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Written by various authors Curated, designed and illustrated by Sara Petrolis

Congrats on adopting! Dogs are resilient creatures; what happened to them yesterday doesn’t have to dictate what they become in the future. You can always work to mold and shape your relationship with your dog into something that gets better and better with age. Relationships are like gardens: they can look and smell like the most beautiful of sanctuaries, but only if the plants and soil are tended regularly. Gardens can get weedy and die off fast. But with a little daily maintenance, you have something beautiful to appreciate for all the love and effort that went into it. So it is with your relationship with your new dog. Put in the work and effort, but never forget to stop and enjoy how far you’ve come. When you set reasonable expectations that both of you can meet, it’s a satisfying experience and motivates you to reach another peak. Enjoy all the scenery and beauty the climb to the top has to offer; it’s the most important lesson dogs have to teach us.




Bringing Your New Dog Home

Eight essential steps to begin the process of bringing your new dog home for the first time Pg. 4


Tire Out a Hyper Dog

Different methods to getting all the energy out of your hyped up pooch Pg. 20



Six dog training tips on how to walk your dog and master the dog walk Pg. 8

Natural alternatives to reduce anxiety may produce stronger results Pg. 24

Master the Walk


Prevent Separation Anxiety

What is separation anxiety? What is not dog separation anxiety? How do you prevent separation anxiety? Your questions and concerns resolved Pg. 12

Calm an Anxious Dog


Good Advice

Essential supplies, puppy proofing, meeting children and other pets, adjustment period, establishing rules, licensing and identification, are covered Pg. 28




Home Sweet Home In order to have a well-balanced dog, we have to teach her the house rules, and set boundaries and limitations from the get-go. The message you send your dog the moment she enters your home for the first time is critical, because it immediately establishes the ground rules in your dog’s mind. If you just let her run in the door, the message is, “Here! Everything is yours, and you can do whatever you want.” By opening that door, you have told your dog, “There are no rules, boundaries or limitations.” You know where that goes: She eats shoes, won’t be housebroken, constantly begs, climbs on the furniture, jumps on people... And then you visit my website, trying to find out what is “wrong” with your new dog! The process of bringing your new dog into the home for the first time should be very deliberate and specific. Here are the eight essential steps:

1. Remain Calm When you pick the dog up, everyone must remain calm. It can be tempting to greet the new family member with excitement, but this is not the time to do it. Accept the dog into your space, but do not give more than a minimum of attention or affection yet. You’re about to remove the dog from a place that’s become familiar and take her to somewhere entirely new. And remember: This step must remain in effect through the entire process.

2. Take a Long Walk When you get home, keep your dog on the leash, because you’re


now going to go on a long walk through her new neighborhood. This serves two purposes: It will help drain her excess energy and bring her to a calm state, and it will get her used to the new smells, sights, and sounds.

3. Introduce Your Home After the walk, keep your dog on the leash for a proper introduction to the new pack den—your house, apartment, condo, etc. Bring the dog to the front door, but do not let her enter first. If you can, get her to sit or lie down as you open the door. Then, you enter first, not allowing her to follow until you invite her in.

4. Take the Tour

7. The Dog’s Bedroom

Once inside, keep your dog on the leash and lead her from room to room. Do not let her sniff or wander around. Use the leash to keep her at your side. Spend a few minutes in each room before moving on to the next, and make sure each time you go first into the next room. Every door is an opportunity to establish your leadership, you go first, the dog waits your invitation to enter or exit. Be consistent! Do not let the dog follow you into the next room until you give permission. If you have a backyard, patio, or other outside area, treat it the same way.

Likewise, if you have a special place you’d like the dog to stay when she needs to be out of the way of household activities, take her there. This is where you can finally let her off-leash. That place can be where her bed is, or a spot in the corner of the living room where you want her to lie, or her crate. By letting her off the leash here, you are telling her, “This is yours.” Don’t be surprised if she immediately decides to settle down and ignore the family for a while. This doesn’t mean she hates her new home. It means that she has found her place in it.

5. No Touch, No Talk, No Eye Contact

8. Calm-assertive Energy

During the tour, don’t speak and use only body language or simple sounds, like “Tsch!” or a finger snap, to communicate or correct. Your dog is overwhelmed right now, so the less stimulation, the better. This will help keep her focused on you.

6. The Feeding Area Once you’ve completed the tour, bring the dog to the place where the food and water will be and offer a reward with some water and a few bits of food, but not a whole bowl yet; your dog is still on her leash, remember?

Once you’ve completed the above process, establish yourself as the Pack Leader by going through the rest of your day exuding calmassertive energy. Everyone in the household should ignore the dog. You can acknowledge the dog if she joins you, of course, but don’t go overboard with affection yet. Just as you’re still getting used to her in the house, she’s getting used to being in her new house. You’ve gone a long way already toward teaching her that this is your territory and you make the rules. Now, she’s going to observe so she can figure out what the rules are, and who’s who in her new pack.



The Leadership Technique reminds us to provide


in that order. And the absolute best way to provide exercise and discipline for your dog is through


To make the walk productive and bonding, you have to be the leader. This means that you’re in front, not your dog. It helps to use a short leash with the collar up at the top of the dog’s neck, where you have the most control. Keep your leash arm down and relaxed, with the leash loose. Don’t grip tightly because that sends tense energy down the leash to your dog. Avoid harnesses for the walk, because they tend to encourage dogs to pull. And take a pass on any kind of variable-length lead, as these put your dog, not you, in control. The most important tool for the walk, though, is your calm, assertive energy. It’s a transformative attitude that actually encourages your dog to follow you. This means being fully present for your dog. The walk isn’t a time for texting or chatting on your phone. Your dog must also be present for you. Sniffing and peeing are rewards your dog needs to


earn, so during first part of the walk, keep in constant motion, mimicking the forward movement of the pack in search of food. After establishing a good balance of leadership (you) and calm, submissive walking (your dog), you can relax a bit and let your dog sniff or mark the landscape. Another skill for mastering the walk is reading other dog walkers from a distance. If their dog is out in front and pulling, and the person’s energy seems anxious with weak and uncertain body language, it’s possible their dog could exhibit some undesired behavior should you meet. It’s better for you and your dog to avoid such encounters. The walk is the perfect way to give your dog exercise, discipline, and some affection, as well as to establish rules. When you master it, you will have discovered the most rewarding and productive way to improve your relationship with your dog.

Here are six dog training tips on how to walk your dog and master the dog walk. When I’m out with my dog pack, I often walk about ten dogs at a time, sometimes even off-leash if I’m in a safe area. People are amazed by this, but it’s simple: the dogs see me as their pack leader. This is why dogs follow me wherever I go.

1 Walk in front of your dog Walking in front of your dog allows you to be seen as the pack leader. Conversely, if your dog controls you on the walk, he’s the pack leader. You should be the first one out the door and the first one in. Your dog should be beside or behind you during the walk.

2 Use a short dog leash This allows you to have more control. Attaching the leash to the very top of the neck can help you more easily communicate, guide, and correct your dog. If you need additional help, consider the Pack Leader Collar. Always keep your dog’s safety in mind when giving corrections.

3 Give yourself enough time for the dog walk Dogs, like humans, are diurnal, so taking walks in the morning is ideal. I recommend setting aside thirty minutes to a full hour. The specific needs of each dog differ. Consult your vet and keep an eye on your dog’s behavior to see if his needs are being met.

4 How to reward your dog during the walk After your dog has maintained the proper state of mind, reward him by allowing him to relieve himself and sniff around. Then you need to decide when reward time is over. It should always be less than the time spent focused on the walk.

5 Keep leading, even after the walk When you get home, don’t stop leading. Have your dog wait patiently while you put away his leash or take off your shoes.

6 Reward your dog after the walk. By providing a meal after the walk, you have allowed your dog to “work” for food and water.





What is dog separation anxiety? Dogs with separation anxiety have never been properly conditioned to being left alone and therefore go into a frantic state of mind when separated from their owners (even when their owners are simply out of sight). Preventing separation anxiety in dogs has become a personal battle of mine. I have seen way too many rescue dogs with separation issues. If dogs can learn how to be relaxed and quiet when left alone, they are a lot less likely to end up in a pound or shelter.

What is NoT dog separation anxiety? All dogs need a reasonable amount of time to adjust to a new home. Most dogs will cry in their kennels for a bit for the first couple of nights or weeks, but then they settle in just fine once they adjust to the new routine. Separation anxiety in dogs is overly diagnosed. It bothers me how often dogs are said to have “separation anxiety” when really they just need exercise, training, a routine and a little time. A dog that is given little or no exercise, no mental stimulation and no time with a “pack” is going to be bored out of his mind. Of course he’s going to bark, destroy property or rip apart his kennel when left alone. He has nothing else to do! Veterinarians are quick to prescribe Prozac to dogs without addressing the real (behavioral) problem. Unfortunately vets are fully aware that the average dog owner is not going to follow through with the adequate training, socialization and exercise a dog needs. Dog owners want a quick fix and drugs are often the answer. This is terrible. Separation anxiety is very time consuming to correct. It is stressful on the owner, the dog and all other family members and pets – and neighbors! For your own sanity, do all you can to prevent separation anxiety.


How do I prevent dog separation anxiety?


Do not carry your puppy everywhere A lot of small dogs develop separation anxiety because they are carried around all the time. They are literally treated like babies. They are cradled or coddled at all times. They never have to think for themselves. They are not encouraged to explore or be independent. They never learn proper socialization skills because their owners pick them up when the dogs are faced with anything new. Some of these dogs become insecure, fearful and anxious without their owners in sight. Others become overly possessive of their owners and bite anyone who comes close. This can be prevented by treating the dog like a dog.


Don’t reward bad behavior Do not pick your puppy up if she cries or jumps on you. This is the kind of behavior you do not want to reward. Completely ignore your dog when she cries or jumps on you for attention. Do not look at her. Do not scold her. Get up and leave the room if you have to. Your attention is a reward, and she only gets it when she is being calm and quiet and respectful.


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Reward good behavior Reward your dog with attention when she is calm and quiet. A reward can be something as simple as eye contact, a pat on the head or a treat. But this is also a good time to pick your dog up.

Teach “stay” Teach your puppy to “stay” for long periods of time. All dogs should be able to lie down and stay for at least a half-hour, especially when there are no distractions such as when you are watching TV or checking email. Teach your dog to stay on her “place” or “bed” while you leave the room. Ace prefers to follow me from room to room, but he will stay on his bed downstairs without a fuss if I tell him to stay.




Separate yourself and your puppy You and your dog will naturally want to be together, but you can’t be together all the time. It’s important to help puppies learn to feel comfortable being separated from you. Make sure you are creating these scenarios, even when you are home. Tether your dog to a chair or table and walk away Return only when she is quiet. This could take a few minutes. Heck, it could take an hour! If your puppy won’t stop crying, just wait her out and return when she has been quiet for even five seconds. If she starts celebrating and barking as you approach, turn around and ignore her again until she is quiet. Having your attention is the greatest reward for your dog. Kennel your dog when you are home This could be for 10 minutes or an hour or two. It’s the same concept as above. Only return when your dog is quiet. Kenneling your dog when you are home will also help her feel more comfortable in her kennel because she won’t associate it with you leaving the house. Make sure to stock the kennel full of goodies like Kongs filled with frozen peanut butter and treats. Shut doors behind you If you have a pup who follows you into the bathroom, then close the door in her face and make her wait for you. This is an easy way to create temporary separation. If she scratches at the door or cries, do not open the door. Opening the door is too much of a reward. Create boundaries Don’t let your puppy crawl into your lap unless she sits quietly first. Don’t let her sleep in your bed until she is a confident and well-trained dog. Puppies do not belong on the bed.


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Leave your puppy with a friend Most dogs are happy to stay with someone else. That’s what you want. You do not want your dog sitting at the door pining over you the whole time you are gone. If your dog has trouble “forgetting” you, then bring his absolute favorite treats and toys along for your friend to entice him with until you get back. Walks usually help, too.

Leave your puppy at a dog daycare I’m not saying you have to take your dog to dog daycare every day or every week, but it’s good for dogs to get out and stretch their boundaries every now and then without their owners hovering. It’s good for the owners, too! It’s so hard for me to leave Ace somewhere overnight, but I know it’s good for me! I’m probably the one with separation anxiety.

Have a routine for before you leave Sticking to the same routine when you leave your dog home alone will really help your dog feel secure. Before you head to work, maybe you go for a 30-minute walk with your dog, then shower, then eat breakfast, then put her in her kennel and then get ready. Dogs really depend on a routine to help them feel secure.

Make sure all the dogs’ needs are met Dogs that are not given any physical, mental or emotional challenges on a daily basis will likely be very anxious, hyperactive and “crazy” dogs. Be fair to your dog and provide her with the daily exercise and training she needs. Spend time with her. Stretch her boundaries. And never assume that small dogs or “lazy” breeds do not need exercise. They do.


Don’t make an event out of leaving Ignore your dog for 20 minutes before you leave and for 10 minutes after you return. Making an event out of coming or going confirms that being apart was bad. Being apart is not bad, it’s normal. So, completely ignore your dog before you leave the house. Don’t talk to her. Don’t make eye contact. Don’t even look at her. Drawn-out goodbyes will only make her feel anxious. She will pick up on your feelings of guilt. When you return, do the same. Do not look at her or acknowledge her at all. If she is barking in her kennel, that gives you even more reason to ignore her. If you don’t kennel your dog and she greets you by jumping and crying, walk into another room like she doesn’t exist. Return when she is relaxed. This is the perfect time to take her for a walk.

If dogs can learn how to be relaxed and quiet when left alone, they are a lot less likely to end up in a pound or shelter. 19



All Dogs Are Different Some dogs take a one-mile walk and are tuckered out for the rest of the day. Others can play fetch for two hours and stare blankly at you, as if to say, “What now?” Tiring out your hyper pup calls for a lot of physically demanding exercise and a bit of mental stimulation. A day at the dog park and a night with the treat dispenser can work wonders.

1. Take at least two walks a day With a hyper puppy on your hands, occasional walks aren’t going to calm her. Even twice-daily walks won’t do the trick without supplemental exercise, but the walks are a good start, especially if your little girl isn’t used to them.

2. Take your pup to a dog park or enclosed area Running down other dogs, romping around and having a bunch of canine fun is where your pup will get really worn out and blow through her massive energy reserves. Off-leash exercise is vital for any dog, but especially a hyper one. If you don’t feel comfortable at dog parks, or if your pup’s too aggressive, take her to an enclosed area or field and let her run around freely. Throw her favorite ball as far as you can and make her chase you.

3. Play games every day When you wake up in the morning, play fetch for 30 minutes or so. Play other games, like tug-o-war, as time allows. A 5 or 10 minute session of fetch isn’t going to put a dent into her energy level, but a few longer sessions throughout the day can help tire her out.

4. Outfit her in a backpack and take a hike Backpacking doesn’t only allow your pup to look cool and flashy in front of all her canine friends, it’s also extremely effective at tiring her butt out. Remember to start out slow and let her adjust to the physical demands of backpacking. Plot out your trip and take a leisurely walk the first few times, then place a light backpack on her and gradually increase the weight she has to lug around.


5. Go for a swim Swimming requires a lot of work on the part of your pup. A little time at the lake puts a 2-mile walk to shame. As with backpacking, start out slow. If your little girl has never been in water before, she may be hesitant. Lure her in with tasty treats or one of her favorite toys. Always choose a lake that allows dogs. For the first few times, go on a weekday, if possible. The fewer people and dogs she encounters, the less hesitant she’ll likely appear.

6. Exercise her mind Even with a day full of physical stimulation, your pup might still appear restless at night instead of zonked out by the couch. Mental stimulation is just as important as physical stimulation. Practice obedience and new tricks, give her a treat dispenser to toy around with or create a puzzle or two for her to figure out. For example, let’s say you have a small cardboard mailing box lying around. Hide her favorite toy inside of it and fold the flaps down so she has to figure out a way to retrieve the toy.

Mental stimulation is just as important as physical stimulation. Practice obedience and new tricks, 23




Dogs, like humans, get anxious. They sense a shift in their surroundings and respond according to their nature. Some canines are naturally laid back and can shake off the stress, with no problem. Others, however, internalize the anxiety and may shiver themselves into nervous collapse. Most veterinarians will offer a variety of medications to keep their patients on an even keel. The side effects of anti-anxiety medication may be worse than the symptoms of the condition. Natural alternatives may produce stronger results with less strain on a dog’s internal organs.

Aromatherapy The practice of aromatherapy is as old as the hills and may be quite effective. Lavender is the most recommended for a calm environment. Some other scents to play with are rose, bergamot, and sandalwood. It’s best to stick with essential oils in their purest form, heated with a diffuser. Air fresheners may contain other additives and won’t achieve the same results.

Herbs All hail the chamomile. Not only is this herb good for anxiety, it also is excellent at relieving gassiness, as an anti-inflammatory, good for cleaning wounds and getting rid of worms. Chamomile may be given as a tea or in a tincture. Another herbal alternative for a nervous pooch is oats. Add cooked oatmeal to a dog’s meal to ease the stress of their day. Lemon balm, an additional herbal supplement, reduces a dog’s excitability level from cartwheels to a low hum.

Acupressure Not to be confused with the needle poking acupuncture, acupressure is nothing more than applying pressure to certain areas to produce a calmer dog. The Thundercoat is one product that uses the acupressure technique to alleviate a dog’s anxiety in stressful situations such as storms, fireworks, or a visit from a family member who doesn’t acknowledge boundaries. As successful as the Thundercoat has been for thousands of owners, there have been quite a few misses as well.


Some of those fails have been due to misuse. The effectiveness of any acupressure application is intended for short term fixes only. Prolonged wearing of the coat or the application of pressure lessens its usefulness and brings back the anxiety.

Exercise Sports coaches the world over have urged their players to run it out. There is a method to their sadistic madness. With exercise, endorphins are released, the mood elevates, and silliness falls by the wayside. Sometimes an anxious dog needs to get out and run the stress off. Using one or a combination of these suggestions may help a dog ease some of the anxiety they endure. Consulting with a certified, professional dog trainer may also help pave the way to a calmer home vibe. By talking with a trainer, they may pinpoint exactly what is stressing the dog out and offer suggestions and training on desensitization.




CARING FoR YoUR NEW DoG The key to helping your new dog make a successful adjustment to your home is being prepared and being patient. It can take anywhere from two days to two months for you and your pet to adjust to each other. The following tips can help ensure a smooth transition.

Essential Supplies: LEASH & COLLAR: A breakaway collar is a good choice for everyday wear. They are designed to unsnap easily if the collar gets caught on something so your dog doesn’t get choked. For walks, a buckle collar or harness is a better choice because they are designed not to unsnap easily so your dog doesn’t run off. FOOD & WATER DISHES: Pick a spot and leave them in the same place so your dog knows exactly where to go for water. Make sure the water bowl is clean and has fresh water at all times. CRATE: Crates make the adjustment period less stressful for you and your new fur-baby. The crate should be big enough for your dog to stand up, turn completely around and lie down comfortably in. However, if the crate is too big your dog may have accidents in it, so pay attention to crate dimensions and the dog weight/height that is recommended.


FOOD: Changing a dog’s food abruptly can cause diarrhea, sometimes for several weeks. To avoid this, continue feeding the same food provided by the foster home, or mix the old with the new to gradually adjust your dog to a new diet. Instructions on switching to a new food as well as guidelines on how much to feed your dog and how often should be on the bag itself, however most dog food brands also have this information on their website. TOYS: Safe toys help dogs ease stress and, of course, have fun! Having toys available will ease the adjustment period. Always supervise your dog when playing with toys. You can leave him alone with heavy duty toys like Kongs, but check for damage periodically to avoid choking hazards.

Puppy Proofing: Even if your dog is older, curiosity can get the better of him. Make sure your home is a safe place for him by putting yourself in his paws. Crawl around on the floor and check out any potential dangers. Electrical cords, poisonous houseplants, and any item small enough to swallow are just a few of the things that should be out of his reach. Veterinarians perform more surgeries to remove strange objects that a dog has swallowed than for anything else. Even after puppy proofing, it’s a good idea to not leave him unsupervised in the house until he has learned what is off limits. That way he won’t have the chance to develop any bad habits while you’re not looking! You’ll also avoid having to buy all new shoes because he chewed up one from each pair. If your dog destroys something that is valuable to you, it is your fault for making it available to him. Dogs have no concept of how much something costs, and they don’t chew things to spite you. They do it because it is fun. Dogs also chew to relieve stress, so a dog who normally doesn’t chew things may do so when under stress. Make available appropriate chew toys and keep items you don’t want chewed out of reach!

Licensing & Identification: If your city requires dogs to be licensed, get this taken care of right away. Licenses can usually be purchased at the Vet’s office. Even if your city does not require a license, it’s a good idea to provide contact information on your dog’s collar. If your pet is lost or stolen, microchipping is a good way to ensure his safe return. Collars can come off, but microchips are there to stay.

IT’s importan t to be prepared before you take you r new dog home!


Meeting the Children: The kids are probably beside themselves with excitement about the new doggie. They probably can’t wait to play with him and show him just how much they love him. Prepare your children ahead of time so that they understand the boundaries. •  L et your children meet the new dog BEFORE he comes home. •  W hen the new dog does come home, keep him on leash and have your children sit down to say hello. Sitting will help them be calmer which will help your dog be more relaxed. • A lways supervise children with dogs, no matter how small the dog. This is for the safety of your dog and your child. •  T each your children not to pinch, pull, or squeeze the dog. •  I f your dog is nervous, ask the children to give him a break until he gets comfortable with them. •  D on’t let children feed your new dog until he is settled in. •  D on’t let your children take the dog’s toys, and don’t let your dog take the children’s toys. •  D on’t let children walk the dog without adult supervision. • S et up a “safe” place for your new pet that is off limits to children. A crate is great for this. Instruct the children not to try and play with him when he is in his safe place.


Meeting the Other Pet(s): Hopefully, the pets you already have are just as excited about the new addition as you are. Supervise all interactions. Observe all pets for signs of stress and separate them to give them a break. Cats should always have a quick escape route! • L  et your pet(s) meet the new dog BEFORE he comes home, if possible. We recommend taking the dogs on a walk together so they begin to feel like a pack. • W hen the new dog does come home, re-introduce all pets with the new dog in a crate for safety. Wait until all pets are calm and relaxed, even if that takes several hours, before introducing each pet on leash. Watch for signs that either pet is stressed, and separate if necessary. Do not try to push them to be friends too fast. Slower is better! • D on’t change the routine for the resident pet. • C  rate the new dog periodically to give your resident pet a break, especially if he seems stressed or annoyed with the new dog. Your new dog may spend a lot of time crated in the first week or two, but a slow introduction is better in the long run for everyone. • Spend time individually with the new dog and the resident pet. • S  upervise playing with toys to prevent spats. Providing one more toy than there are dogs is a good practice. This way, if one dog gets tired of a toy, there is an option other than stealing from the other dog. Wait a couple of weeks before giving them something of high value such as a stuffed bone or rawhide. • E  nforce the rules right away with the new dog. Dogs thrive on rules and consistency. It can make them anxious if another pet breaks the rules.



Adjustment Period: Moving to a new home can be stressful for dogs. It’s an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people. Some dogs experience stomach upset and diarrhea. House-trained dogs may regress and have accidents. Some will shy away from you for a while until you earn their trust. Be patient with your baby. It may take a while for him to adore you as much as you adore him. How long it takes is different for every dog. It could take anywhere from three days to three months for your new dog to settle in. Just be patient with him and show him in all of your actions that he is safe with you. If you’re adopting a puppy rather than an adult dog, expect an IF YOU’RE adjustment period for yourself, too! ADOPTING A PUPPY Adopting a puppy is like having a RATHER THAN AN baby. There will be lots of potty breaks because their bladder isn’t ADULT DOG, EXPECT yet fully developed. Expect to get up AN ADJUSTMENT a couple of times during the night PERIOD FOR for potty breaks. If you work, plan to come home everyday at lunch to let YOURSELF, TOO! your puppy outside to potty. If you can’t come home, consider hiring a pet sitter. Or, use an X-pen instead of a crate and set up a potty area on one side. Just know that a puppy HAS TO potty several times a day and plan accordingly. We recommend writing down every time the dog goes potty (both outside and accidents) so you can begin to see their patterns and how frequently they need to go out. Puppies will also chew on everything available, so don’t make anything available that he shouldn’t chew on.

Establishing the Rules: It can be tempting when you bring home a new dog to be a little lax on the rules. Resist the temptation now so you can avoid problems later on. It’s much easier to prevent a bad habit from starting than it is to break one. Not only that, but dogs, like children, like rules and structure. It makes them feel more secure to know exactly what is expected of them and exactly what happens if they don’t follow the rules. It also keeps order in the household. If you have other pets who already know the


rules, they can get quite stressed out by an unruly newcomer. Whatever you do, do NOT feel sorry for your poor little rescue dog. Nobody wants pity, dogs included. For your dog’s best interest, put whatever sad past he may have had behind him and live in the current moment. He’s with you now, happy and cared for; he has no need for pity. •  D o not leave your new dog unsupervised in the house unless he is crated until he has learned the rules. This way, you can prevent bad habits from forming. If you don’t see him, you can’t stop him! •  N o unsupervised time unless crated also helps with house-training. If he doesn’t have a chance to make a mistake, the bad habit won’t form. •  I f you don’t want dogs on the furniture, don’t let him on the furniture just because he’s new. EXPECT YOUR DOG TO BREAK THE RULES FREQUENTLY IN THE BEGINNING. HE IS NOT BEING STUBBORN OR DIFFICULT. Dogs have a hard time generalizing, which means that something he learns in the living room will have to be learned all over again in the kitchen and again in the bedroom. It’s easy to get frustrated when you feel like he should understand already, but he still doesn’t. It helps to have a sense of humor. It can take 30-50 or more perfect repetitions before a dog truly “gets” a command.

Training & Behavior: Just like children, dogs need to be taught good behavior. Whether you’re bringing home a puppy or an adult, you can expect that he will do some things that you don’t approve of and maybe have some bad habits. Your dog will need to be taught how you want him to behave. The easiest and most fun way to teach your dog is to take him to “school” (training classes). You both get to meet other people and dogs. You get the benefit of expert knowledge and immediate feedback. Your dog gets socialization. Both of you may even make a new friend there. You can also work on teaching your dog yourself. There are lots of resources available, but it can be difficult to determine which information is bad and which is good. If your dog has habits you’d like to break, don’t


give up on him. Teach him instead! Consistency and persistency are key. Be consistent with your verbal cues and hand motions - “sit” and “sit down” sound very different to a dog. One word commands combined with a hand signal are best! Be persistent with your training and set aside time to practice every day until (and even after) your dog reliably responds to your commands. Training also makes dogs happy. Studies on the brain show that animals like to have their brains challenged. The mental exercise can be just as rewarding (and exhausting) to your dog as physical exercise. As long as you use positive methods to teach your dog, he will LOVE learning. Training also helps your dog understand that they are supposed to take direction from you.


Sources: Congrats on Adopting! By Jen Germann, Dogs Out Loud Bringing Your New Dog Home By Cesar Millan Master the Walk By Cesar Millan Prevent Separation Anxiety By Lindsay Stordahl How to Tire a Hyper Dog By Chris Miksen How To Calm An Anxious Dog By Renee Moen Caring For Your New Dog (Good Advice) All images are free from copyright restrictions


Notes, Ideas, thoughts

Notes, Ideas, thoughts

Pawsitively Perfect  

A handbook to prepare people for dealing with adopted dogs. It also covers problems you may encounter with a shelter dog and how to solve th...

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