We will have expectations of the new home based on our previous experiences. That does not mean you all have to over compensate, over love, over protect. We need you to do some simple key things to help us realise…..we are now safe.
No thank you. We do not want or need to be taken out on a long walk to get tired, and see how lovely our new surroundings are going to be. In the first few days, we only want a very short sniffy walk (10 minutes) if it looks like we can cope, mostly we can’t. Otherwise we will be really happy to potter in your garden, slowly adjusting and getting used to the changes….and you!
We may look like we want to engage in lots of ball play, running around etc. But trust me, at the beginning of our stay we will want to please you and it is best that we are not encouraged to do lots of high energy adrenalin activities. If we haven’t got the abilities to cope, too much adrenalin will mean we cope and tolerate even less!
3. The Basic Requirements
Food – Do not make us sit and work for it. Food is a natural survival requirement and we need to know you will always provide it without fuss. So at least two meals a day, good quality treats and plenty of things to chew. Don’t panic if we don’t know what to do – I don’t understand chews at all right now, but will get there….I have learnt about nice treats though!
Water – This goes without saying, we need fresh bowls of water down all the time and perhaps inside and outside too. Some of us won’t have always had access to it in the past, so take away that fear of scarcity.
Toileting – Understand we will be scared or confused and that means we may want to pee more than usual, so calmly take us out in the garden perhaps more times than you would think. Obviously if we are sleeping, please do not wake us up to do this!
This is sooooo important to us. All the previous stress, fear, anxiety and change means we may not have slept as much as we should have done. So we need you to do calm, gentle things, have a choice of beds to sleep on in different places. Understand we may want to sleep up high too, we feel safe there and just let us sleep and sleep and sleep. This is vital to our recovery and at the very least it allows new brain cells to grow.
Now, the above are the absolute basics of what to do in the first few days. I will talk about each one in more detail over the coming days. It’s important, really important that everyone who wants to take on a rescue dog understands what we need – SLEEP, SAFETY AND CHOICES.
Courtesy of Help at Hand Dog Training & Behaviour