Getting a new dog is an exciting time for all the family, especially if you’ve decided to offer a home to a rescue dog. But adopted dogs are the pets most likely to be returned to the rescue centre, so it’s important to be prepared….
If your dog was found on the street, then your home might be the first house she’s ever been into.
Your narrow doorways, unusual floor surfaces and strange noises can be very confusing or frightening. Strange smells and different voices could be overwhelming.
A dog will have had to be hyper vigilant and sensitive to anything new, to survive on the streets and some rescues will have suffered abuse or trauma, so it’s important to make sure that you give them space and time to settle in.
It’s unlikely that a dog who’s been kept in a kennel environment will be house trained. They may not be properly socialized with other dogs or children. This will take both time and patience.
If it’s your first time adopting a dog, then consider taking in an older dog who will be calmer, or one that has lived with a foster parent, because you’ll benefit from knowing as much as possible about your new pet before you commit to offering them a home.
Do’s and Don’ts
- Let your dog explore their new home in their own time.
- Give them lots of treats (e.g. cheese and chicken pieces)
- Let them sleep.
- Play gentle enrichment games.
- Ask friends or neighbours over until your dog is comfortable in their new environment.
- Take her out for a walk until she’s gained your trust and is more confident.
- Give up. There will be highs and lows so seek the advice of a professional dog trainer who advocates positive reinforcement if you’re struggling.
If you’re thinking of adopting a dog please contact the TNR Trust who may have a dog that’s suitable for you.