How to Train a Shelter or Rescue Dog

Train a shelter or rescue dog: Getting a dog from a shelter or rescue service is the best way to adopt a dog. If you are worried about training the dog, we have some amazing ways that will help you train your new dog.

How to train a shelter or a rescue dog

Before you start training your new dog, you should know that the training process can be very time-consuming. It may require you to go out of your way to change the old habits of your new dog. Even if your dog was trained by a previous owner, he may have developed a few bad habits during his stay at the shelter. With time and attention, your dog will learn new ways of living within a house.

Here is a list of tips and techniques you can use to train a rescue dog.


1. Patience is the key

A lot of times, people assume that rescue dogs are not dealt with proper care in shelters. However, it is crucial to understand that not all dogs have been subject to abuse or trauma in the past. In some cases, dogs are put in shelters by the previous owners when they are unable to handle them anymore. If you assume that your dog will instantly learn new ways at your home, you may end up disappointing yourself.

Hence, you should remain patient with your dog during the training and allow him to take his time to come to terms with the new atmosphere. For better results, start training him from scratch and see how well it goes.

2. Allow them sufficient time

At first, you may notice that your dog is getting nervous around you. He may get scared as you are an unfamiliar person for him. Also, he may not feel calm in your living space due to a change in his surroundings. it may indicate that he experienced a difficult time at the shelter with other dogs held in the same cage. With time, you will observe a noticeable change in your dog’s behavior as he gets familiar with new faces and the comfort of your home.

3. Make a dog-friendly routine

A rescue dog might not have experienced a well-organized life like other pets. His life in the shelter may comprise of unusual events taking place all day long. For some dogs, playing regularly with other dogs in the shelter might have been a great deal of fun. On the other hand, some dogs may have experienced a hectic life where they didn’t know what’d happen next. To eliminate the lack of discipline from your rescue dog, it is crucial to set a daily routine for your dog to prepare him for a new life at home.

Under normal circumstances, dogs love a predictable daily schedule where they stay aware of what will happen next. Knowing that he will be fed before getting hungry and provided with water after a certain time can be very thrilling for your new dog. Regular bathing and exercise are some of the essential factors to keep in mind while planning your dog’s daily routine.

The best way to make your dog come to terms with his new schedule is to be consistent with your efforts. These small steps will make it easier for your dog to adapt to a new lifestyle in no time.

4. Make some rules

During the first few days of adoption, you might want to skip the training part for the time being and continue with it later. By doing so, you will feel more reluctant regarding the training of your dog which may significantly delay his grooming and personality development. There is a chance that your dog will continue to make the same mistakes for a long time if you don’t correct his ways straight away. Therefore, with time, it will get more difficult for you to train your new dog.

5. Obedience training

The majority of the dog owners assume that letting the dog become familiar with the new environment at home before starting the training. In such situations, you should make use of obedience training to create a good bond with your dog. Use motivation as a tool to make your dog behave the way you want. You can offer him treats upon completion of an assigned task. Do not panic if your dog does not listen to your commands at first. It will require some time before he learns how to carry out a certain task.

6. Housetraining

Once you have completed obedience training, it’s time for you to start housebreaking. Waiting further will only lead to frustration as your dog will continue with his bad habits. For example, when you will notice that your dog has urinated on your bed, you will feel helpless. To avoid such an inconvenience, take your dog to a designated dog potty area while offering treats as a reward. You can use the crate training method to get him trained in a short time. Usually, rescue dogs instantly learn housetraining as they might have been trained by their past owners.

7. Prioritize your dog’s independence

You should make it your priority to let your dog become independent. With a daily schedule of your own, you won’t have time to stay around for too long. To handle such situations, your dog should be capable of entertaining himself while you are away from home. To prevent your dog from developing separation anxiety or fear of missing out, you should train him well to stay occupied without getting too attached to you.

8. Keep a check on your dog’s behavior

A newly adopted rescue dog may unusually respond to certain triggers. It may include a person, sound, or smell. Moreover, he may exhibit a strong reaction to socializing with other dogs or people. Such responses indicate that your dog might have experienced a traumatic event or an illness that was associated with such triggers. To help your dog learn new ways to develop a coping mechanism, you need to pay extra attention to help relieve his anxiety. You can also avoid bringing him close to such triggers that provoke such anxious thoughts.

Training a rescue dog comes with its set of challenges. If you are having trouble training your dog, you should seek help from professional dog training services for a seamless experience.

by Bobby J Davidson || You can’t buy love, but you can rescue it™

Facts About Animal Homelessness:

  1. Only 1 out of every 10 dogs born will find a permanent home.
  2. The main reasons animals are in shelters: owners give them up, or animal control finds them on the street.
  3. Each year, approximately 2.7 million dogs and cats are killed every year because shelters are too full and there aren’t enough adoptive homes. Act as a publicist for your local shelter so pets can find homes. Sign up for Shelter Pet PR.
  4. Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.
  5. According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), less than 2% of cats and only 15 to 20% of dogs are returned to their owners.
  6. 25% of dogs that enter local shelters are purebred.
  7. About twice as many animals enter shelters as strays compared to the number that are relinquished by their owners.
  8. It’s impossible to determine how many stray dogs and cats live in the United States. Estimates for cats alone range up to 70 million.
  9. Only 10% of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered. Overpopulation, due to owners letting their pets accidentally or intentionally reproduce, sees millions of these “excess” animals killed annually.
  10. Many strays are lost pets that were not kept properly indoors or provided with identification.
  11. According to The Humane Society, there are about 3,500 brick-and-mortar animal shelters in the US and 10,000 rescue groups and animal sanctuaries in North America.

Here are a some adoptions for consideration: