Hi all! I just brought home a 10 month old foster dog on Friday and I am feeling extremely overwhelmed. I feel like I'm doing everything wrong and don't know what to do. I'm trying to follow the "2 week shutdown" or decompression protocol. I was told "Zero affection, play hard to get, be the cool kid in high school....your only job is to build a super structured routine that YOU control every aspect of then simply walk the dog through it. And no talking for a week."
But this dog wants affection so bad and I feel awful. So sometimes I give in and pet him and then he gets really hyper so I withdraw and ignore him. He also has a LOT of energy so I want to give him some exercise but there are so many people, dogs, loud noises, etc in my neighborhood and he gets distracted and stressed (ears back, eyes darting) during walks so I don't know what to do. I've tossed the ball around my office (where he's kept, it's a pretty large room) and he loves that but it does not seem like enough.
I feel like such a failure and I don't know what to do. I actually went into this hoping to adopt this dog but I don't think that's going to work. I have a cat and I'm keeping them separate and this dog is obsessed with the smell of my cat. He will stare at the door that separates them for a long time even if I offer a ball to play with or treats to distract him.
On the bright side, so far he hasn't had any potty accidents in the house so yay? (trying to stay positive even when I want to cry)