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Bonding with a new dog? What did you and your BC do on the first day home?

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In hopes of getting off on the right foot with my future adoptee I wanted to "poll the audience" and see what kinds of things everyone did when they got their new dog.

 

I've been mulling over taking 1-3 days off from work in order to get to know my new BC when the time comes. Mostly getting him/her adjusted to the new setting and working on establishing myself as the "leader" of our newly found pack.

 

Any suggestions? What kind of experiences have you all had? What is recommended?

 

I've already bought stock in Spalding as I'm sure the share prices will sky rocket once I bring the new BC home

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I always remember how the school year started with the teachers laying the ground rules and introducing themselves. I remember one year a teacher basically announced to everyone that she was their worst nightmare, and laid down precise rules and consequences - no arguing allowed. Assigned seating, quizzes on every reading assignment, everything you hated most.

 

Within a month, she was everyone's favorite person. Her class ran so smoothly everyone did extremely well, and they got to enjoy it. I had more freedom in that class than I ever did, and advanced much quicker under her and still remember stuff from her class, where I pretty much dreamed my way through the entire rest of my school career.

 

I think of that now when I introduce a new dog to our pack. Only a couple times have I tried the "Liberty Hall" approach and I regretted it extremely (once on purpose and once through unfortunate timing).

 

Puppies get a little more freedom but adults go on a strict schedule right away. It doesn't matter WHAT you do, just that you have an idea of what the limits will be and stick to it, from the start. And a literal time schedule helps things a lot, too. Border collies thrive off knowing WHEN things should happen, as well as WHAT they should be doing when those things happen.

 

Keep that in mind and you won't go wrong!

 

Good luck!

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We had to drive a good portion of the day to bring Allie back, but we stopped several times in locations that we could run her around and rest.

 

I took off several days from work to help her adjust to living with us (and us with her). I had quite a bit of experience with dogs, but not with a BC. I think that Rebecca has some very good advice -- we did take charge and lay out ground rules, but somehow things didn't work out quite the same with Allie as they had with our previous dog.

 

Getting Allie used to our house and our yard was the first priority. We introduced her to her kitty "sister", Spike (Spike was not pleased to have a new dog in the house, especially one who wanted to follow her around, cut her exit off at the pass and slink up behind her.) That relationship has taken a little while to smooth out, but everyone gets along fine now.

 

A year later things are going great and we are contemplating adopting another BC in the spring. I'm also a more experienced BC owner and hopefully have learned from my mistakes. The bonding happened very quickly and Allie wiggled and charmed her way into our hearts.

 

Good luck! (Does that mean you have heard from the rescue?)

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If you get a sensitive soul like my Violet, be prepared to go for potty walks about every two hours for a few days. And decide how you're going to treat diarrhea - I used Kaopectate, but I've since learned canned pumpkin is a better way to go.

 

And don't worry - no matter how unsettled s/he seems at first, within a week or two it'll seem as though y'all have been together forever.

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Rebecca is so right is what she said, routine, routine, routine. Set the ground rules from day one and you will be off right. If you can take a couple of days with her that would be good too. But I would leave her a few short times and see how she fairs during those times.

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Originally posted by Cheri McDonald:

Rebecca is so right is what she said, routine, routine, routine. Set the ground rules from day one and you will be off right. If you can take a couple of days with her that would be good too. But I would leave her a few short times and see how she fairs during those times.

I've read that several times, and unfortunately didn't follow that advice. I too took a few days off of work in order to spend time with her, and as a result didn't leave the house. I should have left Zorra a few times for 5, 10, 15, 30 minutes, as she already has Seperation Anxiety from her previous home, I think I just added to the stress. Other than that little hiccup, we bonded very quickly, and we're approaching the one year mark together, and no major problems.

 

I agree with what the others said, set rules early, but don't spend every second with the new dog, go about you life as normal, s/he will get used to the routine and bond with you in no time.

 

Good luck and Congrats.

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We took Riven home after taking her to the groomer. She was caked in mud and hardly recognizeable as a dog. Once washed we brought her home and I fell asleep on the couch, she fell asleep next to me. To this day she sleeps when I do. :rolleyes:

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I think at this point I have read just about everything you could read about dog obedience, care, etc.

 

What would you all say are the non-negotiables?

 

I'm assuming when they eat, when they eliminate, and how to react when on walks.

 

I am finally adopting this dog after nearly a YEAR of solid research on the breed! I know I won't be perfect at first but I want to be as prepared as possible.

 

Also alongside the new arrival are the things I will need to buy.

 

I'm assuming (outside of the usual dog stuff):

 

crate

unigroom (the kong brush recommended here)

some tennis balls

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Non negotiables? Never say Never with a border collie!! If you don't want her on the furniture don't allow it when you first come home. You are going to fuss over her and play for hours right off the bat but try to go about your normal day as much as you can, it will ease her transition. We feed twice a day and believe me, mine let me know if I am an hour behind schedule.

 

As far as eliminating, we have dog doors and ours come and go as they need, but if you don't face it, when you gotta go you gotta go. So find out from her previous home what her potty cues are. Pay attention to them and take her out on a regular basis to start.

 

Good FOOD. What is she being fed now and what are you planning on feeding her?

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One of the principles of the rescue group we've worked with is peace and quiet--basically giving the dog a few days to just rest and get his or her bearings. This means essentially hanging out in a crate except for structured play time and eating. This almost always eases the transition--BUT it's also mostly intended for foster dogs coming into a home with other dogs. From your messages, I'm guessing this pup will be a lucky only pup, right? In that case, the peace and quiet might work differently. I would still probably restrict her freedom--keep her tethered to you for a couple days or have her drag a leash in the house (we've done that with both adult dogs we brought into the house)

 

I would hold off taking her too many places or asking her to meet too many new people for a few days. We also hand fed our dogs for the first couple of days and started training right away while feeding them (name recognition, sit, etc.--or for shy dogs, just taking the food from our hands).

 

On potty breaks, put a cue to pottying from the start--then you can always cue it (if the BC is a female, this is especially useful since some of them are fussy about where they go--ours will only go in places where she's gone before--a bit of a challenge when on trips).

 

Like Rebecca, we've had the best luck with bringing in new dogs (as fosters or permanent residents) by really limiting their freedom at first and being very clear with ourselves and them about what the ground rules were.

 

In addition to the things you mentioned, I'd also invest in a couple of "thinking" toys. Things that you can stuff (like Kongs) or that the dog will have to figure out. Until you have your own training and play schedule, this'll help keep his or her mind busy.

 

Border Collies have double coats, so you'll want an undercoat rake--especially if you get a fluff ball--we learned the hard way that BCs tend to mat behind the ears and at the skirt. I'm not familiar with the unigroom, so maybe that's that kind of brush.

 

How exciting for you. Do you know when the new pup is going to arrive?

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He is currently on California Natural - and I pick him up on November 11th or 12th

 

Thanks for the suggestions everyone they will be a great help. I've just scheduled for the following Monday & Tuesday off as well.

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