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adopting a dog
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Easing Your Adopted Dogs Anxiety
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Easing your adopted dogs anxiety

Adopting a dog from a shelter can be a wonderful experience for the right person. Generally you go to a shelter looking to find a dog, but more times than not, the dog finds you. Your newest family member will most definitely be a welcome addition, but there are certain issues that can arise when adopting a dog from a shelter. Usually there is little known about the dog's past and his true temperament. But a little time and understanding will help ease your adopted dog’s anxieties and help you and your family avoid some of the negative behavior traps, like anxiety barking and chewing.

Some of the best advice in helping your new pet adjust, is to do your homework before bringing him home. Research different breed types, you may know if you would like a smaller or larger dog, but keep in mind certain behaviors are very breed specific. For example, beagles are adorable and sweet-natured dogs, but they can be very stubborn and set in their ways and require firm training. Jack Russells are funny and smart, and very devoted, but can easily fall into anxiety barking habits because of their high energy personalities.

After your first visit to the shelter, let every family member have an opportunity to meet the new dog at the shelter before bringing him home. This would include your current family pets if possible. But you want to ensure that your newest best bud is going to get along well with everyone and not be in a situation that will cause him any kind of extra stress. It is not uncommon for some dogs to be fearful of men, especially if they've had bad experiences in the past with them. If your dog, upon meeting your husband falls into anxiety barking, this will be a great clue he's afraid of men. It's definitely not a deal breaker, given some time, he can conquer his fear and you and your pooch will be happily rewarded.

When you do bring your new pal home, give him time to adjust. He will be excited, confused and unsure. It will be difficult to gauge his true personality for a few days or more. He may display signs of stress, like anxiety barking or chewing, these could pass quickly on their own as a little time goes by. But be firm in your expectations, if you don't plan on allowing him on the sofa, don't make exceptions in his first few days home, this will only confuse him further and cause both of you issues down the road.

Try to continue on the same feeding schedule as he was on in the shelter. If you can provide him with the same type of food as well, it will help to avoid any stomach issues that might arise. Some dogs, like people, can get nervous tummies when experiencing new things, adding a new dog food to this could cause trouble. Give him some time to adjust to his new surroundings, then introduce new foods or schedules slowly.

Shelter dogs can experience some anxiety issues, this is not always the case, but they are more prone to separation anxiety. Generally because they are afraid of losing their new family like they did their last one. This separation anxiety can lead to excessive barking or chewing. Making sure your pet gets plenty of exercise can reduce anxiety barking greatly and other forms of stressed out behavior.

You may find your dog takes quickly to a crate. This can be because of previously being crate trained or from his memory of being at the shelter. Either way, a crate can make an anxious dog feel safe. It can also stress an anxious dog out more, so monitor your bud's reaction closely when introducing a crate.

If you suspect your dog may be experiencing separation anxiety, talk to your neighbors to find out if he's yelping or barking when you are not home. Your neighbors will appreciate your concern and you can take quick measures to end his anxiety barking quickly, if you find that is the case.

Most of all give your new dog plenty of love! This is something he's been missing out on and the one thing he wants more than anything!

Just like people, dogs will build confidence in themselves the more they learn and experience. Training and socialization are fantastic tools to ensure a secure and happy pooch. Being consistent and setting firm but loving boundaries will also help keep your pups stress levels low and help you avoid problems like anxiety barking and other destructive behavior. Once your newest pal knows what is expected of him, he will do his darndest to make you happy. That's one of the reasons we love dogs so much, right?

Street Talk

I agree, before getting a dog from a shelter or anywhere, you should do your homework and know what your getting into. Make sure there will be a good fit between you two.

  about 1 decade ago
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