PO Box 8071•Madeira Beach, FL 33738•727-595-7852

After Adoption

 

When I Get My New Home

  • I've probably not been in a house long and things will be strange. I may be tense, possibly withdrawn. Be sure I "empty before entering." I may be afraid though you may not notice. This is normal. At some point I'll pick a spot and lie down (on an old blanket or whatever). Let me remain quiet unless I come to you. Be patient, gentle; speak soft soothing one-word assurances such as "good", "easy". Speak "no" more strongly for unacceptable behavior.
  • If you do not want me in a certain room use your hand as a traffic cop and say firmly but gently "no", stay that way until I get the message. Repetition and softness are the keys to my learning.
  • I like comfort so start now to block me from the sofa and your bed if you do not want me on them and show me where to lie, on what soft surface.
  • Mirrors, fireplace glass, sliding glass doors reflect my image. This may perplex me –"who is the other dog?". Let me explore.
  • Time my feeding (portion feeding) and remember the hand that trains is the hand that feeds. I will also start bonding at feeding time, even though others may want to share in this at first, it is best for one person to eventually do the feeding. Time my duty trips close to mealtime (usually within one hour).
  • Feed twice a day with high quality dog food. I may startle easily at first – don't sneak up, come from the front. Remember I am not used to sharing my food. Be sure to feed me separate from any other animals.
  • Speak softly. I'll always hear you unless I am asleep.
  • I may be very afraid the first few nights. The sounds, smells, shadows are all new to me. I may fuss. Reassure me with words and your closeness.
  • If you let me into your bedroom, I'll quickly settle down. Your closeness, scent are my security in this bewildering environment. Remember, once you allow this you have committed. Like all learned behavior, this is how I'll respond and what I will expect to be allowed to do.
  • If not allowed in your bedroom, please keep me nearby and develop my confidence with soft words of assurance.
  • At first I may stare ahead and seem unresponsive. Remember, I'm undergoing stress adjustment as you probably are too. Quiet and calm is the way to go. A light and gentle massage all over (paws and all) with soothing words is great for both of us (try not to pat).
  • When it is duty time, let me loose, if this is a safe enclosed area. Otherwise, use an 8-foot leather lead. After I have done my "duty" praise me with "good", and a light pat and "let's go eat". I am beginning to learn to please you and stay with you and know that you will reward me for acceptable behavior.