Bringing home an adopted rescue dog definitely comes with great rewards, but it also comes with challenges. Some big, some small, but if you take them one at a time and overcome them as soon as possible, they will only bring happiness to both your dog and to yourself.
In the accommodation period that usually takes around three months after adoption, training your rescue dog is mandatory. It might seem like an additional expense, but it is actually an investment. And even though we recommend professional obedience training, you can take some training actions yourself:
This method is one of the best house-training techniques you can use. It requires the purchase of a crate in which your dog should stay when you are not at home, or unable to supervise him, while its primary purpose is to become the dog’s sleeping place.
The reason behind its functionality is based on the fact that a dog won’t usually potty in the same place where he sleeps. This instinct will help him hold his urges until he is out of the crate. It will also help him create a routine for his physiological needs, which should revolve around your lifestyle as well.
Common and easy commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “walk” might already be familiar to your dog, but lack of practice could make them challenging to obey if a long time has passed. However, if you have the experience, and the dog responds to them in the majority of cases, you can try to practice them yourself.
Make sure to have treats available and use positive reinforcement when doing so. Your dog will soon remember and follow them—at least in private.
When you’re away from home is when challenges of training your dog by yourself often appear. As social creatures, dogs can be easily distracted. So, his behavior at home during obedience training could be completely different when you’re in public places.
Participate in Group Training
This part might not appeal to you as much, as it involves additional costs, but think of it like this: when your dog participates in group training, not only does he learn valuable obedience skills that will benefit the both of you, but he will also get to socialize with other people and other dogs.
Group training is also an opportunity for you to engage other family members in the dog’s trainer. Being pack animals, dogs often tend to abide by one person only – the alpha male. This is usually his primary caretaker, but if the dog is adopted by a family, he needs to obey all members. Group training can help achieve this goal faster.
As much as you want to tell yourself your dog is the only one who needs training, at the end of the day, you need to be honest with yourself and admit you, as the owner of a new dog, need it to. Training a dog is not puppet-mastering. He is not the only one who needs to adapt.
Working out a favorable routine for both of you is required, and your half hour of Facebook browsing in the evening might need to turn into a walk around the block. Adjusting to one-another will always be a work in progress, but as you relax in your favorite armchair and your dog puts his muzzle in your lap, seeking and giving affection, you will know it was worth it.