Other Dog Stuff
Bringing Home A Last Chance dog home
First things first - CONGRATULATIONS!!! We at Last Chance are all so happy that you chose to help a one of our rescue dogs.
Rescue dogs have often found themselves looking for new homes through no fault of their own. Family break-ups, death of previous owner, or lack of training in their former home are common causes. The last thing they need is to go into another home that has no understanding of them, yet wants them to understand our human world.
Before you pick up your new rescue dog.
The staff at our rescue will tell you all about the dog, including veterinary information if applicable, assessments and current eating, sleeping and activity routines so that his transition into your home can be made as easy as possible. We recommend that you find out all you can about his routine, and keep to it as much as you can. Work out your house rules and decide what is required with all the members of the family. Who will walk the dog first thing in the morning? Who will feed him at night? Will your rescued dog be allowed on the couch or bed? Where will he sleep at night?
Ensure that you have supplies (collar, ID tag, lead, food, bowls,toys and bedding) for your dog, most of these items can be purchased from the Centre.
We suggest that you arrange the arrival of your new dog to coincide with a time when you can be home for a few days, but still keep to a routine that you wish to follow. Start early on to leave your dog for short periods, returning within a few minutes at first and then lengthening the time gradually so as not to cause him distress at eventually being left alone for an hour or so, as he will soon realise that you will be coming back very soon.
Last Chance insists that you go to training classes or Puppy socialising classes. Don't ignore this very important step. It is vital in helping your dog to become a well adjusted dog. Last Chance requires any new potential owner of a dog, especially a pup to finding a training class or trainer. There are many positive dog training classes that teach dog manners, canine to canine body language and discipline. Please allow a week or so of ‘settling in’ to allow your new dog some time to adjust to you and your home before putting him into the stimulating environment of a training class.
Some of you ask about changing the dog's name. Mostly the dogs are given their names at the Rescue, this is because they come in to us with just a number. Therefore it will not be familiar to the dog and they will soon adapt to your chosen name.
However some of our long timers will probably be used to the name given by us, but you could change it if you prefer. It is sometimes possible to have a new name that sounds familiar to the existing i.e. Hoppy - Poppie
When you arrive home...
Things to expect
You should expect your new dog to act differently than how he did when you met him at Last Chance. He will be excited, nervous and maybe tired after the trip to your house. He doesn't know the smells, the sounds, and importantly, the routines and rules of your house. This is very confusing and stressful time for your rescue dog.
Dogs display anxiety and nervousness by either panting, pacing, lack of eye contact, "not listening," toilet accidents, excessive chewing, gastric upset (vomiting, diarrhoea, loose stools), crying, whining, jumpiness and barking. How can we over come these? Reduce the "noise & confusion in his head" and get him to relax, to be calm and show him how to be good. Despite your joy at adopting one of our rescue dogs, you should be calm and gentle and firm. Talk to him in a calm, low voice as you travel home - avoid playing the car radio and having too many people with you when you pick him up.
All rescue dogs go through a "honeymoon period." After the first day or so, the dog may be very quiet "good." The "real" dog appears four to six weeks later - after he's mostly figured out the house rules, the schedule of the days, and the characters of his new family. At this time, he'll start testing out his position in the pack, and may "regress" to puppyhood behaviours and "bad" behaviour. Be patient with him praise him for appropriate behaviour - especially when he is lying quietly and behaving himself. Do not praise him without a reason constantly, this will only confuse your dog and in time he will not respond.
Things to Do:
PUT YOUR DOG ON A LEAD TO INTRODUCE HIM TO YOUR HOME!
When you first bring your new dog home, make sure you have him on a lead! Spend the first 15-30 minutes walking him outside around your house and garden. Walk slowly and let him sniff and pause if he wants to. He is getting used to all the smells. Your dog may relieve himself; this is their way of making themselves at home by adding their mark to the smells of your home, and now their new home. Obviously you would want this to happen outside! The excitement of the move and new family will cause them to relieve themselves more often than normal. You must be prepared to give them plenty of opportunities to do this in the beginning by taking them to your garden.
Let your new dog explore the house, making sure he is supervised AT ALL TIMES.
PROVIDE QUIET TIME!
Quiet time will be important for your new dog in the first week, because of his nervousness and anxiety. Even though you are excited about having a dog, try not inviting friends and relatives over to visit him. Give him time to get used to your immediate family and resident pets only. Again, do not bath your dog within in days of having him; this is a very stressful thing for your new dog.
FEED YOUR NEW DOG!
Feed your new dog twice a day; try to keep as near to the time that Last Chance feeds them. This can be changed, but slowly day by day, until the time is convenient to you. By changing both the time and type of food too quickly could cause upset stomachs and lead to diarrhoea.
If you have other dogs, feed your new dog away from them but at the same time. You can feed in the same room, but use opposite corners. You may want to arrange having another adult in the room for the first week of feedings to monitor the "pack behaviour." Watch that each dog sticks to his own bowl.
SAFE AREA FOR YOUR DOG!
Every dog needs a place to escape to, a place to call his own, away from children or other pets. Try to ensure you provide him with a safe haven somewhere in the room. . We suggest using baby gates in the kitchen or hallway. Remember, you may really want to keep your dog on easy cleanup flooring at first, for example the kitchen area. Where ever you decide, make sure your dog will not be isolated away from your family or other pets. The more he can hear and see the family and other pets the better.
BE PATIENT DURING THE HONEYMOON PERIOD!
There is a good chance that your dog will be insecure and will follow you everywhere! This will include when you are in the bathroom, watching TV, even wanting to sleep with you when it is bed time. It is not unusual for him to whine or cry or bark if confined away from you at night, lights out at a new strange place is a stressful thing for him. Perhaps leave a light on, or the radio low, wrap a warm hot water bottle in a familiar smelling blanket, and even a ticking clock wrapped and placed in the bed may help, especially pups as it sounds like mums heart beat.
ESTABLISH A ROUTINE!
Try and have a daily routine for feeding, exercising, and time to go for he’s toilets. Dogs are creatures of habit and routine gives them security. If you do the same things in the same way and in the same order, he will settle in more quickly and learn what is expected of him and when.
SOCIALISE YOUR DOG
Our rescue dogs come from many different backgrounds, but all dogs can do with more socialisation. After your dog has time to settle in your home and is starting to look to you with confidence (2-3 weeks), start providing new socialisation opportunities.
Now you can start inviting your friends and relatives over. Be sure to tell your visitors that your dog is new from a Rescue so they need to be more sensitive and careful. Start taking your dog new places, parks, shops, but most importantly to training classes! It is Last Chances Policy that all puppies attend training classes this will be checked by our staff and home checkers. The opportunity will allow you to determine how your dog responds to strange people, dogs and places.
LOVE AND ENJOY YOUR NEW DOG!!
Most of all, be prepared to give and receive more love, affection and loyalty than you ever thought possible! Enjoy your rescue dog for many years to come and thanks again for choosing Last Chance Animal Rescue.