April 30 is National Adopt A Shelter Pet Day and although it is exciting to give a shelter pup a much needed furever home, it is important to consider how you can help your furry friend adapt to their new environment. Jason Spring, owner of Dog Training Elite Boston, has offered up his expertise to help families like yours plan for this important transition for your adopted pup.
Firstly, Spring recommends you map out a routine ahead of time. This step involves planning who will be in charge of walks, feeding time, bathing, etc. Creating a routine will help your dog adjust to their new environment and family. For example, consistently letting them outside to go to the bathroom after they eat can create a good routine for potty training.
Another important thing to consider before bringing home your newest family member is to set up their new living space. Things like making sure to check if your plants are pet friendly are very important. This can often be overlooked, but some common household plants are actually toxic to dogs such as Aloe Vera, Ivy, and Jade to name a few.
Training is very important with any animal, but you will find that it is even more important in correcting previously learned behavior in your shelter dog. You will need to expect an adjustment period while your dog is getting comfortable with you, which might take some time. Spring strongly recommends being patient and not forcing training while your pup takes in their new surroundings.
Make sure to be cautious of what behaviors you allow and ensure that you’re rewarding the behaviors you want to encourage. If you allow your new shelter dog to engage in certain behaviors when you first bring them home, you will find it much harder to correct later on. For example, when you come home, do not use baby talk and get your dog worked up, but rather just carry on with your normal routine. You can engage with them when they are calm, but you do not want to create the habit of having high energy reactions every time you get home.
The training never stops. While your dog will get in the swing of things and make themselves at home there will always be training moments. Dog Training Elite Boston is available to cover specialty training as well including customized training programs, therapy dog and PTSD support dogs, autism support, and so much more. You can find out more at:
https://dogtrainingelite.com/ Every dog deserves a home, so it is great to adopt from a shelter and it is even greater to plan ahead when doing so!