Did you know that in addition to being the scariest month of the year, October is also National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month? We love our rescues, and we think you will too if you decide to adopt one of your own. You won’t find a more loving dog than one that you rescue. Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of dogs are euthanized each year in shelters all across the country. While some dogs might be unadoptable, the truth is that many dogs are euthanized simply because there isn’t enough room in the shelter.
So, if you are thinking about getting a dog this month, we would highly encourage you to adopt a shelter dog. You will be giving a dog a whole new life. However, if you do decide that you want to adopt a shelter dog, please know that you will need to take the time to train the dog. Investing in a qualified trainer or obedience classes is of the utmost importance. Training is a big part of you and your new dog’s relationship, but you shouldn’t rely solely on the trainer. Much of the learning and training reinforcement will be done at home. Purchasing various dog supplies can aid in the transition from shelter dog to forever home and allow it to go much more smoothly. Here are a few things you’ll want to consider:
You Should Expect an Adjustment Period: When you adopt a shelter dog, you’re adopting a mystery. While the shelter may provide some information on the dog’s background, you can’t control what your new dog’s life was like before you went to the shelter. Plus, the shelter experience itself can be stress-inducing as well. You can expect your dog to be a little cautious at first until he or she gets more confident with the surroundings.
Learn the Basic Commands: You should assume that your pup has never been trained before. Even if he or she has, a refresher course is never a bad idea. This is where purchasing professional dog training classes come in. You and your dog can build a rapport with one another in a positive, low-stress environment. Your trainer will teach the basic commands and show how to use positive reinforcement to encourage the dog. However, keep in mind that the training isn’t over when class is done. You will need to practice at home as well. We highly encourage investing in delicious dog treats for these exercises.
Set up a Routine and Some Boundaries: We know it’s tough, but you are going to have to say no to your dog once in a while. Your dog might be a little wild in the beginning so the best thing you can do is discourage some bad habits right from the start. That way they don’t become an ongoing problem. In addition to that, please know that you should set up a schedule that will work for your family as well as your dog. Dogs like routine and a schedule can be comforting for a new dog trying to settle in.