Training rescued dogs takes patience
and dedication. It may take time, but the rewards will be worth
The practice of neutering and spaying of dogs has been around for many years but unplanned births continues to be a reality.
As a result of this there are just not enough homes for all of the puppies that are born.
When we add the number of dogs that get lost or wander away, rescue
missions and shelters everywhere are filled to capacity. For many of
these dogs being euthanized will be the sad reality.
For a some lucky dogs, there is a second chance. They could be adopted from shelters or missions or taken in off of the street and into the care of a willing family.
The new owners, however, are often not quite sure how best to deal with the rescued dog.
Dogs that are brought to shelters are generally not in the best condition. It is not uncommon for them to be victims of neglect, abuse of even terrible living conditions.
And in some circumstances dogs are released into the wild to take care of themselves.
In nature a dog is a pack animal. Even wild dogs don't do well on their own. Released domesticated dogs do very poorly in the wild, without any animal or human interaction.
Dogs such as these can still learn to be less fearful with proper training.
As the first step in rescuing a dog you should take it to your veterinarian for a full exam. You will not be able to start training your new dog if he is sick or in pain. Take the time to restore the dog's health and bring it back to a healthy weight.
It may be a tall order, but whenever possible try to get the dog's history. Your training efforts will be helped if you have information on the dog's past abuse or medical history.
Slow and steady is the order of the day when establishing trust with the dog. Try to avoid imposing yourself on the dog. The animal will begin to seek you out once they have learned to trust you.
A suggestion would be to work on trust with a treat. Try stepping back a bit after putting a treat on the floor.
Staring directly at the dog should be avoided at this point. Once the
dog takes the food make sure they get enthusiastic praise.
It is not uncommon for some rescue animals to initially seek out physical contact . Some can take weeks or more. But once you have established it, try to roll the dog over onto his back and place your hand on their chest.
You can expect that the dog will either resist if they tend to be aggressive or a fearful dog will accept. Neither behavior is good. In normal training, you would force the aggressive dog to take on a passive role.
This technique typically does not work for rescued
dogs. Establishing trust will take time. By speaking in a soft and calm
tone of voice and gently rubbing the belly a fearful dog will know that
being on its back is a positive experience and not a punishment.
Be patient as it is often difficult and slow to train a rescued dog. They are often older dogs, mixed, and with difficult temperaments which makes training more challenging. Don't give up. You will be rewarded in the end.
Rescue Labrador Retrievers or any rescue dog for that matter can be
helped by a training program. A new owner of an older dog would not know
how a dog was trained, or if the training was appropriate.
Since very owner has their own set of expectations for dog behavior, a bit of retraining or reinforcement cannot hurt.
training for older dogs will cover topics such as agility, obedience,
and tips for building a "trusted" relationship between owner and dog. If
you can, have the training sessions conducted in your home. Obedience
training takes about 1/2 hour a day.
Never feel sorry for the dog. This is counter-productive and will only hinder the training. Be patient, loving and understanding but don't let the dog have the run of the house. By letting the dog know that you are in charge you are establishing yourself as the pack leader.
It's a lot of sweet and hard work but you will have a companion for life.
A Labrador Retriever requires up 1 to 3 hours of exercise a day! Part of this should be when your walk your dog. A well exercised dog is happier, healthier and makes for a better pet.
Since a Labrador is an intelligent dog, exercise or free play in a fenced yard also provides necessary mental stimulation. If you cannot let your dog play outside for long periods, then a Lab would benefit from toys designed to stimulate the mind. Kong Toys are great for Labs since they have hidden treat compartments for the dog to find.
Stefan Hyross writes and provides information about dogs and puppies. Correct common dog behavior problems and other issues.
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