Thursday, March 13, 2014

There’s No Place Like Home!

Contributed by a Col. Potter Volunteer

When life is a little stressful, it’s nice to have a place to call Home!

Are you thinking about adding a new Rescued Cairn to your family?  There are many things to consider, and lots of planning to do.  You can expect to get many great tips to help you integrate your New Cairn into your home, so it is good to know that some of this advice will also will apply to your current resident dogs.  Learning to use a crate effectively is a great example.

Crate Training Essentials for Your New Cairn

Your new dog has been Crate Trained, and is accustomed to sleeping in his or her crate.  He or she is also accustomed to spending some "down time" relaxing in the crate.  This is a practice that we HIGHLY recommend you continue.  Crate training is definitely NOT "cruel" as many people believe.  Numerous studies have shown that, contrary to being cruel to dogs, it's compassionate and caring.  Canines are, by nature, pack and den animals.  They feel safe and secure when they have their own den-like containment area.  A cage/crate serves as such.  Maintaining a positive pattern of regular, daily crate time will serve you well and will provide your new Cairn a safe and familiar place of his or her own.

Another helpful hint is that we often give the new dog too much attention at first in an attempt to make him or her feel welcomed, secure, and loved.  Please be aware that your new Rescued Cairn will be on emotional and physical overload for at least a couple of weeks.  Give them time and space to "decompress."  To become familiar with and comfortable in your home and with your family, on his or her terms.


A wire crate lets your Cairn feel like part of the activity
in the room, and a sheet or blanket can be draped over it
to give a more den-like feel when a more quiet time is desired.

Keep in mind that your little one has experienced at least TWO major disruptions in life already: being rescued from whatever his or her original environment was, then leaving the safety of the Foster Home to become your adopted dog.  Just think about your new Cairn’s story and imagine yourself in the same situation… Changes – even for the better – can be very stressful.  It's no wonder they experience a bit of overload.  Quiet time in the crate will help your Rescued Cairn adjust more easily - and more quickly.

Crate him or her at night and while you are away to help him or her feel secure.  Also, give him or her "time outs" in the crate whenever you sense the beginning of a little over stimulation or overloaded.  Sometimes everyone - human and canine - needs a chance to catch their breath.

Take it Easy and You’ll Get it Right!

Basically, TAKE IT EASY with your new Cairn!  We recommend that you not take the new dog into a lot of new situations right at first.  Many mistakes are made because the new adoptive home is so excited about their dog that they want to share their new little one with all their friends and family.  This new dog has NO CLUE that the adoptive family is their new family, nor will they have a clue who these new people are - especially new people who have dogs.  Give your New Cairn time to adjust to you, your immediate family, and your home before taking him out to visit friends or relatives.  If your friends and family cannot wait to meet your new family member, please introduce them to him or her slowly and allow time to adjust and welcome each member one at a time.  A large number of unfamiliar humans descending on a newly adopted Cairn has the potential to be overwhelming and can cause them to react in a negative way.

You cannot go too slowly...  but you can move too quickly by exposing your new adoptee to too many new people, places, sights, sounds and smells at first.  Be sure to use the crate wisely to give your new Cairn time to relax a few times each day, always making it a gentle, positive experience going in and coming back out.  Little bits of cheese in your hand help in any crating exercise, and it will reinforce the absolute goodness of your hands!

Dorothy welcoming Toto back home!

Good luck! And thank you again for opening your heart and home to a rescued Cairn!

Rescuing one Cairn will not change the world,
but it will surely change the world for that one Rescued Cairn


Read More About It:

It’s Always Best to Start at the Beginning!

I’m Not Sure we’ve been Properly Introduced!

Toto: The Other Side of the Story!

And the Oscar goes to…


Col. Potter Needs a Few More Beginnings! 
Please Volunteer to Foster and help us help give a new start to every Cairn in need!

Please  Consider being a CP Volunteer!

CP Foster Home Application form:

CP Transport Volunteer Driver form:

CPCRN Volunteer form:

Col. Potter’s Name a Rescue Cairn Program








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