When we adopted our dog, we didn’t have much information about it so we researched different channels. These are the easiest steps that you should do with your new member of the family.
Don’t overwhelm your dog with affection right away. I know! You’ve been waiting a long time to be able to snuggle and kiss your new fur friend, but he doesn’t know you and he needs time for this. Give him space to smell and walk around the house, let him be the one who approaches. Being in a new home with new people might be very scary for some dogs. Bring your family and friends to meet your dog in the first two weeks might not be a good idea. Allow your dog to settle in first.
Don’t take your dog to the park for a few weeks or months. Give yourself time for you and your pup to know and trust each other. See how he reacts to new situations or objects. Keep things calm and avoid getting him overly excited. Please keep in mind that some dogs were probably not socialized to other dogs before they got into the shelter and they might not like other dogs. Please consider training for these cases.
Transition the food slowly. Ask the shelter what food were they giving him and mix it up with his new food a few times. This way your dog will get used to the new food and there will be less chances for him to experience digestive problems. If you are not able to know the brand or are not able to get it, try mixing some canned pumpkin puree for dogs to his new food. You can easily find this at any pet store, it’s great when transitioning a dog’s food. Spread the whole can over the course of a few days. We recommend a diet high in protein without grains, here is an article about what you should check on your dog’s food label.
Establish rules and limitations. Every dog should have boundaries around the house. We don’t allow our dog into the kitchen, we don’t want her to eat something that could hurt her. Be consistent with your rules (even though sometimes it breaks my heart not to give her table scraps). It will allow to your dog to respect you and follow you better. Keep him in a schedule for walks and food.
Be patient. It’s very rewarding to rescue a dog but sometimes it takes time for them to get used to a new environment and family. Try to remain calm with a positive attitude always, it’ll help your dog to understand you better. Some dogs might need a little more work than others, just give them time. You can teach an old dog new tricks, it just requires patience.