When you take home one of our SPA dogs many people are unsure what to expect or in fact where to begin and our advice would always be to regard him very much as you would a puppy – an animal that will require lots of supervision and training as well as love and attention.
Many of our SPA dogs have not had the best start in life and may not have had as much as basic training, some may have pre-existing behaviour issues so its best to be prepared and to be realistic. Of course lots of our dogs are no problem at all but this is something that you should never take for granted and please bear in mind that a lot of rescue dogs have problems because they are unwanted but many are unwanted because they have problems. If you are realistic in what to expect you are immediately placing less pressure on both yourself and the dog and please remember we can advise you or any problems that pop up.
What most rescue dogs crave is some sort or order and security restored to their lives where previously there was none. They will of course thrive on love and attention but they will also need set routines, rules and guidance. Lots of new owners make the mistake of ‘over-loving’ the dog and are excessively lenient or indulgent with them but if you start as you mean to go on and you have a much greater chance of success.
As with a puppy you should confine the dog to a specific area where the floor is easiest to clean and then should he have any toileting problems they can be quickly cleaned up. Exercise is generally a good stress buster as long as it is tailored to their age and fitness and most dogs will settle happily after a nice walk. Its natural that all your family and friends will want to meet the new arrival but we do advise keeping interactions very low key until your dog settles down, remember the dog doesn’t really know who you are and excessive attention and fuss will certainly fuel problems such as excitability and separation anxiety.
Last night one of our elderly dogs left the refuge for his fresh start. Lovely Rudolf, now Andy was driven by one of our volunteers to meet a family who had agreed to adopt Andy even although he was 13 years old! So Andy had a 5 hour journey but he’s home at last and we have already heard that he is settling down fine and enjoying home comforts – have a long and happy retirement Andy!
Happy Retirement Andy!