You never know what you’ll get when you bring home a rescue dog. But if you do it right, you’ll end up with a strong bond and a furry little friend. Read on for tips that’ll make this transition easier for you and your new pup.
Before you bring a rescued pup into his new home, be sure to set some boundaries with those who live in the home. Make sure that everyone is clear on what the new furry friend is and is not allowed to do, so there’s no confusion when he arrives. An example of a rule that needs to be consistent with all household members would be if the new pup is allowed to be on the couch. After you’ve prepared those in the home, prepare the home itself. This means dog-proofing the house– or at least a section of the house that he will be staying in during his adjustment period. You might want to set up a crate in this area, something that he can become familiar and comfortable with in times of stress. Realistically, you’ll need to expect that the pup has no prior training, including being housebroken (this is something he may forget, being in a new environment).
The Adjustment Period
When your furriend first arrives in his new home, he may be stressed and confused, causing him to engage in behaviors that he wouldn’t normally (accidents, chewing, barking). If this is the case, be patient and eventually he’ll come out of his shell. When a dog can finally become comfortable in an environment, that’s when its personality will come out and shine! To aid your pup adjusting to your home, be sure to establish consistency. An example of this would be feeding him at the same time every day. The key to successfully working through the adjustment period is patience; some dogs become comfortable in their new home within hours, others may need a few months to feel safe.
Furthering Their Training
You’ll want to start your dog’s training right away. Your rescue pup may already know some commands; however, you should still start with the basics. Teach your dog to come, sit, and stay, using positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement works best when you reward your furry friend for correct behavior and ignoring him when he gets it wrong. Keep training sessions upbeat and short. When he’s mastered basic commands, you may find that he needs socialization skills. Bringing your pup to obedience classes will get him used to being around other dogs and people, while he learns some new tricks along the way.
Remember to always adopt instead of shop! The bond you’ll have with a rescue pup is like no other! Hopefully these tips will get you both started on the road to a beautiful furriendship. Please note that, if you’ve completed the steps above and your pup is still exhibiting any alarming behavior or characteristics, you might want to seek out the expertise of an animal behavior specialist.