Most times when you get a dog from a shelter that isn’t a puppy, they have some bad behaviors that need to be changed. This process takes a lot of time and energy and isn’t easy for you or the dog. Here are a few helpful tips to help in the retraining process of a shelter dog.
1. Show him you are the leader.
The most important thing is that the dog will trust you as his new owner. Dogs are pack animals and need a leader. He needs to know that you are the pack leader, not him. He needs to know that you are there to protect him; he isn’t there to protect you.
2. Let him see where his food comes from.
One way of teaching him this is by making sure he sees where his food comes from. His food bowl should be empty except during meal times. If there is always food in his bowl he won’t need you because he won’t feel hunger. So it is important that he watches you fill up his bowl each day.
3. Create a den for your dog.
Dogs are den animals and need a safe place. Their own crate in a dark corner is a good solution for this. Be sure to put in a blanket or towel for something soft that will become her own. If you are going to lock her in this crate when you leave you may want to put own of your t-shirts in there so that she will have something with your scent for security. The longer she lives with you the less important this is.
Be sure to leave the door of the crate open so he can come and go as he pleases, even if you are home. Sometimes dogs like to sleep in their crate because they consider it their den. Placing a blanket over it will help keep it dark, which they prefer.
4. Give your new dog lots of love and attention.
Finally, be sure to give your new dog a lot of love and attention. Dogs like to play, go on walks and cuddle on the couch while watching movies. Be sure to make an effort to find devoted time for you furry friend each day.
It is not easy to take in a shelter dog, but can be the most rewarding experience. If you are stressed the dog will be stressed. If you are calm and at ease the dog will be the same.
These are only a few tips to help you get started, but they should put you on the correct path to helping you become your dog’s new best friend. Above all else, remember that your dog deserves the time and attention that you agreed to provide when you adopted a shelter dog. Don’t be quick to give up on a dog too soon. He could become your best friend with time.