Rescue Dog Training Tips
Taking on a rescue dog is very different to getting a brand new puppy, and you have to adjust your training accordingly. Rescue dogs may have developed certain behaviours that may not be desirable and are hard to get rid of. Some habits may take weeks, months or years to correct. However, your hard work will be rewarded and you will end up with a wonderful new companion. All you need to do is pick the most suitable rescue dog for your family and the training can begin. Here are some tips for training your new rescue dog.
Your new rescue dog will be very confused when you first bring them home. They have to get used to a completely new environment and lifestyle. One of the best things you can offer them is a routine that they can get used to and feel comfortable with. Make sure they know where they should sleep, when they are expected to go to bed for the night, how they will be fed and what is expected of them. This will help them settle in faster and help them to understand the rules. Be aware that when you first bring them home you need to be strict, if you don’t want them to sleep in your room or in the bed in the long run then don’t let them do it at the start.
When you are training your new rescue dog try and remember that training a rescue dog can take a lot of patience. They might not get the trick on the first go, and you will need to do lots of repetition. Try doing your training in different places, once your dog has mastered all the basic tricks at home, try taking them to a park and doing them. This will help you to have control over your dog in different places and get them used to new environments.
Establishing a Bond
Perhaps the most important part in developing your rescue dog’s training is establishing a bond. The better the bond between you and your new pooch, the more likely they are to respond well to training. This is another thing that can take a lot of time as they need to learn to trust you. Playing with your dog is a good way to build a positive relationship, as well as regular training sessions and lots of strokes and cuddles! Once you have a strong bond you will have a fantastic time together and really appreciate the fact that you chose a rescue dog.
Your dog needs consistent training and commands, and to be able to do this you have to get every household member involved. Anyone who regularly comes into contact with the dog needs to learn the key commands as well as the rules. For example, you need to make sure that if you use hand signals, you are all doing the same hand signal for the same command. Rescue dogs may have been taught different things in the past for the same command.
Try and provide regular training sessions so that you can improve your dog’s obedience and give them the time they need to improve. You can also take them to training classes in groups or with a behaviourist if necessary. It’s good to take them to classes where they can meet other dogs and improve their skills.
Socialisation is very important for all dogs, but especially for rescue dogs. Take care when introducing your rescue dog to other dogs and use a muzzle if necessary. The rescue centre should tell you whether or not they are good with other dogs as they will have been tested when they arrived at the rescue centre.