WELCOMING A NEW DOG TO YOUR HOME
ARRIVING AT YOUR HOME
Your dog, unless a UK foster, may never have experienced life in a home, so will need support and patience with training and settling. Even walking through a doorway can be very daunting as this is something they are not used to and they may need gentle encouragement. Positive reinforcement such as treats can be used for this.
Crying at night is common; it is up to you where your new dog sleeps if you have adopted but please do not allow on sofas, in your bed, or on other furniture until fully trained and boundaries in place. Be prepared to sit with and settle your dog for the first few nights. It is all very new and scary for them. Often warmth and silence are very alien to them.
In the first few days, you should use a lead (a long one if desired) in the garden regardless of how secure it is. You may find your dog is not keen on the idea of coming back inside, however, you should not force or drag them; just give them gentle persuasion and use treats to encourage them.
TAGS & MICROCHIPS
Please ensure you have a tag made with your identity and contact details on, prior to the dog’s arrival. Wearing a tag is a legal requirement and you can be fined if your dog does not wear one, this includes any foster dog. Your dog will be microchipped and this will be checked against the passport when they arrive. If you are adopting your dog, we will register your dog’s microchip, as this is included in the adoption fee. If you are fostering, the microchip remains registered to us.
NEVER try to bath your dog when they arrive. This will not be an enjoyable experience as the dog will be scared and still unused to the environment. Bathing could cause your dog lots of stress and could make them fear you more, affecting your ability to build a bond with them. Please always wait at least 1 week and go at your dog’s pace. Think carefully, prior to fostering or adopting a dog from overseas if you do not want a smelly dog in your home, because the reality is, they will smell.
LEADS AND WALKING
We recommend using TWO slip leads or slip lead and clip-on lead (double lead) when first walking your dog in case they wriggle out of one. If you find a harness isn’t working then try just a slip lead (it is worth being aware that certain breeds such as malamutes and husky types tend to be worse in a harness as the pressure on the chest can make them pull more) It is fundamentally important that you keep your dog on a long lead in the garden for the first few days/weeks! They can be notorious escape artists and will scale walls and fences Always ensure all windows and doors are kept shut and secure whilst your dog is settling in as this is also a common escape route for them.
If fostering a dog, we require the foster dog to ALWAYS be on a lead when leaving the home Many frightened dogs can easily escape both a collar and a standard harness in seconds. Whatever equipment you use to keep your dog safe, please also be aware that determined / fearful dog can chew through a lead or harness strap in seconds.
Keep your eyes on your dog, take things gently and be patient while getting to know each other.
Always use double lead until you are fully confident that your dog will not attempt to escape. Be prepared to work hard using a long line and treats to ensure perfect recall.
Your dog may have a ‘name’ but it may not know it! Most dogs quickly learn their name and basic commands.
In the unlikely event of your dog escaping you must inform a member of our team IMMEDIATELY – you should ring the dog warden and all local rescues. If you and friends or family go to search for the dog we cannot stress highly enough DO NOT CHASE OR TRY TO CORNER THE DOG; they will just become more fearful and run further. We have specialist tracking teams we can contact who are highly skilled in returning Romanian dogs to their owners.
DEALING WITH AGGRESSION
Food aggression is a normal issue to encounter and is not impossible to overcome. IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER YOUR DOG MAY HAVE LIVED ON THE STREET AND HAD TO FIGHT FOR ITS FOOD
• We always advise you feed your dog on its own, and keep all other animals and children separate at feeding time
• It does not take long for your dog to learn that in your home, food is readily available
• Please be aware that growling is not a pre-cursor to aggression
GROWLING IS JUST A WARNING
• Growling is a dog’s way of saying that they are uncomfortable and unsure of a situation. Back away and leave them in peace.
• Growling IS NOT a dog being aggressive.
• Growling IS NOT a dog about to bite.
• Growling IS NOT a dog ‘going for you’.
• Growling at other animals is a warning.
• Growling is also a dogs way of finding their place in the new pack.
• Allow them to settle things at their own pace.
• Should a fight occur DO NOT put yourself in danger to separate dogs
• Make yourself aware of what play fighting can look like, sometimes it looks a bit scary, but while they nip at each other’s neck and faces they never break the skin.
• A submissive dog will bow down to invite another dog to play and sometimes when two dogs are bouncing around in this way it can look and sound worse than it is.
PLEASE BE AWARE
There are other quirks that rescue dogs can show, some across all rescue dogs, some more particular to those from Romania and Eastern Europe:
Do not be surprised to see your dog eating its own faeces. This can be for a variety of reasons but is often a learned behaviour due to hunger.
They may show fear of:
Traffic/vans /bin/recycling lorries
Noises that are alien to them such as TV, vacuum, phone, doorbell
They may dig in your garden and rummage in bins! They will often eat everything and anything they see.
Your dog may never have been in a home before – DO NOT let them on furniture, your bed or sofas. Provide them with a bed and ensure you set strict boundaries and have training in place ASAP.
BE VERY AWARE
These dogs have had to survive any way they can, they can jump higher than you think, wriggle through holes smaller than you think and be gone in seconds if scared.
Settling in can take time, these dogs have been taken from everything they have known and put in a situation that can feel scary and daunting.
They do not understand initially, that they are safe in your home or that you will love them and they do not know that they no longer need to live how they did. They do not understand that your expensive ornaments/cushions /rugs/curtains are not appropriate toys! Provide a variety of toys/squeaks/tug toys/soft toys for your dog and let them know they can play with them.
A firm no is all that is ever needed if your dog does something that you would rather they didn’t. NEVER, EVER STRIKE OR SMACK YOUR DOG.
Please remember that the size your dog is stated as being or maturing to is a guesstimate – as mixed breeds can vary so much -therefore your dog may grow bigger than we initially thought, or in fact remain smaller!
…and FINALLY! Please enjoy your family’s new addition, and remember the commitment you have made to them!