More people are considering adopting a rescue dog, certainly since lock down so I thought it would be good to do a post helping people to make the transition as smooth as possible. These are my top four settling in tips;
1. Try not to hold onto the dogs past or the fact it is a rescue dog. Of course, it is important to know the past of the dog you are getting for rescue but it is also important not to hold onto it. How many people have a rescue dog, and have had them for years and still call them a rescue? Surely by now, they have become your dog?
When we have a rescue we will often hold on to the past and in some cases, often presume they have had a terrible past. The moment you walk through the door with your new dog, think of them as just that...your dog.
2. In every walk of life there are rules that we have to follow. It is important that when you bring your new dog home that you also teach it the rules of your home. This stage links in with step one. When you have the thought process that your new dog is a rescue, you generally would change the way you welcome it into your home.
You weren't going to allow your dog on the sofa but because he's a rescue he can come up. You didn't want your dog jumping up at you but because he is a rescue dog, you start encouraging it.
Set the rules of your home , give the dog some structure and work on them from the day you bring your dog home. Ask the rescue for advice if you do not know how to do these things or contact a trainer for help.
3. It is an exciting event, bringing your new dog home but try not to smother it with love and affection. Allow your dog time to settle and explore its new surroundings. Place its bed or crate in a low footfall area so they can take themselves off and settle. Give your dog attention when out on walks or playing a game in the garden. Too much attention early on can cause further problems down the line.
4. Contact a trainer and discuss training classes. These can be a great way to build a relationship with your new dog whilst also teaching some important life skills.