How important is training your new rescue dog? VERY!
Expectations on behavior
Most rescue dogs come from shelters and they didn’t end up in shelters because they were given a lot of training. That alone is probably the number one reason dogs end up in shelters, even the purebred dogs. It doesn’t mean they are bad dogs but just no one has ever shown them what is acceptable and expected.
Dogs are a separate species from people and as such have their own special needs and natural instincts. They communicate differently than we humans do, and many of their normal behaviors are counter to our own. When we bring a dog or puppy into our homes and our lives we are asking them to change much of what is natural about their existence. We not only need to teach them how to fit in but also teach ourselves about their needs so that we can learn to accommodate them and adjust our expectations to make the best possible situation for both species; dog and human. If we do not take the time to train our dogs and educate ourselves we will both be frustrated and not nearly as happy as we could be.
When we see people with dogs that clearly respect and enjoy each other, these are the dogs we turn to and say “I want a dog just like that” and often that is why many people will select specific breeds to bring into their home. But that dog didn’t come trained and walking nicely on lead and well socialized….it takes training and commitment. The below guides are just that, guides to be used as reference as you begin your journey together. If at any time you feel your dog needs more than what you feel you can give, seek out a professional trainer. Often, with just a few sessions, you and your dog will be on your way to forming the proper communication methods to ensure a nappy and FUN coexistance!
A special note to foster caregivers:
Your foster may have been traumatized before coming to you – you’ll be teaching that people are good and can be trusted. You should handle and work with your foster dog every day. And remember to allow time for adjustment. While it usually takes about 24 hours for a dog to settle in, it will take much longer for their overall adjustment to this new environment and probably up to a month before your foster dog bonds with you, so keep your expectations realistic.
On the average, foster parents have their dogs for about 2 months before they are adopted. While this amount of time will not be long enough to fully train your foster dog, it will be enough time to give him a good foundation for his new family. Begin training with some basic commands and crate training. Like anything, there are good and bad training techniques and some use negative reinforcement (punishment based techniques) and others use positive reinforcement (food and praise techniques). As you can already imagine, we want only the positive type of training done with our rescue dogs. If at any point your foster dog shows any signs of aggression or fear (growling over food, toys, snapping or hiding), contact LGAR for guidance.