Training Your Rescue or Shelter Dog may seem a daunting task. It’s important to understand some basic truths when embarking on such an endeavor.
Tips for Training Your Rescue or Shelter Dog
It doesn’t need to be complicated, a bit of patience, lots of love and praise, tasty treats, and a regular schedule go a long way in training your new friend. The following tips are a handful of basics that can make all the difference.
- Use High Quality Treats for Best Results: Real pieces of chicken, carrots, beef, & cheese garner better results than store bought treats.
- Give treat immediately so they understand what the reward is for.
- Offer lots of praise for good behavior!
- Be patient – rescued dogs need extra praise and patience! A shelter dog may not have had any training or may have trauma. Extra time is needed to help them feel truly safe. It can take an average of 2-8 weeks for an adopted dog to adjust. Depending on the situation, it could take longer for dogs who have been through major trauma.
- Putting your new friend on a schedule helps them know what to expect and feel secure. The repeated day to day schedule also helps a dog understand what is expected of them, and often results in calmer behavior.
- Provide frequent bathroom breaks. This helps to show your new pup where you want them to go and gives you an idea of how often they need to go.
- Make important assessments of your dogs ability to hold it! This will help you tailor their schedule and avoid accidents.
- Never punish a dog for having accidents. This will do more harm than good and can set back the timeline on training. Instead, offer treats and praise when they go outside or do the right thing.
- Exercise is helpful and healthy for your new dog. Often, about 10 – 15 minutes after eating, it can be helpful to take your dog for a short walk. This keeps their system moving and is healthy overall.
- Regular exercise (short walks are fine, especially for older dogs) will also keep them more focused to retain their new training!