The dog adoption advice on this page is to make sure your dogs will be safe when you collect them. Please listen to the advice our rescuer, Elena Popa, gives you as she has had many years and experience of dealing with these dogs and does understand them. Please don’t think you know better - a new dog in your home, such an important member, has many needs but the most important one is safety.
Give them plenty of space and regular periods of quiet time during the first few days.
This is so important, it is most likely in the first few days in a new environment that a dog could feel scared and more likely to run away if the opportunity arises. If the chip has not been registered to you, and your dog has just arrived from Romania his chip Will NOT show up on any database in the UK it has to be registered first, so even though a scanner will read the microchip, they will have no way of tracing where that dog came from, meaning he will end up in kennels somewhere with the risk of being put to sleep if not claimed.
Leave a short lead trailing when you first arrive home in case you need to move your new rescue dog off of, out of or into anywhere. This will eliminate the need for you to grab for their collar, which could be scary to an already stressed dog that doesn’t know you.
Keep them separated from resident dogs for regular periods to allow them to get to know each other gradually and process all that is happening to them, but at the same time feel secure that they are not going to be ‘bothered’ any minute (preferably using a baby gate so they can see, smell and sniff one another but are not actually together).
Take your rescue dog out to go to the toilet every 2 hours (every hour if a puppy) this will lessen the risk of accidents in the house and give you the opportunity to praise all toileting outside, increasing the likelihood they will quickly learn where they are suppose to go to the toilet.
Keep them on a lead, preferably a long line in the garden for the first few days. Some dogs can be very panicked by all they’ve been through & their new surroundings and you want to be sure they have no intention of trying to escape. This is especially important and a very real possibility if your new rescue dog was a street dog.
Double lead your rescue dog when you first start walking them outside, in case they panic and slip a collar or harness. Best combination is harness and lead and a flat collar and lead. Or you could have a slip lead on as well as your ordinary collar/harness & lead, but don’t use it, it’s only there as a back-up if anything goes wrong.
Keep new dogs and resident dogs separate at feeding times for at least a few weeks, maybe longer. Your new dog will arrive very hungry! If they have spent any amount of time in a Romanian Public Shelter they will have had to fight for their food, and whilst with many, this behaviour subsides quite quickly during the settling in period, it will still be in the forefront of their mind. If an argument over food takes place, it could ruin the relationship between your new rescue dog and your resident dog forever, which will cause you many more problems in the long run.
Avoid having lots of visitors to the house during the first week. Let your new arrival settle, get used to their new environment and get used to you before you start introducing more new people. Visitors tend to want to excessively fuss because they will know you rescued this dog from an awful situation, and this can cause your dog to feel nervous if new people start arriving and immediately throwing themselves at them. Let your dog choose to interact with your visitors, you should be able to tell how comfortable they are feeling from their body language, if they are happily leaping around your new visitors, then of course they will enjoy a fuss, but if they are hesitant and unsure, it is REALLY IMPORTANT that you let your dog set the pace for new introductions. If you try to encourage them to make friends, you can actually MAKE them scared of new people.
Always feed treats and any high value bones/chews etc. separately, in separate rooms (baby gates are a godsend here).
If you have a resident dog, pick up all the toys for the first few days/weeks until you can see how they are getting on, and to give them time to get to know each other and settle in each other’s company. If your resident dog is used to playing with toys with you, take them in a separate room for playtimes so they don’t miss out, and leave your rescue dog with a treat to keep him happy.
Thank you for offering a rescue dog a home and a forever family. The RACE team wish you many happy years together!
A rescuer has succeeding in saving a dog's life, treating and kept him/her safe until adoption. Transporters succeeded in bringing him/her safely to the U.K. We trust that you'll keep him/her safe and offer him/her a wonderful life in your home!