Pets

Phases of a Rescue Dog: What to Know

Every year, over four million shelter animals find loving homes. 

If you’re inviting a furry friend into your home this year, maybe you’re more nervous than excited. Rescue dog behavior problems tend to be a new dog owner’s first concern.

After all, the rescue dog honeymoon period will be short-lived when behavioral problems start to crop up. 

It would be more accurate to say that you’ll go through the phases of a rescue dog. So you’re not overwhelmed, keep reading to learn about these phases.

The Phases of a Rescue Dog

In the first three days of your dog being home, you’ll likely notice some behavior problems.

This is because they’re nervous about being in a new place with people they don’t know. There is no set routine or sense of normalcy (yet).

The best thing you can do is be patient, kind, and gentle. Bond with them by rewarding good behavior with treats. Instead of feeding them meals out of a bowl, feed them straight from your hands.

This will establish you as the provider and help your pup trust you. Just make sure you sit them down before ever feeding them. You want to start teaching good habits and behaviors right away.

A Rescue Dog Personality Change

If you sense a rescue dog’s personality change in the first few days or weeks, this is normal. At first, your pup may be shy and try to hide from you. He may not even eat.

Pretty soon, though, he may act a little different. Maybe he’ll have boundless energy and only wants to test his limits. This is all a part of your dog assimilating to his new environment.

The next rescue dog personality change will hit at around the three-month mark. Hopefully, by this time, he will begin to feel comfortable at home with the routine you’ve set up with him. His real personality will then emerge.

You’re still bound to see an ebb and flow of rescue dog behavior getting worse and then better. Stay consistent with discipline. Over time, he will even out.

By three months, he should be completely settled.

Rescue Dog Showing Aggression

Sometimes, the phases of a rescue dog entail him showing aggression. This is often a sign of stress. However, if you find the rescue dog’s behavior getting worse, it may be time to call in a professional.

Consider taking your dog to an aggressive dog training class to help curb the behavior. For more details about this service, click here.

Adopting a Rescue Dog

Adopting a rescue dog is an exciting moment for every new dog parent—at least, it should be. It often comes with a lot of stress for both parties if you are unprepared.

Now that you’re familiar with the phases of a rescue dog, you’ll know what to expect. Then, the rescue dog honeymoon period can last as long as you want! Your rescue dog after six months will feel like a member of your family.

For more pet advice, parenting advice, and more, check out more of our posts.

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