Hello everyone. Welcome to another post intended to help you settle in your new Rommie pal.
In previous posts I’ve covered how to prepare your home for your new arrival, understanding how your dog will be feeling, the importance of providing somewhere safe for them to retreat to, initial basic commands and how to avoid destructive chewing. I hope the following points will give you more useful information.
Remember to provide regular trips to the garden to “toilet.”
When you first get your dog home, I would suggest that the garden is the first place you show them, as a place they can go to the toilet in peace. If they do so immediately, great, tell them “Good Girl or Good Boy” and offer a small treat. For absolute peace of mind, I would recommend that you keep them on the lead whilst they are in the garden.
In the first few days, if possible, I would suggest that you try to be home with them as much as possible (all day for the first few days is definitely easiest). Set a bleeper on your watch/phone and go outside yourself, calling your dog to follow you, every 15 minutes. Still with the dogs on the lead, you can extend the time, 20 mins, 25 mins etc.…. and a few minutes in the garden frequently, coupled with praise and a treat for toileting outside, is the fastest way to build the association in the dog’s mind with where they should be going to the toilet. (buy in plenty of kitchen roll for accidents though….!)
Mickey on one of his first walks
After the first week, you can take them on their first walk; I would not be asking them to walk at heel, I would allow them to investigate, while I ensured that they didn’t run into the road or chase cats etc. I would, however, keep their first few walks quite short, a few minutes round the block rather than a hike across the moors. It allows them the chance to familiarise themselves with the area and begin to associate the sights, sounds and smells with “home”.
Do not walk your dog outside of the house in a public place without having both a SLIP LEAD AND HARNESS on. The harness should also have a lead attached. Any dog can escape from a regular collar or harness – it takes just a second and you will lose your dog.
Do not let the dog off lead for at least 2 months, even longer if your dog is nervous. Just because they appear friendly and relaxed at home, this doesn’t mean he/she will come back to you when he/she is out – they can easily get scared and in a split second, he/she will be gone forever.
Once again, I can’t emphasise enough the importance of keeping your dog on the lead at all times.
Start as you mean to go on and don’t spoil them with too many choices. We do understand that you want to shower them with love and lots of toys etc but we cannot advise strongly enough to please be sensible, and do things in moderation.
For some, it will take just days or weeks to settle in, but for the older dogs, the ones that have lived on the streets and been hurt and have had to fend for themselves for a long time, it may take a little longer.
Please believe us when we say it will happen in time, and when it does, it is the most amazing and truly humbling feeling in the world, knowing you have let them love and trust again, it is overwhelming.
Read our next article on what to expect when you bring your Romanian rescue home HERE.
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