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Do dogs feel...?

Posted by on Mar. 23, 2014 at 8:11 AM
  • 25 Replies
Do dogs feel sad? Do adopted dogs ever miss their original owners?

I am adopting a 1 1/2 year old female pit bull next month. She currently lives with a large family (3+ kids, 3+ other dogs, 2 cats). We are a small family, just my 3yo DD and a cat. Do you think our new dog will adjust ok? She seemed to really like me when I met her. What can I do to make the transition easier for her?
by on Mar. 23, 2014 at 8:11 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Megan11587
by Bronze Member on Mar. 23, 2014 at 8:12 AM

I'm sure she will miss them at first.  Just give her extra love and attention and play with her a lot and I'm sure she will be fine.

Aslen
by Silver Member on Mar. 23, 2014 at 8:12 AM
Why next month?

Why is the dog being rehomed?

Is the adoption through a rescue or shelter?
GinnysMom1201
by Member on Mar. 23, 2014 at 8:21 AM
Because I'll be completely moved by next month. She's being rehomed because the current owners husband drives OTR and she can't handle so many animals and kids (see original post). And no, not a shelter or rescue.

Quoting Aslen: Why next month?

Why is the dog being rehomed?

Is the adoption through a rescue or shelter?
Aslen
by Silver Member on Mar. 23, 2014 at 8:25 AM
Your op doesn't say why she's being rehomed, only her living situation.

Be prepared for some anxiety at first, while she adjusts.

Has she already met your cat? Have you had this dog for any length of time, like for visits or whatever?

Quoting GinnysMom1201: Because I'll be completely moved by next month. She's being rehomed because the current owners husband drives OTR and she can't handle so many animals and kids (see original post). And no, not a shelter or rescue.

Quoting Aslen: Why next month?

Why is the dog being rehomed?

Is the adoption through a rescue or shelter?
lancet98
by Member on Mar. 23, 2014 at 8:57 AM
1 mom liked this

 One piece of advice - YOUR cat is not the same as the cats the dog has lived with.   Our dogs leave our cats alone but they still chase other cats they see on the property, and when we visit someone who has a cat they act as if they'd love to give it a chase.   Respect that your cat isn't HER cat, and give the relationship time to form - DO NOT leave your new dog alone loose in the house with the cat.  Crate the dog if you go out without putting the cat out.

Quoting GinnysMom1201: Do dogs feel sad?

Dogs definitely have emotions, but I don't feel that they remain attached to previous owners in the same way a human would stay attached to a previous relationship.   At the same time I can't say for sure exactly what that attachment really is like.   For example, a dog trainer told me that when he used to run a kennel, about 99% of dogs reacted to a two week or longer absence of an owner by barking suspiciously when the owner arrived to pick them up.   I'm not sure that means what he suggests - that they entirely forget their master after 2 weeks - because in a familiar, lower stress environment, dogs very often greet their owners enthusiastically even after long absence.  

But you seem to be about to say that adopting a dog is like adopting a child, the dog will be that attached to the previous owner even if they've been gone a long time, and I don't believe that.   A dog will be attached to the habits he formed, so he might need some retraining.   For example I let my dogs on the couch, and if they went to live elsewhere, they might need to be trained not to do that.   But I've taught them to love everyone and have properly socialized them, so they'd adapt very quickly to a new owner.   Not all dogs have been well socialized, so they may have a harder time adjusting to a new situation.

 

Do adopted dogs ever miss their original owners? I am adopting a 1 1/2 year old female pit bull next month. She currently lives with a large family (3+ kids, 3+ other dogs, 2 cats). We are a small family, just my 3yo DD and a cat. Do you think our new dog will adjust ok? She seemed to really like me when I met her. What can I do to make the transition easier for her?

If she's a normal healthy dog she should adapt very easily.   If the family is being truthful to you about what the dog's behavior was with them (no aggression to other dogs or kids, no aggression to other animals like cats) then you can expect her behavior to be similar at your house - IF - you maintain her training.  

For example, my friends adopted a Visla, very high energy dog with a lot of prey drive.   She'd been fine at her old home, but after a few weeks at my friend's, was chasing their cat, and I mean really going after her.   I went over and found that my friend hadn't really set herself up as the pack leader, and the dog had taken charge.   Being a leader doesn't mean being aggressive or mean, it just means being a leader.  Correcting the small things before they become big things.   So for example, when she said 'sit', she needed to correct the dog if it didn't 'sit'.   Put up on the collar, push down on the butt, whatever. 

When we got a new dog, I had a real debacle getting her to sit in the car on the way home.    I took her out of the car and practiced with her in a parking lot, and when I got back in the car, and told her to sit, I expected her to sit, and I made her do it.   Again, this isn't about screaming and yelling and hitting, but insisting in a quiet and firm way that you are obeyed when you give a command.

That means you don't give a command when the dog is loose and can run away. 

When we got home, I told my husband we're doing couch drill honey.   So once or twice, he sat down on the couch I went over and he got up and gave me his spot.   The new dog watched this.   LOL.   Hm, I guess this little hobbit really IS the pack leader, lol.  Again, this is not about screaming and hitting, but about quietly, firmly insisting that when you give a command, it's going to be obeyed.

We left a grab leash on the new dog for a while, and a training collar.   When we gave a command, she needed to obey it.

It was only months later that I learned how bad this dog really was.   She had been returned to her breeder at least once, for fighting with other dogs in the household and for disobeying and being aggressive.  

We were lucky, frankly, not knowing, as we simply dealt with everything as it came, and viewed each day as a new day.  She never had a 'reputation' with us, she was able to make a clean start. 

The dog was always rather nervous, and that was just her nature and never totally went away - but all that remained was a little pacing when things changed at the house.  But she learned  to obey and to respect us.  But she was still rather self centered and her obedience was always a little bit begrudgingly. 

And incredibly, when my dear older dog died, our adoptee became a responsible dog instead of a scatterbrain, informing us when the bread was done in the oven, notifying us when it was time to go to bed or get up, and just in general, being a very responsible, helpful dog.  When she passed 13 years later she was dearly loved and had had a wonderful, long life with us. To be honest I never thought in my wildest dreams that she would come around as much as she did...but she did.  

 

GinnysMom1201
by Member on Mar. 23, 2014 at 9:30 AM
Sorry, I could've worded that better. I meant "see OP" just to say how many other dogs and kids her current owner has to take care of.

Quoting Aslen: Your op doesn't say why she's being rehomed, only her living situation.

Be prepared for some anxiety at first, while she adjusts.

Has she already met your cat? Have you had this dog for any length of time, like for visits or whatever?

Quoting GinnysMom1201: Because I'll be completely moved by next month. She's being rehomed because the current owners husband drives OTR and she can't handle so many animals and kids (see original post). And no, not a shelter or rescue.

Quoting Aslen: Why next month?

Why is the dog being rehomed?

Is the adoption through a rescue or shelter?
AM-BRAT
by Amber on Mar. 23, 2014 at 10:22 AM

I'm sure they remember they're smart. But they're like kids and forgive.

Just be easy on her, and my personal advice is to NOT leave your kid and new dog alone for a VERY long time. You don't know what might set doggy off and kids don't always understand doggy boundaries. 

Mommy2justone
by Mommy2justtwo on Mar. 23, 2014 at 10:41 AM

I think dogs remember more than we think they do. 
But I also think they understand more than we think they do.
I think that making the transition a little at a time would be best. Maybe a day, then an overnight, then a weekend, then a week, then full time. If they are close enough, would they be willing to help do this? It wouldp robably help with marking and behavior issues as well.  

lancet98
by Member on Mar. 23, 2014 at 11:58 AM

 I would say NEVER leave a dog alone with a child.  

My friend's very sweet, adorable child cut her dog's ear in half with scissors, all the way the length of the ear, not a little snip off, right down the middle, the whole ear.   Once my other friend's two very dear sweet children shoved a broomstick up their dog's rear end and injured the dog very severely.   These kids were all 'normal little kids'.    My friend decided to have his dog put down when it bit his toddler - of course later on it came out that while unsupervised, the kid had ran into the room and jumped on the dog while it slept, and landed on his stomach with both feet.

This happens all the time, to be quite frank.   People watch too many 'Lassie' and 'Thomasina' movies.   Kids do horrible things to dogs quite often, and it's generally the dog that pays the price, usually by being euthenized or given away to God knows who.

Quoting AM-BRAT:

I'm sure they remember they're smart. But they're like kids and forgive.

Just be easy on her, and my personal advice is to NOT leave your kid and new dog alone for a VERY long time. You don't know what might set doggy off and kids don't always understand doggy boundaries. 

 

lancet98
by Member on Mar. 23, 2014 at 12:07 PM

A word of advice to the OP - not too many people will give up a dog that has no problems.   Just a word to the wise.   If you're getting a dog from a rescue, I wouldn't automatically believe everything they told me, either. BAEK  (been around enough to know).

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