Rescue Adoption Handbook
Thank you for welcoming a rescue dog into your family. While all dogs require a commitment of time, attention and money, rescue dogs sometimes need a bit more of these. Your love and patience during the bonding period will pay off handsomely.
picking up your dog, have the following ready:
Food and water bowl - We recommend stainless steel. They are easier to clean and some dogs react to the chemicals in plastic.
- We recommend the following
Iams Large Breed Chunks
Exceed Lamb & Rice
Exceed Chicken & Rice
Pro Plan Performance
These are all premium foods. They require less in order to maintain good condition and they produce smaller stools because the dogs' metabolism uses more from the food.
Dog crate - We recommend a crate until the dog is settled into your routine. Dogs crated when no one can watch them do not chew, mess or destroy stuff from boredom. We do rent crates ($75 deposit and $10 per month) and sell used crates from $50 to $100. Crates can also be used as the dog’s bed. Dogs are den animals and that becomes their security when stressed. NEVER use a crate as punishment. We crate train all dogs here in rescue and feed in the crate and use treats when the dog goes into the crate.
Collars and leash - We recommend a rolled leather collar for tags, medium weight chain choker for training and walking and 6’ leather leash.
you get your new family member home...
they will want to investigate everything. Remember this is not yet their home; you are not yet their people and they may be stressed. We recommend that you follow them around or watch them in the house; even dogs that are house broken can have accidents under stress. Gradually give them more privileges and more room as they earn it.
When they go outside keep the leash on them even in a fenced yard. Again this is all new and they may not come back when you call them. If you do not want your new leash dragging get a 10’ tracking leash or even cloth line and put knots in it about every 2’ to 3’ to step on or grab as needed. The long line also works great in working with the come command.
The new dog should be introduced to the other 4 legged family members on neutral grounds: a friend's fenced yard, a fenced park (small area), tennis court. When on leash both dogs should be on loose leashes. With a tight leash, the dog gets the signal that the other dog is a threat. They will sniff each other, circle, and sniff. Praise them both in a happy manner; let them play but keep the leashes attached to the buckle collar only. DO NOT HAVE THE CHAIN CHOKER ON EITHER DOG. When you get home again keep them leashed but let the leads drag during play.
Always feed with separate bowls and allow each to have their own toys. (Do not just give the new dog some of the other dogs toys. Kids do not share well sometimes and neither do dogs).
If they seem to be getting into a scuffle try to distract them, spray bottle with water works well most of the time. Never try to break up a dog fight, someone could get bitten.
If your other 4 legged family member is a cat, don’t force the meeting immediately. Let the dog get settled in and do the introduction with the dog on leash and so the cat has an escape route. Always supervise the meeting the first few times. Dogs and cats normally work things out and become good friends but remember dogs can and do kill cats and cats can and do blind dogs.
Housetraining with adult dogs needs to be approached the same way as with a puppy. Even housebroken adults can have accidents. Stress from change can also cause accidents.
Teach your dog where you want it to eliminate. Take it to the same area every time using a command like “hurry up & potty”, “outside & go potty” or “go potty”. Praise the dog for sniffing and offer lots of praise after.
You will need to take the dog out every couple hours, after meals, upon awaking and immediately upon coming out of the crate. Meals should be 3 to 5 hours before bedtime to allow plenty of time to eliminate before you retire for the night.
Preventing mistakes is the most challenging part of housetraining. You must supervise the dog constantly. When you cannot do so confine them in their crate to avoid accidents. Always take them out to eliminate before confining them.
Punishment is the least effective and overused approach to housetraining. A correction should only be if you catch the dog in the act and no more than a distraction then immediately take them outside to finish.
Chewing is natural for dogs. This is how they explore their surroundings. Puppy-proof your house. New dogs need to be treated as puppies and gain freedom as they earn it. Throw rugs, wires and cords, shoes, toys and paper products seem to be the favorite in terms of taboo chewies. Limit the number of toys the dog has until they learn what is theirs and what is yours.
Contact your local dog training club or check the AKC website at www.akc.org to find clubs in your area. It is best to participate in group lessons at a training club rather than engaging a private trainer that comes to your house. The dog receives socialization with exposure to other people and unfamiliar dogs and you may find other fun-filled activities of interest to both you and your dog.
DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS HOME ALONE
Because we are residents of Florida, having a disaster preparedness plan in place is important! Hurricanes, fires, tornados, flooding are all reasons you may have to leave in a hurry. What you need for your dog, these are also good for regular travel out of town:
After you get home and before your pets are let out into the yard, check for weak spots in the fence, debris or downed power lines, and contaminated food or water.
© Copyright 2004 Tampa Bay German Shepherd Rescue
Tampa Bay German Shepherd Rescue
11904 Mc Mullen Loop
Riverview, FL 33569