Integrating a new dog into the home... help!
It's been a really long time since I've posted since the loss of my Jack, but I need a little advice from you all again!
It's not a done deal yet, but I've offered to take a GSD from someone looking to rehome him. Here is some background info:
He is almost 2 years old. The family has two young children and doesn't have time to be as interactive with him as he needs. He hasn't been socialized enough and is TERRITORIAL of the house. He has never attacked anyone but barks and growls at approaching guests. I think my house would be a good fit for him because we would have lots of time to socialize him and get him trained. I have experience training (as a hobby) some unsocialized dogs and dogs who are reactive to strangers entering the house, but I dont think any of my clients are reactive to this extent.
So my questions are the following:
1.) How do I meet a territorial dog? In a public place maybe? How m any times should I meet him before I can take him home?
2.) I know it takes a dog a month or more to fully acclimate to his new home. How long should I wait before enrolling him in any training programs or taking him to daycare?
3.) I really hate his name... am I stuck with it? I don't want to confuse him or make his transition any more difficult. Is changing it to something that sounds
very similar or rhymes acceptable?
4.) Here is what his schedule would look like once he's all settled: 3-4 days/week w both people home, 2-3 days/week daycare, 1-2 days/week home alone between 8am and 2:30pm. Should I take time off and/or work from home as much as I can when he first joins us? This probably depends on how good he is at staying home alone already, which I don't know. He has no separation anxiety issues that I'm aware of, though.
5.) I've heard that you should take a dog for a long walk before taking him to his new home. Is there any truth to this? Is there anything I should do to get him relaxed before taking him to his new house?
If he becomes a member of our family, I really want to make it the best possible transition for him. Any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated!! I want this boy to have a happy life!
Warden - Sable GSD 4/23/2013
Blackjack - Black and tan GSD 4/23/11-6/1/2012