Rescues Need Love and Structure, Not Coddling & Enabling
It’s hard not to coddle a rescue dog. Some of them prior to adoption have dealt with pitiful lives filled with brutal neglect and abuse. Some have lived in shelters since they were born. Many rescue dogs, without the right structure and consistent care in life, can develop behavioral problems. This is always the risk with rescue dogs, but ANY dog can have problematic behaviors.
When a rescue is adopted and brought to the home, it’s perfectly fine to give the dog an easy period to get comfortable and adjust. Once they start to settle in, it is important to show the dog how to behave in the home and outside the home. Rescue dogs normally have a huge period of their life where there was no structure or guidance for them. Instilling these principles will help your rescue dog, where as coddling could enable their bad behaviors, whether it’s their fearfulness, their anxiety, their unruly manners, their aggression, etc.
The best thing a rescue dog can have is an owner that is loving, but is also consistently leading their dog to better decisions, and redirecting them away from poor choices. Structure might sound mean to some people, but it actually is a great way for your dog to feel comfortable and acclimate to his/her’s new life with you. The routines allows dogs to have an idea what to anticipate, rather than second guessing or anxiously wondering all the time. Enforcing basic manners and obedience shows your rescue what you expect of them now that they are living with you – a behaved, but still happy dog that knows how to listen, even when their distracted. Rescues benefit from owners that take on a leadership role, rather than letting the rescue take it. This could cause behavior issues where the dog thinks they can do whatever they want, and some dogs might not want to take that role and consequently, develop more anxiety.
Overall, rescue dogs need love, but also direction. They need to be set up for success, and at the same time, be given set boundaries so they know what it is you desire from them. Let your rescue bond with you…you can achieve this through training and showing them how to be a happy, well-mannered dog!
If you’re having issues with your rescue, or they are not adjusting well in your new home, don’t send them back to the shelter! The problems won’t go away that way, and they will just move onto the next owner, or they are stuck in the shelter for life. Give us a call instead, we can help you and your rescue dog find happiness and behavioral balance! Our offices can be reached at 800-649-7297!