Saturday, August 10, 2019

Getting A Rescue Dog: What You Need To Know

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Getting a new dog can be a joyful experience. When so many dogs need a new home, getting a furry friend from a rescue centre is an excellent way of helping a dog that needs a forever home.

Often, dogs in rehoming centres have been through a rough spell. There can be many reasons that they've ended up there, ranging from their owners, no longer being able to keep them, to the owner dying. There might be occasions where a dog has needed to be taken from their previous owner because of mistreatment.

With that in mind, giving a dog a new home can be hugely rewarding because they need you. They might, however, have behaviour issues that stem from them losing their last owner, or because of a lack of training or love when they were younger.

The good news is that with positive training, you can help your rescue dog become a happy, well-behaved part of your family.

Many dogs can be helped over time by spending a little bit of time each day working on their specific behaviour issues. Where a problem is severe, and there is aggression or destructive traits, you may need to get the help of a dog trainer.

The First Few Weeks

Your dog may take a few weeks to settle into your home. They'll need to learn your routine and your expectations of them. Adapting can take time, and during this time, you should expect your dog not to be interested in food, to potentially exhibit signs of separation anxiety, and the possibility of them having toileting accidents.

Positive Reinforcement

One of the most important things about training a dog is that you use positive reinforcement at all times. This means that you reward all positive behaviour to reach them how you want them to behave. Giving your dog treats, or attention for getting off the furniture, or going to the toilet in the right place will help them learn what you expect from them.

Separation Anxiety

One of the most significant areas where your dog needs support will be in dealing with separation. They will bond very quickly with you because you're showing them care and support, so much so that they may not want to leave your side. If you need to leave them for any length of time, they may pine or bark. In extreme cases, they may destroy things in your home.

Your dog is likely to exhibit signs of this early on, and you will need to start dealing with it straight away.

Practice leaving your dog for short periods. Put them in another room for a minute on their own, then walk in and out of the room without giving them any fuss. Repeat this again several times, each time building up the time that you leave them by an extra minute. Whenever you go near them, do something that does not involve them, don't acknowledge them and try and make yourself as boring as possible.

Your dog needs to learn that you may leave them, but you'll always be back.

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