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Struggling After Rehoming a Dog

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Chris158, Oct 31, 2020.

  1. Chris158

    Chris158 PetForums Newbie

    Oct 31, 2020
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    Good Afternoon Everyone,

    I guess I just wanted to reach out to see if anyone had any advice about the way I was feeling / if I'm right for my newly adopted dog.

    I have adopted a cross staff / whippet, she is mainly staff mind.

    She was spayed before I picked up up, and she is 7.

    Since having her I've struggled with her behaviour, she won't settle without me. She persistently wants to be in my bed, under the duvet - I can't get her in her bed at all.

    She whines consistently, I work from home, full time - my first week has been awful, I take a fair amount of calls, she is either screaming/crying laying next to me, or if I close her in the kitchen she will bang the dog and cry.

    I've got a calming collar, and a plug in calmer - not sure if they help to be honest.

    So this is day 8 of having her, and I've not left her. So decided to pop out, firstly for 15 minutes, secondly for around 45 minutes, that was after a few hours being home. Both times she was racing around the house, screaming, barking, howling, and the latter time she of course accidentally wet herself.

    I've read online that staffs are notoriously anxious about being separated, but is it generally this bad?

    Of course I know I'm in really early days, just, I feel like I'm losing the will to live.

    I've been thinking she is probably better with someone retired. I hold my hands up, having never had a dog before, I have had a false sense of belief that it would be easier than it is.

    I've got her toys, plenty of water. It's almost like she is very obsessed with me, or people generally. I live alone, and as I mentioned work full time at home - but I'm really struggling with her to be honest.

    I know staffs are people dogs, which probably explains why I feel she is obsessed with me, I don't know anything about her previous life, sadly. I really wanted to give her a good life, but it's generally getting me down.

    Many thanks for reading, let me know if you have any thoughts, or advice - even if you have been in a similar situation and persisted or returned a dog to a rehoming centre.

  2. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

    Jan 5, 2013
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    A week is really a very short time for her to settle tbh.

    She is likely to be feeling very anxious and stressed in her new surroundings, plus kennels are stressful and her history may have something to do with her behaviour.

    She’s clinging to you for security and reassurance. The more she gets now, my experience is the sooner she will settle enough to learn to be ok alone. She doesn’t yet know you or trust you’re coming back.

    My rescue took 2 - 3 weeks of gradually conditioning to managing happily when left starting with just a few seconds and building. At the end of the 3 weeks of daily practise (some days more than once) he was happy for 2 hours.

    So happy to be left in fact, any sign I might be going out he ran upstairs, onto my bed and stood grinning, waiting for a chew!

    He responded to being set up to be left and fussed on my return. Others are better with no obvious cues and calm indifference or just hello when you return,

    He stuck to me like glue at first but eventually realised I always came back.

    Consider why she was up for rehoming too. If she’s been living in a stressful environment or left anxious for long periods it will take time to counter those negativities.

    There is a Sticky Thread on Separation Anxiety with lots of tips and experiences.

    It’s also very common in the early days for us to feel overwhelmed with the big changes (so imagine how she feels ;)) and realise the big commitment and responsibility we’ve taken on.

    Lots of threads on here on that ..... the vast majority do work out though :)
    #2 Lurcherlad, Oct 31, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2020
  3. LinznMilly

    LinznMilly Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jun 24, 2011
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    Hi. Welcome to the forum. :)

    It is still very early day, and it sound like you have a bad case of the New Dog Blues. It's normal to feel overwhelmed, and it happens to even those of us who have had dogs before as well as those who have dogs and bring in another.

    What's your routine like? How much exercise and mental stimulation does she get?

    This is a great resource for separation anxiety in general, but there's also a helpful game in there called the Flitting Game;
  4. Kaily

    Kaily PetForums VIP

    Feb 8, 2020
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    No advice but I wanted to offer you a hug. I can hear how overwhelmed you are, and she the same. I hope you both find a way forward together.
  5. Chris158

    Chris158 PetForums Newbie

    Oct 31, 2020
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    Thanks Kaily!
  6. Arny

    Arny PetForums VIP

    Jul 29, 2017
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    My previous rescue dog, a staffy x, took to cage training really well.
    We used it more of a way to help house training than anything else but it may teach her to settle.

    I adopted a new dog earlier this year and it did take a number of weeks for her to not bark when I left a room (even just me popping to the loo).
    She doesn't mind being left on her own downstairs now (bedtimes hit and miss) but she does sometimes get triggered when I go out the back door. She doesn't care when my parents leave but I'm the one that walks her so I think that has a lot to do with her being aware when I put my coat on.
    We have a door upstairs that leads to our garden so I go out via there and she's absolutely fine being left then.

    I've struggled to connect with her but I'd say try to stick with if getting a dog was what you wanted, it really does get easier and from things I read, even if you end up taking her back, the time scale on that makes no difference to how they settle back into kennels. That did help me to be able to make a go of it, knowing that if I did take her back it wouldn't have made her worst the longer she was with us. In fact it could help the rescue getting a better more honest opinion on what she's like and so match her up with new owners easier.

    Being staffy does she love her food? Could you fill a kong and freeze it so she's occupied while you're working and there are also interactive toys that will dispense food as they roll around, if she's on dry you can put her meals in that.
    Chris158 and LittleMow like this.
  7. Kozmos53

    Kozmos53 PetForums Junior

    Apr 23, 2018
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    all that you've written could apply here as well .. my staffy gal be about 8 now [ a rescue ]
    [ with me for the past 7 years ]
    i also work from home 'n it's just me 'n dog here
    i take time out for her daily walk .. if weather is really bad ..
    then she gets an hour playing tug-of-war inside .. or whatever ..
    the idea being she gets tired 'n then naps 'till evening meal
    she's normally with me 24/7 ..
    when i've had to leave her alone .. she used to howl / bark / whine
    over time she settled .. now she waits quietly by the front door
    although she still goes beserk when i return .. even if i've only been gone 15min ;-]
    at 1st she used to wee n poo in the house .. prefering a stone slab spot
    i.e. just like her rescue kenel
    she soon got used to waiting to go outside
    [ once she'd settled in her new environment ]
    most of her " i want to play Now " comes after she's had a meal
    i'll put work aside for a few minutes .. play with her ..
    then tell her "ok, that's enough for now .. go lie on your bed .. that's a good girl"
    and she does ..
    at first she were a velcro dog .. i.e. about the house
    followed me everywhere .. getting under my feet ..
    that relaxed over time ..
    though she still has the habit of insisting i go down stairs first
    which often means me having to step by her at the top of the landing
    i rekon now .. she does that to make sure all's ok downstairs ..
    am pretty sure she thinks cats walk through doors ..
    she watches next doors' two go in and out of their cat-flap
    on the other hand if she thinks there's a human at the front door
    she bolts down the stairs acting very excited in anticipation of meeting a new human
    yeah strangers .. neighbours .. friends .. who give her attention are forthwith targeted for More attention
    i tell folks .. if you don't like her barking for attention .. then always ignore her
    she soon gets the message n leaves them alone
    ahh .. the duvet monster ..
    she has her own bed .. but on colder nights she does prefer to snuggle with me
    and if she does 'request' under the covers .. it's like for 10 min.
    then it's .. 'hang on .. i think i prefer on the duvet' ..
    10min later .. ' no i think i prefer under the duvet' ..
    which can entail her ending up with a huge proportion of the bed for herself
    on the other hand .. if i say .. "on Your bed" .. she'll go to her bed
    and get her own mini-duvet to nap under .. for about 10 min ;-]
    [ her bed be in my room ]

    another .. er .. habit .. she Must have her nightly neck shoulder massage before bed
    if not .. she hangs by my bed .. stubbornly refusing to budge untill she gets her way
    as for fireworks .. screaming door slamming neighbours ..
    house renovations [ hammer drills n the like ]
    those absolutely terrify her ...
    she shivers n shakes .. paces about ..
    and always attempts to persistently hide in my pack pocket .. if only she could
    i've found adaptil spray fairly effective
    tough toys are a good idea .. kongs etc .
    No amount of ££££££££ would get me to give up my staffy gal
    'n as for working .. i'll compromise ..
    knowing When she's about to get playful helps
    [ as written .. be after a meal ]
    as others have written .. 8 days is very early days
    give her a chance to settle .. it might take a while
    but she first has to Trust that you ain't about to leave her
    and that her new home is safe and secure

    shall leave you with a pic of staffy rules n regulations ;-]
    EDIT to add .. if mine gets way too excited in her 'play'
    like when her teeth start to sink in a wee bit too hard
    { tug-o-war here .. sometimes for convenience .. be my fingers versus her teeth }
    then a good hard vigorous shoulder rub will stop her in her tracks ..
    .. temporarily :-}}
    #7 Kozmos53, Nov 1, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2020
    Chris158, rona, LittleMow and 2 others like this.
  8. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

    Feb 12, 2009
    Likes Received:
    I am sure most staffies have perfect manners and make lovely easy pets. I have had a part time one and he was absolutely no problem. OP, good luck with your dog. It is very early days yet but if you decide that you cant cope or do not want to cope if the behaviour carries on you will have to return her and hope that the right home can be found. You have to have peace and quiet to work.
    Chris158 likes this.
  9. Kozmos53

    Kozmos53 PetForums Junior

    Apr 23, 2018
    Likes Received:
    Chris158 :

    i just noticed this site is back up n running .. it be a forum site for staffies and their hoomans


    it shut down at one point due to a lack of traffic .. or something ..
    but now i see there are some recent postings
    there were some knowledgeable breed specific folk there last time i visited
    [ i.e. i've not looked at the site for a few years ]

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