Adopting a Shelter Dog: 10 Tips for a Successful Adoption

10 Tips for a Successful Adoption

Dogs are amazing animals. They have the ability and desire for deep, loving relationships with people. You are giving your dog an incredible gift by adopting him or her – a second chance at life.

After an adoption, it can take several weeks or months for your dog and yourself to adapt to their new lives together. It will also take time to build a trusting, mutually respectful relationship. Be patient. Keep in mind that there’s a reason why you chose this dog or they chose you!

These 10 tips will help bring out the best in your dog.

1. Help your dog relax at home alone

Adopted dogs tend to form close bonds with their adoptive parents. Separation can be painful for you both at first. The following confidence-building tips can help you give your dog confidence to go home alone. Start using these tips immediately you bring your friend home.

  • For short periods, you can leave your dog’s home by going out of the house, closing the door, and returning. When your dog is used to short, easy departures, you can introduce longer ones.
  • You should ignore your dog when you are leaving or arriving at the airport. ).
  • Make mini exits from the inside by closing the doors after you shower or use the bathroom.
  • Classical music has been shown to calm dogs, so change your radio station.
  • Keep your anxiety at bay. If you get anxious, your dog will become more anxious.
  • Before you leave the house, give your dog safe chew toys stuffed with treats.

An anxious dog may damage property, bark incessantly or scratch at windows or doors. For ways to improve your dog’s comfort at home, consult a veterinarian, animal behaviourist, or trainer.

2. Establish rules and routines for your household

It is particularly important that your dog lives with at least one person.

Encourage consistency and give your dog direction and stability. Dogs learn more quickly if they have a stable family. Do not let your dog make their own rules or get frustrated at them for breaking the rules. This will make them anxious and less settled. These rules and routines can be incorporated into your household.

  • You should feed your dog high quality meals on a daily basis in a calm place.
  • You should walk your dog at least twice per day, and once before you leave to go to work. Active dogs may require off-leash exercise in an enclosed area.
  • Sleeping in a crate is a great option for your dog until they are house-trained. When they are comfortable with the crate, they will be able to go off on their own.
  • You can reward good behavior with treats (e.g., lying down and being quiet) or as training aids. If your dog is barking, barking, or whining at you, you should not allow them to eat from the table. ).
  • You can teach your dog to be polite and ask for what they want. barking/pawing). Give them food, but wait patiently. Sit down. If they start jumping or barking, you should turn away.
  • After your dog has learned a few verbal cues you can begin to teach them “Nothing in life is free.” You should give your dog whatever they want (food, treats, etc.). Ask them to use one of the verbal cues you have taught. You might ask them to wait until you attach the leash. This exercise can be used to train your dog, establish a bond and give him a sense of security.

3. Recognize the behavior you want

To motivate your dog, think about what you find rewarding. Treats, walks, praise, dinner, praise or a game with a favorite toy can all be used as rewards. It seems strange to reward “good” behavior when dogs make mistakes. Most people are so used at noticing them. However, if your only reward for undesirable behaviours is yelling or yelling, your dog will likely repeat those behaviors. Instead, you should make it a habit of rewarding your dog when they do wonderful things. The reward should closely match the dog’s good behavior in order to be meaningful. You will reward your dog and they will continue doing the things you love!

4. Take control of the situation so that your dog makes “good” decisions

Dogs can quickly form habits, both good and bad. Extra management is essential early in the dog’s life. If your dog is allowed to jump on guests or engage in other undesirable behaviours, it’s more likely that they will do it again. You have to identify the trigger, anticipate it, and prevent it from returning. By placing your dog in a crate, blocking off the front door with baby gate, or moving him to another room, you can make it impossible for them to jump on people. After your guests have had the chance to sit down and your dog is calm enough to go out with them, put your dog on a lead to greet each guest. Your dog should be greeted by guests with a smile and a treat. Some other examples of management are:

  • Dogproof your home. Take out anything that could be chewed. Cover electrical cords and furniture legs in Bitter Apple (a bitter-tasting product available at most pet shops).
  • Watch your dog closely. You can keep them in the same area by using baby gates, doors, or a tether.

You can either crate your dog or keep them safe in a room that is dog-proofed. Give them the best chance of success!

Keep your dog happy and healthy by placing at least three chew toys in every room they go.

You can purchase a dog seatbelt that attaches to your car seatbelt and is custom-fitted for your dog. This will protect your dog in the event of a collision or sudden stop, and keep them from roaming the car.

A head halter (e.g. Halti Gentle Leader, pressure harness (e.g. Sporn), or front-clip (e.g. SENSE-ation harness). Choke chains are dangerous for dogs as they can literally choke them and cause tracheal/esophageal injuries.

5. Make “mistakes” into learning opportunities

Although they won’t make many mistakes if your dog is well trained, it’s possible for them to make some. Keep a note in your head to improve your management next time they make mistakes. Use their unwelcome behaviours as an opportunity for them to learn better behavior. Consider:

  • Providing an alternative behavior. If you want your dog not to do something, you can give them something that is compatible with what you are trying to get rid of. Ask your dog to sit if they jump on you. Catch them immediately after they jump and ask them if they are comfortable sitting. If they bark to greet people, you can teach them to grab a toy and say hello. You can get them to pay attention if they become distracted on walks. Give your dog a chew-toy toy instead if they are already eating the food. It doesn’t suffice to tell your dog that they want this behavior to stop. You must clearly define what you want your dog do in that situation. Reward the best choices
  • Ignoring the behavior. It is possible to ignore a behavior and it will end by itself. You can stop your dog from displaying unwanted attention-seeking behavior like barking, whining and jumping by not looking at him, speaking to him, or touching him until the behavior stops. However, your dog’s behavior will continue to escalate. Accept the behavior as it is, and wait it out. You will see the behavior change eventually and it will cease again. To keep your dog’s attention, get out of the room. You should be aware that your dog’s instinctive self-rewarding behaviors, such as digging and digging, will not be ignored.

NOTE Use punishment techniques to discourage unwanted behaviours such as yelling or choking, popping your leash, shaking the scruff, shaking the scruff, or alpha rolling (forcing a dog onto his stomach) – this could cause irreparable damage to the relationship between you both. This punishment does not address the cause of the behaviour and is more likely to be repeated. You must address the root cause of your dog’s behavior problems, not just the symptoms.

6. A dog training class is available

Dog training classes are a fun and enjoyable way to get to know your dog, as well as your family. It will help you to understand your dog’s thinking and learning style and motivate your dog to show the same behavior. Private sessions can be arranged with a trainer to increase your dog’s intelligence. The cost of training your dog can be expensive, but it will pay off in the long-term. A good class will allow you to meet other dog parents and answer any questions that may arise.

Look for a trainer that uses “positive-reinforcement” techniques that are humane and fun, including “lure-rewarding” (using treats to lure dogs into position), and “clicker training” (marking the exact moment the dog is doing the desired behaviour using a small device that makes a “click” – followed by feeding a treat). The trainer should provide clear explanations and demonstrations of each exercise. Each student will be given the chance to experience the lesson with their own dog. The basic puppy and adult classes usually include the following verbal cues. There are generally a variety of behaviour topics included.

Different styles are available for trainers. They can be enthusiastic, fast-paced and energetic or more serious. Ask to see a class and then choose the one that interests you. Ask your school about the policy for children under 12 years of age. If the trainer is enjoying the dogs and the people, it is a good sign that your dog will enjoy him. To learn more about dog training classes, and to find a trainer who is available in your area, read How to Choose a Dog Training Trainer.

7. Get valuable insight from training and behavior experts for your dog

Writings by dog behavior and training experts can provide fascinating insights into your dog as well as how to deal with a range of behaviour problems. This can help you understand how dogs relate to humans, given how complicated our communication efforts are.

Dog trainers that are professional and have a good understanding of dogs’ learning abilities as well as their own behavior are very effective. Dogs can misunderstand what is natural to us humans and they learn to stop doing it. They understand that even the smallest movement can make a big difference in a dog’s behavior. If you turn around or move away from your dog, it can dramatically increase the likelihood that they will come to your aid. Additionally, a slight lean backwards or forwards can either encourage or repel a dog. Good dog communicators are conscious of making sounds that will help the dog communicate their needs. This is an example:

To increase your dog’s activity level, you can use repeated, short notes such as claps or smooches to encourage your dog to come.

Try to not say the word “sit, down, or stay” if you don’t want your dog doing an action that will inherently inhibit activity. E.g. Staaaaaaay.

An anxious dog can be calmed by a long, continuous note, coupled with slow, steady strokes (and slowing you own breathing). E.g. You are a great dog.

A lower voice can help your dog comply.

Dogs will pay more attention to pitches that change than continuous flat sounds.

8. Children and pets can be introduced to new dogs

You should supervise your dog’s interactions with your furry friends and give them time to get to know each other. Friendships can take weeks or even months to develop. It may be necessary to temporarily baby-gate or lock doors in order to keep your pets safe. Your new furry friend may be able to accept you as a parent by giving them a treat. When you feel confident your dog will be able to behave with other animals, you can let them have access to one another without supervision.

It is also important to teach your child and your dog to behave together. Small children and babies require supervision from an adult around dogs, even family pets. You can teach your dog basic obedience such as sit, come, stay and off. Senior dogs and those with disabilities may be more easily upset or afraid. Teach your children to be aware of their limitations and to show respect for them. Also, teach your children to not:

  • Disturb a dog eating, sleeping, or caring for puppies.
  • Approach the bowl, toys, and food of a dog.
  • You can chase, tease or yell at your dog.
  • Play around with your dog or grab their ears.
  • Do not give food to a dog, or take food away from them.
  • A dog can’t run or ride a bike past it. Some dogs enjoy chasing fast-moving objects.
  • Avoid standing over, or putting your hand on, a dog. This could make it defensive.
  • Approach unattended pets – outside shops, in yards and in cars.
  • Additional resources available at
  • Do You Feel Outnumbered? How to manage and enjoy a multi-dog household by Patricia McConnell & Karen London

9. You can housetrain your dog to avoid indoor accidents

Even if your dog was housetrained before you adopted them, it’s a good idea to assume for the first few weeks that they haven’t been housetrained. This will help avoid any accidents. Be sure to reward your furry friend for removing in the right place and teach them. Dogs can learn in just a few weeks what to expect. Tips for housetraining include:

Take your dog out on a leash for the first few days. Give them treats as soon as they finish their business.

If your dog excretes, don’t immediately ask them to return indoors. Some dogs will stay put for as long as it takes to get out of trouble. Take your dog on a walk or play ball. You should keep your dog safe until they become trustworthy. If your dog is allowed to wander freely around your house, you should close all doors to bedrooms, bathrooms, and basement. You can also use baby gates to restrict access to rooms.

You should always keep an eye on your dog if you are not home. Take them out immediately if they start to sniff, circle or go to an area that they have already eliminated. If your dog does not pay attention and eliminates, you can’t blame them.

Make a loud, distracting sound if you catch your dog doing something like this: A loud clap can be used to distract your dog. Give them praise and give them a treat after they’ve finished outside.

Do not get mad at your dog when he does something wrong. It is your responsibility ensure your dog succeeds. If your dog does not get caught, he/she will not understand why you are mad.

Buy an enzyme cleaner to remove odors from accident sites to prevent future accidents.

Your dog’s age in months plus one is the best way to determine how long your dog can hold onto their bladder. For example, a four-month old puppy can hold their bladder for five hour. They should be capable of holding their bladder from seven months old to adulthood. For smaller dogs it might take longer.

Adult dogs have larger bladders but still need to go outside after being fed, when you return from work, before going back to sleep at night, and after getting up. Older dogs may need to be let outside more often.

10. Find out how to get your dog moving outdoors and indoors.

Dog behaviour problems are often caused by a lack of exercise and mental stimulation. Dogs may become bored and have a tendency to create their own activities such as barking, chewing, or boredom. Your dog will be more active and engaged if you take them running, walking, fetching, or frisbeeing to parks and nature trails. You can set your alarm 30-60 minutes before your dog wakes up to allow them to exercise before they leave for work. You can ask a neighbor, friend, family member, or paid professional to assist you if your dog needs to exercise.

Your dog can get outside exercise as well as some indoor playtime with these games:

  • Kong Toy chew: Fill the hollow center with food, treats, or your dog’s favorite meals. You can make it more efficient by spreading peanut butter all over the interior.
  • Hide-and-seek: Get your dog to hide and play with the toy. Make clapping noises, bounce a ball, or make squeaky sounds to encourage them to find you. You can praise your dog and offer a toy or treat if they find you.
  • Scenting Teach your dog how to smell a biscuit or toy and get it to go. It should be easy to get started. Later, you can make it more challenging by hiding multiple objects in difficult-to find places.
  • Fetch – Throw a ball around the room, let your dog catch it, and bring it back. Place your dog on a leash and teach them fetch. When they come to the toy, praise them and give them a treat. Use the leash to pull your dog towards you. If they refuse to give you the toy place a treat close by their nose and exchange. You can quickly throw the toy back. Make a hole in a tennisball, stuff some treats inside, and then throw it!
  • Come Make the “Come” word fun and rewarding everytime! Show your dog a treat. Then, encourage your dog to run away. You can reward them with the treat if they catch up. You can call “Come!” to your dog while they are hiding, and encourage them find you. Gradually start calling your dog to run away, if necessary. For dogs that love to exercise outside, long lines are ideal. They can be as short as 10-50 feet. Notice: You can keep your dog’s “Come!” response reliable by using the word sparingly. Your dog will only respond to it when you give him something they like (e.g. meals, games). Do not force your dog to play, but if you feel the need to, just go up and grab him. Make fun noises, give your dog a ball, and call his name.