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Old October 10th, 2012, 09:51 AM
Staciewells1 Staciewells1 is offline
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Transitioning Senior Dog from Shelter to Home

Greetings, all! We just brought home a new doggie-baby yesterday from the local shelter. His name is Truman, and he's an older guy- about 6 years old. The last few months were pretty rough for him- his original owner passed away, and the owner's daughter took him in and completely neglected him. This led to UPI and some skin problems from a flea infestation. He's been in two different shelters since the daughter brought him in three months ago. I really want to do what's best for baby, and I could use some pointers. All of the information and paperwork that came home with him was really new-puppy-related, and not so helpful to me.

First of all, I want to get him on a good feeding schedule. They free-fed at the shelter. I fed him last night, and he ate most of it. This morning, he couldn't be less interested. He's much more clingy today, and doesn't want to leave my side. How long should I leave food out for him?

On the flip side of that, there's walking. Everyone at the shelter wanted me to know that he is housebroken, and has never had an accident in the entire time he's been there. He goes 15 hours at night without an accident. Sure enough, he hasn't here, either. However, I don't think he's ever been on a leash before. I can tell he's really trying to get the hang of it, though. He hates walking on the grass, and that's a necessity- the only pavement around here is the road. Last night, I tried to force him to stay on the grass and he tried to chew through the leash. And he hasn't pooped yet. I'm concerned that he's so well trained that's he's going to make himself sick.

We're going to visit the vet at the beginning of next week, so I could use all the advice I can get in the meantime.

Thanks again, guys!!!
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Old October 10th, 2012, 12:37 PM
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mastifflover mastifflover is offline
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Good luck. Remember this is all new to him and from what you said he has been moved around and is probably a little confused and thinking is he staying here. Give him a few days to get comfortable. Don't baby him but try not to throw too much at him at once. Of course he is clingy he is probably human contact deprived. Make sure you leave him on his own as well so he knows you are coming back. You want to avoid him getting too clingy and hence develop separation anxiety. You will see changes in him all the time as he gets more at home.
I have free fed all my dogs if it works for him don't change it at least for now
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Old October 10th, 2012, 03:04 PM
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marko marko is offline
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mastiflover gives great advice here.
thanks for helping this dooger - he spunds like he could use a great owner !
It'll take a little while till the dooger settles in.

Glad you are going to the vet next week as that should answer many questions as well.

In terms of the freefeeding versus fixed times.... fixed times may give you more reliable pooping times. The dog should poop soon I would think but sometimes stress/change can delay bowel movements.

In terms of walking on the grass, is it that unsafe for the dog to walk on the shoulder? would reflective strips on you and the dog make it safer?

Good luck and thanks again for adopting!
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Old October 10th, 2012, 06:19 PM
Staciewells1 Staciewells1 is offline
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I really had this whole plan in my head of having him on a super tight schedule, but Truman had different plan in his! I think we're going to continue free-feeding for now, as long as he doesn't get carried away. I know that being overweight is harder on older dogs, but he doesn't seem to be a piggie.
As far as the grass thing goes, I guess I can tread lightly. I think he'll soon realize that it isn't so bad.
Thanks for your ears, guys. We're both learning as we go!
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Old October 11th, 2012, 08:19 AM
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diandpat diandpat is offline
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Bless you Staciewells1 for adopting a sweet senior soul. I have gone this route three times and don't regret a second of it!!!

We have four furkids here so free feeding is out of the question. They eat in the morning and the evening. Thought free feeding is certainly not a bad thing, designated feeding times will associate you with food and could speed up establishing your position in his life. Our last senior girl, Zoey, was clearly free fed before we got her. The first morning she never got up...that was the one and only time She figured out fast that eating time was a good thing.

As far as grass walking goes, it doesn't say where you live, but I have had two terriers who do NOT like wet paws so if there is dew or rain on the grass that might be what he is objecting to Incredibly, they both LOVED snow!!!

My seniors were all neglected dogs (though not abused) and after only a few days on consistency with eating and walking they got their confidence.

Good luck...you sound like a very loving responsible owner so this little one should be thriving soon. Have you posted pictures anywhere???? Would love to see him. What is his name?

Good luck at the vet too...some high quality kibble should take care of any skin problems he has and a good grooming will make him feel good as gold!
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Old October 11th, 2012, 09:22 AM
Staciewells1 Staciewells1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diandpat View Post
Bless you Staciewells1 for adopting a sweet senior soul. I have gone this route three times and don't regret a second of it!!!

We have four furkids here so free feeding is out of the question. They eat in the morning and the evening. Thought free feeding is certainly not a bad thing, designated feeding times will associate you with food and could speed up establishing your position in his life. Our last senior girl, Zoey, was clearly free fed before we got her. The first morning she never got up...that was the one and only time She figured out fast that eating time was a good thing.

As far as grass walking goes, it doesn't say where you live, but I have had two terriers who do NOT like wet paws so if there is dew or rain on the grass that might be what he is objecting to Incredibly, they both LOVED snow!!!


My seniors were all neglected dogs (though not abused) and after only a few days on consistency with eating and walking they got their confidence.

Good luck...you sound like a very loving responsible owner so this little one should be thriving soon. Have you posted pictures anywhere???? Would love to see him. What is his name?

Good luck at the vet too...some high quality kibble should take care of any skin problems he has and a good grooming will make him feel good as gold!
Thank you for the kind responses. We were really looking for someone younger, and but we realized that we had no right to be so selfish. It's only been two days, but I can't imagine not having him.

His original name was BooBoo, but I wasn't too fond of that. So, we decided Truman is close enough that he shouldn't be too confused.

I have posted some pictures in the dog breed section. I'll try to post a link, but the thread is titled, "What Kind of Mutt am I?"
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Old October 11th, 2012, 10:19 AM
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Dog Dancer Dog Dancer is offline
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Hi, I have to add my thanks to rescuing. That said I think you mentioned Truman is 6 years old, so I don't really think of him as a "senior" yet. Mature maybe. I think with a bit of TLC you will have many, many years of enjoyment with him. I saw your other thread and he's cute as a button, not overly large, so he's got lots of years ahead. I agree with the others, just give him some time and you'll see his confidence build and sooner than later he'll realize the grass isn't so bad on this side of the fence! We don't free feed either, I know when my dog eats, in five minutes she's ready to go outside. She has a very steady schedule this way. I also agree that if he associates you with the greatness of food, it will speed the bonding. Lastly, I can't recall if you've done this or not, but a good group training class will also help the both of you to bond and will help Truman to look to you for direction.
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