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Settling in a new dog - advice please(2 Posts)
We're expecting to get our new dog in the next couple of weeks.
We're first time dog owners so don't really know what to expect, though we've done research and are about as prepared as we can be I think!
She is 2 years old, was originally a rescue but has been living in a family home for 18months and seems lovely and pretty well trained when we've visited.
Her current owners are giving us her bed, toys etc so she will have familiar things with her. They will give us a run down of her daily routine/food etc so we can keep it the same at first and make changes slowly.
What else can we do to make the transition as easy as possible for her? How long before she settles and realises this is her home now? We're thinking of keeping her at home and just local walks with us for a while, but how long? How long before we introduce her to family and friends/take her to other people's homes etc? I realise it's a how long is a piece of string question but I don't want to stress her out by making too many changes all at once, but equally don't want to miss out on socialising opportunities and want her to get used to our routines as quickly as possible.
Anyone have experience of this happy to share their thoughts?
I have adopted many dogs over the years, although most had come from a more disrupted background than your new girl seems to be. It is very much a piece of string job, but I would suggest at least a week and preferably two with just her immediate new family and then take her visiting if she seems settled but don't allow too much fuss from the people you are visiting. A quick fuss and then let her just watch you interacting. One of the things I would look for in a dog that is settling is that she will begin to come to you when you speak to her indoors. This shows that she is beginning to think of you as more than just a provider of food and walks in the absence of her usual people. Take any changes slowly. Meal times for example can be moved by 10 minutes a day until you have them when you want them. Oh, and be prepared to do the same thing when the clocks change in October. Be aware that it could be as long as six months before she is really settled but be prepared for her to go crazy if she ever comes across her previous owner. Dogs have very long memories for people.