Dog adoption or puppy adoption in Sydney can be a tricky process. You are inviting another creature into your life to be part of your family for years to come.
Each adopted dog requires its own set of responsibilities on part of the new owner. Dogs at shelters can be young, old, injured, neglected or healthy and strong. Adoption must be undertaken with an iron-cast commitment to the welfare of the dog. Adoption also requires that the new owner help the dog, already nervous about change, to adjust to its new environment in the most healthy and positive of manners. The carer must begin to adopt the dog, help it adjust and settle into the new family.
Some ways to encourage adaptation and acclimation are listed below:
- Find out their history
Figure out what you are dealing with here. Make sure to collect history of previous owners, life history, breed history and history of possible abuse or illness. Tailor their routine and care according to their history and breed information. Prepare for their arrival by customising their accessories or play routines according to their needs.
- Help the dog relax
Adopted dogs may develop stress-related problems. They may have trouble eating and sleeping. They may lose bowel control and display signs of nervousness or aggression. Be affectionate with them and encourage eating, and socialising with treats and toys.
- Establish a routine
Try to begin a routine on the first day of adoption. When you bring the dog home, establish times for walking, playing, feeding, and sleeping. This will help them to adapt to a structure that meets each of their needs. Some dogs may be familiar with similar routines enacted at previous homes or shelters, so they will get the drill more quickly. Some dogs may be unfamiliar with routines or may find it hard to follow one in your home. Encourage them through treats and praise continually throughout the initial process.
- Take it slow
Dogs at shelters may have been traumatised, abandoned or neglected. They may have problems getting close to you or they may have trouble adjusting to the new environment. Dogs without mental health issues can also face difficulties in a new environment. It is crucial to give the dog some space initially and slowly build a relationship of trust, friendship and security. Try not to pressure the dog into close contact or play immediately because these behaviours may trigger aggression or nervousness.
- Expect aggression and house training issues
Dogs and puppies may exhibit behavioural issues in a new home. You will need to correct the behaviour overtime and curb aggression towards you and your property. However, be patient with the dogs and remember that the new experience might be over-stimulating to them.
- House training
Dogs will need patience and understanding as much as rules, order and structure from you as a master. House training may be harder to deal with in younger or stray dogs. Encourage correct behaviour through positive reinforcement, for example, through treats and reprimand them if they do not follow the rules.