What Can You Expect:
When you are adopting an older dog, regardless of their past history there are a few things to remember.
Probably the hardest thing to remember, because the dog is new to you, is that this dog is an adult with all the normal adult attitudes already a part of their being. I know this sounds really basic but sometimes people find themselves expecting an adult dog to respond with the blind trust and enthusiasm of a puppy from the very first day you bring your new dog home. Sometimes it’s very difficult not to expect your new family member to respond exactly like your old family member. In most cases, your new addition will respond the way you want them to, but not from the very beginning.
For the adult dog going to a new home, there is a distinct period of adjustment. We tell people to give the dog a month to bond with them. In that month, the dog is learning millions of things that you might not even realize…a billion new smells, new sounds, new words, new body language, new eye contact, new touch, new ways of touching, new clothes and how they sound and feel, new footsteps, new emotions, new tones of voice. The list is close to endless and they are learning these things without the support and confidence they would get from their former person. This period of adjustment and bonding is sometimes almost immediate and sometimes longer. Different dogs, like different people, respond differently to having their environment completely changed. Have patience, go slow, allow your new dog to accept you. You’ve already accepted him/her by opening your home and heart but they need to decide for themselves. Once they have, the rewards are endless and the love without compare.