settle in a dog...

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the.fee.fairy
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settle in a dog...

Post: # 195126Post the.fee.fairy
Tue May 04, 2010 4:18 am

I'm fostering a dog. My friend rescued it from the street here (it was running around, she didn't buy it from a street seller). However, she lives in a dormitory where pets are forbidden.

Someone found her dog and told her to get rid of it. So...i'm fostering it until the end of the year.

She's given me the dog's beds, and food and stuff, but it is very nervous and very scared. There's also the problem of language, it's used to hearing chinese and doesn't understand any English!!

It got here last night and spent the night being very very nervous and scared. I've put my friend's jumper in its bed so that it can still smell her, and i've asked her to sleep in an old teeshirt and swap them over every week so that it can still smell its mummy.

I've also told her that i will train it to sit, stay, lay down etc.

It seems a bit happier today and it's wandered around a bit, but it hasn't eaten since yesterday.

I know that it won't settle immediately, but i want to make things a bit better for it so that its a happier dog. I'm not going to even think about training it until it is well settled in, i don't think its fair to it otherwise.

I'm going to take it out for a walk in a bit.

Any advice wiould be appreciated! I've had dogs all my life, but being on my own with this one is strange...and it is more scared and nervous than any dog i've ever had before. The other dogs i've had have usually walked in the house, seen that its home and gone to sleep! This one is very scared!

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Mrs Moustoir
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Re: settle in a dog...

Post: # 195156Post Mrs Moustoir
Tue May 04, 2010 8:01 am

You seem to be doing everything I would do in the circumstances. I'm no dog expert, but I think the poor little thing probably had a hard life on the streets and views all strangers as a possible threat.

As she settles in, I'm sure she will gradually relax as she realises you are a friend not a foe. Kind words (in whatever language!) are sure to help her feel comfortable in her surroundings.

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JulieSherris
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Re: settle in a dog...

Post: # 195157Post JulieSherris
Tue May 04, 2010 8:19 am

I've had dogs for... well, forever!
Like you Fee, my experience is that a new dog comes in & assumes that everything in sight belongs to them!
Yesterday, I had a 2hr drive to collect the sister littermate of our youngest basset - the guy who bred the litter 2 yrs ago has had his circumstances changed & he has always kept in touch with us, so emailed to ask if we would take her. Outside, you'd think she had been here for the last 85 years!
She doesn't look at the birds, loves the cat, and is quite comfy with the other 2 boys... is also loving the amount of free space she has to explore!!
Indoors however, she doesn't know where to lay, is ill at ease & rather unsettled - always hesitatnt at coming into the house as well - she's lived in the garden shed with her mum for the last 2 years, so patience is the key here, I think.

Like you, I am going to take the softly softly approach & remember that what I am trying to encourage her to do, is something that she's always been banned from doing in the past - we're good at confusing things, us humans, huh?

Good thinking with giving the dog something from your firend with the scent on - and I wouldn't worry about the language barrier, it will be the tone of your voice that she will react to, rather than the actual language. Just try & keep the actual 'commands' short & sweet & use hand gestures too - I'm sure she will settle with you in no time at all - they know when they are safe, but having been moved & not knowing her history, she is probably quite confused at the moment.
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Re: settle in a dog...

Post: # 195158Post A&A
Tue May 04, 2010 8:20 am

Harsh as it sounds, you need to ignore it. If the dog is feeling stressed and is nervous around you or other people, then you must give it space. Put its food down & walk away. Always have the odd treat in your pocket. If the dog comes to you just allow it to sniff - don't rush to pat it etc. Make sure it can always move away of it's own free will. Gradually you build it up to reward it when it comes to you - speaking gently in friendly tones. Language won't be a factor here - dog's are far cleverer than that. It takes a lot of time & patience but you must allow the dog to move forward at its own pace - it must make the choice to follow you.

As a general rule, patting & comforting a stressed/nervous dog like this simply reinforces the view in its mind that there's something to worry about!
Andy

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Re: settle in a dog...

Post: # 195164Post the.fee.fairy
Tue May 04, 2010 9:25 am

I ignored her all last night, i remember reading on a rescue site that that's the best thing to do. She's had some food now, she wouldn't eat it out of the bowl, but when i gave it to her by hand she took it.

She's been wandering about a bit more since the walk.

Also, i was eating some sausage a minute ago and she wandered in and looked at me like she wanted some, I offered it to her and she took it. I tried to see if she would take being trained to sit, but her tail went down so i stopped straight away and put a bit more sausage in her bowl for her, so that she knows that if she's friendly, i'm friendly, if not, i'll ignore her and leave her to sort things out in her own mind.

I moved her bed into my room last night. This was for a couple of reasons, 1. i don't trust my housemate to not let her out of the door overnight (she flits between here and her boyfriend's apartment and forgets to close the door), 2. it was thundery, 3. the dog's used to being in a room with her owner and 4. she was so scared she was shaking so i didn't want to close the door on her.

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Re: settle in a dog...

Post: # 195549Post Pennylane
Fri May 07, 2010 1:45 pm

Sounds like this is one lucky dog...it could bond with you quite quickly the way things are going...

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Re: settle in a dog...

Post: # 195550Post pelmetman
Fri May 07, 2010 2:08 pm

I'm so glad the dog has found a good home he is obviously going to get the love and care he needs with you. I'm just a little worried as you said you were fostering him until the end of the year, is your friend going to have him back? If so your friend needs to keep in as much contact with him as she possibly can else the poor dog is going to be so confused having to leave his home to go to another.

Our last two dogs have been older rescue dogs and they both soon settled once they knew where there bed was, we gave them lots of love and cuddles and two good meals a day with of course lots of walkies. When we first had Troy he was over 4 years old and we were his third owner. He had been in the rescue for quite a number of months and was quite overwhelmed when he came home with us. He was afraid to go to sleep, I think because he was frightened he would be sent back to the rescue again he literally used to sit watching us until he keeled over with exhaustion.

Like everyone says its just lots of love and patience.

:flower: Sue
Kind Regards
Pelmetman Dave
Pelmetlady Sue
Pelmetdog Troy

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