November 05, 2008 // Franchising.com // Denver, CO —– From dogs evacuated during hurricanes and abandoned to rescues and shelters, to the thousands of racing greyhounds disposed of every year, rescues and shelters are overflowing with dogs waiting to be rescued. Rescue dogs come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, and it is important to know how to help a dog make the transition from a rescue to a new home. To help families who are willing to rescue a dog, Bark Busters – the world's largest, most trusted dog training company – provides guidelines to better manage the adoption.
"Dogs need order and leadership," says Bark Busters USA. "They are pack animals, so you must be the 'pack leader' to ensure that your dog knows that you're the boss. Dog owners may not know the temperament of their rescue dog, but they can make the transition from rescue to home easier, faster and more rewarding by having a set of house rules."
The following tips can help ensure a smooth transition.
Hold a family meeting to create rules about caring for the dog. Will he be allowed on the couch, the bed, and in all rooms of the house? Where will he sleep and eat? Who will be responsible for feeding? Who will walk him and clean up after him? As a family, you must all be consistent with your decisions or you will confuse the dog, typically resulting in the dog making his own rules and causing unnecessary tension, which can lead to undesirable behavior.
Have the necessary items your dog will need from the start: ID tags, a collar and a 6?foot leash, food and water bowls, food, dog toys, a crate and bedding, and basic grooming tools.
Plan to bring your new dog home on a weekend or when you can be home for a few days. You will want that time to get to know each other and to establish rules and a trusting relationship.
Just before you bring your dog into the home, take him for a walk to tire him out a little. Walks are not only good exercise, but they also serve as a training tool and an opportunity to establish yourself as the pack leader.
At first, limit your dog to one room or area. Allow him time to familiarize himself with the smells and sounds of his new home. Try to limit your time away from home those first days; your spending time with him will help him to become more comfortable in his new home.
Keep your dog on leash for the first few weeks so you can immediately teach him what behaviors are and are not acceptable. NEVER leave a leash on your dog when he is unsupervised.
Your rescue dog should NOT be left alone in the house with your existing pets until you have carefully monitored and controlled their interactions for a period of time.
Expect housetraining accidents. Your dog is in a new territory and is establishing a new routine, so accidents probably will happen. Review housetraining information available from the rescue, your veterinarian or your local Bark Busters trainer. The key is to be consistent and maintain a routine.
Dogs instinctively like to den, and a crate makes the ideal place for your dog to sleep and get away from household hubbub. A crate also makes housetraining and training easier, but limit the amount of time the dog is crated. The crate should be roomy enough to allow your dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. An alternative to a crate is to confine him in a dog-proofed part of your home, such as a laundry or mud room. You can use a baby gate or dog gate to block off the area from the rest of the house.
Most rescue dogs have been given basic vaccinations and many have already been spayed/neutered. It is important that your dog is examined by a veterinarian within a week after adoption for a health check.
For the first few days, limit guest visits to allow your dog to get comfortable with his new family. When you do have guests, ask their help in training your dog by instructing them to not pay attention to him until he has calmed down. One way to communicate this request is to post a sign on your front door informing visitors that you have a new dog in training.
Get guidance for training your dog. A well-trained dog is a happier dog and a joy to have around.
Dogs need a pack leader. If they don't have one, then they try to become the leader, which can create numerous behavioral problems. Thus, you—and all people in your home (other than children under 12)—need to be the pack leader. Practice obedience training, set rules and apply them calmly and consistently, and praise your dog's good behavior. He will see you as his pack leader and will bond more quickly to you.
It is amazing how quickly dogs learn what is acceptable and what is not. Dogs have a language of their own, and once we understand it, we can communicate better what we expect of them.
Hats off to you for bringing home a rescue dog! Your patience and training will help to create a bond that will reward you both for years to come. With the right balance of discipline, understanding and affection, your shelter dog will become a loyal, grateful and loving companion.
Bark Busters dog behavioral therapists are renowned authorities in understanding, correcting and managing dog behavior. The Bark Busters training system can successfully train any dog, including a puppy. The company's natural training technique leverages the same communications methods—body language and voice control—that dogs follow as part of their instinctual pack mentality. All training takes place right in the home where most problems generally occur. In every market where Bark Busters is established, a majority of veterinarians familiar with the technique recommend the company's services.
Bark Busters, the world's largest, most trusted dog training company, started in Australia in 1989 and came to the United States in 2000. Since inception, nearly 400,000 dogs have been trained worldwide using its dog-friendly, natural methods. With 250+ franchised offices in 42 states and more than 400 offices in 10 countries, Bark Busters is continuing its mission to build a global network of dog behavioral therapists to enhance responsible dog ownership and reduce the possibility of maltreatment, abandonment and euthanasia of companion dogs. Bark Busters is the only international dog training company that offers guaranteed lifetime support. SPCA International selected Bark Busters dog behavioral training services as the "Best of the Best" in its category. No other training company or dog trainer received such a distinction. To fetch a trainer in your area, call 1-877-500-BARK (2275) or visit www.BarkBusters.com, where dog owners can complete a Dog Behavioral Quiz to rate their dogs' behavior.