First 24 hours with a rescue(8 Posts)
I was hoping for some advice on the first 24-48 hours to help settle a rescue dog. We don't know much about her background but we are getting her from reputable rescue that is mentioned on here a bit! (Don't want to out myself too much). Sweet smallish dog, aged somewhere around 3.
Anyway, we are all set up, crate in kitchen, soft bed in lounge. She has not finished her vaccs, so no walks for a bit.
Is there anything important that we should do or not do in the first 24-48 hours. We are getting her tmrw evening, which will work well as DD at school on Friday, so she will have a bit of peace to settle in (I will be home).
She needs training, and we will encourage her to use the garden from the get go, but presume focus on settling her rather than any other training initially?
We have experience of looking after dogs, but not this bit of the process, and although we have read eveything we can, real life tips appreciated!
If it's from the yellow and black place they'll give you a pack of Do's and don'ts. Main one is keep things simple, don't show them round the house until they've settled in - straight to the garden and their bed ONLY. Dont fuss the dog too much
Make sure they understand that you need time away from them - so direct them to their bed at dinner time etc.
I would add that you could drape crate with a blanket so it's nice and dark inside. Perhaps put crate in living room instead if kitchen is going to be "busy". Can also spread newspaper under crate in case of accidents.
Calm DD not too much squealing if possible! Also, many dogs don't like being picked up, hugged or pats on the head so try not to do that until you get to know her a bit better.
Collect her in a harness if possible. Keep on lead in garden at first. So many rescues can slip leads or find tiny gaps in gardens that you didn't know about. Lots of opportunities to poo/pee. Just calm really, you can almost ignore her if she's shy, it will be quite a change for her!
And pics here ASAP good luck
The main thing is not to fuss - no matter how much you want to! Minimal cuddles, stroking, etc and definitely no squealing. Let her make the running in terms of interactions.
YY to making sure her collar, lead/harness are totally secure and make sure she is wearing appropriate tags with your contact numbers.
Drill household members on door/garden security e.g. making sure front door is never left open.
I would also use this time to ensure her insurance is up to date, make sure she is registered with your vet of choice (and book a getting to know you/onceover appointment), review any arrangements needed in the car (e.g. do you need to book in to have dog guard fitted, etc).
Another very useful tip is to take some decent pics of her and get her preloaded on to the DogLost website. The first few days are the most likely time for a new dog to get lost - if her pics and description are preloaded, you can always very quickly set up an alert if she ever goes missing.
Hopefully the foster home or kennel will let you know what food she is currently on and any preferences re toys etc. - with food, try to do a gradual changeover to your preferred diet, but I would always expect a new dog to possibly have some tummy upsets in a new home - this is usual and often down to stress.
When we have new foster/new dog, I always keep a few nice treats about my person and will just call the dog to me and reward with a treat in a very low key manner several times a day. This just keeps reinforcing me as a source of Good Things.
It's too soon yet, but look up training classes nearby - most dogs are settled from about two to three weeks and are ready to go do some. These will be helpful in strengthening your relationship.
In the early days if you are not sure about recall, don't let her off the lead, unless it's safe to do so. There is an excellent FB group for Secure Dog Fields and this lists secure areas you can hire by the hour for safe off lead play - brilliant for when you are still working on recall and getting to know each other.
Thanks its the smaller local place rather than a big one - thanks for all the tips, I will post a pic tonight!
Just keep things very quiet and calm. Talk to them, but don't try and fuss them too much unless they come to you. For letting them into the garden, go out and stand quietly with them. They may not want to eat the first day or so. That's ok. Just carry on putting the food down in the same place at the same time and take it up again after 20 minutes. Make sure there is always access to water. Make sure the crate has a comfy bed, some toys and a blanket over it. The door should be open when the dog isn't in there as it's their space and they should be free to take themselves off there if they want to.
Thanks everyone. So far, so good (will upload pic soon). We did a good job of ignoring her, but she is clearly a very sociable dog and within a couple of hours was bringing us toys and nudging us to play with her!
She clearly likes her food, so that has been ok, and she has also been going to the toilet in the garden, so all good there. She obviously needs training in terms of commands, and not to let go of toys etc. but no major worries there.
She does need a wash, but is still on ABs after her spaying, and needs a flea treatment, so think we will have do flea treatment first and delay washing her till the vet has taken out her stitches and given her the all clear. We are going to brush her today as well in the hope that that helps with the dirt and the whiff
She wiggled out of her (soft crate) this morning but didn't leave the kitchen, so all in all it is going well. She has been in the garden on the lead a lot, and we are now letting her off it as it is incredibly secure. She seems pretty happy running around with her ball.
We got a 6 year old rescue at the end of July - YY to all the excellent advice on here. Just like to add don't let her jump up at you - might be fine on a dry day in the summer, not so funny on a wet, muddy day in winter, and she won't know the difference. Also, I found it useful to say quietly (a la Victoria Stilwell) "Go wee" every time she did wee when we took her in the garden or for a walk and a quiet "Good girl" too. This means that when I take her into the garden last thing at night ( and don't want to wait ages for her to sniff around etc) I tell her to "Go wee" and she does it pretty quickly, and I don't have to worry about accidents or her waking me up in the middle of the night.
Good luck with your gorgeous girl, sounds like she's settling well.
Join the discussion
Please login first.