Post # 1
Hey y’all — need some suggestions. I have a dog – she’s 3, a rescue, I’ve had her for almost 3 years (got her @ 4 mo.’s) she was previously abandoned by several owners, abused, etc etc. Obviously, she’s a happy spoiled dog now, but there are often situations that make her nervous and “mopey” (is that even a word? sigh.) We just bought a new house and are going from a 600sq ft apt to a new 3,000 sq ft home, we moved in this past weekend and she’s obviously stressed and nervous and a little frightened. There’s boxes everywhere, it’s a new atmosphere, new noises, etc etc — she isn’t sure what to do and I’ve noticed her getting really bummed out. Not to mention, with us moving and having new furniture she doesn’t quite get the 1:1 attention she normally get only because we’re trying to get the place settled so maybe it will be a little more comfortable and like home for her — she’s also just getting over a flea outbreak and had gotten some hot spots on her, so I know that’s not helping (poor thing is still itchy and scabbed!) — I need suggestions on ways to get her more comfortable in our new home! We’ve moved several times before since I’ve gotten her with a break-up from my ex, moving back to my parents, getting my own apartment, moving in with FI, and now our house, but this time I really want her to be excited and happy as this will be our “home” for a long time. And she has so much more space to roam and a yard to play in and I just want her to understand. I need to pep her up and get her a little more relaxed. Her being a rescue with the past that she has, I try to take special care of getting her comfortable and relaxed, but this time it’s just weighing on me (like, hello, this is a really exciting time, sad pups are heartbreaking!!) I’d love to hear your suggestions…
ETA: I’m also in a back brace right now for disc damage in my back and she can’t jump on me excitedly when I get home and basically attack me with licks like normal, I have to keep her off of me, and I feel like maybe that doesn’t help the situation, like she feels like if I say “you have to stay down”, she feels like she’s in trouble?
*Sorry this is long – I suck.
Post # 3
Is she crate trained? Having her “home” would help. Otherwise, don’t make it a big deal. Act like normal life. She’ll figure out you aren’t going anywhere. I know first instint is to comfort dogs when they looked stressed, but all that does is add to their stress. All they get is validation for their fear or stress. “She’s freaked out too, that’s why she’s comforting me, I knew something was up!”
Give her a few days or weeks of just chilling out in your new place and everything will be fine. Stick to your routine as much as possible with feeding times/walks/etc.
Post # 4
My dog sounds a lot like yours, very anxious around new settings and was terrified of our house when we moved. She was stuck in our middle floor for an entire week, wouldn’t go upstairs or downstairs. Poor girl was terrified. We didn’t force anything on her until she was ready. I finally made her go upstairs because that is where the door to the backyard is at and got her outside. It took her some time but she got through it. We put her kennel in the living room because she feels safe in there and she would hang out in it all day. That’s all we did for her though. She had to figure it out on her own.
Good luck, she will be okay soon enough.
Post # 5
@almostmrsj: she is crate trained, I actually bought her a brand new crate, it’s much bigger than what we had at the apartment, because she was kind of outgrowing it and this gives her more room, but we’ve been letting her roam free all day downstairs, the crate is there, but she doesn’t HAVE to be in there… I wanted to take advantage of allowing her the ability to roam while we’re at work, but maybe that isn’t the best idea right now? I’ve been keeping her on the same schedule, but we’ve noticed she paces alot, especially at night like “where the heck am I supposed to go?!” ha.. we put her favorite blanket from our old bed on the floor by our new one and she sleeps there, but it’s killing me seeing her so bummed out. Thanks for the reply!
Post # 6
@beachchic105: If you still have the old one I might even put here in there at night, or at least put it right next to the new one. Even gate her in a smaller room, like the kitchen, during the day – where she has access to her crate also. Dogs like what’s familiar, and like to den up. When ours was a little younger she slept in her crate all day of her own volition. She still might. Maybe that’s the next place I should put puppycam – haven’t been able to figure out what she does all day – can’t catch her on camera. 🙂
Post # 7
My puppy is a rescue and we’re moving in September, I’m afraid he might have a similar reaction. I’m glad you posted so I can get some free advice, too lol.
Post # 8
If she is used to being crated during the day, I would keep crating her for a while longer and then when she is more acclimated to her new surroundings, you can start leaving her out during the day. The crate is their “safe zone.”
This sounds a little funny, but you might also set out dirty laundry piles around the house. Your smells will be comforting and “normal” for her, then these other parts of the house won’t smell so foreign to her. I just bought my dog a new bed and have had dirty laundry laying on it for a few days. 🙂
Post # 9
I’d suggest keeping as many familiar things as you can out for her to see and to smell – toys, bed, crate, and your clothing as another poster suggested… and keeping a schedule is good – which you are doing…. I think time will help, she is going through a lot beyond the move with the hot spots. Is she eating well?
When she greets you, can you turn around instead of correcting her? Try to reach behind you and pet her as low as you can reach, maybe avoiding anything that sounds like a correction that way?
Changes are hard for dogs! Sounds as if you are doing all the right things!
Post # 10
I would tire her out. A well exercised dog will be relaxed and won’t have the chance to be anxious.
Post # 11
@Astra: She’s eating, probably not like she normally does, but I mean.. she’s clearing her dish, ya know? She’s become a bit of a night eater, and I was hoping she’d explore while we’re in bed, maybe even go sleep on our old bed in the new guest room since it’s what she’s used to doing. The hot spots are still healing, and they’re itching her, I’ve kept a benadene treatment on her, and it’s helping, but it DOESNT help the moving stress! When we first got there and got inside I gave her her bag of toys (she has tons!) and kind of spread them around a bit, but she was so distracted, she wasn’t interested, she hasn’t touched any of them since we moved in.
It’s actually hard to turn, she’s used to propping up on me to give me some lovin’ when I get in the door, but unfortunately my back is in rough shape and it’s hard to move much and that added weight is really painful when she jumps. She doesn’t understand, I try to tell her as sweetly and calm as possible to stay down and kind of lightly let her off of me, but she kinda looks at me like “MOOOOOOMMM!!!” haha. I do appreciate the tips!