The first few days with a rescue dog - tips?

(11 Posts)
Lefkosia Tue 18-Feb-20 10:47:34

We will shortly be getting our first dog of our own, a small mixed breed bitch coming from abroad. Shes less than a year old, never lived in a home. Itll be the first dog we have owned ourselves but me and my partner grew up with dogs and I was very involved with training the family dogs. We have thought very hard about where to get our dog from, checked out the UK rescue centres, and we are comfortable with our decision to get one from abroad.

My question is when we bring her home, what are the things we should and shouldn't do? We have a crate for her, I'm into clicker training so I'm planning to try to get her used to the crate. Shes used to being kennelled with another dog and she will be on her own here although we do have a cat who isnt keen on dogs although the dog has been cat tested.

I have read about the 3-3-3 thing and seen that you should keep a house line on them for the first couple of days. We arent planning on having visitors so she shouldn't be overwhelmed - what else should we be thinking about?

OP’s posts: |
jinxpixie Tue 18-Feb-20 12:56:54

Just let her chill. Go slowly -let her get used to one room at a time.

It does depend on the dog but I would not fuss her,wait for her to come to you , have loads of lovely treats.

Dont use the clicker for a while, go gently with the crate just go at her pace.

House noises could be a worry (depends on the dog) so no hoovering, have the door shut when the washing machine is on etc

Just be observant to her reaction. Being hyper active and also shut down are both signs of stress.

mrsjoyfulprizeforraffiawork Tue 18-Feb-20 15:01:58

As has been said, let her relax and get used to things. Don't invite loads of people round to meet her. Give her space as she may find too much attention stressful. She might not like sudden loud noises as she will be rather stressed at first. I am sure you will be very careful with her but some people don't seem to realise a loud voice is scary for a scared dog. As she is from abroad, be aware that she may well slip out through any slightly open door or window and then she will be very difficult to retrieve (if you do accidentally lose her, post her information on - free of charge - immediately). Also, not sure whether you have any children but wait until you know how she is with children before you let her be approached by any. I have the nicest rescue dog in the world but due to her past, she is really fearful of children and will snarl at them if they get too close to her as she is sure they want to hurt her (this has got better and she can now walk past them peacefully though I always have her on the lead in case they suddenly make a move to approach/stroke her). I did not know this until she had already come to live with me - presume she had not been child tested at the rescue (I don't think they can do this). Your rescue dog may have other, different fears that you will only discover as you get to know her. My dog took several months to really relax and at least a year to become completely herself.

QueenOfOversharing Tue 18-Feb-20 15:06:16

Lots of treats for short training or just picking up good behaviour.
Adaptil plug in
T-shirt smelling of you in her crate.
Be careful with feeding meals until you know how she is around food.
Loads of on-lead sniff walks near your home.
Kong & look up recipes to fill it.

lilgreen Tue 18-Feb-20 15:10:05

Got our rescue 4 years ago. We were first timers too. At first she wouldn’t cross the threshold on her own, then would only go in the garden and kitchen. After 3 days she braved the living room. We just stayed calm and consistent, lots of short walks as she wasn’t 100% house trained. Her poo was a bit runny for a week or two. Possibly food change though we bought what the rescue centre gave her or possibly just nerves. Advise taking a bottle of water on walks to wash away as tricky to pick up!! She is an absolute diamond though, very gentle and loving. Good luck.

lilgreen Tue 18-Feb-20 15:14:24

Ours was around 2yrs old. We didn’t use a crate, we put her bed in the utility room overnight. No problems with that luckily.

lilgreen Tue 18-Feb-20 15:15:45

Sorry I keep remembering things. When we went out we kept it short and left the radio on , still do that now.


QueenOfOversharing Tue 18-Feb-20 15:16:09

We will need pics & updates. I don't make the rules.

I have 2 rescues - staffy Cross I got at 8 weeks (almost 12 now) and beagle I got at 4 (almost 7 now). Life changing.

Lefkosia Tue 18-Feb-20 22:36:53

Ah thanks all, loads of advice I hadnt thought of. We live in a fairly small two bedroom house so there isnt anywhere handy to shut her away so the crate is necessary. We eventually want her to sleep upstairs i will probably sleep downstairs on the sofa bed for the first night or two so she doesnt get overwhelmed on her first few days. I'm not expecting miracles of her, although she seems like a lovely chilled out dog, I'm aware lots of it will be new for her. Expecting stressy tummy as well as shes got a flight and a car journey to get to us.

I would quite like to get her registered and an MOT by the vet when she gets here and I imagine she will need a bath - but I think I read you should wait about a week to do this stuff?

OP’s posts: |
QueenOfOversharing Tue 18-Feb-20 23:04:19

Yeah - don't bath her straight away. It's better for her to keep her own smell at first. You can start grooming her though & that's great for bonding.

CMOTDibbler Wed 19-Feb-20 18:11:54

Make everything as low stress as possible - hanging out in the house with lots of treats, and frequent trips into the garden to toilet (and lots of praise when they do). Expect everything (esp if she is coming from overseas) to be stressful for her - rather than an MOT at the vet, take her in for a treat and then out (our vets receptionist is happy with this). Don't do a trip in the car for a purpose, do a jump in the car, sit in the boot having a treat for a minute and then out.

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