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Tips For Dogs From Hoarding Situations

1. Since the slightest stimulation can set them off, I recommend only 1 toy and that being something to chew on, it will help to relieve stress. Too many toys is overwhelming and can lead to resource guarding.

2. Limited attention and petting the first few weeks.

3. No loud noises and absolutely no baby talk to the dogs. The higher pitched the voice, the worse the response.

4. No one other than the owners should come to the house for the first full week after being placed. Please remember that dogs go into shock when being rehomed and for these dogs it is far worse. A calm entrance into their new world is recommended.

5. All dogs should be renamed!

6. The owner should feed by placing the bowl on the counter to put food into it and then take their hands thru the food for a few seconds to put their scent on it.

7. As long as the dogs are healthy an exercise regiment should be started from day one. This involves a structured walk at a steady pace, not sniff and go as we please.

8. I recommend at least 2 miles a day which can be broken up to 1 mile early and 1 mile later if that fits the owners schedule. They will be having 2 energy spikes per day, one in the morning and one in the evening.

9. When the owners return home they should ignore the dog for 10 minutes and just go about their business and ignore again for 10 minutes prior to leaving.

10. After visitors come to the home they should not interact with the dogs at all for a few weeks but simply sit there and allow the dogs to sniff them.

11. No visits to pet stores etc. for the first few weeks, it can over stimulate.

12. These dogs can be so sensitive that even the blood sugar rise from eating can send them into a hyperactive condition so I would feed 3 times a day instead of twice, not more food but a little food pulled from the dinner. This will also help prevent food aggression.

13. No treats without earning them and being cute and taking up space is not earning them.

14. Avoid direct eye contact until the dogs are trained on the “Watch Me” command to accept eye contact and learn to focus.

15. I highly recommend that after a few weeks they enter a positive reinforced training class, not at a chain store, to begin to use the brain to help develop maturity.

16. At least 3 times a day the owner should be doing 5 minute training sessions. This will help to keep the brain tired and thereby lessen the response to stimulus.

Credit: Bob Witmer of Doggy 911