Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Welcoming an adopted dog into your pack
I thought it may be a good occasion to write a blog entry about welcoming an adopted guy or girl to your pack.
If this is your first dog it is important that you dog-proof your home. Take a look at my blog entry about dog-proofing for more information.
Remember to be patient. This can be a stressful time for the dog. If he is a housebroken adult, it is possible that due to the stress he may have accidents. Make sure to take him out very quickly after you get him home so that he knows where he should go. If you need to reinforce or teach housebreaking take a look at my blog entry on housebreaking.
If you have other dogs in your pack, slowly introduce the new guy or girl. Make sure he is not trapped in a corner. If you pick a dog with similar temperament to your existing pack members this transition will be much easier.
If possible, find out what sort of food the dog was eating at the shelter. To eliminate the possibility of an upset stomach, get a bag of the food that he is on. If you want to transition him to a new food, mix his current food with the new food. For more information on Dog Food, take a look at my blog posts on Nutrition and Corn.
It is not uncommon for adopted dogs to experience separation anxiety. I encourage you to be prepared for this possibility. If you see that the new guy or girl is being destructive when you leave him at home, consider leaving something to occupy his time. A great idea is to buy a Kong toy and fill it with peanut butter and crushed treats. If you freeze this it will work even better. He will spend a lot of time trying to get the peanut butter and treats out of the toy and this will occupy his mind. You may also consider leaving a TV or Radio on so that he hears the voices this may soothe him. See also my blog posting on Dogs and TV.
It is very important that the dog get plenty of exercise. I recommend walking him on the leash at least once a day. If the weather is rainy, take a look at my blog posting about places to walk your dog when it is raining for ideas about dry places to walk when it is raining.
I strongly recommend that you make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible. Even if the dog is healthy, you need to make sure his shots are current and that you start heart worm preventive and flea and tick preventive as soon as possible. I would also have the vet do a wellness check examination just to verify there are no health issues.
If your dog is not micro-chipped I strongly recommend that you have this done. This is particularly important for sent hounds (beagles, bassets, bloodhounds, etc.) because they are ruled by their noses and will get lost on the trail of something interesting. It is important for any breed ! It is important because the microchip will identify the dog even if he loses his collar. The microchips can be read at veterinarian offices and shelters. I will write a post soon that will go into detail about microchips
I also recommend that you get an engraved name tag for his collar. This way he is very easily identifiable if lost.
The Lovely Shane and I wanted to make sure Cody was clean before we brought him into the dog trainer shack with the rest of the pack. We stopped by Petco in Peachtree City and used the self-service bath. This is really nice because it is set-up for dogs and you don't have a mess to clean up when you are finished. We think it is well worth the $10.00. I also had Whitney ,in the grooming salon, clip Cody's nails while we were there. The nails had grown to a very long length. Nail trimming is a very important part of grooming. I will write a blog entry later that explains this in more detail. But, I strongly suggest that you maintain the nails.
Just so that you know I practice what I preach (so to speak) I am taking Cody to the veterinarian in the morning.
You should start training as soon as possible. This will ensure that your new little guy or girl is polite and well behaved. Contact me at any time and I will be glad to discuss training options with you!
Till Next Time
William Moore Canine Training