Many rescue dog you find in a rescue shelter have been abused or neglected. Others are found abandoned or handed in for a range of reasons. Some dogs end up in homes because of notions that aggressive behaviour is typical of that particular breed. In reality, these dogs make for some of the most loving and dependable pets and a dogs behaviour is in many ways dependant on the behaviour of the owner! When taking home a rescue dog, it is essential to properly prepare for the commitment, patience and training required.
Prepare the Family
Lay down the ground rules for the whole family and ensure they stick to them. Set boundaries and, in particular, ensure your children know that the new dog is not a toy. Make sure they know to respect the dog’s space. Coming into unfamiliar territory will take a few weeks for your rescue dog to adjust.
Give your rescue dog time
Know that when your dog arrives you’ll need to give it time for them to settle in. Especially in the first 3 weeks, use a warm tone when addressing him/her but try not to handle them too much and give them time to relax .Many owners make the mistake of over handling their new dog and introducing him /her to all the family and friends within the first few days. Often this overwhelms the dog and they sometimes nip out of fear. Then what happens?…….they end up back at the shelter!
GIVE THEM SOME SPACE!
Pay little attention to the dog’s advances at this time to establish dog style leadership. Honestly they will relax more if you sometimes ignore their demands for attention …it’s what happens in a dog pack.
Sleeping Arrangements for your rescue dog
Provide a warm, comfortable area for your dog to sleep in. Your dog should also sleep beneath/away from other family members to establish its place in the pack. I recommend getting a crate as this gives your rescue dog a safe and dark area to retreat to while they adjust to a new environment. If your dog is sleeping, make sure family members know not to disturb him/her.
Micro chipping and traditional collars are a good way to ensure you can find your dog if he/she were to become lost. Especially in the beginning, noise or lack of training might trigger your dog to run away. Be prepared for this. Also, if you’re uncertain about how they’ll react to other dogs then consider buying a muzzle to have better control over him/her while you’re out walking.
Secure your Garden
Before your dog’s arrival, make sure you have a secure garden or area you can let him/her explore. Make a habit of scattering some of their dog food and fresh fruit and veg in the garden. This lets the dog feel more secure in its surroundings. It’s also a lot more natural and fun to sniff out their food rather than eat it out of a bowl.