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We just adopted our new friend! How do I help them settle in?

Did you know? It can take up to three months for a rescue dog to get used to being in a new home. 

Seeing your new pup in the rescue and hearing the sad story of how he/she got there can pull at your heartstrings. Wanting to shower them with affection is very tempting  But what they actually need in those first few months is space, a simple routine, and time to get to know and trust you on their own terms.

For many new owners, this approach can seem to go against what they believe. After all, there’s so much emphasis put on socializing new puppies and rescue dogs. But dog trainer and behavior consultant Mary Angilly, who works with high-risk rescue dogs, believes every new puppy or dog should have ample time to decompress when entering a new home.

All dogs are unique, of course, but it’s unrealistic to expect any dog to arrive instantly well-adjusted and impeccably behaved.

Angilly explains, “While [owners] might have the best intentions, new dogs have no idea where they are, who they’re with, or what is happening, and it takes time to build a positive relationship.”

Stick to a Routine. Predictability is reassuring for dogs, particularly if they’re nervous. “A routine and quiet atmosphere are essential when first taking a dog home, generally for at least a few weeks.” This period could be even more unsettling for rescue dogs. “Some have come from multiple shelters and foster homes, have had long transport rides, and have received necessary, but likely stressful, medical care and behavior evaluations,” says Angilly. “This can understandably cause a great deal of stress for even the most well-adjusted dog.”

For more information, advice and to read this article in its entirety, click here.


This article is credited to and written by Gemma Johnstone for AKC.



Recall training

Training your dog on recall takes time but is one of the most important things your dog should know. Recently, an adopter reached out to us because they wanted to train their new pup on recall. Many of our suggestions are widely used by trainers. It can be a fun time for both owner and dog. It can also become frustrating if the owner doesn't take the time or have the proper skills to teach reliable recall. 

Reliable recall is a very important skill for your dog. Proper training is necessary to be successful and in the end, some dogs never learn reliable recall. 

Some tools to use are

  • Long leash

  • High-value treats

  • Family or friends (for distractions)

  • Fenced in area 


And remember PATIENCE is key! Rome wasn't built in a day or a week!


For more information on teaching reliable recall, click here. You can also send us a message with any questions and we would be more than happy to help!



Kids and dogs - Scenarios to consider

Here is a great article from the Behavior Matters Academy. It’s a quick read and very informative. Go check them out on Facebook as well!


Remember, we're here to help, so please reach out!

Our goal is to keep dogs in their home if possible. We can help with some behavior issues, offer tips and tricks, as well as resources to help your dog settle into his or her new home. Please reach out!

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