Helping Your Rescue Dog Adjust: Steps You Can Take

19 October 2015
 Categories: , Blog


When you make the choice to adopt a rescue dog rather than purchase a puppy from a store or breeder, you will be giving an animal in need a loving home. In addition, you will also be taking on a different set of challenges than you would with a puppy. Rescue dogs often have extensive life stories, of which you will likely only get to know some when you bring them home. In order to ensure that your rescue dog has a happy and healthy life going forward with you in your home, get to know some of the steps that you can take to help your rescue dog adjust and thrive.

Transition Them Slowly Into Your Home And Routine

If you have a loud and bustling household with children or other animals in it, you will want to make your new dog's transition into your home slow and gradual. Hopefully, your children were with you when you adopted your new dog. But if they were not, you will want to first bring your dog into a room in your home and let them get acquainted with the space on their own.

Once they seem comfortable in the room, bring the children in one at a time to meet the new dog. Make sure you are right there with them to perform the introduction and to intervene if things do not go well. And ask your children to move slowly and be calm when meeting your new dog.

Watch Out For Any Behavior Issues

Rescue dogs have almost always experienced some type of trauma and/or abuse in their lives prior to coming home with you. And because you cannot possibly know what your new dog has gone through, you will need to keep a close eye on how they react to people, places, sounds, and situations.

If you take your dog out on walks around other people and they get jumpy or aggressive with people who walk up behind you, come close to you at all, or people of a certain gender, take note of that and try to correct the behavior. You may need to invest in a muzzle for walks to prevent biting while you try to break your dog of aggression.

Other issues can include food protectiveness, reactions to being touched in certain places, being skittish or easily scared, or having excessive reactions to sounds. All of these behavior issues could worsen and cause you and your family problems if you do not address them.

Seek Dog Training Services

Whether you notice major behavior issues or not, you should seek out dog training services for your new rescue dog. Basic obedience classes with other dogs and owners will help your dog learn to become comfortable with strangers both of the human and canine variety. It will also help them to learn appropriate skills and behaviors, recognize you as their "alpha" (leader), and learn the rewards they can get for good behavior.

If your dog does have major behavior problems, you may want to work one-on-one with a dog trainer to deal with these issues directly. This is especially important if your dog shows signs of aggression. You do not want to put other people, dogs, and your dog at risk needlessly. Private training sessions will help your dog become ready to then interact with others.

Now that you know some of the ways that you can help your rescue dog adjust to their new life with you, you can get started in the process. You will have a healthy, well-adjusted new member of the family as soon as possible. For more information, contact a company like The Pet Spot Pet Resort.