Remember those sad brown eyes looking up at you from between his paws? Can you recall how hard he wagged his tail when you put your hand out toward him? Didn’t the licking win you over within seconds? Rehoming a rescued dog is a very honorable and noble thing to do. In some places, unwanted dogs are destroyed if loving homes cannot be found for them in time. But this canine chap is coming home to you! What can you offer him?
Before you can collect your newly adopted dog, you need to make sure you have everything in place for him already. Start as you mean to go on. That means deciding in advance which behaviors are appropriate and which are not, no matter how sad or cute he looks as he’s doing them. Write a list that all the family can agree on. Include all the rooms and areas of the garden he’s forbidden from. You might need to use gates to stop him in some places.
You’ll also need to have the car prepared. A waterproof backed picnic rug across the back seat or back can be handy. You should also put a guard across the passenger areas so your dog can’t move about too much. Make sure you have his new collar and a quality lead ready to go when you arrive at the dog center. It’s best not to feed your new dog until he is back home at his feeding station. If he’s travel sick after eating, you could end up with a big mess in the back!
One of the first things you might want to do when you get him home is introduce him to his bathtub! Some strays need extra bathing and grooming at first. If you’ve not had to do this much before, then pick up some tips from this guide to dog health and grooming to help you. Of course, if your dog has never been washed or groomed before, this guide might prove invaluable! Take your time, and use calming voices as much as possible.
Now he smells a lot cleaner and fresher, you’re ready to start offering him some affection. If he hasn’t eaten for a while, start with a small portion of his regular food. Give him a pat or a cuddle before placing the bowl in front of him and walking away. Some dogs can be quite possessive about food so give him the space he needs to finish his meal. When he’s done, sit down and wait for him to come over to you. As he starts to do the things you ask and behaves the way you want him to, you can begin to reward him with more food or treats to reinforce wanted behavior.
Exercising is really important for your pet. After all, he might have had only limited walks while in the kennels. Training is important too, so take your time to teach him one thing at a time. He’ll soon understand the best way to behave, but don’t be afraid to invest in some professional training classes too. Love your new dog.