Harlequin Haven Great Dane Rescue

Harlequin Haven
Great Dane Rescue

11567 St. Rt. 774
Bethel, Ohio 45106

Open By Appointment Only


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To Do or Not to Do--That is the Question

What NOT to Do

Don't take your new dog home and leave him alone for hours on the first day or for the first few days.

Don't invite lots of people to your home until after the adjustment phase of 3 to 4 weeks. Definitely do not have a party for your new dog right away. We understand that you want to show off your new dog to your family and friends, but he needs to adjust to his new surroundings and your family and other pets first.

Don't take your dog to work with you for the same reason as in previous paragraph.

Don't change your dog's food right away. If you do change foods, do it over a one week period to avoid stomach upset.

What TO Do

Take your new dog straight home. Resist the temptation to take her into the pet store to pick out toys and a new bed. Do your shopping ahead of time.

Slowly introduce your new dog to your family of other animals. Sometimes it is better to introduce new dogs outside in the fenced area rather than in your home. Always supervise greetings, but especially when the dog is meeting small pets such as cats and ferrets.

Remember to continue to give current pets lots of attention. If you dwell on your new dog too much, you may see behavior issues with your current pets. They need to know that they are not being replaced.

Try to spend as much time with your new dog as possible the first few days.

Provide comfortable places for your dog to rest. The best thing you can do for a Great Dane or Saint Bernard is to give them a comfy couch or a wonderfully soft dog bed.

Use elevated feeding surfaces for giant and large breed dogs. It is best to feed adult dogs twice a day and allow them to rest after eating to prevent the possibility of bloat.

Take your dog to your veterinarian within 14 days for checkup and Rabies vaccination. Take your copy of your adoption contract with you so your vet can record the dog's medical history on his chart. After your visit send a copy of this information to HHGDR. While in the waiting room at the veterinarian's office do not allow anyone, especially children, to approach your dog. Most dogs are nervous in the vet's office and may react defensively.

Allow your dog to adjust to your family and household routine before introducing him to lots of people. That adjustment phase should be from 3 to 4 weeks. After that, take it slowly one thing at a time. Watch your dog to make sure that he is comfortable with a new situation before adding something else.

Read the information on bonding and transition. Patience is extremely important as your dog adjusts to his new home. You don't know what he has been through in his short life. He needs to know that he can trust you. He needs to know it is OK to make a mistake now and then and that you will still love him. After all, you will make mistakes and he will definitely still love you!

The biggest mistake some people make is allowing the dog to have his way about everything from when he is petted to when he plays to who may be around when he is eating. A spoiled dog is just as bad as a spoiled child; maybe even worse since we are dealing with lots of big teeth. You must be in charge. You decide when to play, when to pet, and you must teach your dog that it is OK for you to be around when he is eating because you are the one providing the food.

Very important! Enroll in an obedience class. Even if you already know how to train, it is important for the dog to be trained in a group. This helps with bonding to you and teaches the dog how to get along with strangers human and canine. Large strong dogs need to know good manners. Look for positive trainers. The Association of Professional Dog Trainers web site, www.apdt.com, can help with your search.

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