There are some common issues that are reported by those who adopt rescue dogs.
Knowing about them ahead of time can help you be prepared in case you encounter
If dogs lose or are abandoned by their owners, they can develop overly intense
attachments to subsequent owners. If you take a week off to be with your new dog,
spending all your time with him, and then head off to work the next week, this
dramatic shift can be too much for some dogs and trigger separation anxiety. It’s
great if you want to take extra time to be with your new companion, but part of that
time should be used to train him to be OK with time by himself.
Don’t smother your new dog with attention when you first bring him home. You
will want to! But if you shower him with attention, invite all of your friends and
family to come see him, and take him everywhere with you, you are setting him up
for a rude awakening when the party is eventually over. You could be causing
Instead, give your dog attention, but in more realistic doses. You will have your
new companion for the rest of his life, so don’t try to introduce him to
everything in the first month. Pace yourselves. Don’t let him sleep on the bed at
first. Take a couple of months to see how he settles in and adjusts before you get
him used to sleeping on your bed. From the start, crate him for a few minutes,
even when you are home. Gradually work up to longer periods of time so that he
gets used to being apart from you. (If he is not yet crate-trained, start on that
If you think that your dog is showing signs of separation anxiety—clinginess to
you, whining when you prepare to leave, refusing to eat when you are gone,
drooling, destructiveness around escape routes—don’t wait. Contact a professional
to help you before the problem gets more pronounced and ingrained.
It is very common for a rescue dog to have accidents in his new home. The dog
may never have truly been house-trained. Even if he learned not to eliminate in his
previous home, he may not necessarily transfer that behavior to your home.
You can prevent this from becoming a problem by implementing a house-training
program right away when you bring your new dog home. Pretend that he isn’t
house-trained, even if you have been assured that he is. If he is house-trained, you
will sail through the program quickly. If he isn’t, then you’ll be preventing
accidents from ever getting started.
Prepare a rescue dog’s new home with you by learning about common issues that can occur.