Training a rescue dog

Whilst puppies are undeniably cute, more and more people are opting for an abandoned, or ‘rescue’ dog when it comes to choosing a pet. This is great news for rescue centres which are often overcrowded and under-resourced.

Whilst puppies can be mischievous and troublesome, yet endearing to train, adult rescue dogs can bring with them their own set of challenges when it comes to training and settling in your new home.

It can be frustrating, but it will ultimately be very rewarding to house a rescue dog. However, you need to bear in mind that your rescue dog may have had some very bad experiences in the past which will shape its behaviour initially. Remember that your rescue dog will need time to develop a trust with you and respond to you as their owner, and only then should you begin to train your new pet.

You may expect that your new dog will already have some basic training, but do not assume that this has happened. You may need to begin from scratch as with a puppy. Keep sessions short and snappy and ensure that you stop before your dog loses interest (and before you lose your patience!). However, remember that your rescue dog is an adult and will usually be more confident on their own than a puppy. Therefore, be mindful of where you train your dog and when you let him off his dog leash, especially before you have trained him to return on request!