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First time dog owner!(13 Posts)
So we are bringing home our first family dog this weekend. She is a beautiful black lab cross (the rescue think lab x rottie), but she was a microchip-less stray so they have zero info on her history. She's around 3-4 years old, they think.
My husband grew up with dogs but this will be my first one, I've always had cats. We have a six year old daughter, who has a very sensible head on her shoulders, but is very excited to have a dog.
I feel like I need my hand holding through the next few weeks, and if anyone has good links for doggy must-buys or tips for helping her settle in, I'd really appreciate it.
She's going to be home alone for a couple of hours a day, but I've taken next week off work to be there at first. Obviously won't be taking her far walking at the moment with it being so warm. Will try and take her out early in the morning, and we have a shady garden she can go out in too in the day for brief spells.
I'm so excited and totally petrified at the same time. Saturday can't come quick enough!
What I will say is one week in may be too soon to start leaving her alone. She'll still be settling in and if you take a week off, she'll be used to having you around. I would look into a dog walker or doggy daycare just in case she can't be left.
Hmmm interesting. So should we just go straight into what will be the daily routine? The rescue suggested it would be better to get her settled in with us before we start introducing new strangers like dog walkers into the mix.
Oh bless. She's lovely. One week isn't very long. She needs to get used to the family. The house. The routine. Is she toilet trained and does she have any basic training?
There's a puppy survival thread which may still be of use and a general dog chat thread too.
I'm a first time owner. Luckily I have had lots of support. Good trainers and breed experts.
We brought our rescue dog home on Friday for a foster/adopt trial so know how you feel...excited/terrified!
As a couple of reference sites
- Nutritional rankings of dog food allaboutdogfood.co.uk
- Enrichment ideas www.facebook.com/groups/canineenrichment/
What's on your shopping list? If you tell us what you're thinking of buying, I'm sure people can offer recommendations.
You're both going on a massive learning curve - I grew up with dogs and I went on a massive learning curve when I got one of my own. Partly because things have moved on a lot (it's only been a decade!), partly because my dog has ishoos, and partly because it's different when they're your own!
Once she has settled in a bit, go to some good quality training classes. You'll learn, and it will help you to bond with each other (and hopefully the dog will learn too ). Dog training is totally unregulated and full of absolute cowboys, so look for someone APDT accredited apdt.co.uk/dog-owners/local-dog-trainers/ or the Dog's Trust Dog School classes dogstrustdogschool.org.uk (semi national, not just for their own dogs) or, failing the above two, IMDT www.imdt.uk.com/find-a-qualified-imdt-trainer.html The trainer you select should use methods that are exclusively based around positive reinforcement; run a mile from anyone who talks about pack leadership theory, alpha dogs, punishments, corrections etc.
Ha. We have ishoos too!
And YY to different to growing up with dogs.
Pack theory and dominance are outdated and potentially dangerous.
You know like a new baby and how you a my have too many muslins? Vet fleece. A cheap and washable bed. You'll thank me later!
Be aware that rehomed dogs are often very very well behaved for a week or two... and then suddenly decide to be brats for a bit.
It’s basically them starting to settle in a bit, but, it’s very common.
You might want to consider crate training.
GlitterDog loves hers as it’s her safe place and will often choose to go into her crate for a nap.
She was kennelled before she came to us so is good at being left but the crate gives peace of mind that she isn’t doing anything daft and reassures her that she’s safe when left.
God I'm nervous now. I can't afford to take any extra time off work. I'll be at home more in the school holiday. I think my husband needs to step up too then. He wanted the dog more than me.
And yes, I do want to crate train her.
I don't think a week is long enough to settle a rescue dog I'm afraid. It took our puppy longer than that to truly settle and he'd only lived with the breeder and his mum/littermates before coming to us.
And honestly, I don't want to worry you more but I don't think you can bring a dog into your home, stay with it a week, then start leaving it alone for two hours in a strange environment and expect it to be happy. Can you delay bringing her home until the school holidays if you'll be around more then?
Is she crate trained already? If so leaving her might be easier as you can let her out to the toilet, then leave her crated for a couple of hours and come back. But be prepared for barking and some potential distress/messing at first.
It's going to very much depend on the dog. Unfortunately you aren't going to know how well she takes to you/home/being left until she is with you.
I have only had a puppy and not a rescue but have seen some similarities on here about leaving them etc. I would start to think of backup plans if she is particularly anxious or destructive on being left (someone to call in, dog walker/daycare assuming she is ok with other dogs, safe place where she can't destroy anything or hurt herself, camera which stream to your phone so you can how she is on her own).
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