Newly Adopted Brittany Behavior Concerns

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Newly Adopted Brittany Behavior Concerns

Postby AlliesMom » Fri May 16, 2014 8:29 pm

Hi there,
I'm new here... My husband and I adopted a 20 month old female, Allie, from a breeder 2 weeks ago. The breeder trains her dogs for field trials and decided this Brittany would do better in a family environment rather than in trials. Allie has spent her entire life surrounded by other dogs and running on a farm. She now lives with us and our two young children. She's the sweetest dog... loves to cuddle! Our concerns are that she doesn't wag her tail, she won't play, she sleeps almost all day long unless we drag her out for a hike, walk, or run. She does well during our outside activities and walks well on a leash. She's just so quiet and timid. Is this normal? Does she just need more time to adjust to our house? She seems relaxed here, just very sleepy and lazy.

Also, she was used to being in a crate at her old home... but when we crate her here, she freaks out! She goes in willingly, but as soon as we go upstairs for bed or go out to the garage to leave, she really freaks out. Very fast panting and a weird sounding cry. It breaks my heart. She's not urinating in her crate or tearing up her bed so I'm assuming she calms down after we've been gone for a few minutes. I play her "Through A Dog's Ear" CD when we leave and during the night. Is it just all of the change that could be scaring her? Maybe she thinks we will leave her for good?

Any tips on adjustment would be helpful. I just want her to be happy with us! =)

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Re: Newly Adopted Brittany Behavior Concerns

Postby Cindy » Sat May 17, 2014 5:29 am

Hi and welcome!!! Congrats on adopting Allie and when I first read your post I thought "wow, a young Brittany who's calm- how lucky can you get?" :lol: :lol: But then I started remembering .... we've adopted 6 dogs over the years and each one changed considerably in the first 6 months. Most started out fairly calm and quiet, some stayed that way, and some didn't. I would definitely give her some adjustment time to get used to your family and her new routine. I keep thinking about one of our current dogs - Pippa. She came from a hunter in Kansas because she didn't hunt and was mostly used to living outdoors. It didn't take her long to realize that she was born to be a couch potato!! That's not to say she doesn't love going outside and racing around on our farm or on walks. But, if given the choice, she always opts for being indoors on the sofa! Have you had her examined by your vet just to make sure she's healthy, doesn't have any kind of parasites, etc? I would really just give her some time to bond and get used to you.
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
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Re: Newly Adopted Brittany Behavior Concerns

Postby AlliesMom » Sat May 17, 2014 7:19 am

Cindy,
Thanks for your response! I definitely think she will improve with more time. Everything I've read says that Brittany's take a while to adjust to change. She's been excellent with our kids and just so loving. Just concerned about the not playing or romping around part. She does seem a lot like your Pippa! She'll run forever outside, but inside she's a couch potato! I've read some horror stories about Brittanys being the opposite of Allie... totally tearing up the house. So I am thankful for her mellow demeanor! (for now!)

She has been to the vet and is healthy as can be! She eats well, but is only 24-26lbs. She's a petite Brittany!

We'll see how she does over the next few weeks! =) As soon as I figure out how to post a picture on here, I will!
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Re: Newly Adopted Brittany Behavior Concerns

Postby Lisa » Sat May 17, 2014 11:04 am

Congrats on your adoption! I suspect she's just getting used to things and settling in. I tell most adopters that it will take up to 4 weeks for the dog's true personality to come out in a new home.

Also, if she's used to being a kennel dog or mostly interacting with other dogs, she just may not be sure how to play with people. It may take her a while to learn. You may have to introduce her to different toys and games and see what sparks her interested.

As far as being kenneled...she's probably used to being kenneled with other dogs and may be lonely. I'd just treat her as a dog that hasn't been kennel trained and start from scratch on that.

AlliesMom wrote: She'll run forever outside, but inside she's a couch potato! I've read some horror stories about Brittanys being the opposite of Allie... totally tearing up the house. So I am thankful for her mellow demeanor! (for now!)


You know, I've never had a Brittany that was obnoxious in the house...and I've fostered a LOT of Britts. Most learn to settle pretty quickly and are very good inside. I've had some that get in to mischief (Buster), but that's just a Brittany having fun. Right now, I have 4 Britts at the house, ranging in age from almost 3 years to nearly 10 years...all are scattered about in crates or on the floor, sleeping. I've found that if I'm settled in doing something, they will be too. When people tell me their Britts never settle, I always have two questions - 1. Have you taught them to settle? 2. Do you settle, or are you constantly on the move? In a home where people are constantly on the move, a Britt usually will be too.
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Re: Newly Adopted Brittany Behavior Concerns

Postby AlliesMom » Sat May 17, 2014 12:54 pm

Thanks for the info and support. I've been emailing the breeder back and for for information, but she seems to have had enough with the questions and concerns. She just said "I'll come get her if you want". That is not what I want... We love her! We just want to make sure she's happy!

How can I show a photo on here?
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Re: Newly Adopted Brittany Behavior Concerns

Postby Cindy » Sat May 17, 2014 2:08 pm

That's one of the things we love about the breed - everyone we've had has been great in the house, mostly just relaxing, sleeping, or destuffing toys! :lol: But get them outside and it's another story. Be thankful if that's what you wind up with because it's the best of both worlds. As for the playing part, some dogs do and some don't. Pippa is not particularly interested in toys except nylabones. Layla and Kayla are interested in just about anything that can be thrown, caught, or whipped around! We had Jill (not with us any more :cry: ) for 6 years before she showed any interest in catching a Frisbee even though she watched Kayla do it every night for all that time. Then one day she decided to give it a try!! So you just never know. We got Layla as a playmate for Pippa and Pippa wouldn't have anything to do with her for about 6 months. Then one day it clicked between them.

PS Our Pippa is tiny too at about 27 pounds.
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
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Re: Newly Adopted Brittany Behavior Concerns

Postby Cindy » Sat May 17, 2014 2:13 pm

Here are instructions for how to post pictures: http://forum.americanbrittanyrescue.org/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=811 We want to see Allie!!!
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
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Re: Newly Adopted Brittany Behavior Concerns

Postby dmedric » Sun May 18, 2014 11:32 am

Have to agree with what has been said so far. Our Brit, Cooper, is great in the house -- likes to be with us, but usually laying on his bed or on the couch. Outside, he runs the yard and hunts for critters and will never turn down a walk. Cooper is not a particularly playful dog (and like our first Brit, Max, has absolutely no interest in chasing balls). He will play with soft, squeaky toys for a short time, but has never really gotten the "bring the toy back part" -- he prefers to run upstairs and hide the toy in his bed. On the othe hand, Belle (Beagle/Brit mix) loves to play and will keep coming back for more. Give your pup some time.
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Re: Newly Adopted Brittany Behavior Concerns

Postby adele » Tue May 20, 2014 6:29 am

Lola is great indoors too. When we come inside she waits to see what I am going to do and then once she knows where I'll be (living room, kitchen, bedroom) then she picks her spot and settles right down but she is always ready to go when it's walk time. On the other hand, now that the weather is better she spends her downtime in the yard no matter where I am. She'll be out there from sunup to sundown. Mostly just lazin' around in the shade then heading out for the occasional patrol to keep us all safe from squirrels and cats. She doesn't care for playing ball or frizbee but she likes to play tug and destroy the stuffed animal. But not all the time... we play for only a few minutes each day before Lola decides she'd rather be hunting or snoozing.

Like all the others have said, give your girl some time to adjust. You'll find out what she likes to play and how much. Don't assume that because she's just chillin she is unhappy.. could be that she's just at peace.

Oh, and Lola's favorite game is "train-me". Lola loves to play train-me because treats are involved. Even if you're dog comes already trained you can play the game. Maybe Allie will like to play that too.
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Re: Newly Adopted Brittany Behavior Concerns

Postby AlliesMom » Tue May 20, 2014 9:46 am

Again, thanks so much for the tips and support! She's coming around slowly! She's so sweet... we just love her! Our major issue is the crate. She has bad anxiety in her crate when we leave and at night. It's awful to listen to. Last night I gave in and slept on the couch with her. Any tips about easing separation anxiety? I have been trying to keep a bedtime routine and play her "lullabies". She calms down after a while, then wakes up in the middle of the night.

Thanks! I'll post a photo soon!
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Re: Newly Adopted Brittany Behavior Concerns

Postby AlliesMom » Tue May 20, 2014 10:44 am

Here she is! Allie!

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Re: Newly Adopted Brittany Behavior Concerns

Postby dmedric » Tue May 20, 2014 12:42 pm

She's beautiful!
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Re: Newly Adopted Brittany Behavior Concerns

Postby adele » Tue May 20, 2014 12:47 pm

You don't actually say how long she has been with you (or did I miss it?)... Anyway, can you put a crate in your bedroom so she isn't alone at night? That might solve a lot. But when Lola was a puppy she slept alone in a crate in the living room so it certainly can be done... I think the trick is to not give in and sleep with her. Tonight she is just going to complain more because it worked last night so she is just going to try harder tonight. Lola now has a bed beside our bed and spends part of the night with us but in the middle of the night she goes to her crate in the living room (her choice). I don't find having a dog in the bedroom is disturbing to my sleep so you may want to give that a try.

She is a gorgeous little girl. I just love the way they look at that age.
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Re: Newly Adopted Brittany Behavior Concerns

Postby Cindy » Tue May 20, 2014 3:15 pm

She is just so pretty!!!

Now here's a dumb question ... Does she have to sleep in the crate? Could you just put a dog bed in your room? We don't have space for more than 1 crate in our bedroom so when we got Pippa we just blocked her in between the side of the bed and the wall using a baby gate. She wasn't happy about it but at least I could hang a hand over to give her some reassurance. Maybe she is just lonely and wants to be with her new pack???
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Re: Newly Adopted Brittany Behavior Concerns

Postby AlliesMom » Tue May 20, 2014 7:12 pm

Allie will be two in August, but we have only had her for a little over 2 weeks. I tried sliding the crate over to the couch last night so she would be right near me, but she wanted to be ON me! haha! We are going to try her upstairs in our bedroom tonight to see if it helps. Not sure if we can trust her totally out of the crate all night just yet. I was thinking about setting up a video camera to record her when we have to run an errand for an hour or so. I'd like to see if she calms down or stays anxious the whole time. It's hard to tell because when come in the house, she knows we are home and seems happy. I'd assume she'd be tearing up her bed and possibly urinating in her crate if she was totally freaking out the entire time.

I've been working with some basic training with her. She's catching on quite quickly! She's pretty darn smart! She's never really had the one on one training... I think she likes it! I may look into a class for her in the near future! :D
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