Help with rehomed dog!(5 Posts)
A short while ago we rehomed a dog that is the same age, sex and breed as our existing dog. She had been returned to her original breeder, we were told it was because of the owner's circumstances. We met this dog, took her for a walk and introduced her to our other pets. Everything seemed to go well! We thought about it really hard, but decided that we really wanted to give her a home and that she'd be a welcome addition to our family.
Now it feels like it's all going wrong! We were told that she had no behavioural issues and that she was good with other dogs, kids etc BUT since we've had her we've not been able to leave her alone for more than a couple of seconds without her barking and wining and pacing - she obviously has serious separation anxiety. She's VERY sweet with us, but is becoming increasingly aggressive towards our existing dog (who does seem to be becoming increasingly passive and a pushover - dropping toys as soon as the new dog even looks at her etc) I spent the first couple of days sat on the sofa with them both and they've been happy to both cuddle with me and sleep next to each other (although not cuddled up together), but now that I'm having to actually DO anything like cook or work (from home) then she gets really agitated and won't settle, sometimes starting fights with our dog. A couple of times today it's almost felt like she's trying to guard me.
I've spoken to a behaviourist and they have told me that I can't leave this new dog alone for weeks and that it'll make it worse if I do. Then we might be able to calm her down, but it's only a maybe and that would take months and months.
I'm so stressed about this. I believe really really strongly that taking on a pet is a huge commitment and one that should be taken extremely seriously. She's also clearly a super sweet dog who, through no fault of her own, has had a really shitty start in life and is now getting messed about even more by having to live in different houses. The problem is that she's really upsetting our original dog and also our cats, who are living on the dining table at the moment because she goes chasing them whenever she sees one. It's also a massive commitment to literally not be able to go out without her for, in all likelihood, several months and I'm also really unsure that I have the skills to deal with her complex needs (especially as I have a health condition that sometimes means that I'm almost bed bound on some days).
I'm SO worried though, that if we send her back to the breeder she'll just end up going to another home and then the same thing will happen again.
What do I do?! She really is lovely and I want to give her a home and am happy to put time and energy into her, but should I do this at the expense of our existing pets and my health?
I feel a huge pull in both ways and just can't work out what to do! I feel like we'd be the shittyist of people if we don't honour our commitment to her, but I honestly don't know if we're able for it.
Please help MN and be kind - I couldn't feel worse than I do!!
Hello, sorry to hear you are having problems with your rehomed dog.
We have two rescue dogs. One was no problem at all. The other one has real issues, but our salvation has been her crate. We were told she was crate trained but initially didn't use it. We experienced her separation anxiety and had many sleepless nights and chewed items. Since starting using the crate she has been a different dog and she seems to take great comfort from being in her own space.
For our rehomed dog we used agility training to gain trust and secure a bond, plus exercise mind and body of dog. At home we restricted her space when we were out with gates and got a crate (I have never shut the front of it but she loves it as I put a blanket over it) so she has a safe space. Outdoor postbox.
Try this first before you think of rehoming.
Thanks for your replies. Things have got even worse this evening and she's now become really very agitated and aggressive towards the cats and dog. I can't work out anything that could have triggered this - it's heartbreaking!
It sounds awful I really feel for you.
I was similar in that we had our first dog who is lovely and our house was peaceful and calm until dog two arrived. Hell broke loose as she is fear aggressive and is obsessed with dog 1 so he gets no time to himself.
It has eased over time and they do get along well now but there were some squabbles in the beginning.
We are very strict with boundaries and worked lots on distressing. We literally spent the first month learning calm, rewarding for relaxing and not doing anything that would stress her (including walks at one point!)
We also crate trained which was a god send when dog1 needed peace and she wouldn't let him.
Has your behaviourst been for a consultation? She should give you a plan to work through week by week or at least all the ones I spoke to and eventually used did?
If it's something that is dangerous to your other pets I would put them first though as awful as it would be.
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