How To Make Your Adopted Dog Feel At Home Again | Kolkata News
COMMON PROBLEMS IN ADOPTED DOGS
* Tendency to flee
*Chronic health problems
SYMPTOMS OF POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD)
* Chronic anxiety
*Avoiding certain people, places or situations
* Fear of being alone
* Decreased interest in a favorite activity
RESCUED DOGS OFTEN HAVE A TRAUMATIC PAST
When you bring home an adult dog from a shelter, they may have had a traumatic past. He could have been abandoned and developed severe separation anxiety and depression. Bangalore-based Smriti Kothari adopted a six-year-old golden retriever from a shelter last year. “She had a very traumatic past. The previous owner bought her when Titli was two months old and always kept her on the roof. It would be soaked in the rain and dried in the sun. The first day we took her home, she was afraid to walk on our lawn. She had never seen grass before! It took us almost a month to convince her that weed was not dangerous,” Smriti said.
Namkeen, a five-year-old German Shepherd adopted by Mumbai-based Rajesh Sharma, is a peaceful dog. But it becomes aggressive at the sight of a particular brand of car. “He was found tied to a lamp post and had serious skin problems. As no one knows about its past, we believe its previous owner was driving a car of that particular brand,” Rajesh said.
WHAT TO DO AFTER HAVING REPORTED AN ADULT DOG?
Try to trace his past:
An adult dog is easier to manage if you know its past. “If we know what the poor animal has been through, it is easier for us to help him. Suppose if a particular dog is extremely anxious in traffic, we can work with him and make him feel comfortable in the midst of cars and honking,” said Dinesh Babu, a Hyderabad-based canine behaviorist.
Prepare your home for the dog:
Allocate a particular space in the house and get a dog bed and toys. This should be done by involving your family members every step of the way. You will need their help once the dog comes home.
Plan the day:
Don’t just plan the day you want to bring the pet home; if possible, take a few days off. Ideally, only residents of your home should be present for the first few days. “A dog is a pack animal and begins to see its family members as part of its pack. So it should initially only be introduced to pack members,” Dinesh said.
A peaceful introduction:
Walking a dog is one of the best ways to build trust. So don’t bring it straight home from the shelter. Take a long walk with it. Also walk him around the house on a leash. The same process applies to puppies.
Look for any signs of aggression and fear.
Keep him away from open doors, balconies, and elevators so he can’t escape.
Do not pamper the dog
because he had an unpleasant life.
Contact a canine behaviorist before you even bring your dog home. You should start training him within 3-4 days after he gets home.
GAIN YOUR DOG’S CONFIDENCE
Gaining a puppy’s trust isn’t terribly difficult, but it’s a whole different ball game when it comes to adult dogs. Recalling a year-old case involving an adult Doberman, Mumbai-based dog behaviorist Raj Mariwala said: “The previous owners always kept the poor dog tied outside the house until he finally be saved. So he wouldn’t let anyone near and raised the hell up barking. For the first three or four days, I stood calmly in front of him. Then I would throw a toy or two to gain his trust. After a week, I started taking him for walks. He’s fine now.
“You have to understand that any adult dog considers the house of its former owner as its home. The new owners are as good as strangers. So it takes time for him to accept you. So you’ll have to work on building that equation,” Raj said.