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From: ellie (
Subject:         it may sound counterintuitive but
Date: August 27, 2009 at 9:58 am PST

In Reply to: We're Being Adopted by a 4 Year Old Dog posted by soo on August 27, 2009 at 7:03 am:

the most important thing is to decide what rules you will have for him, and stick to them right from jump. Don't let him up on the couch "just till he feels better" and THEN try to teach him to stay off the couch. He will be much much happier knowing that he can feel safe and secure and know just how to please you right from the first. ANd for that reason, I really really recommend doing NOthing In Life Is Free with him. It lets you be kind, loving and playful with him at the right times, but it also sets up a system of "here is how things go at our house" that is very understandable to a dog. He will then feel that he knows exactly how to get rewards and reinforcement from you, and will feel confident that he won't get kicked out again. That, you see, is going to be the hard thing: he doesn't know that this change is not his fault. Your giving him tons and tons of affection out of the blue won't help that. Helping him feel that he knows how to be the "good dog" will help. Google on "Nothing In Life Is Free Dog Training" and a whole buncha stuff will come up.
That, and just treat him gently and spend time with him, and give him play and exercise....He'll be fine.

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