Thursday, March 23, 2017

Welcoming a Rescue Dog

Chad Faglier is both a project manager and a dog lover. A believer in animal rescue, Chad Faglier enjoys knowing that formerly homeless dogs have found loving homes.

Adopting a rescue dog means preparing to meet the dog's physical, emotional, and social needs. Perhaps the simplest part is gathering supplies, such as food bowls and leashes. The new owner should also purchase a collar with an identification tag as soon as possible, in case the dog gets loose in its first days at home.

The owner will need to find places for all of the dog's items and decide where in the home the dog will be allowed to go. If certain rooms will be off limits, it may be necessary to block them with baby gates. The owner should also have a schedule in mind for feeding, walks, and toileting, and should know who in the household will do each of those things.

The day the dog comes home should be a quiet one. Dogs feel comfortable when they meet one person at a time, and it is ideal if this can happen outside. The dog can then also take some time to explore the yard and find a toileting space. If the dog uses the space, the owner should have a treat ready as a reward.

The dog's first time through the house should be on a leash, so that the owner can redirect it away from any forbidden spots. Over the next few days, the owner can watch the dog and get to know its behavior, while also helping the dog to understand its routine. The dog will feel most comfortable if the owner can be home most of the time in these early days. 

It is necessary to spend time with the dog to establish a relationship. This allows the owner to take a patient approach to acclimating the dog to its new situation and to provide gentle and positive training. Eventually, this patience can pay off in the form of a loving new family member.