RESCUE A BOXER works diligently to find forever homes in Vancouver, BC AREA, for Boxer dogs in need of a second start. Since 2004 we have rescued and placed hundreds of amazing Boxer dogs. RAB is an organization of volunteers who are dedicated to finding loving forever homes for homeless Boxers and promoting responsible pet ownership. We work with other rescue groups, shelters, veterinarians and breeders to help achieve our goals.
Checkout Tigger's new profile pics. He certainly is handsome now since he has spent sometime at the Doggy Spa getting a makeover!!!
Dapper fellow!! Wouldn't you agree? He is doing fabulous in his foster home. This boy needs a forever home!!! Please visit our site and read up about Tigger before you apply. He deserves a home to call his own!!
Here’s how to make your new dog’s adoption work for life.
By Mardi Richmond
Adopting a new dog is exciting, wonderful, and a happy time.
But bringing a new dog home is also an uncertain time. What will your dog be
like? Will he be a good match for your family? Will he be everything you hoped
Bringing a new dog into the home can also, quite frankly, be
a rather shocking time for you and your family. Suddenly your life will be
compounded by the energy and needs of the new family member. Everyone will go
through an adjustment - dogs and people alike. What can you do to ensure that
you and your new dog will settle into a long happy life together?
Expectations count “Have realistic expectations,” says Joan
DeNeffe. “And be prepared!” DeNeffe
has done volunteer work in animal rescue for over 25 years,
and is one of the leaders of a monthly coaching group designed to help people
with shelter and other rescue dogs start off on the right paw. According to
DeNeffe, expecting an adjustment period can be key.
“If a dog is going to be returned following an adoption, it
is often in the first three weeks – usually because behavior issues come up
that people aren’t prepared for and don’t know how to deal with,” says DeNeffe.
But having realistic expectations can help you get through the adjustment
period – when behavior issues often peak – with the least stress and the most
What will the adjustment period be like? How long will it
last? The answer to these questions is simply: It depends – on the dog, on you,
and on your environment.
“Every dog is different! Every black Lab and Golden
Retriever is different,” says DeNeffe. Helping a dog adjust to a new home is a process
that can take weeks or months, but the outcome of having a dog that is
comfortable and happy is definitely worth the effort.
Truthfully, some dogs come home from the shelter or other
rescue situation and settle in with few problems; their adjustment period is brief
and unremarkable. Many dogs are even on their best behavior – a honeymoon
period – for several days or weeks. They may experience stress, but they deal
with it by being cautious and responsive. But other dogs may deal with the
uncertainty of being in a new home with other, more obvious stress responses.
Some of those may include:
• Pacing and other overactive behavior;
• Attaching to one person in the family, but being very shy
• Mouthing people, jumping up on them, barking, and chewing;
• Trying to escape or hiding.
Don’t panic if your new dog behaves in a less than desirable
manner. In spite of the initial stress response, over the course of a few weeks
or months, most dogs settle in and become wonderful companions. What happens in
the first few days or weeks is not necessarily indicative of what life with the
dog will be like long-term. But how you handle the stress response can
certainly affect the long-term outcome.
As tempting as it may be to take your newly adopted dog to
the dog park in the first few days following his arrival in your home, DON’T!
He needs a few weeks of quiet walks with you, to learn what you expect and to develop
a bond and trust with you.
Equally important to remember is that while there may be a
significant adjustment period, it is usually much shorter than the several years
it takes to raise a puppy! And there is a whole lot you can do to make the
transition easier. By being aware, modifying and redirecting any unwanted
actions from the start, you can help your new dog become a good citizen.
Plan and prepare
Just like when you bring a new puppy home, when you bring
home an older or rescue dog, being prepared is key.
Make sure you have basic supplies – like food, bowls, collar
and leash, bed, and toys.
In addition, you will want to decide on and set up a
confinement area, a place your dog will stay when you cannot provide
It is important to recognize that the dog will be new to
your environment and giving him too much freedom too soon can set him up to make
behavior mistakes (such as having an accident in the house or chewing the wrong
thing). By giving the dog a safe, confined place to be when he is not being
supervised, he will be able to make a gradual and successful transition.
Make the confinement area the place where your dog gets his
meals and his favorite toys. Make it a safe place he can call his own.
Ideally, the confinement area will be in the same part of
the home that you spend time together. A crate works well, but you can also use
baby gates or an exercise pen to section off a small safe section of your home.
Get the whole family involved in deciding what the rules and
routines will be for your dog and help him learn those rules from the first day
home. Will he be allowed on the furniture? Where will he sleep (ideally in the
same room with you)? Providing structure helps a dog learn the house rules and
helps him feel safe.
“These rules will be a goal,” says DeNeffe, emphasizing that
it will take time for the dog to learn what is expected.
Start a housetraining routine right away, too. It is safest
to assume your dog is not housetrained. Even if he was housetrained in his last
home, time in a shelter or simply being in a new environment can mean that he
will not understand when and where he is to go now.
Just as you would with a puppy, set up a routine, confine
your dog when you cannot supervise, take him out on a regular schedule, and
praise or reward him for going in the right place. Adult dogs will often
housetrain faster and easier than puppies because their bladders are mature and
they can “hold it” longer.
In general, keep stress to a minimum for the first few days
or weeks. How long depends on the dog’s personality. Keep in mind that just the
act of moving into a new home is stressful for most dogs – not to mention the
stress he may have experienced before coming into your home. It can take
several days or longer for the dog’s stress hormones to return to normal levels
once he feels safe and calm.
Take your time in introducing your new dog to friends,
friend’s dogs, and the local dog park. Remember that you will have this dog for
the rest of his life; there is no rush! Give him time and space to settle in
and bond with you before he is exposed to the world. Have him play and exercise
in your yard and take him for walks in a quiet low stress area for the first
few days or weeks.
Timing is everything
If at all possible, allow extra time in your schedule to
help your dog adjust. At minimum, bring your dog home before a weekend so you
can spend extra time helping him settle in. Ideally take a few extra days or a
week or two off from work.
But that doesn’t mean spend every minute with your dog (even
though you’ll want to!). In fact, it is best to get your dog used to short
absences within a few hours of bringing him home.Soon after you bring your dog home, take him
for a short walk or bathroom break. Then introduce him to his confinement area.
You can give him a great chew bone or a stuffed Kong and leave him in his crate
or exercise pen for a few minutes.
Throughout the first few days, leave your dog alone in his
confinement area for several minutes at a time. Vary the time you leave him
from 30 seconds to 20 minutes. Start by leaving him in the confinement area for
a few minutes while you are home, and gradually build up to leaving him for 10
to 20 minutes or so while you leave the house. By keeping your absences short,
matter of fact, and pleasant, your dog will learn that being alone in the new home
You can also make your departure a good thing for your dog
by giving him a food-filled Kong each time you leave him.
Train for confidence
Basic training – sit, down, stay, come, and walking on a
leash – can begin the day you bring your dog home. Use positive training
methods such as clicker training. You can get started by referring to a book or
video. Beginning training right away can help dogs understand that you will be
taking care of them, and that they are safe. It will also help build
confidence. For many dogs, training games will help them de-stress and settle
Some dogs, however, will be “shut down” at first and may
have a hard time learning a new behavior or even doing something they already
know. Don’t worry if your dog is not as responsive at first as you might like.
If your dog seems reluctant, just make training games very easy, fun, and
Try working with one simple behavior, like sit, and practice
that until he seems ready to experiment with other behaviors. Or, if that seems
too much, you can begin by simply hand feeding a portion of your dog’s meals to
help him learn to trust you.
While training right away is beneficial, wait a few weeks
before taking your dog into a class if he is stressed at all. For some dogs,
you may even want to wait a little longer as training classes can also be very
stressful. DeNeffe notes that for her dog Barkley, a month and a half was way
too soon after re-homing to start a training class. “He needed to relax into
his world first,” says DeNeffe.
If you need help right away, consider having a trainer come
to your home instead of starting a class. Waiting to start a class until your
dog has settled a little, and you have had time to bond can help you both get
the most from the experience.
With most dogs, bonding takes time. While a dog may form an
attachment to a person quickly, he or she may not be bonded to the point of
trusting that person to provide safety for several weeks.
Make no assumptions about socialization
Most dogs that are adopted through rescue groups, shelters,
or private re-homing have had at least some socialization. With some exceptions
(for example, puppy mill breeding dogs), many rescue dogs have lived in homes
and have had exposure to people, daily activities and common noises. But each
dog’s experiences are different.
One of my dogs, for example, originally came from a ranch.
She had wonderful socialization around animals, people, and children. But because
she had lived in an outside run in a quiet country setting, city noises (like
cars) and even common household sounds (like the phone ringing), were initially
very frightening when she came to live with us. Conversely, for a dog used to
the city, a country home – sheep, cows, and tractors – might seem foreign and
It is nearly impossible for a dog to be socialized to all
experiences. If you start off with the assumption that your dog is not
socialized, you can expose him gently and gradually to new things. As you get
to know your dog better, you will learn where and with whom he is comfortable,
and where you will need to provide more socialization to help him settle into
his new life with you.
Watch for issues
According to the National Council on Pet Population Study
and Policy, the top several reasons dogs are given up to shelters are because
of moving, landlord problems, cost, and lack of time, not because of behavior
That being said, all dogs have behavior quirks or issues.
With a puppy, you learn about their issues gradually, as they grow and develop.
This gives you time to adjust, accept, and/or train to resolve the problems.
When you get an adult dog, you may suddenly be facing an unexpected behavior
quirk or issue. This can understandably feel more overwhelming than the gradual
process of discovering behavior issues in puppy hood.
By being alert to any issues your new dog may have, you will
also be able to address them as soon as they arise, before they become a habit.
Dogs can be very impressionable in a new environment, especially the first time
they try a behavior.
Don’t be shocked if your new dog does some “naughty” things
in his first few weeks or months in your
home. Help him out by limiting his opportunities to do the
wrong thing. For example, keep your counters free of food!Setting your dog up for success, rewarding
the behaviors you want and redirecting those you don’t want from the first day
home, can make a huge difference in the long run.
Learning about a new dog’s behavior issues and quirks often
triggers a common emotional response, “But he’s not like (insert other dog’s or
past dog’s name here).”
It is human nature to compare your new dog to other dogs you
have had, to the dog you had as a child, or to your neighbor’s dog. In some
cases, a new dog will bring up feelings of grief and loss of a dog that has
died. It is normal to have these feelings.
If you find yourself comparing your new dog to another dog,
try to keep some perspective, especially if the new dog isn’t measuring up.
With time, you can (and will) develop a deep and meaningful relationship with
your new dog, too. In fact, over time, he will probably become the dog that you
later say, “But he’s not like . . .”
Give your newly re-homed dog more time than you think they
need to adjust. Wait until their stress hormones return to normal before taking
them to places that may produce even more stress. Keep them on leash in open
environments until they are trained and you are sure they will stay with you.
Use your confinement area longer than you think necessary. Then slowly and
carefully give your dog more freedom as he can handle it.
“Try to think from the dog’s perspective,” says DeNeffe,
talking about looking at the re-homing process from the dog’s point of view.
While we can never really know what goes on inside a dog’s
head, it can be helpful to imagine what their experiences may have been.
Imagine what your emotional state might be like if you were
suddenly plucked from your current life (leaving everything you know and love
behind), put into a shelter environment where you were forced to live with
noise and uncertainty, and then suddenly placed in a new family where you not
only don’t know anyone, but you don’t know the rules or speak the language.
Be patient with your new dog. Give him the best start
possible in his new home. And remember, with time and patience, everyone will settle
What a fabulous turnout for Saturday's Boxer Meetup!! We had about 30 Boxers come out for the event throughout the day. It was perfect weather, as it wasn't too hot or too cool. And the rain stayed away!
It was wonderful to see all the familiar faces and the new ones as well. All those wiggle butts were well behaved and seemed to understand the nature of the meeting. Lots of kisses and so much fun was had by all!
Thank you to everyone who donated to the Bottle Drive to help with the medical bills for Pearl & Tripp. It truly is amazing to see the generosity and kindness that everyone has in their hearts.
Tripp and Pearl are both doing very well. Everyone got to see firsthand exactly how well they are doing! The kids made sure that tons of kisses were given to everyone. They are forever grateful to you for enabling WBBR to help them.
A BIG Thank you to all the volunteers who assisted with this event. Many volunteers spent the weeks leading up to the event, by driving to pickup donated empties and returning them to the depot. The biggest haul of course was on Saturday. It filled the U-Haul truck completely!! We are still tallying up all the donations and the bottles, as you can well imagine it will take some time to sort thru it all! But we will keep you posted. We are estimating the donations to be close to $2000.
We are hoping to do another fundraiser next month. And of course our Annual Pub Night is set for Sunday, August 25th. So mark your calendars!!!
Here are some pics from the Boxer Meetup. To see more pictures please visit the WBBR Facebook group .
Thanks again everyone for your continued love and support. It's because of you that we are able to help so many dogs in need!