When you are thinking about bringing a new dog into your home, you might initially think about having a new puppy that you can get from a breeder or perhaps a friend. However, as cute and cuddly as they are, there are many more loving dogs that get taken to the rescue center. These dogs have usually had a bad start to their lives, so it can be an amazing gift to give them a second chance at happiness. Taking on a rescue dog needs patience and love to help them learn to trust again, here are some tips to help you build that trust.
Take It Slowly
You often hear that dogs are supposed to start loving their owners unconditionally from the beginning. Although this can happen in many cases, there are also those dogs that need a little extra time to adjust. Many of them have been in uncaring and sometimes abusive homes before, so they will naturally be nervous and wary of new people. If they are slow to show any emotions or playfulness, then don’t worry, all you need to do is to keep reassuring them and giving them time to figure out that you are not like their previous owners. After a while, they will start to come out of themselves and interact with the family more.
Give Your Dog Some Space For Themselves
Although you have done a wonderful thing by rescuing a dog, it can still be a stressful time for your new four-legged friend. They will have gone from a bad environment to a sterile dog center and now a new home. It is a lot for them to go through, and they might think that this new place is also a temporary home. The best thing to do it to give them a space of their own, somewhere quiet and out of the way, but where they can still see what’s going on in the house. Place a dog crate or a dog bed there with some chew toys and their favorite toy they sleep with. You should then let them go there when they want to and make sure the rest of the family and other animals leave the dog alone. It will give them time to process what has happened and to learn that they are not going to be harmed by this new family.
Be Your Dog’s Protector
People often think of dogs as a protector for the family. They see heroic dogs that fight off bad people who are endangering their families, and they think that this is what dogs do. While your dog will be protective of you, they might need more protection than you do. It can be particularly scary for a dog when small children or other dogs approach them. If they are kind and laid back then, this is great, but if they are wary, then they will look to you for support. The best thing you can do is to tell a child or another person that your dog is scared and that they shouldn’t try to pet them. You might also need to step in between your dog and a toddler or another dog to protect them and make them feel safe. It is this small gesture that can make all the difference to your dog.
Comfort Them When They Are Afraid
There are many dogs that get frightened with certain sounds such as thunderstorms or fireworks. These events can be terrifying for your dog, and they will come and seek reassurance from you. There has long been a myth that you shouldn’t comfort a frightened dog as this reaffirms what has made them scared. Unfortunately, many people do this with their dogs, and it can make them feel as though you are not protecting them. You cannot reaffirm this type of emotion like behavior, they are scared and always will be whether you comfort them or not, so let them feel safe with you by giving them a hug or a stoke.
Give Them The Things They Need
When you first get a dog, it can be a lot to take in at first. You have probably been to the pet store and bought lots of toys and other fun things to keep them entertained, but there are other more useful things you can get them. For example, if you like to walk your dog early in the morning or late at night, then you need to make sure that both you and your dog are visible to others. You can now get a range of harnesses and leads that have reflective strips on them. You can also get battery operated lights that attach to their harness. If you live in an area that gets hot for most of the year, then you should be looking at how you keep your dog comfortable in the heat. If they are long haired dogs, then trying to keep their fur shorter in the hot weather will help. You can also get them a dog cooling vest; if you are wondering whats a dog cooling vest, then they are designed to keep your dog cool over a prolonged period. It’s also important to know the best dog food for your breed of dog.
Let Them Sleep In Your Bedroom
Although this is another area that is highly debated, at least at first, it can be reassuring for your dog. Until they get settled in, let them sleep in your bedroom, then they will know that you are their family and that everything is ok. The first few days can be scary for a new dog, so you need to give them as much reassurance as you possibly can. It can be especially important for rescue dogs, as they will have spent time in a kennel on their own and may be frightened.
Taking on a rescue dog is something that will give you a lot of pleasure and friendship in your life. Rescue dogs can be some of the most loyal and loving pets you can have, all you need is time together.