Preparing for your Rescue Dog
Before your dog arrives
Decide as a family the "house rules". Is he going to be allowed on the furniture? Allowed up on beds etc? Once you have decided then make sure everybody sticks with these rules once the new dog arrives.
Decide where your dog will sleep. Create a quite area for your rescue dog to retreat to when it wants to rest.
Find out what the dog has been eating. If you want to change this then do so gradually over about a week but initially feed him what he has been used to.
Register with a vet and we STRONGLY ADVISE PET INSURANCE as soon as possible. Once the dog is adopted the rescue is not responsible for any vet fees.
Arrange for the dog to be micro-chipped or tattooed (please put the rescue details on this register as a point of contact).
On the first day
Keep things quiet - moving home is stressful for any dog so please don't bombard him with visitors.
Let him meet members of the new family gradually. It can be overwhelming for a dog to face a whole new set of owners so try not to all crowd round. He will investigate you all in his own time.
When introducing him to your other dog allow them to play but don't let the excitement go on for too long. Be in control so they don't get carried away. Also make sure they have resting areas away from each other to have a chance to wind down.
Don't feed side by side until you get to know your rescue dog, we don't want a fight over food.
If you have other pets e.g. cats be cautious with the introductions.
Remember your new dog may have never lived with other animals so needs to be eased in gently. Please contact us for more help or advice.
Be consistent - stick to your set of rules so he learns quickly how to fit in to your lifestyle.
Don't worry if he doesn't eat - he is just a bit out of sorts and should start eating in the next day or two. Don't be tempted to offer titbits or a change of diet, this will only upset his tummy.
Don't be tempted to leave food down, if he doesn't eat take it away and offer at the next meal time.
DO NOT FEED just before a walk or immediately after, this can cause bloat (twisted gut) and dogs can die very quickly from this.
The First Two - Three Weeks
Keep him on a lead. Until you both get to know each other it is safer to have the dog well controlled and start practising your recall.
Try and stick to normal routine it will only cause the dog confusion if you're with him all the time in the first week then disappear out for longer periods from then on. (If your rescue dog has separation anxiety then build up on the length of time you leave him more gradually - contact the rescue if you need more advice).
Look into a training club. Go along and check them out first to see if the dogs in the classes are enjoying the training - classes need to be no more than 8 dogs, any more is too many especially if the class is held in a small hall. Enquire about some one-to-one lessons if you think that will help you and your dog.
Agility - GSDs love it - so will you.