What to expect when you adopt a rescue

“Puppy proofing” your home, socialisation, potty training and all basic training takes time, effort and patience.  Your new family member has undergone a lot of stress.  They came to the shelter as a stray or their family relinquished them.  When coming into your home, they have no way of knowing what’s next – even for the friendliest, stable dog.

Adjustment period

  • Try to limit your time away from the dog for the first few days – they need consistency and calm.
  • Dogs are den animals so having an appropriate crate creates a safe place for your dog to rest.  Place a blanket in the crate for their comfort.
  • Limit your dog to one room or area to allow them to get used to the sounds and smells of the new home
  • NEVER let your rescue dog alone in the house with existing pets until you have carefully monitored and controlled interaction for a period of time
  • Closely monitor the dog outside.  Do not leave them alone in the yard without adult supervision until you feel they can be trusted with children and won’t dig under or climb over the fence.
  • Just like people, dogs need structure and leadership.  Dogs respond well to routine – try to keep meals, walks and bedtime as consistent as possible.
  • Practice obedience training calmly and consistently.
  • Praise good behavior – you will be amazed how quickly dogs learn what is acceptable with positive reinforcement.

House training accidents

  • Your dog is in a new territory and is establishing a new routine, so ACCIDENTS WILL HAPPEN.  Learn their cues.
  • Prior to bringing your new dog into the home, take them to their potty area on leash.  Praise them when they goe.  This routine should continue until they understand.


  • Give the dog time to acclimate to their new environment before meeting strangers
  • Although you may want to keep your dog quiet for the first couple days, it is very important for them to meet new people as well as new dogs.   Introduce initially slowly and quietly – remember EVERYTHING is new to him.