It was a happy sad moment for the staff at Brown County Humane Society shelter when their longest serving dog relocated to a new home. Moby who first checked in on December 15th, 2017 had no idea that the shelter would be his home for the next many days, 848 to be precise. This marked a new record for the animal shelter which has been running for about 54 years now. Moby’s mates didn’t seem to have much trouble gaining new owners, with some relocating even within the first few months; but for Moby there was always an excuse not to take him home. He was a healthy, happy dog with no luck. Contrary to his friendly demeanor, this lovable pet was not always warm. He came in cranky and very aggressive towards his new caretakers. But with the help of the staff and regular training, Moby evolved into a softie who now enjoys activities such as hiking, playing with toys and cuddling up on the sofa.
Before his adoption, his new owners made efforts to visit him daily just to create a bond and also took him for a visit to his soon to be home. This, according to animal experts, is important when it comes to familiarizing the new pet to his surroundings and keeping him easy when the actual transfer happens. Taking in a foster dog is a big responsibility that needs proper preparation. According to Angle Pet Hospital, some of the tips on caring for your rescue animal include:
1. A Visit to the Veterinarian
This should be first on your list because such pets rarely come with a healthy record. A complete health examination will help establish their physical condition and well-being. In the event that your animal could be in danger, treatment and vaccination should begin. This step is important as it helps detect any complications from an early stage.
2. Slowly Adjust to New Diets
A drastic change in the servings is likely to cause stomach upsets. A better alternative would be to begin with meals that your dog was accustomed to as you add in small new portions gradually. If your pet responds favorably, keep increasing the new meal amounts. Remember to work closely with your vet for healthy dishes.
3. Establish a Routine
Your home rules are bound to clash with your dog’s behavior at first. It is expected that your new pet will come in with old habits it acquired from the shelter; that is why it is important to set boundaries. Come up with a clear feeding schedule; determine how much time it gets to spend outdoors and when it needs to get back in. Within a few months, the changes should start to feel more natural.
One of the ways to help your dog quickly adjust to its new way of life is through regular trainings. Incorporating treats, toys and appraisals keeps the whole venture interesting and fun. If your dog appears to be picking up slowly, consider a one on one training session with a professional. However, if you can do it yourself, do not shy away as it helps create a stronger bond between you and your dog.
5. Introduce the New Pet to Affiliates
If you happen to have other home pets, invest in a holistic introduction session before bringing the new companion home. A short visit home similar to that of Moby’s new owners works well. Ensure, you have enough space for each of the pets as you do not want to create any source of tension between the animals.
6. Keep your Home Peaceful
For the first few weeks, refrain from having too many guests. Maintain a calm environment for your dog to adjust. Regulate cuddling and too much interaction. Go about your day to day activities normally and allow your dog to blend in without pressure. An additional tip goes out to new owners having a hard time taming their dog. Here are some aggressive dog training techniques to get your pet following in Moby’s steps. Whenever your dog starts to show physical aggressive acts such as a tightly closed mouth, growling sounds, a locked gaze or asserting itself above its normal height, it usually is a sign that it is about to attack. While this sometimes may be brought by an instinct of self defense, it can be conformed into a more calm behavior. The Canine Journal advises dog owners to:
- Respond Meekly – An aggressive punishment such as beating your dog only fuels its ferocity. It escalates his behavior into a whole new level. Working with other substitute methods such as limiting his pleasant activities or treats can enhance discipline levels.
- Use a Leash – Leash training gives you more control over your dog’s behavior. Stepping on the leash when your dog is up to something cheeky sends a discouraging message to his mischief. However, be careful not to use a very harsh leash as this can easily provoke your dog. – Prong collars and muzzles equally serve the same purpose. The latter particularly offers a good remedy to dogs that verbally intimidate others. For best results, associate the muzzle to a rewarding activity like treats. This helps ease your dog when in social surroundings.
- Assert Yourself as the Alpha Dog – According to Forever Husky, dogs have a pack mentality and in a pack there is always the alpha. If your dog is acting up, chances are it considers itself superior to all, including you. You can regain the alpha position through easy techniques such as; feeding him last or holding back privileges like sleeping on the bed. During play times avoid chasing him when he runs away with a toy, stand your ground till he brings it back. This way you are letting him know you are the boss.
With the above steps, your new dog should grow happier and friendlier. Moby indeed continues to be a great source of joy to his owners not only serving as a companion but a therapy dog as well. His previous family does miss him but are grateful he gets to experience his best life yet.