How to Care for a Rescued Dog – Building Trust
Rescued dogs are often raised in terrible conditions. Some of them come from puppy mills. They breed litter after litter, but have never felt loved by humans. There are times when they are mistreated and handled wrongly. Sometimes dogs just run away and live off in the wild. All these cause a lot of trauma to these dogs. They are the reasons why rescued dogs tend to be shy, scared, overprotective and sometimes not wanting to be alone.
The first thing you should do to gain a rescued dog’s trust is to treat it with respect. Always talk to him calmly and allow him to adjust to his new surroundings. You must be patient because they may mark their territories or submissively pee when they are scared. It is an involuntary or unconscious action coming from their previous experience. In this light, it would be helpful to know where your dog came from. With some information on what he’s been through, it would be easier for you to adapt and adjust to his needs. When he is at home, make sure that he has his own quiet space to stay in. Let him feel that there is a place for him in the home. It is also important to feed hi m on a feeding schedule, so that he can be house trained. You don’t necessarily have to pamper him. He will eventually be thankful of the clean place to stay and the food that he eats. Some dogs will be extremely shy and they will refuse food, water or treats that you offer. In this case, all you have to do is be consistent in staying calm and treating him well. Even in silence, dogs can feel love and even danger. In time your pet will know that you are sincere in taking care of him.
Sometimes, it is helpful to expose them to other pets if you have them. It makes them feel more at ease and after a while, they will imitate what the other pet does. It is also helpful to simulate situations that solicit positive responses. Practicing these can help you pet become more at ease with you and your surroundings. If in any case your pet acts extremely shy or scared around certain individuals. Work on desensitizing your pet to that person. He has to learn and remember positive experience with this person. Ask this person to feed the pet regularly or to give him treats as a reward for good behavior. If the dog only wants attention from you, ignore him so that he is forced to interact with others.
Separation anxiety is another problem rescued dogs face, that is why it is important to make them feel secure and wanted. In interacting with others, your pet does not become too dependent on you. He is loved by others and he will feel that too. You can take him out for a walk to see new people or have him interact with other pets in the park. This way he can observe other relationships between pets and humans. It may be different to what he knows, but at least through it he can learn that it is not so bad to trust humans after all.