IV In the beginning everything went well!
A dog that is accepted into a new family needs about three to four weeks to orientate itself temporarily in this: Who is all part of it? Who can do what? What are the obvious rules of the game?
After three to four months he has arrived: he has an idea of what he can, must and may do in the family himself, and begins to behave accordingly.
In the first weeks, dogs are often very inconspicuous and “easy to care for” – first of all, they are observed.
In the next few months they will try to find and fill their place in this constellation.
All of this has nothing to do with any need for rule!
Have you ever been “introduced” by your partner to their family?
In the beginning, you were guaranteed to make the greatest effort to please and behave nowhere without fault. A short time later you know where indulgence is taking place under the auspices of family comfort: in the heat of the moment, the elbow is leaned on the table or gestured with a fork in hand. And nobody disapproves of burping as long as it is quiet.
Some time later you also know who has his sore spots where. Who and what you can make jokes about and when is better to keep your mouth shut.
Because you are aiming for the head of the family?
Certainly not. You are simply trying to play along according to the rules of the game you have recognized.
And to the extent that you think you have recognized them, you will show behaviors that others do not yet know. You could also say: you remove your inhibitions.
After three to four weeks or months, experience shows that dogs that are new to a family can experience a change in behavior. Often one towards the negative, but this may be due to the fact that positive developments are often taken for granted, while negative ones dig deep into the memory. And nobody consults a trainer if everything goes well …
For dogs from animal welfare abroad, these phases can take a lot longer because they have a lot more new impressions to process. Many reactions are also inhibited by their fears for a long time. But then comes the day when the dog suddenly behaves very differently.
“In the beginning everything went really well!”, Then it is said, and then suddenly he started barking at people, attacking other dogs …
Even if you did not imagine it that way – it is actually good news: your dog arrives, loses its inhibitions and begins to react authentically.
Situations that overwhelm him or are simply uncomfortable are no longer tolerated quietly, but he expresses his displeasure. They may have overlooked “quieter” expressions of discomfort and fear, or may not have recognized them as such, and it must now become clearer.
Since his reactions are extremely unpleasant not only for you, but primarily for your dog, please consult a trainer now at the latest!
What can I do to prevent this from happening in the first place?
You cannot know in advance what will overwhelm and scare your new family member. And if you’re not very skilled at reading dogs’ body language, it can be difficult to tell.
However, there is a list of “common suspects”, situations that have been known to cause problems for many dogs.
- an excess of stimuli
- lack of rest and retreat
- fear of loud noises
- fear of unknown objects or situations
- fear of people, discomfort when strangers get too close or try to touch the dog
- Discomfort and insecurity when contacting other dogs
Just keep it from:
Offer him all the help a dog with insecurities and fears needs. Regulate his contacts with other people and dogs.
This is never superfluous, no dog, no matter where it comes from.
If, after a while, you find that he can do very well without your help, he has at least learned where to get it, should it be necessary.
Then you have a good chance that the surprises you expect when it arrives will be pleasant.