Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What to expect when you bring your adopted dog home.

Adopted boy, Cody the little beagle, resting with adopted Daddy.
While working on my upcoming book, it occurred to me that this would be a good time to write a post to this blog about what to expect when you bring a newly adopted dog home.

The former foster parents at the rescue can provide a wealth of information regarding observed behavior of the adopted dog. The former foster parents can also provide information about the temperament, level of training, housebreaking progress and all sorts of other things.
Adopted Boy Copper takes a break.

However, please remember that moving to your home, regardless of how good a fit the dog is, will be stressful for the dog. This does not mean that the dog is not a good fit for your pack. As I have mentioned many times before,dogs are very much routine oriented animals. They are happiest when on a routine. Moving to a new home severely breaks their routine, even in ideal circumstances. 

The following is a short list of things that can occur due to the break in routine. Most of them will be temporary:

  • Regression in housebreaking
  • Separation Anxiety
  • Timid or Shy Behavior
  • Upset Stomach/ Loose Stool
Regardless of how well the dog is housebroken, it is likely that, at least initially, he/she will have an accident. Do not get upset with the little guy. Simply take him/her outside then clean up the mess.

Adopted boy Trigger relaxes with some of the pack beagles.
In some cases, you may have to start over with the housebreaking. See my earlier blog post on housebreaking for a primer.

Remember, it does not mean that the rescue or the former foster parents lied to you. The regression in housebreaking is likely simply a result of the stress of moving to your home. Please be patient. 

Initially the new guy may be anxious when you leave the house. Separation Anxiety is not uncommon in adopted dogs. Be patient with the new dog. Try leaving for short amounts of time first then lengthen the amount of time you are away. The idea is that the dog will learn that you will not be gone forever when you leave the house. In many cases, the Separation Anxiety is temporary. Sometimes it is not. If it lasts more that a couple of weeks, it needs to be addressed through training. I am writing a section in my new book that is dedicated to separation anxiety and techniques to deal with it. If you need help before the book is released, please contact me at any time and I will be glad to work with you to address your dog's separation anxiety.
Adopted Girl Cuddles gives Daddy a rare kiss.

The dog will likely be shy and a little timid for the first several days. This is just a little anxiety about his new environment. It will get better! This is the reason that I always suggest that you not bring new people around for the first two or three weeks after adoption. The idea is to make the transition to your home as stress free as possible for the adopted dog. 

Due to the stress, it is also not uncommon for the new dog to experience a little stomach distress initially. This usually does not last for more than a a day or two. To make this less stressful for your adopted dog, find out what type of food he was being fed at the foster home and feed this food if possible.
Our former foster girl Penny the tiny beagle on
the day she was adopted.

Adopting a dog is a wonderful thing. It saves a dog's life! However, you have a responsibility to make the transition as easy as possible for your new adopted dog. It is not rocket science. But, remember, it may not be trouble free either. The dog is more than worth the initial inconvenience that you may experience!

In closing, please remember that you have not bought a pair of shoes here. Even if the rescue has a trial period, it is your responsibility to do everything that you can do to make the adoption work. Any dog is going to require some effort on your part. This is true with adopted dogs or with dogs from breeders. There will be an adjustment period. It is well worth the effort!

Till next time


William Moore Canine Training

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