A Pet Owner’s Guide To Training A Rescue Dog
Adopting a rescue dog and giving them a new home may seem unconventional, but it’s rewarding. You might not realize it, but you’re saving their life. Moreover, you’re saving way more money compared to getting a dog from a breeder.
Most adult dogs are already potty trained and may even have prior background in being trained. They just need a new loving home where they could spend the rest of their years. You have the opportunity to make it a happy, fun, and active life for them.
Don’t know where to start? Here is a guide on how to train a rescue dog:
Prepare Your Home
Before anything else, you need to dog-proof your home. Think of them as little children and do the same childproofing method. You’d have to keep them safe and avoid possible injuries; because, like little kids, they are curious. At the same time, you’re also protecting your home appliance, furniture, and walls, among others.
- Bedroom – Keep the wires and phone chargers out of reach.
- Bathroom – Secure the cabinets, drawers, and dressers with latches. Store skincare, medications, chemicals, cleaning products, and laundry supplies on top of the shelves. Close the trash bins.
- Living Room – Put children’s toys and poisonous house plants away.
- These are some house plants that can be dangerous for dogs: lilies, pothos, zz plant, aloe vera, jade, dumb cane, elephant ear, ivy, and sowbread.
- Kitchen – Aside from closing the drawers and cabinet, put the food away from the pets as it can be poisonous.
- Food that are poisonous to dogs: chocolate, alcohol, candy, nuts, dairy, garlic, onion, chives, nutmeg, grapes, raisins, salt, sugar, ham, bacon, and anything with caffeine.
- Food dogs are allergic to: eggs, chicken, lamb, beef, dairy, wheat, and soy.
Provide All The Necessities
After preparing your home, it’s time to shop for supplies. You should also provide for your dog’s basic needs. They need security, comfort, and love from you, and a few more things: dog food, vitamins, water, a place to sleep, either a crate or a dog house, pet grooming services, and a dog harness and leash.
Talk To The Rescue Center
After shopping for your dog’s needs, the next step is to head to the adoption center. Talk to the people in the rescue center and ask for more details about your dog and see if they have completed the vaccination shots. Find out details about their past and what happened to them. It’s important because you’d know what to expect and avoid doing.
Each dog is different, and they might have a traumatic experience in the past that still haunts them. And there might be things that can trigger them. Furthermore, this will serve as a basis for training your fur baby.
Take Your Dog To The Veterinarian
Before training your dog, you may need to take them to the veterinarian. This is to see if they have underlying medical conditions that require immediate attention. It might prevent them from doing any activities if untreated or undiagnosed. And after that, you can start your training sessions.
In any relationship, the first thing you need to do is build trust. Hence, when you bring your rescue dog home, they’d most likely feel anxious, scared, shy, and overprotective. But it’s understandable; therefore, what you need to do is slowly build trust. Be calm when you approach them because when you’re relaxed, they’ll feel safe. Take it easy, don’t rush, nor expect them to get comfortable immediately.
Give them space and allow them to look around. Later on, try hand-feeding and eventually put the food and water in the bowl. And then at night, put their bed close to you so they would feel safe. As soon as you see an improvement and your dog is settled in, start working towards their separation anxiety. Care for them, but don’t let them be dependent on you.
Create A Routine
After building trust, create a routine that fits your schedule. Perhaps you can start by eating breakfast together. And then take your dog out for a walk; you can also include your furry friend in your exercise routine. After that, bathe them and play with them for a little bit. Teach them a few commands and tricks before you start working or running errands. Eventually, take an afternoon break; perhaps you can stroll in the backyard or at the park. Do this until they get used to the routine.
Reward Your Dog
Reward your dog for their obedience and positive behavior. Give treats within seconds and be consistent to avoid confusing your fur baby. Remind your family to do the same. You can tell them ‘good boy or girl’ while patting their head. The treats should come in varieties so that they won’t get bored eating the same thing repeatedly. However, refrain from rewarding them for their wrongdoing.
Get Help From Professionals
If you get overwhelmed or lost, you can always seek help from professionals. Because researching or looking at videos online may not be enough as each dog is different. Furthermore, what works for them may not necessarily work for you. Therefore, it’s best to ask for guidance on dealing with your dogs. You can attend training classes. They can give you a new perspective on how you can train your dog, care for them and get them used to your home.
Rescuing and caring for a dog is not an easy task; therefore, you should practice patience. See the list above to be guided. You have the option to customize it or follow it. You can start by preparing your home, shopping for your dog’s basic needs, finding out their history, and then visiting the vet.
After that, you need to build their trust, create a routine, and reward your fur baby for good behavior. And if you get overwhelmed, talk to professionals.
Should you be interested in adopting a rescue dog, visit your local shelter and save a life today.