A PET’S TEN COMMANDMENTS
1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful.
2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.
3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.
4. Don’t be angry with me for long and don’t lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you.
5. Talk to me. Even if I don’t understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.
6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.
7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet, I choose not to bite you.
8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.
9. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too, will grow old.
10. On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please. Never say you can’t bear to watch.. Don’t make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there, because I love you so.
~Take a moment today to thank God for your pets. Enjoy and take good care of them.
Life would be a much duller, less joyful experience without God’s critters.
~Now please pass this on to other pet owners. We do not have to wait for Heaven, to be surrounded by hope, love, and joyfulness. It is here on earth and has four legs!
After You Adopt an AuCaDo Rescue Tips
Congratulations on your AuCaDo Australian Cattle Dog Rescue MI – OH Adoption!! You have just saved two lives, the ACD you adopted and the space you made for a new ACD to come into rescue. The first two weeks are a crucial time for your new dog. PLEASE take the time to read the following. It will help with the transition of your dog to you and you to your dog.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU BRING YOUR ACD HOME
Review dog’s medical history and schedule. Make sure you know your new dog’s history, veterinary information, evaluations and current eating, sleeping and activity routines so that his transition into your home can be easier. Dogs need order and are extremely routine oriented. We recommend that you find out all you can about his routine – and duplicate what you can – before you start to re-orient him to the rhythms and schedules of your home. Your dog’s health record document will be in your Adoption Packet, which will help you understand the dog’s medical needs. You can also email/call the rescue with any questions. Work out your house rules and dog-care regimen in advance among the human volunteers of your household. Who will walk the dog first thing in the morning? Who will feed him at night? Will the dog be allowed on the couch or bed? Where will he/she sleep at night? Will he/she be crated?
To ensure a smooth transition, you will need to have supplies (martingale style collar, ID tag, leash, food, bowls, crate and toys) ready before you bring your new Australian Cattle Dog home.
Try and arrange the arrival of your new dog for a weekend – or when you can be home for a few days – for quality, hands-on time. This helps the ACD to acclimate to your home and situation before being left immediately during a workday.
Register for an obedience class. Don’t ignore this very important step in setting yourself and your rescued ACD up for success! Be firm about finding an obedience class or trainer. There are many positive reinforcement-based dog obedience classes that teach dog manners, canine good citizenship and discipline. Try to register for a class starting about 3 to 4 weeks after your dog has come home with you. It is important that your new dog has some time to adjust to you and your home before putting him into the stimulating environment of an obedience class. Even the shortest “dog manners” course offered at your vet’s will reinforce the new bond between you and your new ACD, will give you a valuable face-to-face resource for questions about your dog’s behavior, and will provide a powerful tool for moderating your rescue dog’s less attractive behavior traits! Remember, ACD’s need mental and physical stimulation – this is a really easy way to provide active, mental work that you’ll both approve of!
CHANGE THE NAME ?
New families often ask about changing the adopted dog’s name. If you desire to, it is fine. Many times, the dogs are given names at random by a shelter. The dog will learn his new name if it’s over-used in the beginning. It is in no way traumatic to the dog to change his name.
WHEN YOU ARRIVE HOME, THE FIRST FEW DAYS, THINGS TO EXPECT
You should expect your new dog to act differently than how he did when you met him at the rescues home. He/she will be excited, nervous and maybe tired after the trip to your house. Being routine-oriented, your ACD may have just gotten comfortable at his rescue home and now recognizes that the routine is changing yet again. He/she doesn’t know the smells, the sounds, and importantly, the routines and rules of your house. This is very confusing for your Australian Cattle Dog.
Dogs display anxiety and nervousness by: panting, drinking lots of water, pacing, lack of eye contact, “not listening,” housebreaking accidents, excessive chewing, gastric upset (vomiting, diarrhea, loose stools), crying, whining, jumpiness and barking. This is a litany of behaviors any and every dog owner dreads! As long as you understand where these behaviors originate, you can perhaps address them before they appear and deal effectively when they do! Your goal in the next weeks is to reduce the “noise & confusion in his head” and get him to relax, to be calm and show him how to be good. Despite your joy at adopting this ACD, you should be calm and gentle and firm with your ACD. Talk to him/her in a calm, low voice as you travel home – avoid playing the car radio too loud and having too many people with you when you pick him/her up.
If you are bringing your resident dog along, which may be required before adopting to make sure the dogs are compatible, one must travel in a crate. Preferably your newly adopted ACD will travel in the crate, since the new situation will be stressful, and may cause nervous car-sickness on the trip home. A closely confined space is not the place to allow new dogs to get acquainted!
All rescue dogs go through a “honeymoon period.” After the first day or so, the dog may be very quiet and extraordinarily controlled and “good.” The “real” dog appears two to four weeks later – after they’ve figured out the house rules, the schedule of the days, and the characters of their new family. At this time, they’ll start testing out their position in the pack, and may “regress” to puppyhood behaviors and “bad” behavior. Be patient with him/her, firm in your expectations, praise him for appropriate behavior – especially when he/she is lying quietly and behaving himself/herself. Don’t praise too much, especially for nothing – the dog will learn to tune out your praise over time!
THINGS TO DO FIRST
When you first bring your new dog home, make sure you have him/her on a leash! Spend the first 15-30 minutes walking her outside around the perimeter of your yard or the area that you will be with her most on your property. Walk slowly – let her “lead” mostly – and let her sniff and pause if she wants to. He/she is getting used to the “lay of the land” and all the smells associated with her new home. He/She will undoubtedly relieve herself – this is her way of making themselves at home by adding his/her mark to the smells of your home, and now their new home. Obviously you want this to happen outside! If you have a place you wish this to happen, encourage her to “get busy” in that area and praise her warmly when she does. The excitement of the move and new family will cause her to have to relieve herself more often than normal. You must be prepared to give her plenty of opportunities to do this in the beginning! Whenever the rescue dog is not confined, supervise her – set this dog up to win!
You might want to consider isolating the new dog from your resident dogs during the first entry to your home – he will appreciate safe and quiet at first as he explores your home. Crate your resident dog or have someone take him for a walk while your new dog explores. Let the new dog explore the house – leave her on leash and make sure she’s supervised AT ALL TIMES! We recommend leaving your new dog on leash in the house for the first couple of day(s). Don’t even leave the dog unsupervised while you answer the phone! The length of time leashed to you depends on the dog. Being leashed to you and following you where you go, will strengthen the bond between you and your new ACD and establish you are in charge. Once inside your house, a male may still accidentally mark a door, plant or chair when he first walks inside your home. This is out of nervousness (or he may smell another dog), so it is best to leave him on the leash indoors the first couple of day(s). If he starts to lift his leg, give him a short jerk on the leash and tell him “No”. This should stop him immediately and remind him of his housebreaking manners. Follow up this correction by taking him outside in case he’s not just marking! Bear in mind that if your ACD has a few accidents, it does not necessarily mean that he is not housebroken. We can’t emphasize enough how much nerves and excitement can cause uncharacteristic accidents. Watch for typical pre-piddling behavior – circling, sniffing, etc. Do not scold or hit a dog for having an accident – rather, verbally get his attention, grab the leash, and take him right outside to his spot to do his business. If he does it, praise him! Once he relaxes and learns the rhythms and routines of your home, all his manners will return!
Even in a fenced yard, you’ll want to leave your rescued ACD on leash for the first week or so. This way, you can reinforce a recall command and help monitor pack behavior if you have other dogs. Until your new dog bonds to you and makes good eye contact, we recommend leaving them leashed. You know you have adopted him/her, but they do not know that and may go looking for their foster parents.
PROVIDE QUIET TIME
Quiet time will be important for your new ACD in the first week. Because of his nervousness and anxiety, he will get worn out fast. His recent past may include a shelter stay, which has worn him out with worry. Despite your excitement, try and resist inviting friends and relatives over to visit him. Give him time to get used to your immediate family and resident pets only. If the dog does not solicit play or attention from you, let him alone to sleep or establish him self. ACD’s can be aloof with strangers and even though you know you adopted him, he does not know that. Give him/her time to become comfortable with you before going overboard with hands on attention. Children can be very overbearing with a new dog – do not leave your child and the new ACD alone, not even for a minute. Even if the ACD is good with children, until they have bonded to you and respect your wishes children can be very unpredictable to the new ACD. Your new Australian Cattle Dog has been crate trained to help ease the transition to your home. Teach your ACD to retreat to the crate, if the house gets to “busy” for him/her, for quiet time. Children need to be taught that when the ACD is in the crate – they are to leave the ACD alone. Period.
ESTABLISH A ROUTINE
Feed your new dog twice a day, half in the morning, half at night. Ask and encourage the dog to sit before putting the bowl down. Put the food bowl down for 5 minutes. If the dog does not eat their food, pick up the bowl until the next mealtime. After a couple of days of this routing, even the most finicky of eaters will change their minds. Feeding this way you can monitor exactly how much they are eating, avoid bloat, and feed special diets/medications to each dog. Make sure to take your ACD out to potty after each meal. Do not feed your ACD for at least 2 hours prior to crating for any length of time, to allow time to eliminate before being confined.
If you have other dogs, feed your rescue dog away from them but at the same time. You can feed in the same room, but use opposite corners, putting the dominant dog’s bowl down first. This is usually the resident dog on the first few nights – but that situation may change over time! You may want to arrange having another adult in the room for the first week of feedings to monitor the “pack behavior.” Watch that each dog sticks to his own bowl. Do not allow dogs to “switch” bowls. Once they are done eating teach them to “sit” or “down” until all the dogs are done eating. Keep vigilant watch over feeding time for a couple of months until the pack positions are worked out. We are very careful to test for food aggression and always suggest feeding the dogs in their crates or separate corners until you know how they will react around one another. Under new situations, an ACD can show actions they did not display in their foster home.
YOUR ACD IS CRATE TRAINED
All of the ACD’s that pass through AuCaDo ACD Rescue MI, have been crate trained. This gives you an amazing tool to help ease the transition into your home. Every dog needs a place to escape to, a place to call his own, and a crate provides an answer to these needs! Your new ACD may have some degree of separation anxiety when you leave him for work or alone at home, at first. They bond very strongly to their owners and don’t like to be away from you. Crating the dog in the beginning eliminate accidents, chewing destruction, and other mischievous activity that is rooted in nervousness and insecurity. Your dog is safest in the crate when you are not home until you can totally trust him loose in the house. This is especially true if you have resident pets (dogs or cats) because you can’t supervise their interactions when you’re away or asleep! Children should be taught to leave the dog alone if he retreats to his crate. You should never use the crate for disciplining. The crate must be a dog’s sanctuary for crate training to be effective. Crates are great for traveling with your dog later – the dog will always have a familiar den to retreat to and feel comfortable and reassured.
Each time your dog is confined, make sure the dog knows she’s a good girl, tired, and have been allowed to eliminate first. Place safe, interactive, chewing toys in the crate to avoid boredom. If the ACD is particularly emotional or anxious, try making good byes and hellos as unemotional & nonchalant as possible.
While crating a dog helps make everybody safe, crating should NOT be abused by locking the dog in the crate all the time. ACD’s need to be with you and should be with you unless they cannot be supervised or trusted alone in the house. For instance, if you are going to shower and the dog still sometimes chews, crate him for those 15 minutes for safety, but then let him out to be with you. If the dog is crated while you are work all day – you MUST allow the ACD to “hang” with you in the house until bedtime. Also by leashing the dog to you, you can safely monitor his actions instead of using the crate while you are home. For instance – if you get up to leave a room – the ACD goes with you. If the ACD attempts to leave your side, you have the leash and can keep him with you. Assume if the ACD wants to leave your side, he/she may have to go potty. ACD’s are very velcro dogs and if they leave your side, they are normally not getting into anything you will like!
We have already acclimated your new ACD to a crate and they enjoy their time in one. It is not necessary and we do not allow using the basement/garage/room as a replacement for a crate, since your dog will not feel “part of the family” isolated away from it. If he can see and hear you, much the better. This is why wire style crates are so effective in the house. Isolation is a form of punishment to an ACD.
BE PATIENT DURING THE HONEYMOON PERIOD
There is a good chance that your rescued ACD will show his insecurity by following you everywhere! This will include trying to hang with you in the bathroom, watching TV with you, getting the mail, and undoubtedly wanting to sleep with you. It is not unusual for him to whine or cry or bark if confined away from you at night – lights out at a new strange place is a stressful thing for him. If you put the crate in or close to your bedroom or somewhere he can see you, the problems are usually minimized. Safe chew toys (Kongs, Femur bones, Nylabones, etc…) in the crate at night will give him something to do if he’s awake. Remember, during the first couple of weeks, the dog will probably get quite tired and worn out by the day’s activities, so establishing a sleep schedule is usually not a big deal. As you wean him from the crating at night, make sure he has been well exercised – a tired Australian Cattle Dog is a happy ACD, which makes a happy owner!
ACD’S REQUIRE AND THRIVE ON ROUTINE
Try to develop and use a consistent daily routine for feeding, exercising, and bathroom duties. Dogs are creatures of habit and routine translates into security for them. If you do the same things in the same way and in the same order, he will settle in more quickly and learn what is expected of him and when.
Let your new ACD out to air and take care of business as soon as you rise in the mornings. Feed him after a walk or romp in the yard. Give him another chance to relieve himself before you go to work. Upon return from work, immediately let the dog out for exercise and bathroom break (this is NOT the time to read the mail, make a phone call or flop yourself on the sofa!!!). If he’s exercised heavily, wait 30 minutes or so before the evening feeding. He’ll need another bathroom break anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours after the evening meal, depending on his age – it’ll be your job to figure this out. He should get another “outing” right before you go to bed. The foster home will provide a document stating everything the dog has been exposed to and the routine the foster has while in their care.
SOCIALIZE, SOCIALIZE, SOCIALIZE (WE MEANT TO REPEAT IT)
Rescue dogs come from a variety of backgrounds, but all dogs can do with more socialization. After your dog has time to settle in your home and is starting to look to you with confidence (2-3 weeks), start providing new socialization opportunities. We do not recommend dog parks or doggie day care. Many dogs are annoyed or threatened by an ACD’s typical play behavior and do not react well to an ACD’s “style” of play. Instead get together with people you know, who have dogs that you know interact well with your new ACD. ACD’s can be picky on their new friends – do not force your new ACD to interact with another dog if they are not comfortable.
Now you can start inviting your friends and relatives over. Do introductions to new people gradually. Introductions can take the form of petting, playing fetch, even going for a walk. Do not force the dog to accept new people – do it positively, with lots of praise, allowing the dog to approach people rather than new people approaching your dog!!! Be sure to tell your visitors that your dog is new from rescue so they need to be more sensitive. Don’t reach for the dog right away – let him come to them. If he does not go to the new person, that visitor should completely ignore the dog. Suggest after the dog has met/sniffed the new person that they pat the side of the dog’s neck or side of the shoulder instead. Patting a dog on the top of the head is interpreted by dogs as a powerful dominance attempt and can be a challenge to some dogs, a frightening thing to others. Start taking your dog new places – nearby parks, dog-allowed beaches – and, especially to obedience classes! The opportunity will allow you to determine how your dog responds to strange people, dogs and places. We have exposed our fosters to many people, dogs, and situations but they need many more experiences with you. ACD’s are typically aloof with strangers and socialization with them is of utmost importance!
LOVE AND ENJOY YOUR NEW COMPANION
Remember you have adopted a dog with an unknown history except for what we have observed while in our care. Owner surrenders are rare and we still may not get the honest history of the dog. We have evaluated the ACD for a minimum of 2 weeks, more if necessary. During this time we let the dog get to know us, then put them thru many forms of testing to see what kind of home will suit them best. We strive to place the proper dog into the proper home. We have worked with the ACD thru fair, firm, consistent, positive reinforcement training. You do not need to frighten your dog into complying with household obedience commands, or prove to him that you are the toughest creature around by using constant brute force. You DO need to show your dog that you are the leader in the household, a leader he should put his trust in following. You can do this by “telling” your dog this in a language he understands – body language and daily habits. Respect is not something that you can force a creature into giving you.
Above all, be patient, firm and consistent with your new ACD. Use positive reinforcement and lots of praise when she’s good. When mistakes are made, correct her when it’s happening, and praise her when she modifies her behavior. Undoubtedly you will get lots of advice – good and bad – from other dog owners! Read and research as much as you can to prepare yourself. Understand that sometimes you may need to try more than one approach to a problem because every ACD is different. Our rescue looks forward to hearing from the dogs we place. We are backed up, by dog behavior and health experts within our own organization, so if we don’t know the answer to a problem, we can ask others. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, bring up new situations, and feelings of frustration that you may have! Our goal is to make sure our fosters never have to be uprooted again, so we are quite interested in helping you troubleshoot any problems – the sooner the better before they become big problems that threaten the placement! We take these dogs into rescue as a lifetime commitment. Once adopted that commitment does not end.
Most of all, be prepared to give and receive more love, affection and loyalty than you ever thought possible! Enjoy your new ACD for many years to come and thanks again for helping us rescue Australian Cattle Dogs!