HELPING DOGS ADJUST TO A NEW HOME AND CHANGES IN LIFE
Tips for bonding with a new dog. A dog is brought into a home with certain expectations. Some of these are housetraining, basic manners, and a modicum of respect. They aren’t too much to ask for. What happens when the bond doesn’t happen? The training doesn’t click? The dog stares at the owner as if he’s speaking a feline based language. Don’t re-home the dog just yet. There may be more here than meets the eye. Begin at the beginning
Whether the dog came from another home, a ...foster home, the shelter or from his mother’s side, this is a new environment for him. It is full of new voices, smells, sights and some scary things he might not have ever met before. Imagine it from the dog’s perspective. When a dog enters a new home, it’s best to do a leashed walk through, allowing him to sniff and explore in a controlled setting. When the walk through is done, show him where his area is. This could be a crate, a bed with toys or a pile of blankets. He needs a place to go when things get stressful.
While still on the leash, the dog needs to be lead to the door he will be using to go out for bathroom breaks. The same door should be used on a consistent basis. Dogs thrive on continuity and regularity. Take the dog out the door, every couple of hours, or until he gets this is the potty door. If he has a specific potty area outside, this is a good time to teach him that as well. When taking him out the door, lead him to the spot and wait. Once the dog starts doing his business, praise him. This marks the task as a good thing; the dog knows where it is acceptable to go potty.
How many people are in the home? Is everyone involved in training? Is everyone using the same words, phrases and hand signals while training? It is all too common for each family member to come up with their own training language, which completely baffles a dog. A confused dog will appear “stubborn” because he has no idea what is expected of him. Come together as a unit; agree on words, hand signals and times when training will be taking place. In time the dog will begin to understand what is being asked and happily comply.
Consistent exercise like walking, jogging, hiking or even playing fetch in the backyard will strengthen the bond between human and dog. Dogs like spending time with their human; interacting with them is an added bonus. If the dog is willing, try a group training class. The owner may even meet other providers going through a similar struggle. It helps to have a support group of like minded people.
Bringing a new dog into an established pack takes patience, understanding and a sense of humor. Things don’t always go according to plan, but with a little effort things may turn out better than anticipated.
Reducing stress in your dog and how rehoming, new baby, moving, change in your routine causes stress, etc and what to do as pet owners and what not to do...
STRESS AND THE IMPORTANCE OF ROUTINE FOR DOGS
Sensitive by nature, pets, particularly dogs, can absorb the stress and tension around them. Stress in dogs is mainly the product of a change in the environment. Since your dog lives with you, and since your life will certainly not be free of change, she undoubtedly will experience stress sometime in her life.
While occasional stress is not a serious condition, excessive or prolonged stress can produce the same negative effects in dogs as it does in humans. Stress triggers your dog's internal defense mechanisms, making her heart pound and raising her energy level to full throttle so that she uses all her reserve strength just to cope. When those reserves are gone, she'll weaken. Her resistance to illness and disease may lower, and she may get sick.
Canine Stress Reactions What are the signs that your dog is experiencing stress? As in humans, personality is a major factor. More aggressive dogs may take out their stress on you and your home whereas more shy or nervous dogs may turn their stress inward and make themselves sick.
Here are some symptoms of a "stressed out" dog: Accidents. The number one sign of stress is house soiling. Barking. Excessive howling or barking both inside and outside the house can signal anxiety.
Irritability. If your dog begins to display behaviors such as growling, snarling and even biting, she could be a stress sufferer.
Illness. Vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, allergies and skin reactions are some of the ways that dogs internalize their stress.
Destructive behaviors. Your dog may try and relieve her stress by biting, licking or chewing on herself or your furniture.
Coping With Stress If your dog's stress is caused by loneliness, boredom and separation anxiety, the best way to relieve it is to spend more time with her and increase her exercise. Dogs are social creatures and can therefore suffer from loneliness.
Time spent with your beloved dog is a win-win situation, because you will benefit as well. Medical studies are proving that people with pets live happier, healthier and longer lives. When you do spend time with your dog, play ball or Frisbee with her, increase her exercise and take her to the dog-park so she can socialize with other dogs.
An Ounce of Prevention Stop stress before it starts with clear consistent communication and training. Your dog will be happier, more secure and less prone to stress and behavioral problems. Start obedience training as early as possible. Puppies are more receptive to discipline, but older dogs can learn new tricks with consistent and prolonged training.
From the moment you walk through the door with your new dog, establish clear boundaries and set aside a safe environment for her. Here are some guidelines: Give your puppy or dog a crate of her own in which to feel safe.
Set rules to let her learn what is appropriate behavior and what is not.
Establish clear differences between your space and hers.
The worst thing you can do is punish your dog. You will only succeed in making her fear or resent you, and she will become even more stressed. Chances are she will wait until you are not around to act out the bad behaviors that are helping her cope. Fortunately, a dog's easily trainable nature is in your favor. You'll need to provide the three "Cs": control, consistency and companionship - and you'll need to do that as a matter of routine.
Routine - More Than Just the Daily Grind Routine is a key element in developing an obedient, stress-free dog. Your dog needs a structure and framework within which to feel secure and to behave appropriately. Simply knowing when she will be fed, walked and played with on a regular basis can go a long way to making her feel more relaxed and secure. Routine is rooted in regular companionship. Without it she will not adapt well to unavoidable life changes.
Here are some situations that could disrupt your dog's routine and cause her stress: Transport or traveling New home/new owner Dog shows Environmental changes Boredom Your absence New family member or visitor New pet, including new puppy
Here are some ways you can buffer her from stressful situations:
Crate Training. A crate can be a "safe house" for your dog when the world around her is shifting. Any time you travel, move, or leave your dog for short periods, put your dog in her crate with some comfortable bedding, a shirt or towel that has your scent on it, and her favorite toy. Accustom her to her crate slowly and carefully so it becomes a place she can always count on to feel safe in.
Confinement. If you are having a party or holiday gathering, or introducing new family members into the home, confine your dog to one room where she has her bed or crate, so she feels safe rather than feeling that her territory is threatened. Introduce her to new people slowly.
Keep up basic routines. If her stress is caused by moving, before, during, and after your move try and maintain your daily routine with your dog. Make sure she has regular mealtimes and frequent walks and play breaks. You might find that by doing this, instead of slowing down the unpacking, you will feel more refreshed and efficient!
Don't coddle her. If your dog seems nervous and fearful, don't speak to her consolingly - she may interpret this as positive reinforcement for exhibiting her stress.
New baby introduction. If there is a new baby in your home and your dog is at all fearful or aggressive, proceed with caution. Never leave your dog alone with a baby or small child, as neither fully knows how to react to the other. Put your dog on a leash when she first approaches the baby. If she gets excited, correct her, and praise her when she obeys. Be patient. By showing her plenty of love and attention, you will reduce the likelihood of sibling rivalry. Get a check up. If your dog still appears stressed after you have worked with her for a day or two, take her to the vet. In some cases, the stress may have aggravated an illness or caused one or an illness may initiate a stress-type response. Your veterinarian can rule out any physical causes and should be able to offer suggestions on how to help your dog physically as well as behaviorally.
By maintaining the daily routine in your dog's life and keeping her healthy, active, mentally stimulated and well fed, you will go a long way toward preventing or treating any stress she may encounter. Don't you wish it were that simple for you? http://m.petco.com/…/Stress-and-the-Importance-of-Routine-f…