Here’s a great article from Petfinder.com filled with adoption tips to consider before and after adopting a rescue.

Dog Adoption Tips


IMPORTANT: There are exceptions to every rule and these are our best guess suggestions for common problems. For any behavior problem, you should always consult your veterinarian first to rule out any medical problem that might be the cause. 

Q- What should I expect in my two in the first couple of weeks. 

Shelter dogs make incredible pets. They can be loyal, grateful, and generous with their affection. They can also have some special issues that make parenting them a little more complex than dogs with simpler origin stories. The key to being a successful rescue dog owner is understanding – and being compassionate to – these challenges. Here is a helpful article focusing on all they have gone through before arriving here and what to be aware of. 

What To Expect For The First Two Weeks 

Q- What about food?

At NEW PAWSibilities we work with an organization called Rescue Bank, think food bank for pets. The food is donated by many manufacturers and so we don’t have just one food to tell you to purchase when you walk out with your bundle of joy. There’s a good chance that your dog is eating a combination of foods based on what’s been donated. As always, we do suggest doing your research, talking to your vet or a reputable pet food store, and buying in the smallest quantity to start. Once you find the right food you can buy a larger bag. Here are some sites to learn more about feeding your dog at different stages of their life. 

Food Basics

Feeding Your Puppy

Feeding A Senior 

Q- My dog won’t stop chewing on things in my house!

“Exercise Frustration” is a real term and a common reason for behavior issues. For the average healthy dog, try two thirty-minute walks a day. Let them stop and sniff along the way and they’ll be even more content with life.

Q- Why is my new dog acting differently now that I have her home?

A- There’s a saying in the dog rescue world: “Three days, three weeks, three months.”

3 DAYS: The first three days your dog is home she is usually just trying to cope with being in a new place (again). Who are these people? What am I doing here? What’s going to happen next? You probably won’t see her personality start to come out until around the fourth day home.

3 WEEKS: By the end of three weeks your dog has usually figured out she is going to be living with you. She probably understands who else lives there, when/where she eats, sleeps and goes potty, etc. She’s starting to settle in.

3 MONTHS: After three months she has usually blended into your routine and lifestyle. She’s become part of the family. Welcome home, new dog!

Q- Isn’t my dog house trained?

A- At NEWPaws most dogs and puppies spend their days in a playgroup and have access to a doggie door they can use to go potty outside. At your house, they need to learn where you want them to go potty and how to tell you they need to go.

Here’s a web page where you can learn how to house train your puppy.

Here’s a web page where you can learn to house train your adult dog.

We get a ton of questions about dogs and potty training. This site really breaks it down in one of the best ways I’ve ever seen. Even if your dog has lived in a home before it does take time to adjust your schedule and cues to his. This is a great resource!

Q- My new dog doesn’t get along with my old dog.

A- Even if it went well when they met at the rescue, now there might be toys and treats to squabble over and people paying lots of attention to the new dog. It might not be going so well at home.

Here are some links to help you learn how to introduce your new dog to other dogs at home.

Making introductions between your new and existing dogs

Introducing your new dog to dog’s at home

Introducing dogs to each other

Q- Can I change my dog’s name?

A- Yes. Teach the new name by saying the name and giving your dog a treat when she looks at you. If she ignores you try making a “kissy sound” (technical term) or patting your leg along with saying the name.

Q- My dog was fine and then she turned two and now she’s a maniac!

A- She’s probably out of the puppy stage and into adolescence. As in “teenager.” Full of energy. Out of control. She needs training and exercise. Find an obedience class. Give her more exercise. She needs you to help her become a well-behaved happy adult dog.

Q- My dog is misbehaving for no reason.

A- Always look for a medical problem first. Take your dog to the vet. (Because no amount of training is going to fix an ear infection, toothache, etc.) Once your dog’s been declared healthy, if the problem doesn’t disappear, find a certified trainer, behaviorist, or behavior consultant to help you figure out what’s going on.

The Certification Council for Pet Dog Trainers (CCPDT) has a list of certified trainers and behaviorists. Use the list to find one nearby.

Q- My dog needs training but I can’t afford to hire a trainer.

A- Ideally, when your dog is having behavior issues you should get advice and training from a certified dog trainer, behaviorist or canine behavior consultant. Some of them can seem expensive, but usually, they are worth it. (One training session probably costs less than the shoes your dog just chewed up.) Plus getting professional help will hopefully get you a decade or more of joy living with a well-behaved dog.

If a private trainer/consultant just isn’t in the budget, try enrolling in a group obedience class. At the very least, try to educate yourself by reading or searching for advice online. Be careful to choose competent sources. We think one good place to start your search is the ASPCA’s pet care web page.

Q-What should I use for training treats and how should I use them?
A-Most dogs are motivated by high-value treats but what we don’t want is for them to gain extra weight with these treats. Here are some interesting ideas about treats to use them and how to use them.

Q- What should I do to take care of my senior dog?

Q – My dog ate something and I don’t know what to do!
Getting a new dog can often mean chewing, counter surfing, and other ways that your new dog can ingest something or in some way need vet care.
Like every other industry vets are short staffed and it cane be hard to establish care right away. Our first night with our dog was a nightmare, I take all the blame, and the next day we landed at the emergency vet and the cost was extreme to say the least.
The ASPCA has a 24 hour hotline that will help you answer simple questions, give you some solutions to some problems, as well as answering questions about what to do if your dog has gotten into something poisonous.

Here are a few more helpful training links. 

Dog Training 101: How To Completely Train Your Dog

Do Dogs Eat More During the Winter?

A training manual for any dog owner using the tried, true, and trusted Weatherwax methods.

Rudd Weatherwax is a third-generation professional dog trainer, the grandson of famed Lassie trainer Rudd Weatherwax, and owner of Weatherwax Dog Training. Robert is a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and is a former Canine Stunt Performer. His movie credits include “Beethoven,” “K9,” “Dennis the Menace,” “Top Dog,” and “Lassie: Best Friends are Forever,” and his TV credits include “The Flash,” “Married with Children,” “Just the Ten of Us,” and “The New Lassie.”

The name “Weatherwax” is widely known in the dog world. The author is a third-generation professional dog trainer and owner of Weatherwax Dog Training. The family has trained the original “Lassie” (actually a male named “Pal”), Toto for “The Wizard of Oz,” and also “Old Yeller.” These theories and tactics are applicable to any dog lover and owner, not just those on the big screen!

This is a complete guide to dog ownership and basic training manual using the Weatherwax method, which hasn’t changed in almost a century; though Robert has added a few enhancements over the years from his exposure to other great trainers. This book will teach readers to:

  • Learn how to raise and train their dog using an approach customized to their dog’s needs.
  • Understand the correlation between our behavior and our dog’s behavior.
  • Implement techniques that will allow their dog to interact well in all situations. 
  • Find answers to the questions that plague the common dog owner.
  • Train their dog the right way—from day one—as well as address any inherited behavioral issues.
  • Send the right message to their dog, even when no verbal commands are being given.
  • Alter the negative reaction their dog may have to certain situations.
  • Understand the most appropriate tools for their own dog and dispel some of the rumors that exist regarding dogs in general.

Patricia McConnell, Ph.D., CAAB is an Ethologist and Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist who has consulted with cat and dog lovers for over twenty years. She combines a thorough understanding of the science of behavior with years of practical, applied experience. Her nationally syndicated radio show, Calling All Pets, played in over 110 cities for fourteen years and her television show Petline played on Animal Planet for two-and-a-half years. She is the behavior columnist for The Bark Magazine (the “New Yorker” of Dog Magazines) and is Adjunct Associate Professor in Zoology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, teaching “the Biology and Philosophy of Human/Animal Relationships.” Dr. McConnell is a much sought after speaker and seminar presenter, speaking to training organizations, veterinary conferences, academic meetings and animal shelters around the world about dog and cat behavior, and on science-based and humane solutions to serious behavioral problems. She is the author of thirteen books on training and behavioral problems, as well as the critically acclaimed books The Other End of the Leash, For the Love of a Dog and Tales of Two Species.

The Cautious Canine by Patrica McConnell

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