Bringing home a new shelter or rescue dog can be a stressful time for both you and your new canine friend. Those first weeks are such a critical time and can make or break any adoption.
Living in a kennel surrounded by other kennels with unfamiliar dogs, smells and noises is confusing for even the most happy of dogs. Can you imagine being taken from your home and left in an unfamiliar place with people talking to you that you don’t understand? Add in the fact that tons of new people are walking by you looking at you from behind a kennel door every day. It’s very traumatic, disorienting and emotionally distressing.
After all of this newness and then finally learning how to deal with the craziness of shelter life, you all of a sudden get put into a new home! Once again it’s an entirely new place with all new surroundings. Talk about culture shock!
Whenever you adopt, remember this word: DECOMPRESSION!
Dogs need time, patience, love and understanding to learn how to get back to a non-stressful life. Once they get into a new home, a dog should be given plenty of guidance, love, exercise and a place to get away for quiet time if they should choose to do so. Giving a dog a treat when they go into their own personal area can make them feel safe and comfortable.
Before you bring your new dog home, figure out where he will sleep, where food and water will be kept and where his crate or quiet area will be. Once you know exactly how you want your house set up, it will make the transition much easier. Establishing boundaries right away will give your dog a sense of confidence in knowing where he can and can’t go. If you allow your dog(s) free roam of the house, please consider not doing this right when you take your new friend home. Going from a kennel environment to a large area can be daunting, even for outgoing dogs.
Expect accidents from your new friend. This doesn’t mean they aren’t potty-trained or can’t learn quickly. It just means they don’t understand what you want from them right away, they are anxious or perhaps do need some training. Many dogs will have some accidents those first few weeks while becoming adjusted to their new home. Remember that they were likely on a different schedule in their former home and at the shelter. It will take time for them to learn what your schedule is.
We love all of our dogs and thank you very much for adopting or considering adoption. We truly want all of our adoptions to succeed and for you and your new dog to have many happy years together. If you ever have questions or concerns after adoption, please contact us so we can give ideas or advice.