It is estimated that 44 percent of pet dogs in the United States are adopted from a shelter or rescue, while 5 percent are taken in as strays. If you’ve decided to welcome a rescue dog into your heart, congratulations! You will be rewarded with lots of love, loyalty, and laughter.
Bringing home your newest family member is just the beginning; now it’s time to build a bond with them. While it’s easier to gain the trust of a puppy, it might take more time with an adult or senior dog who may have developed trust issues due to past experiences. Still, it’s definitely possible to bond with an older canine who had a life before you. Here are 7 tips for forming an unbreakable bond with your rescue dog.
A lot of rescue dogs have trust issues with humans as a result of their unfortunate past. Make your furry friend feel safe by touching and talking to them. While it’s important to give them space as they adjust to their new home, they also need to feel like they are part of the family. Most canines love being petted, but you may need to start slowly with a rescue. Observe how they respond, and adjust your actions accordingly.Hand-feeding is also a great way to gain your pup’s trust. If possible, do this for every meal during their first week, and then a few times the week after. Speak softly to your dog while you hand-feed them, and they will quickly associate you with good things!
After the initial adjustment period, be sure to include your rescue dog in your daily life. Save a spot for them on the couch and watch a movie together. Let them “supervise” you while you do some yard work. Bring them along when you’re picking up take-out. Explore a new walking trail together. Take them to the pet store and let them pick out their own toys.
Don’t forget to let your other two- and four-legged family members join in too! Doing little things together is a puptastic way for the whole family to bond.