Congratulations! You have just adopted a Romanian Rescue Dog, you are a superstar! You have saved that dog from a life on the streets or even worse the kill shelter.
But are you really prepared for them to join your family in your home?
Because let’s be clear, they aren’t the average rescue dog that you will find in our rescue centres here in the UK. A lot of those dogs have never lived in houses before.
Most Rommie’s haven’t ever known a home. They have never known dinner time. It’s unlikely that they have never experienced being loved and cared for. They may have been beaten. Quite probably, they may have been starved.
I’ve got 5 sure-fire ways to help your new Romanian rescue dog settle in their new home.
1. A safe place for their bed
Your new dog may never have experienced a plush dog before. Whilst they are getting acclimatised to living in a home and all the soft comforts it brings I recommend buying a single quilt and cover and fold it into half and half again.
If your new dog has a toilet accident it’s easy to wash. It will also provide cushioning for them if they are on the thin side.
It’s also relatively cheap in case your Rommie decides that they would like to chew it up and destroy it.
Remember you don’t know yet how your Romanian rescue dog is going to react to the situation they have found themselves in.
But the bed you choose for your dog isn’t as important as where you put it. It needs to be somewhere that will purely be for your dog and your dog alone.
This could be a space under the stairs or a quiet corner of a room. It shouldn’t be anywhere near where you are walking in and out of a room. A crate is ideal, and again should be placed in a quiet area of the house.
Whatever you choose it needs to be a sanctuary for your new dog. It needs to be somewhere quiet, away from any other dogs or small children.
2. Leave your Romanian rescue dog alone
I know it’s exciting to have them home and you want to stroke, cuddle and play with you new arrival but let’s just think about it.
If your dog has come direct from Romania then they have had a hell of a journey. Seriously, they have been travelled for ages. They would have been crated, apart from comfort breaks all that time. They would have endured being handled by different people and been on different types of transportation.
They are going to be very tired, and likely to be a shell shocked. It’s also unlikely that they have never been inside a home before so imagine having to deal with that too.
Not only that but you will undoubtedly be talking to them in a language that they may not have heard before. They may have a name, but it would have been given to them when they were put up for rehoming. They won’t necessarily associate the name with themselves.
Basically, they have been through a huge ordeal and they need time to decompress. Time to rest from all the stress of their journey to you. So leave them alone, if they come up to you wanting fuss then that’s great, give them some fuss. Be led by them.
3. No visitors
Ok, I know you have been patiently waiting for your new dog to arrive. No doubt you have been sharing photos and the news of your new arrival. But just ask everyone to stay away for a few days.
As I previously said your dog needs time to decompress. They are shell shocked. The last thing they need is umpteen people coming through the house petting them and calling them over.
There will be plenty of time for that.
And just from a safety point of few it’s good to keep people away whilst you are getting to know your dog. The rehoming charity may have prepped you with what characteristics your dog has, but be warned, some have not spent any real time with your dog. They have made a call on what your dog is like with little time spent with the dog.
Your dog may have been advertised as dog friendly but could be reactive to others. They could have been described as child friendly but in fact they jump up at everyone.
Use this time to get to know your dog, everyone else will have their time at a later date.
4. No walks yet for your Romanian rescue dog
I know that you can’t wait to get your new family member out and about. I bet you have got them a really smart collar and lead for the occasion too. But, as I mentioned earlier, they have had a stressful journey to get to you.
For some it will be more stressful than others, but either way your dog needs time to rest and get over their journey to you. They need time to get to know their new surroundings and work out who the hell you are.
It takes a dog at least 72 hours to decompress. They will be feeling overwhelmed. Of course they could be feeling scared. They may not be relaxed enough to be their selves. Possibly they may not want to eat or drink. They could completely shut down as a way to help them cope with the stress they are going through.
So the last thing they need is the stress of a walk and potential situations that they have never encountered before like traffic, reactive dogs, screaming children or squirrels. In fact they may have never been on a lead walk before so even just putting on a lead or harness could be a huge ordeal for them.
Give them that time, or more if they need it to chill out and relax.
5. Leave the lead on
Most newly adopted dogs are at risk of escaping in the first few weeks in their new home and environment.
For Rommies that have survived on the street, they will be very skilled at getting out of places. That 6ft fence may be no issue for them. Honest. I know it’s hard to believe that the little dog you have just rehomed could possibly get over that 6ft fence, but a stressed dog is capable of many things if they feel threatened.
So, the best thing to do is to pop a lead on them whenever you take them into the garden to reduce that risk till your dog is feeling safe in their home.
FREE Brain Games eBook
If you would like to work towards building an awesome relationship with your dog you can sign up here to my free eBook, Engage & Entertain,
In it you will find games that not only work your dog’s brain, tires them out but also really helps them focus on you.
Originally written to help owners with their dogs during the first Lockdown when we we were limited to going out once a day, this eBook has also been beneficial to owners of newly adopted dogs.
Sally Cousins is a self confessed mad dog lady!
After being mum to several rescue dogs she decided to turn her passion in to her career and set up her own dog walking business back in 2015.
Sally not only runs her business, she also writes for her own blog and also does guest blogs for other dog businesses. Sally is also the author of “The Lockdown Dog” and “Dazzle Your Dog” You can also find Sally chatting as a guest on dog related podcasts.