It’s important to understand that many of these dogs have been at DoggieRescue for some months or even longer. They may not have been toilet trained, and some have never even seen the inside of a house before! Most of been used to living in kennel conditions with little one-on-one attention. Some have come directly to DoggieRescue from the pet shop window!
Others have come from traumatic home lives, where possibly a slap or a shout was more usual than a loving pat or a soft word. So for these dogs, the concept of a loving family will be a new one.
Please be patient
The natural inclination for you and your family will be to shower the dog with affection. Most dogs will respond positively to this, but try to give the dog some ‘personal space’ for the first few days, to explore his environment and to get to know your family.
Don’t be disappointed if the dog is more interested in sniffing around the yard than sitting on your lap. If you brought home a child that had been in an orphanage for some time, you would know that they would need some time and understanding to adjust to their new surroundings.
It is exactly the same for dogs – although generally (and thankfully!) the adjustment period is much shorter.
Expect a few messes in the short term!
This is the biggie! Some dogs are toilet trained, and many others aren’t. Some families who don’t expect this to happen are on the door of DoggieRescue the next day expecting a refund because their dog did a poo on the carpet!
Almost all dogs will make a mess inside the house for at least a couple of days while they adjust to their new surroundings.
What do I do?!!
- Give the dog frequent opportunities to go to the toilet outside – at least every couple of hours.
- Find a spot outside where you’d like the dog to do his toilet, carry him to the spot and say, “Go to the toilet” (or equivalent). The dog will quickly become used to the command and the spot.
- Praise the dog whenever he goes to the toilet outside. Have some doggie treats handy so you can reward the dog when he does the right thing.
- Don’t yell at the dog, or smack him when he goes to the toilet inside. Instead, say, ‘no’ firmly, then pick up the dog and place them outside in the spot where you want them to go. They will probably not go to the toilet again then, but at least you are reinforcing what you want them to do.
The good news is, most dogs toilet train themselves in a few days. Some dogs do take much longer however, and a handful of dogs never really catch on.