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Need some help and advice with new rescue dog.(13 Posts)
I posted on here about adopting a young JRT/dachshund cross a couple of weeks back, he was far too energetic and demanding for us and so we looked at an older Staffie cross instead. We collected Keira from a distant well respected rescue place on Sunday. She is 10, and I suspect the other part of her make up is sighthound. when we met her I noticed how very thin she is, ribs showing and her backbone very prominent. She weighs 16kg. She had been in kennels since march and her profile pictures show her as quite cuddly and well covered. The first couple of days she was clean in the house but yesterday she had a wee in the hall and last night had 2 poos in the kitchen and a lot of wee. She doesn't seem to ask to be let out, although we have shown her the back door and she is happy to go out into the back garden. She has 2 or 3 walks a day. At home she is very good natured, loves cuddles and generally respectful.
We went to the vet's yesterday evening and I was a bit upset that our usual vet has left the practice. the vet I did see wanted to look in her ear but she snapped at him when he tried to put the instrument into it, which he took as a sign she was very stressed. He was also very concerned about her weight and asked me to feed her well for a fortnight and take her back, saying that she needed to muscle up around her back end. is there anyone who can suggest what we do about the house training side of things.? We are feeding her the Nature Diet food which she had in rescue ( semi wet, in tetrapacks) and I had intended to add and move onto the James Wellbeloved senior turkey as this suited our last dog very well. She is not left alone for more than a couple of hours, and the breaches of house training have happened when we have been at home, not out.
I would revert back to puppy training, take her out every hour and praise/treat when she toilets outside.
She does sound stressed. Make sure she has a safe place, lots of blankets and pillows to lay on and that you let her come to you. Carry high value treats all the time so that you can treat her when she approaches for affection.
I read something about rescue dogs the other day and how it could take up to three months for them to start to relax. Our staffy girl is the best and I hope yours starts to relax soon.
I should also say our staff doesn't ask to go out vocally, so if you're used to a bark to toilet you might be surprised. We get pacing and a nose pressed against the back door, which is helpful if you're in another room. You just need to be a bit more alert.
Do you know if the DDog has lived in a home before, or was house trained? You probably need to treat DDog like a puppy when it comes to house training - regular trips out, praise, and using a pet specific enzyme cleaner for any accidents. Even if DDog was previously house trained, it may be that 9 months in kennels mean it's been forgotten and refresher training is in order!
DDog may eat less due to the stress of the move, but follow the vet's advice and feed well; hopefully there's nothing underlying. I wouldn't worry about the dog snapping at the vet - lots of perfectly nice dogs have been known to snap at vets that are poking things into their body for reasons they don't understand! It's the one time my dog has to be muzzled.
Go easy on yourselves and the dog- it's very early days for you all. You need to go back to puppy training techniques for the toiletting. Lots of praise and rewards when she goes outside.
Lots of games for her to build up trust in you will be good too. Maybe 3 walks are too much for the moment- swap 1 out for training games at home.
Some dogs just don't like vets. It could be also that her ears are sore so she is reacting to that. The vet can muzzle so she is safe.
Best of luck op and well done for getting a rescue.
Sounds like she is stressed and anxious and that can cause them to wee and poo in the house regardless of whether you’re home or not.
You only got her Sunday so she needs to settle in and I would be prepared for more accidents whilst she is settling down.
The only thing I can suggest is taking her for more regular toilet breaks until she learns to go to the back door to be let out. Do treat rewards, take her outside and when she wees or poos out there make a fuss of her and reward with a treat and obviously don’t reprimand (I’m not saying you do tell her off) her for doing accidents in the house.
Did they give you any idea of her background?
I have a staffie and she is super sensitive so anyone showing any stress in the house can cause her to eliminate inside sadly. Some of her earlier experiences in her life have led her to be like this.
Also I recommend Adaptil, that may work to calm her stress.
Sadly we know very little about her previous life, she was put in boarding kennels and then not collected, she has a very sweet nature, likes cuddles, leaning in and tummy rubs. I'm sure she has lived in a house before as she had a good explore then settled on the sofa when she arrived, she is reported by the rescue as having behaved well on short foster breaks.
I know Staffies can be very sensitive, our last one got really upset if there were any loud voices in the house.
Yes, maybe we are expecting too much to start with.
@ Astrabees yes my Staffie also gets upset by loud voices, any thumps and bangs (even if its the neighbours) and it’s taken her a while to understand that ‘excited’ loud voices are nothing to fear. I had a rather annoyed phone call with a nuisance cold caller the other day and my tone of voice obviously changed and consequently the dog pooped on the floor. It’s very sad.
Anyway, your dog sounds lovely and I agree with a previous poster, it will take a few months for her to settle and relax. Hopefully reward retraining will help. So sad how she was just left in boarding kennels. She probably doesn’t know whether she’s coming or going. So nice of you to take her on.
I have a rescue staffie cross, she was 4 and a half when I adopted her. She was very wound up and stressed and definitely on her best guest behaviour when I brought her home (trying to please and unrelaxed) . I think it took 2-3 months for her to relax enough to stop worrying about things and to start to bring out her own personality. Don't rush yours, let her be peaceful and approach you when she wants to. Better if you can keep a quiet home for the next few weeks so it becomes her haven from life - she's obviously had a miserable time to date. You've only had yours a few days so give her lots of time. Mine was fit but thinner than I thought she should be when I brought her home (tiny waist and breast bone prominent) - I had been told she was very stressed in kennels at the rescue place and they'd had to send her home at night with a member of staff every night to give her a respite, so I assume she was pacing about and not eating enough there. Also, I thought she was not as muscly as my previous Staffie had been and this did not look right (she had been in the rescue for 3-4 months so fairly inactive). Once she settled in and went for walks with me 3 times a day, she started to put on a bit of weight and also her muscles developed and now she looks what I consider "normal" for a staffie-type dog. My friends went on remarking at how much more confident she was every time they saw her for up to the end of the first year. She definitely would have snapped at the vet (and, indeed, cannot even now be trusted entirely - I always warn the vet and suggest they might like to muzzle her though normally they manage without). She also turned out to be frightened of children so I have to make sure none come close to her or she will snap out of fear (clearly abused by children when homeless). Apart from these fear situations, which are avoidable now I know about them, she is very sweet and friendly.
Re food - mine turned out to have the runs quite a lot despite being fed 70% meat content wet food (as advised by rescue vets). My own vet suggested it might be one of the types of meat contained in the wet food that she was allergic to. I changed her to James Wellbeloved grain free dry food and grain free wet food pouches and she has had no more trouble and is slightly happier (if that is possible).
We have moved back to the wet food in tetrapacks and it seems to be much better now. I've checked the amount needed per kilo of weight and have upped her rations a bit. No poo in the kitchen this morning. She also actually asked ( although in a subtle way) to go out last night, so some progress there. It is almost amusing to discover little glimpses that must reflect on her old life. I ran a bath for her but she really dug her heels in when I tried to get her in the bathroom, so gave her a sort of doggie stripwash with wet flannels which she really enjoyed.
We went on a long walk yesterday and came across some belted galloway cattle, she was on lead but went up to one of them and leaned into his hairy leg and licked his face, she looked very blissed out. Also much better with other dogs than I expected, especially a labrador puppy that bounded over from nowhere and stuck his nose up her bum - no reaction at all. We are planning a very quiet Christmas anyway, so it will be good for her with us both being at home for a week. Thank you for all the advice, feeling much more confident now.
This is lovely news. I hope you're very happy together.
I've just found this thread and am so pleased your dog is settling.
My last rescue, a little lurcher, didn't really let me know when she needed out, but with a good routine that wasn't a problem.
She pooed overnight sometimes, and but when I changed her food for another reason it stopped. The previous one had been a bit rich for her.
They often 'shut down' psychologically in rescue and with all the changes, so don't be surprised if she goes through a naughtier phase in a few weeks as she relaxes!
It's great that she likes other dogs. My latest dog doesn't like other dogs too close, so we have to be careful where we walk, which is a bit limiting but easily coped with, and hiring a secure field regularly has helped enormously.
I hope you continue to see progress. She sounds lovely.
Thank you for you lovely comments. She is incredibly lively for her age, especially on her morning walk. We have also discovered she will lie down and roll over on command, would love to know who taught her this. Despite the continuing odd bit of clearing up in the mornings we are very happy with her. i'm thinking of crate training as 11pm to 5am should be OK.