Over years of training rescue dogs, I came to recognize different training tips for different rescue situations. Dogs from “broken homes” were very different to train than rescue dogs from puppy mills or shelters. Dogs that were neglected were different from ones who were abused.
Rescue dog training is mostly the same as regular dog training with a few special considerations.Some of the considerations depend on where your dog has been obtained from and its age, but we will look at rescue dog training and what to keep in mind.Here are special considerations for rescue dog training:
Dogs who have been turned into shelters and rescues sometimes have training issues. Often times, the first kind of work you will do with these newly adopted dogs is to untrain the bad habits like jumping on people, chasing other animals, destructive chewing, and counter surfing. All bad habits are easily correctable!
Older dogs can be trained, but they are not always as eager to learn. They have learned habits and are more set in their ways, so rescue dog training with an older dog will require a little more patience on the handler’s part.
Rescue dog training sometimes consists of providing a dog with things they failed to receive at an early age. For example, if a dog was not well socialized early in its life, you may spend a little extra time working through issues related to it. This should not be a deterrent to adoption but rather just something to keep in mind.
Often, rescue dog training involves working through the basic issues first like housetraining. You may adopt a four year old dog who has never been housebroken. You will need to treat this older dog just like a puppy.
One of the first things you must do with a newly adopted dog is bond. Once the dog knows he can trust you and is bonded to you, then more advanced training can progress.
With an adopted dog, especially if adopted from an animal control, it means you don’t usually know too much about them. You won’t know its likes and dislikes or what it excels at. Rescue dog training often keeps trainers on their toes trying to figure out what makes this particular dog tick.
Separation anxiety: It is not uncommon for a shelter dog to experience some separation anxiety, especially if it has had multiple homes. Rescue dog training usually involves making the new dog feel more secure in its new home, and most anxieties usually resolve themselves. Adopting a new dog from a shelter or rescue is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. Many say that the rescued dog repays you tenfold for the adoption. Don’t be deterred from adopting a dog of any age because any dog can be trained. Just know that there are a few considerations for rescue dog training to keep in mind.
Depending on the dog you adopt, you may have some behavioral issues that have to be worked through as part of the rescue dog training. If your dog is shy or timid, it will need to progress at a slower pace. Aggression will have to be deciphered and addressed.