Once your Rescued Dog is Home

Once your Rescued Dog is Home….

Congratulations on adopting your pet!

 The following tips are crucial to setting the stage for a happy ever after for both you and your new dog.

 We ask that you initial and date both pages of this checklist, so we can ensure that Tara’s House has conveyed and each new adopter understands the commitment required when adopting a rescued dog.

1.  Patience.  Patience is crucial.  Your new dog does not know where he is, who you are, whether he will be fed, be let out to relieve himself or even be safe.  Please give him plenty of time to acclimate and learn.  Don’t rush him to interact with you, family members, neighbors, friends or yours or other dogs and cats.

2.  It will take your rescued dog an average of 7 days to simply decompress and begin to relax.
It will take your new dog an average of 4-6 weeks to start to learn your routine.  You will need to teach him your routine – you cannot assume he knows it.  The best way for him to learn is through repetition and consistency:  feed him, let him out or take him for walks at the same time each day, praising him when he does what you ask.

3.  If your new dog is child-friendly, introduce the new dog to immediate family children slowly.  Never force the interaction or allow the dog to be cornered to or have too much stimulation and feel overwhelmed.  Remember your home and your environment is all new to your dog.  Just as the dog needs to be taught to be respectful with children, children need to be taught to be gentle and respectful of the dog.

4.  Take the time to introduce your new dog to family dogs slowly. Keep the rescued dog separate from existing house dogs for at least a week (if not two – see the “2 week shut down” attachment we provided to you, attached to your approval email) so he can decompress and begin to form a bond with you.  Then introduce slowly. You want the new dog to transition into the pack without incident. Sometimes you can just tell that all dogs are fine with each other right away but always monitor the interaction just in case.

5.  If your new dog is cat friendly, let your new dog decompress for at least a week by himself then slowly…oh so slowly integrate the animals together. Never force the introduction and always allow the cat a way to escape from the interaction with the dog.

6.  While your dog may have been housebroken in the foster home, this may not be the case in a new home.  Be patient.  Teach the dog where to eliminate. He can’t be expected to know where to go and what to do in a new environment unless he is taught and he learns by repetition, consistency and praise when he goes in the right place.

7.   Remember that you made the decision care for this dog and make him a member of your family.  We cannot stress how important patience is during the first few months with a rescued dog.

The beauty of a rescued dog is watching his personality emerge as he trusts, gains confidence and feels safe.

If you need assistance during the acclimation period or with introductions to children, dogs and cats, or if certain behavior issues have surfaced at any time, seek a professional to help you. Let us know.  Tara’s House can recommend behavior consultants and trainers in your area, and many will offer a rescue discount for their services.