Tag: save a dog

The Happiest Rescue Dog Ever?

Meet Coso, a 7 year-old Australian Shepherd Mix. She was left by a family that felt they could no longer look after her. We have to remember that our dogs are for our lives, they are family. But thankfully, that didn’t stop her from being the happiest rescue dog ever.

Thankfully over the weekend, Lort Smith Animal Hospital, which is also a rescue, saved her and helped her find a new loving family. Corso throws her paws up to celebrate as possibly the happiest rescue dog of all time.

Before Corso left the shelter, she decided she had to pose for one last legendary picture.  Look at how happy she is! Doesn’t this make you want to go out and adopt a pup right this very minute?

More heartwarming rescue dog stories

We love heartwarming stories like this one. Looking for more?  Check out this adorable video of Benny the shelter dog who was also beyond excited to be adopted!

This is one of our all time favorites – a dog adopted by the firefighter that rescued him from an abandoned building. Does it get any sweeter than that? Grab the tissues!

6 Steps To Bring A Rescue Dog Home

Have you decided to save a life and bring a rescue dog home?

Congrats, you are giving a forgotten rescue dog a second chance at life. Once you bring a rescue dog home, they will reward you with years of unlimited love.

Once you decide to adopt, it is useful to know what to actually do from the minute you pick them up, through their first few months in your house. These 6 tips will guide those critical first few months, helping you bring a rescue dog home into a calm, loving environment while helping them with what can be a scary transition.

1. Know your Rescue Dog’s Background, But Don’t Let It Make You Soft

Many rescue dogs, unfortunately, come from rough backgrounds. Many are abandoned or abused.  Some live tied to a chain with very little shelter or are left in a crate for hours on end.

Knowing where your rescue came from can help you help them acclimate to their new home.

But, don’t let traumas of the past make you too lenient with your new buddy. Dogs are incredibly resilient, and after a period of adaptation will push the limits of what they can get away with. Letting them know the boundaries, in a gentle, loving way, from day one will head off any behavior problems in the future.

If you bring a rescue dog home, especially a young dog, and decide that because they come from a bad background, you’ll let them do whatever they want in your house, expect trouble in the future. You have a tremendous opportunity to teach them that humans are compassionate, forgiving teachers, and they are now in a loving home with reasonable boundaries.

Get everyone in the family on board. Use the same words for training. Have everyone show the dog the same path to the door to go out, or however you’ll train them to let you know they need to use the bathroom. Have everyone follow the same feeding and exercise routines. Consistency is key, and this allows for a positive training approach.

2. Show Them Around Slowly

It’s tempting to bring your new dog home and let them run wild. There’s an undeniable cuteness to watching a dog that was depressed, confused and scared while living in a cage just an hour before now running around, exploring her new home with her nose.

But, most experts agree that keeping some rooms off limits at first will help your rescue become orientated in their new home while knowing that there are places they can’t go. This is a useful exercise in your yard as well. Blocking off flowerbeds, sections of the lawn, or parts of the fence that could lead to an easy escape can keep your dog safe.

3. Be Loving and Patient

Your rescue is undergoing a lot of change in a short time. They’re adapting to a new family, a new home, a new neighborhood. Even if your resume dog is house trained, they may not know the best routes to the door to let you know it’s time to go out.

Accidents will happen. As rescue dogs are often accustomed to being yelled at or physically punished following a bathroom accident.

Show them that cleanup is no big deal, there will be no yelling, and that the only physical touch they’ll receive in your home is of a loving nature. A confident dog is easily trainable. Use these as teachable moments.

4. Baby Proof the Area

This is important. Treat your new pup’s arrival the same way you would if a toddler was visiting. Hide exposed wires. Pick up small objects from the floor. Put cleaners and chemicals out of reach. Dogs, even seniors, explore with their noses and mouths. Remove all possibly harmful objects and you’ll avoid dangerous problems.

5. Establish Routine

Dogs thrive on routine. So, imagine how upsetting it is to go from their old way of life to living in a rescue with multiple dogs and other animals to being driven in a car to a strange home with new people. This ties in with number 1. Show them the ways of their new home and new life slowly, consistently, and patiently.

Guide them to the rooms they’re allowed in. Take them outside and let them explore your yard safely. If you are in an apartment, a few laps around the neighborhood will help your rescue get used to the area and feel more confident. Walking is also a great way for dogs to release mental energy and stress while bonding with their new family.

From day 1, start them on their feeding, exercise, play, and rest schedule. It’ll take a few days, maybe even a few weeks, but once the settle, they’ll be thrilled to know that 9-am is breakfast, 10am is walk time, and it’s all naps and play till dinner.

6. Be Flexible When You Bring a Rescue Dog Home

Know that your dog’s true personality may be in hiding. Dogs like to please, so for the first few weeks, expect them on their best behavior. Anyone who’d adopted a rescue will tell you – after 2 – 4 weeks, they’ll let their full personalities bloom.

They may be more or less energetic than at first, and they may eat more or less. They may show a rambunctious side.

Whatever the change, be ready for it. Since you established their routine early and set boundaries, these transitions are easy. You’ll have a confident, happy dog who’s thriving in their new forever home.

3 Key Factors In Picking A Rescue Dog

Here are a few important steps to consider when picking a rescue dog.

1. Size of Rescue Dog

Every year, thousands of dogs are given away or abandoned because the puppy that someone bought grew to be bigger than anticipated.

This is an unacceptable mistake.

If you live in an apartment or a small home, do not get a Great Dane puppy hoping it will stay tiny. It won’t. If your building has a weight restriction, don’t get a dog that exceeds that restriction by a significant amount. A 30-lb Beagle might squeak by on a 25-lb limit. A 130-lb Saint Bernard will not. Please do not put a dog in this situation.

You should also consider the size of the dog, even if you have no such limitations. Do you want a big dog that can roughhouse with you?

Do you want a medium size rescue dog that fits in bed with you, but can also run around the yard chasing squirrels without you living in fear that it will break a brittle bone?

Maybe you want a lap dog that you can carry around with you.

These are all key questions to ask yourself before you adopt a rescue dog. Most people reading this site love dogs and have only the dog’s best interest at heart. But, even the strongest among us has taken that trip to the rescue thinking we want a Pom only to find that an irresistibly cute Rottweiler grabs a hold of our heart. If this happens, and you know that you can accommodate the Rottie, then go for it. But, if you can’t keep a big dog, stick with your original plan.

2. Activity Level of Rescue Dog

This one is tricky because it changes over the course of a dog’s life. Puppies that were tearing the house apart grow into calm, easy-going dogs.

Quiet puppies can turn into high-energy adults.

But, knowing the general disposition of the breed you’re choosing can help with this.

Remember that dogs are living beings with individual personalities. Take some time to think about what you want your relationship with your new dog to be:

  • Do you want to hike with her?
  • Are you looking for a Netflix and ice cream partner?
  • Do you like to walk the city with your buddy by your side?
  • Are you taking him off-leash to run the beach or in the countryside?
  • Do you want a little of all of the above?

Researching breeds can help. It’s not absolute since, though. There are lazy Terriers and high-energy English Bulldogs. But, in general, breed energy requirements are a good indicator.

If you are looking at a mixed breed, try to evaluate the dominant breed, if possible. If not, see if you can spend some time alone with the dog to get a better feel for how it behaves outside of the shelter. Remember, being in a rescue around multiple dogs, with new people coming in and out to meet them can change a dog’s behavior. Some will be scared, others overly excited. See how they are away from the excitement.

3. Age of Rescue Dog

The age of the dog you’re considering is key.

Are you high energy? Yes? A puppy may be right for you. Remember, no matter how energetic you are, puppies have a tremendous amount of energy to burn. This can lead to much mischief. If you’re not ok with losing a pair of shoes or two, go older.

Are you medium energy? Consider a dog between 1 and 3 years old. At this point, bigger dogs will have settled down considerably. Smaller dogs are still in late-puppyhood through the one or two year mark, so they’ll give you much playfulness, but the destructive period is mostly over.

Are you prone to long binge-watching sessions on the couch? Think a 20-minute walk is the height of your exercise life? Like a calm, quiet house? Consider adopting an adult or senior dog.

Now, don’t think that seniors or adults are not playful. They are. In fact, it’s not uncommon for senior dogs to regain a puppy-esque playfulness after leaving a rescue or shelter. But, those energy bursts are short-lived. A good walk with your new friend and she’ll be more than happy to lay on the couch with you for hours afterward.

Adults and seniors also come with the added benefit of knowing their disposition already. It’s tough to judge where a puppy’s personality will lead, but with a dog 3+, you have a good idea of who they are right away.

Want to Contact Me?