Recommended Do’s & Don’ts for
Settling Your Newly Adopted Romanian Rescue Dog

romanian rescue dog

The importance of ‘getting it right’ for your new Romanian (foreign) Rescue Dog cannot be stressed enough.  It is far easier to prevent problems arising than it is to try to undo them once something has happened.  By sticking to a few simple guidelines when your Rescue dog first arrives at their new home with you, you can help make sure they settle quickly, happily and with as few problems as possible.

The DOG’s Point of View Resources website for Romanian and Overseas rescue dogs has a FREE WEBINAR available containing even more helpful information You can go straight over and check that out HERE

Please bear in mind, the following information is based on my knowledge and experience of Romanian (foreign) Rescue dogs, but every one of them will be different.  Please read through the whole information guide several times before your dog arrives ideally, and get all members of your family to read it too.

These guidelines are information you need to know, you may need to know all of them, you may not need any of them, but you will definitely need to be prepared to read and assess how your particular dog is coping with everything, and meet his/her needs as an individual.

 Collection / Arrival Day

Many rescues have different protocols when their dogs arrive.  Your dog may be delivered to your house, you may be collecting them from a rescue kennels or somewhere else.  The protocols remain the same.

Even if your dog has already been with a foster family in the UK, these recommendations still apply.  Yes, being with a foster may have helped them over a key adjustment period, but you are about to take them away from everything that has become familiar to them in that time, so the stressed/confused/scared possibilities still exist.

When collecting your dog you will need the following

  • A collar & lead
  • A Slip Lead – this is to be worn as an emergency back-up should your dog panic and try to bolt – a dog can slip out of a collar in 2 seconds and you would be shocked how easily this can happen.
  • A harness would be advisable but many dog arrive confused and scared and so may not cope with the manhandling of having a harness fitted.
  • A Crate for the car or some way of securing your dog in the car ie harness with seatbelt attachment or a secure boot area.
  • Someone with you to help in case your dog panics in the car or is exceptionally upset.


  • You must keep them at home for the first 48 hours as part of DEFRA Regulations
  • You may receive a spot check visit from DEFRA, usually within the first week but it can be anything up to 4 weeks following arrival. This is just to make sure everything is in order with your passport, paperwork and they will want to scan your dogs microchip to make sure it matches your documentation.


Collection / Arrival Day Rules

I have watched too many of these beautiful dogs go through a two day van journey to arrive at their new life only to escape in panic and be lost.  Some are lost for weeks and some sadly get killed on the roads.  Please do not underestimate the need for belt and braces here.

  • As soon as you have your dog, put them straight into the car or in their crate in the car or take them straight into a secure garden or indoors.
  • DO NOT walk them around to see if they want to go to the toilet, most of these dogs won’t toilet until they feel totally safe anyway.
  • Please Remember your dog will most likely be scared , confused and stressed. They may look for a way to escape your garden, they may try to wriggle out of collars and may well bolt if given half a chance.
  • Please DO NOT Risk your Dog’s Life.
  • Leave their lead on in the car if it’s safe to do so, to make it easier and safer for you to get them out when you get home without manhandling them too much trying to get the lead back on. If you are going straight into your home, also leave the lead attached and trailing for the first few hours at least in case you need to manoeuvre your dog into or out of anywhere.
  • If you have collected your dog in the car, when you arrive home, again take your dog straight indoors or into the garden, but keep them on a lead in the garden, even if you think it’s secure.


Romanian Rescue Dog Honey


    This is so important, the first few days in a new environment are when your new dog could feel most scared and more likely to run away if the opportunity arises. It is so easy for people to leave gates open, your dog can scoot through an open door or in some cases escape from gardens.
    If the chip has not been registered to you, and your dog has just arrived from Romania Their microchip will NOT show up on any database in the UK, it has to be registered first, so even though a scanner will read the microchip, they will have no way of tracing where that dog came from, meaning they will end up in kennels somewhere with the risk of being put to sleep if not claimed.
    Leave a short lightweight lead trailing when you first arrive home in case you need to move your new rescue dog off of, out of or into anywhere This will eliminate the need for you to grab for their collar, which could be scary to an already stressed dog that doesn’t know you.
    Make sure they have access to fresh water in a place where ideally they don’t have to turn their back on a room to drink, so not in a corner. If they feel anxious about their surroundings they may be reluctant to drink if they can’t see where everyone is while doing so.Offer them food shortly after they arrive but for the first few days at least, maybe longer, feed little and often rather than big meals.  Ideally scatter their food over a small area to prevent them wolfing it down and to encourage them to engage in naturally calming behaviours like snuffling and sniffing.  Obviously feed them separately to resident dogs.
    When your dog arrives they will be in stress overload. Their Cortisol and Adrenaline levels will be through the roof. They will need at least a few days for these to even begin to come down so please do make these first few days very    Most dogs sleep a lot during the first 24 hours and it’s important to give them the opportunity and a safe place to allow them to do that. This alone can prevent all sorts of problem behaviours in the first few days. Make sure they have a place they can be that is away from lots of hubub and if necessary give them separate time from resident dogs to have a break and process all that has happened to them.  If they are fearful when they arrive and don’t wish to interact then leave them to choose their space and don’t keep encouraging them to make friends.  They will come around in their own time but if you keep trying to make them do things you could increase their anxiety and make the process of them settling take much longer.
    Avoid having lots of visitors to the house during the first week.  Let your new arrival settle, get used to their new environment and get used to you before you start introducing more new people.  Visitors tend to want to excessively fuss because they will know you rescued this dog from an awful situation. All this attention from so many strangers can cause many of these dogs to feel anxious.  Let your dog choose to interact with any visitors when they do come, but if they don’t want to then leave them be and ask your visitors to ignore them.  You should be able to tell how comfortable they’re feeling from their body language.  If they’re happily leaping around your new visitors, then it’s more likely they will enjoy a fuss, but if they’re hesitant and unsure, it is REALLY IMPORTANT that you let your dog set the pace for new introductions.  If you try to encourage them to make friends, you can actually MAKE them scared of new people – and this can take months to change once established.
    Keep them on a lead, preferably a long line in the garden for the first few days, some dogs can be very panicked by all they’ve been through & their new surroundings and you want to be sure they have no intention of trying to escape. This is especially important and a very real possibility if your new rescue dog was a street dog. Some of these dogs have been reported to jump 6ft fences and if you have any gaps in your fencing, you can be sure your Romanian dog will find them!
    Double lead your rescue dog when you first start walking them outside, in case they panic and slip a collar or harness. Best combination is harness + lead with a flat collar + lead. Or you could have a slip lead on as well as your ordinary collar/harness & lead, but don’t use it, it’s only there as a back-up if anything goes wrong.  Many Romanian dogs will panic if you use a lead that tightens around their neck so make sure the slip lead is only used as a backup emergency.
    Take your rescue dog out to the garden when they arrive (on a lead) to see if they want to toilet. Most won’t go until they have settled down. Following on from this take them out to go to the toilet as soon as they wake up, after each meal and every couple of hours for the first week (every hour if a puppy) this will lessen the risk of accidents in the house and give you the opportunity to praise and reinforce all toileting outside.This will increase the likelihood they will quickly learn where they are suppose to go to the toilet and reduce the degree of accidents in the house. Most of these dogs are toilet trained within 48 hours.


double lead your rescue dog


  • Don’t keep fussing over your new arrival, they will most likely not be used to it. Although you may feel you are showering them with all the love they have missed out on and comforting them during their stress at being in a new home, they can actually find this quite stressful, in addition to all the stress of their journey and finding themselves in a whole new strange environment.  Give them time and space.
  • Don’t Bathe them for at least a few days. Your new arrival will most likely pong a bit. Please refrain from putting them through the additional stress of being bathed for at least a few days unless it’s absolutely necessary for medical reasons.  This is a very intrusive and often scary experience for a dog that has already been through so much stress.  They have no idea who you are or where they are and may not cope at all well with being manhandled into a bath or shower.  This kind of overwhelm in the first few days of arriving could easily cause trauma for your new arrival and the development of more deep seated issues (fearfulness, mistrust, reactivity) Once a few days have passed you will have a much better idea of how your dog might cope with this experience (or not as the case may be)  The smell very quickly diminishes anyway so just give them some space on this one.
  • Don’t allow them to follow you everywhere and have access to all areas of the house for the first few days/weeks. Often these dogs will not be used to all the home comforts we offer them and if you allow them free reign over everything, you could find them developing resource guarding behaviours over all the new & wonderful ‘stuff’ they find at their pawtips. Plus it can help prevent the development of separation anxiety by providing them with their own room that you leave now and again just to go to other areas of the house.  In addition to this, an anxious dog can feel more anxious if they have too much space.
  • Don’t Let them on beds or sofa’s for the first few weeks. Again this can instigate resource guarding, which once it starts to happen, is more difficult to stop than if you can prevent it from starting and being practised in the first place.  Resource guarding of sofa’s and beds is a very common problem during the first few weeks and has led to quite a few bites and the return to kennels of newly adopted dogs, so please help make your adoption be as successful as possible and follow this advice.
  • Don’t reinforce ALL attention demanding behaviours. This can often be an insecurity based behaviour and you could enhance the possibility of separation anxiety and owner possessiveness (resource aggression) being created by always giving in to their demands for attention. By all means give them plenty of attention once they’re settled in, but try to avoid always responding to their demands for it.
  • Don’t mess about with your rescue dogs feet – this is a very sensitive area (instinctively) for dogs, leave grooming, bathing and rubbing with a towel until they are a bit more familiar with you and a relationship of trust has been established. Your new rescue will most likely smell quite unpleasant, and whilst some will tolerate being bathed, it could be another stressor for them on top of an already stressful week! if you can leave it a couple of days, they might feel more comfortable about you doing it.
  • Don’t take your rescue dog for walks for a few days AT LEAST for most it will be a week. They need time to decompress from everything that has happened to them before overwhelming them further with all the sights, sounds and smells of the outside world. We feel they need walks every day to be happy, but many of these dogs will not be used to our busy environments and find them scary & stressful, on top of the already stressful experiences they have been through leading up to their arrival with you . They will be tired enough with processing all that has and is happening to them, they need time to settle to get ready to take on the environment outside. (Google -Stress or trigger Stacking in Dogs for a more detailed explanation about this)
  • Don’t Expect your rescue dog to be used to wearing a collar and walking on a lead. If they have had any experience of being on the end of a dog catchers pole, they will most likely be terrified if you start trying to pull them along on a lead.  Do plenty of lead practise in the garden in the first few days, without all the distractions they will face when the actually go out for walks, to get them used to it and help them realise it’s nothing to worry about.
  • Don’t Let your rescue dog off the lead for AT LEAST several weeks but probably much longer & with some never. Hire a secure field if you want to give them a good ‘ole run around. Please do not risk your dog’s life because you want to enjoy the sight of them ‘running free’ many of these dogs are very easily spooked and it wouldn’t take much for them to bolt.  In addition to that many of them have a very high prey drive and although they may seem like they’re going to hang around with you, one whiff of something interesting and they could well be disappearing into the distance!

romanian rescue dog honey

What To Expect For the First Few Weeks (at least!)

When your rescue dog first arrives with you, it is important to be 100% aware and realise they will need time to adjust and settle. If I took one of my dogs and left them in a strange house where they didn’t know anyone, I would expect them to be very unsettled, upset, confused and very stressed, and to display any range of behaviours which they would not normally display.

I would expect all this from a dog that has never had any upset in their life and has lived knowing nothing but love, safety and security.  So imagine how much worse it is for a rescue dog from Romania.  These dogs could have spent some time trying to survive on the streets, would have had to endure the horrors of a Romanian Public Shelter and how they’re treated and handled there.  They would have spent 2 days on a transport vehicle with yet more strange dogs and people, 2 days in another kennel environment with MORE strange dogs and people before they finally arrive with you, yet another new environment with more strange people and possibly more strange dogs, along with a completely new routine and level of expectations.

Some dogs cope with all of this remarkably well, but some don’t, and it would serve adopters and fosterers better to assume that they won’t cope and behave and handle them accordingly.  That way, you are far more likely to prevent problems than if you assume they will be fine, or that they will be grateful for this wonderful life you have offered them and don’t provide them with the necessary consistency, boundaries and structure that they need at this most unstable of times.

Important points to remember in order to provide structure in the early weeks

  1. Have all the equipment you might need ready for when your dog arrives.  That way you will be prepared.
  2. Keep YOUR behaviour consistent.  Your rescue dog will learn much quicker from knowing what is expected of him.  Avoid confusing him by making sure everyone in the house is doing the same things.
  3. Provide a secure, safe place for him to be left alone.  Start doing this as soon as he arrives, even if only for 5 or 10 minutes at a time while you go elsewhere in the house.  The more times you can repeat this from day one, the better your dog will cope with being left when you have to go out for longer periods.
  4. Establish a routine as much as possible and as quickly as possible.  Your new arrival can gain a lot of confidence and reassurance from having a routine in place and knowing what to expect and when.  This can help them settle more quickly and there will be plenty of time to develop their resilience to changes in routine once they are more settled.
  5. Expect some problems in the early settling in period, and be prepared for it to be a bit stressful and unsettling for everyone in the house to start with.  All legitimate rescue’s will provide support and advice, but it can never hurt to have already sourced a reputable local trainer or behaviourist you can call upon if needed.  I would recommend speaking to your trainer and asking them if they have any experience of working with Romanian Dogs, because they are a little bit different.  I would also be looking for a trainer that is registered with a recognised body of professionals, such as PPGBI (Pet Professional Guild British Isles)  IMDT (Institute of Modern Dog Trainers) the APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) or COAPE (Centre of Applied Pet Ethology).You can click on any of those website links and there will be an option to enter your postcode and search for a registered trainer local to you.  By using someone registered with these organisations, you are ensuring your trainer has been fully assessed and uses positive reward based methods of training and handling. (The dog training industry is unregulated and therefore it is possible for pretty much anyone to set themselves up as a trainer, but this doesn’t mean they will be a good trainer or behaviourist, with up to the date knowledge.  I know for a fact, many trainers are still using aversive methods for training and dealing with behaviour problems, which if used on a rescue dog, will most likely cause more problems than it solves)

WATCH THE FREE WEBINAR & GRAB YOUR COPY OF THE FREE New Adopters Guide to Settling Your Romanian Rescue Dog


This Is a Critical Transition Period

Dogs are particularly impressionable when they first arrive in a new environment, and how well you manage their behaviour during this transitional period will have a direct effect on how quickly they settle and become a well adjusted member of the family.

Please plan to invest time during this period to socialise, teach and get acquainted with your new dog and his/her unique character.

It will definitely be worth the extra effort 🙂

foster dog honey


Possible Problems You May Encounter

    • Resource guarding
    • Separation Anxiety
    • House soiling
    • Demanding Attention
    • Snatching at food
    • Escaping
    • Running off
    • Fear of new people (growling / reactivity)
    • Fear of other dogs (growling / reactivity)
    • Counter surfing
    • Bin Raiding
    • Not liking a lead being put on
    • Pulling on the lead or not wanting to move when the lead is on
    • Stress behaviours (Chewing / Shredding)
    • Digging

If there is anything you are concerned about or unsure of, please discuss this with your rescue organisation BEFORE you get your dog.

Equipment You Will Need

    • Flat clip buckle collar
    • Soft light lead (ideally 6ft)
    • Slip lead (as emergency backup only)
    • A long training line (15 – 30ft)
    • Baby Gate(s)
    • Harness
    • Crate
    • Plenty of tasty treats (Think cooked meats rather than anything too rich as their tummy  may be a little sensitive for a few days)
    • Treat bag

Prevention of Problems in the First Few Days & Weeks of Adoption Are Critical.
Problems that Happen During this Time can Lead to Long Term Issues or Even Adoption Failure.

Let me just say congratulations on being here &
taking on board the info in this article.

I’ve had 100’s of people tell me they wished they’d had
this information when they first got their dogs.

If you really want to set yourself and your dog up for success then I highly recommend you The Dog’s Point of View Private Coaching Group.  The group is already full of both new and existing adopters so you will be in great company!

As a member of the group you will be able to personally ask me questions and have access to more structured information and support in the form of Q&A’s, workshops, video demonstrations & online courses covering the most common problems experienced by adopters.

Places in the group are limited so if it says enrolment is closed at the moment you can sign up to jump on a waiting list and will get offered a place as soon as one is available.

CLICK HERE to find out more about the
Coaching Group &  what Members have to say about it



Good Luck and Enjoy Your Wonderful New Friend 🙂

Romanian Rescue Dog Honey

Two of the dogs shown here are Romanian Rescue Dogs. Happy, relaxed and finally enjoying life!

If you know of anyone that would benefit from this article, please feel free to share it 🙂 

If you enjoyed this article please share it. Thank You!

Comments (37)

  1. Marcus

    Hi. Our new dog is due to arrive from Romania in 3 days. As a family we are very excited and well prepared. This article has been a great insight for what to expect.
    I have two children aged 12 and 5. Does anybody have any advice on how best to handle the bonding process between the family, obviously I would not be leaving the 5 year old and dog unsupervised but it is still a slight concern to me. ?

  2. Angela Geddis

    I have 3 Romanian rescues and that’s the advice I was given by the Last Chance Romanian rescue and I adhered to it and have 3 extremely happy, well adjusted furbabies xx

  3. Melanie Killelay

    We have had a Romanian dog for two months and unfortunately we had to return him to the rescue centre yesterday.
    We are truly devastated he just wouldn’t settle when we left him,the damage caused in the house must be at 1k .
    We did everything we could to help him adjust he was a fantastic dog and we are going to miss him so much.
    Maybe if we had some help from the rescue centre maybe that would of helped I’m not sure,this morning all I want his him back

  4. Chris Speedy

    Hi Meesh

    Possibly a crazy thought! I wonder whether a stress factor for newly arrived Rommies is the fact that humans don’t speak Romanian but a strange language the dog has never encountered before. Dogs certainly build a vocabulary of heard sounds they associate with things and their complete absence and replacement with strange new sounds might be upsetting. What do you think?

    • Hi Chris, Nope! Not a crazy thought at all and could very well be a contributing factor. Although as our dogs probably hear about 90% of what we say as complete gobbledygook (technical term 😉 ) they are quite adept at ‘white noising’ much of what we say but I do think there is merit in your thought process and I know a lot of new adopters who have gone to the trouble of learning a few key words in Romanian to help with the transition period. I think this is something that could certainly be a bigger factor for the older dogs that are adopted and who possibly had a home in Romania and therefore many years of the Romanian language. Thanks for taking time to comment.

  5. Helen Wattie

    We have had our Romanian girl, Cassie for 8 days now. She’s painfully timid and still won’t let me touch her – and poor hubbie has NO chance! She’s loving her walks though, and she’s already learnt the routine and wants out of her “kitchen cave” at 5.30am, for a 7am walk that she wants earlier please! I’m not sure if I’m doing something wrong, but outside her walks, she just wants to sit outside behind pot plants in the corner of the garden all day if I’m home. She doesn’t like the lovely, warm, sheltered kennel opposite this spot! I had to drag her in out of the rain yesterday, and the poor girl must have been cold and miserable, but wanted to stay out. I shut her in the kitchen at night or if we are away, and she has a table with blankets over it where she sleeps. We knock on the door before entering, and she seems to like to like that as she can either hide under her table, or meet me at the door for her walks! At first, she had a tummy upset, but a few days in she’s over it, and toilets on her walks – but never in the backyard! She’s not at all food motivated, and while I feed her in the morning after her walk, she often ignores her food and asks to go outside to “her corner” rather than hang out inside with me when I’m home. I’ve seen on the pet-cam that she plays with her Kong toy during the night, secretly getting the liver paste and treats out of it, tail held high. Sadly, the rest of the time her tail is tucked tight, and she seems really sad, apart from when she’s out on a walk with one or both of us. Will time and patience allow her to become more trusting or am I doing something wrong?!

    • Hi Helen, Thank you for your comment. It’s very difficult to say if or how quickly your girl may start to come around, it really depends on her inherent nature and character together with her history up until now. Some of the fearful arrivals start to come around within a few days, others can take months and longer. It’s important not to pressure her too much, try to allow her space to investigate and determine what’s safe and whats not without any pressure to keep interacting with everyone and everything. 8 days is no time at all for a Rommie to be settled, she will most likely be missing her doggie friends if she is an only dog in your household, most Rommies have spent a lot of time with a lot of doggie company, so that could potentially be adding to her anxiety, the fact that she is alone. The fact that she’s not at all food motivated suggests she is existing in a consistently high state of anxiety, together with the fact that she enjoys her kong when she’s alone, and looks relaxed seems to suggest this as well. Time and patience is important, and making sure you do the right things to help her learn to trust you and feel safe, but at the same time without pressuring her to be ‘OK’ with everything.

      Are you getting any help and advice from the rescue you adopted her from?

      I have a members group you may be interested in where I could offer additional support, it’s not on the scale of one to one assistance but there is a lot of information in the group and more added daily. There are also several fellow Rommie adopters in the group who I’m sure would be delighted to share their experiences and support you, they (and I) have all been through a variety of experiences.

      This is a link to more info about the group if you’d like to take a look

  6. Stuart

    Have a most lovely roumanian female street dog, fully house trained, however reacts to other dogs by snarling and could possibly attack them also sometimes to reacts to people by lunging at them, is petrified of sticks, brooms, umbrellas, can read into that, any suggestions ‘re meeting other dogs, practically docilecat home

  7. Sheila Markwick

    What a fantastic and helpful article, thank you so much. We have had our rescued Rommie for just eleven days so it really is very early days. She is fine with me and with my husband but is wary of visitors who she greets with barks and low growls but she is not vicious in any way, she is just worried. She is slowly accepting my son and his wife and two grown up grandsons who live near by and visit often but each time it takes her a little while to accept them. Anybody coming into the house and she retreats to her security area, behind the sofa where she can look out of the window, or in her crate. She lets us know in no uncertain terms when the paper boy or postman arrive. How dare they! We take her for short walks twice a day and we are trying to teach her not to pull on the lead, Being both elderly we find this quite a trial. She is only two years old so hopefully she will forget her early experiences and become a wonderful house dog – if only we could get her to sit. We love her to bits and I think she is starting to love us in return, she is certainly very affectionate. Have you any advice on lead pulling and am I right in assuming she will, given time, accept the family and other visitors? Thank you again for a wonderful and informative article. All best wishes,

    • Hi Sheila, thank you 🙂 I’m so glad you found the article helpful and informative and well done on your new addition to the family!
      if you visit my training guides page, you can purchase there (£3.99) my Loose Lead Walking Workbook, which has all sorts of relative information and techniques for helping to teach a dog to walk relaxed on a loose lead. If you scroll down to the bottom of the page, there is also a FREE resource there called ‘Training Guide on Stress Stacking and the Impact on our Dogs’ which I recommend you also download and read through to help you understand your Rommies stress levels and how to help her with them. She may or may not, given time accept the family and other visitors, Rommies can remain wary of strangers to the house, but with the right approach to making her feel more comfortable, she should improve with time. If you need any help with this, I offer online training consultations with full support to help you get it right for your girl. She is very lucky to have found you!
      This is a link to the products page where you can find the Loose Lead Walking Workbook & the FREE Stress guide I mentioned
      This is a link to my services page if you feel you need any assistance with your girls fear behaviours.

  8. Sam

    Hi I have a Romanian rescue she has been with us 6 years but all of a sudden she is growing a lot of fur round her feet and looks un kept we brush her once a week but she will not let us trim her feet hair grommers are refusing to take her as she’s a risk because of biting but she needs something I don’t want to drug her just for the groomer please help

    • Hi Sam, thanks for your comment, the only thing I can really suggest is to look for a force free reputable trainer in your area that could work with your dog to help her become comfortable with having her feet trimmed, either by yourself or the groomer. Look for someone who is a member of a professional body that promotes force free training methods such as the Pet Professional Guild British Isles, COAPE, IAABC or IMDT. I hope you can help your girl become more comfortable with having her feet handled.

  9. Lesley Geraghty

    I’ve had my beautiful rommie since 2013. Tuppy had massive behavioural issues outside the house, screaming, spinning and lunging at anything that moved even a paper bag left on the pavement. Its taken a long time for her to feel confident and safe, she still reacts to certain people and dogs without warning so i will always have to be on my guard. She is mostly blind in one eye so sees shaddows and some low life cut her tail off. She has no recall so will always be on a lead ( i have tried believe me). A behaviorist spent time with her to no avail. The main thing is she is well loved and safe. She loves her home and enclosed garden but most of all she loves the car!!! So very glad shes mine x

  10. Diana

    Hi, I adopted my wonderful Romanian girl just one week ago. She has taken to domestic life so easily, including the cat! Doesn’t really understand walkies but because everyone is so nice to her she is getting better. Very unsure about other dogs but again good meetings are helping enormously. Absolutely no regrets, love her to bits.

    • Awww Diana, your Rommie girl sounds wonderful, it does take time for them to adjust, take it steady and at her pace and I’m sure she will continue to blossom in your wonderful loving home xx

  11. Christopher Sellers

    I obtained a Romanian rescue dog (4 month old bitch) in March 2014. Total round trip to Kings Lynn from Lyme Regis was 565 miles! There and back in a day, with a short break on the return journey to let her out of the crate (on a lead!) to stretch her legs. Yes! She did pong terribly and, yes, she did have diorrhea for a week or so. She had evidently been quite traumatised in the public “shelter” (for which read “canine death row”) in Bucharest. Over the past three and a half years she has blossomed into the most wonderful and loyal companion – although she IS a bin-raider and a pot-licker! We were absolutely amazed to notice one day, when neighbours and their Hungarian Witzler bitch visited us, to see “Bonnie” protecting our infant daughter – she wouldn’t let the Witzler bitch come anywhere near her. Later, we were equally astonished (and somewhat concerned) to see that Bonnie was fiercely protective of me – a friend shook hands with me and Bonnie barked and lunged at him. That protective behaviour, we were told by a local dog trainer, is not actually a real danger – Bonnie is a dog who, like most dogs, knows very well the power of her bite but who chooses not to actually use her canines to inflict damage – rather a warning “nip”, very much like a Collie. Bonnie has NEVER offered to bite or menace anyone in my family. I have placed a large dog cage in my porch, leaving the door open at ALL times – Bonnie chooses to snooze in this cage and she seems to use it as her “safe” or quiet space whenever she feels like it. I think that it is important to allow a dog to retreat into its own private domain by choice. I live in the country in East Devon, adjacent to a small farm track which is on the Ramblers’ Route. Bonnie does NOT like people walking past and she lets them know it – I have to make sure that the gate is shut at all times because she does stand and menace passers-by, although her tail is wagging while she stands and barks at them…she has an ambivalent attitude towards the postman – she will condescend to accept treats from him, while still barking at him – again with her tail wagging. She does allow the postman into the garden without inflicting any injury on him though. I have found that a calm, consistent, assertive and understanding approach to Bonnie has paid huge dividends in her development. I have NEVER hit her – tone of voice is more than adequate for a sensitive and intelligent dog. Initially, Bonnie did suffer from some separation anxiety (she still does, to some degree) – I thought this through and decided to try “little and often” absences. This seems to have worked and Bonnie, while not particularly wishing to be left alone, soon settles down in her cage and seems to cope quite well – no shredding or damage now, at least. She did, initially, tend to drag her bedding out of her cage and I had to replace her shredded mattress twice – but if that is all, in three and a half years, that is not bad! Bonnie enjoys travelling in her large cage in my VW Camper Van – she will stand by the van waiting to jump into her cage and she will immediately settle and snooze – no problems here. She was supposed to have been “cat checked” by the rescue kennels in Kings Lynn – well, she must have been “cat checked” against a pride of lions! She chases my Siamese cat (if he stood his ground he would be fine, but he doesn’t) – my female Brown Burmese does stand her ground so Bonnie tends to ignore her. So – a word of warning – DON’T always believe the assurances of the rescue kennels re “cat testing” – you might just have to handle that problem yourself if it manifests itself. If you see your dog’s eyes following your cat, deal with the problem straight away – warn your dog, in no uncertain terms, and repeatedly if necessary, that following your cat’s movement with its eyes is a NO-NO! Bonnie is learning. In summary – Bonnie has won the doggy lottery. She has a long walk over meadows and through woodlands every day, she chases squirrels and is fine (albeit a little wary at first) with other dogs and is great with children.

  12. Judi

    Don’t know why anyone buys a dog when rescues are more deserving and much better. Our little girl has been badly damaged but trusts us.

    • Christopher Sellers

      …absolutely agree Judi – not sure if rescues are “much better” though – all dogs are deserving of a decent life. What concerns me is the lack of action to close down the puppy farms. Good luck.

  13. Amanda Turnbull

    Have had my Romanian rescue dog Ruby, for a month, she is an absolute darling.
    She was very, very timid when I brought her home but she is gaining confidence every day and has started to enjoy going out on walks.
    So glad we were able to offer her a chance of having a better life, Mandy.

    • Awwww that’s lovely Mandy. Thank you for saving her and giving her the chance of such a wonderful life with you xx

  14. Shelagh Greer

    I rescued a Romanian Shepherd 13 year old bitch. I thought it deserved a happy ending. I don’t care if she lives only 6 months, at least she has known some love and comfort. She has Spondolitus which means her spite is painful and fragile. She has 3 short walks a day and medication to keep her comfortable. When we first got her 4 months ago, she became very I’ll with diarrhea and vomiting. The kennels had omitted to tell me she has RAW diet only. As soon ax we changed her to raw chicken, turkey or pork, loads of chopped veg and fruit, and chicken wings she became a new dog. Beautiful black shiny coat and filled of a bit. She also has a very thick ear from infection and trauma that was left untreated. She must have been in agony. All cleared up now. She’s cost us over £1k in the first month, but
    what price love.

  15. Roanne Anad

    Having my home check tomorrow and trying to read up on how to handle Romanian rescue dogs to fully prepare myself. Thanks for all the advice and information, I found it incredibly helpful. It’s fantastic knowing that there’s plenty of support out there and people who are able to answer questions and give advice. Thank you!

    • How exciting Roanne! I hope all is going well and I’m so glad the information and advice is helpful for you. Good luck with your new arrival!

  16. Nigel Yates

    What a wonderful article, my wife and I are about to adopt two Romanian Rescue Dogs. We have had quite a lot of help from the people at the Romanian Rescue Appeal, but to put all that information into one article is of invaluable help. Thank you

    • Awwww thank you Nigel 🙂 It’s great to know this info is helping so many people. Wow how exciting for you, feel free to update us when your new four paws arrive, everyone loves to see happy endings!

    • Dorothy C

      Hi Nigel
      How did you get on? We have just adopted two Rommies, one is very anxious and fearful -been a week in her crate. The other is very boistrous and affectionate. Did your take long to settle in, any words of advise?

  17. Gavin Hamilton

    Makes an awful lot of sense, I am printing off copies to give to my adopters. Thank you for posting

    • You are welcome Gavin, I’m glad it is useful and informative. If it would help to have a pdf version to print off/share with your adopters, please do let me know and I can sort that out for you.

  18. Best article I have ever read about Romanian rescues in particular. Well done x

    Please somewhere mention putting a name and address tag on the collar when you go to collect the dog surprising how many people dont, and like you say, chip wont be registered so chance of dog pound and pts.

    Will be sharing this one for sure

    • Hi Jill, thank you so much for your lovely comment, I’m so pleased you feel it is well written and informative. I will certainly update the article with the tag information, as you say, it could be a lifesaver! Thank you for the feedback and thank you for sharing x

  19. Linda Wylie

    I have always thought there would be benefit in reading to animals when they first come to a new home. Or rather just reading in their vicinity. Any other animal you have will already know your voice and this gives the new dog time to get used to just listening to you without it infringing on them and their space. Perhaps it could be one of the books about welcoming a new pet into the family and anybody can do in various stages

    • Hi Linda, thank you for your comment, I must admit reading to them when they first arrive is not something I have ever done, but then I tend to chat away anyway. I can see how it could benefit certain dogs, although some could also find it more stressful and might benefit more from space and quiet time to be able to completely relax. I would say it would definitely depend on the dog and hopefully the owners will be able to read their signals to tell if they are enjoying the reading or not. Thanks again for taking time to comment.

  20. I was reading this with Give a Dog a Home in mind, then saw Lynne’s comment 🙂
    Brilliant article, thank you!
    Can I add another book that I’ve found useful, “Charlie”, the dog who came in from the wild” written by his adopter, Lisa Tenzin-Dolma who is a behaviourist.

    • Thank you Katherine 🙂 and thank you for the book recommendation too, I will be doing a recommended books post at some point so will make sure to include your recommendations.

  21. Great article, please can I share it on Give a Dog a Home UK? The best quick and easy book I have found, dealing with the first few weeks is also by Patricia McConnell and Karen London ‘ Love Has No Age Limit; welcoming a rescue dog into your home’ .

    • Hi Lynne, Thank you. I’m so glad you thought the article was good and will be useful to others, so yes no problem at all, please go ahead and share on your website.

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