Week 1 in Review: Learning to Be a Dog

Since this weekend marked just over one week that Baxter has lived with us, I’d like to share some areas where he has made great progress. Dogs take a while to adjust, feel comfortable, and settle in. It can be stressful at first, but it is so rewarding!

"This is my "excited about finding a forever home" face!"

The car. Just like the stairs, Bax was super weary about the car. It took about 10 minutes of excessive coaxing and treats to get him in, if he even did. Now he hops right in! Without any treats or convincing. He is even comfortable enough that during the ride he looks out the window, where as before he would curl up into a little nervous ball the entire time.

Stairs. Already talked about this, but he has no issue with any stairs now – no matter shape, size, location, color… stair cases don’t stand a chance against big Mr. B.

Walking.  Bax was a pretty big weenie about walks when he first got here. He would come outside and stop right at the end of my driveway. Then after I would get him going he would stop again a couple feet later. I felt like I was always pulling him up the street to get him some exercise and let him go to the bathroom. Now he trots ahead of me excited about wherever we are going.

His crate.  Night #1 was pretty intimidating because Baxter barked the whole night, and we ended up cracking and letting him sleep outside of his crate. Luckily I tired him out enough on day 2 that night #2 he was asleep before we left the room, and he slept soundly in his crate through the night! Now we can leave him in the crate whenever we need to, and he doesn’t bark at all.

Housetraining.  Baxter has realized when and where is the right time to use the bathroom and we quickly became accident free (when fostermom doesn’t forget to take him outside)!

Anxiety.  Bax now lets me leave the room without him immediately following behind me. He sleeps wherever we leave the dog bed – even if it is not in the room we are in – and is totally at ease around the house. Between his comfort level when we’re home, and how much he likes his crate for when we’re away – he is a pretty straightforward pup.

Commands.  Also like I already mentioned – Baxter has mastered “sit.” Now we are working on stay, come, down, etc. He is much more attentive to me (and my treats) and is better at focusing.

Of course he still has room to grow and ways to become a more perfect dog, but I’m proud of how well Comeback Kid Bax is adjusting to living in our house. Every day he is with us he becomes more and more adoptable. Simple guidance, routine, and structure can really work wonders on an animal.

"I love being a family dog so much, I could do zoomies forever!"

"Sun spots are one of my most faaaaavorite parts of living in a house."

For more information on adopting Comeback Kid Baxter, click here or email peacelovefoster@gmail.com.

6 thoughts on “Week 1 in Review: Learning to Be a Dog

  1. It sounds like Baxter has come a long way already! The fact he can relax in your home so easily speaks volumes. Good for you both! He is on his way to finding the perfect home. :-)

  2. This is such a great reminder. There are still alot of people who have such high expectations and don’t remember these essential things when a dog first enters their home. Though maybe I too am guilty of this as I’m so accustomed to our dogs I forget other dogs aren’t going to know the same rules.

    • It’s so easy to be guilty of it! Honestly, I always panic the first few days. The first night I never sleep. But then I realize it gets easier. It’s unfortunate the people who don’t give their new animals time to adjust, and blame non-perfect behavior on the dog, not its acclimation. At the shelter we warn people that dogs can take up to six months to settle in… but many still don’t listen :(

  3. Pingback: “How To” by Baxter: Volume 2 | Peace, Love, & Fostering

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