OFF TO A GOOD START...

  • At first, be specially vigilant.  No exagerated attention and affection and as a responsible, understanding and respectful owner, you need to establish immediately the life rules.  Avoid being overly permissive using as an excuse the animal already suffered enough. 


  • In the car, it is advisable to let the dog be safe in the rear of the car.  Dont worry that he is not close to you and he cant touch you...  he will slowly familiarize himself with your voice and your odor.


  • It is not the time for the children to be noisy and all over him as the dog's greatest need at this point is a calm environment to reduce his stress. 


  • If he is sick during travel, refrain from reassuring him; you would only convince him he has reasons to be frightened. 


  • Take the time to walk him in a calm area, on leash of course; it is much much too soon to let him loose.  Call him by his name in a soft voice and congratulate him if he relieves himself.  Already, he starts trusting you. 

  • As soon as you get home, let him discover at his own pace your living quarters, whether he is allowed or not in each room. 


  • Right away, assign a place for him where he will have his blanket, his toys and a bowl of fresh water.  Pick a calm area he can use as a shelter, rest without being disturbed or frightened (mostly by children to whom you will have to teach to respect the dog).  Do not choose a passing area (entrance, corridor, down the stairs) so he will not learn to control the come and go of all in the family.  Being in control of the traffic gives the dog a top position which you dont want to do.  Do not put him either in a bedroom which should be reserved for humans.  

  • For his first meal (always after yours) see to it that he is quiet and alone and give him time to adapt to his new food (most likely not the one he was used to!).  Once you give him his bowl, do not ever take it back pretending you need to show him who is the boss!  The dog waited for his bowl; once received, it is his.


  • He could be fearful of you and be aggressive without reason other than fear of a person he cannot predict the movements.  Do not force the contacts if he is fearful, do not go too fast as he needs time to take back his self confidence.  A bit at a time, let him come to you.  Who knows, perhaps he was treated harshly or even hurt by children or adults and he does not feel safe. 


  • Time, patience, understanding will help the dog to settle down.  If he has accidents in the house the first few days, dont be mad at him as this only reveals his distress; he needs time to adapt.  If he relieves himself during the night or while you are absent, dont react to it since your dog cannot make the link beween your being upset and his past action. 


  • If he is a male and lift his leg on your furniture in front of you, say NO immediately in a loud and angry voice.  You can only let the dog know about your disagreement if you catch him IN ACTION, never after. 

  • When abandonned, dogs fear their new master's absence.  You therefore need to prepare him slowly to progressively longer separations.  When you are at the house, start with getting him used not to be close to you and to stay a little in another room.  Teach him your departures are always followed by your returns.  You must quit the house without looking at him, talking to him, and stay outside few minutes and get back in with a neutral attitude, without reacting to his joyful demonstrations and then gradually increase the time length of your absences. 


  • Briefly, to recover their balance, these dogs need new masters that are forgiving, calm, patient, affectionate without excess and able to propose life rules in all respect for the animal.  It is often wise to take advice from a behaviorist who in one or two meetings can help you with adopting the adequate attitude towards a dog temporarily disturbed by abandon and transition.  

  • Moreover, do not force his affection, let him come to you when he is ready.  Do not invade his bubble.  Respect the characteristics that are specific to his breed and you shall live together many years of happiness and harmony. 

Special thanks to SOS Boubou for sharing this document and allowing us to publish.