Bringing in an Unbalanced Dog or Rescue Into Your Home
One of the things many of us tend to do to help ease the loss of losing a close companion is to remind ourselves that it also means there’s room in our family for another. Without actively looking, I know that a new Havanese will one day draw my attention and grab my heart, as surely as if I had hung out a "Vacancy" sign. I am destined to be surrounded by many Havanese. In our case we will add from within, from one of our own puppies.
But what will you do and what is your reason? If you choose to add an unbalanced dog or a rescue into your home good for you but there are some serious considerations to keep in mind.
Choosing to add another to an existing pack should be done on an intellectual level and not simply an emotional one. To make it work:
1. Play games that includes everyone (nothing like a game to promote bonding)
2. Do basic training (also a bonding factor). Do it as a reward base that will promote who is in charge in a positive way. Always stay upbeat even if the dog is frustrated. The more frustrated you get, the more difficult the dog will become. Use your head and stay focused on the goal.
3. Treat an unruly dog as if it is a puppy and doesn't know any better. Get it in your head that this is the case and your emotions will be in a better place. Reward, reward, reward for positive strides. Look for any opportunity, no matter how small, to reward.
4. Invest solid time. If this dog is with you forever, then treat it as such and get some serious training in. You have time.
5. Block the door with a gate. We have a gate across our front door so the dogs do not rush the door. I do not think any visitor needs that and it protects them from running outside. Every dog owner that lives in the city, IMHO, should have such a gate.
6. Walk, walk, walk. We use walks in a big way to help a dog relax. Hopefully your new addition is balanced and if it is not, then you need to walk the new one ALONE. If it is balanced, the new dog will feed off the others and act accordingly. We can walk an unbalanced dog with a balanced dog in our pack and the new dog calms down and relaxes. There is NOTHING like a pack member to help another dog but if the new addition is unbalanced, you need to work on both or all your dogs too.
7. Laugh - and laugh and laugh. What I mean is find moments to enjoy even when it seems overwhelming. Your dogs will react and feed off of you and everyone will be better off.
8. I recently had a really bad time dematting a heavily matted dog for a solid week. I spent literally 40+ hours. My dogs were missing me - thank the heavens for Nathan but I made sure that the dog got hugs, love, massages and playtime. I just didn't have a life. But I adore the dogs and I would do anything for them. Not everyone has that mindset. I wasn't always like that. I seemed to count more at one time. Now they count. I am not telling you to lose yourself to the dogs like me but seek balance for the dog. Usually a very needy or unruly dog is looking for something - usually rules and boundaries in a positive and balanced way and if you can do that for the dog, nothing is more rewarding. If you want it and keep concentrating on the end result and the goals - it will slowly come together for you all. There is no quick fix but the result is worth every moment spent.
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