Dogs acclimating to new home, how long? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 75 (permalink) Old 04-06-2010, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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Dogs acclimating to new home, how long?

Having 2 HRI dogs in our house has made me think about whether they miss their previous home. Gracie was a puppy mill rescue so her situation was different.

How long does it take a dog to acclimate to a different home? And knowing they'll move on from here worries me, just hoping they'll settle in quickly.

Am I applying too much human emotion to this? What can be done to make the transition easier?

Ann-Scooter, Murphy, & Gracie's Mom
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post #2 of 75 (permalink) Old 04-06-2010, 11:06 AM
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Ann, Worrying just shows you have a kind heart and care. Fostering dogs for a short while is a wonderful way to insure they get not only get a good home but the right home. It is wrong when people foster for years and then try to rehome them. This is not fair to the dogs and as they get older it limits the homes willing to take them. The hope is if they are better ajusted they will have an easier time fitting into their forever home. I have seen puppy mill dogs that have been fostered for three years and suddenly the foster thinks its time to rehome them and their 10 or more, for a dog that came out of that situation that is unfair.

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post #3 of 75 (permalink) Old 04-06-2010, 11:07 AM
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Oops, I forgot the most important part.....What your doing is wonderful!!!!!!

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post #4 of 75 (permalink) Old 04-06-2010, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Scooter's Family View Post
...How long does it take a dog to acclimate to a different home? And knowing they'll move on from here worries me, just hoping they'll settle in quickly...

Am I applying too much human emotion to this? What can be done to make the transition easier?
I think several factors play into how well & fast a dog acclimates to its new home. Breed type being one of the key factors. I'm sure the breeders on here can tell you whether Havs are quick to reattach to a new human. We only have Pepper to go on, and he came to us in such terrible condition that I have to believe his former home wasn't a very caring one. That said, it took him a few weeks to warm up and get comfy here. I chalked that up to natural wariness of new/strange people and surroundings. Once he settled in though, he was totally comfortable with us and our other dogs.

In contrast, I've been caring for my sister's Akita for over 5 years now and he STILL looks for her when he catches any whiff of her scent on something she's sent over or when we've visited her without him. Sadly, he will spend the rest of his life with us...and miss her the entire time. Mind you, he's content with us and happily accepts our love and attention but if he had his preference, he'd be with my sister in a heartbeat. All of our foster goldens are party wh*res. They love whoever has the treats and toys.

The best thing to help a new dog settle in (in our experience) has been to establish a routine right away and let the dog insert himself at his own pace. Don't force interaction between the newcomer and existing family, but don't let the dog avoid you all either.

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post #5 of 75 (permalink) Old 04-06-2010, 12:08 PM
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Over many years I have placed many dogs that did not work out for show, finished their championship or for other reasons. Not one had a problem adjusting to the new home because they went to good people. I could let them go because I knew they would get more individual attention in their new homes. So many people go to the shelters to adopt.....these programs would not work if many had adjustment problems.

Your good human emotions are why you are doing this, but dogs do not think the same as we do. They live in the moment, in the now. I believe they always remember, at least all of mine did, many of them came back for visits or I kept them when their new families went out of town. The dogs would fall right back into my routine, but that is not to say they were not as or more happy with their new homes. When their families came to get them they were ready to go home.


Most of us want to believe in the Lassie, Homeward Bound movies, but that is fiction, most dogs would take up with the first family that fed and was good to them.

How are these two adjusting to your home?

Sandi, taking a new road with Smarty and Galen
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post #6 of 75 (permalink) Old 04-06-2010, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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They're doing great Sandi. They follow our schedule even though it was very different than theirs but they seem happy and content.

The major difference is that they were way overfed! Bo, who weighs 23 pounds, was getting about 3 cups of kibble a day! Jackie was getting almost that much and they were fed only once a day. Now they're getting a little more than one cup per day split into two meals with peas, carrots, and green beans mixed in. They also get little potty treats and love them. They didn't know what treats were.

I just want to be sure we handle the transitions properly to make it easier on them. They're very needy but I attribute that to being in a new place. I try to reassure without babying so they'll adjust to a new home without much trouble.

They'll be great for a family with older kids or a retired couple, someone who is home during the day. They're both very sweet and love being snuggled and having belly rubs. Bo has odd little mannerisms that crack us up, he looks like a sheep.

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post #7 of 75 (permalink) Old 04-06-2010, 03:05 PM
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You are doing perfect. Sounds like you are enjoying them and their attitude is not of abused dogs, just neglected health and freedom wise. They are in a pack now, I doubt with 5 you are going to spoil them to the point of them having a hard time when they go to their new forever homes. Scooter and Murphy always seem very well balanced, Gracie has done great, these 2 will also.

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post #8 of 75 (permalink) Old 04-06-2010, 03:26 PM
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My very first foster was very hard to let go. We had her from thanksgiving to April. That was such a long time. We bonded very quickly. The first home we had feel through so I told my husband that I wanted to keep her. Then we found the perfect home for her. I was sooo sick the night before. I knew the couple was great but it was hard to know that she was in a home with people she didn't know. It was a perfect fit. I am like that with all my fosters. I think it is because we have so much love for these animals that we just want the best for them. Laurie knows what I go through when giving them to there new homes. You are giving them a start to a wonderful beginning.

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post #9 of 75 (permalink) Old 04-06-2010, 04:52 PM
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One of the magazines I get recently had an article on rehoming older dogs. It was mainly meant for breeders, but I'm sure the concept would work just as well for foster dogs. They suggested having the potential owner come several times to visit the dog in the home, then take the dog for walks several times, followed by a couple of outings by car, then an over night or weekend visit at the potential home. The article said that typically by that point, the dog looked on the new family as good friends too, and the transition was pretty easy for everyone.

It's a lot of work, of course, but if it eases that transition period, to me it sounds like it would be worth it.


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post #10 of 75 (permalink) Old 04-06-2010, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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That's a great idea Karen. If it's possible, I will do that to the extent that I can. They love everyone who comes over so I think they'll be happy as long as they get lots of attention.

Ann-Scooter, Murphy, & Gracie's Mom
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