I got a dog! Now what... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 12-29-2008, 12:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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After going to Petsmart to look at the rescues, I fell in love with a beautiful 1.5 year old dog formally known as Marsha (like marshmellow maybe?), now Luna (think Loony Luna from Harry Potter, a little off but all in all great)! She is a medium sized white with brown spotted ears and a freckling black/blue spots heeler mix who is surprisingly calm! She has bonded with me quite quickly. This is the first time I have owned a dog as an adult so I have quite a few questions.
1. I have a crate for her, but it is a lot bigger than she is...is this going to be ok?
2. She seems to be constipated...how can I make that better? She is drinking quite a bit of water though! :
3. I wasn't thinking and just bought what the foster parent said she ate (a big bag). I am thinking a better food, I don't think raw is the best for me though I know it would probably be the best for her. :
4. What is the best way for me to socialize her? She wasn't as a puppy and I would like to do dog parks etc without as many worries.
5. Where should I do dog training? I know I need to be trained too!

This is all I can think of right now, thank you in advance!!! I want to be a good dog mama! Once I figure out how, I am hoping to post a pic!
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#2 of 9 Old 12-29-2008, 02:10 AM
 
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1. I have a crate for her, but it is a lot bigger than she is...is this going to be ok?
I think the main problem with a big crate is that if she is not housebroken, she might eliminate in it.

2. She seems to be constipated...how can I make that better? She is drinking quite a bit of water though! :
No clue on this one. If she doesn't poop tomorrow you could call the former foster family to know if it is unusual for her or give your vet a call.

3. I wasn't thinking and just bought what the foster parent said she ate (a big bag). I am thinking a better food, I don't think raw is the best for me though I know it would probably be the best for her. :
Raw really is not complicated, but there are also good dry kibbles if you really don't want to go that route (I give orijen when I do give kibble, but I know many others are good)

4. What is the best way for me to socialize her? She wasn't as a puppy and I would like to do dog parks etc without as many worries.
If she has all her shots up to date, you can try to find a dog park or a basic obedience class. Just by walking her, I'm sure you'll meet many other dog owners and they might want to arrange meetings with you and other dogs (I know that's what happened to me when we got our dog)

5. Where should I do dog training? I know I need to be trained too!
Sorry, can't help you as I am not in the US. I would recommend asking dog owners you meet. You could also begin by reading a few books. Those I liked where:
The other end of the leash (not a training book but more of a "canine psychology" book)
How to teach a new dog old tricks
Good owners, great dogs

I also like dogforums.com They have stickies in the training forum that could be useful to you, and many people with great experience (and many different views on training) will gladly help you.


DO post a pic!!!

Congrats on your new family member!
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#3 of 9 Old 12-29-2008, 10:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Teacher Lady View Post
1. I have a crate for her, but it is a lot bigger than she is...is this going to be ok?
Like the pp said, its fine unless she pees or poops in it.

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2. She seems to be constipated...how can I make that better?
No idea about this, sorry. Try switching her to raw if you're at all inclined. I switched my dogs to raw about 6m ago and it's been wonderful.

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3. I wasn't thinking and just bought what the foster parent said she ate (a big bag). I am thinking a better food, I don't think raw is the best for me though I know it would probably be the best for her.
Raw isn't that bad. I invested in a huge box of latex gloves, and it doesn't bother me anymore. What bothered me was how long it took the dogs to "get" raw. At first they dragged it all over the carpet (blech!) then they learned to eat it on a towel. Now they eat from a plate.

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4. What is the best way for me to socialize her?
Like a pp said, obedience class is a good start.

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5. Where should I do dog training? I know I need to be trained too!
The best thing you can do for your dog is walk, walk, walk, walk! Bored dogs get into trouble. Exhausted (from walking so much!) dogs are pretty easy to handle!

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#4 of 9 Old 12-30-2008, 01:11 PM
 
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You might want to check with your vet for a recommendation for training classes - our vet steered us to a terrific place, which didn't cost anymore than the Petsmart classes, but the trainers were fantastic.
If you talk with the agency you adopted her from, they may have classes as well - our local shelter has a wonderful variety of classes, including somewhat low-key socialization meetups; no training, just hanging out together with some supervision and guidance.
As always I have to recommend everything Patricia McConnell has written.
Hope this is the start of a long, happy relationship! Congrats!

~*The days are long, but the years are short.*~
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#5 of 9 Old 12-30-2008, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the tips! : Please keep them coming! I went to the vet yesterday, she had to have her glands expressed(she screamed! ) and the vet, who I could take or leave, said that canned pumpkin should help her go easier.
She is one of the best dogs ever! She is calm inside, she likes to snuggle, and she listens, well usually!!! : I am one lucky first time (as an adult) dog mama! Huzzah!
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#6 of 9 Old 01-01-2009, 09:14 AM
 
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Congratulations!

For a trainer in your area, you can check with the following professional organizations:

www.dogpro.org
www.nadoi.org
www.apdt.com

Think about what goals you have for the dog, then make calls! Speak to the trainers about what you're looking to accomplish, and what their experiences are. If you get a good feeling, ask if you can preview a group class without your dog. While there, ask students what they like/don't like about the trainer, the training process, and if they have been able to accomplish their goals.

Go with your gut.

Tracy
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#7 of 9 Old 01-02-2009, 08:57 PM
 
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For constipation, try plain pumpkin, just a tbsp or so from the can. You can also try oatmeal as long as she's drinking enough water to get things going.

I also second Orijen, but there are a lot of other good foods out there.

Grace - wife to Jeff and mama to Nigella (11/08) and Orrin (01/10)- expecting a new addition (05/12)! Life is a whirlwind, but I'm learning to enjoy the ride!

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#8 of 9 Old 01-02-2009, 10:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been initiated into the joys of dog ownership. I have had Luna for 5 days now. I have come into contact with 2 vets, a tapeworm , orange poo (a tablespoon is too much pumpkin for my dog, teaspoon would probably be better), picked up a poo-let and put it into a small container in a ziplock and figured out that she is the BEST dog in the whole world for me! Please keep any tips coming!
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#9 of 9 Old 01-03-2009, 02:01 AM
 
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One of my dogs was a rescue and she was constipated when we brought her home. She was also very, very thirsty. It cleared up gradually as we transitioned her over to a premium food (I can't recommend Nutro highly enough!) and she settled into her new environment. She was very stressed when we got her; the shelter had her all wired out and I think some of the bowel distress was related to that. Stressed dogs more often have diarrhea, but Lolly was all bound up. Her skin was also a mess and she was compulsively scratching and biting at herself and w/in a few weeks on better food that went away, too, so she might have been reacting to something.

I'm so glad that you're enjoying Luna so much! Now where are those pics? We wanna share the love.

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