Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Guide for Training Abused Rescue Dogs

(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

If you visit an animal shelter, you will be welcomed by all breeds of dogs in every shape, size and color. As you look into their eyes, you wonder to yourself, “How could anyone let this happen?” It is, indeed, very heartbreaking to know that most of these shelters receive new animals as frequently as every day. Awful as it sounds, there are people out there who simply do terrible things to these poor, innocent animals. As a result, some dogs become completely broken and incapable of standing up again. However, there are those that manage to rise up for another chance – a better life in the hands of a new “family.”

If you have decided to adopt a dog who had a “rough” start out of the goodness of your heart, then bear in mind that a few more challenges would come your way. So, for the purpose of helping you through the process, here are some tips on how to train an abused rescue dog.

Look Deeper into the Dog’s Past
Although this might not always be possible, it would be a huge help if you knew about the history of the dog you are about to adopt. This will give you a better understanding of the dog’s behavior and provide information regarding possible negative triggering factors which should be avoided. And as you shun the triggers, it will help start build a trusting relationship.

Safety is a Priority
It is advisable to ask the animal shelter about the dog’s common reaction to other animals or people, because you don’t want it to be attacking anyone as soon as you move him into his new home. You may try to request to bring along your other pets (if you have) during your visit to the shelter for a meet-and-greet. Also, as much as possible, every member of the family should be there during the visit so that you can formally introduce the dog to his new family and somehow start to build trust.

During the training, keep in mind that abused dogs are usually scared of their new environment. So, it is important that you observe precautionary measures. Have barriers to prevent him from bolting, unless you want to end up chasing after your dog because he ran out of your yard.

(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

Building Trust is a Must
One of the essential elements of a good relationship is trust. However, making an adopted dog, especially one that has been abused in the past, trust a new owner does not happen with a snap of a finger. In such scenario, building trust will take time. You can start this by establishing a routine that is not demanding on the dog’s part. For instance, you can set feeding schedules, a time for outdoor activities, and the like. Additionally, show your dog that you truly care. Give him a safe place where he can retreat and provide rewards for good behavior.

Patience is a Vital Ingredient
You need to understand that abused dogs, physically or emotionally, will have a fear-based behavior where they react to a frightening or unwanted stimulus. Bear in mind that dogs may react in different ways. They might avoid the situation by hiding from you, cower and become submissive, or become aggressive that they attack as a result of extreme fright. The process of helping the rescue dog cope from his past will not be easy. You are going to certainly need a huge bundle of patience and understanding.

(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

Consistency is Necessary
Your training should be consistent, and this goes for several aspects. For instance, when your dog fails to obey or show good behavior, do not get upset and become too hard on him. Just keep your cool and try the process again. However, you should not falter and always blame bad behavior on his abusive past, because this will not correct the behavior. If you keep on lingering on the dog’s past, this will not do any good for his future.

Consistency should also be practiced when giving rewards. Providing treats for your dog is a great way to get through him and will help make the entire process flow smoothly. Nevertheless, giving well-deserved rewards is not equivalent to spoiling, so do not overdo it. Also, be mindful of giving him high value treats especially when you cannot be consistent about it.

Training an abused rescue dog is not easy; however, it is very possible! And not only will you be able to help an animal in need, but you will also have a truly rewarding experience for giving him a second chance to a better life. Just keep these essentials in mind, and you will definitely be on the right track.

About the Author: Jordan Walker: 
 Jordan is the lead content curator for Coops And Cages as well as a couple of other pet related blogs. His passion for animals is only matched by his love for 'attempting' to play the guitar. If you would like to catch him, you can via Google+ or Twitter: @CoopsAndCages

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