If you've had a rescue dog, how ..

(24 Posts)
Okki Tue 28-May-19 21:43:33

quickly did they settle into your home? What advice would you give to someone eagerly (and nervously) awaiting the arrival of their rescue - 2.5 days to go. He's an 11 month old Jack Russell x all sorts. He's actually from Romania, which we didn't know until we met him but he's gorgeous and friendly and very cuddly.

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AvocadosBeforeMortgages Wed 29-May-19 00:19:06

I acquired my dog via a really weird route - technically I moved into his home not the other way round - so I can't give you a timescale that will have any relevance to you. We've since had a house move together which certainly upset his equilibrium more than my arrival into his life.

What I will say is that it feels like it has been a very gradual process over the last 2 years. There were points where I think I thought he was settled but he's become more settled after that. I'd say he was settled now, but it's hard to say if there's still more to be done.

Has your DDog lived in a home before, or has he just arrived from Romania? Have you got any history on him beyond his birthplace?

Okki Wed 29-May-19 07:57:56

He was rescue off the streets but lived in a foster home with other dogs and children. He wasn't remotely shy when he met us - just came straight up -we went down and he climbed in our legs to say hello. He ran around and played ball with my DC's for ages. He's apparently really clean in his kennel at the rescue too.

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ooohhhhcrap Wed 29-May-19 08:06:36

Just rescued my second greyhound and before these I had rescue collies.

They pace a lot to start with because they are unsure of routine.

We put a bed in a quiet place and encourage them to go to it at busy tunes like when everyone's downstairs moving around etc. We ask visitors to be calm when they come in and around the dog to start aswel so the dog doesn't get skitty.

We have quiet time in the evenings with them where by we end up squashed on the edge of the sofa while the dogs chill grin

Nesssie Wed 29-May-19 10:51:00

All depends on the individual dog. Might settle in within days, might take a few weeks.

Expect toilet training to go downhill, so treat him like a puppy- out int he garden first thing, after meals, regularly etc.

Give him space to explore, settle in, don't try and engage him constantly - he is going to be taking in a lot of stuff. You might find he goes and hides somewhere, or just sits in the corner, all perfectly normal - he has a lot to process.

You may not need to walk him for a few days as the stimulation from a new house and family will be enough.

Set him up a 'base' with a bed/crate, and make sure everyone knows that this is his space. Don't let the children enter that space. Let the dog approach them if he wants. Don't be tempted to try and show him everything - 'look here's your toy' 'look here's the garden' ' come up on the sofa' 'lay in your new bed' etc etc

SuperLoudPoppingAction Wed 29-May-19 10:58:28

www.patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/three-ways-to-confuse-a-new-dog this is short and sweet and talks briefly about the 'three days, three weeks, three months' adoption time line.

I felt the 3 months part went quite quickly with our new rescue perhaps because she's quite young. Maybe 2 months for her.

mrsjoyfulprizeforraffiawork Wed 29-May-19 12:02:20

My (UK) rescue took 2-3 months to stop being hyperanxious to please and fidgety and probably at least a year to really, really settle down and enjoy herself properly. Word of warning, as your rescue is from overseas (I had a Greek dog I adopted in Greece who had been fending for herself before) - most European rescues will have been roaming free/on the streets for sometime before the rescue got them. This is, of course, normal for all European dogs, particularly in rural places. They take a long while to understand that they must not do that now they are in the UK. If it is possible your dog fits this bill, watch him like a hawk and make sure no-one leaves any doors/windows/gates open or he will just slip away in no time at all when you are not looking. They are absolute Houdinis and you may be aware that many Romanian rescue dogs go missing in their first few days/weeks in their new homes- some are still at large even years later as they are very difficult to catch once they've reverted to "feral". My Greek dog was still nipping away very occasionally 9 years after I had brought her to England. She would come home again but, as she was useless with traffic, I had to be really careful she didn't get a chance to go for a dander when she felt like it.


MattMagnolia Wed 29-May-19 20:49:36

Every dog is different and every rescue is a stranger you don’t yet know.
I had one from a reasonable home who took most of a year to settle and bond with us. Another, from a puppy farm, jumped straight into my arms and heart.

follygirl Thu 30-May-19 21:42:41

My rescue made himself at home on the first day! He's also a Rommie. He did need a bit of time with toilet training as he'd never been in a house before but he honestly just slotted straight into being the heart of our family.
I am biased but he is a special dog, one of those, once a lifetime ones.

I employed a dog trainer prior to meeting him and when she met him on the second day she said that she'd never met a dog as chilled as him.

I don't think he has ever been abused so he's not scared of people or dogs but as he was a stray for the first 6 months, we really don't know his story.

Good luck with your dog.

Sweetooth92 Thu 30-May-19 21:49:11

Good luck I hope everything goes well for you! Can’t help but find myself wondering if he will understand the other dogs here, do dogs have different languages like people?
I suppose the same goes for English, would it be like learning a new language for him as well as having a new home.
We’ve had two rescue dalmatians, one settled reasonably within a week or so. But took her about a year to realise she was definitely staying and still ironing our the odd quirk from her having three homes and two foster homes in two years. The other settled within about two days and is more at home than the other who’s been here loads longer!

Okki Thu 30-May-19 22:25:17

Thanks everyone. We are all very excited tonight and nervous too.

@Sweetooth92 - I've been wondering about how many languages they can understand. We're a bilingual home - me English and DH French. We'll soon find out I guess. Dog language is more about body language isn't it?

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Purplecatshopaholic Sun 02-Jun-19 10:40:15

I have a rescue dog from Spain. He took a lot longer to settle than I guess I was expecting - but he was a stray there and god knows what he has been through. But once he realised he had his forever home his personality came out. He is an absolute joy every day. I wish you joy and luck with your wonderful dog

scothols Sun 02-Jun-19 18:35:39

My rescue dog was fine for the first few weeks then once she realised she liked us, got terrible separation anxiety- I couldn't leave her at all for a while. Then started v slowly to build up leaving her again and only after a walk.

Now a year later she barely notices us leaving/arriving. She has sweetest nature and so glad we got her.

joystir59 Sun 02-Jun-19 18:47:14

Our rescue Jack Russell has taken one and a half years to really bond and settle and he still has ongoing issues. He was put up for rehoming twice before- we are his third family, and we have calculated a year for each change in his life, so by the time he's been with us three years by he should be fully settled. However long it takes is fine. The journey with him is an amazing experience but not always easy.

Bigsighall Mon 03-Jun-19 07:02:44

Mine has settled pretty quickly. I think a routine and boundaries are important. Helps them to relax because they don’t have to think. Be consistent with them (the only problem we have is not finding and indestructible enough dog chew yet!)

spiderlight Tue 04-Jun-19 10:46:21

How's it going, @Okki?

Okki Tue 04-Jun-19 14:41:59

@spiderlight thanks for asking. I'm loath to count my chickens before they're hatched - but he's amazing. All I can say is the foster home he was in have done a brilliant job with him. We've had no accidents in the house, it didn't take him long to realise the crate was his bed. He's is so friendly too - brilliant with the DC's. He's definitely more used to women as he's taken a bit longer to warm to DH, but now Ddog has realised what a soft touch DH is they're becoming fast friends. Obviously there's a lot of work to do in terms of training. He's a bit of a jumping star so spend quite a bit of time removing him from tables. Found him sat on my Mother's dressing table looking in the mirror holding a blusher brush in his mouth. Was ever so pleased with himself. grinBut overall, so far so good.

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mrsjoyfulprizeforraffiawork Tue 04-Jun-19 14:43:21

Picture, please OP!

Okki Tue 04-Jun-19 16:34:31

I have many many more grin

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user1471453601 Tue 04-Jun-19 17:01:52

He's gorgeous ☺☺. My rescue took 24 hours before her anxiety panting stopped. It took her about three months to realise she was ok to go upstairs (my house is "access all areas" for our dog. Not everyone's choice, I know) .

No toilet issues, but one year on, some ingrained behaviour. She won't go for a walk unless two of the three of us in the house are with her. She gets v exited about going to the allotment we have,until we try to leash her to get her in the car, when she runs and hides. But she's fine in the car.
we just don't stress about it any more. Don't take her out for her walk if we are on our own, when she hides, we very calmly leash her and she goes out, rail wagging.

To an extent, we follow her lead. It did take me a while to make her understand "No" (accompanied with a flat hand, palm up facing her). But she's got that command now,she was a bit of a thief where food where food was concerned.

fleshmarketclose Tue 04-Jun-19 18:29:09

Bella pretty much made herself at home straight away choosing where she would sit and sleep. Not quite worked out whether she was on her best behaviour initially or has picked up bad habits as she has grown in confidence but she isn't the quiet dog happy with a ten minute stroll who doesn't like other dogs anymore. It's actually nice to see that she has a cheeky personality tbh.

frumpety Tue 04-Jun-19 18:30:43

Mine settled in quite quickly, probably only a few days, but he had come from a foster home( where he had lived with children, dogs, cats, chickens) so swapped one sofa for another. He wasn't phased by living in a home environment and was housetrained.

It took a heck of a lot longer to build up a bond with him though, he was lovely, absolutely no aggression, he just didn't seem that attached to us, greeted anyone who came through the door as the prodigal son, which of course was completely understandable. Six months later and he seemed to click that we were his people smile

spiderlight Tue 04-Jun-19 19:09:26

He is gorgeous !! He sounds like a real character as well. Have fun with him!

Okki Wed 05-Jun-19 19:44:30

Well he rolled in fox poo today. So he had a bath outside (warm water of course grin). He didn't love it but he didn't hate it either. He went to sleep curled up in my arms wrapped in a towel 🥰

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