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Hi all,

This is our first adoption GSD. I was wondering what to be cautious to do the first month?

She is 6 years old GSD

I was thinking of:

  • Visit a Vet asap after picking her up
  • Dont give (too) much affection
  • letting out not too far
  • let the dog sleep longer than needed
  • avoid other dogs when letting out?
  • Dont feed too much food?
Any other tips?
 

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For at least the first two weeks in my home, I do nothing. They spend time crated or tethered as I would a puppy, or gated in an area where they can watch without being forced to interact. They go nowhere off leash unless securely fenced and I impose as little as possible on them. Some dogs swing right in as if born there, others take time to adjust and I leave that up to them.
Vet visit absolutely but beyond that nothing. I tend them with some detachment and randomly drop treats as I go.
 

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I think you’re overthinking, honestly. Don’t feed too much? Well, yeah. You should never give too much food. Don’t give much affection? Why? Imo, if the dog is soliciting it, why wouldn’t you give affection? Obviously don’t force it on the dog, but if she wants to be pet, you should pet her. By let her sleep more than needed, do you mean not do much physical activity? Keep things low key? Sure. I don’t think it’s altogether necessary. I like to give new pets time to acclimate, but I also want them to get used to the routine and life with me as soon as possible.

I would keep her away from other dogs and people for a couple weeks and limit guests that come to the house. I would take her out to potty more than 3x a day. You want to be sure she isn’t uncomfortable and doesn’t have opportunities to go in the house. Some dogs lose their housebreaking skills when switching to a new home.
 

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I am another that doesn't see any issue with affection assuming it's asked for. Since she's six, she can be exercised with walks/runs from the get go without concern of too much exercise like you would a puppy (though you may need to build up her endurance).

Every adult dog I've ever adopted has gone on a 5-10k run the first day home. Burns off nervous energy.
 

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I would advise you go to Leerburg.com. Great free info.
 

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Having recently adopted a 3-year-old GSD (almost 7 months ago now...), I'd say one of the most important things for me was to figure out a routine and start sticking to it. Food, walks, play, alone time. The structure can help them adjust, then over time they'll be ok when the routine changes.

My pup solicited affection constantly, I think it's her way of dealing with stress and anxiety. And don't expect a bond to happen right away...I had a lot of bad days with Willow for probably the first couple months, it was a big adjustment for me too.
 

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Most shelter dogs come with a certificate to take to your local vet (they give you a list of which vets accept the certificate for a free vet check), and you should make an appointment as soon as possible. She or he will review the health certificate that comes with your dog and recommend any shots or treatment that is needed. You will probably need to buy a license for where you live. Some shelters sell them right there, others you must contact your county or town. Most shelters microchip dogs when they come in so they can track them next time they show up at a shelter. German Shepherds need a little more time to 'join' your pack and shelter dogs need even more. Just give him or her time, lots of attention and comfort. While each one is different, don't be surprised if it takes a month or more to bond to you. I would NEVER let him or her out unsupervised unless there is no way to run away. These dogs can easily climb a 6' fence. They have had a taste of freedom and it's pretty cool. Duke is still on a leash because he is certain there is something on the other side of the log that encloses one side of our yard. The quality of food is more important that the quantity. Don't overfeed, read the bag. Most shelters also evaluate the temperment of the dog and give you some information they think might apply. For example, puppies come with housebreaking information. Lucky my chicken thief came with information about "escape artists". Elke came with advice on managing her difficult behavior and housebreaking an adult dog. ALL shelter dogs come with some sort of baggage, either the loss of a loving home or living on the street or abuse, bad training or no training. They can't tell you what's wrong, so you just have to support them through a difficult adjustment. Let the dog 'tell' you what she needs from you.
 

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While each one is different, don't be surprised if it takes a month or more to bond to you.
Yes. And don't be surprised it might take YOU a while to bond to your dog. I think it took me 4-5 months to bond with Willow...when I started appreciating rather than being annoyed by her personality quirks, realizing how to manage some of her worse behaviors, figuring out what I couldn't train away (or what wasn't worth fighting against). I realize that's all kinda negative, but for me, I hadn't owned a dog as an adult before, on my own, so it was a BIG adjustment, even with her already crate and house trained. So if you're a first-time dog owner, it might take more time.
 

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For at least the first two weeks in my home, I do nothing. They spend time crated or tethered as I would a puppy, or gated in an area where they can watch without being forced to interact. They go nowhere off leash unless securely fenced and I impose as little as possible on them. Some dogs swing right in as if born there, others take time to adjust and I leave that up to them.
Vet visit absolutely but beyond that nothing. I tend them with some detachment and randomly drop treats as I go.
I think that sums things up pretty well. I would try adding in done enjoyable play activities and one on one time to help the bond. Just don’t try to force too much on them, especially as adults. I’ve seen board and trains with very experienced trainers not bond after two or three months, so don’t worry if it takes time.
 

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I think that sums things up pretty well. I would try adding in done enjoyable play activities and one on one time to help the bond. Just don’t try to force too much on them, especially as adults. I’ve seen board and trains with very experienced trainers not bond after two or three months, so don’t worry if it takes time.
I hate to crate dogs but, I made a cushion now where she can be sleeping.

I am told she is not an escape artist. But, I will keep her on the leash first 1/4 of the year at least.
 

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I hate to crate dogs but, I made a cushion now where she can be sleeping.
To each their own, but my dog LOVES her crate. I didn't know if she was crate trained when I adopted her and wasn't planning on crating her, but I thought I'd at least try it. I had a crate lying around in the garage from a failed attempt at adopting another dog. I took it out and started setting it up and Willow could not WAIT to get in there, she kept nosing at it and trying to get in before it was assembled. As soon as it was up, she bolted in and lay down.

I get that some people think crates are cruel, but many dogs really do see them as their den, their safe space. For the first few months, Willow was much more anxious (and destructive) left loose in the house when I was gone, versus in her crate.
 

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To each their own, but my dog LOVES her crate. I didn't know if she was crate trained when I adopted her and wasn't planning on crating her, but I thought I'd at least try it. I had a crate lying around in the garage from a failed attempt at adopting another dog. I took it out and started setting it up and Willow could not WAIT to get in there, she kept nosing at it and trying to get in before it was assembled. As soon as it was up, she bolted in and lay down.

I get that some people think crates are cruel, but many dogs really do see them as their den, their safe space. For the first few months, Willow was much more anxious (and destructive) left loose in the house when I was gone, versus in her crate.
Our puppy really likes her crate. She knows that it’s her safe space, that’s how it should be, never use it for punishment or she won’t like it.
 

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I think you’re overthinking, honestly. Don’t feed too much? Well, yeah. You should never give too much food. Don’t give much affection? Why? Imo, if the dog is soliciting it, why wouldn’t you give affection? Obviously don’t force it on the dog, but if she wants to be pet, you should pet her. By let her sleep more than needed, do you mean not do much physical activity? Keep things low key? Sure. I don’t think it’s altogether necessary. I like to give new pets time to acclimate, but I also want them to get used to the routine and life with me as soon as possible.

I would keep her away from other dogs and people for a couple weeks and limit guests that come to the house. I would take her out to potty more than 3x a day. You want to be sure she isn’t uncomfortable and doesn’t have opportunities to go in the house. Some dogs lose their housebreaking skills when switching to a new home.
[/QUOTE
To each their own, but my dog LOVES her crate. I didn't know if she was crate trained when I adopted her and wasn't planning on crating her, but I thought I'd at least try it. I had a crate lying around in the garage from a failed attempt at adopting another dog. I took it out and started setting it up and Willow could not WAIT to get in there, she kept nosing at it and trying to get in before it was assembled. As soon as it was up, she bolted in and lay down.

I get that some people think crates are cruel, but many dogs really do see them as their den, their safe space. For the first few months, Willow was much more anxious (and destructive) left loose in the house when I was gone, versus in her crate.
[
 

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In my reasonably humble opinion when it comes to question of “To Crate or not to Crate”, in particular the GSD a breed known to be especially curious and not particularly tolerant of being left alone, the question is “How to” not “If to”. GSD’s thrive on structure and certainty of purpose. Happiest when given opportunity and having the confidence in their ability to perform and please. The crate is the foundation of a structured and balanced training program. It provides your pup a reference point. Safe warm all his. Its not cruel to crate. It is cruel when a dog owner fails to take the time to train a big smart dog then blames the dog and then calls the humane society because I can’t handle the animal. Their crate is a safe and practical place for your pups down time.
 
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