Today’s the day! You’ve adopted a rescued ex street dog and you can’t wait to get her home and introduce her to your family, friends and neighbours. Before you do, just stop for one moment and look at things from your dog’s point of view.
If you’ve adopted an ex street dog this might be the first time she’s ever had to enter a house. It’s very common for ex street dogs to be wary of entering narrow doorways, and simple things like changes in floor surfaces (rugs, laminate, carpet) or a wobbly paving slab can be very challenging for your newly adopted dog.
Take a quick look at the photo below. Break things down and you can see there’s a lot for your dog to consider and navigate before she’s even set a paw inside your house!
Your dog’s previous experience of being indoors might have involved a worrying visit to a vet clinic or a frightening overcrowded dog pound.
The clang of your metal gate might remind her of a dog trap. The shape of your nice shiny railings might evoke memories of being brutally captured with a catch pole. The smell of cigarettes or your household cleaning products could also elicit scary memories.
Whilst living on the streets she had good reason to be hyper vigilant of anything new or unusual in her environment. Many ex street dogs have experienced significant abuse and trauma.
While you are getting to know each other, please take extra care to take things slowly. Don’t expect too much of her too soon.
We get that everyone wants to say hello, but please ask friends and relatives to be patient and come visit in a few weeks, when your dog has had time to explore your home, to trust you, gain confidence and feel safe.
The neighbours and their kids might be super excited to meet your new family member but introductions can wait a while. Explain she needs time to rest and maybe show them a photo of her instead?
Many people can’t wait to take their dog to the local park, but busy spaces and main roads can be overwhelming for newly adopted dogs. Walks can wait.
Please take things gently and let her explore your home, catch up on much needed sleep and if she is ready you can play gentle enrichment games at home.
Even if you’ve previously cared for a dog, please ensure you learn all you can about canine body language and behaviour so you can be aware of how your dog is feeling and what she’s communicating to you.
If you are patient in these early days, weeks and months you will help give your dog a positive and gentle introduction to her wonderful new life.
If you would like to join with other adopters of ex street dogs, please visit our linked Facebook group: Caring for Rescued ex Street Dogs.
©️ Caring for Rescued ex Street Dogs