Thinking of rescuing a shelter dog?
If you are looking at getting a new dog and are thinking of rescuing a shelter dog, please ensure you are prepared for the challenges it may present.
In the last few months I’ve seen quite a few clients that are having issues with their new addition to the family. Rescuing a shelter dog is a great option and a great way of getting a new dog but it’s important you ensure you are the right person for the dog. Please also ensure you can fulfil the dog’s needs.
Unfortunately, physically removing a dog from the pound or shelter isn’t enough if you truly want to rescue a shelter dog. It’s critical to the dog that you rescue the mind too. Most dogs are in shelters for a reason, it is not often you will see someone surrender their dog if it is well behaved. Most, not all, but most dogs from a shelter will come with some form of behavioural problem. Simply assuming you can fix them by providing a loving home may result in the dog being returned to the shelter.
Ask yourself why you want a dog
If it is to satisfy your own needs or because you feel sorry for the dog then maybe you need to reconsider if it is the best option. These are not the right reasons to be bringing any dog into the home especially one which is likely to have pre-existing behavioural problems. I understand that people’s hearts are in the right place but sadly this alone is not enough to help the dog.
Before you rescue a shelter dog
Before you take on a rescuing a shelter dog please ensure you find out as much as you can about the dog.
You should be able to take it for a walk and observe a few things; What’s it like around other dogs? Does it growl or bite if you touch its paws and so on. These are the sorts of things you must know before you take them home.
Be sure to only take on a dog you can manage. You need to dedicate at least 1 hour a day for physical exercise and burn out the mind by setting up your home with rules and boundaries, establishing leadership straight away is essential.
It’s vital you ensure you can match the energy level of the dog, if you are a low energy person and you adopt a high energy dog you will be sure to experience even more behavioural problems.
If you are rescuing a shelter dog which is nervous, anxious or timid dog be careful not to nurture them. Because we feel sorry for the dog and we know it’s had a hard life we tend to over compensate, which in turn actually makes the dog worse.
We always make excuses for rescue dogs, but in truth we are the ones that hold the dog back. Remember, dogs live in the moment and with your guidance there is no reason why your dog cannot move forward and improve its self-esteem and confidence.
Kat’s 4 Dogs professional advice
Ideally, seek professional advice as soon as you adopt the dog. Don’t wait for problems to occur. Call me first on 0488 908 048 for advice on how to go about rescuing a shelter dog.