top of page
Background White.png

Adopting a Romanian Dog:
Essential Information

Welcoming a Romanian dog into your home is incredibly rewarding! Witnessing them develop, relax, and become the dog they never had the chance to be is truly special. However, these dogs often have endured significant suffering and uncertain, painful beginnings. It’s crucial to understand their unique needs to ensure you are prepared to provide them with the best and safest start.

This guide is relevant for both adopters and fosters. Adopters might have a slightly smoother start since the dogs will be more acclimated when ready for adoption, but all the information here is essential for everyone to understand.

Life in Romania

Living Conditions

In Romanian villages, dogs, including puppies, commonly live on chains with minimal or no shelter. Village life is vastly different from the cities and often lacks proper understanding of pet ownership. Due to a lack of education on spaying and neutering, there is an overwhelming problem of overbreeding. Puppies are frequently disposed of in cruel ways, such as being placed in potato sacks and drowned, beaten, or abandoned in remote areas. Many are left at roadsides or in woodlands, facing little chance of survival and often getting hit by cars.

Treatment by Locals

Dogs are sometimes viewed as pests and subjected to beatings or having stones thrown at them. On every trip, we’ve witnessed children engaging in such behaviors due to poor education, which extends to the treatment of other animals like cats and horses.

Old Wives' Tales

Many dogs have burn scars on their noses. Instead of proper vaccination, an old wives' tale leads people to burn the dogs' noses to prevent diseases like parvo and distemper. This practice causes significant suffering.

Shelter Condition

Romanian shelters are severely overcrowded, housing between 300-500 dogs. Unlike UK shelters, these are often makeshift setups in people’s homes. Rescuers face heart-wrenching decisions daily, as they encounter puppies and dogs in dire conditions. The shelter we support cares for over 400 dogs, with kennels housing 4-5 dogs each. When space runs out, dogs are chained. As puppies grow, they often start fighting, which can be fatal. The mental strain on rescuers from witnessing constant cruelty and death is immense.


Arrival day

Stress and Decompression

Your new dog has endured a stressful journey, traveling for days with strangers, often having never met humans beyond their rescuer. Many have only known the inside of a kennel or the end of a chain. Initially, they need time to decompress in this new, terrifying world. Allow them to stay in a cage or behind furniture if they wish, and let them come around on their own time. 

Walking Your Rommie

No Immediate Walks

Do not walk your new dog for at least the first two weeks. They have never been walked before and need to adjust gradually. The garden is sufficient for now, and building a bond is more important. We can discuss walks after the initial period, depending on your dog’s progress.

Adrenaline and Stress

Adrenaline takes 10 days to leave a dog's system. Forcing them into stressful situations repeatedly can lead to a dog constantly on edge, unable to cope with new experiences (known as "trigger stacking"). Give them time to rest and decompress.

Hygiene and Health

Avoid Immediate Bathing

Your dog will likely smell due to stress and travel conditions. Avoid bathing them on the first day to prevent additional trauma. Contact us if their condition is severe.

Worms, Fleas, and Vaccines

Your dog may have worms visible in their stool during the first week, indicating the treatment is working. Administer the provided Drontal wormer in the first week. All dogs are vaccinated against parvo, distemper, and rabies, and screened for various conditions if over six months old. They are also treated with Nexgard and Frontline before travel.


All the dogs regardless of age are screened for brucellosis. Over 6 months they have more screens, but all of them have the brucella screen.



Safety Measures

Ensure your dog is secured behind a door or in a crate when opening the front door. Never let them off-lead for the first 3-6 months, and always use a double lead (collar and harness). Keep the harness and lead on indoors to avoid stress when moving them.

Preventing Escapes

Initially, take your dog into the garden on a lead. Many Romanian dogs can escape easily, and once loose, they are very difficult to recover. Escaped dogs often meet fatal ends, so securing your home is crucial.



Separate Feeding

Feed multi-dog households separately to avoid conflicts. Your new dog may be picky and sensitive to certain foods. Avoid pork and beef, and gradually introduce new foods to prevent digestive issues. Stick to quality dry food initially.

Settling In


Sleep and Decompression

Adjusting to a new home is challenging. Give your dog time to become the perfect pet; they need to decompress. Dogs need 12-14 hours of sleep daily, and puppies even more. They may initially struggle with this due to past conditions.

Guarding Behaviors

Avoid allowing your dog on sofas or beds initially. This can lead to guarding behaviors, especially around children. Provide a safe space like a crate with a blanket and a bed of their own.


Final Note

Thank you for choosing to welcome a Rommie into your life. This journey will change the course of a special dog's life. We are always here to support you.

bottom of page