What to Know About Bringing Home a Rescue Dog

Have you decided to get a pet? Rather than shopping for a dog, you may be planning to rescue a dog who needs a loving and caring family. The dog you are adopting may have a storied past, and not always in a good way. But you can change the animal’s life forever by providing them a safe and comfortable home. Before bringing your new rescue dog home, here’s what to know about bringing home a rescue dog.

Brush up on dog care, dog training and everything new dogs needs to settle in to its forever home. Establish house rules both with the rest of your family. Your adopted dog will likely be nervous on day one so it may take some time for them to settle in so that you truly get to know them.

bringing home a rescue dog is a special experience
Bringing home a rescue dog is a memorable experience. They will bring more love to your home than you can imagine, as well as a lot of work and patience. Photo courtesy Canva.

But don’t let us forget the congratulations. Bringing home a shelter dog is a bit like bringing a new baby into your family. The love in your home will be multiplied, and so will the work. Here are a few tips to get you prepared for your first shelter dog.

Rescue dogs really are the best. They know that you have saved them and love you unconditionally. Likely you new dog needs lots of love and patience. Some additional knowledge won’t hurt either.

Work on Learning Your Dog’s Behavior

Your new dog may already have some learned behavior from its past experiences. Many rescued animals are timid, slightly aggressive, or even scared because they do not know what to expect.

It is different from raising a puppy because you are dealing with a dog that may already have some bad habits, but that does not mean that you are going to have a tough time with your new pet. In fact, it simply gives you something to work on with the animal.

Get in a Routine to Teach Your Dog New Rules

Get into a healthy routine with your dog while teaching the rules. If your rescue dog is not properly trained, you can start with the basics and work your way to more advanced rules.

It helps to use a crate training system in the beginning because you want your new dog to understand what is and is not acceptable in the household. Many rescue pets are eager to learn as soon as they realize their new owners are loving and providing them with a great place to live.

Use a Reward System to Encourage Your New Pet

Give your new pet rewards for good behavior, such as treats and small toys that the dog will enjoy playing with. If you are providing some sort of reward when your dog is following the rules, listening to commands, and doing the right thing, the animal will feel more inclined to behave well instead of behaving poorly.

Just like you would use treats to encourage your pet’s good behavior, you can avoid giving your dog any treats when the animal displays bad behavior, such as biting or chewing on your belongings.

Be Patient and Understanding

Always have patience and remain as understanding as possible when bringing home a rescue dog. These dogs have likely been through some of the most unimaginable and traumatic experiences.

Some of these dogs are neglected to the point that they are starved and left outside for hours on end. Some of these dogs were used for breeding purposes and were beat and mistreated. Your new dog may be a bit scared of you in the beginning, but things will get better with time.

Keep a routine, have patience, and work with your new rescue dog to teach good behavior. While you may come across a few obstacles due to the things your pet has been through in its past, you can get through them and help your dog adjust to its new home by always being patient and persistent.


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