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Congratulations on adopting a DogWatch dog

Thank you for choosing to adopt one (or more) of our rescue dogs. Please see the information below for useful information and tips. 

If we can help in any way please do not hesitate to CONTACT US and we’ll do our best to help.

Adoption Forms

Please download, print and complete the relevant adoption form – if your dog is from an overseas rescue  please use the overseas adoption form.
You will need to print and sign two copies, one for you to retain and one to be returned to us.

Form for dogs who have come from overseas – even if they are in a UK foster home
Overseas Dog Adoption Form

Form for UK dogs 
UK Dog Adoption Form

Collecting your dog

We will let you know the arrangements for picking up your dog. This may be from the foster home, in which case the foster family will liaise with you directly.

For dogs coming from overseas Dogwatch always use tried and trusted transporters, well known to us. It takes 2-3 days, the dogs travel in air conditioned vans and the dogs are treated very well on the journey with regular stops. Depending on which rescue they have come from, you might be able to track their journey online or join a Whatsapp group for regular updates. It’s always an emotional moment when that van arrives and those doors open and you see all the dogs for the first time.

Some dogs can be very frightened. They have had a very long journey and have no idea that they are going to a lovely new home, where they will have a wonderful new life. There is a significant risk that some may try to escape, so all possible precautions must be taken to keep them safe when changing from one vehicle to another and on the rest of their journey to their new homes. They should be safely contained within your vehicle either in a crate, behind a dog guard or using a dog seatbelt harness. Ensure that your dog is secured in some way within the car so it can’t jump out when a door or the boot is opened, but keep a check on any leads or straps in case the dog becomes entangled. Have a large bottle of fresh water and a bowl and give the dog a drink regularly, particularly if you have a long journey ahead. Keep any food until you arrive at your home, as dogs are often travel sick and stress can make this worse. When you arrive home, take the dog into your house, via the garden if you like but still safely secured. Your dog will be very tired. Offer a little food and make water freely available. Let him sleep and rest as much as he needs to in the first few days.

You will need to bring a collar or harness and a lead when you pick up the dog. You may also need a coat. At home you should have food, bowls and a bed. The rescue or foster home will be able to advise about sizes, types etc.

You should pre register with a vet and local training classes. If you love in the West Midlands we recommend Mandy at Yes Good Dog – she helps us with our foster dogs and really understands the issues rescue dogs may have. 

Settling your new dog into your home

Mandy from Yes Good Dog Behaviour and Training regularly helps us with advice and training plans for our foster dogs, here she gives us some tips on settling your new dog into his new life.

 Your new dog is coming to his new home but he will not know what is happening. Some dogs take it all in their stride but to some may be scared or anxious. Planning how you will introduce your dog to his new home and family can make the whole process easy for everyone.

Have a think about the type of dog you are adopting. What are the characteristics of his breed, or breeds if a cross. Have the rescue or foster home any details about how he walks when out, what is the best walking equipment for him and what his exercise requirements are? Does he favour a particular type of bed or toy?

Keep to good routines and start as you mean to go on.
The first two weeks are a honeymoon period, you must remain consistent, your dog will not understand bending the rules! So if your dog is not allowed upstairs or on the furniture start this straight away, new home new rules. Start as you mean to go on.

If your dog is showing signs of being anxious Adaptil collars, plugs in’s or sprays can help anxiety with new situations.

Ensure your home is a calm place on arrival, so don’t invite all the neighbours round to meet the new dog or do new and unusual things. Give your dog a chance to settle in and get to know you and his new home before introducing new people and experiences.

Never use a crate as punishment, dogs love a covered crate if positively conditioned. A crate can be successfully used to give your dog somewhere to go if everything is too overwhelming, it should be a quiet place where no one will bother him.

Allow your dog time to sniff and look around his new home in a quiet undisturbed way.

Use a lead and calmly walk around your garden, allow him to take his time and sniff,

Take your dog out for a short walk so he can sniff the surrounding areas.

Do not give your dog toys or food chews until you have got to know him, this is especially important if you have other dogs or animals.

Make introductions to children quietly and calmly, positively reward your dog whilst this is happening

Watch your dog and take note of uncertain body languages, your new dog maybe uncertain and a bit fearful of the outside world in general or with unknown dogs, take your time with letting your dog adjust and give plenty of reward based training around these possibly fearful situations.

Feed your new dog away from any hustle and bustle until he has settled in.

If the rescue think your dog may be nervous consider having a blanket from his previous bed to put into his new bed (as long as this does not have negative associations).

Do not leave your dog alone in the house until he has settled into his surroundings –  but do not allow constant shadowing, you can use the toilet on your own!

Introduce as much interactive play as you can, this will really help you to get to know your dog’s personality. 

If you use Facebook there are some great groups who will offer support and advise.

Our own DogWatch UK group has many people who have adopted dogs from us – it is a very supportive group

Caring for rescued ex Street Dogs has a lot of good advice 

Dog Training Advice and Support has a lot of files and can help with specific issues

You can download our Handy Hints for Settling In An Overseas Dog

Change the microchip

Your dogs microchip must be changed to show your details, this costs £17, but we can do this for you at a reduced fee of £7.20, which can be paid to us by bank transfer.
Please let us know if you do not receive an email that gives full details.

Keep In Touch

Here at DogWatch UK our favourite thing is following the progress of dogs who have been adopted and seeing Happy Homed photos, so it would be great if you would like to stay in touch.

If you are on Facebook please join our DogWatch UK Facebook group – its a great place to post photos, look at photos and also get help and advice from like minded doggy people.

You can also subscribe to our newsletter – a great way to keep up to date with everything that’s going on.


Don't lose your dog!

The last thing you want is to lose your new dog, unfortunately some dogs will try and bolt from a garden, or will get scared on a walk and slip their lead.

Until you are certain your dog will not try to escape from a garden, always take them out on a lead. 

Use a collar and harness, so it is not easy to slip loose.

Do not let the dog off lead for at least a month and then you need to be certain of their recall, Some dogs can never be let off their lead. 

Some owners have successfully used trackers so that your dogs location is always known – this in one of several available example of dog tracker 

How to protect against Dog Theft

Unfortunately dog theft is on the increase. There are precautions you can take. 


Introducing a new dogs to other dogs in the house

Introduce your new dog to you own dog outside the house on neutral territory and take them for a walk prior to entering the home so they are not in a confined space. Ideally you need two confident, positive people, more if you have several dogs.

Introduce the dogs one at a time while walking them on their leads, walking alongside each other, not coming face to face. Allow them the opportunity to sniff each other, as this is normal dog greeting behaviour. Give them time to become used to one another before entering the confined space of your home. Observe the dogs closely for some time, anticipating any signs of aggression and being ready to say NO. Dogs need to check each other out and sometimes that involves a degree of growling. Let them know that this is not acceptable behaviour.

If there are problems, place the dogs in separate rooms and reintroduce slowly. This can take a few days but it is very unusual for any dog to be unable to live with others. You need to be patient and be proactive to avoid issues arising at times when the dogs are more likely to be in competition with one another e.g. feeding times. Set boundaries and let the dogs know what is acceptable and what is not.

Keep all toys and food chews out of site until you are sure of your new dog and your existing dogs behaviour.

Make sure your other pets receive attention too.


Introducing a new dog to your cats

Many of the dogs will have experience of living with cats and if your cat is used to dogs, this will make introductions easier. Some dogs have a very strong chase instinct, so if you have a nervous cat who is likely to run, watch your dog carefully, as this instinct may be triggered and make it more difficult for them to develop an amicable relationship. If in any doubt about the dog, use a muzzle for the initial introduction.

Before your new dog arrives, check that the cat has places in each room where it can escape, out of reach of the dog. If the dog shows signs of chasing, a firm command and a treat for ignoring the cat may be all that is required. Confident cats will turn on the dog and stop it in its tracks. More nervous cats will need your assistance and it can take some time to achieve harmony. Once the dog and cat are more confident about one another, they will be able to live happily together.

Pet Portraits

Gorgeous pet portraits that raise money to help us help more dogs.