to new dog, if you keep visitors out for first week or two. Just less ppl for new dog to process, as he sorts out his new family. Yes, yes, your friends and relatives will be annoyed, but, it's better for the new dog to just have that first week as peaceful as possible.
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    Avoid super exciting places like petsmart or dog parks for now.
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    If small kids are in the home, protect new dog from having his eyes poked, ears pulled, back ridden on, or trapped in corner by shrieking kids. New dog might not be 'himself' that first week or two. Actually no dog should be asked to tolerate behavior like that anyway. Monitor new dog and child especially during those first weeks, intervening to protect the dog. Do not leave them alone.
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    Prevent new dog from getting lost. YOU know that new dog is now home, but in HIS mind, he is lost. It takes a new adult dog longer to fully bond than just a meal or two. New dog may try to get out to find his "real" home, during those first few weeks. Microchip new dog as soon as possible. Put tags on immediately. Make sure your fence is secure, etc etc. Go out in your yard every time with new dog.
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    Walk new dog often, This relaxes new dog, helps him more fully empty his bladder, and also may help him learn his new neighborhood so in case he does wander off, maybe a better chance he will find his way home.
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    As much as i feel all dogs should be neutered and spayed,
    if possible,
    delay having dog go through surgery until he has got his bearings, before he has to process his new home and trust his new family while he is in pain. If you can postpone that for a month or two, it's better for the dog.
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    There are MANY articles on the web, with great advice on how to help a newly rehomed adult dog transition to his new home as peacefully as possible.
    FEEL FREE TO ADD YOUR TIPS OR IDEAS on how to best help a newly rehomed adult dog settle in nicely.

  2. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

  3. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

  4. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    dawg, i can't find it, but i once read best article, comparing a newly rehomed adult dog entering a new home,
    to one's first day on a job. Wish i could find that one, was so great.
  5. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    i wish i had titledthis "Bringing home an ADULT dog"
    not "adopting", as adopting implies there'd be advice on how to choose one, etc, and this article is just about bringing them home.

    If any mod sees this post, can you change title? thanks, if you can do that! :)
  6. charmedwolf Moderator

    Changed it for you Tigerlily.

    On another note, I remember the night my family took me to get Moose. I had just had to put down 3 dogs within a couple months of each other and I didn't want anything to do with animals anymore. They drove me to Connecticut (We lived in Maine at the time) to go "camping" (...liars :whistle:). Well we ended up at a Bull Mastiff rescue that my mom used to work with. I ended up loving him at first sight.

    He was everything I didn't want in a dog but I loved him anyway. It's hard to imagine that it has been a year since he passed. It was definitely a life changing experience for me.
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  7. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Ah, i remember when that beloved dog of yours died. That was one heckuva sweet dog. wow, it's been a whole year already....

    I also loved Buddy at first sight, too, however, it was not mutual for some time, nope.
    :ROFLMAO:
    Buddy didn't think much of my species at all, nope nope nope. Buddy was one of those 'hot mess' dogs who just sat and glared at us all day, for quite a long time.

    Taking home 'damaged' dogs like Buddy Shawshank, is much more of challenge in many ways. but most dogs in the pounds are perfectly lovely, ready-to-love-someone dogs, so i hope anyone reading this post of mine won't think, "oh no! i don't want a dog like Buddy!" cuz most of them are lovebugs.

    and thank you, Cwolf, for fixing my thread!:)
  8. sara Moderator

    HA damaged dogs are the best! I've never adopted one that wasn't! LOL And they all turn out perfect for me! Odd, that with all of my dogs (including the two that my Mom stole) my sister's 2 dogs, and various fosters... we've never had any fights or issues... really odd considering outside the house, Oliver tries to eat every dog in sight!

    And the last 3 adoptions, and the last 2 fosters have all been "sight unseen" and I STILL haven't had any issues between dogs...

    I wonder how I managed that?
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  9. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    <---high fives Sara in agreement, "damaged dogs" do make most fascinating dogs of all. I've never had a dog as amazing or interesting as Buddy is. But, i readily admit, it can be more of a challenge, and it's not for everyone.

    You know, Sara, is IS amazing, that you have never had a mix up of dogs not getting along with other dogs! I sometimes wonder, which type of dog is more of a challenge, a dog who has primary target of unknown dogs (like my dog) or a dog who has primary target of unknown humans, or dogs who have issues like blindness or deafness or missing one leg, etc. I guess either kind, brings his own special challenges for us to learn from.

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