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Top 3 Things To Do When You Adopt a Rescue

BY: Travis Brorsen

· Dog Training,DIY Training Tips,Pet Adoption
  1. Don’t reinforce bad habits out of guilt for the dog’s past that you probably don’t know much about
  2. Set household rules and boundaries from day one to earn trust and respect
  3. Get them on a schedule and routine asap

 

Feeling guilty for your dog's past
 
Dogs live in the moment. This doesn't mean they don't have associations with past experiences i.e.: being hit, abused by a certain gender, etc. But they do not live in the past, they live in the present. So if you spend the first few weeks or even months coddling your new dog, protecting them from the world, you are more than likely forming bad habits and encouraging unwanted behaviors. For instance, if your dog learns that if they bark you come running to their rescue, pet them when they are scared, allow them on the couch on their own free will, then you are simply empowering them as an equal and creating bad had habits. Equals might love you, but rarely will they see you as the one in charge and respect you as the giver of all good things!
 
Not setting or reinforcing rules or boundaries to earn trust and respect
 
Rules and boundaries are the building blocks to a strong foundation when creating a bond a relationship with your new dog. Simple rules like, only one toy out at a time. This teaches your dog they need you to get them, it adds values to the toys because they don’t have full access and it adds value to you as their owner. Another rule might be that they aren’t aloud on the couch with asking permission. Dogs that jump all over the furniture and invite themselves into your personal space are showing no respect for you or your space. Make sure you follow through when establishing boundaries. And, it’s all about positive reinforcement. If you positively reward your dog for the the behavior you want (praise, love and hugs, special treats, etc.) then you’ll have a lot easier time helping them understand what you want, versus what you don’t want them to do. This connects deeply with boundaries and ensuring they know the rules you would like them to follow. Remember, if you give them an inch, they will take a mile!
 
Schedule and routine

It takes a dog one to two weeks to come out of their shell when entering a new home. You might think the dog is tired all the time, won’t eat or even that they don’t like their new home. The majority of the time they are going through a phase I call new home acclimation. Dogs are creatures of habit, so if you get them on a schedule right away, you are setting them up for success. Schedules help them understand what is expected of them and when. Without a routine dog tends to get into trouble and create bad habits. Make sure exercise is a large part of their new routine. Lack of exercise is the number one problem when it comes to behavioral issues.
 
Overall, knowing that you’re just as rescued by this rescue dog with an added layer of love in your life sets you up for knowing this dog is now a part of the family. So there are just some really important steps to take when you get them all comfy in their new home! And, if you feel overwhelmed, call in an expert. In a few sessions (or as many as you want until you feel OK), you can get on the right track and set up the proper schedule, training track, etc. Never feel bad for training your adopted pup, they’ll love you more for it!
 
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