Old Dog, New Tricks
So you adopted a furry little friend—congrats! Whether your pup came from a shelter, a rescue, or the pound, you’re on your way to a very happy home!
Your newly adopted friend may have some level of obedience training already. In other cases, they might have none. In addition, many shelter dogs often come with past traumas that might trigger behavioral issues. But have no fear! With a little patience and one-on-one time, you can train your dog into the well-adjusted family member it’s meant to be.
Get to Know Each Other
When you adopt a shelter pet, it comes with a history. Whether the dog was a stray or its previous owner passed, this transition is a big deal and you will need time to adjust to each other.
Give your dog some time to explore its new home and sniff out his new family. Dogs take anywhere from a few hours to several months to get used to living in a new place, so patience is crucial. During this time, make your dog feel comfortable and safe with treats, toys, and most importantly, cuddles. A consistent routine will help your pet adjust more quickly.
Set Some Rules
Training begins from doggy’s first day home! Identify problematic behaviors and correct them as soon as you witness them. Set these rules immediately and make sure everyone at home enforces them regularly.
On the other hand, if your pup does something to make you smile, reward that with a treat or a belly rub.
Give Crate Training a Try
A crate can give your shelter dog a familiar place to retreat if it feels overwhelming. So just as you would with a puppy, introduce your dog to crate training as soon as possible, this way housebreaking and leaving the dog at home won’t be so stressful.
Socialization is important for many dogs, but you must be cautious. Introduce other dogs in neutral spaces and keep an eye for signs of anxiety or aggression.
Going for walks around your neighborhood and introducing your pup to new people is helpful too! Bring along a few treats and remember to reward him for a walk well-done.
Keep It Up
Training takes time and practice, don’t give up! There may be days your pup might feel tired or grumpy, other days you’ll be the grumpy one, but the reward of having a pup to love is worth it!