Do you plan to adopt dogs from a rescue group, a shelter, or other institutions? Congratulations! You are doing a brave thing. Adopted dogs from such places turn out to be wonderful pets. Whatever it was that landed them in shelters, with time, training, and patience, adopted dogs will become happy and adjust properly as family members.
Adopted dogs may have received some obedience training or none at all. Also, there is a probability that their past with their previous owners will trigger certain behavioural issues. Therefore, it is important to socialize and train your new companion. Below are some tips that will help you achieve that.
Allow Some Time for Adjustment
All adopted dogs have a history. The stress they face due to their past experiences and then being kept in the shelter makes them less confident when they step into new environments. Therefore, make plans to give your adopted companion some space to enable it to settle into the new home. You can click here to get information on what to do immediately after adopting a pooch.
Adjustment may happen between some hours or several months. During the period of adjustment, ensure you do things that make the dog feel comfortable and safe. You also need to be patient and keep things predictable and consistent in the environment.
Set Clear Boundaries
Training starts from the moment your pet arrives at its new home. You may be tempted to cuddle it for a week or spend more playtime with it since it was in a shelter or rescue home for some time. Take our advice: Do not do it.
The moment you allow an adopted dog to behave as it wishes when you bring it to your home, it will become much more difficult to train. In fact, it may not be able to stop exhibiting those behaviors later. Such behaviors include obvious things like chewing the legs of your table, peeing on your carpet, and jumping on your sofa.
Ensure you establish clear boundaries early enough. Remember to involve all family members so they can help to enforce them.
Create a Schedule
Spending time in a rescue home is stressful for dogs because their lives have become unpredictable. Dogs prefer routines, so when you establish one for bedtime, playtime, walking, and feeding, you will help to restore stability to the dog. Most times, it helps during the adjustment stage.
Assume That the Dog Has Not Received Training
The same method you would use to treat your new pet who is coming home for the first time is the same method you should use for a shelter dog. Just assume that the dog has not received training. It may have received obedience training, but it still needs a refresher since it has passed through a lot.
When you assume that it knows nothing, you will be pleased to discover that it is housebroken, or it knows or remembers the basic commands. Also, you will not set very high expectations for the dog if you follow this pattern. Ensure you use positive reinforcement during the training and keep the sessions low-stress and upbeat.
Plan for Crate Training
Like you would do for new puppies, ensure you crate train your adopted dog immediately it gets home. This is how to make it housebroken so you can have peace of mind that it will not become mischievous when you are not supervising it.
A crate also helps to give the dog its own private space. Moving from a shelter to your home can make the dog feel very stressed. Hence, giving it a retreat spot can help it settle down fast. You may want to visit https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/how-to-crate-train-your-dog-in-9-easy-steps/ to learn how to crate train your pup.
Commence Obedience Training
Although your adopted dog may adjust slowly to the new environment, you should not say no to obedience training. Taking your dog regularly for training sessions helps it to get used to the routine. Also, commencing obedience training helps you to set up boundaries for the dog from the very beginning.
Obedience classes help your canine friend to cultivate positive behaviours and quickly become a healthy and happy member of your household. Do not forget that dogs are comfortable when they are familiar with the house rules. They crave predictability and structure. So training them from the onset means you are doing a good thing for them.
Proofing Behaviour and Problems
Although training should commence immediately, it should be at a level that is comfortable for your dog. Some may not be prepared for formal obedience classes immediately and it may be better to take the first week to bond with it at home. In this case, you can learn basic training techniques to enable you to train at home without the aid of professional trainers.
Another problem you may face is socialization. Your dog needs to get used to the new environment, other animals, and people that it will encounter while staying with you. You need to help it learn to socialize. Do this slowly and at your dog’s pace.
Furthermore, some dogs may not like staying in the crate, especially if their former owners forced them to stay there as a form of punishment. You can convert the crate training sessions into positive experiences. Also, do not force the animal into it if it remains reluctant.
As your dog adjusts to the new home, ensure you are always present to supervise it, particularly when outside. If the yard is a fenced-in, it may be startled or curious about noises, smells, and sights outside the fence. And if it gets loose, it will not be able to locate your home because the territory is still unfamiliar.
Common Mistakes That New Dog Parents Make
A very common mistake that new dog parents make when they adopt dogs is that they assume too little or too much about the previous life of the animal. Not all dogs in the shelter had traumatic past lives. On the other hand, not all were properly socialized or trained. When caring for adopted dogs, assume that they are blank slates awaiting your direction, love, and training.
It is helpful to enquire about their history, but do not believe every part of that story. Besides, shelter workers do not know all about the dog’s past. Train your dog from scratch, so in the end, you and your pooch will have an amazing relationship. You can visit GAP SA to learn how to find foster-to-adopt opportunities.
Adopting a dog is a wonderful experience as you are helping it to experience a new life elsewhere. Generally, some shelters take time to train them while some do not. So when you bring the pup home, do not assume that it has been trained. Commence obedience classes immediately, set boundaries, and create a routine for it.