In conjunction with the Tour de Rescue which is being run over 4 days in the North, we are pleased to share with you some tips and help for your newly rescued dog.
You have brought home your new rescue dog and it is so tempting to get it out and meet everyone. Whoa – stop there. Why is that important? Many of our newly rescued dogs have had a hard time and so moving into what you hope is their new home, is no different from being wrenched from their first home and being placed into a kennel – with all that entails. So, you have just got used to that routine – there are four square walls, regular food and even the smells are the same each day. The barking never stops and gradually your new dog got used to this. And now, you have taken that all away and given what you hope is a wonderful home to this precious dog who needs to be rescued.
Congratulations and well done, to rescue is a wonderful thing to do and I have found it to be very rewarding. But, and it’s a big But………………. Your new dog doesn’t understand what you have planned. Suddenly, everything has changed – even the food and the taste of the water may have been altered. It may be easier if there is another dog to follow, but not always. SO how can you help your new dog settle.
1. Be relaxed, keep your dog in one or two rooms only and the garden for at least two weeks. They do not need to have full run of your house – it will be bewildering for them. Teach your dog where to rest and relax. I use a crate which becomes their den and it is place of safety and all things good. I feed my newly rescued dog there. His bed is in the crate and no one is allowed into it (especially children). It helps with house training too.
2. Maybe keep a house line on your dog – Barney was so scared of all people that if I hadn’t got a line on him, I would not have been able to control his gentle exposure to safe people and experiences.
3. Play with your new dog by using a toy which you can take out with you as well – this would probably not be large toy such as a football, but maybe a toy on a rope which can magically appear from your pocket when you are walking – find out more at https://tourderescue.com/ and claim the free book as a perfect companion for your first few weeks.
4. When the fortnight has passed, it is time to take your new rescue out, consider hiring a secure field and walking there. Keep a line on, so if you want to practice recalls, you have a chance of getting your dog back. Find your local field here: https://www.dogwalkingfields.co.uk/
5. Gradually expose your dog to new things and noises over the first fortnight.
6. Use Pet Remedy in the rooms and car you have your new dog in https://www.petremedy.co.uk/
7. Keep control of your dog on a lead as you get friends and family to visit. Supervise children and other dogs and pets and avoid an overwhelming situation.
8. Gradually introduce a new food to your dog – don’t just swop over unless you really have no choice. Not sure what to feed, then ask for advice – it is a mine-field but you can get good advice from trainers, groomers or your Veterinary nurse – take a look at www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk which scores all dog foods and is good place to start.
9. Keep on lead for at least a fortnight when out in the park – walk with friends and their dogs and keep all the dogs under the same control
10.Spend a lot of time teaching your dog to relax. We can always “wind” a dog up, but to getting them to relax and rest is more important. They need to rest to absorb what they have learnt. If they are in a crate, they are safe as well and can see what is going on without getting into trouble. If you don’t want to use a crate, then get them to rest in their bed – locate it against a wall where they are not in a high traffic area.
11.Gently groom your new dog and introduce handling skills. Your dog will need to go to the Vets for check ups and may have to be groomed, depending on the breed. So, get them used it at home, slowly in a calm environment. Need help? Ask for it – everyone wants you to succeed.
12.Sign up for some dog training lessons – training builds bonds and learning skills. Check out our training packages here: https://www.thewalkaboutway.co.uk/dog-training