Adopting an Older Sheltie
Hopefully this information will give you some insight on how to ease the older Sheltie's adjustment into your home.
Before I start let me say that what you are about to read are some things that my wife and I have learned over the years and, in most cases, they have worked quite successfully for us. This is not to say that they are the be all, end all to what should be done and it is strongly suggested that you obtain all the information that you can from as many sources that you find.
Although there are not a lot of suggestions above I feel that they are important for you to try so that your Sheltie's adjustment into the new household is as smooth as possible. By Lee Ramsden
- When you first bring home your Sheltie you may find
that the temperament is not quite the same as what it was at the
previous home. This is to be expected as the dog is not only in
new surroundings but there is much confusion in the dog's mind
as to why he is here at all. The best advice that I can give is
to be very gentle so that you will instil a feeling of security
and calmness. If the dog was used to sitting in laps try to get
them onto your lap and pet them a lot.
- House training. You are probably going to find that
the Sheltie is going to have a few accidents for the first few
days. This is also normal because your routines will be
unfamiliar to them. Make sure that you DO NOT get
too upset at the Sheltie for this because if you do it will be
that much harder to form a bond between the two of you.
- When you take your new Sheltie out doors, whether it is for
him to relieve himself or it is to play, DO NOT let him run loose, unless you are in a fenced yard. Continue to
do this; for about six months. I cannot stress this enough and
you would be surprised how often it is ignored after a week or
so at the new home. When you took your new Sheltie from their
previous owner you created a sense of confusion in the Sheltie's
mind because they are thinking "What did I do wrong? Where is my
owner and when is he coming to get me?" Once the realize that
the old owner is not coming back to get them, there is a very
strong possibility that they will attempt to run away and try
and find their previous owner on their own.
- What you have to do is keep them under your control at all
times until the old bond is broken and a new bond is formed and
this does not happen over night. This may sound like a lot of
hog wash but believe me it happens more often than you would
imagine. We have placed a few Shelties over the years and we
have had three Shelties that have run within the first month of
going to their new home. In every case the Sheltie was
eventually caught and were heading back towards our place.
- How do you know when a new bond has been formed? This
is a good question and the only thing I can say is that when
your Sheltie consistently comes to you when you call him, and he
has his tail waging, then you are well on your way to creating a
- Changing names. Sometimes you may wish to change his
name. I would not advise this right away because this will only
add one more stressful item for the Sheltie to overcome. Once
the Sheltie has adapted to his new surroundings you can begin to
change his name by doing the following.
- Start saying the old name followed by the new name every
time you want him to do something. This way he will get used to
the way the new combination sounds.
- After about a week, start to drop the old name, every so
often, but continue to use the new name. Give him lots of praise
when he responds to the new name but don't scold if he doesn't
respond. Instead go back to the first step.
- If the above seems to be working okay then drop the old name
altogether. Remember that this is not any overnight thing that
you can do. It takes time and patience.