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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm very excited and also extremely nervous. Evelyn and I are moving away from our current city to the DC suburbs. We're renting a house with my mom and little sister!

The house is lovely and has big fenced front yard and smaller (but still well sized) fenced backyard. That was one of my main priorities, along with a dishwasher and AC. We found a place that's nearly perfect and only a little higher than I wanted to pay. My mom and sister will be on the upper floor, and I'm taking both bedrooms on the ground floor. One will be a home office. We were hoping to get somewhere with a finished basement so I could have more of my own space, but the market to rent has been just as hot as the sales market. Lots of competition, and a lot of rentals either don't allow pets or limit pet owners to small dogs/cats. So the lack of basement and the higher rent are worth it for the yard and to get away from apartment life.

This is going to be a big adjustment for both of us. Evelyn has never lived with other people before although he has met my mom and my little sister (8) several times. I've rather enjoyed living alone these last couple of years, and I find the noise and rambunctiousness that comes with living with children...difficult. But I've missed living near my Mom and while I could have afforded a similar place on my own, her job doesn't pay as well in this area as it did where I grew up. Us getting together means she can afford to live in the area I need to for my job without having to compromise my little sister's education. I'm a big girl and I'll just have to learn patience with little people who deserve grace and big people who are still learning how to relate to me as an adult. (And I'm still learning to relate to them as an adult.)

I'm more concerned about how best to transition Evelyn to the new place and living with other people. I haven't really looked into it, but I'm hoping that my sister and I could do a class or work with a trainer on basic obedience. Evelyn has a good grasp of most of the basics, but a refresher wouldn't hurt either of us and I think it could help my sister's confidence. She isn't afraid of dogs, but she couldn't really interact with either of their previous dogs. My mom isn't really a pet person as she didn't really grow up with them and had to focus on raising me and now my sister. The previous dogs were my stepfather's thing, the most recent of which was a mistake they didn't have time for. Ended up completely untrained and too big for my sister.

Although we're less than a week from taking possession of the new place, I'm still on the hook for rent on this place for the month of August so I'm planning to take my time. We aren't traveling far, but it'll still be a big change. Only his stuff and a little of my stuff are going so there won't even be familiar furniture. Any advice on how to get Evelyn through the big move?

(I forgot to post about it but last week was the beautiful boy's birthday see pics below...馃巶)

479710

New birthday collar.

479711


479712

It rained kongs stuffed with fresh pet bison & beef all day! He's still checking them for meat!
 

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I think what鈥檚 most important when going in another home with a dog is to start a new routine from day 1 and enforce it, and try to incorporate as many elements from the old routine as possible. Sticking to the same feeding schedule, play time, sleep time, if possible, while incorporating elements of his new home.

Having the same bed, blankets, bowls, etc, will also be reassuring.

Also ask your mom and sister to not overwhelm your dog, at least for the first few days/weeks. Let the dog come to them, not the opposite. And take it from there, your dog will let you know how fast to go.

This is a great project and I think you will all be very happy together ! :)
 

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I think you, Evelyn, Mom, and Sister will do fine.

You have time and have residence at both locations, so you get some time to ease into the transition.

You have to teach Mom & Sister what the firm expectations are. You are Evelyn's Mom, so what you say goes. "You are teasing him, stop." Or "I know it's tempting, do not feed him from your plate." Stuff like that.

I have a feeling you need to hear that everything will be okay.
 

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Evelyn is lucky to have such a caring owner. He will be so happy to have a nice yard to run and sniff in, and likely enjoy getting to run up and down the stairs not to mention more room inside. I have temporarily moved to Arizona to help my elderly parents and moved into an apartment. My toy, Wally did great, I on the other hand am not enjoying apartment life. When we first got here we stayed with my brother and Wally seemed to enjoy someone else being around and now has another person he loves and gets very excited when he gets to see him. But like already mentioned, keeping a routine, his familiar things, etc, will make it easy for him. I have found that dogs are like children, stick to the routine, make it fun, act like it's the adventure that it is and they enjoy it and do well. I hope you will all be very happy. It sounds wonderful to me.
 

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Having your sister join you for classes is a great idea. I did that with my daughter (she was 10 at the time), and it was a great opportunity for bonding between us as well as with Raffi. She is still his very close second favorite person, over my other kids and husband. It also gave Raffi lots of practice on appropriate interactions with her, which has extended to other kids as well.
I think another benefit for you is that it will be a structured way to introduce the idea that you are in charge of interactions between your sister and Evelyn.
I don't know how close you and your sister are, as an oldest child myself I was often put in charge of my younger siblings so neither they nor my parents had issues with me 'interfering' so to speak; but I think it would be good to verbally clarify that whole your mom is in charge of parenting your sister, you are responsible for anything either of them have to do with Evelyn.
It would also be good to have a space (maybe your bedroom or office?) that is off limits to them, where Evelyn can get away if he wants. It should have a nice bed, toys, etc, and I would feed him there for the first while as well.
 

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Once Evelyn and your sister connect, it will be great to have someone else to help with his care.
Children are fun dog companions once coached.

My guess is that as long as you're there, he'll adapt to the new place. Cats attach to places, but dogs are far more human-oriented. Perhaps you can keep him close to you for the first few days.

The house sounds great!
 

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I'm very excited and also extremely nervous. Evelyn and I are moving away from our current city to the DC suburbs. We're renting a house with my mom and little sister!

The house is lovely and has big fenced front yard and smaller (but still well sized) fenced backyard. That was one of my main priorities, along with a dishwasher and AC. We found a place that's nearly perfect and only a little higher than I wanted to pay. My mom and sister will be on the upper floor, and I'm taking both bedrooms on the ground floor. One will be a home office. We were hoping to get somewhere with a finished basement so I could have more of my own space, but the market to rent has been just as hot as the sales market. Lots of competition, and a lot of rentals either don't allow pets or limit pet owners to small dogs/cats. So the lack of basement and the higher rent are worth it for the yard and to get away from apartment life.

This is going to be a big adjustment for both of us. Evelyn has never lived with other people before although he has met my mom and my little sister (8) several times. I've rather enjoyed living alone these last couple of years, and I find the noise and rambunctiousness that comes with living with children...difficult. But I've missed living near my Mom and while I could have afforded a similar place on my own, her job doesn't pay as well in this area as it did where I grew up. Us getting together means she can afford to live in the area I need to for my job without having to compromise my little sister's education. I'm a big girl and I'll just have to learn patience with little people who deserve grace and big people who are still learning how to relate to me as an adult. (And I'm still learning to relate to them as an adult.)

I'm more concerned about how best to transition Evelyn to the new place and living with other people. I haven't really looked into it, but I'm hoping that my sister and I could do a class or work with a trainer on basic obedience. Evelyn has a good grasp of most of the basics, but a refresher wouldn't hurt either of us and I think it could help my sister's confidence. She isn't afraid of dogs, but she couldn't really interact with either of their previous dogs. My mom isn't really a pet person as she didn't really grow up with them and had to focus on raising me and now my sister. The previous dogs were my stepfather's thing, the most recent of which was a mistake they didn't have time for. Ended up completely untrained and too big for my sister.

Although we're less than a week from taking possession of the new place, I'm still on the hook for rent on this place for the month of August so I'm planning to take my time. We aren't traveling far, but it'll still be a big change. Only his stuff and a little of my stuff are going so there won't even be familiar furniture. Any advice on how to get Evelyn through the big move?

(I forgot to post about it but last week was the beautiful boy's birthday see pics below...馃巶)

View attachment 479710
New birthday collar.

View attachment 479711

View attachment 479712
It rained kongs stuffed with fresh pet bison & beef all day! He's still checking them for meat!
How exciting that you are going to move and live near DC..
I live in a Maryland suburb near Annapolis.
There's a lot to do .
My brother whom lives close by(10 minutes)came to Puppy Class with me so we all would be on the same page.
I found that if you are happy and relaxed with the new move and living arrangements your dog will be.
Happy Birthday Evelyn; love the new collar.
 

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Congratulations on the new move soon! Everything should go smoothly. I would have a routine and rules from day one and be really chill about everything. Taking training classes with your little sister sounds great! Happy Birthday, Evelyn! 馃コ
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks all! We'll take it one day at a time. I'm going to start packing my books tonight, and ease him into it from there. Thankfully I don't have to get rid of any of his stuff.

I appreciate the well wishes and advice!
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I meant to update this, but never got around to it. (Took pictures and everything.)

We're officially moved into the new place, and as expected Evelyn is loving the yard. He and my little sister are getting along well, and my Mom likes him.

And yet things are not going as hoped. He's developing some troubling behaviors. Everytime there's a sound in the house outside the room we're in he starts growling and barks. He growls when my mom comes to my bedroom door if we're in there, and especially if she opens it. When we're in the front yard he sometimes barks or growls at passerby. And recently my sister had a small friend over in the yard and the little girl came inside unexpectedly and he growled at her. He didn't try to attack her and came and hid behind me, but it's still concerning. I later had her feed him some lettuce, and he took it, but he stretched his neck as far out as he could to get it without having to actually approach her. And his body language indicated fear once the lettuce was gone. He's never expressed fear towards children in their age range before!

I've been letting him stay in my office with me while I work, but today I banished him after he kept barking at every sound. I can hear my sister playing with him in the living room, so things seem to be going well on that front...
 

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He probably feels insecure and unsure of what's happening. Once he settles in and figures out the new routine and surroundings he will probably regain confidence and not feel that he has to alert to things. Help him to feel safe and comfortable, and don't force him to to do things he feels unsure about. Just let him look around and get used to all the new stuff.
 

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Yep, what @reraven123 said. And especially this:

Help him to feel safe and comfortable, and don't force him to to do things he feels unsure about.
Pushing him out of his comfort zone by having 鈥渢he scary thing鈥 offer a treat can backfire, as he pushes through his fear just long enough to follow his nose and snatch it....only to find himself even closer to the scary thing. Eek! Better to have you feed him yummy things, to reward him for looking to you when he鈥檚 nervous. Remind him he can always count on you and that you鈥檝e got it under control.

Excessive alerting can be an issue with Peggy, too, and what always works best for us is to honour her concern. I look out the window. 鈥淎hhhhh yes. A spooky neighbour! Thanks, Peggy!鈥 And then I say, 鈥淎ll good now. Shake it off.鈥 When she literally shakes off the tension (which, at this point, happens immediately 98% of the time) I know she鈥檚 relaxed and I can resume whatever I was doing. If she doesn鈥檛 shake it off, she鈥檚 pretty much guaranteed to alert again within minutes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Honestly, I didn't think he was scared of her until that point. He's previously been a little uncomfortable with people entering our space when he's already in it. I usually go out and get guests and we all come in together, because at the apartment I noticed he was uncomfortable with people entering our space. If we all came in together he was usually fine with people in our space. So I thought his initial reaction was because she just popped up in the house without anyone who belonged in the house. Frankly I was startled by that too, she was never supposed to come in. The fear behavior was new, he usually is happy to take food from strangers and has only ever expressed concern towards toddlers, old people with walkers, and balloons. He's happily played with children their age and has never expressed fear towards them before.

The growling is a concern as it is almost constant. If we're in my room or office with the door shut and he's awake, he's growling. If a noise is loud enough it'll wake him and he'll start growling. At the apartment if I told him to hush he'd snuggle close and stop vocalizing. Here he might stop for a second, but he starts again very quickly and then escalates to barking. If he was a vocal dog all this time I wouldn't be concerned, but this is new and I don't want this to be the new normal. And he mostly seems to do it when he's with me. I haven't heard a peep from him since I kicked him out of my office, but I've heard plenty of family noises.
 

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Reminds me very much of how Peggy behaved when we tried taking her to a cabin in the national park, which ended up being much busier than expected. We left after about 24 hours, utterly exhausted and fed up.

If we鈥檇 had to stay there permanently, I would have enlisted the help of our certified trainer and also possibly a behaviourist.

How old is Evelyn now? It could be a combo of age and new environment. Little things can become more pronounced with maturity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Do you think he is being protective of you?
That's one of my concerns. Although the fact that he keeps hiding behind me makes me wonder if he's looking to me for reassurance, which I don't want to discourage. But at the same time I know that he's dancing on the edge of separation anxiety, if he doesn't have a mild case already. And I don't want that to progress either. So do I let him stay close to reassure him or do I push him to be more independent? If he growled and barked less when he was with me I'd feel more confident that he found my presence reassuring, but that's not the case.

I don't want to push him too fast, because I know some of his anxiety has to be because of the move. But I also don't want to fall back into the same old patterns we had at the apartment. We moved here in part because it's still up in the air whether I'll have to go back to the office. We can't depend on me always working from home, but I'm a contractor of sorts and am willing to switch to a different agency if this one goes back to the office. I'd prefer to stick with this one though since I have a relationship with them already.

Pics from when I extended his banishment to today:
480486


480488
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Reminds me very much of how Peggy behaved when we tried taking her to a cabin in the national park, which ended up being much busier than expected. We left after about 24 hours, utterly exhausted and fed up.

If we鈥檇 had to stay there permanently, I would have enlisted the help of our certified trainer and also possibly a behaviourist.

How old is Evelyn now? It could be a combo of age and new environment. Little things can become more pronounced with maturity.
That's part of my line of thinking too. He just turned 2 towards the end of July.

I wanted some weigh in from the PF crowd before I rushed to 'treat' the behavior. I know it's early days for a very different living situation so I want to make sure my anxiety isn't getting the best of me.
 
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