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Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks - Training Your Rescue Dog

 by petbucket on 25 Jun 2015 |
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If you have adopted an older rescue dog, you will be giving them a second chance at the life they deserve. The thing is, they might come along with their own baggage. The good news is that you can train a rescue dog if you stick with it and have the patience to see them through the process. Here are four things that you need to do as your rescue dog's new owner to get them ready for a basic level of training.
 
1. Gaining Your New Pet's Trust
A big part of training your new rescue dog will be getting them to feel comfortable and a part of their new pack. Your new dog will start to feel more comfortable when routines for feeding, bedtime and exercise are established. Use play and feeding to gain your dog's trust and use these as positive interactions to get your dog used to their new surroundings.
 
2. Garner What You Can About Your Dog's History
Your dog's past will always be a mystery, but if there is any information you can gather about their previous environment you might be able better understand your dog's needs. If your dog was always in an outside environment, you can be more patient with housebreaking. It they were always with other dogs, you might even want to think about adopting another dog as a buddy.
 
3. Training for Owners as Well
Get your dog in to see a professional trainer and be sure to have one-on-one lessons without other dogs present. If you have a dog that may be overly anxious or aggressive, a trainer will be able to teach you tips on how to calm you dog and establish dominance. A lot of training and guidance will fall into your hands, so you need to be ready to teach your dog how to be a part of your family and what the expectations are.
 
4. Get a Vet Visit In
A veterinarian can assess if there are emotional or cognitive problems with your dog. There might be some problems with your dog that you can't undo, but it is good to know so that you don't lose patience and can switch training tactics if needed. If your rescue dog has physical limitations such as blindness or hearing loss, work with your vet and trainer to try different training methods.
 
If your rescue dog has come to you with little training or has behavior issues, it is still up to you to keep them safe and you under control. This might be a slow process, but is worth the effort once your dog starts to relax and become a part of your home. Most dogs want to learn and have your approval - you just have to know how to ask for it.

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