What The Dog Trainer Wants You To Know And Do The First Three Days
Congratulations! You’ve adopted a living, breathing, feeling, and responding being! Your dog has recently been exposed to some of the greatest stress, anxiety, and tension in their short or longer stay at the shelter and we recommend that you give them a “detox.” Yep, give them an opportunity to release some of the bad toxins that build up as a result of “stress.” Rather than get all scientific with you, please trust us enough to give this a whirl. Following is how you can help your dog release the good chemicals and become the dog you dreamed him or her to be.
For the first 3 days, keep new experiences to a minimum. As all dogs are individuals, and no two are the same, we do know that it usually takes the dogs 3 days to come out of the “shock” of changed environments. Its best to take your new dog straight home and not to the dog park or pet store. Come home and show the dog around on leash and let him/her sniff their new environment to their hearts content. Now is not the best time to have a “welcome home” party with strangers, noise, and general doggy chaos. They’ve already had plenty of that at the shelter!
Here’s an example of a detox cycle that will get rid of the stress toxins, will bond you to your dog, and will help your dog quickly realize this is a safe and loving new place to be! Start off with a designated space for your dog to sleep and nap; maybe thats a crate or a comfy bed and plan on a consistent routine for the next 3 days. Imagine your dogs day like a circle. At the top of the circle will be waking up, going out to potty, and then coming back inside for a nutritious meal. Rest for a while to let the food digest. The next step will be going for a nice walk or jaunt around the yard, combined with some ball or outside toy play, if your dog likes toys. (Let your dog sniff as much as he or she wants at this point. Sniffing is so valuable and burns energy!) At a quarter of the way around the circle will be a nap or quiet time, sleep is so important right now! Your dog may not have had R.E.M. sleep or slept soundly for quite some time. The next part of the cycle will be either training time, a brain game activity, some nose work, a wonderful chew or treat delivering chew toy, and of course, potty time outside. Another nap, then dinner. Woohoo! More rest to let the food digest, and then do another walk or physical activity. About now should be close to evening quiet and then bedtime. Throughout this cycle, take your dog outside often to establish good potty habits.
Wake – eat – quiet time to digest – walk and/or toy play – quiet time – training, brain game, nose work, chew toy, puzzle time – nap – dinner – quiet time to digest – walk and/or toy play – quiet time to bed time. Repeat! Feel free to switch out the activities, but make sure after each active session there is a rest opportunity.
As the stress toxins leave the body you may see a behavioral shift, but stick with this! The good chemicals are taking the stress chemicals’ place throughout this cycle. Please call or email us with any questions. We are committed to the success of your dog in your home!