Bringing a rescue dog home. - tips please

(7 Posts)
hillyhilly Sat 03-Sep-16 21:06:10

Eek, we might have found the dog for us, we have a home check tomorrow and then they offer a weeks "foster with a view to adopt" ie trial.
He is a 13 month bedlington greyhound, has come in with his brother having been brought in from a home with too many other dogs I think. We've walked him and he seems lovely, lively, alert, friendly, not scared, gentle on the lead, interested (very interested!) in balls.
I don't know if he's crate trained - we'd like him to be, would it be more complicated than with a pup? I also worry that he might get separation anxiety at being separated from his brother (sorry but we don't want two dogs and his brother is not cat tolerant).
I know that we and kids 9&12 will have to take it very calmly and steadily but can any one else offer my top tips? Should I sleep in the room with him in the crate first nights? I'll try not to leave him much at all and then gradually increase time spent in different part of house whilst listening and then by going out for short periods, anything else?
I'm so excited, can't quite trust that it could happensmile

Puzzledconfusedandbewildered Sat 03-Sep-16 21:45:36

Where are you getting him from? Do they have a behaviourist you can chat to and ask all the questions you have bubbling away in you and sort a training programme out?

Does he travel in cars well?
Does he like water?
He's a sight hound so what's his prey drive like? Does he need muzzling on walks due to it?

Yukduck Sat 03-Sep-16 22:43:37

Hi. We took on a 4yr old rescue Border Collie a few years ago. My advice to you is ......

Find a quiet place in an easily accessible spot to put the dog bed/crate so the dog can go to it and not be disturbed. He needs to know he has a safe place to relax (when visitors arrive or you have workmen in). This could be his bed at night too so train him to go there when you feel he needs it and give him some nice chews/toys in his bed. We cleared out our understairs cupboard and put a stair gate across which we only closed at night. It was a big space so he had plenty of room and water and a comfy bed, toys and blankets.

Find out what food the rescue/foster/previous owner used and carry on with this type of food to avoid tummy upsets when you bring the dog home caused by a change in diet.

Walk your dog often and regularly in the first few weeks so he bonds with you and gets to suss out the local area. He will map the local routes in his head and it will help him settle in if he knows there is a daily walk or two. We found this relaxed our collie (and got me fit too!). Your dog may like training classes, not just for the training aspect but to help the bonding and trust process too. I did two classes with my collie and found all the dog owners and trainer to be really lovely.

Don't have too much going on for the first week or so. No children's loud parties or loud visitors. Your dog needs to be stress free and get to know the routine in your home. I would not leave the dog alone until he has settled in and knows you are (for the most part) around. If you do have to go out, send the dog to his bed with a chew and just walk out like it is the most natural thing in the world.

Feed regularly and in the same place each day. The dog needs to know he will be fed. I personally would not encourage begging for scraps. Our dog now knows to go quietly to his bed when we eat and he knows this is more likely to bring a tasty bit of chicken or cheese to him than begging at the dinner table!

It is an amazing thing to rescue a dog. Probably harder than a puppy as habits are already formed. But you will be rewarded with the most loving and loyal dog ever. Our collie has been with us 4 years now and I could not find a more loving dog. I think rescue dogs try harder (depending on the breed) and the breed you have chosen is gentle and intelligent and your children are the right age to enjoy, play with, train and also respect the dog. Good luck. I hope it all goes well.

mollie123 Sun 04-Sep-16 05:59:05

my rescue suffered from separation anxiety (even if I was out for a short while) so I conditioned him to accept I would come back and he was quite safe by leaving him for ever increasing periods of time - starting with 10 minutes and increasing. Another trick I used was to always leave by a differant door if we were going for a walk or if I was going out alone - seemed to work.
I did get a large crate for him with his bed in and an old blanket over which I would persuade him to go in but leave the door open. He felt secure there and eventually I could dispense with the crate after a few months.
Just what worked for me - others will have differant strategies.
Good luck - pointy hounds are the best.grin

Yukduck Sun 04-Sep-16 10:31:38

Mollie123 good advice there about leaving the house without pain (or destruction!).
Our rescue collie had no training at all (hence two beginner's classes locally which he absolutely loved). He was not even house trained and had not seen stairs (he was terrified of stairs for about a year), not chipped or neutered either. It was a long haul and we learned a lot and nearly gave him back to the rescue several times when he pulled my wrist out of joint as he was so strong on the lead (not lead trained either!). We found out later he was an ex-stud dog from a puppy farm, so excellent with other dogs, fearful of people (he cowered a lot in the early days) and was terrified of clanging metal gates and trailers and most traffic as he had probably not seen much traffic on a stud farm.
It has taken several years but he now sleeps peacefully by the side of my husband's bed every night (promotion now he is a good boy!), is spotless in the home, plays (he did not play for a long time), is so good with our new kitten and 3yo granddaughter and has such good manners. Most importantly he trusts us to look after him, rather than being a collie who was gentle but trusted no one.
The daily walking, safe space, own toys/chews, regular meals, training classes all helped this to happen.
I am not sure we could do it again at our age but it was worth it. We can take him anywhere now and he has a bit of a fan club on our daily walks.

LlamaDrama Sun 04-Sep-16 10:37:13

I think know of the most important things is to keep everything calm and don't let there be excitement until her understands that calm is the usual way of life. When you get home in the car, don't get him out until he is calm, don't walk through the front door until he is calm etc etc. Show him that you expect his default attitude to be calm.

Good luck and have fun!

WasWildatHeart Sun 04-Sep-16 10:59:46

My advice is to give it time. Time for you all to get to know each other and to settle into being a new unit. Also, don't underestimate the impact on your family of accommodating a dog into your daily life - I and my DSIS both went through a period of thinking we had made a big mistake when our dogs arrived! Now couldn't imagine being without DDog and the joy she brings to the whole family. Good luck!

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