The Come and Train It K9 team is committed to teaming up with pet owners to help rescued dogs stay in their forever homes. We launched our Train 1, Save 1 program this year to support local rescue organizations, and we’ve been working with our own rescues, Roman, for about a month and Charlie, a 100 lb-Anatolian Shepherd dog for seven months. Roman is an awesome German Shepherd dog who is ready to meet his forever family. Charlie met his new family on April 17th!
Accepting a rescue dog into your home is not without challenges, but it can be very rewarding. Keep the following tips in mind as your new pet becomes part of the family.
We recognize the many challenges that arise when you open your home and heart to a rescue dog. The dog may have lost a loving home due to an owner’s life-changing event; undergone trauma resulting from abuse or from being caught up in a natural disaster; or been freed from a puppy mill. The rescue organization will tell you as much about the dog’s history and personality as they know. Before you start your search for a dog, think seriously about what you can offer. Be realistic about how much time you have to devote to a pet, think about your living situation, and your overall lifestyle.
If you are a member of a homeowner association or a renter, be aware of the limits the HOA or landlord may enforce about the size or breed of dog allowed. Your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance may also exclude certain breeds or breed types. Being practical about the time and resources you can give a dog ensures the choice you make is a good fit for your lifestyle.
You will need to designate spaces where the dog will sleep, eat, and lounge. Set aside space to store food and treats out of the reach of the dog as well as toys, leashes, and any other special equipment the dog requires. Map out a breed specific exercise plan before you bring the dog home, and walk those routes at different times of day and week to see who else is using the walkways or trails. Doing so avoids pitfalls like walking a motion sensitive dog into a pack of habitual runners, bikers, or skateboarders. Plus, this gives you the opportunity to collect information on dog friendly places from other dog owners. Proactively addressing these and other specific considerations helps to ensure the dog you adopt has found its forever home.
Give your rescue dog space to adjust to its new surroundings. Be clear and consistent about house rules. If you don’t want the dog sleeping on your bed next month, don’t let it onto the bed today. Work on basic obedience training every day and take every opportunity to praise good behavior. If you keep an eye on how the dog is behaving, especially early on, you will be able to share these observations with a professional and get advice if necessary.
As your dog becomes more comfortable in your home and adjusts to your personality, your rescue dog may begin to test the limits of acceptable behavior. This doesn’t mean you or the dog have failed the “forever home” test. Instead, consider this an opportunity for deepening your relationship through further obedience training or adding a specific training to provide an outlet for the dog to work off physical and mental energy. From agility training to scent work, there are activities for dogs of all sizes and abilities.Our combined experience in obedience, behavioral modification means the Come and Train It K9 team is ready to help you successfully integrate your rescue dog into its forever home. That’s one reason why Charlie, who once destroyed a new kennel in minutes has been trained to overcome serious separation anxiety and behavior issues. And if you’d like to adopt Roman, reach out to us today for more information about this sweetheart of a rescue dog.