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Hello all,

First time owner here. I just brought my adopted 8 year old home and the first night hasn't been a success. The shelter predicted that he'd be pretty calm based on his usual behavior. I ran my general nighttime plan by them: late afternoon/early evening 'big' walk, late night quick potty break, and then bed around midnight. They emphasized that he needs to sleep in the crate at first.

He's already crate-trained, and when I got him home he spent much of the afternoon and evening hanging out in the crate, by choice. I closed the door for a while, with me in the room, and he was absolutely fine. A little later, I left him in there while I ran a quick (10 minute errand). I set me the camera on my iPad, so I know he was fine.

Because of size constraints, he can't sleep in my bedroom. I gradually decreased the amount of light in the living room and went to bed in the next room, but kept the door open. I'd say the living room was very nearly dark, but not entirely. I left the blinds open and the distant kitchen light provided a light glow. I fell asleep nearly immediately, so I don't know when the trouble started, a work up 30 minutes later. He was whining terribly, reverse sneezing, and periodically rattling at the crate. I tried to wait it out, but I just got too worried and went in. I stood in the doorway for a few minutes, and he calmed a bit, but not entirely. Finally, I turned on the light and went over to him. After a couple of minutes, he calmed down (so I know it wasn't a desperate need to go out), and he seems fairly relaxed, though awake and grooming himself pretty intently, in his crate. I am sitting nearby on the couch.

I read dozens of posts before I brought him home and I know I probably shouldn't have gone into to him, but I was terrified something was really wrong. It was starting to see him go from so docile to so worked up in such a quick span, especially after the shelter said he's likely be generally calm. Now I know that when I return to bed, he'll likely start up again. Can somebody give me a general sense of what is "normal," what I should be steeling myself against, and when something is really wrong?

Apologies for the super-long post. I wanted to make sure all the relevant info was there.

Thanks!
 

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I've adopted older dogs before, one was 8 years, another 6, and a more recent one, 5 years old, and I've adopted others too.

One thing about taking in a dog, no matter the age....is there is a settling in period. This can last sometimes 2 weeks to several months depending upon the dog. There are probably a few dogs that will settle in quicker.

Please too, understand that this is a stressful time not only for you but for the dog..and sometimes they will have accidents in the house...I've found with most of mine that after about 2 weeks they stop. Even the ones that are guaranteed potty trained seemed to do it...it's just that they are stressed out.

When/if this happens...don't do anything to the dog...just quietly and calmly clean up the mess...any kind of yelling or reprimand or showing the dog the mess will just make it more stressed and slow the process of the dog getting use to things.

I've never crate trained any of my dogs....figured if they were not getting into trouble at night or while I was gone, there was no need for it.

He might have just had an anxiety attack...and even in his crate he wasn't feeling safe. You might maybe drape a towel over the crate to limit his vision and make the crate feel more cave like. He might then feel more protected and won't feel overwhelmed, if that is the reason for his behavior. Maybe after a few days when he's use to his surroundings a little more the towel can come off.

Again.. I've never crated a dog, so I could be totally wrong there...others here might have a better solution.

I hope your dog doesn't have allergies... I'm dealing with a dog that does, and the licking and reverse sneezing are things she does every so often. Mostly, she's scratching all the time...has worn the fur off her ribs and chest from it. Reverse sneezing sounds terrible, but from what I've read on the internet and from my vet...it's horrible sounding but not dangerous for your dog.

I hope in the next few nights your dog will calm down and get some sleep...once he knows the routine that will help too more than likely.

Btw...congrats on getting a dog, especially an older dog. I've been very very happy with all the older dogs I got...they are just nice settled animals for the most part.

I think the next few weeks might be a little stressful for both of you, but I think after a week or so you will find the dog's personally will change a little and it will become more relaxed and start to bond with you. Use lots of positive training...give treats and praise when the dog does what you wish, but don't show it any negative reactions when it does things you don't like. There are a lot of great sources here on this site if you need any training tips.

What did you name your dog? or...did he already come with a name that you liked.

Stormy
 
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