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Rottweiler Rescue Congratulations! You've decided to adopt a Rottweiler! Talk to fellow adopters, rescue groups and those who offer guidance and support. What does a rescue group do? How is a dog prepared for placement? Is this dog a good match for me?

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  #1  
Old 03-22-2004, 01:30 PM
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How long does a dog take to adjust to his forever home?

Just curious on how long it typically (I know it will vary with each dog) takes a dog to adjust to his forever home? I've heard some people say they think it can take anywhere from a month to a year?

Hercules was 2 1/2 when I adopted him, seems to have come from a good home and is pretty well mannared - he came equipped ( :p ) with knowing commands pretty well - the basics like sit, down, shake, come, etc. There are a few minor issues with him, but his behavior is overall good - not real skittish, aggressive or fearful etc. so I don't think he was abused by his first family (reason for giving him up was a divorce). He was at the shelter for about 4 or 5 months before I got him.

So does anyone know how long it takes a dog to process that he's "home"?
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  #2  
Old 03-22-2004, 01:37 PM
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Re: How long does a dog take to adjust to his forever home?

Well, I know with Harley, it was about 3 months before she stopped getting upset when we had to go out. Now it's no big deal, she knows we are coming back. And I'm thinking about 6 months for the full trust thing. She REALLY knows she belongs in the family now, and I don't think she has any lingering thoughts on her past.

I still really do hate not knowing her past tho. I wish I had some kind of history on her, although it means less now that I know her so well.

(edited to say: It probably does depend on the age of when you got him, and what KIND of past they had! I'm sure it all factors in.)
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  #3  
Old 03-22-2004, 01:38 PM
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Re: How long does a dog take to adjust to his forever home?

When I got Harley he was 7 weeks old. He was taken from his pack and mother so his situation is a little different. It took him around three weeks to get used to his new pack and the house. After three weeks he was playing with our GSD and us. Before that he would just wander around and either whine or mope around. It took him two weeks before he would sleep through the night without throwing a fit. The first week I had to sleep with him on the floor with my hand on him. After that we put him in the laundry room. After that I found rott.net and learned all about crate training and all the other good stuff that comes with puppyhood and new mommyhood! hehehe
Although he still has seperation anxiety. He barks for a good 30 minutes after we leave. We used to cover his crate with a blanket. We did it until last week when he tore up the blanket through his crate! Ugh! He was pulling it into his crate and trying to chew it up. I quit covering it now.

I think with young dogs and adults it takes less time. It took our GSD a few days to adjust. She was a stray when we found her and she was around 2.
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Varun's Harley Von Bates (Rescue Rottie)--- 4 & 1/2 years old
Bagheera - (Rescue kitty) 1 year old Solid Black Kitty

Last edited by babybluetx23; 03-22-2004 at 01:44 PM.
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  #4  
Old 03-22-2004, 01:47 PM
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Re: How long does a dog take to adjust to his forever home?

Wow - I think it depends on the dog and his unknown history....our Jake (3-4 yrs old) has been with us 5.5 months and I think he finally "gets it" that he is HOME....Hope (2-3 yrs old) has been with us a little over 2 months and she acts like she never lived anywhere else. Jake was likely dumped, and had few health issues, but lots of emotional issues; Hope was taken from an owner who shot her, starved her and she had an embedded collar - but few emotional issues....I've wished for that crystal ball that could enlighten us to the secrets of making their adjustments easier for them.....but love & patience seem to overcome, the exact timing is just unknown.....
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  #5  
Old 03-22-2004, 01:56 PM
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Re: How long does a dog take to adjust to his forever home?

With adults, you can normally count on a honeymoon period of about 3 months. It is during this time that the happy family might joyously declare - "perfect dog". And, it might well be a perfect dog, but................Most dogs are on best behavior in new situations until they are comfortable they understand the rules.

Caveat. Most rescues caution that the household rules need to be established from the beginning and that families should resist the temptation to pamper the new dog even if they think they are making up for past abuse. It is during this honeymoon period that the dog's view of its pack rank is formed. Too much indulgement and pampering gives the dog the wrong idea, and while dog is scoping out the territory, it is forming opinions that can be very set. Then we are faced with deranking which is never as kind in the long run as setting proper boundaries in the first place.
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Old 03-22-2004, 02:01 PM
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Re: How long does a dog take to adjust to his forever home?

They say it takes a dog a minimum of 3 and a maxiumum of 6 months to FULLY assimilate to a new environment. They tend to do well for the first few three months or so as it is a novel environment, but then after that you may see evidence on and off of basic skills falling apart...housetraining, basic commands, etc as the dog continues to assimilate into the environment, learn the rules and carve out his niche in his 'pack'. Once he knows the rules then he can begin to challenge them.

People mistakenly see this initial 'honeymoon period' as evidence of the animal being adjusted to the environment, but then become frustrated as things begin to fall apart. That coupled with lack of effort/mental fortitude on the owners part, because they simply expect Fido to come all trained and knowing the rules, often end up with Fido being returned to said shelter, or worse, simply let loose to make his own way in the world. Most animals are returned to shelters within the first three to six months.
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Old 03-22-2004, 02:02 PM
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Re: How long does a dog take to adjust to his forever home?

Judi...you and I must have been typing at the exact same time. :)
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  #8  
Old 03-22-2004, 02:07 PM
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Re: How long does a dog take to adjust to his forever home?

That's exactly what we did Judi! (Not establishing rules from the beginning)

I'm SO thankful I found this board and started doing some reading. Obviously there were signs showing that made me feel it was necessary to do some reading/action, and I feel 100% more confident in how I handle Harley. Thank goodness her turnaround time was quick and painless. Although heartbreaking at times, especially that first night she wasn't allowed to sleep with us anymore! :(

Every owner of ANY breed should read this wealth of information on these boards!
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  #9  
Old 03-22-2004, 02:17 PM
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Re: How long does a dog take to adjust to his forever home?

Typing at the same time and saying the same thing!

Lookie, The really excellent thing is that your instincts were correct (trust them) and that you believed the good advice you received and acted on it. Thank you for that. How much kinder to kick her cute little butt off the bed early than to wait until you have a real challenge that makes everyone lose confidence.
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  #10  
Old 03-22-2004, 02:22 PM
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Re: How long does a dog take to adjust to his forever home?

Not to mention no longer being curled into the fetal position when I sleep!! *stretches legs out*

In seriousness tho, thank YOU for making clear on what I needed to do!
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  #11  
Old 03-22-2004, 05:46 PM
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Re: How long does a dog take to adjust to his forever home?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Judi W
With adults, you can normally count on a honeymoon period of about 3 months. It is during this time that the happy family might joyously declare - "perfect dog". And, it might well be a perfect dog, but................Most dogs are on best behavior in new situations until they are comfortable they understand the rules.

Caveat. Most rescues caution that the household rules need to be established from the beginning and that families should resist the temptation to pamper the new dog even if they think they are making up for past abuse. It is during this honeymoon period that the dog's view of its pack rank is formed. Too much indulgement and pampering gives the dog the wrong idea, and while dog is scoping out the territory, it is forming opinions that can be very set. Then we are faced with deranking which is never as kind in the long run as setting proper boundaries in the first place.
I am SO glad to have this sight to refer to! I have been reading posts for about 2 weeks now, but this is my first post-so please forgive any mistakes! :)

I adopted a 16-18 month old rottie girl 2 weeks ago, and I suppose we are in that "honey moon" period you talk about, because she is wonderful. She is attentive, does a good watch me, sits, stays, she is not really at a heel, but she walks well on a leash (which I don't think she had ever seen one before being at her foster home.) And she does great in her crate. We have been doing A LOT of socializing, at petco, walks, and just a lot of other places I go she goes. Also she is on a mild NILIF program, but maybe we aren't as firm with that I we should be. My question is how do I prevent, or at least deal with it when the honeymoon is over. Can I make that time any easier for her? I'd appreciate anyones advice!
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  #12  
Old 03-22-2004, 06:25 PM
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Re: How long does a dog take to adjust to his forever home?

Hi All!
I would like to introduce ourselves to you and start this by saying a big thank-you to all you Rotti specialists, owners, trainers and lovers on this board. Your life learning has already proved very valuable to us as we read and reread some threads as we await our approval as board members- the email is here!! phew.
I am Dawn Bryant and my husband is Doug and we are proudly owned by an 8 year old Shiba Inu named Kersmidgen or Smidge on a daily basis or “Kersmidgen O Bryant” when she needs her full name stated to get her undivided attention! We also have 2 rescue Bengal (cat) sisters in our home. They are 5 years old now and have been with us for 3 years. One with a show quality coat named Sunrig and her lovely, kind sister named Spirit.
Our latest addition arrives here on April 10th. Had we known we were getting him, a holiday we booked wouldn’t have been booked. But alas, airline tickets are bought, hotel is paid for and we have home opener tickets right behind home plate for the Blue Jays in Toronto on April 5th against Detroit. We live on the Alaska Highway in northeastern BC. Our boy, Justice was adopted from our local shelter to a family 3 weeks ago but wasn’t a good fit and was returned 2 weeks later. (We understand the Mom and kids loved him but the Dad was very nervous of him) Heartbreaking for all us who volunteer there, as the boy is just one step up from being an ottoman. Very relaxed about most everything. Once he was returned it became apparent to my husband and I that he needed a forever home to be a happy and content and loved dog and it became very important for us to take him. So we started spending more time with him and walking him and working his manners and fell head over heels for the big bear! We have been dedicated dog walkers 2 nights a week plus Saturday mornings for quite a while there and have seen many dogs come and go but none have reached our hearts or touched our souls the way Justice does.
So he will be ours. The girls at the shelter actually cheered when we said yes.
I am very new to the idea of a big dog. Smidge is my first ever dog (35 pounds of puppy looking pooch) and I read voraciously (I about memorized the Monks of New Skete!!) to garner as much training info and advice I could get. She is very well mannered and a calm, quiet respectful member of our family who works at her tricks and manners every day. She is well socialized to dogs and loves cats and children! We don’t have people kids. I train with the rewards method. (treats and belly rubs) And we are both proactive as opposed to being reactive. We divert rather then allow bad behavior to occur as often as we possibly can. So I think we are well equipped to handle a large breed.
However I am still a bit shy about his size. He is always so well behaved with us on a walk. He listens to every command or watches body action for his signals. He has been well trained. He sits, lays, comes, shakes etc on the first request and walks without straining on a line. He is socialized with both dogs and cats and has incredible house manners. We brought him home to meet Smidge and did a controlled introduction and they were perfect with each other. A sit at 10 feet apart for a look, then both allowed to step forward and then told to sit again and then finally allowed to sniff noses and other places for a proper introduction before we headed out for a walk with them. After just the first 100 feet they were side by each like they had been raised with each other! 2 miles later and no issues other then Smidge was tired trying to keep up with his big strides!
The next day we brought him to the house to meet the kitties. We introduced him to the house in stages for him to smell and see and then allowed our very dog friendly kitties to see him. Sunrig ran right up to him (He was on a line), they sniffed noses and she wandered off uninterested as he laid down on the rug in front of the fireplace. Spirit wandered in, had a look see and then sat on her cat tree to observe. He didn’t even flinch at either cat. We allowed him into the rest of the house and after a single cursory pass through; he zonked on the floor in front of the couch! Snoring! Yesh! So it all looks about as perfect as it could possibly be.
(This is where the except part should be but it certainly isn’t a deal breaker!) We let him run in the back yard to see how he would like it. He loved it. Flew off the back deck in full flight all knees and elbows and teeth and scared the daylights out of me with his bigness! Do they all smile when they are free to fly? I need to know how to react to his bigness and uncontrolled happiness! He listened even in the midst of his wild running and excitement but the sight of 100+ pound of muscle coming at me was unsettling. I “think” he knew I was unsettled by it as he was extra attentive to commands and really tried to please me- by sitting on my feet! Perhaps it was his first real time being “free of a line and restraint” in a long time and he was just showing off? We think he might be around 3 but his teeth are so white! I can touch him anywhere… and I have. His nails and feet don’t appear to be an issue as I separated the toes and put pressure on the pads and touched the nails nor are his ears and he loves to have his eyes cleaned. Treats and food aren’t an issue… Smidge and him split biscuit treats on their first day together without a sneer or growl or even look at each other. So we know we have a great friend and companion coming.
I even feel better now just writing this down, as my large dog fear seems a pittance compared to his goodness and heart. Any advice for dealing with big dog anxiety would be welcome still.
Also how do I possibly deal with the wait of 3 full weeks before his homecoming? I can’t visit every day until we leave for fear he will feel deserted when we are away for the 6 days. Nor can I bring him home and have a house sitter that would follow all our “must” rules for proper house manners. Till then he stays at the shelter waiting… with those big brown loving eyes…. me very sad Mommy....
I should say I have my own business where I make and design bears at home so I will be with him a lot and my husband works where he is on the road a bunch so Justice can go for day trips in the truck. In the truck, not the back of it! (He is a dream in a vehicle- no bark, no aggravation, no issues!)
This is sounding TOO good to be true!! Hmmm…
Anyway, this is a not so brief introduction from us, and a thank you, again, for your knowledge. I hope to become an ambassador for the breed as I learn more but I can already tell you I have a completely different reaction to Rotties now then I did a couple of months ago. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
And we welcome advice, assurances, questions and queries. I live to learn!
Cheers all!
Dawn
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  #13  
Old 03-22-2004, 07:17 PM
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Re: How long does a dog take to adjust to his forever home?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mymeekrotti
My question is how do I prevent, or at least deal with it when the honeymoon is over. Can I make that time any easier for her? I'd appreciate anyones advice!
Dear mymeek,
You will find that if you set your foundation correctly as well as including obedience training, there should not be much more than a bit of a bump in the road and that quickly passed.
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Old 03-23-2004, 10:44 PM
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Re: How long does a dog take to adjust to his forever home?

I agree with what everyone here has said. With my 2 it really didn't take long at all. Dakota was my first we adopted her when she was around a year from our local SPCA. She was a little skiddish at first but not knowing her history history we understood we gave her a lot of love set up ground rules & she just was the greatest!!! After about 4 months we decided Dakota needed a playmate & we wanted another dog so I called a local rottie rescue called Power House which I found through the internet. I had read through her web site Tracy had rescued several puppies so I called her to inquire about them & she had already found homes for all the puppies but she had a boy who was about 2 that she had for a while, she told me to stop by & meet him. Well after meeting him we just fell in love with him & we brought him home that day. Chalupa is his name & from his first day with us he acted as if he lived here his whole life. Both my dogs are wonderful & get along very good with each other & the rest is history!!
I could go on & on but I won't. :):) It really depends on the dog but most can overcome thier pasts & be a great addition to your family. My two certainly are.
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my heartdog 09/02 - 09/06/07
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Raven 8 month old female rottie
Bella, Ashe, and Amber my cats
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Old 03-24-2004, 02:29 AM
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Re: How long does a dog take to adjust to his forever home?

Thanks for all the reassurance! Our girl is about 18 months old as close as we can tell any way. She was picked up as a stray so we don't know anything about her history. She is such a good girl though, and I want to do anything I can to keep it going that way. We have set up the ground rules, and are still working on some, but I think wev'e got the basics going. She is doing so well getting socialized, she loves everyone, and while I was a little nervous about people approaching her-she just thinks its great! :) She has to sit down first of course, but then she will let people pet her and she loves it! anyways, thanks for the info! :D
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