By Valli Aman
Question: I adopted an adorable 15 lb. mixed breed dog from the East Valley Shelter a month ago. I love my new dog so much but she is very unruly, goes crazy — jumping and barking at all the dogs behind fences when I walk her — and we take long walks. Yet when I took her to the dog park she seemed OK. Also, getting her leash on is a real problem. Can you help?
Answer: This situation is very common with rescued and re-homed dogs. Though you’ve had your dog for a month and that may seem like enough time for her to have settled in and accepted her new surroundings, it may not seem that way to your dog. Let’s equate it to moving. If you moved today and all your “stuff” was in your new residence, would you be “settled” the day you move in? In a month or even six months? Probably not. So be patient.
When a dog is adopted, there is a very likely chance that no one truly knows the background of why the dog was turned in and that goes for “owner surrender” titles too. Though we all “want the story” of our new friend, we learn it over time as doggie settles in and shows us what they want us to see.
Go slowly. Your new pup needs to be reminded that she is “home” and though many would argue the point, go on short walks initially; go around the block and when you’re one block away, say to your dog, “Let’s go home, let’s go find the house.” When you arrive home make a big deal out of it as if something very progressive happened. Use a treat to help with getting the leash on. Have patience overall and connect with “Oh My Dog” at ohmydog-la.com for more information.
I’ll have other tips and hints for all dog owners every month in THE TOLUCAN TIMES.
Do you have questions about your pooch? Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.