Newly adopted two year old Rott misses his family and is not eating

by John Anson
(Phoenix, AZ)

We have just adopted a 2 year old male Rott. He is not eating and misses his former family. He is very skittish, wants to be in the same vicinity as us but is afraid of being too close. How can we integrate into our family quicker?

Dog is very docile and gentle but very stubborn. Will resist doing what he is instructed to do, pulls back while on a leash. Has not growled or snapped.

Hi John
What you’re describing is absolutely normal behavior for a dog in this sort of situation, especially a Rottweiler. They tend to bond very closely with their family, and are often ‘one person’ dogs, so it is a huge adjustment for a 2 year old Rottie to go into a new home and environment.

However, it sounds as though he’s got a very stable temperament, and is just scared, homesick and anxious. This will take time for him to overcome and you can’t rush these things I’m afraid.

The best thing that you can do is to give him love and attention when he wants it, but not force it on him. Don’t overwhelm him with new experiences, or training etc., for the first few weeks, but obviously you do need to set reasonable ‘ground rules’ and enforce them with calm and loving discipline. This will help him to feel more secure. I know that it’s difficult to be patient and that you want for him to feel happy and comfortable in his new home, and he will, but he needs time.

Rotties can definitely be a bit stubborn when they want to be, and you can’t MAKE them do anything. You need to use positive, reward based training and encouragement, but at this point your new dog hasn’t had a chance to build up a relationship of trust, or to bond with you, just yet. That’s why he’s resisting, the fact that he’s resisting in a docile manner shows his good temperament, so don’t worry, once he’s more familiar with you and less homesick he will respond much better.

As for his not eating, this too is normal. Just make sure that you choose a premium dog food (see this webpage 10 Best Dog Food Choices for info. on this) and offer it to him twice a day. Don’t be tempted to encourage him with tidbits or ‘gussy up’ his meals as that will only lead to eating issues later on. He may not eat as much as you’d like right now, but he won’t starve himself and as soon as he starts to feel more at home and relaxed, his appetite will return.

I hope this helps some and wish you the best of luck with your dog. Give it time and I’m sure he will soon be part of the family.

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