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How can I help our 'foster' dog settle?(2 Posts)
We're looking after a friend's Jack Russell whilst they're abroad, possibly until Christmas. He came to stay with his owner for a couple of nights last week and has been dropped off today. He's not been too bad but he has done 3 wees in the house in the last few hours despite having been let out and being normally house trained. I guess this is due to being out of his comfort zone. Any tips on stopping this and helping him settle?
Firstly, give it time.
Clear up any accidents using pet-specific enzyme cleaner, otherwise the smell will cause the dog to keep weeing in the same spot. Take the dog outside frequently and praise when he goes outside - much like a puppy.
Try to stick to the dog's pre-existing routine (for instance, I always walk my dog in the late afternoon / early evening as that suits my lifestyle). When he stays with my family dog sitter there's no routine and he doesn't know if he's coming or going! A bit of fun is good for bonding - for instance, playing a favourite game (fetch or tug of war, perhaps), rehearsing some basic tricks for food (sit, paw, etc.) and so on. Give the dog space, as he desires; let a dog choose how much contact to have with you. Lots of Jack Russells like to sleep under a blanket or duvet; if the dog is used to it then make one available to the dog.
How does the dog do with fireworks? That could complicate things a bit if the dog struggles. Adaptil is a commonly used calming pheromone that often helps.
Ultimately, time is a great healer - as far as he's concerned, his family have disappeared into thin air (possibly never to be seen again), and he's been left in a house he visited once before.