The first few weeks
He needs, he has to …!
Of course, dogs need exercise, employment, contact with fellow species and much more.
And at some point they have to integrate into our everyday life: stay alone for a few hours, ride in the car, accompany us to our work or family celebrations, walk on a leash …
But if our well-meaning attempts to give the dog long walks, a group course in the dog school, or a visit to a dog free run simply overwhelm him, then he has no benefit from it. On the contrary: The stress that he may get through this harms his health and your relationship.
Promised: You won’t harm your dog if you don’t do all of this in the first few weeks. Watch him: when is he relaxed and happy with it? When does he seem more despondent and hesitant? Offer him activities that he enjoys – you can practice coping with unpleasant situations later. If you don’t get over “Rolling chunks of food on the living room carpet” in the first time, it doesn’t matter!
But do you have to train with your dog? Do it already!
You teach him that he can relax in your area, that it makes sense and pleasure to do something with you, that you recognize and take into account his needs. They create a basis on which they will “do” with the whole thing and above all with the “must” much easier later.
Especially for things that need to be, you should have an emergency plan in your pocket:
Even if you have clarified with your employer that you can bring your dog to work with you, it could be that the dog is completely overwhelmed with this situation. Or does not survive the way there because the respective means of transport is still scaring him to death. And even if you only work half a day, your dog may not be able to stay at home alone for even an hour.
Please clarify with friends / neighbors / family members beforehand whether and to what extent they would be able to support you, or contact a trustworthy dog sitter.
Let’s say I’m afraid of dogs. Let us further assume that I am in an environment that is very scary to me. Now a sinister figure approaches in a flowing cloak – I can neither see her face nor see whether she is armed. Does she want to attack me?
If the dog, which I was just very afraid of, drives the eerie figure away, I will involuntarily develop trust. If a figure approaches again, I will hope for him again. If he continues to protect me, I will want to stay close to him.
That’s exactly what you can do for your dog!
Regardless of whether you take him out of the supposed danger zone, check out potential dangers, or put “enemies” to flight (you can find more information in the text on the topic “Uncertainty”): he will start to feel safe in your area.
Do you understand doggy?
Dogs have a fine and highly differentiated body language, from which we can read very precisely how they are feeling.
Have you ever tried to make yourself radically clear somewhere abroad with the support of your hands and feet? And wasn’t it wonderful to come across someone who understood your language on such occasions?
There are numerous ways to learn how to interpret dog expression. If you want to be on the safe side, consult a trainer and let them help you correctly interpret your dog’s behavior.
If you have learned to see when your dog starts to feel uncomfortable, you can help him before he gets scared. You do not run the risk of overwhelming him because you will notice early on when something is too much for him. And you can create situations in which he feels comfortable and relaxed.
Again, a street dog that we transplant into our everyday life may need every waking second to find its way around. He’s busy enough for now!
Nevertheless, one or the other may have the capacity to learn a few first signals, especially if he enjoys working together.
For example, his name. Or a signal to get there.
Quite often I hear that the dog actually demands learning signals.
And strangely enough, one of the first behaviors offered on such occasions appears to be “giving paws”.
Why – of all things that can be taught to a dog – the “paw” of all things?
“Paw”, lifting a front paw is a gesture of uncertainty and appeasement.
If I catch them by rewarding them and signaling them, I will of course not harm the dog!
Only the actual message “I’m unsettled!” Unfortunately goes unheard …
Don’t worry if your dog has a hard time learning.
Imagine that you are busy shopping for a family weekend long weekend ago. Your boss just called her on the cell phone and criticized you for not completing a task to his satisfaction. And now I come around the corner and would like to work through the first lesson “Chinese for beginners” with you.
That will not work …
Anyone suffering from stress cannot learn at this moment, because our dogs are no better off than we are. So if your dog needs time to concentrate on an exercise, leave it to him. You will both enjoy it much more if you wait for the right moment.