While bringing home a rescue dog can be exciting for you, it can be terrifying to your new dog, especially if he is a more timid sort. Oftentimes, rescue dogs have gone through some sort of trauma, whether it's the trauma of abandonment, abuse, or having been a stray for an extended period of time. Before you bring your new family member home, put a plan in place for helping him adjust quickly to his new forever home. 

Rover Rescue
Give Three Days of No Demands
If your dog is particularly nervous, let him have space. Don't force attention he may not want; if he wants to be left alone, respect that. Give him his own space with a comfortable bed, food and water, toys/treats, and a kennel. Dogs are den creatures and feel more secure in their environment when they have their own "den" to escape to when they're feeling overwhelmed. Take him outside when he needs to, go for walks for exercise, and monitor him closely. Potty accidents, hole digging, or other destructive behavior can't occur if he's closely supervised. Make sure he feels safe, but also knows the rules. Be firm.

Provide Structure
Be consistent with your dog and use positive reinforcement. Simply put, bad behaviors get ignored or redirected and good behaviors get endless amounts of praise. When your new dog goes potty outside, make it a happy time. Lots of happy praise and treats will make your dog realize that going outside is what makes his new family happy. If he has an accident in the house, immediately take him outside and praise him heavily when he does his business where he's supposed to. However, don't be overly permissive. Yes, your dog has had a hard time, but that doesn't excuse poor behavior like growling, jumping, or destroying household items. 

Don't Bombard Him
You'll want to show your new furry friend off to everyone you know, but it's best to keep the environment quiet for a few weeks. One or two people coming in and out probably won't stress your pet out, but a birthday party or barbecue absolutely will. Avoid places like pet stores, dog parks, or other heavily populated social places, too. He needs to focus on adjusting to his new home and dropping new people or places in on him during this adjustment period can cause setbacks in getting adjusted. Make sure your dog won’t attack strangers. Often rescues have adapted to become more aggressive to deal with their environments. According to Taylor and Blair, personal injury lawyers in Surry BC, they say it is great to praise soft play. Be sure before they meet new people and animals they are well trained enough to avoid an accident like this.

The basic rule of having a new rescue dog is to keep things quiet. Allow him time to learn about his new people, his new bed, and his new rules. He's gone from a noisy shelter environment to a home and that can be intimidating, no matter how good of a change it is. If you ever have any dog behavior questions, contact a professional dog trainer to help you stay on the right track for a long lasting relationship with your dog.

 

Brooke ChaplanBrooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She has lived and worked in her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico after her graduation from the University of New Mexico. Contact her via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

 

By Natalie Gomez on Jun 04, 2014 at 2:30 pm 0 Comments
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One of the biggest mistakes new puppy owners make is not crate training. Teaching your puppy to sleep happily in a crate while you're in bed or while you're away for the day can make or break your house-training journey and save your favorite couch from sharp little puppy teeth!

Training Your Pup - Kennels and Crates

Choose the Right "Den"

Dogs are den animals, holding onto this evolutionary instinct from their wild predecessors. To your domesticated dog, his den is the place he will go when he's tired, frightened, or just wants to escape to "his" place. With a puppy, don't give him a huge crate. He needs something that's big enough to stand up, sit down, and turn around in. Any bigger will encourage him to potty in his kennel. You need to choose immediately if you want your dog to be an inside or an outside dog. Building a chain link kennel outside would provide ease in this process and will teach your puppy more self dependence.

Introduce the Crate

Leave the crate in the most frequented room of your house. If the family congregates mostly in the kitchen, then leave his crate there with the door open. Add a comfortable bed or even an old t-shirt that smells like his favorite family member. Leave the door off at first so he can go in and out unencumbered. Some dogs will immediately go in and get comfortable; if yours isn't one of them, entice him in by dropping tasty food treats in front of the crate and gradually just inside the door.

Let Him Eat in the Crate

Dogs won't soil where they eat so by feeding his meals inside the kennel, you're teaching him two things: this isn't where he's supposed to relieve himself and this is a safe, happy place. If he's willingly going in and out of the kennel, put the food bowl at the back. If he's still showing some reluctance, put it in just enough to keep him from being anxious. After a few days, he should be eating comfortably in the crate. This is when you begin shutting the door. The first time, open it as soon as he finishes his meal. Gradually, leave the door closed for a longer period of time after he's done eating.

Crate Him While You're at Home

It's important to not just shut him in the kennel and leave for your 8 hour work day. Instead, leave him kenneled for short periods of time while you're at home. When you let him out, give him praise but don't make it a big deal. His crate should be a daily part of his routine, not something that's out of the ordinary.

Leave for Short Periods of Time

When you finally leave him alone, make your trips short. Leave him in the crate just to run to the post office or to the grocery store for some bread and milk. Don't make a big fuss when you leave; urge him into the kennel, shut the door, and leave. Prolonged goodbyes can make a dog feel more anxious. Make sure that every time you put him in the kennel, you're putting him in at different times as you're getting ready to leave. Some days put him in while you're putting your shoes on, other times put him in right as you get out of the shower. If you develop a predictable pattern, a more anxious puppy will begin to fret when you hit the point in your routine where he'll be kenneled. When you get home, don't get excited to see him. Keep your arrivals low-key to prevent any anxiety.

Don't let a puppy's sad eyes make you feel bad for kennel training. Older dogs who have been properly introduced to the kennel seek their crate out as a safe haven and genuinely enjoy being there. Train your puppy gently and consistently and his crate will become a happy hideaway for the rest of his life.

 

Erika RemmingtonThis article was written by Erika Remmington. Erika is a recent graduate from the University of California, Berkeley. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband and 18 month old daughter. Click here to contact Erika.

 

 

Informational credit to Lynx Brand Fence Products Ltd., An Edmonton Dog Kennel Chain Link Fence Company

By Natalie Gomez on May 31, 2014 at 10:00 am 0 Comments
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Properly socializing shy, timid dogs eliminates fear-based aggression. It also allows you and your furry friend to enjoy trips and activities together that are impossible with (and terrifying for) a fearful dog. Use these tips to design positive, productive training experiences that transform your bashful pup into a confident companion.

Six Tips for Training and Socializing a Shy Dog

Set the Place, Not the Pace

Introduce new people in a place where your dog feels safe, allowing the dog to make the first move, rather than letting strangers approach the animal. Visit with guests as usual and let your dog decide when and if introductions are necessary. Pushing too hard can cause the dog to react aggressively, so provide opportunities for your dog to socialize but don't force unwanted interactions with strangers.

Avoid Coddling

Resist the urge to calm a puppy that is showing fearful behavior, such as whimpering or whining. A soothing voice, gentle stroking and being picked up all unintentionally reward the dog for showing fear. Instead, ignore fearful behaviors that occur at inappropriate and unnecessary times.

Positive Reinforcement

Avoid rewarding unwanted behavior, but always praise shy dogs when they display confidence and bravery. Reward a timid dog with treats, attention and praise immediately after positive behaviors. Positive reinforcement is more effective than attempting to punish unwanted actions.

Treat After

When training a dog with treat or food rewards, always give a treat in clear response to appropriate behavior rather than using the treat in attempt to prompt the behavior. Tasty treats and real pet food can be effective for luring a dog into a situation outside their comfort level, but when the food distraction is gone, the dog may suddenly feel exposed and lash out or hide in fear.

One-on-One Training

Ironically, socialization training is best begun in private sessions rather than group classes. Learning and practicing basic obedience skills strengthens the bond between dog and owner, giving both the confidence to stay calm and trust each other later in more stressful and distracting socialization exercises.

Keep It Simple

Socializing dogs involves new experiences, as well as new people and animals. Exploring new sounds, sights, smells, textures, weather and tastes all build confidence. Things as simple as ice cubes, paper bags and opening umbrellas are interesting to puppies or under-socialized pets.

Proper training helps meek dogs face the world with excitement rather than fear. To set your pet up for success, allow your dog to set the pace during socialization activities and provide an escape route in case things get too intense. Curiosity will overcome trepidation with time and patience.

 

Emma Sturgis

Emma Sturgis is a freelance writer currently living in Boston. When not writing, she enjoys baking and indoor rock climbing. Find her on Google +

 

 

By Natalie Gomez on May 28, 2014 at 12:00 am 0 Comments
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