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REHOMED: Settling In by Georgia Burton

Now that your new dog has arrived in his forever home, you will be so excited and rightly so! He might have walked in as though he's lived there forever and be snoring on the sofa by now. However, some dogs take longer to settle and can find the move stressful. Bulldog's are fickle and live in real time so are unlikely to be pining for their previous owners. Instead questions like these could be on his mind: who's feeding me? Where do I go for a wee? (if you're lucky!) Where will I sleep? where's my safe space? Who's in my family now? Where am I in the family pecking order? Signs of stress of moving might include: 

Not wanting to eat for a day or two: super common, this will stop when he gets hungry and rarely lasts longer than a couple of days. I find making friends by offering just a little morsel or two on your hand helps but remember to let him discover his new home on his own - don't make a rod for your own back.
Humping: Towards you or the other dogs in the house - this is not a sexual issue it is a nervous response - a heightened state of excitement and adrenaline. Push him gently down and say no  gently, turn your back, ignore bad behaviour again, this will settle in time once he adjusts to his new surroundings. Try to keep your resident dog's routine the same as usual and let them work out the order between them, only stepping in if things get too heavy. 
Accidents in the home: sometimes, and this is nervousness again, he might have an accident he wouldn't normally have had - let him out after eating and drinking, praise him like he's won the lottery when he does his business outside and ignore any accidents indoors.   
Barking at night: The first few nights you might have a bit of noise - put him out for a wee last thing, but in the middle of the night ignore it he's just testing the boundaries, put him where you want him to sleep - somewhere enclosed like the kitchen is ideal tell him "goodnight" and go to bed. If he is howling through the night (rare) you could put the radio on for him or go down once and firmly say "no" or " shh" with a flat hand up (like "stop") - again this will settle once he knows the routine.
IWhen he first arrives: Maintain low level energy in your home, sit on the floor facing your body away from him let him come to you when he comes for a sniff that means "I'm relaxed and ready to say hi to you now" - this way you are not putting him under any pressure to interact until he is ready.
Don't invite people who do not live with you - let him get used to the family for at least 7 days and maintain a low level low energy vibe for him to find his feet in. Visitors can wait and excited groups of noisy strangers may scare him.  
Don't allow your Bulldog upstairs or in beds and bedrooms at all for around 6 months: Firstly shout out to all the Owners with dogs in their beds (I'm guilty too - nothing quite as perfect as waking up cuddling the snoring dog!) However, you must help him to settle in well by showing him where the boundaries are - this in turn will show him where he is within your family pack.  It  is really important that you don't set him up for a fall, as putting him straight upstairs, in bedrooms and in your bed will promote him in his own mind "from tea boy to Richard Branson" in one foul swoop! He could easily think he's wearing the trousers and start picking people off and seeing what else he can get away with, particularly true if there is a dominant streak or if he is at a young age. Also stairs and bulldogs don't mix really - knees and spines and just no, avoid! Keeping him downstairs at night will show him kindly where he is in your family, below you, your partner and any children. 
Golden rules: 
Start as you mean to go on (what he gets today a Bulldog will expect tomorrow!) ; show him the boundaries; praise the good, ignore the bad; you will have a different dog in a week / month so give him time it will be 100% worth it we absolutely promise, and finally ... 
if in doubt give us a shout!  :) 
 
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