Author Unknown

One thing we as new adopters want to shower on our dogs, is freedom.

We have an almost Disney like dream, of our new dog running through the fields. Their tails carried high, tongue lolling out of their mouths, and the sun beating down on their fur. Much like Hunter in the cover photo.

Freedom is something denied to Romanian dogs.

Freedom to them would mean the freedom to:

  • Eat without fear, stress or attack
  • Sleep without fear, stress or attack
  • Move around without fear, stress or attack
  • Live without fear, stress or attack

It’s really basic.

The dog will take a while to process that he has the freedom to do these things.

To him, a walk means stress. The dogs we adopt may never have been on a walk in their lives. The older dogs, the street dogs, will have spent their lives avoiding being kicked, hit, run over, poisoned or caught by the dog catchers. So we are we surprised when they display fear when we walk them.

We are frequently told that dogs are afraid of cars, joggers and bins. They learn quickly on the streets, cars are to be avoided. Cars mean pain or death. People running is often a bad thing. Dog catchers chase them down. Bins mean food, but also pain. Other dogs might fight them for the scraps they find. People chase them from the bin areas, throw stones at them.

It can take days, weeks, months and years, for them to accept this new life. It doesn’t happen overnight, and even when you think how calm and accepting your new dog is, just remember he is trying his hardest to accept this new way of living.

Forget about walks, until your dog is fully confident with you, your home and garden. Until he is happy to meet new people, and please don’t overwhelm him with long, busy walks in the beginning.

Understanding how your dog feels, is a big step to helping him settle well.