What to Expect When Adopting a Dog

Congratulations on your decision to adopt a rescue dog. You are saving a life and blessing your own at the same time. While this can be an exciting event for the family, keep in mind that your new dog might not share your enthusiasm in the beginning.

Some dogs, just like humans need some time to adapt to the changes happening all around them. Don’t forget that some dogs who end up in a shelter have been abused by their owners. Your dog might begin to get stressed out, which could cause him to behave strangely.

Give It Some Time

How long of an adjustment period is needed is going to depend on the individual dog. One dog might begin to feel right at home in an hour or so. Another dog might not feel completely comfortable until a month has passed. Practice a little patience and positive reinforcement with your new friend and allow any unwanted behaviors to disappear naturally.

What Could Occur During the Adjustment Period

During this time when you are getting used to one another, and your dog is used to his new environment, it is the adjustment period. During this time, don’t be surprised if your dog exhibits any of the following behaviors:

  • Acting shy or timid
  • Barking for unknown reasons
  • Territory marking
  • Forgetting housetraining skills
  • Acting out possessively regarding you, the house, or toys
  • Experiencing separation anxiety
  • Being nervous around strangers
  • Leash aggression

With that being said, it is also entirely possible that your new canine will show absolutely none of the above behaviors. You just need to be ready for the unexpected.

Solutions for Behavior Issues

Here are a few tips you can follow that when combined together can really make an improvement in your dog’s behavior.

  • Crate training your new dog is definitely something you should look into. Your canine will feel safe and sound while nestled inside of their crate when you are not home.
  • Implementing a consistent daily routine may also be helpful in making them feel more at ease.
  • Make sure that you are either running and playing with your dog, or taking him on daily walks. Getting enough exercise is critical to the health and happiness of your canine.

Tips for Improving Your Relationship With Your New Dog

The ASPCA provides all of the following recommendations for forming a bond with your new rescue dog.

  • In the beginning, avoid going to places like dog parks, large gatherings, or other busy locations.
  • Allow your dog to take the lead in initiating physical contact.
  • Avoid hugging and kissing your dog until you are more familiar with one another.

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