WHAT TO EXPECT IF YOU ARE EXPECTING TO ADOPT A TURKEY DOG
Bringing in 123 dogs is a daunting task. Bringing them from a new continent, a new way of life and a new set of human expectations ups the ante exponentially. All of us at AGA have learned things about and from these dogs that you need to understand before you make the decision to add a 'Turkey Dog' to your family. Chances are this is not going to be a typical adoption, but more of a project you will take on to have a happy and content dog and family.
PATIENCE is key. A dog may walk in shy and within a couple days know he is home. More likely, he will come with some issues that you may have a hard time understanding. DO not plan any weekends away, boarding or major events that will keep you away for the first few weeks.
TRUST must be established and is best achieved with baby steps, a quiet atmosphere and rewards for good behavior. Discipline is not necessary. The dog has no idea what he is to do after living so long at the mercy of people, other dogs, the elements and sheer luck. He may be defaulting to hardwired canine survival mode. Only with trust will he begin to relax. You must show him what you want him to do.
LEADERSHIP with clear rules and boundaries will define his adjustment. Each of these dogs had to be their own leader for survival. That is a very stressful thing for a dog. If you can connect to make him understand the expectations, give him defined boundaries and rewards for complying, he will take note. The goal is to make him relax and understand he can 'stand down' on his defenses, as you are his leader. All that most dogs really want is to be a good follower and they will accept that role if you are a good leader.
Critical for every adopter - Here are some basic rules you must adhere to:
IF YOU HAVE A DOG (ALL OF ABOVE) plus: