Did you know that May 20 is National Rescue Dog Day?! If you recently adopted a rescue dog or plan on it then we give you high paws! We also want to highlight how to welcome your newly adopted dog into your home!
Welcoming a new dog that was adopted from a shelter or rescue is almost never easy due to it being a huge change in the environment for them. They are often going from who knows where to living in a kennel to now being in your home with new smells, new people, new sounds. Some dogs take to it right away and know how to be a house dog but sometimes, it just takes a little bit longer.
Remember to be patient So many dogs are returned within a few days after being adopted because they haven't settled in yet and their new owners are impatient with them. The dogs might either be scared, nervous and timid or just ornery and a trouble maker because they've never had real structure before. It's your job to create a stable environment with clear rules while working on training.
On the first day, let them decompress outside the home before going inside. Take them for a walk around the neighborhood and sniff around the outside of your home. Then go to the backyard for a bit if you have one. Let them become comfortable. If you're going to be crate training your new dog, introduce them to it to give them another place to decompress.
Right now, this is the time where you will be learning your new pup's behaviors. You'll learn what they like, what they don't like and how to work around it. It's best during this learning stage to take it slow with them and avoid getting in their face or teasing them as you really don't know what is a trigger. Let them come to you and observe what they prefer.
If you have other pets, it's suggested to keep them separated at first while the new dog decompresses. Everyone's emotions will be on edge and this is what could lead to a fight and then the new dog back at the shelter! No one wants that! If anyone is seeming anxious, keep them separated for about 24 hours until everyone has calmed down. Then do a slow introduction on a leash outside of the home in the front yard, then the backyard and then inside. Just like how you introduced the new dog to the house, to begin with.
From that point forward, it'll be all about teaching new behaviors and not reinforcing the bad ones. There will be the struggles of potty training, crate training, leash training, etc. Consider taking them into your vet as well to get a new patient record started and a physical exam as they might not have been as thorough at the shelter and you don't want any surprises down the road.
Overall, patience is key. Welcoming a newly adopted dog into your home is such an amazing, heartwarming thing that can really change your life. Whether it's your first dog or 10th, it will never get old. Now get out there and #ADOPT!
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