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HELP just adopted 2 dogs - WHY am I feeling so anxious?

acreage
September 2nd, 2008, 12:50 PM
Hi - I am new to these forums so please bear with me...

We have just adopted 2 great lab mixed breed dogs - quite large and over 1 year old. It was a long considered decision that we did not take lightly.

I am sure they will have a great life with us on our spacious acreage, and I am sure the dogs were just fine last night (their first with us) in their warm comfortable house that we brought from their original home for continuity.

I was a mess though! I hardly slept a wink listening for them outside, every time I heard a coyote howl I sat bolt upright in bed, I actually have given myself a nervouse stomach and have lost my appetite....I feel overwhelmed with responsibility. My husband has owned dogs on his family farm his whole life but I am new to this (we do have one very sociable house cat).

Will I ever be able to relax? How long will it take the dogs to settle in and stop hugging the house/decks unless we go outside? (they are used to a small city yard so far in their lives but have been socialized well at the dog park). I feel pangs of guilt every time they look in the house to check if we are still here. (we work from home so we are around a lot).

Can anyone relate and offer advice or reassurance?

BenMax
September 2nd, 2008, 01:12 PM
Feeling anxious is very normal. I foster dogs and feel this anxiety every time I bring a new one home. It is a life time responsibility that you plan for but once they are with you everything seems to change very rapidily. You are now faced with a new routine and new responsibilities. Everything will settle but you must give it time. It usually takes about 2 weeks for them and less time for us humans. Always remember that we as humans are able to reason and adjust to new things based on our capability to 'reason'. Animals do not have this capability of reasoning as to why are they there, where are they, how long etc. So you must be patient and very understanding of how they feel more so than how you feel.

Not to be judgemental but why are they outside? Are they tethered? Are they outside all day and night? This is a new environment for them with new care givers - trust me - they are more stressed than you are as they do not understand the 'whys'.

If you want things to work out - they will. Be strong and make them feel loved and secure. This is a good formula for a happy household.

Gail P
September 2nd, 2008, 01:40 PM
Good for you adopting 2 dogs in need. I was also wondering though, why do the dogs have to stay outside :confused: It sounds as if these dogs are already looking to you for security, which you can provide by making them part of the family, not just outside dogs. That would also ease your feeling of guilt. Just because they're over a year old doesn't mean they can't be housetrained, even if they've always lived outside, and as for large dogs in the house, I've got 7! :laughing: Mine range from about 47 pounds to 90, most are in the 55-65 range, and most share our bed and furniture too. Several of mine are rescue/shelter dogs and mine all follow me everywhere, room to room, in and out of the house and out doing farm chores. I'm their alpha and security blanket all in one.

How long will it take the dogs to settle in and stop hugging the house/decks unless we go outside?

I feel pangs of guilt every time they look in the house to check if we are still here. (we work from home so we are around a lot).

14+kitties
September 2nd, 2008, 01:51 PM
If you work from home and are around a lot it should be no problem for you to integrate your dogs into your home. They are feeling lost and confused as to why they were uprooted from their old home to be taken to a new one and be left outside.
I am from an old time farm family too. Dogs belong ouside, not inside, right? My mom hated having a dog in the house. Cats were even worse. But if there was a sick calf, sick lamb, sick chicken even, no hesitation to bring them into the old house to look after them.
However, times have changed. If you want happy, healthy dogs who will give you love their whole life they need to be around you. Not just when you are outside.
There is tons of information on this site about crate training dogs. That is probably the easiest way to integrate your dogs into your home if you are worried about house training them.
This is just my opinion. I am sure there are others who will disagree. :shrug:

BenMax
September 2nd, 2008, 01:54 PM
Good for you adopting 2 dogs in need. I was also wondering though, why do the dogs have to stay outside :confused: It sounds as if these dogs are already looking to you for security, which you can provide by making them part of the family, not just outside dogs. That would also ease your feeling of guilt. Just because they're over a year old doesn't mean they can't be housetrained, even if they've always lived outside, and as for large dogs in the house, I've got 7! :laughing: Mine range from about 47 pounds to 90, most are in the 55-65 range, and most share our bed and furniture too. Several of mine are rescue/shelter dogs and mine all follow me everywhere, room to room, in and out of the house and out doing farm chores. I'm their alpha and security blanket all in one.

I have to agree with Gail. Bringing them indoors will give you the contact that they require at this time. They are hugging the house and deck because you are their only source of reassurance. If you work from home then you have a perfect scenario to help them adapt to you and your environment.

BenMax
September 2nd, 2008, 01:56 PM
If you work from home and are around a lot it should be no problem for you to integrate your dogs into your home. They are feeling lost and confused as to why they were uprooted from their old home to be taken to a new one and be left outside.
However, times have changed. If you want happy, healthy dogs who will give you love their whole life they need to be around you. Not just when you are outside.
There is tons of information on this site about crate training dogs. That is probably the easiest way to integrate your dogs into your home if you are worried about house training them.
This is just my opinion. I am sure there are others who will disagree. :shrug:

What is this 14+Kitties - are you in my mind again at the same time???

I totally agree, I don't think that many would disagree.

14+kitties
September 2nd, 2008, 02:01 PM
What is this 14+Kitties - are you in my mind again at the same time???

I totally agree, I don't think that many would disagree.

:D Sorry BenMax! :o

BrightEyes
September 2nd, 2008, 08:43 PM
I agree, bring the dogs inside, integrate them into your family. They need alot of reassurance right now and of course alot of love, and to bond with the two of you. Teach them the perimeter of the property, play with them outside, hang out with them, they will come to protect you and your property for many happy years to come, not to mention being wonderful companions and confidantes. You can tell a dog anything and they won't repeat it :laughing: And relax, you don't want them to feel your stress. You can do it, I know you can!

Frenchy
September 2nd, 2008, 08:57 PM
The dogs are not comfy outside because their family is inside ! So I agree with the others . Please get your dogs inside , they want to be with you. Not tied up outside.

acreage
September 2nd, 2008, 09:11 PM
Thanks everyone for your support ... I am far more relaxed and confident today - we had a great day and the dogs are sleeping like babies in the sun - they really are terrific dogs!
(bye the way they are definitely not tied - they have the run of a fully fenced acreage, I have seen my fair share of terrified rescue dogs that have been chained or tied their whole lives)

BenMax
September 3rd, 2008, 08:42 AM
So I take it that the dogs will live outside. I am curious as to where you adopted these two dogs. Was it an SPCA, rescue group?

Dogs are social animals that are very companion oriented. They NEED to have contact with their family members. I think you will be amazed as how they adapt to the interior of the home, more so than the exterior.

What type of shelter do they have? Is it one or two independant shelters?

Love4himies
September 3rd, 2008, 08:46 AM
I feel pangs of guilt every time they look in the house to check if we are still here. (we work from home so we are around a lot).

Can anyone relate and offer advice or reassurance?


I would have horrible pangs of guilt too if I kept my dogs outside, knowing they would rather be inside with their family :sad:.

kanis
September 3rd, 2008, 10:12 AM
I've had my two kittens for 6 weeks and I still feel nervous if it's too quiet in the house or if I haven't seen one in a while. I think it's natural.

BenMax
September 3rd, 2008, 10:33 AM
Where did you rescue these dogs from out of curiousity? What type of lives did they live prior to coming into your care?

Purpledomino
September 3rd, 2008, 01:35 PM
I am wondering what you have for an arrangement for these guys in the winter? I see that you live in Alberta as I do...and our winters can be extreme to say the least. I would hope that they have indoor accomodations in the winter when it's cold, IMO even long haired breeds aren't able to be comfortable and safe in our very extreme weather.

I also agree with the other posters here that they will feel more secure in your home. They have already been displaced and need the reassurance and security of your family being close by.

BenMax
September 3rd, 2008, 01:37 PM
I am wondering what you have for an arrangement for these guys in the winter? I see that you live in Alberta as I do...and our winters can be extreme to say the least. I would hope that they have indoor accomodations in the winter when it's cold, IMO even long haired breeds aren't able to be comfortable and safe in our very extreme weather.

I also agree with the other posters here that they will feel more secure in your home. They have already been displaced and need the reassurance and security of your family being close by.

My thoughts exactly - I lived in Calgary for 6.5 years and I can tell you that the winters there are not so pleasant.

I am still wondering where these dogs came from.

BrightEyes
September 3rd, 2008, 01:44 PM
I'm thinking the same as Purple and BenMax, Alberta winters aren't pleasant and, in fact, are downright brutal at times. I live on an acreage and sometimes I don't even want to go out for the mail! ....sometimes I run as fast as I can to the mailbox and back (while trying not to slip on the snow and ice). I can't imagine keeping a dog out in that. :yell:

BenMax
September 3rd, 2008, 01:53 PM
At the risk of sounding judgemental, mean, ignorant or whatever else...I don't understand why having a dog(s) when you don't have them close to you. The relationship is definately different and it is something I just don't get. I also am very curious as to where these dogs where rescued from. Working in rescue I know that there are questions that are asked and dogs and cats are placed accordingly.

I would also worry about not only the weather, but wildlife or preditors. And what about vet costs which would be higher since these dogs are exposed to more dangers.

Sorry but I am not sitting well with this. :shrug:

kigndano
September 3rd, 2008, 05:19 PM
i agree.


you should not have adopted 2 dogs if you dont want them with you.

:2cents:


if you were out working on your land for 6-8 hours a day like a farmer would be, then it might be a diff story. but if they are just out alone....doesnt make much sense to me.

:shrug:

babymomma
September 3rd, 2008, 07:11 PM
Me either. Why do people get dogs if they dont want them with them? I have to ask this question everyday. I currently walk 3 dogs in my community that are in the same situation as yours. And they are miserable, there owners just dont realize the mistake they are making. The dogs trust me more then they do there owners (I feed them and walk them, therefor they respect me) .. This past winter, I was restling in the snow with the owner of one of the dogs i walk (The dog is a pittbull mixed with a huskey, mixed with a black lab) And The dog just went crazzy after his owner because he thought he was hurting me, He didnt bite or anything he just jumped up on him and grabbed his arm trying to pull him off. Maybe you should really dig down deep and ask yourself what would be best for the dogs. I dont mean to sound rude, but dont be selfish about it. Think of the dogs.

Good luck!

Jessica :cool: And keely :dog:

BenMax
September 4th, 2008, 08:05 AM
The question still remains on where these dogs where rescued from? What shelter? What rescue group?

I think since she has never had dogs before this, she may consider this as being acceptable. My thoughts go out to those dogs. Just the fact that they are searching for them to see if they are still home is heartbreaking. I wonder if people had children and just dropped them off at an airport and left them there with strangers - if that would sit well with them.

You see - no matter how much education goes out, there remain ALOT of work to do.

My thoughts go out to those dogs - seriously.

Hope they have heated shelters for the winter....at the very least. How sad is this.

BrightEyes
September 6th, 2008, 04:57 PM
Hopefully the dogs will be brought in for the winter. I never got the jist of having an "outside" dog. I mean, what's the purpose? Just to guard your house? We can only hope. I have a feeling we may not be hearing from the OP again.

14+kitties
September 6th, 2008, 11:13 PM
Hopefully the dogs will be brought in for the winter. I never got the jist of having an "outside" dog. I mean, what's the purpose? Just to guard your house? We can only hope. I have a feeling we may not be hearing from the OP again.


Nope, we won't. Some people don't want to accept the fact that there is so much more they could/should be doing for their dogs and cats. It's too bad. It really is. All we can do is to keep trying to educate.

BenMax
September 8th, 2008, 09:08 AM
Nope, we won't. Some people don't want to accept the fact that there is so much more they could/should be doing for their dogs and cats. It's too bad. It really is. All we can do is to keep trying to educate.

You are probably right. Hopefully it is being read at least. It will provide maybe some insight. Personally I don't think that this is done with bad intent - just a lack of what dogs require. Again I hope that she continues to read so that she may have a change of heart.

I do not know what group/shelter would allow one of their dogs to live outside. I hope that there is a home visit done, and perhaps they may influence them to either let the dogs have a good quality of life or give them up.

14+kitties
September 8th, 2008, 10:28 AM
It sounds to me that they took the dogs from someone who didn't want them any more. :shrug:

and I am sure the dogs were just fine last night (their first with us) in their warm comfortable house that we brought from their original home for continuity.

I hope the house is warm and comfortable too knowing what Alberta's weather is like.

Love4himies
September 8th, 2008, 11:09 AM
If she is on an acreage in AB, then there are coyotes in the area. I hope she does some research on the social needs of dogs and brings them indoors at night.

BenMax
September 8th, 2008, 12:08 PM
If she is on an acreage in AB, then there are coyotes in the area. I hope she does some research on the social needs of dogs and brings them indoors at night.

Exactly what I previously posted. I worry about the preditors there and the possible diseases/viruses that they maycarry. The vet bill (if they are well informed of the added risks to domestic animals living outside) will be that much heavier.

I hope they have done their research. In my opinion, this is not 'rescued' dogs. They are dogs that have been re-homed without much thought behind it. If these dogs do not have adequate shelter, vet care etc, then I would even go as far as saying that they need rescueing.

lotus
September 8th, 2008, 12:23 PM
Total shame:sad: they are missing out on their dogs, also the dogs are missing out on the companionship they crave. Poor babies have to watch out for coyotes too.

BenMax
September 8th, 2008, 03:29 PM
It is beyond me why people get dogs and even cats for that matter, knowing the dangers of leaving them outside. Why bother having pets?

I really don't understand what is not understood by people. To me there is no point of owning an animal if they are not intergrated into the human family. It seems pointless to me.

Someone enlighten me because I just don't understand this type of behaviour.

lm9012
September 9th, 2008, 06:30 PM
and I am sure the dogs were just fine last night (their first with us) in their warm comfortable house that we brought from their original home for continuity.

Sounds like these poor babies were 'outside dogs' in their previous home too. :sad:

If the OP is still reading..I hope she will deeply reconsider the situation she has put them in. If she doesn't want them in the house, maybe she should give them up so that they can hopefully be adopted by a family that will bring them indoors. Of course, with two large dogs...what are the chances that they'll get adopted together?? :yell: I hate this.

My dog is basically my kid. I will do anything and everything to make his life as comfortable as possible. He's warm in the winter, cool in the summer. I live the AC and fans running for him with ice cubes in his water in the summer...and lots of fluffy blankies and the heat on in the winter..even though I'm gone all day. This dog can't even stand to be in a seperate room from me, let alone left outside!

To the OP: Labs are super smart...I hope you'll consider bringing them in. You can train them to be good in the house, and they make the best foot warmers. Please, they deserve a good, happy life too! :pray:

BenMax
September 10th, 2008, 09:17 AM
[QUOTE=lm9012;654633]and I am sure the dogs were just fine last night (their first with us) in their warm comfortable house that we brought from their original home for continuity.

This quote is equally what disturbs me. I know that when I travel for work and I am in another country, I don't sleep that well....and I have the capacity of 'reason'. These poor dogs have no understanding of what is happening to them. I don't understand why people would assume that the dogs are just fine when we as humans have trouble adjusting to new surroundings, environments, CULTURES, etc. The subject heading of this thread is about 'anxiety'. Why is she permitted to have anxiety and not understand why, and the dogs are suppose to adapt 'quickly' to being outside, in an unfamiliar environment, with people they don't know.....come on! Why would someone expect more from the dogs then they would a human being that understands and has the capacity to reason within themselves.

Love4himies
September 10th, 2008, 09:23 AM
Well said, BenMax :thumbs up.