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How do I ease the stress for an newly adopted mature dog?

asked 2017-08-12 06:16:27 -0500

We have recently adopted a 7 year old dog. She had lived with the breeder as a mother dog since birth and we adopted her when she retired from being a mama. We already have a 4 year old dog of the same breed (who happens to be her brother from another mother :) ) She is a very sweet and gentle dog. She has been very clingy to me since she arrived with us and a bit timid with the other family members. She follows me everywhere! She has been eliminating indoors when we are home, but she sneaks off to another room to do it. I am thinking she is feeling stressed from her move to our family. Any suggestions of training exercises or things I can do to help her with this transition?

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answered 2017-09-09 10:49:29 -0500

You need a management routine as if this dog were a puppy. She should be crated or on a leash attached to you while you're in the house. You should take her outside every hour or as often as possible and praise/reward her for eliminating. You can add a cue like "go potty" every time you see her starting to eliminate. Since, it sounds like she lived ina kennel, make sure she has a comfy crate, which is her own space. Give her meals and treats in the crate. Make sure she is getting lots of walks/exercise. Anxiety is inversely proportional to exercise. If you're consistent, it'll take a few weeks to potty train. Make sure you dont react to her going indoors-dont punish. If you feel like you're likely to react, get doggy diapers. Female doggy diapers stay in place really well if you make an attachment to the collar. Also, make sure to clean up using an enzymatic cleaner, so there isnt any residue.

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answered 2017-08-19 17:45:05 -0500

Congratulations!! My first recommendation would be to limit her areas of access, at home. Starting off in smaller areas can easily help with anxieties. I would mimic her past routine as best as you can. (Was she in/out, crated, part of family or left with other dogs more often, etc) Based upon what you're mentioning, she is showing signs of stress and anxiety... Time and patience will help, but can take time. I would however, recommend her seeing a vet to rule out any medical reasons for the indoor accidents. They can be caused by stress; not a bad idea to confirm she at least doesn't have any underlying issues. Crating can also be used as a safe spot, again, smaller spaces offer more security. You can also try a thunder jacket and up exercise to balance out the levels of stress/anxiety. Your vet may be able to, if needed, offer some medications to help her transition and new environment. Good luck!!

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answered 2017-08-17 08:00:40 -0500

First off, congratulations on your new fur baby and thank you for giving an older dog a home.

My biggest recommendation would be to give her time, this is all very new to her and she will need time to adjust. Keep being calm and not pushing her and she will most likely come out of her shell. Having everyone in the family help with her care, the feeding and walking, will help strengthen her bond with all of your family members. But many dogs tend to get more attached to one person so as long as with time she doesnt seem needy and clingy and is starting to live her new life, I wouldnt worry about her liking you more.

For the eliminating indoors, this could be caused by many factors, was she allowed outdoors at the breeder's, is she a leash pooper or not, is she simply too disoriented at the moment, etc. But the solution is pretty much the same for all of these factors, you will have to address this as you would house breaking a puppy.

She will have to be in the same room as you or in her crate or pen. When she looks like she is going into pre-elimination rituals, like smelling the ground while going in circles, take her outside. When she eliminates outside, say "good pee" or "good poo" depending on the business she is doing (you will thank me later when you can tell her to go pee or poo with a command when you are in a hurry and she is being a brat about not doing it) and reward her with tasty food treats. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

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