What to consider when adopting a rescue pup:
Each and every dog comes with their own quirks and challenges, however when rescuing shelter dogs those quirks and challenges may be different than anticipated. Take into account the past, present, and future of your new, four-legged friend when adopting.
One commonality shared amongst most shelter dogs is a history of abuse, neglect, and overall mistreatment. When adopting a pup whose background and past you are unfamiliar with it is important to take a gentle approach and train using positive reinforcement.
It is important to reflect upon the age, breed, and personality of your new dog.
Age – Older dogs take longer to train than puppies – they have had an entire life of bad habits. Start training from the first day home and continue to do so in a few 15 minute sessions every day. Did you know that the senior dog adoption rate is 25% compared to younger dogs at 60%? Consider helping a senior dog find their forever home!
Breed – Even if your new pup is a mix, each breed carries instincts such as a hound following its nose. Traits and instincts such as this can lead to longer time to train, however, knowing breed instincts can save a lot of frustration and allow for understanding.
Personality – As with people, each pup has traits and quirks of their own. Take some time to learn those of your pup and develop a plan to train based upon those.
Something commonly observed of shelter dogs is a shift in behavior after a few weeks from a poster child to a troublemaker. It is normal for shelter pups to regress behaviorally when they begin to settle in and realize they are safe with you. For smooth transitions, consider hiring a pro to evaluate your dog and help with the process.
When you’re ready for a dog, or other pet, please consider adoption. 6.5 million dogs and cats come into U.S. shelters each year and are looking for a forever home too!
Guest Blogger: Sydney Story is a sophomore at the University of Rhode Island and is pursuing a Doctorate in Pharmacy with minors in Spanish and Leadership Studies. Sydney has been a seasonal intern at GSCU since June of 2016.