Taking in a shelter dog

When taking a dog into your home that has previously been housed in a shelter, it is important to get off on the right foot with your new pet. Although you may have carefully selected a dog from the shelter that has the temperament that you want or can deal with, the dog will still come with some baggage. It is your responsibility to spend time with your new pet and mould him into a well behaved house pet. You may choose wisely but the hard work is really up to you once you bring the dog home.

Exercise your new dog well – a tired dog may not have the energy to be too naughty or mischievous and if the dog is anxious in your home, a good walk will help. Establish yourself as the pack leader by instilling some strict rules in your home. Make sure that the dog knows what is off limits.

Although you may think this is harsh and want to smoother your dog with lots of attention that you assume has been lacking in the shelter, it is important for insecure dogs to have a strong sense of who is in charge and this can be achieved in a firm but nonaggressive manner. The dog will respond better to some boundaries. Show affection to your dog when he is well behaved, otherwise you will be encouraging behaviours that may eventually drive you crazy. Pretty soon your shelter dog will be a part of the family.